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post #1 of 66 Old 08-06-2017, 08:55 PM - Thread Starter
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Looking for a camera security system.

What's the difference between getting a camera vs. an IP camera?

How can I get help with installation? Is there a service that will install for me? Can someone do a site evaluation first?

I know Best Buy's Geek Squad does it. It's $100 for a 90 minute site evaluation. Are there any other options for site evaluation? And then after that, how can I get help with installation? What other installation services are there?

I want at least 6 cameras and a 2TB storage. I don't want a cloud storage subscription. I want local storage.

And I want 24/7 recording, not motion based recording.

I think I'm going to record in 720p so I can get 30+ days of recording, but want the option to record in 1080p too.

Here's what I've researched:

* Companies like Q-See and Lorex can provide an 8 channel camera and DVR/NVR system, but the cameras have to be wired to the DVR. Either using BNC cables, or ethernet cables.

All of the cameras have to be wired to the same DVR, so there's going to be wires everywhere.

Costco has an 8 camera 2TB Q-See package for $400, or a 16 channel, 8 camera 2TB package for $500.

* Companies like Nest and Canary provide wireless cameras, but you have to subscribe to cloud storage to make it worthwhile. They don't offer local storage.

* Arlo provides wireless cameras, and you can provide your own local USB storage.

https://www.costco.com/Arlo-Pro-Smar...DBVefceV2Jo%3D

But you can only connect to 5 cameras for free, and it only records when it detects motion.

* Night Owl has wireless cameras and a wireless DVR.

http://nightowlsp.com/products/camer...vr201-88p.html

But it only records when it detects heat and motion.


Also, the hard drive in that package is only 1 TB. I can get a refurbished 6TB wireless DVR for $500. But this is the most expensive option with that 8 camera and 1 TB package for $950, and I don't like detection based recording, plus I'd have to get the 6TB hard drive to get the capacity I really want (at least 2 TB).

* Also, not available through Costco, but Q-See (first company above) also has a wireless camera, and wireless DVR. But it's only a 4 channel DVR. I want at least 6 cameras. I had to call them to find out this newer option. It's not available on Costco. And the hard drive is only 1 TB.

* LaView has some options too:

6 regular camera system with 2TB ($549):

https://www.laviewsecurity.com/produ...amera-2tb.html

6 IP camera system with 2TB ($899):

https://www.laviewsecurity.com/produ...amera-2tb.html
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post #2 of 66 Old 08-07-2017, 05:59 AM
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I have no affiliation with this company. I am just a customer of theirs who started with a 4 camera setup and now have a 13 camera system. If you go to their site, you can get all your questions answered in a more professional and technical way than I possibly could answer them.

IP Cameras all the way around for sure. For ease of installation, ability to make up the camera and the NVR ends of the cables with a simple inexpensive crimping tool, I can't imagine doing anything other than IP cameras. If you have specific questions feel free to ask but I can assure you, you will get a more accurate answers to all your questions if you spoke to them directly.

The company is SECURITY CAMERA WAREHOUSE.
https://www.security-camera-warehous...FcdAhgodve0G9g

None of the people you speak to are on commission. When you start with one rep. you don't have to call back and try to reach him to pick up from where you left off, anyone can help you and they will. What I like the most dealing with them is the fact that you get a LIFETIME SUPPORT. They are never short with their answers and will spend as much time as you need to help you going, installation and support. They can do a remote to your system when you have issues or questions. Not long ago we had an incident in the neighborhood and police needed some footage of my system to identify some people and their car. I was unable to extract the video sinc I had never done it before. They spend almost an hour on the phone with me and the police helping the transfer the footage from my laptop to a USB stick or evidence.

My only recommendation is get an NVR that can expand. I started with one capable of 8 cameras, since I only had 4 cameras to begin with. It wasn't long before I exceeded the limits of the 8 camera NVR. I traded it in for a 16 camera NVR and couldn't be happier.
When you choose cameras and when you add more cameras go with the HIGHEST RESOLUTION cameras you can afford. Price difference between the 2-3-4 MP cameras are minimal. You can also buy an NVR from them and add your OWN hard drive(s).

As for their pricing... I had a local security company who has done my home see me doing all the cabling and installing the cameras and they wanted to know where I got my stuff and what I paid. He was impressed that they were the SAME IDENTICAL cameras they were using sold under different brand names and the prices were lower than what he was paying to buy them at wholesale.

If I sound too enthusiastic about them, please don't mistake me as a shill for them. I am only a customer.

