Ancient Machead from the 52nd state

ipOsX

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Hi all - and thank you for this great resource. I'm in the UK and about to upgrade an ancient analog POE system (Philips REO/Bosch Eazeo) before it completely disintegrates. It's staggering how far this technology has come since 2005 and I'm really looking forward to the luxury of pin-sharp video and remote camera control.

My system requirements are unconventional because:

a) Being old and housebound, my cameras are more a window to the world than a security system; so I'm big on video quality and not too concerned about the night vision performance (there have been no crimes in my rural community in the two decades I've been living here; and our cars are all parked inside the property behind big security gates);

b) Having been a Mac user for 30 years, I don't allow Windows or any of its plugins anywhere near me; and while Blue Iris is undoubtedly good software, I would prefer to access my system through the manufacturer's proprietary Mac Os software…and this preference seems to rule out at least 90% of the systems out there.

Based on the above and my weeks of review, forum and Youtube research, I'm leaning towards Dahua - if you guys can assure me that SmartPSS runs properly in OsX. Coincidentally, their UK distributor is based nearby, which might be useful. However, I will eagerly investigate any other suggestions. I have also been impressed by Hikvision but it looks like I would have to jump through hoops to get their software running on my Macs; and also by Youtube videos of GW Security and Montavue cameras but I don't think I can get hold of them over here. Anyway, I suspect that most of the good systems out there are OEM versions of the major known brands.

I also looked at Reolink POE systems since I have a standalone, totally wireless, solar-powered Reolink wi-fi camera out in my garden (backyard) and although not perfect, it works OK and their MacOs software is good. So I need to know what's wrong with their POE systems. One big drawback for me is the horrific transitions in their PTZ streams which disintegrate into a prolonged and unacceptable blur as the camera moves. Since I want at least one PTZ camera in what will probably be a 10-camera setup (9 outdoors), I'm looking for the cleanest PTZ transitions I can get sub-$1,000.

Hence I was attracted by Dahua's Predictive Focusing Algorithm - Predictive Focus Algorithm (PFA) - but haven't yet found out if it filters down to cameras in my price range.

Being a retired graphic designer, I hate (useless) digital zooms with a vengeance so I would be looking for most of my cameras to incorporate a top quality lens and good motorised optical zoom ranging from 4x to at least 10x. I assume that most come with some level of night vision.

I would be getting my system professionally installed and I wanted to consider the option of mixing-and-matching cameras from different manufacturers but assume that would make it impossible for me see all cameras from within the proprietary software. The installers I have spoken to have also advised me to stick to one brand throughout and I would be grateful for other people's opinions on that.

Part of the system, or perhaps a separate system, would be an access control system with a camera at my gates, duplex audio, a remote gate opener and 3/4 dedicated small monitors around the house. I haven't looked at many of the choices but if my camera manufacturer offers the right gear at the right price I will probably incorporate it into the main system - unless there are benefits to going rogue. I do want to be able to interact with this on my main TV set, maybe via Alexa or Google Assistant and voice commands or a wireless USB mouse.

I want to re-use some of the infrastructure built for my current system, notably the ducting laid in trenches around my garden. It would be nice to re-use my old POE ethernet cable too but it was a proprietary type (4-core twisted pair with RJ11 connectors) so will probably have to be pulled through with my new Cat6 cable attached to the end of it - unless you guys know different.

Finally (for now), I'm keen to continue using a couple of garden lanterns as housings for cameras. I was as pleased as punch when this idea worked - and it has kept working reliably for 15 years with the lanterns continuing to provide illumination too. I'm attaching a couple of photos because I'm not sure if modern behemoth cameras come small enough to fit. My old Philips/Bosch cameras only measure around 3 inches in all directions so they fit inside a housing which in turn fits inside the lantern. Do Dahua, or anyone, make cameras of this size which also offer optical zoom?

Sorry for rambling on. And thanks in advance for any advice.

Simon

(I thought I had embedded 3 photos but I can only see one. The others are in my media library.)
 
