Looking for hardware suggestions for modest home setup

Elmojo

n3wb
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
9
Location
EastNC, USA
Try an NVR. If your the IT guy and your buddy wants the Easy button. Start there.
The question isn't IF I'm getting an NVR, it's WHICH one.

LOL - Apologies I should have tempered my reply for the average person with respect to force protection.

Regardless, physically isolating the security video from the main network also insures zero impact while using other services that consume high bandwidth data such as streaming services.

Nothing is worse than trying to surf the Net and pages don’t load because the security video feed is sucking up all the bandwidth in the home! You’ll read about people who set the frame rate, bit rate, secondary streams at the lowest settings through out the net.

Why?!?

Because their network wasn’t planned for with the eye toward expansion and increased bandwidth never mind storage or computational power.

As noted a (budget) dictates what can be done and the direction headed. None of us are made of money so like you must find a balance / compromise in some things we do.

Back on topic: NVR vs PC this really comes down to long term goals and intent. A NVR by its very nature is plug & play and you know it’s going to work. But you can’t upgrade anything if wanted never mind repair if broken within reason.

A PC can be upgraded and repaired any time by swapping parts. You have the ability to use any software that meets your needs either now or later.

There’s nothing wrong in running both either just because to get a feel or to learn. But unless you spend lots of money on the top of the line NVR none of them support 4K resolution on every channel. Even when you do spend gobs of money the bulk of them restrict a number of channels for AI, 4K, etc.

In 2021 there is zero reason having to compromise viewing at the minimum 16 channels in 4K! But manufacturers think it’s OK to view a 4K feed in 1080P!!!

Lastly, I don’t know if energy consumption matters to you at all. But what ever hardware you decide upon take a hard look at what each piece of gear consumes. You don’t want to find out your electricity bill went up 20% just to record the grass and side walk.
@Teken: Bro, that's some first rate helpful info right there! :D
I never thought about the bandwidth issue in regards to LAN segregation. I'll add that to the "must do" side of the list for sure.
If this was my system, I'd be going the PC with Blue Iris route without any question. However, with this being essentially an off-site, set-and-forget (to the degree possible) install, I have to choose equipment and/or software that will help me meet that goal the best we can, within the budget. I haven't mentioned any specific budget, because the client hasn't given me one. He just told me to get decent equipment without going crazy. Helpful, huh?
He's not concerned with 4k streaming, or the ability to run 16+ cams. His house and grounds aren't that large, and he's not looking to have full eyes-on coverage of every square inch. Again, we get back to "good enough". Remember for those of us in the casual security camp, a couple cameras of reasonable resolution and a basic NVR to record any major events is plenty.

I did talk to my friend last night, and he agreed to take a more active role in things. He's agreed to try out one camera at first, to check sight lines and angles. That should give us a good idea of what cameras to add later. Thanks to everyone who suggested that idea. I really didn't think he'd be willing to jump in that deep. :)
 

Elmojo

n3wb
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
9
Location
EastNC, USA
Oh, and @mat200 , I am an IT guy, and people do indeed ask me that exact "which laptop should I buy?" question all the time.
That's why I provided the required parameters in the very first post. Those are the things I'd need to know to suggest a laptop (or any other piece of equipment) to someone, minus the budget, which I didn't have at the time.
I provided the basic feature requirements, installation environment, and user level of involvement. That's all that I need to make an informed suggestion. I've done it for years.

Speaking of budget, I got an answer to that also. He said he'd like to keep the whole package around $1000, including the 5 cams, NVR and switch, if required.
That seems doable, if I stay at the lower end of the equipment range. Thoughts?
 

mat200

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
6,814
Reaction score
5,727
Oh, and @mat200 , I am an IT guy, and people do indeed ask me that exact "which laptop should I buy?" question all the time.
That's why I provided the required parameters in the very first post. Those are the things I'd need to know to suggest a laptop (or any other piece of equipment) to someone, minus the budget, which I didn't have at the time.
I provided the basic feature requirements, installation environment, and user level of involvement. That's all that I need to make an informed suggestion. I've done it for years.

Speaking of budget, I got an answer to that also. He said he'd like to keep the whole package around $1000, including the 5 cams, NVR and switch, if required.
That seems doable, if I stay at the lower end of the equipment range. Thoughts?
FYI - your requirement listing is along the lines of

The Laptop must be able to connect to the internet... still not enough info.

@Elmojo - what is your specialty in IT?

Security Cameras are a new knowledge set - you're gonna have to take time to learn it.

Each camera is basically a PC with a lens...
So.. we're now talking a small network...
 

