Hello from TX! In use of a good starting point for indoor system

Discussion in 'New Member Introductions' started by cmm2391, Jul 31, 2019.

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  1. cmm2391

    cmm2391 n3wb

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    Hi all,

    Just like most other folks here, long time lurker and first time poster. This seems at the onset one of those things where you may be able to read your way to a first time setup, but my word is there a lot of variability out there. I won't be able to figure this out on my own, so it's time to surround myself with those smarter than me.

    Some background: Girlfriend and I are in a rent house in northern Dallas. We're in a nice quiet neighborhood and after a couple months I really haven't heard of any commotion around here. However, despite that, I've been in a 3rd floor apartment for the last 4 years where I really haven't had to worry about security at all. Time for a paradigm shift.

    I've been doing lots of reading on different indoor and outdoor cameras and have gotten past the point where I cut through all the BS and will forego the Ring, Nest, Arlo, etc. options. I was originally looking for both indoor and outdoor, but wanted the outdoor more for deterrence than anything and bought a couple dummy cameras that I've mounted. I may go with real cameras in the future, but that's where I'm at now.

    As for an indoor camera, my thought is that hopefully I can deter burglars with the fake cameras outside, but if they're so brazen as to actually break in, I'd like coverage on the inside, especially by my custom PC, that will include motion detection, facial recognition, etc. My *main* thing here is when I'm out of town. When I'm in town, I'm here every night, am a light sleeper, have 2 dogs that will bark their heads offs, and if worse comes to worst have an old school Texas security system called Mr. Ruger. But if I'm out of town, that all goes out the window and the best I have is a nice neighbor keeping an eye on the place and grabbing my mail. With the motion detection, if I'm out of town and motion is detected, either my house is haunted or someone has made their way inside and I can take the correct measures.

    I'd really like to go middle of the road here to start out. I'm really against a plug and play cheap option like most folks want cause I realize you probably get what you pay for. But I don't need a multi-thousand dollar setup to start. Preferably something that's built solidly from a reputable manufacturer, can start out in one room of the house or between two rooms (living room and kitchen) for half-ish house coverage, hard-wired, local storage over cloud, with the ability to expand the system.

    Not quite looking for specific model numbers or setups, though I will most gladly take recommendations. Moreso looking for great brands and pros/cons between those that I see here often like Duhua, Reolink, Ubiquiti, Amcrest, etc. I really need to be able to shrink the universe down to a fixed number of options so I can make a good choice from there.

    I really appreciate everyone taking a look and helping start me on my journey to extra peace of mind.

    Thanks.
     
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  2. samplenhold

    samplenhold Getting the hang of it

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    A few thoughts to consider. As you are in a rent house, is it allowed to run cable in the walls and install wall plates and cameras? If yes, do you have access to do run from where the cameras will be to where your recorder will be? Are you willing to leave all of that work/cabling behind when you move? If not, does running cables on the baseboards ok? What views do you need, such as front door, back door, garage, entry into the room where your custom PC is located? Advise not to point camera at PC screen as to not record your activity. Do you want to be notified if there is activity inside your home? Answers to these questions will help point you in the right direction. To start, NVR or Blue Iris PC?

    I have used the Dahua cameras ordered from Andy (empiretecandy) and run them to a Win 10 PC running Blue Iris. Have never tried a commercial NVR, but others here have had experience with them. Not sure how much a decent one would cost. As folks will tell you it is possible to buy a decent refurb PC for about $200. Then add a surveillance hard drive and an POE switch for maybe another $200. Cabling is fairly cheep. Then the Dahua cameras will be about $150 each give or take depending on the models chosen. Blue Iris is like $59 I think.

    There are other things to think about, but the first thing is to understand what you want from the system. Such as wide angle overview shots, ability to ID faces of intruders, day and/or night?
     
