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Everything posted by Alan2000

  1. Just for kicks I was wondering if I could run my el cheapo Foscam Pan-Tilt cam F18918W camera on my Hikvision DS-7716NI NVR? I've been playing with various manual camera settings on the NVR with no luck so far to get it to talk to the Foscam.
  2. I attached a powered speaker to the audio-out port of the LNR280. Using the Lorex NetHD iPhone app on an iPhone 5 only about 10% of the time does the NVR play what I say into the phone. On my iPad running the Lorex netHd Plus app the audio never works, and I get a "Warning abnormal two-way audio" error message, and an occasional "insufficient memory" error. Overall I'd say the Lorex apps are crap and substard but the iPhone apps does transmit my audio about 10% of the time, so I have a little hope maybe it can work. I contact Lorex "support" and as in my previous calls the rep was totally inept and had no idea what he was talking about. Every question I asked resulted in a hold for him to ask someone else. I was told that none of the audio features are enabled on the unit, and once they figure out how to enable audio, they will release a new firmware. Given that audio does work intermittently, it doesn't appear audio is disabled as reported by the support guy. He also said that there are no IP cameras with audio and if there was one that supported it, the NVR would not record audio. Forget that there is a button to enable audio recording in the recording options menu. It is grayed out but I assume it would activate if an audio enabled camera was connected. So I'm left wondering what to do? Return the kit to Costco and get the Hikvision NVR and cameras that are not all screwed up with the Lorex firmware? But that will cost about an extra $600. For now I'd be happed to just get the 2-way audio to work. I'd really like to purchase a camera with audio.Curious if anyone has connected a camera with audio recording capability to this NVR and able to get it to work. Thanks! Oh, and another problem I discovered it that when you check off the box in the live view menu to enable audio output, it turns off the HDMI port and you have to plug in an analog monitor to get video back. Tested that on both Lorex units I have and both went black. A real pain in the butt to go find an analog monitor to plug into the thing to get the display to work again.
  3. Thanks. Downloaded. Now I need to remember how to set it up.
  4. I'm having a hard time figuring out how to connect the Swann CONHD-C1080 camera to the Lorex LNR280 1080P NVR. Swann tech support has been useless. First time they said to call Lorex. 2nd time I called I asked for setup details for this camera. All that is included with the cam is a very generic user manual that has no setup or specs info at all. Swann said they had a detailed setup sheet and would email to me. What I got was the generic dummy's guide for another camera. Lorex says their NVR only works with Lorex cameras, period. That is despite the fact the DVR has a manual camera setup menu with other protocols than Lorex. Costco site says " If using a different brand ONVIF compliant camera with a different brand ONVIF compliant recorder they may not be “Plug-n-Play” and some configuration may be needed at setup." Unfortunately neither Swann or Lorex level 2 support has been able to provide any useful information. The Swann camera looks identical to Hikvision DS-2CD2632F-I if that helps. http://www.ezcctv.com/product/DS-2CD2632F-IS-1150.htm I have minimal experience setting up IP cams which makes this even more frustrating. Appreciate any help. Thanks!
