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AV and Multimedia Related Thread, Build your own CCTV Systems... in Technical; Hi Been asked to look at the possibility of replacing our old and now out of warranty CCTV system with ...
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    AJWhite1970's Avatar
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    Exclamation Build your own CCTV Systems...

    Hi

    Been asked to look at the possibility of replacing our old and now out of warranty CCTV system with something built in-house using a large file server, several IP cameras and existing cat5 cabling.

    A quick 2 second search on Google and a few open source CCTV systems come to the front, iSpy and ZoneMinder

    Does anyone have any experience with regards to attempting this project, looking for any pro's (have several cons already), recommendations for cameras, software etc.

    Thanks in advance for any assistance
    Andrew

    PS - please move if this isn't the right forum, maybe Enterprise Software instead?

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    Havn't attempted this myself but have been very tempted to for the last few years, just isn't a priority for us..

    I envisage the pro's being:
    • Cheaper than a commercial solution
    • Easier/cheaper to change / upgrade / add cameras or recording format in the future
    • Great learning experience

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    AJWhite1970 (21st May 2014)

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    One thing to consider is your capability to power the cameras over PoE within your current infrastructure. Makes your life a hell of a lot easier if you can, if not it can become a pain installing PoE injectors all over your hub rooms. Last thing you want is to have to try and run power to them as well as data. Also you really should have your PoE switches UPS protected to prevent video loss if the power goes out, if they aren't already ofcourse.
    Last edited by jb2201; 21st May 2014 at 04:15 PM.

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    AJWhite1970 (21st May 2014)

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    Sephiroth's Avatar
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    I intend to do exactly this at some point in the near future, with a beefy server controling ~30 IP cameras with ZoneMinder. I have used it in a production environment before and love it. So much so that I use it at home with my 2 cheap cameras!

    Pros and cons off of the top of my head...

    Pros:
    - Cheap (free!)
    - Easy to set up and configure
    - Extremely powerful
    - Extensive knowledgebase and forum support

    Cons:
    - Your responsibility if something goes wrong
    - Can be picky about camera types
    - Requires a little CLI work and possibly some scripting

    Obviously this is only for zoneminder, as that is what I use and know. Other free solutions may well be better but I would strongly advise that you look into it. If possible, building a machine to play with it.

    As a side note, what kind of control are you looking for for the cameras (PTZ, Zoning, Motion Detection...)?

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    AJWhite1970 (21st May 2014)

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    plexer's Avatar
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    Milestone does very competitive pricing on it's smaller solutions and it's a very good system.

    Ben

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    AJWhite1970 (21st May 2014)

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    I have a setup using Ispy with old HP Ultra Slims in the roof connected to HD webcams and they just run Ispy server these all stream back to a rack-mount server it was about 1/15 of the cost of getting it done professional and the quality is 720p which is great. However Ispy is very very harsh on CPU utilization doing the h.264 encoding below is a screenshots of the quality i am using mostly Logitech C270s and they just slip from underneath the celine tile.
    Ispy Quality.jpgIspy CPU Usage.PNG

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    AJWhite1970 (21st May 2014)

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    FN-GM's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by plexer View Post
    Milestone does very competitive pricing on it's smaller solutions and it's a very good system.

    Ben
    We use it, excellent product!

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    AJWhite1970's Avatar
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    Thanks for all the feedback thus far, very useful.

    With regards to cameras, I would guestimate about 10 external fixed focus cameras (potentially with night sight) and 6 internal cameras for some corridors, either traditional or dome.

    Would be looking to store video for about 14 days (so I need to run the calculator on the massive disk storage required for that lot) and a simple front end that site team can use (preferably browser based rather than installed client).

    I'll add this lot to my summer list...

    Cheers
    Andrew

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    I use iSpy to record on motion detect in the server room and in the IT office. Works a treat!

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    plexer's Avatar
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    I can't remember the number of cameras now but it was more than 16 and saving data for about 4 weeks our storage was a 2TB drive as it only records on motion.

    If you want to record usable pictures at night you are either going to have to buy very expensive cameras with power IR light coverage or put in PIR floodlights.

    Storage Calculator (MPEG4) - Milestonesys.com

    Ben

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    I recently upgraded analog to ip cameras at home. Bought 7 Hikvision bullet and 1 dome. They are day and night with excellent picture. Also using hikvision pcnvr software for controlling them. You can get vilest software for computers and apple app for it.

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    +1 for zone minder here!!

    We have recently just upgraded the server its sat on to a HP DL380P Gen8 with the additional HDD Bays in the front. Will double check the specs but running dual 8 core procs (36 cores in total) and 96GB Ram 146GB mirrored disks for the OS and then rest are 1TB disks giving 20TB in storage
    dl380e_g8_25sff_3.jpg

    We have 47 cameras running off of this which are a mix of Vivotek Cameras both indoor and outdoor. Can get model numbers if your interested but they are really good quality cameras and giving a very nice image quality.

    Required a little of playing around with at the beginning to get everything right so that it ran properly with any errors. We are going through a building expansion and plan of the plan will probably be to buy another of these units with a load of new Vivotek cameras and split them into an external / internal servers

    The web interface is easy to use, we have trained our Lead Pastoral staff in how to use it if they need to check up on an incident and allows them to download the videos if need be.

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    We're using Genius Vision NVR installed onto a old clipbank server (Core 2 Duo processor and XP OS) and have 9 internal PoE CCTV cameras running though it without much issue.

    We have been buying very cheap Topica cameras and it copes with them, along with a D-Link and some Panasonic ones to.
    Software can be accessed from other stations via the remote console and it's reasonably user friendly but I might look into that Zone Minder now

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    Quote Originally Posted by mdench View Post
    We have recently just upgraded the server its sat on to a HP DL380P Gen8 with the additional HDD Bays in the front. Will double check the specs but running dual 8 core procs (36 cores in total) and 96GB Ram 146GB mirrored disks for the OS and then rest are 1TB disks giving 20TB in storage
    Do you use any of the advanced features, such as motion detection or zone monitoring? Just wondering as I know that if using modect or similar settings, it runs 3 threads to analyse the footage. What kind of resolution are you recording in and how much space do you use?

    (Forgive the interrogation, I'm just curious as a CCTV server is something that I intend to look into when I have some budget again!)

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    We have been running iCatcher for years. I know its not free but the motion capture is really useful and saves loads on disk space. We pay support of about £300 annum.

    We have 2 servers, a ML 115 running 15 cameras and A Fujitsu X server running 7. All camera are Axis ones, a lot of the 206's have gone now and am using ML111s.

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