They have all the software you will need to make the system work on your PC, Iphone, Android and even Mac.
Try them.
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post #3 of 66 Old 08-07-2017, 06:17 AM
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Sounds like you want to buy a system. The problem with that is when something needs to be replaced, it might mess up the entire setup. Better to have components that are compatible with other components.
Also, some software doesn't allow 24/7 recording, so be sure to check on that.
Some basic things that work for me:
Use PoE routers (power over ethernet). That way you can run low voltage ethernet lines to each camera but don't need to worry about providing power (which is higher voltage and requires more know how to install).
Then, get IP cameras that accept the power and data transfer over ethernet. I like to shop for cameras at a company called Nellie's security (on the web). Note that some cameras carry sound and some don't. Night vision capability (distance) is a big difference between cameras. Also, how obvious are the night vision lights? IMO best is not being visible at night to the naked eye.
For software, I use Blue Iris. It isn't that expensive and does the 24/7 thing that I wanted. You can also get alerts or mark motion events while still doing 24/7 recording. The web site has a list of cameras that are known to work. Other cameras can probably be made to work too, it depends on the protocols.
I store the data on a desktop computer, not a DVR. It is mostly dedicated for this. Just needs adequate video capability and hard drive.
The cameras themselves (from the companies I have tried) have rather poor instructions and setup software, that is where you might want help (but eventually I can figure them out). Running the ethernet line just depends on your do it yourself level.
In general, I find the network setup much more robust if I assign each camera's MAC address to permanently have a certain IP address in my router.
The room I could drop lines from the roof to a PoE router is not next to my regular router or my computer. So what I actually have is a computer connected wirelessly to my network in one room. In another room I have the PoE router connected to a wireless bridge. Then the wires go from the PoE router to each camera. You can stack multiples of these, I believe. I have a 4 channel PoE router so I don't have to do this as I only have 4 cameras. I ran the lines in the attic above the insulation. Then they go out on to the roof to reach my camera points.
You need really long ethernet cable and you don't want splices outside if possible, where they would be exposed to the elements.

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post #4 of 66 Old 08-07-2017, 01:46 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AErcen View Post
I have no affiliation with this company. I am just a customer of theirs who started with a 4 camera setup and now have a 13 camera system. If you go to their site, you can get all your questions answered in a more professional and technical way than I possibly could answer them.

IP Cameras all the way around for sure. For ease of installation, ability to make up the camera and the NVR ends of the cables with a simple inexpensive crimping tool, I can't imagine doing anything other than IP cameras. If you have specific questions feel free to ask but I can assure you, you will get a more accurate answers to all your questions if you spoke to them directly.
Functionally, what are the pros of an IP camera vs. an analog camera?

Both of these come with non IP cameras, right?

https://www.costco.com/Q-See-8-Chann...100282096.html

https://www.costco.com/Lorex-16-Chan...100308823.html

But this next one comes with IP cameras?

https://www.costco.com/Lorex-8-Chann...100341507.html


What do you mean "ability to make up the camera"?


Why is installation of an IP camera easier? Is there something about connecting PoE cables that's easier than BNC cables?
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post #5 of 66 Old 08-07-2017, 01:54 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AErcen View Post

The company is SECURITY CAMERA WAREHOUSE.
https://www.security-camera-warehous...FcdAhgodve0G9g

None of the people you speak to are on commission. When you start with one rep. you don't have to call back and try to reach him to pick up from where you left off, anyone can help you and they will. What I like the most dealing with them is the fact that you get a LIFETIME SUPPORT. They are never short with their answers and will spend as much time as you need to help you going, installation and support. They can do a remote to your system when you have issues or questions. Not long ago we had an incident in the neighborhood and police needed some footage of my system to identify some people and their car. I was unable to extract the video sinc I had never done it before. They spend almost an hour on the phone with me and the police helping the transfer the footage from my laptop to a USB stick or evidence.

My only recommendation is get an NVR that can expand. I started with one capable of 8 cameras, since I only had 4 cameras to begin with. It wasn't long before I exceeded the limits of the 8 camera NVR. I traded it in for a 16 camera NVR and couldn't be happier.
When you choose cameras and when you add more cameras go with the HIGHEST RESOLUTION cameras you can afford. Price difference between the 2-3-4 MP cameras are minimal. You can also buy an NVR from them and add your OWN hard drive(s).

As for their pricing... I had a local security company who has done my home see me doing all the cabling and installing the cameras and they wanted to know where I got my stuff and what I paid. He was impressed that they were the SAME IDENTICAL cameras they were using sold under different brand names and the prices were lower than what he was paying to buy them at wholesale.

If I sound too enthusiastic about them, please don't mistake me as a shill for them. I am only a customer.

They have all the software you will need to make the system work on your PC, Iphone, Android and even Mac.
Try them.
Thanks for the recommendation.