  5. Here are a few samples as I start to tinker with the NVR setup options. Camera used was the dome camera in the Costco Lorex280 NVR kit. This is a bit of a hard shot given the contrast between light and dark portions. Clips are all about 10 seconds. I stuck my hand out to trigger the motion to quickly find each clip on the NVR. I'll post more clips as I get around to the other cameras on the NVR. The still image on left side was cropped from highest quality video #1 and the right was cropped from Medium quality clip #5. Not as big of a difference as I expected. Then again, I'm a total newbie so that doesn't mean a lot. But as you zoom in at 200-300% the right side is quite a bit more pixelated. Video Quality, FPS, Bit Rate, Mode 1 - Highest, 30, 16384, Variable (Note video got very choppy. Think settings exceeded capacity of NVR or camera hardware to handle.) 21 MB http://www.filedropper.com/1ch0116384kbpsvariable 2 - Highest, 30, 16384, Constant (Same as above but CBR.) 18 MB http://www.filedropper.com/2ch0116384kbpsconsant 3 - Highest, 30, 7680, Variable (This is highest bit rate the NVR recommended for 30 FPS at Highest video quality.) 10 MB http://www.filedropper.com/3ch017680kbpsvariable 4 - Medium, 30, 4096, Variable (I think this is the default NVR setting which allows enough bandwidth for 30 FPS on all cameras.) 6 MB http://www.filedropper.com/4ch014096kbpsmedvar 5 - Medium, 30, 4096, Constant (Same as above but with CBR to see if any difference in quality.) 6 MB http://www.filedropper.com/5ch014096kbpsmedcon
  6. For some reason only the photo files were downloading. I changed links from Dump Truck to File Dropper and they are now working. Sorry about that. I tested one photo link and though all was good with Dump Truck.
  7. There are 6 levels of recording quality you can select for each channel ranging from "Lowest" to "Highest" which I believe is the level of compression. You can also set the bit rate which will also impact image quality you record. No time yet to compare the various settings. Here are some video clips. What I just found out is that the clips look very nice compared to watching the recordings on the monitor connected to the NVR. I am not using a HDMI cable so maybe that is the reason, or the resolution on my Mac laptop is a lot better that the monitor I have connected to the NVR. To me the live view quality on the NVR is better than the recorded playback video on the NVR, but the downloaded videos seem as good as watching the live video with the NVR if this all makes sense. Maybe the built in player also is not as good as playing the files on a laptop, not sure. Here are links to some video files I just pulled off the NVR for the first time. Also my first time using Dump Truck file sharing so hope it works. I have not posted to YouTube as the high level of compression on YouTube screws up the video quality. These videos were shot with the NVR at "highest" video quality, 12 FPS, and variable bit rate set to 3,992 kbps max . BTW, I think Costco already sold out of these a few days ago. Wide angle shot using Costco Swann camera- 5.6MB: http://www.filedropper.com/wideswann Frame capture: https://truck.it/p/P4zUw9wriJ Mail lady zoomed in - Swann Costco cam - 7.1MB: http://www.filedropper.com/rightswann Frame capture: https://truck.it/p/gXdo9CQk12 Mail lady overhead - Lorex dome - 14MB: http://www.filedropper.com/overhead Frame capture: https://truck.it/p/gnjoWGNYO6 Mail lady - Lorex Bullet - 6.9MB: http://www.filedropper.com/left Frame capture: https://truck.it/p/spZeGbsG7p Night sample - Lorex bullet - 6.5MB: http://www.filedropper.com/dark Frame capture; https://truck.it/p/w8ysCDiHah Player.exe files in case you don't have codec to play on your PC. This is the player the Lorex NVR puts on your USB drive when you save a video clip. I used VLC to play them on my Mac: http://www.filedropper.com/player
  8. Hello Razer_SE. I'm also planning to shoot some comparison videos with my 2-3MP IP cams when I get a bit more time. I was planning on shooting some comparison videos with my IP cams to compare the image using various bit rates to optimize my DVR settings. Won't take much more time just for kicks to throw in the dash cam for comparison. I've used various dash cams over the years and most have had shoddy quality. Part of that is because I don't want an expensive "break into my car now" camera cooking on my dash. I've always used ones under $100. One thing to really watch for is that in the low cost dash-cam market there are several that look identical to each other (same case) but have different electronics in them. Once I ordered what I thought was an identical camera to the prior camera I used for my wife's car. But it was total junk with horrible image and menu system. Fortunately I got it from Amazon and was able to return it. Many people overlook automobiles when it comes to security cameras. We will spend thousands of dollars on a home camera system and have nothing in our cars. Yet people are much more likely to need video from their car than from their home security system. Many more people will have accidents than have their home burglarized and too many people today are too dishonest to tell the truth to the police or their insurance company when they are at fault for the accident. So in the end the innocent party can get royally screwed if he doesn't have a dash cam or a witness. The dash cam doesn't have to be fancy. IMHO, after using some for the past years, is that it has to turn on and off by itself, have okay image quality, and be reliable. (Add weather resistance is you are a motorcycle rider.) There are quite a few under $100 that fit the bill. I'm pretty anal about image quality so I'm always looking at what is new in the market. Even D1 quality from one of my older cams was more than ample for most dash cam applications.
