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Discussion Starter #1
Lot's of smart cookies here on GTT so I thought I'd throw this question out to the masses...

I am looking for a GOOD POE (Power Over Ethernet) camera system with these requirements at a minimum:
-Must support at least 8 cams, maybe more so they could be added later if wanted.
-Must have DVR functionality, local though not so much interest in cloud storage-I just want to have the ability to look back a few days if needed.
-Cams must have excellent coverage, clear images, and night visibility as it gets very dark here.
-Having the ability to look at cam images real time on a mobile device would be helpful.
-I think I'd rather a "all in one box" solution rather than buying a POE switch, server, software, ect and having to build a system, our time here is very limited so this might be the fastest way to get up and running. Wiring/cabling/fishing is a non-issue, I have the tools and know-how for that.


That list may grow as I get recommendations...Thanks for your time!
 

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Check out the systems over at Security Camera Warehouse. The have complete POE systems that will integrate into your home IP networking. The POE system comes with a NVR (capable of supporting from 4, 8, 16, 32 or 64 cameras), POE cameras to fit your installation location. Connect the NVR into your home switch, home run CAT5E or CAT6 Ethernet from the NVR to each camera and your up and running, additional installation instructions can be found here.

The NVR supplies the POE to the camera and has a web server embedded so you can monitor activity remotely from any device capable of hitting a web page. IIRC you can have it send you an alert if a camera starts recording inside a predefined time period.

I purchased a 8 camera system for work from them, and they have been fantastic to work with. Free for life US based support, no monthly subscription fees and a 3 Yr system warranty out of the box. They are not cheep, but the systems are fantastic and the support team has been equally helpful.

Check out the beginners guide to CCTV, and here you can compare camera resolutions.
 

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Make sure you use a system that starts recording on motion. You'll be able to use your DVR space for more time before it recycles. Set your cameras so you can see faces and license plates. You can't identify people by the tops of their heads.
 

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Make sure you use a system that starts recording on motion. You'll be able to use your DVR space for more time before it recycles. Set your cameras so you can see faces and license plates. You can't identify people by the tops of their heads.
Motion sensitivity can be a double-edged sword. Too sensitive and it records all the time anyhow. Not sensitive enough and you can miss things that are just a bit further away - it will take some time to get the sensitivity to where it needs to be.

Cameras mounted in soffits or similar protect them from tampering and such, but can make it hard to see faces and such (as MDrew is saying). Again, finding a balance to how high up you mount them is the key.

I would definitely not recommend anything below 720p resolution for the cameras, and 1080 is likely going to be the right choice. But, each camera could be a bit different, so look for recorded examples.

Understand how much data each camera generates while recording. Use this to estimate an appropriate disk size for the DVR. A 1TB drive will data for only half as long when you double the number of cameras (you mentioned the possibility of adding cameras - so, keep this sort of thing in mind).

PTZ cameras likely will add to the cost, but give you flexibility. Being able to change the camera's angle or zoom, especially remotely, is sometimes a nice feature to have.

You're likely going to be looking for cameras that are weather-resistant / proof. IP66 rating should get you the weather resistance that you need. Look for temp capabilities, too. One of the things I struggle with for outdoor items is in this area because temps here in winter are 5-25 degrees on average and sometimes well below zero.
 

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Check out the systems over at Security Camera Warehouse. The have complete POE systems that will integrate into your home IP networking. The POE system comes with a NVR (capable of supporting from 4, 8, 16, 32 or 64 cameras), POE cameras to fit your installation location. Connect the NVR into your home switch, home run CAT5E or CAT6 Ethernet from the NVR to each camera and your up and running, additional installation instructions can be found here.

The NVR supplies the POE to the camera and has a web server embedded so you can monitor activity remotely from any device capable of hitting a web page. IIRC you can have it send you an alert if a camera starts recording inside a predefined time period.

I purchased a 8 camera system for work from them, and they have been fantastic to work with. Free for life US based support, no monthly subscription fees and a 3 Yr system warranty out of the box. They are not cheep, but the systems are fantastic and the support team has been equally helpful.