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fenderman

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Hi all - and thank you for this great resource. I'm in the UK and about to upgrade an ancient analog POE system (Philips REO/Bosch Eazeo) before it completely disintegrates. It's staggering how far this technology has come since 2005 and I'm really looking forward to the luxury of pin-sharp video and remote camera control.

My system requirements are unconventional because:

a) Being old and housebound, my cameras are more a window to the world than a security system; so I'm big on video quality and not too concerned about the night vision performance (there have been no crimes in my rural community in the two decades I've been living here; and our cars are all parked inside the property behind big security gates);

b) Having been a Mac user for 30 years, I don't allow Windows or any of its plugins anywhere near me; and while Blue Iris is undoubtedly good software, I would prefer to access my system through the manufacturer's proprietary Mac Os software…and this preference seems to rule out at least 90% of the systems out there.

Based on the above and my weeks of review, forum and Youtube research, I'm leaning towards Dahua - if you guys can assure me that SmartPSS runs properly in OsX. Coincidentally, their UK distributor is based nearby, which might be useful. However, I will eagerly investigate any other suggestions. I have also been impressed by Hikvision but it looks like I would have to jump through hoops to get their software running on my Macs; and also by Youtube videos of GW Security and Montavue cameras but I don't think I can get hold of them over here. Anyway, I suspect that most of the good systems out there are OEM versions of the major known brands.

I also looked at Reolink POE systems since I have a standalone, totally wireless, solar-powered Reolink wi-fi camera out in my garden (backyard) and although not perfect, it works OK and their MacOs software is good. So I need to know what's wrong with their POE systems. One big drawback for me is the horrific transitions in their PTZ streams which disintegrate into a prolonged and unacceptable blur as the camera moves. Since I want at least one PTZ camera in what will probably be a 10-camera setup (9 outdoors), I'm looking for the cleanest PTZ transitions I can get sub-$1,000.

Hence I was attracted by Dahua's Predictive Focusing Algorithm - Predictive Focus Algorithm (PFA) - but haven't yet found out if it filters down to cameras in my price range.

Being a retired graphic designer, I hate (useless) digital zooms with a vengeance so I would be looking for most of my cameras to incorporate a top quality lens and good motorised optical zoom ranging from 4x to at least 10x. I assume that most come with some level of night vision.

I would be getting my system professionally installed and I wanted to consider the option of mixing-and-matching cameras from different manufacturers but assume that would make it impossible for me see all cameras from within the proprietary software. The installers I have spoken to have also advised me to stick to one brand throughout and I would be grateful for other people's opinions on that.

Part of the system, or perhaps a separate system, would be an access control system with a camera at my gates, duplex audio, a remote gate opener and 3/4 dedicated small monitors around the house. I haven't looked at many of the choices but if my camera manufacturer offers the right gear at the right price I will probably incorporate it into the main system - unless there are benefits to going rogue. I do want to be able to interact with this on my main TV set, maybe via Alexa or Google Assistant and voice commands or a wireless USB mouse.

I want to re-use some of the infrastructure built for my current system, notably the ducting laid in trenches around my garden. It would be nice to re-use my old POE ethernet cable too but it was a proprietary type (4-core twisted pair with RJ11 connectors) so will probably have to be pulled through with my new Cat6 cable attached to the end of it - unless you guys know different.

Finally (for now), I'm keen to continue using a couple of garden lanterns as housings for cameras. I was as pleased as punch when this idea worked - and it has kept working reliably for 15 years with the lanterns continuing to provide illumination too. I'm attaching a couple of photos because I'm not sure if modern behemoth cameras come small enough to fit. My old Philips/Bosch cameras only measure around 3 inches in all directions so they fit inside a housing which in turn fits inside the lantern. Do Dahua, or anyone, make cameras of this size which also offer optical zoom?

Sorry for rambling on. And thanks in advance for any advice.

