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CCTV advice

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  • #62474
    Participant
    PlaneMan
    @planeman

    Mum needs new CCTV for her place. It’s going to need 4 or 5 cameras to do it properly I reckon. 3 out the front (one outside probably) 2 out the back.

    I’m doing some research but any advice on brands that are still good VFM would be appreciated. Don’t really have a budget as such, it’s kind of look at what’s available and go from there.

    I’d like cheap cloud storage and SD storage on the cameras if possible. OFC a good app is required.

    No rush as they are in self isolation at the moment for another 12 days and I’ll more than likely be fitting them so non-fiddly would be appreciated because of my hands.

    T.I.A

     

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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  • #62477
    Participant
    JayCeeDee
    @jayceedee
    Forumite Points: 5,473

    Dave made some great recommendations in the topic for cameras on my front drive. HERE

    He’ll no doubt be on sometime, but browse his initial answer on my topic. If Dave thinks that your situation is similar to mine, either he, or I, can forward the email chain we had that included links to all his recommends.

    #62479
    Participant
    PlaneMan
    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 7,384

    Thanks JCD, I did read that topic earlier but I’m knackered today so concentration is hard work.

    #62484
    Participant
    JayCeeDee
    @jayceedee
    Forumite Points: 5,473

    …………………….I’m knackered today so concentration is hard work.

    Me too!! Tuesday, yesterday and today I’ve been in the garden sorting out some dilapidated fencing. Luckily a friend replaced a broken panel at her house and decided to fence the whole side of her garden to match the opposite side and rear, which left 7 spare featheredge panels. So we’ve been removing all the old collapsed fencing and the falling apart chicken wire fence, digging out and concreting in 7 posts and fixing the panels, 6 more posts to do along with making up from scratch 5 full featheredge panels.

    Came in last night at 5pm, was falling asleep in front of the tele, so went to bed early. Woke up to the alarm at 7am today, feeling rested, but still achy!! I think a long soak is order, probably Saturday after we’ve finished. :good:

    #62491
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 16,489

    I’m out of date on cameras they have become quite inexpensive at £50 for HDTV  PTZ+night vision+auto tracking IP cameras. I’ll therefore leave the recommendations to Dave.

    What I would suggest is that you do the following.

    a) Consider a Ring-type door camera. If the door bell rings during the dark evenings of winter elderly people tend to feel quite insecure. Adding two way audio and a door chain does wonders for confidence. Best if it has a remote facility for you to monitor if required.

    b) PT+autotracking on one very visible camera is a good deterrent as are very visible stickers saying 24 hour remote surveillance etc. The down-side to such cameras is that the PT/PTZ motors are on continual stop/start and two years may be all they will give.

    c) Therefore fixed focus/positioning for other cameras.

    d) Padlock any side gates and install motion sensitive lights, but make sure you mask the sensor to minimise false alarms from people walking by, foxes etc. (Insulating tape over parts of the sensor field works a treat as does setting the sensor up properly.

    e) HF cameras consume quite a lot of PC horse-power which can be a large consideration. Avoid Windows as the incessant updates can screw up monitoring. A Linux based system would be better.

    #62499
    Participant
    Dave Rice
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 9,257

    OK, first thing is there isn’t really a non fiddly install for a camera going on the wall. Wireless is a possibility but rarely works outside and in any case you have to get power to the cameras. That’s where PoE comes in.

    Normally we would wire external cameras back to a common point, often the loft, where we put a PoE switch. That reduces the need to drill holes through walls although of course you need to get from the loft to the network (usually the router in most homes). That may need a Cat 5e cable coming down and in. Down pipes and gutters are great for hiding cables.

    Externally I would use 4mpx turret cameras that can detect humans (and / or vehicles) to cut down on false alarms. They are also extremely light sensitive and stay in colour 24 x 7 unless it’s pitch black (then IR kicks in).

    Internally things are different and wireless can work well, you just need to plug the camera into the mains.

    Storage, SD card or a suitable NAS (has to do user quotas). You don’t need an NVR, an app should bring it altogether. I only use NVRs on commercial installs of >4 cameras.