Check out the beginners guide to CCTV, and here you can compare camera resolutions.
I should add that when looking for our system, the other company that was "runner up" for us was CCTV Security Camera Pros. Their camera warranty was a year less, for our application we needed one with a 72* field of view, CCTV Security Camera Pros did not have. For a group environment, the camera viewing software was not as robust as the Warehouse's, but for an individual that shouldn't make a difference. Their prices were very similar.

Poke around on each site, and you will find big corporate names associated to each one. That should indicate the systems have capacity and durability.
 

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Thank all for the replies everyone, I'm following along and learnin' too :good2:
 

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I bought a Lorex system a while back that I am very happy with. Although mine is a wired system them have a system that uses POE.

I have a 16 camera system
Constantly recording- Stores a little more than a month then it is first in first our over recording on the internal hard drive.
Access through at home monitor and on my Androud
Color during the day is fantastic.
Night vision is not so great in the extremely dark areas. I installed them near motion activated lights.
Motion activation can be by individual camera and it cam send email alerts as well.

They also have wireless. They might have a system that can use wired/wireless as well as POE, not really sure. Lot's of options and you do not have to buy their monthly service. Monitor yourself.

Many other features. My system (wired 16 cameras) was less than $800 at Costco.

https://www.lorextechnology.com/store/
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Check out the systems over at Security Camera Warehouse. The have complete POE systems that will integrate into your home IP networking. The POE system comes with a NVR (capable of supporting from 4, 8, 16, 32 or 64 cameras), POE cameras to fit your installation location. Connect the NVR into your home switch, home run CAT5E or CAT6 Ethernet from the NVR to each camera and your up and running, additional installation instructions can be found here.

The NVR supplies the POE to the camera and has a web server embedded so you can monitor activity remotely from any device capable of hitting a web page. IIRC you can have it send you an alert if a camera starts recording inside a predefined time period.

I purchased a 8 camera system for work from them, and they have been fantastic to work with. Free for life US based support, no monthly subscription fees and a 3 Yr system warranty out of the box. They are not cheep, but the systems are fantastic and the support team has been equally helpful.

Check out the beginners guide to CCTV, and here you can compare camera resolutions.
I should add that when looking for our system, the other company that was "runner up" for us was CCTV Security Camera Pros. Their camera warranty was a year less, for our application we needed one with a 72* field of view, CCTV Security Camera Pros did not have. For a group environment, the camera viewing software was not as robust as the Warehouse's, but for an individual that shouldn't make a difference. Their prices were very similar.

Poke around on each site, and you will find big corporate names associated to each one. That should indicate the systems have capacity and durability.
Those look they would fit the bill perfectly. Yes they seem pricey but I know you get what you pay for. Thanks very much!
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Make sure you use a system that starts recording on motion. You'll be able to use your DVR space for more time before it recycles. Set your cameras so you can see faces and license plates. You can't identify people by the tops of their heads.
I had not thought of either of those points MD, good stuff!

Motion sensitivity can be a double-edged sword. Too sensitive and it records all the time anyhow. Not sensitive enough and you can miss things that are just a bit further away - it will take some time to get the sensitivity to where it needs to be.

Cameras mounted in soffits or similar protect them from tampering and such, but can make it hard to see faces and such (as MDrew is saying). Again, finding a balance to how high up you mount them is the key.

I would definitely not recommend anything below 720p resolution for the cameras, and 1080 is likely going to be the right choice. But, each camera could be a bit different, so look for recorded examples.

Understand how much data each camera generates while recording. Use this to estimate an appropriate disk size for the DVR. A 1TB drive will data for only half as long when you double the number of cameras (you mentioned the possibility of adding cameras - so, keep this sort of thing in mind).

PTZ cameras likely will add to the cost, but give you flexibility. Being able to change the camera's angle or zoom, especially remotely, is sometimes a nice feature to have.

You're likely going to be looking for cameras that are weather-resistant / proof. IP66 rating should get you the weather resistance that you need. Look for temp capabilities, too. One of the things I struggle with for outdoor items is in this area because temps here in winter are 5-25 degrees on average and sometimes well below zero.
Yeah I'll have to research the drive size thing a bit more, as well as learn what this "PTZ" thing is.
 