  3. cmm2391

    cmm2391 n3wb

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    Hey samplenhold,

    Thanks for the reply and questions. Figured I'd reply in bullets:
    1. Being in the rent house, I figured I'd just run cable along baseboards. Should be okay to install wall plates as long as I can putty the holes eventually. It may require a little extra cabling to run from where the recorder will be to the camera, but that's okay for me.
    2. Since I'm hoping to do only a single camera to start, I don't need any really specific views such as one front door view, one back door view, garage, etc. Eventually, that'd be fantastic, but I'm hoping to start a little small at first. This is admittedly a pretty weak assumption, but I'm assuming if anyone broke in the house, they'd make an appearance in either the living room or kitchen at least once, trip the motion sensor, and alert me. In the future, I'd love to be able to cover all the entrances, but I'm not at that stage just yet. The front door, living room, and kitchen all converge at a single point which you could consider an "entry way", so I figured I could put a camera there to capture a decently large area of the home.
    3. Pointing the camera at my computer is a great point and opens up the world of view angles and geo-fencing. I would love to be able to turn the camera on and off automatically based on my location or be able to do it manually such that when I'm home in the daytime, etc. I can have the camera turned off so that it's not recording 24/7. A wide view angle probably would be able to capture my desk and computer screen, but if I could manually turn off, or just find a camera with a small enough viewing angle, both would work.
    4. Yes, would like to be notified when there's activity inside home. The main reason for that is so that when I'm out of town, if anyone were to break in, I'd be notified of activity, could hop on an app or computer, view camera feed remotely, and take the necessary action. Since it's feasible for a burglar to just walk in and out and avoid the police, I'd be open to a camera with facial recognition as well.
    5. As I understand, an NVR is a separate piece of hardware, while Blue Iris is software. My computer could most definitely run Blue Iris, but I'm curious of the pros and cons between the two from others that have used them. Also curious of the difference between running that software on my personal computer versus having dedicated hardware that would, I assume, be separated on the network.
    6. A wide angle overview shot with motion detection would be nice, but the ability to ID faces of intruders would also be nice. Not sure if there's any in-between. Would also like the camera to be able to perform well during daytime and night-time for maximum effectiveness.
    Hopefully that provides a little bit more information to go on. Really appreciate the help. Anyone feel free to throw more questions in here, I'm sure there's still information that I've left out accidentally.
     
  4. looney2ns

    looney2ns IPCT Contributor

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  5. cmm2391

    cmm2391 n3wb

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    Hi looney2ns,

    Is a monitored alarm system really the way to go to start out? In looking at the Ring systems, they seem so bare-bones. Maybe a couple motion sensors in the bundle would do nicely, but I'd still be blind to the house when out of town, so I wouldn't actually know where the motion was coming from.

    I'm kind of wondering now what a decent "middle of the road" setup would look like. A single indoor camera and a single NVR (question on that below). While I want to take home security seriously enough to get more than a single Ring doorbell, I don't think this will evolve as a hobby for me in the future.

    The question I alluded to above is something that I was hoping I'd pick up on more while reading the forums, but haven't seen an explicit answer to yet. Is Blue Iris typically run on computers that one can isolate on the network? As in, if I have a personal computer that has the specs to run it, I shouldn't run BI on that computer because I want my personal computer to have full internet access. Wasn't sure if that was the case and why some people opt for an NVR rather than running Blue Iris.

    Will continue to do research and keep an eye out for more recommendations on indoor cameras.

    Thanks for all the help.
     
  6. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee IPCT Contributor

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    Start with an alarm system. It will have less false positives then a camera system. I have internal motion detectors, break glass sensors, and window and door switches. Everything is hardwired, I first built it 25 years ago.

    I would look at the ring alarm for a rent house, see the post New Ring Alarm System 199

    I have about about 7 cameras inside my home covering all the public areas ( kitchen, living room, hall, man cave.. all door entries from the inside) these are all hardwired, if i had a rent house i would use wifi dahua IPC-k35S or hikvision DS-2CD2422FWD-IW or DS-2CD2442FWD-IW.

