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Offline NBTBRV8


  • Joined: Aug 2012

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I use an IP based system - Axis cameras of various resolutions ranging from 640x480 up to 2560x1920 in the most recent cameras I've bought. 

Resolution is important, but I find that night-time capability is more useful than absolute resolution.  The most useful cameras I run are the P3364-LVE models - they're only 1MP but have built in IR illumination and 0 lux minimum illumination.  The 5MP cameras only drop down to 0.04 lux, which makes them far less useful for nighttime surveillance.

Being IP based means the camera server runs on a PC (in my case a Mac), so adding extra capacity is as easy as upgrading a hard drive or putting bigger drives into a RAID array.  That allows me to grow the system as I upgrade cameras, moving the older / lower spec ones to less important areas rather than throwing them out.  The oldest camera in my system is roughly 15 years old, and I haven't thrown one out yet.

My setup covers multiple properties which is another advantage of an IP based system - if you've got commercial properties or holiday houses to monitor you can connect them all to a central camera server over VPN.  In the same vein I run 2 separate camera servers in 2 locations, so if someone actually stole the server from my home there would still be another copy of the camera footage elsewhere.

As to how useful the footage is - I've had mixed results. 

Footage we captured of property damage / trespass was helpful in a civil suit against a bad tenant, which was a win. 

Somebody torched a vehicle (not ours) out the front of one of our buildings recently, and the footage was used by the police to establish the time the fire was lit, but wasn't useful in terms of identifying the people that set the car ablaze.  Call that a draw. 

The house across the street from our old place was robbed in broad daylight, and our cameras caught the whole thing including great footage of the blokes as they smashed the front window and emerged a few minutes later with a flatscreen TV.  I told the investigating officer of the footage I had but they never called back to take a look.  Call that a loss.

It also depends upon how many IP cameras you indent on running on the PC.  I have probably ~25-30 cameras on my DVR of which about 15 are digital.  This many IP cameras on the one server has brought it down to its knees with the CPU running at 100% and I have been told there is no fix short of buying another DVR and splitting the load.

So consider the server size based on the number of IP cameras you intend on running.



Offline mhh

  • Chief Test Pilot

  • Joined: Feb 2006

  • Location: Adelaide
OP, before you spend money on cameras, have you got flood lighting and alarms well covered? I don't have much faith in police being interested in watching video of break-ins. I think it's more important to discourage trespassers and keep out burglars than to identify them.



Offline 360c

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  • Joined: Apr 2006

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Your set up sounds very similar to mine.
I use a mix of high mp cameras and lower resolution axis cameras externally with IR illuminators. Best of both worlds as I have high def daytime and very, very good night pictures. At last count there were 42 cameras at one site, 15 at another and five at another. Home will be added in the next couple of weeks.

My systems continually evolve as I find and eliminate weaknesses and add improvements as technology gets even better.

As for usefullness of the footage, I get usable information about 90% of the time. The Cops use the external footage once or twice a year, anything from armed robbery, assaults down to petty theft.  I find the system most useful for staff surveillance and supervision. You would think it would stop shop stealing; but it does next to nothing. What DOES work is printing high definition images of thieves and putting them on entrance doors and cash register points. Nothing works more effectively than public shame in a semi isolated community. Makes for some interesting conversations, plenty of confrontation and invariably (laughable) threats of law suits; but theft is way down. The last one we put up on the window turned out to be on parole and known to the Police. They asked for the footage and used it to put him away again.



Offline 360c

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  • Joined: Apr 2006

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OP, before you spend money on cameras, have you got flood lighting and alarms well covered? I don't have much faith in police being interested in watching video of break-ins. I think it's more important to discourage trespassers and keep out burglars than to identify them.

Yup and full length security grills as well on the high risk sites. The idea is to make them think twice and decide to find a softer target.
I have found the police good with break ins; but uninterested in shop theft- hence my own method to shame offenders.



Online looney


  • Joined: Mar 2007

  • Drives: VW Beetle
OP, before you spend money on cameras, have you got flood lighting and alarms well covered? I don't have much faith in police being interested in watching video of break-ins. I think it's more important to discourage trespassers and keep out burglars than to identify them.

Thanks for the input mark,

My concern is not so much about break ins but vandalism from a neighbour whom i dont really trust.



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