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Discussion Starter #14
I bought a Lorex system a while back that I am very happy with. Although mine is a wired system them have a system that uses POE.

I have a 16 camera system
Constantly recording- Stores a little more than a month then it is first in first our over recording on the internal hard drive.
Access through at home monitor and on my Androud
Color during the day is fantastic.
Night vision is not so great in the extremely dark areas. I installed them near motion activated lights.
Motion activation can be by individual camera and it cam send email alerts as well.

They also have wireless. They might have a system that can use wired/wireless as well as POE, not really sure. Lot's of options and you do not have to buy their monthly service. Monitor yourself.

Many other features. My system (wired 16 cameras) was less than $800 at Costco.

https://www.lorextechnology.com/store/
Thanks. I had previously glanced over them as I didn't see the POE offering, and the other systems did not interest me at all.
 

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I had not thought of either of those points MD, good stuff!



Yeah I'll have to research the drive size thing a bit more, as well as learn what this "PTZ" thing is.
Pan-Tilt-Zoom
 

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Do you have personal experience with these?
i just installed 27 cameras at my work. 1 NVR, POE switches in 8 up to 48 ports, dome or bullet cams, buy pre-made or make your own network cables. HD view. cloud or local. i purchased from a distributor in Utah. untanglednetworks.com
 

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If you end up going with the ubnt camera system check prices with doubleradius.com (master distributor for ubnt) and balticnetworks.com. I run AirCams at a couple tower sites. Their so called tough switch POEs are junk.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
 

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If you end up going with the ubnt camera system check prices with doubleradius.com (master distributor for ubnt) and balticnetworks.com. I run AirCams at a couple tower sites. Their so called tough switch POEs are junk.

Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
I know this is off-topic, sorry about that. I just installed a Ubiquiti wireless network at home, and it's absolutely fantastic. One access point covers the home where 2 were previously required. Thanks for the distributor sites, I have to expand my network to the garage and shop and will check out their prices. Any experience with their Mesh product?
 

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I know this is off-topic, sorry about that. I just installed a Ubiquiti wireless network at home, and it's absolutely fantastic. One access point covers the home where 2 were previously required. Thanks for the distributor sites, I have to expand my network to the garage and shop and will check out their prices. Any experience with their Mesh product?
Yep. download the free controller software on a computer, adopt the radios and mesh away. I use 2 Unifi radios meshed here at the house (basement and garage). They have been running a few years with no problems.



Sent from my Moto G (5) Plus using Tapatalk
 

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We have had a hard wired security system in our home for nearly 20 years. It was expensive to install, but it has been extremely reliable and other than replacing a few door contact switches over the years, and putting in a new system battery every few years, there has been no other issues with it. We have had a video security system this entire time as well, which at first taped on a VHS tape which we had to swap out daily and then was upgraded to a spooled VHS tape. That has obviously changed and drastically evolved over the years.

This system saved our home from burning down after a lightening strike which happened at 2:30am. The security system was unable to call out on the traditional phone lines due to the damage to the phone lines from the lightening strike, but the cellular back up system in the attic called 911 and dispatched the fire department. The heat rise sensors in the attic were triggered by the fire. The fire department was called within 3 minutes of the lightening strike based upon careful review after the fact.

The explosion noise from the lightening strike was so powerful, it triggered glass break sensors in neighboring homes, which was how we were able to pin down the precise time of the lightening strike and then exactly when 911 was notified after the call was routed through the monitoring station in another state. In fact, the explosion sound (which awoke us) was so loud, that it also woke up our township's Fire Chief who lives about 1.1 miles away, as the crow flies. He told me "I wasn't sure where the explosion noise came from, but I knew we would be getting a fire call so I got up and started getting ready."