    Cloud apps tend to cut down on quality. 5 cameras  10fps 1080P H264 needs 5mbps upload. I would usually use 4mpx 10fps H265 and that would need 6mbps. You may have that upload available, but a cloud provider needs massive incoming bandwidth. Hence you’ll see a lot are 720P.

    An app and SD card setup would have a second lower quality (and so low bandwidth) feed for remote viewing. All recording and playback would be at full resolution. H265 compression is really a must.

    Cameras stocks are still quite dodgy with some models, like the internal ones I use and the popular ones, in short supply.

    What you could look at externally is the Reolink Solar at Amazon. I have used one on a house where I just had no other choice. It’s OK and the solar panel can keep the battery topped up, however they are highly nickable as the fixing is a joke. I had to put a wireless extender near to the front door to get enough signal to it. I see there is a new bullet version which may be more secure and even a PTZ.

    The app does what it says on the tin but compared to the sort of kit I would use the build quality doesn’t come close and the prices are the same. However they may be the best fit for your needs and they certainly aren’t crap. If you are going wireless do your homework first and check the coverage at the places you want to mount the cameras.

    #62506
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 16,489

    I’d just add one comment to Dave’s post. You are not trying to ‘catch’ anyone*, but to deter them such that they go and choose a less secure neighbour. Big, blatant, and well signed allows you to mix in a couple of cheap dummy cameras in those areas where a real camera may be difficult to install.

    *A hoodie and mask makes nearly anyone anonymous on a dark evening, even more so if they have sewn battery powered LED lights around the hood opening as the lights blow-out IR camera contrast, but look very innocent to passing police.

    #62508
    Participant
    Dave Rice
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 9,257

    That’s is a good point Ed. If we are upgrading a site we often leave the old cameras in place if they are at different locations to the new ones. Case in point was the Legion car park where the analogue system was on the car park lamp posts and the new IP ones are mounted on the building.

    Your second point about IR wash out is why we use Hikvision Colorvu cameras in some locations. Real world comparison of the different techs here. They also use white light rather than IR when they need supplemental light. It tends to be for more up close work.

    However we generally prefer AcuSense cameras as they can be set to trigger on human and / or vehicles cutting down the false alarms. They are powered by Dark Fighter tech so stay in colour in low light but not as low as Colorvu. They then use IR.

    It’s for this sort of ability that you pay a little bit more, but looking at prices of “consumer” kit at the moment it’s not that much and cheaper than the likes of Nest which are ridiculously expensive. For about the cost of 3 of the top end Nest outdoor cameras (that approximate to Acusense) you could get 5 cameras professionally installed. They are only 1080P as opposed to 4mpx as well.

    The Nest Cam Indoor is on sale at £90 (from £130) which is more like it. However only recordings in the last 3 hours are free. You need to factor in that pesky upload bandwidth too.

    #62513
    Participant
    PlaneMan
    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 7,384

    Thanks all.

    Ed, the house has warning stickers all over the place but they are due a refresh due to bleaching from the sun. There’s also a dummy camera pointing down the drive from the garage.

    The WiFi signal is good all over the property apart from in the garden room which isn’t an issue for the cameras. Mum’s broadband is Virgin cable and is overkill for her, IIRC it’s 100 Mbps down and 10 Mbps up.

    Dave, the whole power over Ethernet is probably too much for me as would be getting into and clambering around the loft due to my various maladies.

    I’ve found some Blink XT2 (Amazon owned) and they seem to be almost perfect for what I need to do. They are totally wireless, small and have a free cloud backup. I’d like SD slots as well but I can’t find anything else that comes close, yet.  The cameras are small enough for me to tuck under the small canopy that covers the garage entrance and the side door, I might even be able to put one inside the dummy camera that’s already mounted.  The indoor ones can be hooked up to phone chargers so the bats can be saved for the outdoor ones, I don’t believe the 2 year battery life.

    The specs look decent, I’d like a wider field of view but I’m almost certain that 110° would be enough for my needs. I also like the 2 way audio function.