Did you mount everything yourself? If I wanted a professional installation for mounting the cameras, who or what service options are there?
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post #6 of 66 Old 08-07-2017, 01:56 PM - Thread Starter
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Also, how obvious are the night vision lights? IMO best is not being visible at night to the naked eye.
Are you asking how visible are my motion sensor lights which I have (not related to any camera security system)?
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post #7 of 66 Old 08-07-2017, 02:05 PM - Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by highmr View Post
Sounds like you want to buy a system. The problem with that is when something needs to be replaced, it might mess up the entire setup. Better to have components that are compatible with other components.
Also, some software doesn't allow 24/7 recording, so be sure to check on that.
Some basic things that work for me:
Use PoE routers (power over ethernet). That way you can run low voltage ethernet lines to each camera but don't need to worry about providing power (which is higher voltage and requires more know how to install).
Then, get IP cameras that accept the power and data transfer over ethernet. I like to shop for cameras at a company called Nellie's security (on the web). Note that some cameras carry sound and some don't. Night vision capability (distance) is a big difference between cameras. Also, how obvious are the night vision lights? IMO best is not being visible at night to the naked eye.
For software, I use Blue Iris. It isn't that expensive and does the 24/7 thing that I wanted. You can also get alerts or mark motion events while still doing 24/7 recording. The web site has a list of cameras that are known to work. Other cameras can probably be made to work too, it depends on the protocols.
I store the data on a desktop computer, not a DVR. It is mostly dedicated for this. Just needs adequate video capability and hard drive.
The cameras themselves (from the companies I have tried) have rather poor instructions and setup software, that is where you might want help (but eventually I can figure them out). Running the ethernet line just depends on your do it yourself level.
In general, I find the network setup much more robust if I assign each camera's MAC address to permanently have a certain IP address in my router.
The room I could drop lines from the roof to a PoE router is not next to my regular router or my computer. So what I actually have is a computer connected wirelessly to my network in one room. In another room I have the PoE router connected to a wireless bridge. Then the wires go from the PoE router to each camera. You can stack multiples of these, I believe. I have a 4 channel PoE router so I don't have to do this as I only have 4 cameras. I ran the lines in the attic above the insulation. Then they go out on to the roof to reach my camera points.
You need really long ethernet cable and you don't want splices outside if possible, where they would be exposed to the elements.
Can I use the router I currently have for my home network?
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post #8 of 66 Old 08-07-2017, 03:27 PM
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Can I use the router I currently have for my home network?
Yes, you'll just need to use power inserters or a POE switch to get power to the cameras.
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post #9 of 66 Old 08-07-2017, 05:49 PM
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Functionally, what are the pros of an IP camera vs. an analog camera?

"The best analog surveillance camera still can't hold a candle to the worst IP camera when it comes to the resolution of the image it captures. At best, an analog camera can manage the equivalent of less than half a megapixel, whereas a Megapixel camera wouldn't be much good if it didn't produce an image of at least ONE of the things it's named after. Many of the Everfocus cameras we stock are available in 1.3, 2, or 3mp configurations, which is far better quality than you could hope to achieve with a traditional CCTV camera. Additionally, IP cameras capture a much wider field of view than comparable analog cameras, meaning a single IP camera is potentially able to do the job of three to four of the old school cams"
"In a traditional analog DVR set-up, each camera must be connected directly to the DVR. IP cameras can circumvent this through the use of switches, which allow cameras in close proximity to each other to be connected to a single switch, which then runs a single wire to the NVR (Network Video Recorder). This reduces the amount of cabling runs, which makes it ultimately less labor intensive, and also allows you to connect more cameras because you're no longer limited by the number of ports on your DVR. On top of that, using a PoE (Power over Ethernet) switch allows your Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable to run the signal AND provide power to your camera, eliminating the need for a separate power supply"

Both of these come with non IP cameras, right?
https://www.costco.com/Q-See-8-Chann...100282096.html


No. This is an analog system. It says so in their own ad.

https://www.costco.com/Lorex-16-Chan...100308823.html

No. This also is an analog system. It says so right on top of the ad

But this next one comes with IP cameras?
https://www.costco.com/Lorex-8-Chann...100341507.html


Yes


What do you mean "ability to make up the camera"?

It was a typo. I meant to say -ability to make up the CABLE ends.The cable that connects the camera and the NVR. Good luck doing that with the cables on analog cameras that use BNC connectors. With IP cameras you can buy a spool of CAT5 cable an run a single cable long distances and cut the cable crimp the ends without buying pre-made cables. The inexpensive CAT 5 cable would carry the DC voltage to power the cameras, as well as the video signal and audio where employed. NOT so with the expensive coaxial cable. You would still need DC voltage to power the cameras with another wire that piggy-backs the coaxial cable.


Why is installation of an IP camera easier? Is there something about connecting PoE cables that's easier than BNC cables?

I think all those questions can be easily answered with a simple search or going to the link I provided. Like I said you can give those people or any other company that sells this stuff and ask THEM the same questions. Let whomever you decide to patronize answer those questions for you so there is an accountability on their part. Me and others giving you our own opinions don't have anything to gain or lose if we provided bad information.
CAT cables are easier to work with. Single CHEAP cable is all you need between the camera and the NVR. Try pricing BNC connectors. Go to YouTube and look for "how to attach BNC connectors to coax cable", you will quickly learn the answer to your question why it is easier.