By the time I realized the house was on fire and had run to the neighbors to have them call 911, I could hear the fire trucks off in the distance, headed our way. When the fire trucks arrived and firemen began entering our home, the smoke detectors in the living area of the house had still not been activated due to the fire being all above the living area and contained in the attic area. Three firefighter actually entered our attic through the attic access in one of the bedroom's walk in closets and they began fighting the fire from the inside out. They brought fire hoses right through the front door and up over our railing on the 2nd floor of our homes foyer area.

They had the fire extinguished in less than an hour from the time they arrived until the time they exited the attic area. They removed various pieces of soffit around the roof to check for fire and they also removed through the hole in the roof much of the insulation and debris from the strike impact site which was either damaged or burned. They pitched that debris out trough the hole in the roof and onto the ground. They remained on the site checking walls and other areas of the home to make sure there were no other fires burning elsewhere.

The impact area on the roof had a hole blown through it about 30" in diameter (it wasn't perfectly shaped but the size of the hole was huge considering what caused it).

While this thread is about camera's and DVR's, etc. as part of residential security, the critical lessons I learned first hand from this experience were as follows.

1. -Spending the money for the hard wired heat rise sensors in the attic saved our house and likely even saved our lives. The fire chief said that often when the same thing happens to other people which happened to us, people go back to bed thinking there is no fire since the smoke detectors, etc. aren't activated. He said the fire often then builds to the point the roof and ceilings cave in on those sleeping and kills everyone.

You should not install traditional "Smoke Detectors" in residential attics as the temperature swings are just too great with the seasons and the smoke detectors can't handle the temperature in that environment. The best way to monitor the attic is with the devices which measure the rapid change in temperature (heat rising) due to the fire. I think adding the heat rise sensors in the attic cost about $500 when I had the system installed. It was probably the best $500 I have ever spent.

2.- Redundant communication methods by having the traditional land line (dedicated to the security system), a Voice Over IP reporting method using the Internet Cable connection and the cellular back up in the attic made sure that the security system's panel reporting made it to the monitoring station. Had I not spent the money for the back up cellular transmitter, the security system would have been unable to report the fire to the monitoring station when the other two systems were damaged.

The lightening strike took out the hard wired phone lines and it also damaged the internet modem and disabled it, but the separate battery powered cellular phone system, which was plugged into a surge protector and plugged into a wall outlet to charge the battery in the bag phone, in the attic actually was functional and remained functional after the fire. Back at the time, this was an expensive option because you were essentially purchasing an entire 3 watt bag phone which was housed in the closet of the bedroom where the attic access is located and it had an antenna mounted in the attic to provide the best signal to the cell tower.

The cellular back up "system" cost us $1,100 installed and a monthly fee of about $90 just for the service. We almost didn't add the cellular back up because of the additional initial and monthly cost. But just think what would have happened without it......At the time, the security company told me that they didn't have any other residential customers who had 3 separate systems for their security panels to communicate with the monitoring station. He said that was limited to banks and other financial institutions.

3. The added protection which we paid for on the dedicated phone line for the security system also failed to trigger a notification to our security monitoring company. At the time, the phone company had a service they charged extra for each month where they monitored the voltage on the phone line and could detect if the line had been cut, disabled or otherwise altered, which would send a signal to the phone company who would then report the issue to our security monitoring station and they would call us to advise us of the loss of service. If they couldn't reach us, they were supposed to dispatch the police department to check on the site as they would treat it as an active alarm. Perhaps those of you who do or did work for the old bell companies have a better explanation for how the service actually worked, but what I described is how it was explained to me.

Despite the phone line being damaged in the lightening strike, the phone company never reported the loss of service. Ultimately, the phone company had to bury a new service line from the "box" down the road about 600 feet to our home. So, another "back up system" essentially failed during this critical event.

4. Things can and do go wrong so plan yourself back up methods of storing video, reporting alarms, notifying authorities, etc. You want your system to work when you need it.

5. I understand the appeal of simple and low cost, just remember that the things which you are protecting are not only material items but they are also the ones you love. While I am not a big fan of "wireless security systems" they are better than no system at all. Just make sure to purchase the best quality batteries you can and to make sure to check devices time to time and not rely on the system to notify you of a low battery or non functioning item as these things can and do fail.
 
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