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  1. If your happy with 7 day recording and only need a basic indoor cam to see whats going on when your away from home a recording server seems like over doing it to me. I can understand why most people won't recommend dropcam on this forum. While dropcam works well for a few cams their model starts to break down the more you add. The dropcam pro can do 1080p but hasn't been enabled probably due to bandwidth. Its also a poor choice if you want to monitor mostly at home because footage is uploaded to their servers and comes back to you. At this time you also have zero option to use it with anything but their service as well. Having a company control and store my footage is what bothers me most about it.
  2. imo a alarm and cams compliment each other. You might have problems running usb at that distance even with a booster cable. If you browse slickdeals you can find all kinds of cheap ip cams. I have the DS-2CD2432F which is a little more money but works better than all the foscam stuff. Most of the cube type cams all have wifi as well. many choices for dvr software or you can record on cam. I've used dropcam and you won't find a easier to set up package. You don't have to worry about port forwarding or a recording computer of any sort. they charge $99 a year for their cloud recording. my problem is more with my personal footage being in the "cloud" than the fee although you are safer from hackers with a dropcam compared to a traditional ip cam.
  3. I've always been concerned about lightning protection. Once you start running wires outside your home things become dicey. Isn't it code to have any wire entering your home grounded? I'm not sure if this has been mentioned yet but to properly bond all your grounds together you need a rod every 8 feet or so with a heavy gauge connecting them all. Anything less and you might be better off not grounding them. Is this done on most pro installs? I'm also not convinced that surge protector strips do anything for you and the only logical place is at your service panel for a surge protector. I've actually read a few stories that the damage can be worse by using a surge protector that doesn't have a close ground. I'm only repeating what I've heard from others that are more qualified to answer these questions. We put up these cams to protect ourselves but I'm starting to think the risk of having them outside is far greater than the possibility of them ever solving a crime. Especially when its not practical to disconnect them as cctv runs 24/7.
  4. spork947

    Blue Iris Software

    I'm in IL and yes that is correct. We have 2 different companies that do the supply and delivery. I guess I haven't studied my bill enough to figure out the actual cost with delivery charges but I'm always looking for ways to cut power usage. I've thought about using the hikvision on cam nvr software and hooking up a drive to my router which has a nas function. I think that would be the cheapest way to go. I've experimented sending snapshots to the router via ftp and video on my acti cams but some of these features are nearly useless for me after trying it. So I'm back to where I started and have made peace with running a nvr pc but still have concerns about power usage. I have a killawatt meter and while I don't remember how much of a load I put on the a10 machine when I tested but it averaged about 40 watts. Some of my concerns with a pre built machine are that once the warranty is gone I'm not sure if the windows license would transfer to a new motherboard or even if you can replace the motherbord. I have seen cases that are backwards so you can't replace it without changing that out too.
  5. spork947

    Blue Iris Software

    I was goofing around with some power cost calculators. It seems most people can get their pc usage under 50 watts for a basic setup. Just a rough guess but a nuc using software that uses on cam motion would save maybe 20 watts of power a month for a 4 - 6 cam setup. Please feel free to correct me with a more accurate estimation. At my rate of 7.37 cents kw/h it would probably only cost me $15 more tops per year for a machine to run blue iris. This would be vastly cheaper than paying $300 plus every 3 years for whatever xprotect costs. Also thanks for the link showing how inferior my a10 is to the i7! So you guys usually purchase a pre - built machine? Maybe I will try a business class machine next time around.
  6. spork947

    Blue Iris Software

    I have the A10-5800K which was the first gen model I think. I just did some googling and the onboard gpu is still better than the 4600 graphics that intel has but thanks for letting me know they do have something built in . I've mostly bought amd stuff and don't pay attention to anything intel. I may have to consider a i7 if I start having issues. My processor is sort of comparable to a i5 I think. A new i7 is 3x the cost of the a10 so I will hold out as long as I can. I'm glad to see both companies offering a quality built in gpu. Makes for a much simpler build and saves energy. Now time for me to starting playing with Blue Iris instead of asking so many questions
  7. spork947

    Blue Iris Software

    I was aware BI does its own motion detection. What I was asking is if its at least superior to what can be done on the camera and from your post it seems that way. I'm hoping I can tweak the recording delay to not record cars and flybys from mothra. I already have the machine with the a10. Does intel offer any chips with the integrated gpu like amd? I don't ever see myself running more than 4 - 6 cams. My cube cam I set to 1080p and others sometimes I use less than 5 fps.
  8. spork947

