From a newbie to other newbies


Jan 26, 2020
Reaction score
Hi everyone,
I am hoping other newbies will learn a few things from this newbie, you will save money and time.
I have been a lurker here for awhile before I decided to join as a member.
Along the way I have learned a lot in a short period of time and I wanted to let other newbies know that yes it is a lot to take in and figure out, but eventually it will become clear.
When I first started lurking I was confused as to why everyone kept talking about Blue Iris vs. NVR's and how much better Blue Iris is.
Blue Iris seemed difficult and to me it didn't make sense, why would I want a pc, install Blue Iris and try to figure out this mess? So I did what so many other newbies/others do and bought a NVR instead. I did not go cheap on the NVR, I bought a nice Dahu NVR and one Dahu IPC-HDW5231R-ZE camera from Andy's Amazon store. ( At least I had learned one thing already and bought from Andy)
I was replacing a 4 year old Uniview system. Got the new NVR setup, and put the new camera on my porch.
First thing I noticed was what a difference between the Dahu and the univew cameras that I was still using around the house.
Even though the uniview cameras were 2MP I could see a huge difference between the Uniview and the Dahu. I was amazed how much better I could see at night.
So as I was trying to figure out the settings in the Dahu NVR ( which was not that easy, since their documentation they have for it is a "general overview" and didn't go into details) So I was constantly here looking for answers on how to setup things and to understand why as well.
Since I work in I.T. and have access to old computers, I thought I would build one, install Blue Iris and play around with it, just to see what it was about. If I learned something that's great and if I don't like it I was only out the money I paid for the software, no big deal. I watched all the videos on Blue Iris listed in the Wiki here and followed along as I setup Blue Iris and stunnel.
Both seemed so overwhelming at first but the videos made it simple!
So now that I had Blue Iris up and running and had one of my cameras on it, I started playing and reading more on Blue Iris. I learned very quickly why Blue Iris is constantly recommended.
Blue Iris was not as hard as I thought and it so much easier to do things in compared to my NVR.
So after using Blue Iris for 2 weeks and learning the basics ( Still learning) I decided I was gong to return the NVR and commit to Blue Iris.
I am so glad I decided to play with Blue Iris, I had no idea what I was missing.
I actually saved money going with Blue Iris instead of the NVR. The NVR was almost $400 + the cost of a 4TB WD Purple HD.
I returned the NVR, kept the WD hard drive for video storage and used a Solid state drive for my OS on the computer.
So now my only cost was the Solid state drive, the WD drive and the Blue Iris software. HUGE SAVINGS!!!
Next thing I learned was there is a difference between cameras. I had the Dahu IPC-HDW5231R-ZE already and I saw the thread about the Budget 4MPTurret Comparison - IPC-T2431T-AS vs Chinese HDW4433C-A and it looked interesting and lots of people were impressed by it for a budget camera.
So I thought OK I will buy this, it has 4MP and it will replace one of the Uniview cameras I have now and I can test it and see if it will work for me.
It's cheap right? Has 4 MP, It has to be better than the Uniview that it's replacing so why not buy one and try it out?
Got it hooked up, yes it's better than the Uniview!! but... it does not compare to the IPC-HDW-5231R-ZE that I have.
I wasn't expecting that much difference in the 2 Dahu cameras, If I had not had the better Dahu camera I would have been impressed with the 4MP compared to my Uniview cameras.
So I learned another thing, you get what you pay for in cameras.
So now I have a cheap 4 MP camera that I will use for fun and tinker with but I will not be buying any more budget cameras.
For some I can understand why they would buy them because they are replacing inferior cameras or they are on a budget and these are good cameras compared to other cheap cameras and if you don't compare them to a better camera you will be happy in your choice.

So after all this long winded message, it comes down to this. Newbies take your time, don't get overwhelmed with all the details and take it in small chunks and it will make sense. You will save time and frustration in the long run. I promise!



Young grasshopper
Nov 2, 2019
Reaction score
@boomerman a nice read there. I really should have played with Blue Iris when I installed it on my Plex server. My house is all macs except the plex server is a PC so I installed Blue Iris to test it out the trial but never got around to it. I am running SecuritySpy on a mac and have two Dahua cams so far. Just got my second one from Andy. I will have to give Blue iris a go. I was also considering buying one of those cheap cams to speed up my camera roll out around the home but after getting the 5442 from Andy and reading this I will stick it out and go quality cams.