IP Camera Recommendations

Discussion in 'Networking' started by CDLTech, Sep 11, 2016.

  1. CDLTech

    CDLTech New Member

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    I am looking to upgrade to ip cameras with a network dvr. My current analog system is from LTS LTS - Video Solutions for Security Professionals. It is a 4 channel model. I have had it for several years. I am thinking 5+ years. I just had a camera stop working. I don't want to replace it with another analog. So that is why I am looking to upgrade. I will also need suggestions for a POE switch. I have never used one before. I usually buy Netgear or dLink network equipment except for Intel network cards. I have had some friends try TP-Link. So about 3 years ago I bought a gigabit broadband router (wired only). It replaced my Netgear that was only 10/100. My home lan is all gigabit. I am open to other brands. I don't need more than 4 channels but for a good price. I am not against getting an 8 channel.

    I am trying to decide between a NAS based nvr and a traditional nvr (like what I have right now). From what I have seen. The NAS based ones require licenses for x number of cameras. Where the traditional nvr systems don't require them. The advantage to the NAS based nvr's is having more storage.

    Thanks!
     
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  2. Pete L.

    Pete L. Member

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    This is very subjective and really depends on your price range. I am a big fan of Hikvision Cameras but keep in mind that there are a lot of Gray Market ones out there that if you update the firmware you will either brick the camera or you will end up with the camera being in Chinese. This unfortunately is true with a lot of different models. Just make sure you get retail box units and you will be ok.
    Hikivsion also makes NVRs that have POE built in so that would solve a few of your issues.

    From there you can look at Axis and Sony Cameras, we also use a lot of Pelco none of which are "Cheap"

    As for NVR or NAS well that is really a good question, I can say from person experience that the Synology Solution is nice / clean and really simple it is also reliable but to me is expensive even though you can get multiple camera licenses online for a significant discount you still need to factor in the cost of the NAS as well. It is almost offensive how much they charge for the license on top of the NAS and their Surveillance Station Application that runs on the NAS was supposed to have gone through a complete redesign recently but to me is exactly the same. They are also having some issues with various browsers not supporting the "Plug in" needed to view the Camera Recordings / Feeds. Basically the only one working out of the box is Internet Explorer and a 32 Bit version of Firefox. 64 bit FF and Chrome won't work at all and as far as I know there aren't any work around either. They claim that they are going to be revamping the whole application and possibly releasing a dedicated application.

    Something else to consider and this is not just a Synology Issue, when viewing multiple cameras you need a beefy CPU to handle all the different feeds. I mean it you are looking view say 8 cameras on a monitor at once you need something like a Core i7 which is insane as it is a CPU hog.

    I don't have a lot of dedicated NVR Experience but can say that you might consider building a system using Blue Iris which is a really good roll your own NVR Application. This would allow you to use local or network storage as well.

    As for POE Switches you don't need anything fancy unless you want to remotely be able to power cycle a camera (which can come in very handy). All of the Majors offer POE Options if you want managed I am a huge fan of the Cisco SG300-10p, it isn't cheap but it is a great 10 port switch that I have running 8 of my cameras and has been flawless.

    Hope this at least give you a little food for though, let me know if you have any other questions.
     
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  3. JSchuricht

    JSchuricht Active Member

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    I second Hikvision and BlueIris. You can save a bunch of money with the grey market Hikvision Chineese cameras. Just leave the firmware alone and they are fine.
     
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  4. hlidskialf

    hlidskialf New Member

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    +1
    After a fair bit of research this is the same conclusion I came to and have had no issues or complaints about either the cameras or the software.
     
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  5. CDLTech

    CDLTech New Member

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    Thank you for the reply. I looked at the Hikvision that you and others have suggested. I looked on Amazon. The price is not bad brand new. They are cheaper than the analog cameras I bought 5+ years ago. The picture quality is obviously going to be better than what I have right now. The newest one I have is 1.3 720. I think the originals I have are some odd res. I think 540 or something like that. I can tell a difference just between my newer one and my originals.
    One thing I am surprised about is the ip cameras are 100 mbit. I thought, at least for the more expensive models, they would be gigabit. I have been reading reviews on various cameras. Many have commented on the about of streaming that 4 to 8+ cameras can generate. That is why I was considering getting a separate POE switch. The cameras will need the power from them anyway.

    How is the quality of the video and pictures from these cameras? I want to be able to see more detail. I am thinking with 2, 3 and 4 mp. That will not be a problem.

    How is the reliability of the Blue Iris? All of my servers are Debian based. Even though I use windows 10 on my desktop. I haven't run anything that will be up 24/7 in a somewhat demanding role on windows in 17 years.
     
