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SVAT CCTV Systems


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#1 nmcbride

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 09:50 AM

Has anyone had any experience setting these up? Looking at getting a 4 or 8 channel system for my office.

Nathan

#2 chedemefedeme

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 06:18 PM

I've used a number of similar devices (not that exact brand) and honestly have given completely up on analog CCTV. For just slightly more (in your situation perhaps $75 or $100 more) you could go IP. It requires a bit more knowledge, but it's nothing you can't learn if you don't already know it.

The image quality, remote visibility, integration possibilities with other home automation equipment, and ability to place cameras in locations impossible with analog all come together to make IP somewhat of a no brainer. Only thing that used to keep people from it was cost, but a few companies have now brought some really nice IP cams down into the sub $100 price range.

I'd personally recommend a combination of Ubiquiti AirCam (~$100/ea) and BlueIris ($50 for unlimited cam license). You can get the AirCams as weatherproof bullets, indoor domes, or indoor minis. They only need a single cat5 cable run to each for both power and data, and plug right into your home router or network switch. The software is pretty low CPU usage on a half modern computer and, for starters until you want to do a dedicated box, can simply run in the background of any PC you have on all the time at home. I tend to just buy a $99 atom barebone computer on amazon or newegg, throw in an old hard drive, load up windows, and install blue iris. Makes a really affordable box that can interface with perhaps a dozen cameras before its CPU is bogged down. Bigger processors can handle much more. My Xeon quad core server is running BlueIris in a VM that only has two of the cores allocated to it. I run ~25 cameras on it and it really doesn't break a sweat.


Anyhow, in summary, the analog all in one kits are easy, but pretty low quality in both physical build and image quality. You can spend a little more money and invest some time in IP cameras and have a really solid system.

#3 Kazibole

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Posted 29 May 2012 - 07:54 PM

I would agree on going IP. I was also looking at a cheap SVAT bundle but decided against it for various reasons (can't remember them all though).

The research I've done has lead me to either Foscam or Ubiquiti AirCam for cheap cameras. I did purchase one Foscam camera due to the PTZ functionality. Chedemefedeme, how would you rate Uniquiti vs AirCam?

I also tested a bunch of different DVR software awhile ago and Blue Iris is the one I narrowed down to.

#4 Work2Play

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 02:10 AM

I also use the Ubiquiti Aircam (I'm a Ubiquiti dealer) - I think it's a great camera for the price... but they seriously flubbed on having no provisions for night viewing. The built-in lens is IR blocking - and while you can replace it, the software can't handle the correction if you eliminate the IR blocking lens. The result is that the camera not only doesn't have its own light source, but it isn't compatible with external IR illuminators. The only option for night-time viewing is real light, so generally speaking, leaving lights on all night or using motion activated flood lights.

The Foscam is decent - but in itself it isn't weatherproof... there are domes on ebay for about $50, but when using them you have to disable the internal IR and instead use your own IR illuminators. Can't complain about a PTZ w/Dome for $150!

#5 nmcbride

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 08:19 AM

Awesome thanks for the tips, look like I've got some reading to do.

#6 dos46

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 03:31 PM

I also use the Ubiquiti Aircam (I'm a Ubiquiti dealer) - I think it's a great camera for the price... but they seriously flubbed on having no provisions for night viewing. The built-in lens is IR blocking - and while you can replace it, the software can't handle the correction if you eliminate the IR blocking lens. The result is that the camera not only doesn't have its own light source, but it isn't compatible with external IR illuminators. The only option for night-time viewing is real light, so generally speaking, leaving lights on all night or using motion activated flood lights.

The Foscam is decent - but in itself it isn't weatherproof... there are domes on ebay for about $50, but when using them you have to disable the internal IR and instead use your own IR illuminators. Can't complain about a PTZ w/Dome for $150!


How are the Aircams in low light situations?

#7 chedemefedeme

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 04:03 PM

In LOW light the Aircam meets my satisfaction for a $100 camera. Not incredible, but you can see.

In NO light they are worthless. Complete blackness.

I simply use some modest security lighting in areas I have aircams outside in very dark places. No floodlights necessary. I have some gentle, 40w equivalent LED lights every 10 or so feet under the eve of my house that provides some appealing security lighting and is enough for the aircam to see clearly and in color.

If you need true, 100% nightvision aircam is NOT for you. If you can use it where streetlights are present (they do well with streetlights) or some security lighting, you'll be fine.

#8 pete_c

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 09:45 PM

Here's a night view of the Aircam and a generic megapixel $127 import at 640X368 resolution.

The IP cameras are sitting about 10 inches from each other. The generic IP camera has a 3.6mm lens on it.

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#9 pete_c

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Posted 30 May 2012 - 10:49 PM

Here's a day picture of the Aircam and the generic IP camera.

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#10 pete_c

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 06:51 AM

Here's a current side by side view of the Aircam next to generic IP Camera adjusting the view a bit.

Attached File  sidebysideday-1.jpg   46.95K   42 downloads

#11 dos46

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 08:31 AM

I was also looking at these IP Camera's the Foscam FI8904W (3.6mm lens) or the Foscam FI8905W (6.0mm lens). They both can be had for about the same price as the AirCam but I'm not sure how they compare to the aircam.

#12 pete_c

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 11:07 AM

The Foscam's are not Megapixel with maximum resolution at 640X480. That said you have more features with the Foscam. CPU is a bit slow though. I have one in the garage. The newest PT Foscam illuminates the entire inside of the garage with no light; you can see the LEDs at night on the camera. During the day though with the garage opening or closing it takes about 5-10 seconds for the camera to adjust to the light. You can also lock up the Foscam by telling it to do "stuff" in quick sucessions.

#13 dos46

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 12:28 PM

pete_c can you use the AirCam with your own NVR such as a box with ZoneMinder (http://zoneminder.com) or blueiris?

I recall reading that the ubnt cameras only play nice with their software (which is free).

#14 pete_c

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Posted 31 May 2012 - 05:36 PM

I am using the Aircam with ZoneMinder (http://zoneminder.com). Works fine with RTSP. Their software comes in Wintel / Linux. I have read the Linux version's roots are in ZoneMinder (http://zoneminder.com). I've tried HD recording for short periods of time; nothing over a day though. I have 8 analog and 6 IP cameras set up right now. Here is a snapshot of the Foscam in the garage. I had to play a bit with the ZM ring buffer such that it wouldn't lock up the Foscam.

Attached is another Aircam picture. This one is HD and cropped a bit to fit.

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#15 Work2Play

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Posted 01 June 2012 - 12:52 AM

I believe Electron is using the aircam with Vitamin D. I also found a working mobile app that can view the stream on iOS and android - its IP Cam Viewer Pro.




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