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  1. I may have made a mistake. I found some Lorex cameras that worked great, and were relatively inexpensive for 4K cameras with optical zoom and variable focus. They are LNE8974AB and LNE8950AB (the latter fixed focal length). Except... I want to script some changes to settings. I had Hikvision before, and the full set of calling sequences is documented. Lorex does not. Support says they will not. I have found a few, the RTSP feed is documented, and I can get a still image (mostly -- some quirks with the LNE8950AB). What I want is to be able to switch settings, profiles or just things like WDR, from scripts. I understand these are repackaged Dahua cameras, but so far no joy in using what I found there. I have tried lots of things at random. I ran a fiddler session looking at the exchange with the web interface and suspect with a LOT of work I could use its techniques -- but those are very messy RPC exchanges of very long XML. For that matter I do not KNOW that simple URL based exchanges will work with these. In the LNE8974AB there are check box options for cgi, genetec and onvif. Genetec and onvif I recognize (though am weak on whether their protocols may help me), cgi seems like a generic reference to a http://ip/cgi/ style service, and indeed http://ip/cgi-bin/;snapshot.cgi does work for a still. Others return "bad request" hinting there are other options there. Anyone have any info? Thanks in advance, Linwood
  2. I had planned to run it on Milestone server on a big-ish PC on a raid set, at only about 2 fps, as I want continuous capture but decent duration. I figure I can probably get about a week with the current system, but it might be time for a disk space upgrade as the disks in it are getting a bit old. Storage (for duration) is the main limiting factor that will cause me to reduce bandwidth, so I do not see a (wired only) network issue. I also pull a still every few minutes and upload to the cloud - need to see how that's going to work at 4K, that might take a bit of tweaking, maybe even will downsize. The cloud copy is my "someone stole everything including the security system" copy. I've experimented (in the past not recently) with a lot of NVR software - Blue Iris, Xeoma, Zoneminder (used it, and contributed to it, for a few years), etc. None of them make me terribly happy, but Milestone has been mostly solid and flexible enough. A lot of the more sophisticated-seeming ones were incredibly flakey when I tested them. And I like free.
  3. Interesting. My mistake, too many postings in too short of time, they ran together. This link is where I bought it (might not work later): https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B077V275SR/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_asin_title_o01_s00?ie=UTF8&psc=1 Item LNE8950A, 113 field of view, IP67, IR up to 200ft, 4K @ 15fps, H.265.
  4. I ordered one Lorax to try. As I understand it, those are legitimate rebranded hikvisions authorized for sale in the US. And they had one in black, which I prefer to the white since all the trim here is dark brown. At least I can experiment with it, see if I can get updates, etc.
  5. So I tried tracking this down on Amazon. Their apparent look-alike for the Hikvision is something they call CMIP3382NW-M, Retail from B&H the DS-2CD2383G0-I is $218, LTS sells OEM (if it is indeed the same camera) for $299. The hikvision model is their "value" series at the very bottom end. Other purported OEM's on amazon at present show a comparison to their DS-2CD2385FWD-I, which is their "performance" series. At B&H that specific model is $443 but the Amazon "OEM" is at $179. This is from "Hawk .eillance" who isn't on their OEM list of course. It doesn't look easy to sort out legitimate OEM from dodgy.
  6. If I buy from an authorized reseller isn't a non-OEM version? Specifically here: https://www.bhphotovideo.com/c/product/1446376-REG/hikvision_ds_2cd2343g0_i_2_8mm_4mp_ir_fixed_turret.html (that's a link to B&H that worked as of this posting but may not survive changes there; just search for Hikvision 4K.
  7. Other than potential savings in purchase cost, is there an advantage to buying OEM? Is there an advantage to NOT buying OEM? Are they really the same hardware? Firmware?
  8. I never really understand those who won't sell to the DIY market as protection for contractors. It's one thing to sell to contractors at a discount, but by not selling to me, it is not like I'm going to relent and call up one of their contractors. IP Cam Talk: Is that the same as the forum website? I tried years ago to get an account there, they wouldn't accept my email, would not respond to "why" questions. Personal email hosted on Office 365 with personally owned domain, zero blacklists, zero issues any other forum. So apparently I would not be able to communicate with them if I bought their product, and since they were not polite enough to tell me why, I will just look past them. So B&H (who I like and use frequently) is listed on Hikvision as an authorized seller. If I buy from them, won't I get warranty support from Hikvision (though B&H probably, but they are very responsive). I'm just paying about 35% more than the OEM rebranded versions I see on Amazon. Annoying, but maybe worth it?