The packages sold at Home Depot, Costco, or Staples all come with a set length of cables, don't they? Are they long enough to place the cameras where you want them? What THEN? Have you done a site study that will help you determine how many cameras you will need or the proper coverage? The link I gave you will help you with it.


Did you mount everything yourself? If I wanted a professional installation for mounting the cameras, who or what service options are there?
Yes I mounted them where I wanted them. The cameras and the system I used are PLUG and PLAY. I didn't have to buy any software, or do any programming. I hooked everything up where I wanted. The cameras come with the hardware, connectors, screws needed including the weatherproof housing and connectors. Once I mounted them where I want them, I called Security camera warehouse and they did a remote connection to my Laptop and set everything up. 30 minutes on the phone I was up and running. I also installed the software for my IPad, iPhone and my Desktop PC. They did all the software installation remotely while I watched. NO CHARGE.
If you don't want to climb ladders or crawl in attics running wires and installing cameras yourself, you can call ANY one of the Security companies in your town. They'll do it for you but they WILL charge plenty. With the company I went, there are no monthly fees, any contracts, or any monitoring. You do it all. You can monitor your cameras from anywhere in the world as long as you have a cell phone or a laptop or a computer.

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Last edited by AErcen; 08-07-2017 at 06:01 PM.
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post #10 of 66 Old 08-07-2017, 08:22 PM
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Are you asking how visible are my motion sensor lights which I have (not related to any camera security system)?
No. Many cameras have night vision. This is generally IR which is non visible spectrum, but often times there are glaringly obvious red lights visible to the naked eye. This can be annoying and makes the cameras easier to avoid (by a burglar, for example). If you want them to be deterrent you might want the visible red lights, though.

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Can I use the router I currently have for my home network?
You can connect your existing wireless and wired router (in my case a wireless bridge) to a wired PoE router. If you use IP cameras then the PoE router is a convenient way to access them. If you want "wireless" IP cameras you will need to provide power to them but then you don't need the PoE router. My preference was to not run new power line, hence the PoE which only requires running ethernet.

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post #12 of 66 Old 08-08-2017, 10:49 AM - Thread Starter
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What do you mean "ability to make up the camera"?

It was a typo. I meant to say -ability to make up the CABLE ends.The cable that connects the camera and the NVR. Good luck doing that with the cables on analog cameras that use BNC connectors. With IP cameras you can buy a spool of CAT5 cable an run a single cable long distances and cut the cable crimp the ends without buying pre-made cables. The inexpensive CAT 5 cable would carry the DC voltage to power the cameras, as well as the video signal and audio where employed. NOT so with the expensive coaxial cable. You would still need DC voltage to power the cameras with another wire that piggy-backs the coaxial cable.


Thank you. I hadn't considered just buying a spool of CAT5, and then crimping it. It does make it easier to install, and provides an alternative to pre-made cables.



Quote:
Originally Posted by AErcen View Post
The packages sold at Home Depot, Costco, or Staples all come with a set length of cables, don't they? Are they long enough to place the cameras where you want them? What THEN? Have you done a site study that will help you determine how many cameras you will need or the proper coverage? The link I gave you will help you with it.

I want to do a site survey. Hence another item of information I was looking for in this thread. I went to your link again. You are right, that company says they do a free floorpan service.

Thanks for the other answers too. Once I decide what system to get, I will check with security companies to see how they price installation.

I don't have a ladder (only some step ladders), nor a car big enough to transport one. Plus I'd prefer someone else going up to the roof area.


One more question. How can I get a better estimate of how many hours/days can be recorded? Is there a chart somewhere that says if I have X size hard drive and I record at 720p, then this is the number of days or hours? And the same for 1080p, 3MP. Or is there a ratio? Such as 1 hour at 720p takes much this much space, and 1080p takes up this much, and 3 MP takes up this much.
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post #13 of 66 Old 08-08-2017, 10:51 AM - Thread Starter
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No. Many cameras have night vision. This is generally IR which is non visible spectrum, but often times there are glaringly obvious red lights visible to the naked eye. This can be annoying and makes the cameras easier to avoid (by a burglar, for example). If you want them to be deterrent you might want the visible red lights, though.

Thanks.
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post #14 of 66 Old 08-08-2017, 10:59 AM - Thread Starter
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I'm going to call some of the companies and also ask some of the same questions. I just want other peoples' opinions too, that aren't affiliated with any company.
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post #15 of 66 Old 08-08-2017, 12:36 PM - Thread Starter
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If I want to use a HDTV downstairs that would be connected to the NVR, as well as use a monitor upstairs for viewing the cameras, what would be the best way to do that?

Like if I wanted a wall mounted monitor upstairs that I could just turn on and view the cameras. That would be the sole purpose of the upstairs monitor.

I would need to duplicate the HDMI signal from the NVR, right? So that one would go to the TV downstairs, and one to the monitor upstairs?