    Do not use reolink, ring, nest cameras (they are junk).
    If it is cheap you get what you pay for.
    Do Not use uPNP, P2P, QR, do not open ports,
    If you use an NVR get it from the manufacture as the cameras, keep it simple.

    The purpose of a camera is to identify what happened and then who did it.
    read the WIKI in the blue bar at the top of the page.
     
  7. samplenhold

    samplenhold Getting the hang of it

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    OK, if you have only a couple of cameras and run Blue Iris (BI) on your PC that you have connected to the internet, that would be OK provided that you isolate the cameras from the internet. Most of us isolate the cameras by placing them on a switch that is not connected to the internet. It stands alone and is it's own sub-net. It is connected to your WIN 10 PC through a second NIC (Network Interface Card). Some PCs have two Network Interfaces on the motherboard (my desktop ASUS MB has two). If yours does not have two, then you can purchase a separate Network Adapter card if you have a spare slot in your PC. On my dedicated BI computer, I use an Intel EXPI9301CTBLK that I got from Newegg for $31 connected to the switch that has my cameras connected, and the onboard Network Interface is connected to my LAN for access to the internet etc. This stops the cameras from phoning home and stops any possible direct connection from the internet to your cameras.

    This is all explained quite well in the Cliff Notes that Loony linked to a few posts above.

    As far as what you should do, the only one that can decide that is you. At this point you need to decided what it is you specifically want to accomplish with a security camera system.
     
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  8. looney2ns

    looney2ns IPCT Contributor

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  9. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee IPCT Contributor

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    you isolate the cameras from the internet, you do not isolate the Blue Iris PC. For your configuration, use two NIC cards in the PC, One nic will connect the PC to your home network. The second nic would be on a completely different sub net. The Nic would connect to a simple switch, which would connect to a wifi access point, the access point is configured with a different SID and different channel then your home network, and a subnet IP.
     
  10. cmm2391

    cmm2391 n3wb

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    Hey SouthernYankee,

    Thanks for the reply.

    From all the replies above, one question this is making me think of is if folks typically intermingle systems and cameras, which I'm assuming is yes. For instance, is it typical to have the Ring security system set up, and then also have multiple cameras set up inside/outside the house to compliment the system? I think in the future I'd still like some degree of DIY security, but I'm wondering how exactly this looks if you have, for instance, the Ring system with monthly monitoring, plus 1 indoor camera, plus 1 outdoor camera, plus an NVR, plus the physical and network setup that's required by that. Just curious on the setups that people prefer.

    Thanks for the replies everyone.
     
  11. SouthernYankee

    SouthernYankee IPCT Contributor

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    I have no idea what other people do. The alarm system is used as defender deterrent. The cameras are to show what happened and who did it. These are two completely different problems. The inside cameras may be used for defense against law suits.....

    My alarm system has two 120+ db sirens, one outside one inside. When the sirens go off the bad guy has to be really stupid to hang around, The camera is not an alarm system or a deterrent. Someone breaks in, The camera detection if it works, send you and email or message, you need look at it, now what do you do, call the cops, they may arrive 30 minutes later, the bad guys are gone with your stuff.

    In my neighborhood, The alarm goes off my 75 yo Marine corp neighbor steps outside with the AR-15.
     
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  12. cmm2391

    cmm2391 n3wb

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    Hey looney2ns,

    Thanks for the recommendation. I read thru your review of the dahua IPC-k35S and thought it was really great. I do have some questions about it:
    - What are your thoughts on a mounted vs. non-mounted camera indoors? Looks like for the IPC-k35S I'd just stick it on a counter or on top of my computer instead of wall mounting it. Each method has it's own pros and cons, I suppose, but I would be running cat cables along baseboards if need be, so that could get ugly quickly. The wifi version of the camera would solve that, of course, but I'd rather a little uglier of a solution that's more reliable.

