Outdoor camera and DVR card experiment


Active Member
An inexpensive solution as a first time experiment with a security camera and DVR card.
Camera - Swann Bulldog outdoor camera - 1/4 CCD, 420 TVL, 510x492, 12 LEDs - $77.
Q-See 4-channel DVR PCI card - $80.
So for $157 I can experiment with a camera and DVR card and see what happens. I can always list it on eBay if all else fails. Any comments? How bad can it be for $157?
Oops! Bulldog camera is indoor since temp range is 32F+. They have a Maxi Day/Night for $120.
I use the bulldog outside... hmmm, maybe that is why the IR lights don't work anymore =)

Note that Swann & Q-see's DVR cards are 320x240 so that fancy CCD camera will just look like 240line CMOS crap. Actually all of mine look decent at 320x240, the CCD looks just like the CMOS ones though.

My ebay Kodicomm does not run right in 640x480 mode so have never been able to appriciate them.

Yes that is a good way to start, but beware, that is how I started and now I have 3 4-channel cards and a whole box of cameras I don't use any more... So if you think you are going to want more, stay as cheap as possible because you will need the money to replace it all.

Well is subjective.

The Swann & Q-see cards do work well, but they are 320x240 and do not have PDA support.

The Kodicomm clone works real well if you have the correct chipset, CPU and video card (I am missing 1 component and it works good, except 640x480 glitches out) Plus you need to use version 4.11 of the software and that will start to suck as new features come out.

I also own a 4-channel DigiView and it works fine but is 640x240 max resolution. Which is odd, but it runs great.

But to answer your question like you meant: I have never found a high FPS card that does 640x480 for under $500 that is sold via a reputable dealer and not Chinese pirate stuff...

So, taking a shot off of e-bay was still the best option if you want everything cheap, but you will have to deal with the lack of support, etc. Else, be happy with 320x240 and buy a $50-$100 card.

ver0776 said:
...but they are 320x240 and do not have PDA support.
So what is the "best" 4-camera card/camera combo that specifically supports a PDA (WinMo5 in my case)....

I would love to experiment with remote security cameras, but for now only use my little Linksys internet cam...
The more I explore fixed outdoor day/night cameras, the Vitek VTC-LED667HRCB seems to be coming out on top - $156 - 1/3" CCD, 480 TVL, 768x494. The VTC-LED667CB is $117 - 380 TVL, 1/4" CCD, 510x492. What about using 2 single channel DVR PCI cards? I am updating my AMD 64 3200+ to the dual core 4400+ with 2GB RAM so I do not think CPU horsepower will be a problem.
Found this card on eBay from GESS-Inc ay $60.
DVR 114M - 60fps per card - so I guess 4 cameras would be 15 fps each.
# MPEG4 software compression
# Display and record resolution : 320X240 / 352X288 / 640X480
# 1-4 channels video input 60 fps per card. Max 3 cards
Anyone ever hear of these guys? a US company - Miami Lakes - I guess Florida.
Another 4 channel card - seems to indicate 30fps per channel! $225 (They have a 20fps per channel 4 channel card for $155). Can this be correct?
Lake Worth, FL 33467
Each Geovision Surveillance System Kit includes:
- 1 Geovision 7.04 Kit
- 1 Geovision DVR Video Capture Card
- All BNC video and RCA Audio Connections Needed
- 1 User Manual
- A 1 Year Warranty
- Free UPS Ground Shipping
- Free Tech Support

Input Type GV-600 BNC: BNC X 4
GV-600 D-Type: DB15 X 2
Video Input(s) 4
Audio Input(s) 1 channel
Recording Rate 30fps (NTSC), 25fps (PAL).
Display Rate 30fps (NTSC), 25fps (PAL).
Video Resolution 320x240, 640x240, 640x480, 640x480 S/W
Compression Format Wavelet, MPEG-4, GeoMPEG-4
GV-DSP Support Yes
GV-A16 Support Yes
GV-NET/IO Card Support Yes
Dimensions GV-600 BNC: 132mm x 100mm
Look at this 2 camera DVR kit for $400.
Camera DVR kit
Includes everything needed except computer. This is perfect for a complete digital 2 camera system for the home or business. Motion detection, object counting, remote internet viewing come standard with the award winning Geovision DVR Card.