Would I need something like this?

https://www.amazon.com/Actiontec-SBW...V40NFAVQ6XDSZC


Or would there be a "in the wall" solution where they could split and route the cable upstairs?
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post #16 of 66 Old 08-08-2017, 01:48 PM
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Quote:
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One more question. How can I get a better estimate of how many hours/days can be recorded? Is there a chart somewhere that says if I have X size hard drive and I record at 720p, then this is the number of days or hours? And the same for 1080p, 3MP. Or is there a ratio? Such as 1 hour at 720p takes much this much space, and 1080p takes up this much, and 3 MP takes up this much.
At the link I provided to you, there is a calculator that will answer those questions or you.

https://www.security-camera-warehous...alculator.php/

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post #17 of 66 Old 08-08-2017, 03:11 PM - Thread Starter
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At the link I provided to you, there is a calculator that will answer those questions or you.

https://www.security-camera-warehous...alculator.php/
Thanks.

I called Swann and Lorex, as these are the two models I'm narrowing in on.

https://www.costco.com/Swann-16-Chan...100144944.html

https://www.costco.com/Lorex-16-Chan...100290776.html

Here were their answers.

+++++++++++++++

Swann:

* Hard drive is expandable, there's a second slot.

I asked if I put on a second hard drive, would they work in conjunction. As in, when recording on one filled up, would it go to the next? The person said no, putting in a second hard drive acts as a replacement for the other.

I'm going to call again and ask, maybe I'll get someone else.

* I asked about installation. They referred me to their preferred 3rd party company, Installer Net.

* I asked about recording capacity for a 3TB. While I trust the link above more, here were their answers.

* @ 3MP, ~ 7 days
@ 1080p, ~ 10 days.

I think I need to ask what the recording frame rate is, and whether it's configurable. They did say that @ 3MP, it records at 15 frames/sec.

* Up to 6 TB per hard drive slot.

Installer Net:

* Installation is $100-$200 per camera.

Factors that affect the rate per camera are:

* Whether it's more than 60 feet away from the NVR.
* The mounting surface.
* How much the cables are concealed. Do I want it on the ceiling, or behind the wall?
* If I want it configured to the internet. If I want it accessible on a mobile device, they'll have to do port forwarding, which will increase the installation rate.

Lorex:

* Hard drive is expandable, there's a second slot. Each slot can be expanded up to 6 TB. This person said the hard drives would work in conjunction.
* I asked about installation. They said to look for CCTV installer companies.
* I asked about recording capacity for 3 TB.

Their estimates:

@ 3MP, 7-10 days
@ 1080p, ~ 1.5 weeks
@ 720p, ~ 3 weeks

+++++++++++++++++++++

Using the calculator above from @AErcen , if I want 8 cameras @ 1080p, 30 frames/sec and 30 days of recording, I would need 14G. @ 720p, 10G. If I use 6 cameras, it's 10.2 G @ 1080p and 7.4G @ 720p.

How many frames should I do? 30? 15?
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post #18 of 66 Old 08-08-2017, 03:26 PM - Thread Starter
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If I'm going to replace the hard drive, I might as well max out the capacity and replace both.

I can get the Lorex model with 2TB instead of 3TB:

https://www.costco.com/Lorex-8-Chann...100341507.html

And get 2 of these and put them in both slots:

https://www.amazon.com/6TB-Hard-Driv...n%3A8067154011

Are there any data transfer rates or other specs for the hard drives that I should look at?
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post #19 of 66 Old 08-08-2017, 04:06 PM
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Buddy,
I tried to help you the best way I could, but I don't think I am doing much good. You sound like you have made your mind up and know what you want.

If you had listened to me and called the people I recommended, ALL your questions would have been answered more accurately that they have been so far. As a matter of fact you could have called one of MANY places that sell this stuff. I mentioned SCW because that is ALL they sell. No alarms, car stereos, TV's or camera equipment. They know their stuff. I bet there are others who do also. I have an experience with them and don't with the others.

The beauty of it is, you don't even have to buy anything from them to have your questions answered.
How knowledgeable is the Costco cashier and how well can they answer your questions?

They are ALL expandable if you buy an NVR that has more ports than the initial number of cameras you bought with it. I think that was my FIRST advice to you. Buy an NVR that is capable of expansion. Especially the way you are going about this, it is almost a given without the proper site study you will discover you don't have coverage here and there, then you will decide it would be nice to have a camera pointed at your door or your mail box or maybe an indoor camera or two..etc. etc. At that point you have an NVR that can't handle the load and you have to discard it or try selling it on Craig's List for $50.00

When I bought my system, I was able to buy an NVR bare without any hard drives. It is easier to buy them on New Egg or Amazon. They are not just regular run of the mill hard drives either. They are purpose built Hard Drives for Security Camera work. In pre packaged systems you are likely to encounter at Costco or Home Depot I doubt they are going to let you take out whatever HD the manufacturer included and give you credit for it so you can buy your own. Whatever is in it will definitely be no enough storage for what you are trying to do. If it comes with a 2TB and you add a 6TB you are done. There is usually no a THIRD bay to install another If you start with one bay already occupied and you want more storage. You can sell THAT hard drive on CL also along with the NVR to free up the bay. That too should get you $50.

