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thender
Screen tycoon
Premium
join:2009-01-01
Brooklyn, NY
kudos:1

PC-based CCTV DVR for 10 cameras

I bought 10 of these very high quality CCTV cameras which I am amazed at. Weatherproof, 70+ infrared LEDs, I can see things clearly, you can make out the color of shit in almost complete darkness. I love them. They were well worth every dime. With price haggling he threw in a DVR for free. The cameras rock, the DVR... trash. Best quality it can encode is barely visible video, and it corrupts a lot of it. So, I want to make a PC based DVR.

My needs are simple.

a) Remote network viewing over a web browser or using 3rd party software.

b) Video quality where I can choose settings. I have lots of experience encoding x264, xvid, etc, so I can deal with something more advanced than "better, best, ok, low quality" in video settings.

c) It can email me if it senses motion during set time frames.

d) It works with a basic capture card, we don't use ip cameras.

No PTZ or other crazy stuff. I'm curious of a few things from experienced CCTV veterans.

a) How powerful a computer would I need to have 10 fairly good quality streams recording at once? I remember trying to trans-code a raw mpeg stream to h.264, with decent settings on a core 2 duo I'd get 3-20 FPS on one encode.

b) What are some decent packages to use to get this up and running? I am not asking for a precise answer, but since I am overwhelmed with choices, would appreciate a point in some good directions.
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cmaengdewd

@cox.net
A couple of things. Most DVRs allow you to set resolution, frame rate and image quality. Without knowing that it's hard to say what level of PC hardware you'll need. Also some DVR cards offer hardware compression, reducing the need for a higher powered machine.

I like the NUUO and Geovision cards, they are more expensive but worth it IMHO. As to PC, if buying new I'd probably do an i5.

Fickey
Terrorists target your backbone

join:2004-05-31
reply to thender
Unfortunately, I have nothing substantive to add, but I'd love to know the make/model of your cameras. Good ones & good reviews seem hard to find.


JALevinworth

@embarqhsd.net
reply to thender
I am not the pro you are looking for but still come with info that might be worth looking into and passing it along.

The software functions you seek are available with vitaminD software. Before I go further, you should know that I have not used this program yet for myself except for playing around with it on a buddy's system who tried it after reading about it here at DSLR, and is now using it for a retail OP and highly recommends it (..I have been shopping cameras for a while to finally getting around to all that myself). I'd skip posting this based on all that BUT this program does have a free version you can try out, so why not? Can't hurt mentioning it.
Here's some brief overview clips here of vitaminD.

Also: some previous threads on this too:
»Security DVR software for Windows with mobility support
»Need Video Camera Surveillance Software Recommendations
»simple surveillance equipment

As to analog CCTV cameras, VitaminD does not directly support. However they have information on what cameras do have suitable encoders here and more detailed info on if you have a video capture card that is directshow compatible and a rec on a USB to DVD adapter also on this page referenced. As they recommend, you could try it with the free version first to see if that works out for you.

It would be a good idea to post the exact video hardware you have as a lot depends on what that is.
-Jim


Jahntassa
What, I can have feathers
Premium
join:2006-04-14
Conway, SC
kudos:4
reply to thender
BlueIris (»www.blueirissoftware.com) will do all of that. The problem is, as with any PC-based security software that has analog cameras as inputs, are the input cards are not cheap. Yes, you can get cheap capture cards, but you wouldn't be able to get enough of them for 10 cameras into a single computer.

BlueIris will support USB capture devices, but I have no idea if a computer (and the drivers for the devices), would.

The issue at hand is a lot of multi-port PCI cards 'fake' the ability to capture four inputs at once. Many of them only have one video processor chip (usually a bt8xx variety) and come with proprietary (crap) software that literally switches input pins four times a second.

BlueIris will work with anything that has a directshow driver, which makes it very versatile. I've had it working with dual four-port Video input cards, but the cards have to have a separate video chip for each input, and the last time I built a system, those cards were around $500 each.

guppy_fish
Premium
join:2003-12-09
Lakeland, FL
kudos:3
Reviews:
·Verizon FiOS
reply to thender
I've built systems using GeoVision Cards, not cheap, but you can record in full resolution at good frame rates and ther codecs are very good at keeping the file size down. Cards are rated in FPS across all inputs, so for example a 240fps for a 16 channel card is 15fps per camera

Oh, you need dedicated cards like Geovison, not generic video capture cards as its the card that do the compression and processing, not the PC. The raw rates are like 45mbs, the cards bring that down to 4-5 mps for h264


Sr Tech
Premium
join:2003-01-19
New Britain, CT
kudos:1
said by guppy_fish:

I've built systems using GeoVision Cards, not cheap, but you can record in full resolution at good frame rates and ther codecs are very good at keeping the file size down. Cards are rated in FPS across all inputs, so for example a 240fps for a 16 channel card is 15fps per camera

Oh, you need dedicated cards like Geovison, not generic video capture cards as its the card that do the compression and processing, not the PC. The raw rates are like 45mbs, the cards bring that down to 4-5 mps for h264

Agreed, plus stay away from USB devices..


thender
Screen tycoon
Premium
join:2009-01-01
Brooklyn, NY
kudos:1

1 edit
reply to guppy_fish
When you say bring that down, the raw rates, and the compressed rate, a few questions for a n00b like me

a) What format is the raw video delivered in?
b) What format does the card bump it down to?
c) Is there a way to tweak the card's compression level?

I am somewhat worried of having the card do the compression if I am unable to change any of the settings in the card. I don't want to plop down $500 on something that can shitcan the video quality without me being able to tweak it. I have piles upon piles of parts I can use to build a hardcore i7 computer that would chomp through encoding 10 streams of h.264 in realtime, but don't want to do that unless the card is a lower quality option than having the computer do it.

I have no plans or fantasies of trying to do any of this via USB!
Expand your moderator at work

bobbycito

join:2005-09-08
Pompano Beach, FL
reply to thender

Re: PC-based CCTV DVR for 10 cameras

i have used Luxriot and like it well my setup is 20 ip cams but it will work with capture cards not sure on which and has a broadcast server you can setup for the web not sure if it will email alerts yet but i was told that it will be added soon