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  6. PigLover

    PigLover Moderator

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    Blue Iris on Windows 10 is rock solid stable. I run it in a VM under Proxmox. There is a simple check-box option to run 'as a service' and you won't have to worry about restarts mucking things up.

    The Android app is reasonable for remote access

    Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk
     
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  7. tullnd

    tullnd Member

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    Well, think about it. They're 4Mb streams at most. You don't need a single gigabit connection. They save money where they can. Now, if you're gonna put more than 8 or so on a switch, make sure it can support that many streams as just Fast Ethernet, so either a higher end fast ethernet or a gigabit switch is a good idea. I like to use old fast ethernet POE+ switches if you can find them. Usually an 8 port is ok, but leaves little room for expansion or other POE+ devices. I tend to prefer 16 port switches just in case.

    I don't personally have anything setup right now, but have helped multiple friends configure Blue Iris setups. It works well, but is very processor intensive. The newer 4.x versions did enable Intel hardware acceleration. I know they were working on nVidia as well, but never followed up to see if it happened or not. Something like an i5 2500k or higher would be a good processor for a 6-7 cam setup in the 3Mp range. Set the stream quality as necessary. Some cams may be oriented in a way that you can drop them to 2Mp and still have more than enough quality, especially if it's not a long throw camera.

    Oh and don't buy all matching cam models. Same manufacturer? Maybe. Same models? Probably not. They make different cameras with different lenses and various focal lengths for a reason. The average home needs a variety. You'll want some outdoor long view bullet cams for the yard and across the front/rear of the home. Maybe a wide angle camera for an entry way/front door. Perhaps some ceiling dome cameras for in corners of the garage or other secured(but not weather exposed) locations.
     
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  8. CDLTech

    CDLTech New Member

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    That is good that you can run it as a service. I've never heard of Proxmox before. I looked at their website. How does it compare to ESXi or Hyper-v?
     
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  9. CDLTech

    CDLTech New Member

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    That is a good point. It all depends on how the network is setup. I think some of the people didn't have a network setup to handle their cameras. Before I noticed that the cameras were 10/100. I thought they were very big bandwidth hogs. Now I think that will not be a problem. I have all gigabit switches.

    I was thinking of getting a higher end i5 or maybe a E3-1230 or 1240 Xeon. Depending on the model they can be $20 to $50 cheaper than the comparable i7. It all depends on the graphics card requirements of Blue Iris. Or if it is all cpu dependent.

    All very good points. I have a dome at the entry door and a bullet looking at the driveway. The bullets look at the side yards. I want to evaluate which cameras to go with in each area. I will probably stick with the dome at the entry door. It seems to do well. I may change the driveway and each side yard. I think part of my issue is the resolution of the cameras I have. They are the oldest I have. I think they are around 500 lines or so. You can really see the difference. I had to replace the dome a couple years ago. Water got into it. I got a 1.2 Mp 720 resolution model. Even on a analog feed it looks pretty good. I am looking forward to having over twice the resolution.
     
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    Last edited: Mar 18, 2017
  10. CDLTech

    CDLTech New Member

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    Oh I just thought of another question. What type of storage would I need for 4 cameras at 4 Mp at either 720 or 1080 for 1 or 2 weeks?
     
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  11. PigLover

    PigLover Moderator

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    Depends. Do you intend to store 7x24, all the video the cameras stream? Or do you intend to store only the "interesting" video based on "triggers" (normally motion detect)?
     
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  12. wiretap

    wiretap Active Member

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    Look up "cctv calculator" and enter your parameters required. It will tell you how much storage you need.

    For example.. 4 cameras @ 30fps 1080p h.264 encoding (high quality 12Mbps per cam) would require ~7.5TB of storage for 2 weeks of 24/7 recording.

    On my system, I choose just to record motion triggered events. If you fine tune your motion detection settings, it can save you a lot of space and make finding events much easier. You'll usually want to tune your motion detection in the dark, since that's your most vulnerable time statistically. If you don't get a camera with good IR, I would recommend installing a few IR illuminators next to / above the cameras so they can see everything with a clear picture at night.
     
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  13. hlidskialf

    hlidskialf New Member

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    I'm also running BlueIris on a Proxmox VM. Runs very smooth. The Android app works very well too from my experience, but there's always a lot of grumbling in the commentary about changes, but I rarely use it.

    As for storage, I only store alerts and it's minimal. (I store it locally for a week, then upload to my NAS for a month after.)
    I have mine on a separate subnet on a 8 port POE switch. Get a decent switch and you can handle the power demands and bandwidth of Hikvision cameras fully utilizing one.