    Blue Iris Software

    I recently purchased blue iris on sale. I have't had much time to mess with the full version but I liked the demo. I've used acti nvr, xprotect, and installed ivms just goofing around. I bought a hik cube camera so that eliminated acti from my options. Why didn't I buy a acti cube cam with wireless and night vision? Because they don't make one! This is a good example of why its hard to rely on a manufacturers offerings. I guess I could replace the acti cams with hikvsions but I shouldn't have to. If I went this route I would probably just purchase a hikvision nvr. So that leaves most of us with a choice between xprotect and blue iris. For a residential hobbyist paying for xprotect is a bit much imo. The free version seems like they are trying to nickel and dime away features. Blue Iris seems like a much better option and did I read users saying the motion detection is superior to whats on the camera? I use an a10 from amd with the intergrated gpu. Not sure how far this will take me in blue iris but it probably cuts 20 watts from the cctv machine. I would like to run one of those mini pc's and use on cam detection software however without the video card, maybe lowers fps, and the direct to disc recording it seems you can make a good compromise with BI.
  9. I have a ademco system that I put in myself. Glass break sensors and sensors covering mostly everything. I use self monitoring with the abn adapter for next alarm. They also have modules for the vista so you could send a notification email to say your phone with your email to txt address. There are a few help forums on the net for programming your system along with youtube videos since the pro systems are not amateur friendly. I want to know the moment someone breaches my home if I'm sleeping or at work. cctv is not really the best for that and imo a proper alarm system is vastly more important than cctv.
  10. spork947


    I am reluctantly on the dropcam cvr service for indoors even with a recording pc for my outdoor cams. 1080p is supposedly coming for the pro but bandwidth will most likely be silly which might be why its not enabled yet. We all know the hikvision cube cam has a better image but the ironic thing is that dropcam seems to be the most secure and is why I still have mine. I finally bought a router that can do vpn so hopefully I can move away from dropcam. I just posted about this in another topic but ip cam security is a bad joke and at least dropcam gets that right but with them you have to worry about google spying instead.
  11. I sold 2 of my outdoor cams. I kept 2 acti's so I could use their nvr software. I think they are going to come down as well. They are useful at times but I don't know if I would consider them necessary for my needs. It also feels like everything in the ipcam world wants to work against you. I did like the acti software but no browser support in linux or full firefox support in windows. Even if you used their dedicated box you still have to use windows. Also they finally released a cube camera that has IR but no wifi. Then my other complaint is with outside access in general. The security on these cams is from the dark ages. I don't feel like connecting to a vpn when I want to check in on the dogs and for sure my Wife wouldn't use it. Anything less and your opening your home to the internet and its down right scary most users are not concerned about this. Maybe once they perfect the built in recording, improve security, and offer the cam at a reasonable price with a pir sensor I might be interested. xprotect comes the closest in what I was looking for in the software area.
  12. Some info from dropcam on the pro http://support.dropcam.com/entries/38268128-1080p- Dropcam uses amazon servers to store your video. You never directly connect to it like a tradional ip cam since its all relayed from the cloud. This means that a nearly unlimited amount of users could view the cam without further slowing your local connection. The recorded quality should only depend on your home connection and you can shut inside cams off when not in use. For maybe 1-3 cams the fee could be well worth it over a tradiional setup which isn't free either. Software, hardware, electricity costs, and your time etc
  13. The dropcam pro is capable of 1080p but last I heard they are still tweaking the compression and such to make sure its optimized for remote access. It should be ready soon. Also take note that the actual video on them is encrypted which takes more bandwidth but I'm fine with that. The hikvision 2432 is capable of 2048×1536. I used them side by side and its no doubt the better looking camera and has a lot of the features already built in that are commonly requestsed from dropcam. That being said I found the dropcam more likable and secure for remote access in just about every way. I was using the hikvision 2432 with xprotect. Their mobile app has no audio support (yet). The apps from hikvision didn't seem to work well either. I also found the dropcam to be a lot smoother. While the quality may not be as good its better optimized for remote access. My Wife and I can both use the dropcam without slowing the connection further since its uploaded once and amazon serves it after that. This is also handy during a power outage because you can still check footage up to that point. The audio works great but sometimes the 2 way can be a little funky ... but works. We use ours for a pet monitor as well. We have to crate one of our dogs and if she starts trying to chew it etc saying something through the dropcam usually distracts her. If your not using xprotect its good to stay with a certain brand of cameras so you can use their nvr software or dedicated box should you choose. This advice was given to me here and I should have listened since I was using multiple brands for a while. I'm using acti nvr for my outdoor cams at the moment and dropcam indoors. Its working well for me but eventually I want to get rid of a nvr box all together if they ever release a outdoor dropcam. Its cheaper with a yearly plan and extra cams are 50% off. edit: You can also use ipcam viewer to record video now. Could be handy if you just want to record when viewing the cam from your tablet or phone. I also think that eventually we will have a local recording option for dropcam. There is a thread in the feature request forum with a angry mob of users that have out the torches and pitchforks.
  14. Even after changing ports, admin, password etc wouldn't a cam be fairly easy to get into without ssl? Also is the video stream encrypted even if the cam has ssl? I sent a question to wrightwood about this and they had a response from buellwinkle and it seems that only a vpn is really secure. Actually pptp seems to be broken now as well and only open vpn is solid. While I realize no internet connected cam is completely secure without a hard shut off I want to minimize risks. Ipcam and tinycam viewer would not work with the ssl login on my hikvsion however my acti cams worked fine. Managing a vpn or having to log on manually from my mobile phone seems needlessly complicated. The dropcam has ssl all the way through. Why is there not more concern over security from the software and hardware makers for ip cams? I want to avoid something like this happening ... in my home CUx8_JNNKsM