    - Were you satisfied with the 2MP camera on the IPC-k35S? From your comments it seemed like you were, but I couldn't quite tell. On my to-do list is to read a little bit more about why high-megapixel cameras aren't the end-all-be-all, but I was curious of your thoughts. The picture looked pretty good, but I was curious if a 3MP camera would give it that last little bit of clarity.

    - I saw you mention, or in your signature, that you're running Blue Iris on a Dell Optiplex. One thing I haven't seen mentioned much elsewhere (though SouthernYankee did mention it some above) is running Blue Iris on a main home PC versus a secondary PC. Why is it that most folks run BI on a secondary PC? Is it cause they may not have a main home PC? I was thinking originally that it was because you separate the secondary PC on the network, but SouthernYankee mentioned above that the cameras are isolated, not the computer with BI. I have a custom built PC that I use, so the technical specs would easily be enough for BI, but I wasn't sure if that setup was recommended against because of anything security-related. Is BI always running that would force the PC to always be running?

    I did take your advice above and went for a Ring security system to get me started. Having the motion sensors and all doors (though not windows, yet) secured is a great feeling at night and when away. What I'm hoping for now is to get a camera or two that can compliment the security system. I'd love to read more camera reviews from other members, but was hoping someone could help me start to funnel my scope if I paint a bit of a picture of what I'm hoping for.

    I'm hoping for 1-2 indoor cameras with motion detection that can ideally start recording when motion is detected. The cameras being able to alert me would be a huge plus, as well. The Ring system *should* alert me, but I suppose there's always the possibility that someone has figured a way around my system. I'd love to be able to log in and view a live feed when away from home such that I can guide the Ring monitoring team what to do next in case the system trips. Or maybe I could log in and view live feed, when the camera is not recording, just cause. My PC has the technical specs to run Blue Iris, but I was thinking about the possibility of going the NVR route, also, and trying to determine the pros and cons of each. Not sure how much I'd expand the system in the future, and also not sure if going the NVR route is worth it for 1-2 cameras in a house that's not pre-wired.

    More than happy to read all the camera reviews in the world to try to narrow down what I'm looking for, but being able to funnel my scope a little bit would be invaluable. Thanks for the look.
     
  13. mat200

    mat200 IPCT Contributor

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    Hi @cmm2391

    Depending on your landlord ( some are great ) and the HOA ( if any ) - I would consider mounting a couple of starlight cameras to watch over the driveway and walkway up to the front door if you have an attached garage.

    Typically I have found garages to be the easiest point to use to mount cameras from. ( especially if unfinished ).
     
  14. looney2ns

    looney2ns IPCT Contributor

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    See my replies in red in above quote.
     
  15. samplenhold

    samplenhold Getting the hang of it

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    I can only reply as to why I chose not to run BI on my office desktop;

    My office desktop that I use daily is more than enough machine to run BI. Like you, I built it myself. Hobby. It is in my office on the first floor of my house. But I use that machine for all sorts of stuff, from internet browsing (very little system impact) to video editing (very heavy system impact). The last thing that I wanted to do was have my daily mucking around on my desktop to possibly impact my security cameras in any way. Like getting crappy video since my machine was bogged down with other things. I also did not want to have any intense work I was doing getting slow response due to competing with the BI feeds. I also did not want my mucking around on the internet to impact the security cameras (have a couple of times gotten a virus over the years). I do absolutely no internet work that is not BI related on the BI machine.

    So I built a nice little i7-8800 unit that is dedicated to BI. Again, a hobby. It is small, with plenty of demand cooling (that really never get up to speed so it is quiet), uses very little power, and is not in my office but in a dedicated area on the second floor. It currently runs 18 cameras 24/7 in continuous recording.

    My needs/wants are different than yours and I have tried to design my system to meet those needs/wants.