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Can we talk IP Cameras?


melectrok
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Been looking for some IP security cameras lately. Nothing fancy and hopefully fairly cheap as I plan to implement many of them. I have tried a few different models that I ended up not liking because of picture quality or software issues.

Has anyone found and that are just a big bang for the buck. In my particular case I am looking for fixed outdoor night/day hd cameras. Either WiFi or POE. But I am not beyond talking about a wider selection.

Thanks,

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I have been wanting cameras for building a more affordable home security system...

I figured a raspberry pi for a cheap linux controller and will allow for more money spent on cameras...

I have spent time on Amazon... I found some raw boards cwith the camera lenz built in...

HIgh quality!

Night vision!

Usb? Vs cat5?

I would prefer usb, would allow linux tools like motion sensitive applications...

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What always makes me not go down this route, aside from having to hide the camera's in plain sight which is kinda hard in my fairly minimalist apartment:

1. You need to store that data for at least some time. Assuming it's anti-theft, it needs to be able to record at least as long as it would take me to notice something's missing.

2. Someone'll have to watch it at some point.

3. It will *NOT* stand up in court (unless when you get a company to install a mucho dinero setup).

4. I'm wondering if you could get into trouble when what you record isn't entirely your property. Say you set it up so it records a window, but beyond that window is the bedroom window from your neighbour who now thinks you're a pervert.

5. They might go in specifically to get the cameras.

6. Either expensive and decent quality or affordable and crap.

So let's go back a few paces to the question that spawned it all. What is it you're trying to do and what made you pick the requirements that you did. We'll run with it from there.

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for myself, I would like to know if some one is in my home, car, shop, garage when I'm at work. Amazon packages stolen off my porch, items stolen from my car... I would cry if my woodshop was broken into and would like to act quickly rather then allow a all night theft to happen...

I understand your concern with illegal use of this kind of equipment...

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What always makes me not go down this route, aside from having to hide the camera's in plain sight which is kinda hard in my fairly minimalist apartment:

1. You need to store that data for at least some time. Assuming it's anti-theft, it needs to be able to record at least as long as it would take me to notice something's missing.

2. Someone'll have to watch it at some point.

3. It will *NOT* stand up in court (unless when you get a company to install a mucho dinero setup).

4. I'm wondering if you could get into trouble when what you record isn't entirely your property. Say you set it up so it records a window, but beyond that window is the bedroom window from your neighbour who now thinks you're a pervert.

5. They might go in specifically to get the cameras.

6. Either expensive and decent quality or affordable and crap.

So let's go back a few paces to the question that spawned it all. What is it you're trying to do and what made you pick the requirements that you did. We'll run with it from there.

#3 - It WILL stand up in court. You don't need professional systems installed.

#4 - If what you are recording isn't over a barrier (Fence, etc) or in someone's windows, it should be fine. Anything within a reasonable expectation like the street to your driveway is about it. Avoid coverage into neighboring properties unless permission is granted.

#5 - Unlikely

#6 - There are some cheap and "okay" quality cameras out there.

for myself, I would like to know if some one is in my home, car, shop, garage when I'm at work. Amazon packages stolen off my porch, items stolen from my car... I would cry if my woodshop was broken into and would like to act quickly rather then allow a all night theft to happen...

I understand your concern with illegal use of this kind of equipment...

As much as I hate dealing with these systems. Night Owl have pretty cheap packages and their support techs are pretty rock solid in helping out. I don't think they come with storage so tossing in a 2 TB disk would be recommended. Reviewing video on these suck, a lot. But it does offer a kind of remote viewing that you may be interested in.

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In some areas there are many rules for where you can put cameras, in my area fortunately there is very few restrictions, however there is no way any of these cameras will see other peoples property unless it is flying in the air as we have so much property. Basically, they are they because we can be everywhere and if someone drives in for example, we can meet them at the house. I do plan to have a 3rd party NVR unit so being able to record or store will not be an issue. I am just trying to find makes or models that people have used that say "hey there cheap, but the have a great picture and I have never had a problem with them". As well as other general chat.

Why do you say that video footage does not hold up in court as long as the camera is placed in an area that it leaglly in place?

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#3 - It WILL stand up in court. You don't need professional systems installed.

