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    Geoff's Avatar
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    IP CCTV DVR Server spec?

    Yes, another IP CCTV thead! First, a little history:

    Our new head started this January. One of the things he's keen on is getting rid of the current analog CCTV system (VCR, control console, tv, etc) from out of his office. As this is going to be nigh impossible actually move I'm hoping to actually replace it with an IP CCTV solution.

    So far I've looked at the other threads which have all got good info in them regarding makes/models of IP CCTV cameras and software solutions.

    On the camera sides of things we'll probably replace the current crop (about 10 external and 6 internal) of analog cameras (as they aren't amazing) and a replacement ACTi IP CCTV camera can be gotten for less than AXIS want to sell me a video converter for (Video converter = £400. ACTi ACM-400 = £150)...

    Network wise it's not a problem unless we go silly with the number of cameras. Apart from two blocks (science). Which from a network point of view needs 'sorting' anyway.

    So my main problem is what sort of DVR system I want. I'm leaning towards a DIY PC solution, either using the ACTi software or the new Zoneminder 1.24 RC (which now has ACTi camera support).

    So has anyone built such a system? If so, what sort of spec did you have and how many cameras did it support? Plus how much storage? and how many days does that cover you for?

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    We have:

    14xAxis 216FD Cameras, recording from 8AM to 6PM, 5 days a week.
    Footage is recorded as MPEG4 (MJPG is way too much overhead)

    Uses approximately 30GB of storage per day. Footage is cycled every 5 days purged). Bandwith use is around 12MB/s total.

    Small Form PC (DC5750) running Windows XP, custom recording software, that streams out to viewing clients (4 of). Memory is 2GB. Processor is AMD64 4200.

    CPU usage is around 60%.

    I would 100% recommend DIY, if your needs are not hugely sophisticated (such as behaviour pattern detection etc).

    If we need to scale up past 16 cams, I will just get another DC5750 and add the cameras on.

    I thought the software licensing was a huge rip off, and since we setup a schedule of rebooting the cameras every 24 hours. We have never had a problem. Our system is more efficient, easier to use, and even more reliable than the original Camera station software we wasted money on.

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    dgsmith's Avatar
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    I know you want to use ACTi cameras (we're also looking down that route too, although we have some Axis cameras too), however, this page might be useful to work out roughly the space requirements needed under various settings and circumstances. I know they are only Axis cameras, however any 640x480 cameras (and comparable MP cameras) with the same frame rate/compression would roughly be the same/very similar in bandwidth needed.

    We'll probably use an old P4 box for the short-term (while we have less than 5 cameras) and then as we expand get a more powerful box with PLENTY of harddrive capacity. Using MPEG4 reduces bandwidth but requires more processor power to decode the image.

    ACTi provide their own software, however I am a bit wary having read comments from people about reliability, and we like milestone alot (we have a free 1 licence copy running and works well), so would likely invest in that when we increase capacity.

    There is loads of useful info over at CCTV Forum .:. Welcome to CCTV Forum

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    Your current analogue cameras can be routed to something like an Axis 240Q video server. This box converts the video into some thing that can be routed over your LAN, to a remotely located CCTV Server. Works very well.

    7&Y

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    use-IP's Avatar
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    7&Y you are quite correct to say that you can recycle any and all pre-existing analogue CCTV into a new IP CCTV solution by the use of video servers. Indeed, these are available in units that take from 1 camera right up to sixteen, so you could remove any traditional dedicated CCTV DVR (or VCR and multiplexer) and, by means of a video server, then record those analogue cameras via the network to a PC and software.

    But I think that Geoff sums it up quite well:
    On the camera sides of things we'll probably replace the current crop (about 10 external and 6 internal) of analog cameras (as they aren't amazing) and a replacement ACTi IP CCTV camera can be gotten for less than AXIS want to sell me a video converter for (Video converter = £400. ACTi ACM-400 = £150)...
    It is a pay your money and take your choice thing:
    Is it worth the expenditure on a video server to get the original cameras on your network?
    Are the images from those cameras worth saving?
    Are you better off spending those funds on a new system based upon new megapixel cameras?
    Maybe there are other factors to consider - such as a quick fix to move an analogue DVR and CRT monitor out of somebody's office?

    BTW if you use an ACTi server, their free video recording software will record the feeds.

    NB latest ACTi software is version V2.2.8 available from their website (select the software tab at the bottom of the page).
    (The CD in the box with your camera or server may not be the very latest version - cleanest to start with the latest version).



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