Question Upgrade a fairly basic CCTV system - what am I best doing?


Novice Member
Apr 24, 2018
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manchester, uk
I originally asked this question on CCTV forum (another site... but got nothing back) but there seems like there's a lot more activity here.
I've recently (just last week, seen the EverCam offered by Eufy and then, today, the ezviz options which look like they are good contenders).

The question (that I wrote before I found the two examples above):

  1. I'm UK based. Renovated house and bought a very basic (Ce-8804) cctv system from cucctv with 4 cameras (3 bullet type and 1 small directional; the type that have BNC and power sockets) and 1tb hd. I wired this in myself.
  2. My house has wired cat6 Ethernet ports throughout and the cctv box sits in a main cupboard with other items in a rack-type setup
  3. I have a great wifi signal throughout my house.
  4. I've used an RF modulator to feed the split screen view out to my aerial distribution point so all TVs can tune in to view the analogue signal
  5. I use a Synology NAS box for personal storage and am aware this has a well-reputed camera app that lets you use 2 cameras (you have to buy a licence if you want to use more than this)

  1. Poor video quality - Low resolution images mean if I do see anything, it's not much use for recognising anyone
  2. To view anything other than realtime video, I have to connect via a windows PC using their software which is terrible
  3. The apps they recommend using (ZMEyeFree and similar) are horrendous!
  4. To change some advanced settings, I have to connect a monitor directly to the cctv box and click through the options with a mouse... it's a bit old school
  5. 1 camera is in a bad position shows more of my neighbours house and I plan to move it from side of house to rear door to be of more use (more of a note for myself)
  6. Camera at back doesn't show to the end of the garden very well at night (garden length is approx 25m)
  7. System isn't smart enough to provide alerts in a form I can use, if something happens whilst I'm away (text, push alerts)
  8. It has developed either a hard drive or hard drive SATA cable fault so isn't recording at the moment
  9. Max of 4 cameras - I want 5-6 to cover my house externally (1. front garden/street, 2. rear side entrance, 3. rear right, 4. rear garden, 5. garage entrance & 6. front door visitor cam
  10. The cameras have audio outputs but I hear no audio on recordings or the live view

  1. HD (input and output)
  2. Clear visibility to the end of garden at night
  3. Cover back entrance
  4. Cover garage entrance hidden spot at end of rear garden
  5. Records audio
  6. Easy remote access via mobile app (preferably iOS and Android compatible) allowing realtime and specific time period access/rewind
  7. Allows 6 cameras to cover all external areas
  8. Remote device management possible
  9. Accessible via a MacBook Pro

  1. 4K - as the next TV I buy will probably be that
  2. Allows more than 6 cameras - 10 would be nice to cover some internal areas
  3. Talkback speakers on internal cameras
  4. Supports IP so I can connect this to the internet of things
  5. Push alerts when alarm triggered
  6. Potential push alerts sent to specific family members
  7. Possible Synology box integration
  8. Auto/IFTTT interactivity - e.g. If alarm triggers then turn on wifi connected light in back room/turn bedroom TV on with alerting camera on screen
  9. Possibly including an internal cam in rear room and/or garage where break ins are most likely (no network connection currently in the garage)
  10. Possible integration with smart doorbell so if doorbell rang, the TVs flick up an image of whoever's outside/mobile video call
  11. Option to backup to Synology NAS
  12. Off site alternative recording storage (cloud) although I don't want to end up paying much of a monthly sub as that's just not me. Under £100 sounds fair to me for all video backed up

Hopefully under £1000

Can I replace the current cameras with HD cams without rewiring (are existing cables suitable for a HD signal)?

I gather I'll need a new cctv hub, does anyone have any experience using cameras with a synology box as their cctv pvr/security hub?

Can anyone recommend a cctv system/options?

Any other ideas, recommendations that more experienced installers have would be appreciated, as I've probably not considered a lot of things here.
The problem with the Synology solution for use as a NVR is that you need to buy a Surveillance Station license for each camera channel at £60 per license. So for a 6 camera solution you will have paid £360 before you have even bought anything. That will leave you with £640 for a Synology NAS, with 6 Cameras, cable and POE Switch. You will probably want a 4 Tb HD, that is another £100 for the HD, that leaves £540. The minimum Synology I would recommend for that many cameras is a 418+ which are around £300. That now leaves £240 for 6 cameras and a POE switch and cable. 305m of CAT5e will cost about £80, that leaves £160 for the switch and cameras. If you use NETGEAR GS110TP 8-Port Gigabit PoE that is £100 leaving £60 for 6 cameras. At this point you may struggle to get any sort of cameras at £10 each

You maybe better off looking at an NVR with built in POE Switch. It maybe much better value and fit inside your budget. But to get everything that you want you may struggle to stay inside your budget. i only tend to install Hikvision so my advice would be to look at a Hik based solution, but there are plenty of other solutions available at a range of budgets.
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Thanks mushii. I already have a Synology box (416J) so that's an expense I wouldn't have to cover within my budget. Also, within my house, I've fitted a 24-port switch with each room having 3 or 4 points for ethernet and I already have some CAT6 cable to use. I was trying to avoid having to move to POE cameras just because of the effort then needed to re-cable the ethernet cable to the camera locations (the current system I have installed used the BNC cables and I installed these into the walls when I installed them.