Geovision 20 FPS DVR Card and Software

2 Cameras and Mounting Brackets

2 Power Supplies

2 65 Foot Power/Video Cables

All connections for smooth installation.

Camera Specs:

This camera can be used both outdoors as it is weatherproof and waterproof. With 480 Lines of Color Resolution and automatic switching to B/W Infrared mode this is a true Day/Night camera. Furnished with a Sony Super HAD CCD and 6mm lens. The 20 infrared LED's help capture an excellent picture in complete darkness (0 Lux). Also furnished with a 1000mA DC power supply to maximize night time performance.

SONY 1/3" Super HAD CCD

Waterproof Housing

Powerful function : AGC control: Auto

Lens: 6mm Lens


• Image Pick-up Device: 1/3" SONY SuperHAD CCD

• Video System: NTSC

• Pixel:NTSC:512(H)*492(V)

• Horizontal Resolution: 480TV Lines

• S/N Ratio(AGC Off): =48dB

• Video output frequency: 1.0Vp-p/75 Ohm

• Lens Image Function: Standard / Lens Image

• Electronic shutter time: 1/60-1/100,000second

• Minimum illumination(F1.2): 0.8 Lux(AGC ON)

• AGC Control: Auto

• Backlighting compensation: Auto

• IR Light Distance: 15-20M

• Power Supply: DC 12V <150mA

• Power Consumption: DC 12V,120mA

• Operation Temperature:-20c~+50c?

• Color Waterproof Day & Night Camera

Major Geovision DVR Card Features
- Windows based GUI user interface
- Build-in motion detection
- Integrated video server
- MPEG4 and Wavelet compression
- Up to 4 audio recording channels
- Up to 640x480 video resoltion
- Smart Recording Technology
- Support dual screen display
- Alarm alerts to e-mail and telephone
- Hardware watchdog feature
- Multi-level password protection
- Backup video files to internet, external, or network storage
- Simultaneous recording and playback
- Video lost detection
- Full screen display
- Backup to DVD, CD, ZIP, Jaz, and network hard disk
- Support various PTZ protocols
- Supports NTSC and PAL standards
- Flexible I/O configuration
- Connect up to 72 external inputs or 144 relay outputs
- Support dynamic IP address

Main Application
- Up to 16 channels of digital recording
- Embedded PTZ palette
- Post alarm recording
- Independent recording quality and frame rate adjustment
- Digital watermark authentication
- Build in multiplexer display
- Scheduled, continuous, and motion detection recording

Remote Playback System
- Remote playback recording videos
- Multiple Search Functions
- Export video clips into avi file
- Address book functions
- Superior playback quality
- Capture, save, and print recored video clips
- Simultaneously playback multiple channels

Webcam System
- Connect to multiple servers simulaneously
- Remote playback over the internet
- Display up to 16 cameras on a single page
- Mobile surveillance using i-mode
I have some experience with the geovision DVR cards, and they are pretty good IMO. I set up a 4 camera install using the GV-800. The software that comes with it is the best I've seen, scheduled backups, motion activation, mask areas, web access, etc. Even though the card was using 30 fps per channel, the video wasn't entirely smooth, but that could of been the cheaper cameras I was using. Only draw back I see on them is the price.

The GV-600-4 is 4 video 1 audio 30fps. I assumed that meant 30fps per channel.
The GV-800-4 is 4 video 4 audio 120 fps. You are saying that this means 120fps per card or 30fps per channel if 4 channels are being used. Then the 30fps GV-600-4 would only be 7.5fps if 4 channels are being used. I think I will call them this morning.

the video wasn't entirely smooth, but that could of been the cheaper cameras I was using.
What camera were you using? I am looking at the Sony outdoor day/night that CCTVSpecialityhas.