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  1. @adeer786 -- I'm not sure of the best way to handle that problem. I have never needed to do anything quite like that. You can get relatively inexpensive PTZ cameras that could look all around that space... the Huisun 10x PTZ is still good. And, if you are just doing a spot check you don't even need a recorder, just direct access to the camera over the network. But man, if my wedding was there, I would find cameras panning around during the event to be uncomfortable. It's been approximately a year since my install, and since I am here I might as well do another update on my Hik/LTS system. - LTS has issued an NVR firmware update which fixed the problems I had noted. The mouse doesn't stop working now, smart motion event emails now include photo attachments, and Gmail can be used again for sending those emails. - One LTS 4 MP turret camera dropped off the network a few times but became reliable again before I had gotten around to troubleshooting further. - No spider problems (I am in the Seattle area and I bet this varies by region) - I am still pretty happy with the capabilities of the NVR and mobile apps. No regrets! I like this gear enough to have helped both my neighbors set up similar systems.
  2. I have 6x Hik 4 MP turrets and a 4k NVR with 16 channels. The gear is actually rebranded and distributed by LT Security, a US reseller. It may have some differences from generic Hik gear, but they should be minor. I also have 2x Huisun 10x PTZ cameras. So far I am pretty happy. Image quality is good and the NVR feature set is decent. Line-crossing and area-intrusion motion detection on the cameras works pretty well. Night vision quality is adequate, but could always be better. The Matrix IR illumination is good, and I haven't had spider problems yet. The Huisun 10x PTZ cameras have good quality for the money and PTZ is fun, though these cameras entirely lack usable motion detection. It's not all perfect though. These are the problems I have encountered. - The NVR seems entirely reliable except that after it's been on for a few days, the mouse stops working. It's not the mouse itself, it's the USB ports or the mouse driver in the unit. This is a PITA, but not too bad since you can use your web browser or desktop software to work with the NVR. - The NVR has a bug which prevents it from emailing attached motion detection photos unless you use basic motion detection. Basic motion detection is worthless outside though, you need to use line crossing or area intrusion, and you can't get emailed photos from those methods unless you do some tedious additional networking setup. I have no idea if this will ever be fixed. - After Google changed their Gmail SMTP settings, email alerts stopped working entirely. Hik has apparently released a patch, I have no idea if or when LTS will follow suit. If there is no patch I will need to find another free SMTP account. (users here have reported success with Sendgrid.) - While I have a 3 year warranty through LTS, the times I have tried to ask tech questions through email I've received zero response. I am sure that if I have dead hardware I can get it replaced as they have many happy customers. I am not sure that short of that I can expect any help. (Clearly an LTS comment, not Hik specific.) - To update firmware you need to download files from the vendor and apply them manually. I have to keep checking the vendor site to see if there are updates available. Every other modern gadget I have says, "hey, there is an update available, do you want it?" Hik stuff doesn't work like that. - The Hik mobile and Windows apps seem decent, and free. I have heard there are better 3rd party mobile apps but I have not tried them yet. So, overall I am happy, and the problems I have found have workarounds. I'd probably buy Hik again, though I'd also take a closer look at Dahua. I wrote them off early on since apparently getting firmware updates is harder. But I am not really getting any now, anyway. I hope that helps!
  3. I ended up with a Hikvision system and I am pretty happy with it. Stick to Hik and Dahua is still my advice.
  4. Fair question. Here are my reasons. If I am wrong about any of them, someone correct me. As far as I can tell, you have the ability get a more capable system when you go direct. Depending on what you choose the value may be better even if the cost is somewhat higher, too. Here are some specific reasons. You also get access to software upgrades direct from the manufacturer. If you get a domestic re-brand, they need to decide to repackage the OEM's software for their versions. You can buy a kit a piece at a time. What if none of the Costco packs meet your needs? I want a dome here, a bullet there, a super-zoom here, a wide angle there, a super high resolution camera in another place... Can't do that with Costco. As I began to plan my coverage it became immediately apparent that a Costco kit would probably be OK... but it just wouldn't have what I really wanted. This is actually my main reason for going direct. You can buy parts for cameras. If I want to change the lens on a camera, that should be possible... if I picked the right camera to start with. I want my individual cameras to be addressable on my LAN, and from outside the LAN. I am not sure, but I think that any Costco IP kits will use the NVR as a router, so I would be forced into having a separate subnet. It may be possible to configure my way around that. Maybe not. Separating the NVR and POE injector and putting everything on the existing subnet will definitely work. (It also means that if the POE injector dies, it doesn't require replacing the NVR.) Once a system is set up, it should be as easy to use as a Costco kit. The NVR works about the same way. All the additional complexity is on the setup side. I don't have a specific reason to like HIKvision or Dahua NVRs yet, I am still reading reviews and user experiences on forums. They are approximately equal with many happy users. I am leaning towards HIKvision currently because from what I read Dahua uses a proprietary video format--if true that is a strikeout right there.
  5. I haven't made a decision yet--juggling too many projects. I will be sure to post updates, though. My plan is to choose a DVR, POE injector, and buy a single camera to go along with it so that I can verify basic operation, language of the menus, etc. If that works out I will buy the other cameras and get it installed.
  6. I haven't solved all my problems, but I can tell you what I figured out so far. Eventually I figured out that the best value was going to be in HIKvision or Dahua gear, bought direct from China via AliExpress vendors. You can also choose cameras with exactly the features you need, instead of compromising on a Costco bundle. I began with the idea of getting a DVR with POE ports built in. Then I realized that the DVR would put the cameras on a separate subnet... This would prevent me from addressing the cameras individually from other devices on my LAN, at least conveniently. So, I have decided that I want a DVR and all the cameras to sit on my main LAN, and so I will hook the cameras up to a POE injector. I'm going to start by buying a single camera to vet it and the POE hardware, and test field of view. Then I will get more cameras and the DVR. Currently I am leaning towards HIKvision cameras/DVRs because it seems to be easier to get them with English firmware, but I could still go Dahua.
  7. This thread is great, as I am about to order some Hikvision gear. Does anyone have any vendor experience updates to share since the last post? Are there any camera firmware gotchas to look out for? Earlier in the thread someone made reference to needing to get (or avoid?) a specific version for "future proofing."
  8. horseflesh

