What Camera System for a sprawling home


Active Member
Greetings from Colombia,

So, I got help from the community to decide om the wiring, now it's time to pick equipment...

Looking for a setup, which will support about 40 cameras, when it is fully developed. The house is quirky in shape, so I need a lot of cameras to cover the perimeter...

Also, due to the fact that it is rather rectilinear, I'm thinking of putting a couple PoE switches to collect the camera feeds and run a 10Gb line to the NVR... Will keep the home network separate from the CCTV setup.

Amy recommendation on which cameras I should go with? Hik and Dahua seem quite popular here and I heard of GW... Any other ones I should be looking at?

Any pitfalls to avoid?

I have installed hundreds of Hik and Dahua systems, ranging up to 256 channels each. Personally I would go with Dahua. They tend to work nicer if you have a mix of cameras by different manufacturers.

I would recommend you have a strong IT background to approach a system of this size. It can get fairly complicated pretty quickly.

The network video recorders come in multiples of 4, 8, 16, 32, 64, 128, and 256 channels. Typically the only way to get 40 channels in a single device is to get a 64ch. However, I do not recommend it. Anything larger than 32 channels have a very long lead time, slow to get firmware updates, and are tricky to setup if you are new at it. Get (3) 16ch NVRs, or (2) 32ch, or some other mix. Order all with dual NIC cards in each.

The cameras will have to be individually addressed on a separate IP scheme than your house computers. Get a POE switch for each NVR- "unmanaged" network switches would be best for this particular project.
The second NIC card in each recorder ties to your house network.

The Smart PSS apps can easily view multiple NVRs at the same time on the same screen. No real need to use a single recorder. They are very heavy and very loud.

Hope it helps...
Hello Arcfault,

Thanks for the information. Most useful. By coincidence, there was an article on Hikvision's woes on Bloomberg today. Seems they are getting targeted by US sanctions...

I'll look closer at Dahua, per your recommendation and keep to 3*16channels. Should I stick with Dahua NVRs, or do you recommend something else?

The Dahua and Hik DVRs have several "grades" or recorders.  The smaller ones (4-16ch) typically have 1 network port, and all cameras plug in directly to the DVR.  Normally unless you get creative the cameras cannot use a separate POE switch.  The advantage is that the cameras all auto-address themselves and it's cheaper with less hardware.  The larger recorders ("Pro series" etc) have 2, 3, or 4 network ports.  Each NIC has its own settings and configuration is completely up to you.  It's nice in that you can remotely mount a POE switch wherever there is a cluster of cameras, but you have to keep the network settings straight.
Another strange but often overlooked feature is the HDMI output.  A stack of recorders outputs multiple HDMI feeds.  If you want to view a selection of cameras on a single TV I usually suggest getting a cheap PC and use the software to select what cameras you want to view.
Alarm system touchscreen keypads can sometimes be customized to allow cameras to be viewed at each keypad- which is very slick looking.  Elk, Homeseer, etc can use iPads mounted as keypads.  Honeywell Tuxedos can display most brands of IP cams.  Something you might want to think about.
There are many other brands that I would consider more advanced or "rock solid", but the cost goes up dramatically.  You could go with Exacq or several other US based manufacturers but they get very expensive- a single OEM hard drive can run $700.  Dahua and Hik offer a lot of bang for your buck that's hard to beat elsewhere.
Most consumers don't realize it but Dahua and Hikvision manufacture the majority of surveillance technology coming out of Asia.  Most brands you see online are just rebuilt/relabeled, but it came from them.  The relabeled product has various tweaks and restrictions placed in the programming, usually to restrict what equipment it is compatible with.  IE: a Dahua recorder works with several hundred camera brands, but a relabeled Dahau recorder sometimes only works with the one brand.  It's getting better with OnVIF support but it's by no means perfect.
If they get hit with sanctions I would expect most of the cameras you see on the consumer market to skyrocket in price.  If the sanctions stay in place for a couple years I would expect prices to approach those of US based manufacturers.