Network security cameras
easy to setup, minimal cabling, decent features, and more favourably priced than cctv cameras, network based security cameras are an emerging market
they don't cost much, in fact some webcams can be used by network video recorders in lieu of the proper hardware.
they're easy to connect, depending on which cameras you have they can connect via power over ethernet, wifi plus power pack, or LAN plus power pack. this means in difficult to access areas all you really need is a PoE injector and a lan cable someplace accessible and simply run a long lead to the camera.
the recorder is simple to use, usually just a program running on a "server", the better ones recognise the cameras with some hints on where to look on the network. Then, with some login details later you have motion detection recording video's of bugs and the occasional passing car.
We've caught a kangaroo beating up an unsuspecting dog, we discovered a stray cat wandering the property. we've caught several cars using the driveway for doing u turns. while not everything captured is super interesting. it's what gets captured when it's needed that's important.
Foscam Dome Camera
With WiFi and 12v power supply, the camera offers remote pan and tilt and built in IR spotlight.
comes with an onboard viewing interface accessible via your browser for simple installations, foscam's own 64 camera network video recorder software and can be connected into many 3rd party NVR softwares.
- Secure wireless conectivity
- Remote pan and tilt
- Pan: 355
- Tilt: 90
- IR Cut Filter, display's colour and IR images wherever most relevant
- 15M InfraRed Range
- Motion Detection recording
- Scheduled Recording
Blue iris proved itself quite quickly to be the best of the NVR softwares we trialled. while others struggled blueiris didn't.
This NVR allows us to register numerous types of IP camera fairly easily. You need some level of netwok experience though, especially for these first few steps
Once the camera is connected, you can add a watermark. The watermark can be either image or text based. we have two cameras in the example with different watermarks. both say "absolute phone and data"
From here it's a simple matter of configuring what causes a video to record, We chose motion triggering but you can also record by schedule. which is ideal for pubs and clubs.
You can adjust the motion sensitivity based on duration of movement, size of movement and how obvious a shift the movement is. This is handled by comparing pixel brightness from frame to frame.
Once Blue Iris starts recording you'll see the border on it's camera feed turn red. a blue border indicates an alert which can be checked via a text log. these alerts can help identify a time to check for within longer videos. in the example camera 3,5 and 7 are all recording, 1, 2 and 6 are all idle.
A grey circle in the top right corner indicates it's still ready to record and will merge the video with previous video's, but is not currently recording. in the example camera 4 is ready to record.
The cluster of buttons at the base are for electronically operated cameras. The Foscam camera's all feature pan and tilt functions and the software allows us to move the camera's around without accessing the camera's directly. There are also options for zoom and focus but we have no electronically controlled zoom and focus cameras. The software actually allows you to control these functions with a gamepad like the xbox360 controller.
BlueIris is available from their own website, we recommend the product to anyone looking for decent priced NVR
The kangaroo, The Camera and the NVR
The video of my dog being attacked from behind is all down to the Longse exterior bullet camera and the Blue Iris NVR
The external camera is a high definition (1080p set to 720p) exterior camera with zoom and a massive 80M IR range. although during daylight that's unused
The NVR is Blue iris which has been tuned to record movements above a certain size for a certain duration. This is what causes the slight time skips. If bonnie or skippy stopped movement for long enough the recording stops, however blueiris remains in an alert state and will combine clips if it believes they are related.
This lead to the clip in which poor bonnie was attacked. We cut the several minutes of footage prior which involved Ian walking upto the office. He saw Skippy and went around the car. It also filmed skippy arriving to the location.
And some cat...we have yet to solve that mystery.