The Synology also gives you 2 licences included, you only have to buy licenses after those, so potentially 4 x £60 (£240) for 6 cameras.

I have heard of Hikvision so will check them out. I'm most interested in being alerted if there is relevant human movement so I can take action if needed.

FYI - I've seen some comments on the EverCam Kickstarter that point to potential issues with the live view and a delay in motion detection that mean it may not be ideal as a solution.
I also like Hikvision gear, but I can’t say that motion detection would be that reliable. Expect a lot of irrelevant alerts if your inbox.
Yeah my experience with motion detection has been really hit and miss
Your current cabling is for an analogue setup. Using the Synology you will need (digital) ip cameras. The two solutions are not really compatible without using a Chanel Encoder which will cost you more than buying a separate NVR. This will also limit your choice of camera to 960 resolution max.
You could look at a Turbo HD solution but you won’t be able to use your Synology as your DVR
I also like Hikvision gear, but I can’t say that motion detection would be that reliable. Expect a lot of irrelevant alerts if your inbox.

Yeah my experience with motion detection has been really hit and miss

That's a shame. It's one of the major selling points of the EverCam... probably due to the problems that people normally have.
Your current cabling is for an analogue setup. Using the Synology you will need (digital) ip cameras. The two solutions are not really compatible without using a Chanel Encoder which will cost you more than buying a separate NVR. This will also limit your choice of camera to 960 resolution max.
You could look at a Turbo HD solution but you won’t be able to use your Synology as your DVR

Yes, it's a shame really. In my current setup, the quality isn't useless but not far from it as I can't see any faces or detail when viewing. Initially, I was thinking that if I could just upgrade the cameras and DVR, that might do enough but didn't know what limit on quality I'd reach, so knowing 960 is the value, helps with that, as that is a possibility for a short term upgrade.

Using the Synology NAS meant no additional for offsite backup and no extra kit apart from the cameras and possible cable and an additional switch point.

Also I was planning (long term) to get a system that would give reliable alerts and then prompt me and have the potential to automate some actions (turn a light on in the house if movement detected, show video on a mobile or TV in the house if movement detected, etc).
That's a shame. It's one of the major selling points of the EverCam... probably due to the problems that people normally have.

I would say if Hik can’t do it reliably, at their price point, EverCam, whatever they say, are unlikely to fair better. Bare in mind Hik can do facial tracking and mood identification in crowds.
I'm looking at upgrading my current analogue cctv system and have had many of the same thoughts cross my mind.

Here's my plan of attack:

1) Purchase 4 x PoE IP cameras (Amazon).
2) Purchase 1 x 8 port gigabits PoE switch (Amazon).
3) Use UTP, solid core cat 6 structured cabling (Already acquired).
4) Convert an old PC to an unRaid NAS server with a docker / vm for some CCTV software.
5) Put my feet up?

Just had 5 HIK vision cams fitted at work, wired back to NVR in my office. Really like the software, very easy to use.
Are they discreet?
Bullet Cams are. The turrets we have look like something from War of the Worlds.
Hik is easy to use and offers a good variety of products at varying price points. As it’s more semi-pro kit it doesn’t easily do a lot of the HA stuff. It is more designed for a commercial environment. On the flip side you get features that are more designed for a pro environment and you don’t have to pay a subscription to store your data. People that buy Hik gear normally know what they want in terms of quality and reliability. My NVR is in my comms cab (with my Synology) and I use IVMS on my office PC to view my cameras and Android boxes behind my TVs to view my cameras elsewhere in the house. The Hik Connect ap runs well on my phone.
Another admirer of Hik Vision cameras and am looking at buying a complete set up with 4 cameras for the front of my house and garden.

When I first moved into my house I had Cat6 cable all laid around my house and had some specific runs for 3 CCTV cameras (2 front,1 back) which terminate in my network switch in my garage from the camera location. From the garage there is a CAT6 cable which runs from up into the loft to connect to a NVR - as didn't want that sitting in the garage so it can be stolen too!

Rather than start a new thread, one question I have is if I have each camera POE connected to the POE switch in the garage will they record onto the NVR connected in the loft which is connected to the network via the switch? Or do camera's have to be directly connected to the POE ports on the NVR? (instant fail for my future proof attempt!)

