wireless security system
May 6, 2007 7:08 PM   Subscribe

Shopping for wireless security camera setup

I need to buy a set of wireless security camera setup with digital video recording and ability to monitor live through web out side of a medium size retail store.

Because of the store's location, I can not use third party services.

I need at least 5 or more camera system. I don't need high quality video setup. However, the system needs to be fairly dependable.

I was looking at X10 systems... but I can not find good private reviews.

Any feedbacks will be apprecaited. I have checked previous posts.. but I feel I need more info.

I am thinking to use one or two computer system with large Hard Drives... but I am not sure what I need get for cameras and anything that goes between the cam and the computer.

I am willing to spend few thousands if needs to be... and as I mentioned.. getting a third party service is extreamly hard to do.
posted by curiousleo to Computers & Internet (5 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Response by poster: I also have half dozen logitech webcams.... would that help? what would be the drawback.?
posted by curiousleo at 7:18 PM on May 6, 2007

Just for something to look at.. I use a setup with Panasonic wireless webcam's at work. We have 4 setup and record to harddrive.

posted by SirStan at 10:18 PM on May 6, 2007

I don't have an outright solution, but here's a few things you need to keep in mind:

- Do you have wifi? If so, avoid 2.4G cameras or switch to 5.8G wifi. (Protip: 99% of wireless cameras on sale are 2.4G) You can also look for older 900mhz-1.2G cameras.

- Available wireless spectrum: regardless of the frequency range you choose, said range has a limited number of channels. 2.4G has 14 channels, but in practice you can only use about 4 (evenly spaced) before you start to run into overlap problems. This makes '5 or more' wireless cameras a bit tricky.

- With the above 2 points in mind, start thinking about running wired cameras.

- If you do run wire for cameras, don't spend buttloads on RCA cable or install additional power outlets, buy cheap cat5 and video/power baluns to utilize it.

- Multi-camera wireless receivers: most of the cheap ones will rotate between cameras. This sucks. If you're rotating between 4 cameras every 8 seconds or so, a thief has a 75% chance of missing any camera coverage if he can cross the FOV in 6 seconds or less. Make sure you either have one dedicated receiver per camera or a multi-camera receiver that can process all of it's channel's in realtime. Example of a rotating receiver (X10 uses this), Example of a cheap-ass quad, realtime receiver (notice the multiple antennae).

- Video Processing and Storage: You mentioned you want to use a PC. Maintaining a PC requires resources for care and feeding (OS updates, disk monitoring). It's still a great solution, but think about an IP DVR as a lower-hassle alternative. If you really want to stick with a PC solution, try zoneminder for linux.

- Video storage redundancy: Extended play VCRs, a few quad video processors and some RCA splitters make for a cheap, if low quality, backup solution.
posted by datacenter refugee at 10:31 PM on May 6, 2007 [2 favorites]

Best answer: That last link should be IP DVR.
posted by Skorgu at 10:43 AM on May 7, 2007

Response by poster: lukwerks ' Indoor Outdoor seems to be promising...
what do you think?
posted by curiousleo at 11:03 AM on May 7, 2007

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