Elmojo

n3wb
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
9
Location
EastNC, USA
Nah, I'm pretty sure a provided plenty of details for anyone who knows NVRs to at least get me going down the right path on which one to buy.
In fact, I know I did, because I called another friend, who is a security installer, and asked him the same questions, with the same criteria, and he gave me a handful of recommendations right off the top of his head.
I started here, because I respect the experience of those on this forum, and thought it would be a good idea to pull from a broader knowledge base. I appreciate your time, but it feels like we're just going in circles here.
I'm not starting a new career in camera security. I was just looking for a few simple recommendations of decent equipment that fit a certain set a parameters, and that wouldn't cost a fortune.
It seems that was a more complicated request than I anticipated, so I'll just have to go to plan B. No biggie.
I'm sorry if I confused anyone. :)
 

mat200

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
6,814
Reaction score
5,727
Nah, I'm pretty sure a provided plenty of details for anyone who knows NVRs to at least get me going down the right path on which one to buy.
In fact, I know I did, because I called another friend, who is a security installer, and asked him the same questions, with the same criteria, and he gave me a handful of recommendations right off the top of his head.
I started here, because I respect the experience of those on this forum, and thought it would be a good idea to pull from a broader knowledge base. I appreciate your time, but it feels like we're just going in circles here.
I'm not starting a new career in camera security. I was just looking for a few simple recommendations of decent equipment that fit a certain set a parameters, and that wouldn't cost a fortune.
It seems that was a more complicated request than I anticipated, so I'll just have to go to plan B. No biggie.
I'm sorry if I confused anyone. :)
Hi @Elmojo

You come here asking for help and you have been given that.

You even got models of NVRs and cameras.

You insist you're in IT and do not seem to understand that there's a lot more than just pick a model and go. ( btw I am having doubts about your IT profession claims )

You are basically putting together a "customized LAN" for a business unit. ( each camera is a network node, thankfully integration is easy if you pick well - camera selection and placement however require some planning )

Post #2 you got a list of cameras along with the Blue Iris VMS as your NVR thanks to @sebastiantombs

Post #6 you have a good recommended vendor to purchase from, also thanks to @sebastiantombs

Post #20 I give you a Dahua OEM NVR model to pick from

and yet you are being disrespectful imho of everyone who has given you plenty of help here.
 

Elmojo

n3wb
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
9
Location
EastNC, USA
Hi @Elmojo

You come here asking for help and you have been given that.

You even got models of NVRs and cameras.

You insist you're in IT and do not seem to understand that there's a lot more than just pick a model and go. ( btw I am having doubts about your IT profession claims )

You are basically putting together a "customized LAN" for a business unit. ( each camera is a network node, thankfully integration is easy if you pick well - camera selection and placement however require some planning )

Post #2 you got a list of cameras along with the Blue Iris VMS as your NVR thanks to @sebastiantombs

Post #6 you have a good recommended vendor to purchase from, also thanks to @sebastiantombs

Post #20 I give you a Dahua OEM NVR model to pick from

and yet you are being disrespectful imho of everyone who has given you plenty of help here.
Ok, this is getting a little bit out of hand. Let's regroup a bit.
Couple things:
  • I have absolutely received help, and I've acknowledged that. Some of the tips I've receved from this thread have been very informative, and have helped me guide my friend in his decisions thus far, and I'm sure they will continue to do so. Please don't imply that I'm unappreciative of the help received from others.
  • I never asked for a list of cameras, only some advice on the basic setup of NVR with integrated POE switch vs NVR with separate switch. I also asked for some specific NVRs that might fit my needs. Once the basic platform was selected, the cameras could easily be chosen from within the product range of the NVR brand purchased.
  • Yes, several times Blue Iris with a computer has been pushed as the best option. I've repeatedly stated that for this situation, that is NOT an option. I'm not sure why we're still discussing it.
  • I didn't ask for a vendor to purchase from. I'm familiar with Andy and EmpireCandy. I choose not to do business with him.
  • I'm sure that Dahua NVR is nice, but Dahua cameras are out of my price range. I realize that no one was aware of that at the time. I didn't know myself until yesterday what the budget was, so I'll concede that I did get one NVR suggestion.
  • Speaking of disrespectful, you seem to be the only one here who is speaking in an uncivil manner. Everyone else has been very helpful, and I've replied in kind. You have no idea of my background or experience, so you have zero basis for questioning my credentials, just as I would never dream of questioning yours.

Let's just all try to be a bit more mature about this going forward, shall we?
 

Teken

Pulling my weight
Joined
Aug 11, 2020
Messages
203
Reaction score
163
Location
Canada
Normally I would suggest buying an initial small number of (quality) hardware components. Pick whatever first tier name brand for AP, switches, and router. Purchase another 1-2 ultra low light cameras.

But given the budget perhaps it makes sense for you to ask your friend to consider one of a dozen CCTV package deals on line!

Many of the vendors have pre-boxed systems vs others build to order to suite the financial needs.

