Best sites for Security & Surveillance systems?

BAD311

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Mar 18, 2009
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Hello all. I want to install a Security & Surveillance system at my shop. I want 2-3 high-quality cameras (with night vision/lights) for indoor surveillance and decent quality cameras for outside, with another 1-2 high quality for monitoring vehicles when the shop is closed.

I also want local and internet recording. I do not want it to be in a rack (no need).

This will be a wired system. I want a good 500+GB hard drive.

Any help would be greatly appreciated! :)
 
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akugami

Diamond Member
Feb 14, 2005
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CCTV Forum

FWIW I got two Geovision cards which run about $1k each in a system that does 8 cameras each for a total of 16 cameras. Has internet connectivity but it's geared more towards businesses than regular folks.

Geovision also carries lower end cards which are much cheaper but the ones I got have hardware video encoding. Depending on how powerful the computer system you're using is, the choice of hardware encoding may or may not impact video recording quality. The quality of the video camera will also impact quality.

You'll also have to choose the type of camera you want, a static camera or PTZ (pan tilit zoom) camera. The PTZ cameras are more expensive but as the name suggests, you can control it to move around and zoom in and out from remote locations. If you don't need a PTZ camera I'd still suggest getting a camera that has decent zoom. Very useful for getting the camera on the exact spot you want it to record.

With motion triggered recording on a 1TB HD I get about a week's worth of video on the system. If you're planning to record nonstop 24/7 then plan accordingly but personally, I see no reason to waste HD space on video's of nothing happening.
 

gsaldivar

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Apr 30, 2001
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I got two Geovision cards which run about $1k each in a system that does 8 cameras each for a total of 16 cameras. Has internet connectivity but it's geared more towards businesses than regular folks.

Are those analog capture cards? I'm curious - why did you choose analog over digital?
 

akugami

Diamond Member
Feb 14, 2005
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Cost and simplicity of installation/implementation is a reason why we went with analogue cameras. When running the lines, which I had to do myself, it was easier running RG59 siamese cables which contained the RG59 coaxial as well as the power lines together.

I did research IP cameras and PoE but IP cameras were still very expensive compared to now and it was a lot cheaper going with traditional analogue cameras which still provided decent video quality and was good enough for what we needed. Obviously the costs have come down on IP cameras since 3+ years ago. The cameras we got were still much better quality than the previous cameras we were using with a VHS based DVR.

The software is pretty flexible allowing remote viewing of the videos from the internet, setting up alerts, motion only or time based recording which can help save HD space, and since it's a computer I can manage it remotely via VNC.
 

gsaldivar

Diamond Member
Apr 30, 2001
8,691
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Cost and simplicity of installation/implementation is a reason why we went with analogue cameras. When running the lines, which I had to do myself, it was easier running RG59 siamese cables which contained the RG59 coaxial as well as the power lines together.

I did research IP cameras and PoE but IP cameras were still very expensive compared to now and it was a lot cheaper going with traditional analogue cameras which still provided decent video quality and was good enough for what we needed. Obviously the costs have come down on IP cameras since 3+ years ago. The cameras we got were still much better quality than the previous cameras we were using with a VHS based DVR.

The software is pretty flexible allowing remote viewing of the videos from the internet, setting up alerts, motion only or time based recording which can help save HD space, and since it's a computer I can manage it remotely via VNC.

Thanks for the reply. I need to build some solutions like this soon and was leaning toward cat5 PoE IP cameras and Zoneminder, but its always good to hear some feedback from other solutions as well.
 

akugami

Diamond Member
Feb 14, 2005
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When designing a DVR, make absolutely sure you build some headroom into it. Like I said, I still got about 3 spots open from a 16 camera system but that was after installing another two cameras recently.

Also a gotcha with traditional DVR's is how to calculate how many frames the DVR (or capture card) is recording. A DVR capable of 240fps with 16 cameras will record at a max of 15fps on each camera when all camera ports are populated and recording. 240 divided by 16. It doesn't mean all cameras will record at 240fps. This also means a DVR capable of 240fps using 8 cameras will have much smoother video since it will record at 30fps.

In all honesty, regardless of system, 15fps is fine for most security cameras and anything below gets a bit choppy. How smooth you want the video to be will depend on your budget and what the use will be. For home security, even 10fps is fine cause either you see the crook coming in or not. Hopefully you never even have to look.

Zoneminder seems like a nice low cost solution but you'd have to make sure the cameras and any capture cards work with the software. I do agree with Zoneminder's wiki page that a lot of commercial CCTV systems are complete crap. The boss once ordered a $16k CCTV system that was complete trash IMHO (it's also dead) and the Geovision cards I ordered a year later along with the cameras completely killed it from a usability and quality standpoint and was about half the price. Geovision is not that bad as far as software goes. Still some UI quirks but overall it's rather simple to use, though setup and administration is obviously best left to someone tech oriented.