  9. Starting in 2013+/- I put in hikvision cameras at our home, and generally things went well. After the first couple I found out about the US vs China variants and managed to get US versions for the rest, though the (not updated) non-US versions worked OK. I use them with first Zoneminder, later Milestone, and firewall them carefully so am not really worried about back doors, security issues, etc. as they are pretty isolated and all access is from the server not the cameras. Now it's 2019, and I have not looked at cameras in years, but need to do a new house. Probably 7-8 cameras, I like turrets as they are subtle, PTZ is not needed, all will be wired. My first thought was just to get current Hikvision US because of good experience, but Hikvision still seems to be a mess of non-US versions for sale, but now OEM versions as well. I've been reading for a couple days without any clear insight, it looks a lot like the market 5 years ago. If I go that way, might as well get the 4K version (I could always downsample if I find that too much for storage, but storage is cheaper all the time. DS-2CD2383G0-I apparently? Questions: Any real downside to going this way? Anything in similar price range substantially better? Is there a better place to buy than Amazon, from people selling "US Version" (not just "English version" or OEM)? Am I right to avoid OEM, as I am then dependent on them for firmware fixes/updates? Or are there long term reliable OEM's that make it worthwhile? On a distantly related note: I really want brown colored cameras to blend with the house. Last time I tried various ways to paint them, and while I ended up with brown cameras it was a huge mess, the paint did not stick well, it was hard to reassemble and move. Are there other brands that are in this quality/price range that offer different colors? Thanks in advance for any general advice. Linwood
  10. Just a brief update: Nx Witness did two different referrals to resellers asking them to respond to me, neither one did. The first one suggested I reached out to separately and no response. It seems clear they are not interested in people who want to use it on the cheap. For anyone interested, or if you think I need to look at these more carefully, here are some other windows products I tried. I finally gave in and decided I wasn't going to find something good (and cheap) on linux: - Genius Vision: really like a lot of what it does, but it was just too buggy. - Sighthound: even moreso like the way they approach motion detection, very powerful, but multi-camera playback just did not seem to work, period with a timeline, and it's "clip" approach was extremely awkward for reviewing the archive. - Luxriot: Limited to 2mp, didn't try. - AT Vision - could not get it to work at all, could not even get a camera to display, period. - Herovision: Like milestone, but very buggy, but more free. - Novosun Cyeweb - very arcane, but a nice set of features. A lot of stuff just plain would not work (e.g. motion detection masking would not show a preview even though the camera was working). UI was very obscure, and setup arcane. Could not figure out licensing only, and whether what I was running was free or very expensive. - Trassir - unable to get the "trial" to even run, kept asking for a license file, but no obvious place online to get one. - Milestone XProtect - this seems to be where I am landing. On the bad side the motion detection processing is very basic. On the good side it seems rock solid, no bugs have reared their heads, no crashes; in all the experimentation it just works. The multi-camera review (several ways) is quite fast, not as fast as NX Witness, but fast enough; the visibility of motion detection in the review is mediocre (no multi-camera timeline even in multi-camera review, so you can't see which cameras on the timeline had motion); no visualization or highlight of motion in (most of) the review techniques. But it seems reliable, the price is very right (free for and did I mention it seems reliable? If these sound wrong, and I need to look more carefully, please let me know. If I've missed some key ones to try, please also let me know. Oh... Avigilon was nice, but too expensive, so did not try. I'm really hoping to stay in the $20-30/camera range or under.
  11. I did find that B&H had the license for 4 @ $278.29, so yes, about $70 each. Comparable. My issue and it's an unfair comparison in some ways is I did the whole system on the cheap, using an old PC, doing all the wiring myself. I only have about $600 or so total invested in it. Buying $550 in licenses almost doubles my investment. If I were a more typical security consumer, having paid probably a few thousand for all the wiring and professionally installed cameras that's a minor increase in cost. For me it's double. Unfair standard perhaps. I'm hoping they return my contact and say "we love DIY'ers and would like to make a deal". I won't hold my breath though.
  12. Why won't you give me a rough idea of pricing? I might like a Lamborghini, but I don't test drive it because I don't want to pay that much. Not sure I should have for Nx Witness but it ran on linux. Seriously -- why is pricing a secret?
  13. Is there a free/cheap version? It's windows and I can't find any kind of pricing anywhere, and I've looked over the whole website without finding a trial version to try? Am I missing something? If it's expensive AND windows I have much less interest; if it's cheap and windows it may be worth putting up with windows if it's good. Why doesn't Avigilon put some useful information on their websites, like trial information, license cost or TCO estimators, or something?
  14. So while I wait to find out pricing, a bit of my observations in case it triggers some thoughts from others.... Despite being Windows (I hoped for Linux) I have been trying XProtect Essentials+, as it is free and last time I looked it had a 5 day archive limit, since removed. It's a bit less slick than the NX Witness / Spectrum product, but it seems to do all the same things pretty well. Scrubbing back and forth is nicely fast (not quite as fast), and the motion search looks pretty good. Haven't found anything significant either does the other lacks so far (among what I need). One's free. Unfortunately that one runs on Windows. I use windows on my main desktop, but am not a real fan for a sit-in-the-closet-and-run server. plus I run network management on linux on the same server, so if I go with windows I'll need to get some more memory and run a VM for linux on HyperV (the reverse probably doesn't make sense since the NVR will be the biggest workhorse). I'd love any insight people have on these two (or other similar ones, especially that run on Linux for the server side).
  15. Yeah, but it doesn't do Linux. I think I found that NX Witness is Digital Watchdog Spectrum in the US. Maybe. Or maybe it's branded more than one way. But the one place I found to sell licenses (without an installer showing up) is pretty darn expensive, about $80/camera, which is pretty pricey compared to others I've tried (infinitely more than Zoneminder ). Hoping I find out there are better ways to buy it, as so far I really like it, and it's running nicely now a whole 5-6 hours.