  9. Fun and informative thread. Hope ok to revive it again. I've only had a security system about 1 year and upgraded from D1 to 1080P couple weeks ago. On old system caught following: 1 - Drunk lady taking Christmas cane decoration from neighbor yard as she stumbled to party on our street. 2 - Drunk lady squatting to piss in front of parked car and getting fulling illuminated by car pulling into street. 3 - Perp trying to open our car door parked on street. No luck. He did get into about 3 unlocked cars on our cul-de-sac. Police took copy of video to try to ID the guy. 4 - Kids toilet papering our front yard. 5 - Teen boy mooning our house just before banging on door and running. (I was able to catch him and have some fun dialogue.) 6 - Possible drug deal where guy hid a small bag in our bushes and few minutes later came back and got the bag. That's about it in 1 year. I did help get a person arrested at my wife's work with a keychain camera. Cash was getting stolen from purses at my wife's work. I gave my wife a keychain camera complete with some keys on it to really look like a car remote control. Second day the camera was left on the desk pointing at a purse a co-worker was caught taking money. She was a real witch too so everyone was glad to see her go.
  10. Mine were not that bad but also did cover some of the LEDS. What I did with mine was just flip the foam upside down and press and tuck the foam down between the lens and LEDs. Looked fine after than.
  11. Yes, and if you had read through my posts, you would have also read that I also later said I realized I'd need to compare the dash cam video to video from the IP camera that was not processed through the DVR as the compression used in the DVR very well could be the reason my IP camera video is not nearly as crisp and detailed as the dash cam video. I made a newbie mistake of not comparing apple to apples. Not sure about your comparison in your post between the two photos. You appear to be trying to make a point that the 2MP video snapshot from some 2MP camera is better. On the surface it seems that way until you see the same frame you posted again captured with better technique. You also are comparing a close shot of a SUV with excellent lighting with a camera that probably has something with less than 70 degree FOV lens to a totally different shot. You compare it to a dash cam shot taken from heavily compressed YouTube video, using a 120 degree lens, shot from a moving vehicle, from behind a windshield, with inferior lighting conditions to boot! Does that seem like a good way to compare two shots? I'm not an AV expert by a long shot but the comparison technique seems poor. But for the fun of "arguing" let's try to do a comparison. Here is a video frame captured from my dash cam as I was driving through Taco Bell. Not ideal lighting conditions as late afternoon but good enough. Despite the image sensor capturing a much larger area, it doesn't look the the 2MP camera is that much better when you zoom into the plates. And look how sharp the edges are for a wide angle shot. (BTW, I'm not saying your 2MP camera image is bad, in fact it looks very nice, and so does...) You may want to double check how you capture still frames from video clips. I captured the same section of video that you posted that looked pretty crappy and got something quite different. What I posted is not as good as the original frame capture because it had to be compressed down from 3.3MB to 500KB to post it here. After you click on the image to enlarge it, click again on the bottom right corner to get full size. Pretty darn impressive quality to me for a cheap cam through a windshield, and keeping in mind the original 3.3MB image is even better. Okay, I'm done arguing now. Sorry folks for getting a little long winded on this but hopefully I didn't stray too far off topic and responding to luckyfella and Mark gave people a chance to see that cheap dash cams have come a long way in the last year or so. BTW, I personally would not buy one from the link on the YouTube video in case anyone was interested. I checked that link and it is a place located in Hong Kong. I paid a little more and bought mine here in the good ol' USA.