You see where I am going with this? By buying a package you are denying yourself the ability to customize it for your own needs. They are deciding the length of the cable, the size of the NVR, the hard drives, and the number of cameras, as well as the KIND of cameras. Are all the cameras for identical purpose? Do they cover 30-60-90 degrees? Do you need 30-60-90 coverage? Do you need the same camera for your front door as you do for your backyard or your mail box? Probably not. What customization are you able to do? NONE.

All you are doing is saving a few bucks on the package, only to turn around spend $100-$200 to install each camera? Some of my cameras did not even cost $200. I am using 4 different cameras for different purposes. That is what ala carte purchase allows you do to.

I am not surprised the installers will charge you based on the distance of the camera from the NVR. They probably don't want to make up cables and cable ends either.
If you really don't want to do any of the work yourself, find a local company and let them do everything including purchasing the equipment from them. I seriously doubt they would charge you $200 to install their own equipment.

Installation rate goes up if you want to be able to view your cameras on the internet? Are you kidding me? I think I also mentioned this earlier. If you deal with SCW, upon installation even BEFORE final installation they do all that port forwarding etc. that needed to be done remotely. NO CHARGE. There is also NO CHARGE for access to your system on your phone, laptop, or tablet. They provide that service INDEFINITELY. All software for viewing and playback are also FREE.

What would happen if your cable company replaced your router? You would probably call your installer and they will have to charge you to to make things work again. When you change phones, what do you do? Pay them again for "port forwarding"..

I realize this purchase can be frustrating. This is not something we buy often an most of us know very little about it. Mistakes are made and equipment is mothballed because we didn't do enough homework. You are going about this both The RIGHT way and the WRONG way. You are doing enough homework to be dangerous and you are steering the advice you are getting from others, back to Costco. Fine. I shop at Costco too. Good meat department. Security cameras? Not so much.

I am not trying to be rude but you will go into this half cocked and a little more informed than you were when you first posted.
Spend a little time on the link I gave you and you will realize what different cameras do at different resolutions and probably will walk away with some appreciation of the differences between a $600 system and a $1600 system

LG OLED 65W7P
MARANTZ SR6011
OPPO 203
B&W CD-7NT's, CDM-CNT, VM-1's (for surround)

Last edited by AErcen; 08-08-2017 at 04:11 PM.
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post #20 of 66 Old 08-13-2017, 05:34 PM
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I have had a security CATV system for perhaps 10 years now. I don't live in the best neighborhood. At the time I did my first install I pulled coax cable. I had an incident of vandalism whereby some local cherubs tagged my retaining wall with spray paint and because the rock is porous the paint could not be completely removed and it ended up costing my home insurance company $19,000. The police had no interest in prosecuting because the DVD quality video was better quality.

Oh, and I had a violent stalker.

I learned a lesson, quality matters.

Let me backtrack, About ten years ago I called my local Roman Catholic dioceses office because they generally use the best local installers of camera and alarm systems. I can't recommend franchise installers like Guardian Protection services or ADT or comcast, their stuff is junk. I had a comcast cable guy at my house and he was shocked when he saw the high quality of my cameras.

My alarm system cost me about $1000, my 16 cameras, dvr maybe $9,000.

I doubled my cameras from 8 to 16, and doubled the camera resolution to 1080 or better. What I updated had to work with what I already had. I have 4 interior hidden cameras. floyer, living room, garage interior, game room. I have the "inside" of every exterior door covered.

If I had to start fresh, I'd have all all IP system. All high quality, high resolution cameras. Professional installers are expert wire pullers and expert at hidden cameras and alarms. They can pull wire for 16 cameras in 4 hours. I can't compete with a guy who pulls wire every day all day long for decades.

My new alibi DVD supports (3) 4TB hard drives. I filled it when new with WD red drives and they work just fine. One can assign cameras to any given hard drive so in effect all hard drives turn all the time. Otherwise 2/3 hard drive would sit idle 4-6 months at a time. Assigning hard drives improves HD longevity and frame rates.

My install was not "turn-key" , I cooperated with camera selection, placement and aim.

All those IR cameras are energy hungry and my DVD has a 1500VA UPS. It will run a few hours with the power off during the day and for maybe an hour at night.

I would recommend saving or borrowing $5-10k and get a highly qualified professional, anything less and you will have a toy system.

