Personal computing discussed

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Gerbil Team Leader
Topic Author
Posts: 243
Joined: Sun Mar 31, 2002 7:00 pm
Location: NH

Security cameras

Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:19 pm

One of my friends just asked me to find two security camera setups. One 4-camera w/ audio and one 12-camera low-light. Both with remote viewing. Any tips? The only experience I have with these is a cheap kit he got off ebay that sucked balls. The DVR kept overheating and the software was clunky and poorly designed.
Gerbil Elite
Posts: 551
Joined: Mon Aug 14, 2006 2:51 pm
Location: Strong Badia

Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:29 pm

I haven't checked in a bit, but Sam's Club had a couple of decent setups that allowed you to remotely view from any internet connection.
Minister of Gerbil Affairs
Posts: 2269
Joined: Mon Feb 10, 2003 9:12 am

Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:37 pm

Yeah, find out how much money he has to spend.

Read the specs very close and do lots of research. Most dvr cards are 60fps with one carmera and 15fps with four, 7fps with eight etc... and then the numbnuts rarely if ever distinguish between Fields/sec and Frames/sec.

True D1 should be the least to consider, and make sure the camera has that much out... there are a lot that claim D1, but in reality they end up getting out about 240-320 lines.

Cameras vary, but make sure you get one that is sealed and lets you adjust focus and iris and zoom(if you have zoom camera) from outside the case without taking it apart if it is a high mount. If it has to be mounted in harms way, good luck... get it armored with internal adjustments.

For the night vision, most all overstate the range... figure 1/2 to 1/3 what they say. or you could get an accessory illuminator. I ended up going with remote motion sensors and lights as well as night vision. A good camera will start around $250... and the HD can go to $2500.00 each.

The little wireless cheapos on ebay are great for up close and in harm, but really are limited. The best thing I can say for them is they are cheap to replace, and are a decent deterrent. They will be vandalized a lot in bad locations, so you have get creative with your cameras covering each other.

Spider webs, frost, dust, and power outages should be considered, so the system really needs weekly maintenance.

I haven't played with PTZ's at all.
Grand Admiral Gerbil
Posts: 10259
Joined: Thu Jun 19, 2003 3:11 pm

Thu Nov 29, 2007 2:41 pm

Yeah, the IP-based cameras just send the video as a stream and you use a PC as a DVR (obviously you need a fairly robust network and storage systems if you're running a lot of simultaneous streams over the same subnet to the same machine). There are WiFi-based ones too, though I've wondered if those can be disrupted by (say) a cordless phone waved nearby. I'm also not sure about the benefit, since you still have to run a power line to it (and 802.11 is going to staturate pretty quickly as you add cameras).
Gerbilus Supremus
Posts: 12278
Joined: Wed Jan 29, 2003 12:47 am
Location: Minnesota

Thu Nov 29, 2007 8:37 pm

Look into high resolution, high picture quality black and white cameras. It doesn't kill you on storage space as much as color.

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