Googled it and I stand sort-of corrected. Main issues are timestamping the video to some degree so the video proves by itself that it's authentic for the day/time you say it is and the person(s) being recorded not having a reasonable expectation of privacy (no camera in the bathroom). Everything else is up on wether or not the judge had his coffee yet.

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Date and time stamps are easy enough to verify and provide proper offset if necessary.

If the camera is in a bathroom or otherwise violating expectation of privacy is not a "You can't use this in court". There are plenty of investigations of people putting cameras in bathrooms and that is used as evidence (in court) to prosecute them.

It is illegal to record in such a manner, but does not mean it cannot be used in court period. I am pretty certain that even if you were violating expectation of privacy (viewing outside of your own property or a neighbor's yard) and the cameras witnessed a violet crime (homicide) it would be allowed in court. Hell, even if it was in a bathroom and it caught a rape or homicide, pretty sure they are going to use that in court as well as charge the person responsible for putting the camera in there.

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apt-cache search motion - V4L capture program supporting motion detection

I have made use of this linux tool before... turn any webcam into a motion detection recording device... it has a nice configuration file explaining all the options...

simply populates a directory full of video files, supports a https live stream... simple enough?

so back to the question... Bang for the buck... quality!!! this was just a quick search but the idea is quality vs housing (plastic cool looks)

i think you want the most MEGA PIXALS!

http://www.amazon.com/ELP-Driver-Camera-Module-ELP-USBFHD01M-L21/dp/B00KA7WSSU/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1437601387&sr=8-3&keywords=board+camera+1080

SO.. i have spent a lot of time thinking about this...

Raspberry pi, + usb powered hub + several cameras like above... some scripting always makes for a fun project...

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My setup is a bunch of cameras with motion detection setup on a schedule and set to upload stills to my email account.

The Good;

- I know when something happens because it hits my inbox.

- no need to review video.

- no server or storage space needed.

- I can VPN in and watch video directly if I want. (Also see if I left the garage door up.)

The Bad;

- Sunny days mess with the motion.

- You only get stills, not video.

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Nice concept. Making a weather-proof housing is a little work on a 3D printer away. Fully feasible.

Problem is that USB2 here royally sucks. While the theoretical maximum speed is higher, the typical performance of a USB 2.0 link is about 35 MB/s. HD video is 1920*1080*4*30 (4 byte color depth, 30FPS) which comes to 256 MB/s. That means to provide real-time video that device has to compress the shit out of your image. The MJPEG stream benefits from your camera being stationary, but if something moving fills a large chunk of the image the quality will be absolute crap. If it doesn't fill a large chunk of the image it might end up not being sufficiently detailed for your needs.

Starting from your link I would go with one of these:

http://www.amazon.com/SC2000-Network-Camera-170deg-Ethernet/dp/B00Q9YG9EM/ref=sr_1_13?ie=UTF8&qid=1437660560&sr=8-13&keywords=board+camera+1080

They're 3 times the price of yours and take quite a bit more power, but it's got an ethernet connection which seems to be gigabit (can't find confirmation) and supports PoE (might cost extra) which means just 1 cable for everything. You have about 3 times the bandwidth so with a some modest compression and, again, MJPEG from a stationary location you should be fairly golden.

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D-link used to make little ip cameras that looked like half a soda can. I had one of these in a home made enclosure mounted to a tv antenna on the roof of my house for a couple years. The enclosure was a 4" to 2" pvc y fitting. One side of the 4" part had a cleanout fitting so I could get into it. The other side had a plexiglass window siliconed in place. All the wires went down and out the 2" part and I "sealed" it with that semiridged foam computer come packed in. You don't want it air tight, it will fog up. Worked great until I accidently pluged the wrong power supply into my home made poe adapter. Fried the camera.

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Well, I can't say anything about them, really. I'm sure they work so long as you provide power to them. If there's enough lumen (do you still talk about Lumen when it's infra-red?) it should work fine.

Thinking over the bandwidth issue again, what would help is if the camera would operate as just B&W. It reduces the bandwidth allowing you to communicate more detail, which is probably more important than color. That 256MB/s uncompressed suddenly becomes 64MB/s which is a lot more manageable in so many ways. Plus the difference between daytime video and night-time infrared wouldn't be such a jarring experience either.

