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Peter_

The Ultimate IP Camera Guide - Start Here!

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We (IPVM) have a free/public IP Video 101 Training that has 6 video screencasts and quizzes to help people get started setting up and configuring IP cameras.

 

John, your name came up a lot at ISC West. I had to assure manufacturers that I was not associated with you before they would even talk to me. You must be good if you annoy them that much. Keep up the good work!

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Hey, the list is very informative and helpful. Even I was planning to install a security camera at my place. I think your post will help me with the decision. One of my friends has installed IR illuminators from Axton and he said that it works well. I think now I could finally decide on it. Thanks Peter...........

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Since this is my thread, and was meant to HELP newcomers let's quit the arguing in this thread and reserve the space for questions or additions. Thanks!

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Since this is my thread, and was meant to HELP newcomers let's quit the arguing in this thread and reserve the space for questions or additions. Thanks!

 

I agree...this topic went too far off track so I cleaned it up.

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Network Video Recorders (NVR's)/NAS Stations:

Synology (1 License Included - ~$50 /per additional license)

Dahua

QNAP (1 License Included - ~$55 /per additional license) <-- ADDED fee

Luxriot

NUUO

Hikvision

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Just another brand to add to the cameras list : http://www.ccdcam.cn/

 

I am not sure if they are another brand re-labelled but the products seem to be low to medium cost with reasonable specs and reasonable support. I have been using their cameras for a while with milestone and can speak fairly highly of them. They are highly spoken of on this forum as well: http://forums.whirlpool.net.au/forum-replies.cfm?t=2046295 I purchased mine from alliexpress.

 

Cheers.

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a few little bits....

 

on the Topic of IR:

 

you REALLY don't want IR capability built in to the camera itself, not only does it attract all the insects(think spider webs) it also makes the camera essentially blind when you get fog or heavy rain, my general suggestion is have the IR out of the field of view of the camera itself (or facing away) and have them illuminate the area as you would with a normal flood light.

 

with external IR you will probably find it cheaper to just put normal lighting, a show stopper is where you're placing the lights in an area that is residential or needs to be dark for whatever reason, at this point you have a few choices, you can go 850nm or 940nm, these are IR lights that run at slightly different wavelengths, the difference between them is the 850 is the one where you can see the glowing LED's, the 940 you don't see any glowing light at all, but it suffers from a greatly reduced range vs the wattage of the unit (rule of thumb seems to be 850nm for the same wattage will illuminate double the distance of a 940nm) the main reason I suggest normal (white) lighting is that the cost of your base IR light will be more expensive and generally will not give as good coverage(personal experiance, the IR does not seem to "fill" an area as well)

 

Now, you have another option, if you're not trying to illuminate huge area's you can also go PoE powered, the advantage of this is all you do is run a few extra Cat5/6 Cables to your planned camera locations with a few extra meters (I try to leave 5) and then throw illuminators on when you wish without any more cabling and the switch powers them. this also gives the nice extra benefit of giving you the excuse to upgrade your switches (so you can upgrade the cheap 4 porter's to something nice and managed).

 

with PoE you do have to be careful, there are two main standards for how much power the switch is able to provide to the device, you have PoE which is up to 15w, and then PoE+ which is 30w, I don't really see the point of putting an IR illuminator up that's only 15w when you can almost double your power (long story) to a PoE+ switch and the price difference between the illuminator wattages is very similar (in my experience $350 vs $450) the only time I'd stick with PoE is if you already have the cabling in place for PoE and you have already purchased PoE(only) switch's that were quite expensive aka don't want to upgrade your infrastructure.

 

with the PoE illuminators unless you get the crazy expensive units there is not much you really need to do, they have Photo-voltaic's in them that sense when it's getting dark and flip on, which is generally before your camera decides it's too dark and flicks on it's IR filter, so by the time your camera switch's to IR the illuminator is already on, so all you are left to fiddle with is the intensity (not sure why you'd reduce it but it's there)

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a few little bits....

 

on the Topic of IR:

 

you REALLY don't want IR capability built in to the camera itself, not only does it attract all the insects(think spider webs) it also makes the camera essentially blind when you get fog or heavy rain, my general suggestion is have the IR out of the field of view of the camera itself (or facing away) and have them illuminate the area as you would with a normal flood light.

 

with external IR you will probably find it cheaper to just put normal lighting, a show stopper is where you're placing the lights in an area that is residential or needs to be dark for whatever reason, at this point you have a few choices, you can go 850nm or 940nm, these are IR lights that run at slightly different wavelengths, the difference between them is the 850 is the one where you can see the glowing LED's, the 940 you don't see any glowing light at all, but it suffers from a greatly reduced range vs the wattage of the unit (rule of thumb seems to be 850nm for the same wattage will illuminate double the distance of a 940nm) the main reason I suggest normal (white) lighting is that the cost of your base IR light will be more expensive and generally will not give as good coverage(personal experiance, the IR does not seem to "fill" an area as well)

 

Now, you have another option, if you're not trying to illuminate huge area's you can also go PoE powered, the advantage of this is all you do is run a few extra Cat5/6 Cables to your planned camera locations with a few extra meters (I try to leave 5) and then throw illuminators on when you wish without any more cabling and the switch powers them. this also gives the nice extra benefit of giving you the excuse to upgrade your switches (so you can upgrade the cheap 4 porter's to something nice and managed).

