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  1. #1
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    Networked Security Cameras... anybody with experience?

    There's been a recent rise in break-ins and robberies in my neighborhood, so I've been thinking of setting up a networked camera system. I've got a couple questions.

    1) Do you think cameras will do any good? If they're wearing hoods or ski masks or anything like that, it seems to me that the video won't be worth much.

    2) Are the cameras out there that will send data over ethernet?

    3) Is there any software out there that could take data from 3 or 4 of those cameras and store it?

    Basically, the setup I want is to have a couple cameras covering doors, etc. The areas will be well-lit, so night-vision or anything like that isn't really an issue. I want to run Cat5 from the cameras to a switch, then attached to that switch is a dedicated computer with a large hard drive that will store a day's (or two) worth of video. Is what I'm after even possible, and if it is, is it possible to get it under $500 or $600?

  2. #2
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    Re: Networked Security Cameras... anybody with experience?

    1. Cameras will help the authorities catch the crims, but they probably won't help get your gear back. If you do do this, you need to have a fairly good resolution. Most security cameras fail because they don't capture enough detail. Secondly the cameras need good lighting (as you've suggested).
    2. Yes. There are heaps. There are also cameras that you can access via the internet, but the price jumps up a coupla hundred buck - per camera.
      Google Search: IP camera
    3. Yes. Check out some of the links from that Google search. Most decent cameras come supplied with software that will manage multiple cameras.
    Just as important as the cameras would be some sort of signage indicating that the place is under camera surveillance. As an alternative, you could mount some decoy cameras. Cheap and an effective deterrent.

  3. #3
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    Re: Networked Security Cameras... anybody with experience?

    Hardening physical access or hardening some more perhaps.

  4. #4
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    Re: Networked Security Cameras... anybody with experience?

    You’re looking at a DVR set up. There are places that sell complete systems that include the DVR and all the cameras and cable you will need. These systems are usually configurable and the price is dependent on several factors.

    1.) Number and type of cameras you need/want

    PTZ Cameras (Pan Tilt Zoom) are very popular but you can buy multiple fixed cameras for the same price as one PTZ. Color cameras and ones that record in low light are also more expensive but usually well worth the extra money spent.

    2.) Amount of time you want to keep the video captured by your cameras

    The more cameras, the higher the resolution, and the longer you want to save the video captured the more storage (HDD) room you will need.

    3.) Installation

    If you can run the network cables and the power to the camera on your own then you save the cost of having someone do it for you.

    An alternative to a packaged system is to buy the various components, including the software, and use a PC as your DVR system. This is something many home or small business users do. There are companies that will sell you a set up that would let you do this as well.

    A few other thoughts is that it is wise to have a camera positioned in a place that might catch license plates of any vehicles that might be used in the commission of any crime. As you point out, capturing video of someone hooded or with their features disguised may not be useful, capturing the license plate number of their vehicle is VERY useful.
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  5. #5
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    Re: Networked Security Cameras... anybody with experience?

    Thanks for all the responses. I've got a bit of the open-source/diy bug, so I kinda want to set it all up myself. As for hardening, we're looking at getting storm doors for all our exterior doors, but that doesn't really help where the windows are concerned

  6. #6
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    Re: Networked Security Cameras... anybody with experience?

    I wouldn't be too fussed about drive space these days. The cost of drives is cheap these days, although you might like to look into surveillance class drives. Designed to run 24/7. RatboyX has some good suggestions there.

    Another thing well worth considering is using cameras that use power over ethernet. Eliminates the need to run both power and LAN to the camera points.

    I was reading up on some motion sensor stuff for phone systems the other day and thought it'd be great to hook that sort of thing up to an intercom so if the alarm is tripped when it's armed, all the lights come on and a voiceover plays with
    Quote Originally Posted by http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0228246/quotes
    random quotes from Duke Nukem 3D
    .

  7. #7
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    Re: Networked Security Cameras... anybody with experience?

    can get some security bars for the windows, the crooks like windows to get through if they can get in them

  8. #8
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    Re: Networked Security Cameras... anybody with experience?

    Axis offers pretty cheap IP cameras, they're probably the best consumer cameras you're going to find without investing in industrial stuff like Vicon. The options on the cameras are what jacks the price waaaay up, so if you're looking for PTZ and day/night cameras, it's going to run you close to $1000 per cam, whereas a normal static day only camera can be as cheap as $200.

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  9. #9
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    Re: Networked Security Cameras... anybody with experience?

    Quote Originally Posted by Jodokall View Post
    Axis offers pretty cheap IP cameras, they're probably the best consumer cameras you're going to find without investing in industrial stuff like Vicon. The options on the cameras are what jacks the price waaaay up, so if you're looking for PTZ and day/night cameras, it's going to run you close to $1000 per cam, whereas a normal static day only camera can be as cheap as $200.
    I've been looking into the Axis 211A and 211M cameras for my Dad's place. Good warranty, comes with software, etc. Will probably go for the 211A's.

  10. #10
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    Re: Networked Security Cameras... anybody with experience?

    You can spend a LOT on a CCTV system with DVR capability however depending on your budget something like this might be a good starting place.

    http://ez-toyz.com/item.asp?PID=75

    Do some googling there are tons of places selling this stuff.

    The reason I know anything about it is that I recently had to get quotes for a CCTV DVR system for the place I work.
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  11. #11
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    Re: Networked Security Cameras... anybody with experience?

    I just wired my house I use a Q-see dvr card in a hidden PC in my attic with 2 weather proof night cameras and one interior cam. My res is 640x480 the night vision isnt the greatest but it works ok enough to see who is at my door. I can remotely access my dvr files from anywhere. I picked everything up at frues for just under $300 bucks.

  12. #12
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    Re: Networked Security Cameras... anybody with experience?

    MadGamer, what cameras are you using? Any chance of getting some sample video from them, both day and night?

  13. #13
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    Re: Networked Security Cameras... anybody with experience?

    MadGamer, what cameras are you using?
    Wisecomm cams is what O am using ill see what I can do about the demo pics

  14. #14
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    Re: Networked Security Cameras... anybody with experience?

    I post this for lol's.


  15. #15
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    Re: Networked Security Cameras... anybody with experience?



    I'd rather have this one

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