  12. Hey buellwinkle - I recommend that you look at the RC forums and adapt some of those techniques for installation in a car. I fly RC helicopters and airplanes, and what we do is take the electronics out of the case and run a longer cable to the lens assembly to a desirable spot in the airplane. This is not so much to hide the camera but to try to get it to fit in often very cramped spaces in the airplane. Your post has made me think about doing the same in my car! I also don't like the attention of things stuck on my windshield. (But I will wait a while until I open in up just in case it craps out and I void the warranty. Cam is still too new. If it holds up until the end of the summer in the baking car heat here, it should be good to go after that.)
  13. Nicely said Mark! And I'd still like to know why he linked a youtube video to the company selling these things! Who is arguing but the two of you two? The rest of us were having a civilized dialogue before you went nasty. I had a general technical question based on my surprise on the image quality of a tiny camera compared to my IP cameras. This is suppose to be a forum dealing with security cameras. I would expect there would be mature adults here who could make productive comments about such things as camera sensors or other issues that could explain that why with such a wide FOV, the image is as good as it is, compared to a standard security camera. I have very limited knowledge in this field, and felt it was an appropriate question; so please excuse my ignorance on camera design and electronics. How you extrapolated I would want to replace my IP cams with dash cams, or sell them to members here, is bizarre. You opt to accuse me of "arguing" and that I have some ulterior motive to post a YouTube video which has a link to a company selling them. The reason for the YouTube video was because it was a good review with details about the camera by a person that does reviews on many cameras. (I thought if someone wanted more info it was easier to click on a video link that search Google.) The person who created and uploaded the YouTube video does not sell them. If you would have bothered to go to the web site of the person who posted the YouTube video, before insinuating I'm trying to sell them, you would have found reviews on many cameras with links for info on where you can download firmware, manuals, and sites that sell the specific cameras in the reviews. I'd say he puts those links there as a service to people who may be interested in them given the helpful nature of all his reviews. I was just having a dialogue, and trying to be helpful, until you started your less than cordial tone here. Nothing more, nothing less.
  14. Recently I purchased a $70 dashcam for my car. It shoots video at 1080P in full 30 FPS. I think the FOV is about 120 degrees. The video is crystal clear. Even when I pause the video I can often read plates on the far edge of the video. The camera is about the size of a keychain. I also have a couple different IP cams on my home security system, and while the image is good, it is not as good as the keychain camera. Specially when I fully zoom out my IP cam, it is definitely not as sharp as the keychain camera, even though the little camera is using a very wide angle lens. How is it that such a cheap keychain camera can shoot 30FPS super clear 1080P video and you can't get IP cameras for home security with the same performance for slightly more? I realize for home security you need to add a case, LEDs, and networking gear in the camera. Still, those items should not cost but maybe $30 more. So now you are at maybe $100. There is an extension cable for the tiny camera to remotely mount the lens. I wish there was a way to plug the camera into some adapter to make it an IP camera. Then I'd use a couple of them for hidden security cameras!
  15. Yeah, once you put all the extra parts and time in it probably isn't practical to make your own mini IP cam, unless doing it for a fun hobby project. Bueilwinkle - You really don't want a camera mounted to your license plate or bumper. In the event of an accident, there is a good chance it would get destroyed in the accident. Before this 1080p dash cam I used another one. Is was also "1080p" but it drooped frames like crazy and overall had a fairly mediocre image. I would have kept using it but for about 10% of the time it didn't automatically start recording. For that reason, reliability, I replaced it. When you really distill what you need in a dash cam it isn't much. At first I started looking at cams about 5 times the price with GPS and G sensors. However, the two key things that matter for a dash cam are reliability and image quality. The rest is just fluff. I've analyzed thousands of accidents and it all usually boils down to simply being able to prove who ran the red light or who made the improper lane change. In the event the other vehicle flees, which is fairly rare, capturing the license plate is an extra bonus. However, if you are properly insured, even that often is not critical. You'd be amazed at how often people lie when they are in an accident. Then we are left trying to sort out the physical evidence for clues of who was telling the truth. (I work defending civil lawsuits primarily involving auto accidents.) I typically wipe down my windshield daily so both me and the cam always have a nice clear view ahead. I highly recommend EVERYONE use a dash-cam. Drive long enough and you will be in an accident. The $50-100 investment may make the difference between you recovering hundreds of thousands or nothing if you are in a serious accident where the other party denies liability for the accident.