 

with PoE you do have to be careful, there are two main standards for how much power the switch is able to provide to the device, you have PoE which is up to 15w, and then PoE+ which is 30w, I don't really see the point of putting an IR illuminator up that's only 15w when you can almost double your power (long story) to a PoE+ switch and the price difference between the illuminator wattages is very similar (in my experience $350 vs $450) the only time I'd stick with PoE is if you already have the cabling in place for PoE and you have already purchased PoE(only) switch's that were quite expensive aka don't want to upgrade your infrastructure.

 

with the PoE illuminators unless you get the crazy expensive units there is not much you really need to do, they have Photo-voltaic's in them that sense when it's getting dark and flip on, which is generally before your camera decides it's too dark and flicks on it's IR filter, so by the time your camera switch's to IR the illuminator is already on, so all you are left to fiddle with is the intensity (not sure why you'd reduce it but it's there)

 

There are many reasons why you would want to reduce the IR's intensity with the most important being overexposure. If you have so much light that your subjects are blown out you would want to reduce the output to get a proper exposure.

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There are many reasons why you would want to reduce the IR's intensity with the most important being overexposure. If you have so much light that your subjects are blown out you would want to reduce the output to get a proper exposure.

 

Or you could just aim your IR higher, or get a wider angle IR, or reduce the shutter time on your camera so it absorbs less of the light

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There are many reasons why you would want to reduce the IR's intensity with the most important being overexposure. If you have so much light that your subjects are blown out you would want to reduce the output to get a proper exposure.

 

Or you could just aim your IR higher, or get a wider angle IR, or reduce the shutter time on your camera so it absorbs less of the light

 

Sounds great but in real world applications that I have seen reducing the output to get a proper exposure is a must. Aiming the IR unit so the light bounces of the ground or trees can help too. Shutter time can help too but adjusting the output and aiming the light typical give better results over a full 24 hour 365 days.

 

Also add NuOptic to the IR list. They have IR, Whitelight and Hybrid units that have remotely adjustable FOV and power output.

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There are many reasons why you would want to reduce the IR's intensity with the most important being overexposure. If you have so much light that your subjects are blown out you would want to reduce the output to get a proper exposure.

 

Or you could just aim your IR higher, or get a wider angle IR, or reduce the shutter time on your camera so it absorbs less of the light

 

Sounds great but in real world applications that I have seen reducing the output to get a proper exposure is a must. Aiming the IR unit so the light bounces of the ground or trees can help too. Shutter time can help too but adjusting the output and aiming the light typical give better results over a full 24 hour 365 days.

 

Also add NuOptic to the IR list. They have IR, Whitelight and Hybrid units that have remotely adjustable FOV and power output.

 

Good info!

 

I wish there was a blurb under each company recommendation though... giving people's experiences with that companies product

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IMO, A cheaper & the next best thing to IR illuminators would be to use LED bulbs. You can find LED bulb alternatives to some if not most incandescent or CFL bulb fixtures.

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IMO, A cheaper & the next best thing to IR illuminators would be to use LED bulbs. You can find LED bulb alternatives to some if not most incandescent or CFL bulb fixtures.

 

Good point when white light is preferred. Issues would be white at night time can introduce light pollution or you want to light up a large area. Some locations do not allow light pollution and normally IR is more cost effective when lighting up large areas. That being said most people would preferred to have color images over B/W.

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Thats true, since I switched all my exterior lights to LED bulbs, I have also turned off night mode on some of my cameras since I prefer color images.

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Good information!

 

I would suggest adding netcamcenter professional (www.webcamsoft.com) to the video recording software list.

 

It is not expensive compare to Milestone, exacqVision or Avigilon. Yet it has pretty good recording performance (we run the software with 16 1080p cameras, 30 fps each channel, cpu load is about 50% on an i5 processor.) and good multiple monitors support.

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After trying quite a few of them with mixed success, I found my favorite lens calculator so far:

http://www.theiatech.com/calculator.php

 

Like most, it's for CS and C mount lenses - M12 lenses are too unpredictable for most FOV calculators - but it gives good ballpark results. One plus over most lens calculators is that it covers 16:9 HD sensors as well as 4:3 sensors (which the lens calculator on Page 1 does as well). It also gives a nice simulated FOV and zoom window.

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Thank you for a very informative post. Since I'm currently in the market for these exact requirements I'd be interested in which NVR's or software recording products support multi stream cams (like hemispherics). For example, the Acti KCM-3911 can output 6 different streams simultaneously. The Axis M3007-PV also outputs multiple streams. I know the Milestone software product supports that, am currently looking into others that do.

 

This is getting more specific/detailed but I'd also be interested in seeing licensing fees as it applies to that. For example, Milestone appears to charge per-stream/channel, not per device. So if it's 1 cam but you want access to all 6 streams/channels you need 6 licenses, and that's getting expensive as I'll be doing 4 or 5 hemispherics.

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One thing you can do is stick with one brand like ACTi and use their free NVR software that's pretty good and of course it will support their hemispheric cameras but limited to only ACTi cameras. Certainly more cost effective than paying 6 XProtect licenses, ouch.

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Good point, I did install the Acti product (which seemed kind of cumbersome) but never got around to testing it. We do have several non-Acti IP cams in place I'd like to try and utilize so not sure which would be more cost effective... switch to all Acti cams w/free NVR software or go with software than can handle multiple brands but with licensing fee.

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Exacq supports multiple streams with the Pro or Enterprise. Basically the streams show up as different cameras and so it would work well for your needs with a 360 camera.

 

FYI Tyco acquired Exacq so who knows what will happen in a year or two. Tyco likes to screw up stuff like this.

Edited by Guest

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