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My IP camera project

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Here is my project


I want to put up internal & external security cameras around my house. (well, doesn’t everybody?) But our house sort of sits up on the side of a hill, and we have a pretty nice view of the Arizona desert, mountains and occasional wildlife. So I think it would be cool to also have a cam to put on my website with user controls, so that friends or relatives (or anyone, really) can check out the Javelinas or watch the haboobs go rolling by.


I have quite a few Cat6 drops around the house that I can use to plug IP cams into. If I use PoE cams then I should be all set, right? All I need to do is run cat6 from the rj45 outlets to where I mount the cameras. All the cat6 runs go back to a rack mounted patch panel, where I’d also mount any new equipment for this project.


I’d like to record and archive x days of video from all the cams, and have it autopurge the old stuff as it goes.

I want to be able to get alerts and view the security cams from anywhere.

I will probably start with about 8 security cams but would want to be able to expand in the future if needed. Security cams would be PoE, IR, non-ptz, 720p or better.

The ‘scenic view’ cam would be PoE, HD, PTZ, with pretty high zoom factor. Would want to be able to privacy mask the neighbor’s windows, etc.


I don’t have much perspective on one style vs another- ie, bullet, dome, etc. Except that it seems dome would be better for the external cams due to the environment (heat/dust).


I also don’t have much knowledge yet on all the other components I’m going to need for this project- PoE switches? NVR? Server? Software? Margaritas?


I don’t have much preference on brand (which is why I was hoping to find a good cam selector tool). One of our company outlets deals in electronics and carries the Speco line. I have no idea how good it is, or if I could get ‘a deal’ or not on buying some stuff internally. I don’t see much online about it, compared to some of the other brands, so it makes me wonder. But really, I am open to anything except low end junk that will fail when the wind blows too hard.


All comments and suggestions are welcome, and let me start by thanking buellwinkle for the valuable info he’s provided me already, both here and on his review blog.

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For what you're looking to do, there are many options.

Most nvrs or nvr software will do as you're looking for.

Emailing of events, privacy masking and erasing over older data as hard drive space fills are pretty standard features on most software.

Keep in mind, you're not gonna smooth broadcast like video going out for just anyone to log onto and see. There are things that come into play such as frame rate.

When choosing cameras, watch for what the max frame rate is. For instance, you may find a camera that does full hd but at 15fps where it may do 720p at 30fps.

Speco makes some good equipment but I've only used their analog cameras.

There are many good brands if cameras such as Axis, Avigilon, IqInvision, Digital Watchdog.

Here on the forum there is a good thread about the basics.


Also look at Axis' website, they have a good section that teaches about ip cameras

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In a lot if ways, a dedicated nvr will be less of a headache. They really are made to serve the one purpose so they don't have the extra stuff that a PC will have. Typically I believe, an nvr would probably be more stable but a PC running software also has its benefits.

Either one, Nvr or Software will have some limitations to what cameras they will support.

But if in the future, you decide to get different camera models, you will need to make sure they're supported by the recorder.

If they're not supported by the nvr, you will have to make the choice to get different cameras or possibly change the nvr. The same thing is true for the PC based one but changing the software will most likely be cheaper.


Another benefit of the nvr is size.

Another benefit of the PC is scalability.

Many NVRs come with built in Poe switch. Most of the ones I've seen are just 4 ports but still.


Whichever route you go, make sure you think hard about which manufacturers cameras you want to use, frame rates you're hoping to get and how much storage you need. And make sure it all jives together.

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My 2 cents is give em a try. I just started (2 months) using their vip line and everyone loves them so far. As for the recorder, you might have to make some decisions. Many NVRs that provide poe, will only provide poe upto 8 cams, even if its a 16ch. This was new to me because in the past I've just used software to capture the video.


This is what we installed last week: speco 8ch nvr with built-in poe. http://specotech.com/product/769/N8NSP.html It was perfect because there were only 8 cams and they do not want any more. We used their cameras. So far, this was the easiest setup, because there was none lol. Just plugged them in to the poe on the back and they came up on the screen in about 30 sec..on their own. Saved me lotsa time sitting there with my laptop configuring cameras, well worth the pricey tag to me.


Since you are looking to upgrade later, give a 16ch NS a try http://specotech.com/product/806/N16NS.html . It does not have a built in poe, but does have a port to plug your poe switch into. This happens to be my future install at a site I am trying to nail. Running 14 cams to a poe, poe to the nvr. The nvr has these setup features that pretty much setup it up for you, especially port forwarding the router..kinda surprised me actually.


I'll let you know how it goes.

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