  16. Luckyfella, did you watch a downloaded sample clip such as the bike ride clip or the highly compressed and pixelated YouTube video? There is a very significant deterioration in the quality of the YouTube samples. The downloaded sample clips are quite a bit sharper than the videos from my IP cams despite the very wide angle lens on the dash cam. I can read license plates and small signs on the side of the road such as the no parking signs with the dash cam video. I can't see nearly that level of detail with recorded video from my IP cameras on my NVR. I guess to be fair I would need to record video with one of my IP cameras directly to my PC and then compare it to that video file. There may be a loss in video quality from the compression used with the NVR. Actually, now I think that may very well be the case rather than the IP camera having a lower quality image. In any case, I would like to use one or two of these small cams indoors as part of a security system if I could figure a way to make them an IP camera. I've seen devices to turn analog cameras into IP cameras so I guess it can be done, but not sure if it would be practical. The camera has video output through the USB port. Might tinker with that one of these days if I have some spare time.
  17. As a dashcam, the temperature extremes it is subjected to would be greater than that for typical home security cameras. I hope it lasts a long time but really don't know. I have only had mine 1 month. The purpose of my post is more in the area of is there some technology limitation on home security cameras that doesn't allow for high quality images unless you pay a lot of money? Obviously for a small about of cash ($70) you can get high quality 1080P video. So I'm guessing it is not a lens or imaging sensor thing that raises the cost of the home security cameras.
  18. QFT When I need to take a picture of someone's face or license plate to the police, I need that one crystal clear image. A bunch of smooth blurry images does my absolutely no good. That is a good point. Smooth 30FPS motion is "cool" to watch but has practically zero value for the purpose must of us are recording the video, which is to identify the thief. I decided that I would leave my video quality settings at "Highest" which I believe has the least amount of compressions. From there as I change the FPS settings the NVR gives a range for the bit rate. I then use the maximum bitrate for the specific FPS setting. (Keeping in mind the 40Mbps max for the NVR.) At that point it's a matter of how low of frame rate do I want to go and then set the maximum bitrate supported by the NVR for the given bitrate. I found this article helpful is choosing a FPS setting: http://www.mistralsolutions.com/hs-downloads/tech-briefs/dec11-article2.html I still plan to play with this NVR using constant bitrate, and with using a lower than optimal bitrate for the constant recording so I can then use a higher FPS and high bitrate for the motion activated recording. However, the problem I anticipate with motion activated high quality recording is what happens for example when it rains and motion is detected on all cameras? In that situation cameras will start shutting down as the bandwidth capacity could be exceeded if too many cameras detect motion around the same time. So in the end I may just settle for the best constant quality and not worry about using the option to boost quality with motion detection. It can get rather complex truly maximizing the system to the best potential! I'm learning a lot playing with this system.
  19. I found the spec sheet to the Hikvision NVR here: http://www.hikvision.com/UploadFile/image/2013052207022774584.pdf Based on that I would need to limit my total recording bandwidth to 40Mbps. I think I'm starting to understand this now... I'm guessing the "Video Quality" setting is the amount of compression. As you change the Video Quality and FPS the DVR will give you a "Max. Bit Range Recommended" which if you exceed it, there is no benefit, and if you exceed 40Mbps total among all the cameras, the cameras start shutting down. It appears that at the highest possible video quality, the most you can set your FPS at is 12. (Assuming all cameras are set to the same.) So now the decision needs to be made whether it is best to have 12FPS at the highest possible video quality, or 30FPS at "medium" quality. When I get time I will record some clips at 12FPS max quality and some at 30FPS medium quality and see if the tradeoff in the slower frame rate is worth it. I'm guessing this may also be dependent on the quality of the cameras being used. If you have a crappy camera you may not get any extra benefit from the higher quality setting. I was hoping I could get 30 FPS at max quality but I guess that is why this set cost $999 and not $3,000. Not complaining, as for the price this seems like a very nice system.
