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  1. I'm hoping someone can point me in the best solution to this problem. I'm on my second DVR, a Q-See 4760 16 channel with 12 D1 cameras, that I've been using for years. I've only been using 3 of the cameras but I'm going to hook them all up soon. I hate dealing with webclient to view remotely, and I've never liked the software on the DVR. Between myself and other family members we've probably bought 6+ DVRs from various companies and I find they're all pretty bad and lacking. The cameras are fine for what I need, and I plan on switching to IP cameras at some point, but I'd like to keep using the cameras. I have a desktop PC I use as a media server and various other things that's on 24/7 that I would like to use as a DVR. What's the best way to keep using the cameras without the DVR? Or is it better just to scrap the entire system and get some IP cameras? I'd like to steer clear of proprietary cards or DVRs. I just want to connect cameras to my PC and use universal software or possibly a NAS from a company that won't abandon it. I don't want to dump any more money into something that's kludgy and unsupported in a few years. I've looked into NVRs a little, but that route looks like the same situation as the analog DVR...the companies don't support them at all and after a year or so they don't update or fix anything. Routes I've looked into: - USB dongle/adapter (this seems like the cheapest, easiest route, but bandwidth and software/drivers could be an issue) - USB Capture device that supports multiple sources and convert bnc to composite and use universal software - Analog-to-ip converters (seems not worth the price for the benefit of using old cameras, and totally dependant on software in converter) - NVR with analog support (this didn't seem bad but the ones I looked at from Super Circuits had limited connections for ip cameras and again dependent on NVR software) - Installing different OS on current DVR (I don't think this is possible, and probably not worth the effort, but maybe someone knows for sure) If anyone could point out some products or a good source for something that will take all the camera video and allow me to use universal software on my PC I'd appreciate it. I'm mainly interested in being able to remote view easily without being dependent on webclient and being able to view videos without the screwy Q-See software.
  2. Thanks for all the info guys. I feel some got hung up on the 30fps topic. Sure for security purposes 15 is more than enough, but why not do 30 if you can? But really that isn't even a concern for me. The main thing I'm trying to figure out is a good camera made for outdoor that has good night capability, and lets you make out a person, not just a moving blob. I can't believe security cameras are available at so many places yet there's almost no reviews of specific cameras, almost non-existent sample footage or screenshots, and most sites are really inconsistent with certain details (like on camera they show all the connections, another camera they don't show any connections...one camera they tell you the outdoor rating and voltage, and another camera they don't tell you). So i guess I'm going to have to spend $1200 on cameras and hope they work since there's no samples anywhere. What a world we live in.
  3. I'm having a hard time deciding on these cameras still. It's to the point where I need to order something this week and I have my doubts any of the cameras suggested will be satisfactory to my brother. SuperCircuits has a "Super High Resolution WDR Color Security Camera" with these specs: Price is $299. I think this camera would work well with an IR illuminator but none of these type of cameras appear to be made for outdoor and I can't find any info about the lenses. Does anyone have any reviews of the WDR version of this camera? Does anyone have a link to one made for outdoor?
  4. Thanks for the reply Peter. I will check out the cameras you mentioned. As for the DVR I should have been more clear. There's several models of that same DVR, I'm looking at the 16 channel unit that has 240 fps @ 720x480. So for less than 8 cameras that would be more than enough. I realize 30fps isn't necessary for security purposes, but my brother wants it nice and smooth. I guess I should look for cameras with varifocal lenses instead of fixed. I'm a little surprised about what you said regarding the IR illuminators. How well could those HQ1 cameras see in total darkness? I know the lux spec but what does that actually look like?
  5. No one can give me any comments on this setup, specifically if I'll need IR illuminators and if the ones I listed are decent?
  6. My brother's new house is almost complete and I already ran cat5 for all the cameras and IR illiuminators (if needed). I'd appreciate some help and comments about the cameras and DVR before I purchase. He's looking for smooth frame rate, good resolution, outdoor day/night recording, one camera in the main room of the house for day/night recording (large room, about 25x40), and remote access and email notification. There is a gravel driveway that runs parallel to the front of the house, with the garage directly across facing the house with a large night light on a pole (it's not really bright light). The garage is about 60 ft from the house with about 80 ft of horizontal coverage needed. The backyard is about the same. My plan was to put two cameras on the front of the house and two cameras in the rear of the house. One camera on the front would aim left towards the front door/stairs, and one camera would aim slightly to the right to get his garage and driveway entrance. In the rear of the house the cameras would divide up the backyard. I only have experience with my own setup in which I used LTS 1/3" CCD 42 IR LED cameras with Sony Super HAD chipset. These work perfect for my setup and I'm happy with the quality, but my brother wants to step his up a notch, so here's what I'm thinking of currently: DVR: H.264 Digital Video Recorder with DVD Burner * Advanced H.264 compression records crystal clear images using less hard drive space! * 16 channel H.264 DVR records at 60 frames per second at 720x480 resolution * Pentaplex operation allows for live display, record, backup, playback, and network use at the same time * Easily control the recorder through the front panel, mouse, IR remote, or through a client viewer * Data can easily be backed up via USB, DVDRW, and network downloading * Event triggered email notification by motion detection, alarm, and video loss Outdoor cameras: Platinum Series Day Night Ready to Install Camera * Crystal clear images day or night * Sony HQ1 chipset provides 480 lines of resolution * Send video up to 2000’ using Cat5 * 0.01 Lux low light capability * Built in Microphone This day/night camera is color during the day, auto switches to black and white in low light conditions, and is sensitive to infrared illuminators. This camera also includes a built in video balun that allows you to send video up to 2000’ down twisted pair wire. Save time and money with the included powerful pre-installed, pre-adjusted 2-12mm zoom lens. Indoor cameras: I haven't decided yet, but a dome HQ1 might be good? IR Illuminator: Weatherproof IR Illuminator * Get infrared illumination up to 240 feet! * Built in photocell controls IR activation * IP66 rated weatherproof housing * Operates on 12V DC Power source: Multiple Output Camera Power System * 24 volt 4 amp 9 camera power supply * Heavy duty, 24 volt, 4 amp, 9 camera power supply I'm using video/power/audio baluns, so I hope there's nothing special for the 24VAC. I decided on the 16 channel DVR because even though he only wants 5 cameras initially, he might add more later, and it looks like for the price that's the only way I can get 30fps for each camera. The 8 channel units mostly have 120fps which would result in below 30fps per camera with 5+ cameras. I'm not posting a link but I'm purchasing most of it except the baluns from SC. For anyone who can give me some advice: Do you think those cameras will work well in this install, and if not, can you suggest something else in the same price range (~150-250)? I wouldn't be opposed to putting a cheaper camera by the stairs front and back and getting more expensive cameras for the longer distances. Will I need illuminators and if so, more than one? The one I'm looking at is about $70. What's a good dome camera for indoors and would an illuminator be needed indoors?