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So go with a standard one:

http://www.amazon.com/SC2000-Megapixels-Network-Camera-IR-CUT/dp/B00Q7YJ5W2/ref=pd_sim_sbs_421_1?ie=UTF8&refRID=1BV6SX2J5VAJ4BD7S8A7

If you must go with USB, I'm thinking this one:

http://www.amazon.com/ELP-Camera-5megapixel-Industrial-Machine/dp/B00KA83C8O/ref=pd_bxgy_421_img_y

And the reason is that rather than compress the hell out of the image, they simply lower the framerate. So it might not be as easy on the eye to watch, it'll likely be a LOT clearer. At 12 FPS instead of 30 the needed bandwidth for the raw stream is 100MB/s so you can't grab a raw stream even at that rate over USB2.0.

Here is a calculator that shows you what the bandwidth is for a given quality level, video resolution and framerate.

1080p MJPEG @ 30 FPS High = 60MB/s Med = 41MB/s

1080p MJPEG @ 25 FPS High = 50MB/s Med = 34MB/s

Because of the max actual bandwidth of USB2.0 you'll want the 25 FPS to still achieve what's described as 'medium' quality.

H.264 is the solution to your bandwidth woes, chopping a very sizable chunk off of the bandwidth requirements but at a cost. Compressing an H.264 stream is considerably more complex.

This camera claims just 720p but with native H.264 support. To be completely honest, I don't believe them. The board is too much like the one i8igmac originally linked to. No, I take that back. They're *IDENTICAL*. Yet supposedly this one does H.264 on the board? Keep dreaming.

Bottom line, 1080p using MJPEG over USB2.0 is required to suck due to the limitations of USB2.0. Moving to H.264 would solve the issue completely, but require considerably more processing which means the camera board will be more expensive and require more power to operate. If you can find a native gigabit camera board then doing MJPEG over it is a feasible process, but you should verify that you can tweak the compression level such that you get (sufficiently) high quality images through. You can always compress the stream to H.264 prior to storage on that server as its CPU cycles are likely to be more in abundance than storage space.

Edited by Cooper
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I do like the IP design. The none fisheye one, but being I don't have a 3d Printer, an outdoor housing might be slightly more expensive for me. With the camera already over $100 and say $20 for a housing, plus the IR. There are plenty of consumer compete cameras out there claiming 1080p, with H.264 with IR included for this price and well under. Which brings me to which ones of these are crap and which ones are not? Else if this camera is really awesome I need a watertight housing to fit this that I can buy.

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New poster but long time forum reader here but this post interested me as I am an Electronics Technician that one of my major responsibilities is installing, maintaining, and repairing CCTV systems.

With home surveillance, you can get some Amazon equipment that will more than likely provide a poor analog signal if it is coax or a digital signal for your IP cameras with probably poor security features or performance.

You can never go wrong with Samsung IP PoE cameras, especially vandal proof. For the majority of locations I work with, these are my number one recommendation to the customer. Yes, they are going to be expensive. However, the value of features and quality of signal that you receive will pay the cameras off. Best bet for a DVR is to either build your own using Linux as the OS for the server or buy a quality server such as Exacqvision. My recommendation is to build your own. Also, check out the Exacqvision website for a calculator that provide adequate storage estimates dependent upon your inputs for the setup.

Another note as mentioned, with time/date stamping, video footage is admissible in the court system. I have a fellow technician that was called into court to testify about frames per second and as a technical expert witness for testimonial purposes.

Also consider a IP PoE PTZ camera that can be setup on a pattern sweep if you have a broad area that you want to have video surveillance. Like I mentioned, you might have to pay more for a great system but that great system is protecting your home or work security.

Any other questions you have, feel free to ask.

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Those Samsungs do look like the bees knees, but at $500 a pop you'd have to be protecting something considerable to get them (most notably because unless you monitor them and can act on what you see instantly, it's mostly just there to prove after the fact who did what as opposed to preventing it from happening in the first place). Those FOSCAM things are 1/4th the price and are still very capable. I can get their outdoor FI9903P model, which does full HD using H.264 at up to 60 FPS, for under 115 euro. So unless their encoder is shit (and the youtube demo videos don't seem to suggest that, but that's what you'd expect from a demo vid) I'd go with those for home security applications.

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