Take a look at AliExpress, eBay, Nelly’s, etc. eBay has quite a few American companies selling both Dahua / Hikvision packages in the below $1K range.

Nothing wrong going with a starter system until your friend gets the video sickness and wants more!

Lastly, try to nudge your friend to budget for a small pure sine wave UPS.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
 

Elmojo

n3wb
Joined
Sep 1, 2018
Messages
29
Reaction score
9
Location
EastNC, USA
Normally I would suggest buying an initial small number of (quality) hardware components. Pick whatever first tier name brand for AP, switches, and router. Purchase another 1-2 ultra low light cameras.

But given the budget perhaps it makes sense for you to ask your friend to consider one of a dozen CCTV package deals on line!

Many of the vendors have pre-boxed systems vs others build to order to suite the financial needs.

Take a look at AliExpress, eBay, Nelly’s, etc. eBay has quite a few American companies selling both Dahua / Hikvision packages in the below $1K range.

Nothing wrong going with a starter system until your friend gets the video sickness and wants more!

Lastly, try to nudge your friend to budget for a small pure sine wave UPS.


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
All good advice, thanks! I think a modified version of that is exactly what we're going to do. I'm going to help him put together a list of devices based primarily on what you've suggested above.
I think he and I need to talk a bit more about his infrastructure before we decide on internal or external switch, but otherwise I have a good idea now of which direction to go.
I appreciate all those who gave patient advice as I was learning the terminology and sorting out the various platform options.

I've ignored mat200, so someone please let me know if he says anything helpful that I need to hear.
 

mat200

IPCT Contributor
Joined
Jan 17, 2017
Messages
6,814
Reaction score
5,727
All good advice, thanks! I think a modified version of that is exactly what we're going to do. I'm going to help him put together a list of devices based primarily on what you've suggested above.
I think he and I need to talk a bit more about his infrastructure before we decide on internal or external switch, but otherwise I have a good idea now of which direction to go.
I appreciate all those who gave patient advice as I was learning the terminology and sorting out the various platform options.

I've ignored mat200, so someone please let me know if he says anything helpful that I need to hear.
FYI - so we've spent numerous hours to help others here, and this is the thanks we get.

This person is taking advantage of our collective generosity and not contributing.
 

jlrosine

n3wb
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
Location
Colorado
Elmojo

I went through the same buying experience and just implemented a setup, I'm assuming you have already purchased but figured I'd give my 2 cents.

I purchased 4 Amcrest cameras to start, 5MP/2.8mm. My house is almost a square so I can get away with fewer cameras and I'm not in a high crime area. So far I really like them. The only downside is they have plastic housing and no good way to really lock them in, I put them high enough someone would probably need a ladder to get to them so I'm not that worried. Amcrest does make locking/metal housing versions in the $80-$130/camera range.

-Cameras ($49 each)

-PoE switch ($79) 8 port 120w, I purchased a Cudy because it was cheap and seemed to have good reviews. I don't care about fan noise, it's in my garage.

-PC: i7 with quicksync (something cheap but newer version of quicksync is better). Mine is an 8700k desktop I use for everything else.

-4TB WD Purple NAS drive however this is only necessary for 24/7 recording.

-I used standard riser/all copper Cat5e and made my own cables/runs and ends.

In your situation with a non techie friend you have to decide if you want to setup a PC/manage it/run blue iris or setup a less feature rich NVR. Check out "The hook up" channel on Youtube, he has the most in depth review of stock NVR software/drawbacks for you to decide if they are good enough.

Some notes/observations so far.

- A lot of people seem to want to record 24/7 and they record the substream, then they use blue iris/AI to attempt to ONLY detect humans or other things you are interested in flagging for detection. This seems to yield fewer false positives but requires that you get a good drive like WD purple or Seagate. I don't use this method because I want all of my motion detection/video of it to be higher resolution but I might change my mind on this later.

- So far I've been using blue iris to detect motion, I've configured zones to ignore and adjusted the motion/contrast, using this method ONLY records when it detects motion and it's highly configurable. You can have it record when detecting motion but also have a buffer from before the motion was detected, so you still get the entire frame/situation and don't lose the first 5 seconds or so. I also like using this method because it's always recording at full 5MP, I'm not just scanning a low res substream with AI, then trigging the cameras to record at higher rez, by that time the subject might be gone and then I only have low rez video which is silly to me. You could do a combination of motion recording at high rez and also use the AI with substream only for notifications so that he doesn't get as many false positives.

- My PC is an 8700k that I use for my work machine/development/other virtual machines and so far with blue iris running as a service it has been fine. It uses about 27-40w of power on the CPU when I'm not using it and it's only blue iris running. That's using quicksync for video decode. My processor sits around 7-10% cpu usage and the integrated GPU at 15-20% usage which is minimal for 4 cameras, so I'm happy with that so far.

