Home Automation > Home Security Cameras / System
Sam Ash's Avatar Sam Ash 12:24 AM 03-12-2015
Hi, I am hoping that someone knowledgeable and experienced in the field of security cameras and systems can help me out. I am looking for a good but cost effective system for my house, when I say cost effective I don't mean so cheap that image clarity and performance is compromised. I'm sure even really good security cameras in this day and age are available for a reasonable cost due to the competition and a plethora of companies out there offering solutions. Ok, so let me break it down in terms of my needs:-

1.) It would be good to have a wireless system to prevent running cables (802.11n minimum). However, I would have to setup a separate wireless network so that my current one does not slow down from the extra bandwidth needs.

2.) Ideally I need 2 or 3 outdoor cameras only in order to monitor the front and back entrance and associated vicinities.

3.) I'd like to invest in Cams that provide clear video footage so that faces and number plates etc can be recognised without effort. So a minimum resolution of 720p would be nice. 1080p would be great if the price difference is not huge.

4.) I need cams with excellent night vision ability. About 30 to 50 metres clear visibility at night would be great.

5.) Lenses should be good glass with a practical wide-angle for proper coverage. I don't want a PTZ but I don't want a fish-eye lens either, if you know what I mean.

6.) I need to be able to mark out areas or boundaries in easy to use software for each camera. If any movement is detected in those marked areas then I should be notified immediately through my iPhone or iPad. A text message is not practical but raising an alarm through some smart software on my idevice would be better.

7.) I should be able to monitor all cameras on my iPad constantly and whenever required. Software should be free of subscriptions and should be very smart, intuitive, powerful and east to use.

8.) I should be able to record footage continuously on a standard hard drive or NAS drive. High capacity NAS drives (2TB to 4TB) are now available for reasonable prices.

In conclusion, I need something good that has excellent performance for a reasonable price. I don't really want products ridden with hundreds of features that I will never use.

I have had a look at many cost-effective solutions (e.g. Lorex is offering 8 HD cams and a DVR for US$ 500) but I am really not sure of their real world performance and cannot fully trust the testimonials that various providers post on their web sites as part of their marketing initiative. Some other person mentions FOSCAM cams, saying they have very good price to performance ratios. Again, I have no idea about this brand.

Any help in the matter will be highly appreciated, I'm sure there are security experts on this forum or people who have already invested considerable time in researching the matter.

olyteddy's Avatar olyteddy 07:51 AM 03-12-2015
1) Even 'wireless' cameras require power. Cat5 cable is probably easier to run and can be used for Power Over Ethernet with network cameras or with 'baluns' for video and power with analog cameras.

6 & 8) If you use networked cameras Blue Iris is a good piece of software.
ezlotogura's Avatar ezlotogura 09:20 AM 03-12-2015
I've heard spotty things about wifi cameras. If for critical use, could be iffy.

You can run Ethernet for PoE. If the runs are too long to a central point, consider a PoE injector mid span and then a powerline kit. Basically Camera > Ethernet > PoE injector > powerline adapter. Then at the central point powerline adapter > Ethernet > switch.

I have Lilin cameras, they meet every criteria you mention. They are expensive though, usually in the $400-$600/per camera range. They have great night vision, 1080p, the night IR is about 50m, free Software, they have their own NVR's to run it (or you can buy 3rd party hardware/software). The Lilin's are outside here in NJ and are holding up well with the weather. I have 2 wifi Foscam's indoors. the build quality is night and day difference, but then again so is the price. The indoor Foscam's are for fun and to watch my dog when I am not home, so not really "security" oriented whereas the Lilin outdoor ones I have for security purposes.
cshepard's Avatar cshepard 06:43 PM 03-12-2015
You would need megapixel IP cameras to get the image quality you want, and I don't think you'll like their prices.
TheSeanO's Avatar TheSeanO 09:04 AM 03-16-2015
Sam Ash,

I had the same questions/requirements when I started looking a few months ago for a home camera security system. I am going on a trip for a few months and would like to be able to monitor the house while I am gone. I hope that some of my findings from my research over the last few months will help you.

Like others have mentioned, if your want quality, you will have to pay a little more then the $100-$500 price range that most entry level systems are in. I would rather pay a little more up front and have a quality product that will last and works well. I also wanted the wireless option at first. Wireless seemed easy and covenant at first glance. I have chose not to go with wireless after a little research. I will have to run a power cable to my camera. I mine as well run the video cable with it. Less chance of issues with syncing the wireless camera with the receiver then with a wired system.

Right now I am looking at Amcrest 1080P HD Over Analog (HDCVI) 8CH Video Security System. It has great reviews on Amazon and other websites from people that have had cheaper systems. I have called their customer service. Not only have they answer their phone right away, they were able to answer all of my questions. Good customer service is always a plus.

It has a pre-installed 4TB HDD that can record on all channels at the maximum 1080P resolution for up to 15 days (= 360 hours). You can also hook up a USB backup. On another forum I read a story where a guy had his house broken into. The thief noticed the cameras, located the DVR box and took it. What the thief did not notice, the USB cable running to a backup hard drive that he had behind a blanket in the top of a closet. He was able to use his backup hard drive in order to help the police ID the thief.

Again, I do not own this product and have not owned any security system with cameras. This is the system on my "want list" on Amazon until I find something better for my needs or purchase this one.

There are also some hands-on videos on youtube of the 720p from end users.

The runner up is GW Security 8 Channel 1080P.
JimMayor007's Avatar JimMayor007 08:04 PM 03-16-2015
Originally Posted by olyteddy View Post
1) Even 'wireless' cameras require power. Cat5 cable is probably easier to run and can be used for Power Over Ethernet with network cameras or with 'baluns' for video and power with analog cameras.

6 & 8) If you use networked cameras Blue Iris is a good piece of software.
Has any tried using an external battery pack to power a wireless camera? Where I'll be installing mine their is no outlet and I don't like cables. I've seen a couple of solutions HERE, but wanted to know about battery life (motion sensor only)
olyteddy's Avatar olyteddy 08:13 PM 03-16-2015
Get a 15 to 25 Watt solar panel and a sealed lead acid battery for truly wireless. http://smile.amazon.com/s/ref=nb_sb_...r+%2Caps%2C308
XJBaylor's Avatar XJBaylor 10:56 AM 03-17-2015
Look at Dahua IP Cameras for your cameras. High quality cameras at good prices, many of which have 2.8/3.6mm lens options. Their app is free, but it isn't the easiest for reviewing footage, though there are plenty of options for NVR's and apps that will work with ONVIF cameras.
Alex Marshall 12:39 AM 03-23-2015
I've found a device on indiegogo suitable for the theme! As far as I understand, it helps you monitor and control things remotely. I think you can use it with any wi-fi camera. Just find UON on indiegogo
olyteddy's Avatar olyteddy 07:39 AM 03-23-2015
Yeah and the cool thing about WiFi cameras is that you can jam them with basically just a diode and a 9 volt battery! https://google.com/webhp?sourcei...oise+generator
TheSeanO's Avatar TheSeanO 06:30 AM 06-06-2015
OP, What did you end up getting?
rhuntz 10:23 PM 06-28-2015
I’m using Outdoor wireless IP camera with night vision. It has 720P resolution, weatherproof camera, record distance over 40 ft in dark with clear effect. You can also monitor using your smartphone or laptop. Check this one out : http://cspalarms.ca/wireless-ip-cameras/
TeamWalther 12:46 PM 01-05-2017
Is there a length limit when using POE for your security cameras?
JP14 04:00 PM 01-05-2017
The Ethernet cable has a maximum length of 100m.
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