Home CCTV options?
August 28, 2014 10:36 AM   Subscribe

I've been toying with the idea of getting some sort of CCTV or IPCCTV to keep track of what's going on around my house. Do you have CCTV? What should I be thinking about?

I'd like to have some record of what's going on around the perimeter of the house. We already have an alarm.

It seems like there are a lot of different options in the consumer CCTV space--from cloud connected cameras like dropcam and simplicam, to the new d-link offerings, to the broad range of cameras from makers like foscam and sony. Endless permutations of form factors, recording angles, mounting systems, indoor/outdoor specs, night vision, wifi, power over ethernet, etc.

I don't know what I should be looking for. What is the smart choice in 2014? Cloud recording (at a subscription fee per camera)? Local recording? A traditional camera from an established maker, or a Dropcam I can set up myself? Or is it best to wait a little while longer to see what Dropcam and Simplicam (which don't currently allow local recording) grow up to be?

We're a Mac household, and my interest (and abilities) in technological fiddling is pretty limited. Also, I think I'd be content to have a high-rez recording I can review if I need to; it's probably not necessary to stream to my iPhone or anything like that.
posted by Admiral Haddock to Home & Garden (6 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
If you want this for security purposes, you don't want a wireless camera and definitely want night vision. I would stick with the traditional security camera that connects to a DVR. I wouldn't bet on cloud recording as recording from multiple cameras will take up a lot of space.

I've had good luck with this inexpensive camera and a cheap DVR.
posted by wongcorgi at 11:51 AM on August 28, 2014

We use the Logitech Alert system and have been happy with it. You need a windows machine to configure it, but other than that it's served us well.
posted by snickerdoodle at 12:23 PM on August 28, 2014

We just had a security system installed. We have door sensors, a glass break alarm, a CO detector and a couple wireless cameras. We can log in to the company's website and look at what's going on but it doesn't record constantly. We can also set the cameras to take stills in particular circumstances. If the system is set alarmed-away or alarmed-home, it will take stills of any movement over a certain size, i.e,. it won't take a bunch of photos of our dog walking around the house but it will if a person walks past or a car drives up. There's some limit on the number of stills, then it starts saving new ones over the old ones.

The inside isn't night vision but still shows a pretty good image from the appliance lights around, (red light on the freezer, the clock on the stove, etc.) The outside is night vision and is pretty damned cool.

We are paying for a service and they handle all the storage and setting up the system, etc. There are all sorts of options as to how you can get notified (texts, emails, etc.,) when particular events occur (door left open, glass break, etc.) It sounds more like you just want to keep an eye on the place but don't have specific security concerns (we are traveling and want to be able to see what's happening and make sure our house sitter and animals are okay) so our setup might be more than you want or need.
posted by Beti at 12:26 PM on August 28, 2014

Cloud: used iPod Touches & manything.com

Local & Mac friendly: just about any IP camera and SecuritySpy.

SecuritySpy isn't cheap (licenses are by the camera), but it's really awesome. It's what I use at the office with various IP cameras.
posted by tomierna at 1:39 PM on August 28, 2014

This guy here reviews a bunch of different security cameras.
Has stills and video samples.

There are lots of "What should I buy" type discussions buried in the comments.
posted by madajb at 2:51 PM on August 28, 2014

I didn't want to pay for a cloud subscription service, so I went went a Samsung SmartCam. It can record HD video locally on a SD card (sold separately).
Setup is pretty easy. You plug it in, connect it to your wired or wireless network, and log into their web app to view live or recorded video.
They also have an iPhone app that can alert you when it detects movement.
posted by upplepop at 4:43 PM on August 30, 2014

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