About six months ago, we bought and moved into a new house (yay!) in a neighborhood that is up-and-coming (yay!) but still has a crime rate higher than I love (boo!). I'm looking to install video surveillance equipment in the home and I'm looking for advice and recommendations.
There are three primary things I'd like to keep an eye on: activity at the front and back door, activity in the front yard / driveway, and activity in a few rooms inside the house. The cameras inside the house would be primarily used to spy on our dogs when we're not home, but I suppose could come in handy should someone break in.
I imagine that this is going to involve buying some cameras and buying or building some sort of device to record/store video. Amazon has a TON of options and I have no idea how to evaluate them.
Here are the features we're looking for:
We do not need a 'round-the-clock video record of everything that happened. It would be perfectly acceptable (and probably desirable) to have the system only store motion-based events
I'd love for the cameras to record at 720p or better
It would be helpful if the cameras work in low-light
or the dark but I would be willing to compromise on this some and/or supplement it with motion-based lighting outside.
In a perfect world, there'd be a way to make the live feed of the cameras available remotely
(we currently use iCam / iCamSource to spy on one of the dogs, so if the cameras were compatible with that, I'd consider this point met. If that's not possible / practical, having programmatic access to the motion event videos would be sufficient.
As for us, we're comfortable with DIY home construction projects (running wires, etc) and can handle most technical tasks (networking, programming, etc.).
As a baseline, we use Frontpoint
for our security system, so if adding cameras to that system is the cheapest or best option, that's what we'll do. They cost $180
and appear to do everything we want, but I'm curious if there's something better out there.
If buying cameras from amazon is the answer, in addition to what brand/model to buy, I'd be extra curious to hear what the recommended DVR setup is. Are there black-box appliances for this sort of thing? Open-source software for you to build your own? What's state of the art here?