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Need a security camera recommendation..


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So I made no provision for security cameras on the house (duh) but would like to retro fit something now as the lad had his bike nicked a few months ago (left it propped up against house in full view)

 

We have an in and out driveway with automated gates each side so probably looking at two cameras to give decent coverage of the frontage but could live with one if it had a suitably wide field of view.

 

Don't really want to make any new penetrations in the house fabric (airtightness, very deep and dense insulation to navigate) but if I did it would be at loft height which may be too high up for cameras to be effective - i.e. about 6m from ground level. If I did entertain that approach I'd be able to wire any camera directly to power and the IP switch.

 

The only alternative to this would be a wireless / battery operated system located at a more sensible height.

 

However I don't mind poking holes in the garage and as it sits directly in front of the entrance gate and level with the house, could give the necessary field of view. That would allow powered camera and potentially access to IP (WiFi for sure and potentially a plug in ethernet solution to get onto the home IP network).

 

I've just upgraded the home NAS to a dual array 4TB system so if that can be used all the better but not necessary. Not crazy about cloud only storage, would like to have a local copy.

 

Open minded on whether I need surveillance on phone.

 

Looked at the usual suspects on Amazon (Ring, Arlo, Eufy etc) and they seem to have very polarised reviews - lots of 1 star comments.

 

So suggestions please!

 

plan.jpg

 

EDIT - here's a birds eye view. Single garage camera could give coverage of frontage if needed.

Edited by Bitpipe
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If you want to waste some time I recommend the IP Cam Talk forums. They're biassed towards BlueIris but there's lots of useful information.

 

https://ipcamtalk.com/wiki/ip-cam-talk-cliff-notes/ has lots of good information about camera selection and location. There's a wiki https://ipcamtalk.com/wiki/

 and a forum https://ipcamtalk.com/forums/

 

I wouldn't use any of the cloud connected cameras; keep everything local and under your own control. (I do have a Eufy wireless doorbell/camera, but only because there's 30-40M from the gate to the house and recordings are stored locally.) I've found WiFi cameras flaky so I will only use wired POE cameras now.

 

I have used BlueIris, but it does demand a fairly powerful PC and the 80+ W  it was using was too much. joth brought Frigate to my attention.

Apart from the nightmare of installation (Linux, lots of magic incantations and a scripting language that's unbelievably sensitive to spaces) it is looking very promising. The trial is running on a fairly low power consumption i5-6260 NUC and is coping with 4 fairly high resolution cameras even without the Coral TPU.

 

I have one of these at our gate https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B083Q52DYM/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

 

One of these https://uk.annke.com/products/c500-zoom at the front door looking at the gate, although I'm going to try one of these https://www.aliexpress.com/item/4001195185878.html?spm=a2g0s.12269583.0.0.188913cbOe7kJa in its' place as the zoom isn't tight enough.

 

 

 

gate.jpg

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I installed a Hikvision system as a lockdown project in my last house, 4 POE cameras with a network video recorder. I'm allergic to subscriptions which is why I chose a system with an NVR. The picture quality was fine, but I installed the cameras too high which meant I couldn't see people's faces well enough. I put the cameras about 3 m off the ground and they really need to be at face height, say no higher than 1.8 m. It didn't help that the ground floor was already about 800 mm above ground level and the camera I put over the front door looking down the driveway didn't get faces. They were easy to set up and I could view them over my phone, but remote viewing really only worked if I was connected to a good wifi. The cellular network was generally not good enough for the pictures to download.

 

I'm not particularly techie though, so wouldn't be surprised if there are better systems out there.

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  • 2 months later...

Hikvision cameras are good quality and good value in my experience. I use BlueIris to manage / access them - but agree with other comments that this needs a pretty serious PC to make work. 

 

I did also buy a Hikvision NVR - but never really got this to work well - and stuck with BlueIris.

 

The key to this kind of IP camera setup is having good CAT5/6 cabling between the cameras and somewhere you can install a PoE switch.

 

Good luck.

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15 minutes ago, reddal said:

Hikvision cameras are good quality and good value in my experience. I use BlueIris to manage / access them - but agree with other comments that this needs a pretty serious PC to make work. 

 

I did also buy a Hikvision NVR - but never really got this to work well - and stuck with BlueIris.

 

The key to this kind of IP camera setup is having good CAT5/6 cabling between the cameras and somewhere you can install a PoE switch.

 

Good luck.

I tried a hikvision dvr aswell . It was crap . Blue iris is ace !

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How much power (Watts) do you find the PC sucks running BlueIris? I only had a low powered NUC but it was still spinning 150W and couldn't do anything to budge it downwards.

I now use https://frigate.video/ and a coral EdgeTPU , much lower demand

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1 hour ago, joth said:

How much power (Watts) do you find the PC sucks running BlueIris? I only had a low powered NUC but it was still spinning 150W and couldn't do anything to budge it downwards.

I now use https://frigate.video/ and a coral EdgeTPU , much lower demand


I’ve been meaning to replace my PC-based CCTV, which must be pulling a constant 100W+, with something lower power. Was looking to see if a Pi 4 would be up to the job but availability has been all but non-existent for a while now. Do you know if an EdgTPU can be plugged into a Pi to support a Frigate-based system? I’m sure it wouldn’t take long to pay for itself..

Edited by MJNewton
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1 hour ago, MJNewton said:

Do you know if an EdgTPU can be plugged into a Pi to support a Frigate-based system?

If you can get a USB one then yes, but they've been unavailable for a year now I think.

I managed to get an M.2 dual tpu and installed it on PCIe via a double stacked adapter board in an old server. Duct tape special but it's working!

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