Simon

(I thought I had embedded 3 photos but I can only see one. The others are in my media library.)
Very smart of you to not allow windows PC's anywhere near you but rather install china made software from company known for it's back doors on your PC! Not to mention installing their cameras.
There are no windows plugins. Windows is fantastic and just as secure as your Mac.
You need to do more research, montavue is rebranded dahua and gw is low end china junk.
 

ipOsX

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Didn't I read that Dahua's software will soon be written by an American company? Anyway, there are no state secrets in my network and if foreign CCTV software writers were stealing private data from customers' PCs, I guess I would have read about that by now.

I have read aboutvulnerabilities in some Chinese CCTV software; but I haven't found any reports of joe public having actually been exploited by these vulnerabilities. I am willing to risk being the first.

But the main reason for wanting to use proprietary software is that, according to my research, the full functionality of some cameras is only accessible through the maker's software.

On top of that, Blue Iris well may be the best software in the world but they don't produce a Mac version.

And my dislike of Windows has nothing to do with code vulnerabilities. There are many Mac users who don't like it for a variety of reasons.
 

fenderman

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Didn't I read that Dahua's software will soon be written by an American company? Anyway, there are no state secrets in my network and if foreign CCTV software writers were stealing private data from customers' PCs, I guess I would have read about that by now.

I have read aboutvulnerabilities in some Chinese CCTV software; but I haven't found any reports of joe public having actually been exploited by these vulnerabilities. I am willing to risk being the first.

But the main reason for wanting to use proprietary software is that, according to my research, the full functionality of some cameras is only accessible through the maker's software.

On top of that, Blue Iris well may be the best software in the world but they don't produce a Mac version.

And my dislike of Windows has nothing to do with code vulnerabilities. There are many Mac users who don't like it for a variety of reasons.
No you read it that dahua partnered with an American company for some portions low-end home market cameras. Your research is inadequate. Using a Mac that cost 5 to 10 times that of a slightly used Windows PC is insane and foolish. You better off spending the extra money on better cameras. you don't have to interface with windows at all and it's clear from your mention of plug-in that your issue was in fact security. Best not to keep changing your story or motives.
Not only can blue Iris in fact be triggered using the function of the cameras, but it's only built-in motion detection is far superior to what the cameras have to offer. Once again your "research" has failed you.
 
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Francisco73

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"a) Being old and housebound, my cameras are more a window to the world than a security system"

How about keeping it simple and buying good Dahua cameras and a NVR?
 

ipOsX

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"a) Being old and housebound, my cameras are more a window to the world than a security system"

How about keeping it simple and buying good Dahua cameras and a NVR?
Yes, that is currently what I plan to do, subject to any further wisdom I can garner from this forum.
 

ipOsX

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fenderman

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It reads like a lot more than that, eg:

"For Dahua products distributed in the U.S., all data and video communications will be contained in the United States and held to Pepper’s stringent cybersecurity and data privacy standards."

Dahua Technology Partners with Pepper to Bring Heightened Security to Its Video IoT Devices
That is incorrect as of now it is just for the low end product. However, as usual they are misrepresenting the partnership. Regardless the product is not available.
 

ipOsX

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That is incorrect as of now it is just for the low end product. However, as usual they are misrepresenting the partnership. Regardless the product is not available.
It's coming - for CCTV, phones and drones. The Chinese firms will have to use US software to sell their products. I guess it's a price they will be happy to pay.
 

ipOsX

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Please take the time to study this: Cliff Notes.
And the wiki in general.
Thanks - Cliff's notes are open and waiting for me. The other PDFs have been downloaded and will be next on my to-do list.

And I'm already a big fan of your reviews. So if you have any guidance for me on the matters raised in my OP, I would be very grateful.
 

looney2ns

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Thanks - Cliff's notes are open and waiting for me. The other PDFs have been downloaded and will be next on my to-do list.