    More reading to be done tomorrow.

     

     

     

     

    #62515
    Participant
    Dave Rice
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 9,257

    Ignore the battery life on the Blinks, they are determined from ridiculously low usage – 8 seconds of Live View, 60 seconds of motion-activated recording and 6 seconds of two-way audio. At least they are AA though. How they get 8 seconds of Live Viewing when it’s set at 10 seconds I cannot fathom. Perhaps they expect you to only do an average on a couple of live streams per week, not every time someone is at the door. 60 seconds of recording per day? With the extremely basic detection I doubt that. 60 minutes per day is good going.

    Only the sync module uses your WiFi, the cameras attach to that, so WiFi coverage doesn’t mean anything, it’s range from the sync module. It’s a low frequency job so better at going through walls but check the comments, there’s plenty of complaints.

    Because it’s in the cloud, latency on live views is a real problem. Even with local recording I’m not sure if you can cut the cloud out of the equation. I get the same issues with Hikvision but get over it locally because I can set the HikConnect app to connect to the cameras via their local IP.

    I’ve just looked at local USB recording – it’s a local backup so everything is really cloud based. (When) the “Clip Backup” setting is enabled for a system, all files will be copied from the Cloud storage and any new files will be added daily. So it’s more to avoid cloud storage charges.

    Amazon let local law enforcement access Ring clips at will, might want to check on Blink – especially any internal shots.

    Plenty to think about. I’m afraid the CCTV world is full of compromises. Steve can tell you the difference between a cloud based 1080P and local 4mpx is like night and day, and that’s with quality commercial cameras.

     

    #62518
    Participant
    PlaneMan
    @planeman
    Forumite Points: 7,384

    Thanks again Dave.

    I need to get an idea of budget from mum, no point looking at the good  stuff if the budget is £30 a camera.

    The house is a fair size bungalow but it’s a strange layout. There’s a front door that’s hardly ever used, a alley down the side with a gate, patio doors onto the patio at the back and a side door onto the same patio. There’s also a side door at the bottom of the drive  (which is the main door into the house from the front) and a door into the garage right next to that.

    Then the garden which is a good size and backs onto a main road. There’s a solid gate there that’s always locked and a gate on the alley that’s locked and not used much.

    There’s a lot of doors and only 4 windows to cover.

     

     

    #62520
    Participant
    Ed P
    @edps
    Forumite Points: 16,489

    Spend money on upgrading the gate so someone cannot just vault over it. Put trellises on the fences around her garden for the same reason. Trellis work deters as its flimsy and liable to snap and stab anyone trying to climb over it.

    Your local crime prevention officer can advise, but I would bet that most burglaries in the area are done by amateurs and your main objective is to keep them out not take their pictures as they smash a patio door with a brick. For similar reasons lock up anything that could be used to help a break-in e.g. spades, hammers etc.

    My own advice is to ‘case’ your Mum’s home and look for the vulnerable areas then secure them, In my view cctv should only be installed once the home is secure. Btw make sure her locks meet the latest standards. All Eurolocks fitted around the turn of the century are insecure as hell. I leave you to Google on anti-snap/bump/drill/extraction and watch the video of a tea-leaf breaking into a house using a sex toy!

    #62522
    Participant
    Dave Rice
    @ricedg
    Forumite Points: 9,257

    I have CCTV design software that can model the views for each camera. PM me the address so I can get an overhead and street view and I’ll gladly knock something up.

    The Blink cameras are 110° so one on a corner will cover the whole aspect. The software allows me to put people, vehicles, trees, shrubs, etc in so it’s quite good at modelling most scenarios. You “aim” the virtual camera at the point you’re most interested in, say 1.5 metres high in front of the door and the software shows you the detail you’d expect to see at that distance from the camera.

    As far as the garden is concerned, especially at 1080P, you’re looking for movement rather than detail until they get close. The basic detection algorithms of cameras like Blink will result in lots of false alarms due to things blowing in the wind, rain etc. and the curse of all cameras. the spiders web.

Viewing 12 replies - 1 through 12 (of 12 total)
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