System: (2) NASs with 40TB of movies and music; Oppo 105D DAT and optical drive; Rotel RC-1590 Pre-Amp; Yamaha M2 power amp; Magnepan MG 3.7i speakers; 65" Samsung TV
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Wright View Post
I have had a security CATV system for perhaps 10 years now. I don't live in the best neighborhood. At the time I did my first install I pulled coax cable. I had an incident of vandalism whereby some local cherubs tagged my retaining wall with spray paint and because the rock is porous the paint could not be completely removed and it ended up costing my home insurance company $19,000. The police had no interest in prosecuting because the DVD quality video was better quality.
What did you mean by this? Did you have DVD quality? Or the police wouldn't prosecute because you didn't have that quality?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Timothy Wright View Post

My install was not "turn-key" , I cooperated with camera selection, placement and aim.

All those IR cameras are energy hungry and my DVD has a 1500VA UPS. It will run a few hours with the power off during the day and for maybe an hour at night.

I would recommend saving or borrowing $5-10k and get a highly qualified professional, anything less and you will have a toy system.
You mean the installer didn't do the camera selection, placement, and aim for you, but rather you decided on what you wanted. Right?
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post #22 of 66 Old 08-14-2017, 03:59 AM
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@nuraman00

> What did you mean by this? Did you have DVD quality? Or the police wouldn't prosecute because you didn't have that quality?

The kids were wearing hoodies, it was at night, with DVD (640) quality one could not make a positive facial ID at that distance (40-50') with my video, I was very unhappy. One cop told me he knew exactly who was on the video because the same three kids were caught spraying over traffic signs the week before. I suspect the police did not want to ruin someone's young life. That's not my problem, cost my insurance company $19,000 and I think mercy is an issue for the judge to consider after prosecution and restitution.

> You mean the installer didn't do the camera selection, placement, and aim for you, but rather you decided on what you wanted. Right?

The installer selected wide view cameras for good over lap. I found the images useless for use in court because the images we so distorted. I had the cameras replaced with normal view cameras and later doubled the cameras (with 1080) to fill in between the existing camera coverage. I now have very ample coverage and OK detail. My next camera system will step up in image quality all over again.

We agreed on initial placement ( a consult situation), the second purchase filled in the uncovered areas.

I stood out in the yard with my laptop until I was happy with the aim. No I did not get up on the ladder myself and perform the physical aim.

The same company did both my alarm system and CCTV camera system. I like their work and I consider both systems a cooperative venture. After reading this topic for two days I now understand that some tech heavyweights reside here. Having acknowledged that; it is one thing if one has problems with their automated blinds; but I would argue that for alarms and cameras work with a pro to get it right the first time. Some HA is mission critical and some is not.

I am in the market for a new home. It would be new construction and feature some home automation by design. I will be very involved in the planning, some things are very important to me other features less so. Everyone's priorities will be different.

I'll be involved with the architect to make sure I have all the wire runs I'll ever need, with the security people to make sure all my bases are covered so to speak. I think any successful venture involves good communication between home owner and the people doing the work. At my age I have no real interest in pulling wire, my interest is in project management and meeting project objectives.

When I was initially involved in the original camera system my instructions were: "If someone is playing cards on my patio I want to be able to read their hand." The installer went with expensive but low resolution cameras because he thought they were good enough. He told me that these cameras were the best made, he lied. In hindsight I should have been more involved. That project manager is no longer with the company. I like what they have done with me since.

self > About ten years ago I called my local Roman Catholic dioceses

A local parish had a problem with missing money. This company was call in when when the assistant pastor was on vacation and put a hidden camera opposite the wall safe. Before long the parish had a video of the assistant pastor grazing in the wall safe at 3 am. Those are my kind of security / camera people.

Once I was in a empty church, I kissed the Blessed Sacrament (box) as an act of piety. All the alarms went off, a cloistered nun came running to see what I was up to. I do like these security people, I can work with them, I enjoy working with them. I think they are very capable and cooperative.

In my experience the independent installers are doing much better work that franchise companies. The hardware, ADT, comcast, and guardian sells is walmart-costco quality; and will always disappoint. I think those cheap systems make home owners feel safe until there is a need for security and then the home owners will be greatly disappointed.

I am a huge fan of cameras. An alarm system will tell someone they have been robed after a crackhead did a smash and dash. With cameras problems just avoid me like the plague. Folks cross the street to avoid using my sidewalk. I had a crackhouse next door. I put a bird feeder on my fence and put a camera on the bird feeder. The camera also documented everyone on the front porch next door. The crack heads moved out. They did not want live there with a 24/7 camera on their front door.

System: (2) NASs with 40TB of movies and music; Oppo 105D DAT and optical drive; Rotel RC-1590 Pre-Amp; Yamaha M2 power amp; Magnepan MG 3.7i speakers; 65" Samsung TV
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post #23 of 66 Old 08-16-2017, 11:56 AM - Thread Starter
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@Timothy Wright , thanks for the response.
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@ Nuraman00 You are very welcome

I am still learning my way around HA. My aunt has an alarm system which was not playing nice with Comcast VoIP. Today I was over there for hours with an alarm tech. We tried but can't get good cell reception. We tried a radio as a way to send an alarm but also did not work.

