Home Security CCTV System - Self Build

Hi All,

This is a bit of a hybrid topic which is why i have posted in GC.

What i am interested in doing is building my own home CCTV system. Purpose built DVR's dont seem to give me the flexibility i need to be able to administer the system, access backups, copy backups remotely etc so what i want to do is build my own system which will run on a server as a service. I can then RDP into the server to administer and view / monitor footage.

If anyone has done this it would be great to see your hardware / software inventory / system topology as i am quite undecided in a number of areas.

Heres where my head is at just now:

Spin up a W7 64bit VM on my ESX Server located in the attic.
- No idea how much CPU/RAM to allocate....
Purchase an 8 channel PCI/PCI-E DVR card
- Theres a few on ebay from China. Recommendations welcome.
Buy 4 * 15m dual BNC/DC cable with plugs attached
- Recommendations welcome
- Would it be better to do this rather than buying video baluns and using Cat6?
Buy a power adaptor so i can connect the individual camera DC cables to a central plug
- Recommendations welcome
DVR Software
- No idea what to use - looking for recommendations.
Cameras
- Recommendations welcome. I was looking at the Swan Pro 53X cameras but not certain...

If anyone has done this it would be great to here how you have done it.
Paul
 

liveforav

Well-known Member
Why don't you go for one or more network cameras, wifi will save cables (still need power though). Then set them up so that they recored to a remote location or perhaps a NAS box? Off site is best so your pc / server isn't nicked too. Then use either the software that comes with the cam or buy something if you want something better. This would cut your kit list down by a lot and still cover your needs, most likely saving £££ in the process.

If you have sky broadband you'll need a dyndns account as there routers have limitations, but other than that you're golden :)
 
Fair challenge, I have 2 Foscam IP Cameras but they arent capable of going outdoors as per my needs. A quick scan of wifi cameras capable of being outdoors and costs seem rather high. Also im not sure if the data stored is again MPEG or not. My Foscam stores JPEG only so no good for historic monitoring. As for my server getting stolen, it would take a bright crim to go get a ladder and enter my attic :). That being said I do back up all my key data to an external server which is part of the reason why i want to avoid using a purpose build DVR as that capability just isnt there, certainly not in the £ range of products i have looked at.
 

liveforav

Well-known Member
Chuck foscam on ebay / gumtree and put proceeds plus cash to some outdoors ip66/67 wifi cams.. preferably also on ebay / gumtree to save monet.. job done :)
 

liveforav

Well-known Member
The point is when do you backup? Let's say crim breaks in, looks up the attic (because s/he sees you've got a cam) and takes the footage. Do you have a real time backup?
 
Chuck foscam on ebay / gumtree and put proceeds plus cash to some outdoors ip66/67 wifi cams.. preferably also on ebay / gumtree to save money.. job done :)
can you suggest a model of wi-fi camera that is suitable for outdoors, has continual video recording / compression (mpg) with an interface that allows me to view the historic footage as well as view the live footage? I cant find one that meets all of these needs without a dedicated DVR. They all seem to be MJPEG.

The point is when do you backup? Let's say crim breaks in, looks up the attic (because s/he sees you've got a cam) and takes the footage. Do you have a real time backup?
Regarding backup, for < 1GB yes realtime via sFTP/OpenSSH real time file shipping / synchronisation offsite. For what i need to do here i'd need to see how the large video files are stored on the disk before deciding how best to synchronise as i dont want to block up too much bandwidth during the day. What i'd probably do is configure the cameras to record only when there is a motion event as no point synching 99.9% of data for no reason (offsite), but i'd probably want to hold it onsite for a period of time.

I dont think what i need can be done without DVR but will be happy to be corrected if you can give me a model of camera that can do this.
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Why don't you go for one or more network cameras, wifi will save cables (still need power though). Then set them up so that they recored to a remote location or perhaps a NAS box? Off site is best so your pc / server isn't nicked too. Then use either the software that comes with the cam or buy something if you want something better. This would cut your kit list down by a lot and still cover your needs, most likely saving £££ in the process.

If you have sky broadband you'll need a dyndns account as there routers have limitations, but other than that you're golden :)
Interested in this myself. Hard to setup? Already have no ip account.
And as above can you set it to motion only recording?
 

liveforav

Well-known Member
If you go with the NAS option you've got your images on site, but that takes away the benefit of off site storage.

Most decent wifi cameras or suitable software will let you record motion only. That means bandwidth isn't taken up (too much).

You could use something like Dropbox for cloud storage, it pretty handy as it's got an archive facility to look up old deleted versions. Maybe have a rolling week or two of footage on there? Or do both and have your NAS holding a month of data and last week on cloud only?

Does the format really matter that much? Use something like videolan to play it or better still the software that comes with the cam for your live view needs
 

liveforav

Well-known Member
It's shouldn't be too hard to setup just a little planning and purchase of online accounts for your ip account (dyndns) - if needed. Plus cloud storage
 

Delvey

Distinguished Member
Already have a server that I could use. Will have a deeper delve into it
 
Lets be clear. Cameras will allow you to record motion only - absolutely, but the format of that record will be MJPEG i.e. a collection of images stored in a folder which you would have to pour through each one. Thats how my FOSCAM IP Cameras work. They will however let you view the cameras in realtime i.e. live stream. When motion is detected, snapshot of these video streams are taken at a pre-configured frequency and stored for looking at later.

I dont want MJPEG, i want the raw all be it compressed video footage. Noone is suggesting any camera that can do this, so i reckon DVR is the only way this can be achieved.
 
Nice cam - 720p too - unfortunately i'd be looking at £600 for the rig.

On a less expensive model, normal alarm on upload would provide 1 image per second maximum - tying that together into a video is going to make for pretty ugly viewing.

I'll stick to plan and spin up a dedicated VM with DVR PCI Card and 4 high quality cameras hard wired. I think its going to be the best option for my needs & budget.
 

liveforav

Well-known Member
If that's what I can find on a 10 min Google maybe you'll find something cheaper.

Also that camera is about £150, how cheap were you looking? ?
 

liveforav

Well-known Member
I understand maths. Was asking how cheap a camera you were after. Ie the item that would be multiplied by 4.

Good luck m8, hope you find what you want.
 

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