  20. I've been playing around with the settings and 3 of my cameras shut down due to insufficient bandwidth. I'm not all that concerned about storage space. So I turned up the settings to see what would happen. Remember, I'm a newbie... LOL. I noticed for the cams there is a recording setting for image quality that is default to "Medium". I changed all the cameras to "Highest." I also changed the default max bitrate from 4,096 to 8,192 on all cameras for both main stream continuos and main stream motion. They are all set to variable bit rate. I also changed the bitrate on the subtream from 512 to 1024. All 8 channels are set at 30FPS. Everything seemed to work for a while, and the image was nice and crisp, but after a while cameras started shutting down to where only 5 were working. I'm sure there is an intelligent way to optimize the settings to maximize the video quality and not crash the system. Any tips on how far the NVR can be pushed would be appreciated. I don't think my Internet speed matters as I think that only applies to the sub stream. If it does matter, I have 25Mbs upload and 25Mbps download speed.
  21. Maybe I was unlucky but the two IT reps at Swann and the two at Lorex didn't even know the basics. I didn't expect either to give detailed instructions to use another brand product, but they should at least not give out bad information. Swann said their IP camera has no settings! The Lorex folks said their NVR won't work with any other cameras other than Lorex. If they don't know how to do something they should just say they don't know rather than give people wrong info. Hikvision support however was excellent and they knew what they were talking about. Fortunately, I found this forum that has the best support! After crawling through insulation in my hot attic today all 8 cameras are working! Now I need to learn about optimizing things like the max bit rate settings, etc.
  22. In the Costco $999 Lorex NVR thread godzuki solved the problem, and put the Lorex and Swann tech support reps to shame. Here is the solution and a screen capture of the camera image. I'm pretty happy with it. I didn't even fine tune the focus yet. It is fully zoomed in this shot. Image file had to be shrunk down and compressed to allow it to post here. I'm pretty impressed with the sun shinning almost right into the camera you can see details of the neighbor's door that is in a dark entry way. Thanks godzuki!
  23. " title="Applause" /> That did the trick. You are officially overqualified for a job at Swann or Lorex in Level 2 tech support. Thanks man!
  24. I picked up the Costco Lorex NVR with 6 1080p cameras and I'm adding 2 more varifocal cameras. This is where I was planning to put them. I was also wondering if maybe I should point cameras 6 and 7 in the opposite direction so they are pointed at each other and move them out a few feet away from each other. But maybe that would mess up the image at night with the IR pointed at each other. Camera #2 I plan to zoom in and use mainly to capture details on the vehicles that pull into the cul-de-sac. I also have a 4 CH D1 DVR and 4 cameras I will probably hook up. Might put 1 camera in the house and the other 3 outside. Then again, maybe overkill?
  25. I just noticed our rear sliding door is not in the center so I moved it... Thought about pointing cams at each other but wondered if the IR beams pointing toward each other may cause a problem with the cams at night, causing each other to dim. For the most complete coverage I calculated each cam would need to be about 18' from edge pointing at each other. Thats places them spaced 14' from each other. (House is 50' wide.) That has each cam covering a distance of 32' which I don't know if that is pretty good distance for a 1080p camera or not. I'm probably being way more anal than I need to be about this. Maybe best to just put them on the far edges pointing at each other and each cam will be covering mainly the window/sliding door near them. Probably not much value for the windows 50' away, specially at night.