Next we will change the main alarm board to something newer and hope it works well with local VoIP.

If I buy/build the home of my dreams it could have as much wiring as the space shuttle, I have NVR in one closet, (2) NAS on a shelf in my office with the modem and router and switch. I would pull maybe (4) Cat5 per room, 16+ cameras, I could end up with 100 cat5 runs, (not all active and in use) I'd be crazy not to have structured wiring and an equipment rack (rack mounted everything possible)

I know that I am crazy but not near the craziest. I wonder how many other folks have a nice network closet with rack mount stuff? I'd like to some photos of that for ideas, Nice orderly wiring closets are not only very professional but are a blue collar art form.

If I had to start all over again I'd have all IP megapixel cameras (+5MP 2592 x 1920) The more resolution the better and GB Ethernet can manage the load and the right NVR and record that much at one time. Assuming I move some place more rural and use motion sensing the actual work load becomes very manageable. I remember when crappy cameras were $450 each, now with very good cameras very reasonable I see possibilities for more cameras and much higher resolution as the way to go.

System: (2) NASs with 40TB of movies and music; Oppo 105D DAT and optical drive; Rotel RC-1590 Pre-Amp; Yamaha M2 power amp; Magnepan MG 3.7i speakers; 65" Samsung TV
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I think Ip cameras are more prone to disturbance. The signal easily gets disturbed with poor climatic conditions.
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I mean if it is wireless.
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post #27 of 66 Old 08-17-2017, 07:34 AM
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Even my first 8 camera system over coax was not wireless. Wireless cameras are incapable of megapixel resolution. In my experience wired IP high resolution is the way to go as camera prices drop.

System: (2) NASs with 40TB of movies and music; Oppo 105D DAT and optical drive; Rotel RC-1590 Pre-Amp; Yamaha M2 power amp; Magnepan MG 3.7i speakers; 65" Samsung TV
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When someone wires ethernet cables through/behind the walls, does that mean it's behind the sheetrock?

If so, does this mean the same thing as electrical wires are routed from one room to another? Kind of like how 2 or 3 rooms can have their electrical outlets connected.
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post #29 of 66 Old 08-18-2017, 04:24 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuraman00 View Post
When someone wires ethernet cables through/behind the walls, does that mean it's behind the sheetrock?

If so, does this mean the same thing as electrical wires are routed from one room to another? Kind of like how 2 or 3 rooms can have their electrical outlets connected.
One can terminate cat 5 or cat 6 on punch down blocks, in my case with an old house I pulled cat 6 wire that that was already terminated on both ends. The the wall plate had a double female socket for RJ45 so in effect I ran 30' or 50' cat 6 patch cable from wall plate to wall plate up the walls to my attic and then down the wall to the next wall plate. Then one needs a two more short patch cables, one from wall plate to switch at the wiring closet and another from the wall plate to the TV.

In new construction I'd run the cat 6 wires in conduit to protect them from someone like me who might drive a nail in a wall to hang a painting or use a dry wall screw to hang sheet rock.

I hope that helps.

Where I have TVs I have a double RJ45 wall plate so I don't just have wires coming out of the wall. I have only two TV so on the closet side which is in my home office I have a four RJ45 wall plate so it all looks nice.

For my (16) cameras I am using a real closet as a wiring closet. I have a large scoop shaped wall plate where (16) RG6 and (16) 16/2 wires penetrate the wall at the terminal box. The wires all go up into the attic and over to the overhang where exterior cameras are mounted. For my (4) interior cameras the wires come down with in interior walls to where the cameras are mounted. I have no wireless cameras. If I had to do it all over again I would hard wire cameras with Cat 6 not RG6 but parts of my CCTV system is 10 years old.

System: (2) NASs with 40TB of movies and music; Oppo 105D DAT and optical drive; Rotel RC-1590 Pre-Amp; Yamaha M2 power amp; Magnepan MG 3.7i speakers; 65" Samsung TV
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post #30 of 66 Old 08-18-2017, 10:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nuraman00 View Post
When someone wires ethernet cables through/behind the walls, does that mean it's behind the sheetrock?

If so, does this mean the same thing as electrical wires are routed from one room to another? Kind of like how 2 or 3 rooms can have their electrical outlets connected.
No, that's not how ethernet, or other low voltage cables (phone, security) work. All of the wires are 'home run' to a central location (a wiring closet typically), where they are terminated. So if you have 10 ethernet ports in your house, and another 6 cameras, you'd have 16 different runs of wiring that all come to the same place. There they are terminated (usually on a punch block) and then connected to the 'source' - a switch/router or the camera NVR. Cable/Satellite co-ax is usually done the same way (but terminated straight into the splitter), though it can be split and daisy chained, though the preference is definitely to have it home-run.
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