    Which Hikvision DVR would fit my setup ?

    Mp4 is a video format as well. As long as this NVR makes the video export available in some kind of standard format I'll be happy. From what I have read it is h.264 video so it should be possible to play videos on a computer without heroic efforts. Ah, you're in Denmark... I'll have to keep hunting for a vendor. Thanks again, this has been tremendously helpful.
  9. horseflesh

    Which Hikvision DVR would fit my setup ?

    Thanks, Henriks, that is great to hear. I really need multi-platform remote support so that probably pushes me over the edge from Dahua to HIK. If I can bug you with a couple more questions... Is it possible to get video and audio out in standard formats? I'm assuming yes, I saw a HIK camera review that showed MP4 export. May I ask where you got it and if you were happy with the vendor? ("E&M" on Ali Express looks good, they have English units for $380 shipped.)
  10. horseflesh

    Which Hikvision DVR would fit my setup ?

    Please post a little review when you get familiar with it! I'm especially interested in how well it may work when you use a web browser to connect. Elsewhere I read that the Dahua units require a browser plugin, and don't work on Macs at all.
  11. horseflesh

    Which Hikvision DVR would fit my setup ?

    This is relevant to my interests, too. I haven't built a system yet, but I do want 3Mpix support on at least a few channels.
  12. I've been continuing to read since I posted and have basically eliminated Swann, Q-See, and Lorex. I think that the China-o-vision brands will suit me better. It is very hard figuring out exactly what to get, though. I do want POE on the DVR, so I have just one cable for each camera... and I want a unit that can support a variety of cameras. (some 1080p, some higher resolution, some narrow, some wide-angle.) Then, you have to factor in firmware hassles. Seems like some cameras come in Chinese and you have to download a tool to change the language... None of that scares me, but figuring out the details requires reverse-engineering things from forum posts. It takes time, and tips are welcome!
  13. I want to build an 8-channel HD camera system for my home. Like a lot of people I have seen the bundled systems at Costco, but I know that you can get much better gear if you do some homework and buy individual components. I am very interested in a system that lets me use a variety of cameras, so that I can use the right camera for a particular spot. Most of the time a good 1080p wide-angle camera will do, but there are a couple of places where I might want to add some fixed optical zoom. I also have a bird feeder which would be fun to monitor with a 3 MP camera for better image quality. Cameras that use power over ethernet seem like the best bet as I don't have any legacy coax in place. Naturally, I want to be able to interact with the system remotely--I can punch a hole in my firewall easily enough. My total budget is $2,000, tops. That needs to cover the DVR, a drive, and hopefully 6 outdoor cameras with IR, at least one of which would be better than 1080p. I've just started my research and see that Hikvision and Dahua are popular around here, and Lorex, Swann, and Q-See are not. I would very very much appreciate some specific recorder and camera recommendations to kick start more research. I'm willing to buy from places like Aliexpress if that's the best value, but I do need the gear to be reliable--some of it will be hard to get to once installed. Thanks a million for any leads you can give me!
  14. I'm here with the same question as the OP from 2012... I want a system for home and the Costco stuff caught my eye, simply because I see it every time I am in the store. I think I need an 8 channel system, and I want it to record in 1080p. Being able to use 3 MP and varifocal cameras in some locations would be great. I think POE cabling sounds better than coax, but I could be wrong. (If a system could also talk to a wireless camera, that would be fantastic, because I have a location with power, but I can't run cable there.) I do NOT want to build a PC to be a DVR--a standalone unit is what I want, because I babysit too many computers already. Can anyone recommend specific cameras and compatible DVRs? I am happy to do research, but I am so ignorant of the field that I don't know more than a few brand names like Q-See, Lorex, and Dahua. While price is always important, I don't need to do this on a cut-rate budget. If anyone can recommend specific products and even retailers to investigate, I'd be very appreciative!