- Blue iris is awesome/highly configurable and has a web based interface that makes it easy to review footage.

- I use the Amcrest application for my iphone to view my cameras on my secure network. The cameras are not accessible from the outside world, I'm not using port forwarding and I'm not using uPNP. I setup "softether" VPN on my PC, if I'm outside my house or on vacation I use the VPN to connect to my house through DDNS. My iphone/computers can connect to my house VPN and I can view the cameras that way.

- My 4 cameras use about 20Mbps on H.264 constant stream but stay cooler with h.264. I tried H.265 and while it used half the bandwidth the cameras got too warm for my taste. My switch is gigabit so I don't care about 20Mbps that is only on my internal network, it affects nothing. It requires more drive space but less CPU/Camera heat etc.

My needs are probably different from yours/your friends, but all told I spent about $420 which includes the following, but I already had the PC to run blue iris and I have tools such as cable crimper/wire cutters/multimeter etc.. I'm sure you could pick up a quicksync PC for $100-200 fairly easy (workstation class).

4 cameras
4TB surveillance drive (You don't need this type of drive if you are not doing 24/7 recording. if doing motion only recording you can use any type of drive setup IMO)
3 microSD cards (32gb)
blue iris license
PoE switch
Cat5e + cable ends + misc wire clips/fasteners.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
3,457
Reaction score
6,660
Location
New Jersey
^^^ You are mistaken in your statement about sub streams in Blue Iris. When using sub streams the main stream IS recorded continuously. It is used for playback and for single camera display, on the main console screen, UI3 and the BI app. The sub stream is what is used for motion analysis which is how sub streams save so much CPU cycles.

As an aside, 2.8mm lens cameras mounted as high as you indicate will never get any footage that can positively identify anyone.
 

jlrosine

n3wb
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
Location
Colorado
So if the main stream is recorded all of the time, why setup triggers to record at full rez? I'm talking about blue iris / AI setup. Are you referring to what you are seeing in blue iris or what is recorded 24/7 in most setups I see on the net/tutorials? I think I'm confused by your statement "When using sub streams the main stream IS recorded continuously. It is used for playback and for single camera display, ". If so, why do people setup triggers to enable higher rez with the camera once motion is detected?

Mine aren't mounted too high, but out of reach for most vandals. They serve my general purpose needs so far as we aren't in a super high crime area. Even if you are able to identify faces, most people use hoods/masks etc. so lowering your cameras is just going to get them tampered with while you still can't discover who they are. Watch footage on Youtube and other places....cameras on houses that are reachable are torn off/moved/tampered with quite a bit.
 
Joined
Dec 28, 2019
Messages
3,457
Reaction score
6,660
Location
New Jersey
Keep in mind that with 24/7 recording "alerts" are simply markers in the database and not discrete files. Why people only record "alerts" is beyond me since many things happen just prior to and just after the alert trigger periods, no matter how long you make them. Much simpler to record 24/7. As an example one camera may trigger, but not another with a different field of view. With 24/7 recording you can easily review the other camera(s) based on the time of the trigger. Relying on any one detection method, AI, motion or trip wires, is just asking for them to miss something for you. Look around on this board and you'll find no mention of anyone's cameras being tampered with, or destroyed, when mounted down at seven feet and lower. That amounts to many tens of thousands of cameras never being touched. Most people aren't even aware of them or ignore them today, anyway.

A camera with a 2.8mm lens, especially, mounted at eight feet or higher will never get an ID shot. Look at the "DORI" distances. The subject needs to be within, at most, six feet of the camera lens. Add in the angles involved and the subject will never get that close. Simple physics of the situation and the angles involved. ID can be made from details, such as marks, scars, tattoos and so on that simply won't be visible from a 2.8mm that is mounted too high.
 

jlrosine

n3wb
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
Location
Colorado
I'll have to try out the 24/7 recording but so far I don't see the need. You can setup triggers for things you are talking about like 1 camera alerts, you can trigger another to record etc. (with buffer). So far I haven't missed much that I care about. You might be right about identifying individuals faces and the levels, I don't know as I haven't had anyone unknown yet come to my house. The main reason I see people setting up AI is only for notifications, they'd prefer fewer false positives and to only get notifications on a phone with high accuracy. It seems most motion/detect non-AI versions are too chatty for phones?
 

jlrosine

n3wb
Joined
Jan 21, 2021
Messages
4
Reaction score
2
Location
Colorado
@Sebastian
Do you have any links to tutorials/blogs outlining a setup like what you were describing above? I'm curious to investigate/test more with the 24/7 recording. I saw a few popular ones from gentle pumpkin, wondering if there are any other definitive guides?
 
Top