Advice on a cheap home CCTV system

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you don't need to register a home CCTV system under data protection, just don't point it into windows.

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are a good source for reasonably priced cameras.

I haven't used your video server, if it does what it says on the tin it will be OK.



Reply to
Dave P
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Maybe OT, maybe not - not entirely sure :-)

Anyway, for various reasons I'd like to install a CCTV system in my home. Any images taken would be limited to being on my own property, and anotice would be placed at the enterance to the property explaining the situation to cover myself under the DPA - lets leave the legal issues to the thread I'll be starting up :-)

My ideal system would allow me to add as many cameras as I want, and view them remotely over the net. Sending the images to remote storage (FTP server, email account or similar) would be almost essential. Realistically I don`t expect to get a system that will run 100 cameras for my budget, but I've seen something that I think might help. It is a camera server that allows me to connect 4 cameras, and an audio feed. It can be bought for under £80 here

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Now if I get this and buy 4 normal CCTV cameras (a cheap source for these would be greatly appreciated) I'd have a system that would let me have 4 cameras, sited where I want them (within cabling restraints), viewable over the internet without the need to leave a PC running 24/7.

I could get an entire system up and running for under £200 without shopping round for cheap cameras - what do people think? I'm posting this to a few different groups, and hopefully between them I'll catch enough people who understand what I'm rambling on about to help me :-) The main questions I have are:

(1) Do people think this is a reasonable system? I could get say 2 independant IP Cams for this much money, but this system would give me twice as many cameras (2) Does anyone have a decent source for CCTv cameras? Black and white is fine (although colour would be nice). Ideally at least a couple of the cameras would have decent dark-vision (a limit of 10m would be more than enough) - cameras that include their own IR lights/LED's and ideallt waterproof housings would be ideal (3) Anyone able to suggest a better system? 4 cameras would be a bit limiting (although I know I could add another server to this idea, that makes it unweildy). The alternative I can see if normal USB webcams and software on a PC to run them and provide the same service. This would probably be a bit cheaper (depending on the cost of the software - anyone got any suggestions for this), but would require a PC being on 24/7, adding to the running costs.

Thanks everyone for any help you can give me! I am in the UK incidentally.

Reply to
Simon Finnigan

I've found one of the servers online (a demo from the company) which seems to update the images every couple of seconds. having said that, the connection has got a 300-400ms ping, which strikes me as very high (I think it's a far east company). I'd love to play about with one based more locally, but the worst case scenario is that the images will be refreshed at a rate of one every 2 seconds - still good enough for what I want.

Been looking at the software on that ezcctv, looks quite good.

Reply to
Simon Finnigan

This isn't an issue so long as you're careful where you point them. If it's at your own property, it isn't a problem.

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If you're interested, you can see a live demo of this video server here:

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Username & Password: guest

This demo has an annoying habit of keep requesting your username and password. I didn't have this issue with mine, I don't know if they've configured it in some cack-handed way. While there's some good functionality there, none of this is present in non-IE browsers. This may or may not be an issue for you. I had one of these for a while, and it worked reasonably well.

The 9100A would be fine for this, but you'd be lucky doing recording with it too. The motion detection wasn't too good on the one I had (It would constantly trigger, even when the sensitivity was changed, and this was with version 2.37 firmware). The 9100A just isn't meant for unattending recording. If you want decent recording, I'd go with setting up a proper video server with a 4-port camera PCI card in the back. These are usually expandable to 16 ports if you add more cameras.

For home applications like this, eBay is also great for camera's. A while ago I picked up some night vision outdoor ones for £22 which have worked terrific (Seller was chinaezone). He sells them for £0.01 and £21.99 postage (Obviously skirting around the eBay fees, but I could care less, good luck to him). These have happily sat outside the house come rain or shine and the night vision on them works very well. We can see clearly who's at the door and the entries to the house are covered. There's an abundance of other cameras on eBay too, I'd seriously check them out for this . I couldn't find any UK supplier anywhere that would beat the prices on there, I've bought from UK suppliers, and just the power sellers on eBay and they really just sell the same things with a BIG price difference!

Obviously if you were buying for a professional application, eBay may not be the best place ;)

For me, I went with a bunch of normal camera's (not IP ones) and wired up them up with the proper cables (These have connectors for power/audio/video, and are about a £15-20 per 20m). They now link up to a dedicated server and it all does exactly what I want. The server constantly transfers the images to another site with SCP. I didn't keep the 9100A for long. I may have done if the motion recording/sending via FTP was better.

No experience with IP cameras, they may do exactly what you want in one neat package. Could well be worth looking into.

Reply to
George Woodbine

If Iwhere to extend the system to cover the back garden and driveway, while avoiding the neighbours gardens/public path out the front of the house, is this still the case?

I can't remember the last time I used a PC that didn't have IE installed. It could well have been last cenury :-)

How many cameras have you got in your machine, and what kind of spec is it? the big issue I have is that I'm loath to leave a PC running 24/7 when I'm out of the house for a few days or longer. How stable is the software that you use?

I suppose if the PC needs low enough specs so it could all be passively cooled, that removes a massive chunk of the mechanical reliability worries - if there are no fans in the machine, there are no fans to break. Maybe even run it on a solid state disk, a 1 or 2 gig compact flash card in an IDE adaptor. Quick and silent.

I'll check him out. I'd like to get fairly decent night vision cameras that work in colour in normal light too ideally - so there is no need to worry about having lights on to ensure a good picture.

I don't suppose you have any screenshots from the cameras you've got, to give me an idea of the kind of picture quality to expect? Also, what capturing hardware/software do you use, so I can look into it.

An IP camera would let me have as many cameras as I want, where I want, and with power over ethernet they'd needfewer cables. However, they are a LOt more expensive, and this is for home security, a cheap little system.

I'd love to be able to set-up a webpage that contains a regularly updated images from one or more of the cameras, and enter it as a bookmark on my mobile phone. Then if I want to chec out a room, I can just do it from my mobile (use up my free data allowances too ;-) ). Does your software allow that?

And one final question - how much bandwidth does your system use to store the images elsewhere? I'm planning on getting an offsite server still connected to my network, so bandwidth shouldn't be an issue (up to 100 megabits anyway :-) ) but I'd still like to be able to store the images offsite as they go - if I'm away for a week, get the images emailed to me or similar, to ensure they are still accessible even if the entire house contents go walkies.

Thanks for your help!

Reply to
Simon Finnigan

Is your Hotmail address valid? I've access to a 9100A for the next day or two, I can set this up with admin privileges for you to explore further if you like (It's limited what you can do with the guest account). It's not rigged up to cameras, but I'll run a Sky feed to it. Let me know in the group and I'll mail you privately.

Reply to
George Woodbine

Hi, yes this hotmail address is valid, I'd really appreciate that thanks! As I say, had a play with one in Taiwan or similar, but the ping is appauling, which I'd guess is slowing it down. I'm interested in seeing a sample pic or two from the system you have now, and a bit more infor abut the card and software if you wouldn't mind helping me out even more? :-)


Reply to
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