Smile, you're on suprisingly cost-effective, internet-capable, DVR-connected camera!
September 3, 2010 11:49 AM   Subscribe

What's the "best" standalone security/surveillance DVR? Assume that I want the best mix of value, quality, cool features and durability/longevity. Are there "prosumer" DVR products?

I don't really want an all-in-one system that includes cameras - I've selected the cameras that I want. I want to use a standalone system that will do the following:

1 - record relatively high quality resolutions from at least 4, and preferably 8, BNC cameras;
2 - be accessible from Firefox on Mac OS X;
3 - be accessible from an iPhone;
4 - record a large amount of data and/or allow for the installation of an additional hard drive;
5 - ideally, allow for custom alerts and recording settings;
6 - ideally, allow for automatic uploading of limited data to a cloud;
7 - NOT constantly experience hardware failure or reboots.

Extra points for each setup of internet access, but I can probably deal with port forwarding and all the hard stuff if necessary.

I've tried and returned several Qsee systems, and now that I have the money back for this low-quality crap, I want to figure out what my other options are. I might also consider a PC or Mac-based system with the right capture card/interface and really good software. I guess that my budget is under $500 would be best, under $1000 would be ok, above $1000 is worth it for a great system. I don't mind systems with cameras included, but I probably will not use them.
posted by iknowizbirfmark to Technology (2 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
If setting up a linux system isn't too daunting, Zoneminder might be a good free alternative.
posted by samsara at 2:00 PM on September 3, 2010

Zoneminder and Motion are the two open-source programs I know of to do this. If you're willing to do the necessary tinkering, I suspect a cheap Linux box with some number of multi-input brooktree-type capture cards will get you the best system for the price.

Do you want to record simultaneously from 8 cameras, or is it sufficient to cycle through them? If you really want full frame rate on 8 channels I think it'll be hard to stay under $1k— that's a lot of digitizer hardware.
posted by hattifattener at 9:00 PM on September 3, 2010

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