I am also going to be running a CCTV camera outside in the garden for a new outbuilding which will be connected via a POE injector from a network switch in the outbuilding feeding back to the network switch in the garage from external cable- is this again able to record to the NVR in the loft?

Thanks in advance...
Hi @Shrimp_Stu your arrangement as you describe will work fine. I have a client with high value livestock that has 28 cameras around his property in a similar (if not larger) arrangement.

We have a total of 4 POE switches dotted around his property, feeding a central switch which feeds his NVR. Plus a couple of switches that we use to boost his longer runs of Cat6.
Watch your summer temps in your loft with your NVR, they can overheat in lofts. I have seen a couple of Fried NVRs in loft installs (not mine I hasten to add).
Thanks @mushii - glad I got this right a few years back - now best to find a good deal for the equipment I want!!
@Shrimp_Stu not sure what your camera requirements are and what your lighting levels are like, but Hik's range of Darkfighter cameras are very good. I swapped out a 4mp turrent for a 3mp dark fighter turret for my front drive and am really impressed with the full colour at low light images. As this covers my front drive where where the cars are parked dropping from 4 - 3mp didn't make much difference.
@mushii at the front of the house we have two dawn to dusk lights by front door (at the side) and by the garage, and the wiring for the CCTV cameras is under the "eaves" of the overhang at the front bay window - as per the image.
I want to cover the front of the house of the garage and the front door so was thinking dome cameras.


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Personally I prefer turrets to domes (you don’t get spiders sitting over the lens as the IR is offset). Dome or turret makes no odds on viewing angle. You may need to be careful with lens flare on your lights with the camera by the front door.
I've been so busy that I didn't have time to respond to this but thanks for the reponses, it's helped.

So weighing things up, I see the following options:
  1. Buy a hybrid Hikvision NVR, replace the existing turret cams with the best that the system will support and add 1 or 2 additional IP cameras where needed.
  2. Buy an IP based Hikvision NVR and buy all new POE cameras and a POE switch and run all cat6 cables to the current camera locations)
  3. Select option 1 or 2 and then add additional internal cameras in the back room and garage/shed that send push notifications on movement detection (see the cams in the next paragraph)
Can anyone recommend suitable NVR models and/or poke holes in either of the two options above? I've only really seen for option 1 above is this one.

Are there any stand out cameras that anyone can point me in the direction of?

As an aside, I found a few options for internal cams, one of which I bought (the EZVIZ C6T) but will be returning due to their cloud backup costs, which I hate when I have a NAS box that could be used for that task. The other, more compelling one I have found is a Wyze Pan Cam or the static Wyze Cam v2. The last two could be useful for internal cams that would be used in the back garden in the shed and garage and possibly in the back room, so that I'd be alerted if anyone gained access to those areas.

Are there any internal cams that anyone knows of that I could use with Hikvision so I'm not using two systems if possible?
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With regard cameras, normally more pixels is better BUT on some cameras, such as the Hikvision Darkfighter series, people are finding that a 3mp darkfighter produces better nighttime images than a traditional 4mp conventional IR illuminated camera. I swapped out my 4mp driveway camera for a 3mp darkfighter and am very happy with the results, although it isn't quite as good in daylight. For may the trade-off was worth it. I tend to use a mix of 3mp DF and 4mp turrets as they provide the best bang for your buck (on domestic installs). Other things to consider are the lens aperture as this will dictate your field of view or you can purchase more expensive variable aperture cameras / variable zoom cameras.
Hik also produce plenty of Internal only cameras. I tend to shy away from internal cameras on domestics, its somewhat creepy. That said I had one in my garage for a while, but don't anymore.
Thanks @mushii - I've been looking at analogue vs IP camera comparisons today and I can see why IP is definitely the way to go. I suppose I could also just get a 4ch hybrid NVR, connect new analogue cameras to the highest it will allow and then add the additional IP cams via a connection to a switch - I take it that the NVR picks up the IP cameras on the network without a direct connection to the cams as I see that the NVRs only have one LAN port (to connect to the network)?. Also how come you got rid of the cam in the garage?
I think I'm finally set on buying the HikVision 8ch POE NVR found here and then just doing an upgrade to run the cat 6e cable from each cam to the loft where I'll locate the NVR or a POE switch and then just link to the ethernet cable already in there, so the NVR can be in the cubby (although I'm hearing that it's quite noisy so the roof might be the best place for it). I'm still not sure on what cameras to use so any POE recommendations would be appreciated.
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I've just installed the same NVR, i decided to get the 4K Hikvision cameras, @ only £105 ea seemed a no brainer
Set up was a bit of a pain as i really hadn't a clue what i was doing, i think i still have some tweeking to do, but overall more than happy with the system as it stands.

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