And I'm already a big fan of your reviews. So if you have any guidance for me on the matters raised in my OP, I would be very grateful.
Study the cliff notes and wiki, then come back with specific questions. Someone will be around to assist.
I'm a huge fan of running Blue Iris on a standalone PC, Windows 10 pro works great for this purpose. My setup has ran untouched without a reboot, for up to 60days, then it was rebooted for other reasons.
A used refurbed PC that will run Blue Iris is about the same or less $$$ than an NVR.
It is no harder to setup than an NVR.
Choosing Hardware for Blue Iris | IP Cam Talk
Small cams: Review-Dahua IPC-HFW1831C-PIR 4k Mini Bullet | IP Cam Talk
 

fenderman

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It's coming - for CCTV, phones and drones. The Chinese firms will have to use US software to sell their products. I guess it's a price they will be happy to pay.
Yes, come back in two-four years when its "coming". No one will have to have to do anything. If you do your research you will see that open firmware from bosch/sast is coming. You need to do some more reading.
 

ipOsX

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Study the cliff notes and wiki, then come back with specific questions. Someone will be around to assist.
I'm a huge fan of running Blue Iris on a standalone PC, Windows 10 pro works great for this purpose. My setup has ran untouched without a reboot, for up to 60days, then it was rebooted for other reasons.
A used refurbed PC that will run Blue Iris is about the same or less $$$ than an NVR.
It is no harder to setup than an NVR.
Choosing Hardware for Blue Iris | IP Cam Talk
Small cams: Review-Dahua IPC-HFW1831C-PIR 4k Mini Bullet | IP Cam Talk
Thanks for the link to that great little camera. I have added it to my shopping list but I need to find a little one with zoom for one of my lanterns as I need to see a small black cat on a dark night 50ft away.

But I won't be getting a Windows PC. As I said in my OP, I'm looking for Mac solutions - even if less good than your recommendation. Are there no other Macheads here?
 

ipOsX

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Yes, come back in two-four years when its "coming". No one will have to have to do anything. If you do your research you will see that open firmware from bosch/sast is coming. You need to do some more reading.
With respect, your security concerns are not shared by me. Are you able to help with any of the questions I did ask?
 

ThomasPI

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Like you OP, I have been using a Mac for 30 plus years and spent a long time in the print and advertising industry. However I have come to the realization that in order to run a solid system with great cameras and the proper software, I needed to invest in a stand alone PC. I just bought an HP Elitedesk on eBay and got a great system at a fair price.

I’d think you arrived here seeking solid advice from members, take it or leave it. Dahua makes some very good cameras and we have a substantial system in the works. Macs are very good at some things and not so much at other things. I came here a ways back with the same mindset in general. The reality is I’ve opened my eyes and know what it takes. I seriously doubt your going to find what you are after. In the mean time, read the Wiki and perhaps consider an NVR. Your Mac is an anchor in this world regardless of your intended use. Don’t get me wrong, I still use a PowerMac daily for Photoshop and web design on my company web site and a great machine. Albeit useless in this world.
 
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ipOsX

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Like you OP, I have been using a Mac for 30 plus years and spent a long time in the print and advertising industry. However I have come to the realization that in order to run a solid system with great cameras and the proper software, I needed to invest in a stand alone PC. I just bought an HP Elitedesk on eBay and got a great system at a fair price.

I’d think you arrived here seeking solid advice from members, take it or leave it. Dahua makes some very good cameras and we have a substantial system in the works. Macs are very good at some things and not so much at other things. I came here a ways back with the same mindset in general. The reality is I’ve opened my eyes and know what it takes. I seriously doubt your going to find what you are after. In the mean time, read the Wiki and perhaps consider an NVR. Your Mac is an anchor in this world regardless of your intended use. Don’t get me wrong, I still use a PowerMac daily for Photoshop and web design on my company web site and a great machine. Albeit useless in this world.
Thanks - I appreciate and respect your reasons for getting a Windows machine. But I won't be doing that. I would rather hire a full-time security guard*. Also, I do know that Reolink's software runs fine on my Mac so I can always settle for that if Dahua's Mac app doesn't work properly.

But it would be helpful to know what specific functions you were unable to get working on your Mac and how long ago you last tried.

*Not needed of course as my primary requirement is to video stream the outdoors into the house for my own pleasure.
 
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