    I've been pleased by my setup and quality of recording with no complaints. (Yet! You know computers.) I'd recommend to take the leap.
     
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  14. tullnd

    tullnd Member

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    For your front door, look at a "compact dome" instead of a regular dome camera. Or the recessed dome option(not sure of pricing on those if they're practical or not). Even at 2Mp, I like the idea of how hidden you could do a recessed dome setup and still get plenty of wide angle visibility(get a 2.8mm lense) of the doorway.
     
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  15. MiniKnight

    MiniKnight Well-Known Member

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    When are we going to see good/ cheap 4K security cameras?

    I saw that post by @PigLover on the package being stolen. Great cameras, but needed 1-2 more angles. I was going to do a single camera but that will just let me dispute if the USPS man really did deliver boxes, not help find who may have lifted them. After PigLover's post I just want to put as many cameras up as possible. Some day soon the software will be able to stitch everything together and give better views.

    Since I think 4K h265 is coming it makes me want to wait to get better picture clarity.
     
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  16. PigLover

    PigLover Moderator

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    In my opinion, getting good angles is much more important than 4k. 1080p is quite detailed. My issue with recognition was the high angle and the perp keeping her head down.

    Sent from my SM-G925V using Tapatalk
     
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  17. CDLTech

    CDLTech New Member

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    Opps I forgot to mention that. I have my existing dvr set to trigger on motion but sometimes it does it to late or not at all. If they have improved the motion detection I will continue to use that. I don't need to record everything all the time.
     
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  18. Fritz

    Fritz Well-Known Member

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    Currently my setup consists of Blue Iris and Win Server 2012 R2 running on a Supermicro server. I have a variety of cameras but just ordered a Hikvision from China to replace one at the back door that died after 3 years of flawless service. It was a EasyN which isn't the best of brands but it worked with Blue Iris so no complains. Blue Iris does all I need it to do and the Android phone app is good too. I tend to buy cameras on the cheap but a year or so ago I bought a Axis for about 700 bucks and after 2 days it stripped a gear and would no long rotate so back it went and I haven't spent over $200 on a camera since. Strangely enough, I have several super cheap Top-201 cameras which are as primitive as they get but they have been super solid performers and at $25 each, a helluva deal. Excellent pic and have never had to touch them since installation. I also have a couple of the same cams with night vision. In the driveway I have a Chinese Grandstream knockoff that's been going strong for also 4 years of flawless service. I have tried a lot of different brands and most have one or more issues. The worst have been Foscam and it's wannabe's. Constant reboots, constantly have to power cycle them when they mysteriously disappear and really poor image quality.

    I highly recommend Blue Iris. It shields you from having to deal with the camera's software which is worth the price of the SW alone.

    Also, I tried Synology NAS but the one I had, a 415j or something like that, could only handle 3 cams at the most before bogging down so it would not work for me. Higher end models might be able to handle more but best to check before buying. But I did like Surveillance Station, it was a nice clean program that worked well. But it would get pricey with a full load of cams. Blue Iris has a limit of 48 cams I think for $69.
     
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  19. CDLTech

    CDLTech New Member

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    Thanks for the information. Looks like I will be trying Blue Iris. I will just need to build a new box for it. I like the idea of rolling my own. I think there are better advantages. I can add more storage for example. Looks like many people like the Hikvision. I will have to read up on all of this during this weekend. I also like the POE. It will be a better setup. Never liked the Siamese cables for the analog cameras. It limited where I could place things. With the POE I can run a cat5e to each camera and call it done.
     
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  20. dgcruiser

    dgcruiser New Member

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    I'm no expert in the field, but I just set up my first POE cameras at home earlier this year.
    I first tried some HIKvision cameras and, as was said, they seemed to be good quality, but the firmware was pretty buggy for me (no I didn't update it). It sounds like I just had a bad experience, but it led me to look for alternatives. In all my research they seem to be the ubiquitous brand, but I didn't have the patience to figure out which ones were the "right" ones to buy.
    I've honestly been very happy with my Amcrest Pro cameras. Their configuration pages are full featured from what I can tell, they've been very stable, and the image quality seems on par with cameras in their price range. Plus they're all in English for sure, which is nice.
    I am also happy with my Netgear POE switch (8 POE and 8 regular gigabit ports). Very basic interface and no bells and whistles like my primary Cisco switch, but it gets the job done, is silent, and has handled the cameras without any problems. The Amcrest app is even pretty functional.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
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