New to CCTV - Can you give me an honest opinion on my plan please ?

Shaky

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Hi all.
I’ve decided I would like to get a CCTV system installed at my house after fitting one for a mate of mine. However, where I live, we suffer from regular power cuts (sometimes 30 mins or more) and the Mains voltage figure is errmm “variable” to say the least so after browsing a fair bit online, I’ve come to the conclusion that my system would possibly be better-off being run off my current PC that I have in my loft that I use as a Plex Server to allow me to have a graceful shut-down in case of a long power outage.

However, I’m not 100% certain that the current rig I have would be up to the task so I wanted to check with you guys if it would be OK for what I plan to install ? The current spec is as follows:-
Asus P8Q77-M Running W7 Enterprise.
Intel Core i7 3770 (3.4GHz).
16GB (2 x 8GB Dual Channel) RAM.
Onboard Intel(R) 82579LM NIC.
Onboard Intel HD4000 Graphics.
Samsung 850 120GB System Drive (65% free)
2 x WD 40EFRX 4TB HDD in Software Mirror Raid (for PLEX Storage).
1 x WD 20EZRX 2TB HDD (for General Storage).
Power Inspired VIX 650VA UPS that’s setup to power-down the machine after 5 minutes of outage. This is also set to power itself down after the PC shuts down as I have the BIOS set to power back on when the power returns.

The camera’s I fitted at my mates house were all from Reolink (RLC810A’s connected to their NL8B-410 NVR) which I thought were great for his house layout but for my house, which is a rectangular link-detached bungalow, I was thinking of using the following POE cameras:-
1. 2 X Duo 2’s (one for the front & one for the back in positions 1 & 2 in the attached pdf drawing)
2. 2 X RLC810/811 ? (1 for the passageway between us and next door-position 3 and 1 above the garage entrance pointing down the driveway-position 4)
3. Possibly an RLC-540A in the front entrance porch as I don’t want a video doorbell (position 5).

I was thinking of shoving a 4TB ~ 8TB WD or Seagate CCTV-Spec HDD in the rig just for the CCTV and I also need to buy a POE Switch (was thinking an 8-Port TP-Link or Netgear type so I’ve got room for expansion if required) I was also thinking that with the extra power requirements an upgrade to a (1500VA ?) bigger UPS might be required ?

So, other than asking if the above setup would be OK to use with S/W like Blue Iris, would you guys recommend any other camera manufacturers and/or would I be better-off using a separate NVR with its own UPS capable of running it for at the very least 30 mins of power-outage ? My budget (ideally) is about £800 but I could be persuaded to dig a bit deeper if there’s a good reason J
TIA-Shaky.
 

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mat200

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Hi all.
I’ve decided I would like to get a CCTV system installed at my house after fitting one for a mate of mine. However, where I live, we suffer from regular power cuts (sometimes 30 mins or more) and the Mains voltage figure is errmm “variable” to say the least so after browsing a fair bit online, I’ve come to the conclusion that my system would possibly be better-off being run off my current PC that I have in my loft that I use as a Plex Server to allow me to have a graceful shut-down in case of a long power outage.

However, I’m not 100% certain that the current rig I have would be up to the task so I wanted to check with you guys if it would be OK for what I plan to install ? The current spec is as follows:-
Asus P8Q77-M Running W7 Enterprise.
Intel Core i7 3770 (3.4GHz).
16GB (2 x 8GB Dual Channel) RAM.
Onboard Intel(R) 82579LM NIC.
Onboard Intel HD4000 Graphics.
Samsung 850 120GB System Drive (65% free)
2 x WD 40EFRX 4TB HDD in Software Mirror Raid (for PLEX Storage).
1 x WD 20EZRX 2TB HDD (for General Storage).
Power Inspired VIX 650VA UPS that’s setup to power-down the machine after 5 minutes of outage. This is also set to power itself down after the PC shuts down as I have the BIOS set to power back on when the power returns.

The camera’s I fitted at my mates house were all from Reolink (RLC810A’s connected to their NL8B-410 NVR) which I thought were great for his house layout but for my house, which is a rectangular link-detached bungalow, I was thinking of using the following POE cameras:-
1. 2 X Duo 2’s (one for the front & one for the back in positions 1 & 2 in the attached pdf drawing)
2. 2 X RLC810/811 ? (1 for the passageway between us and next door-position 3 and 1 above the garage entrance pointing down the driveway-position 4)
3. Possibly an RLC-540A in the front entrance porch as I don’t want a video doorbell (position 5).

I was thinking of shoving a 4TB ~ 8TB WD or Seagate CCTV-Spec HDD in the rig just for the CCTV and I also need to buy a POE Switch (was thinking an 8-Port TP-Link or Netgear type so I’ve got room for expansion if required) I was also thinking that with the extra power requirements an upgrade to a (1500VA ?) bigger UPS might be required ?

So, other than asking if the above setup would be OK to use with S/W like Blue Iris, would you guys recommend any other camera manufacturers and/or would I be better-off using a separate NVR with its own UPS capable of running it for at the very least 30 mins of power-outage ? My budget (ideally) is about £800 but I could be persuaded to dig a bit deeper if there’s a good reason J
TIA-Shaky.
Welcome shaky

Many members go with newer Intel i5 or i7 8th Gen used business class machine just for the vms for the security cameras.

While a PC can run double duty with other services, once you start to add 24/7 incoming video streams you will hit often the cpu and bandwidth limits of the hdd .. if you are going to double duty a plex server pay attention to the performance monitor and see if you are getting a bottle neck. Remember you can tune the vms and security cameras to reduce load a good amount. ( see blue iris tuning for example )
 
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Shaky

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Thanks @mat200 . I've seen some of the threads about buying used rigs for vms. I just wondered if my current rig would support adding my CCTV to it. It does mkae sense I suppose to have a separate PC for the CCTV and they are fairly cheap ;) .

After @looney2ns reply to my introduction thread, I was expecting the first reply to be along the lines of DON'T BUY REOLINK or something like that :rofl:.
 

Shaky

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So, now it's been established I'd be better-off getting a separate PC to use as a vms, can anyone comment on whether I'd be making a massive mistake buying Reolink Gear ? They appesr to be working fine at my mates house so ?????
 

mat200

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So, now it's been established I'd be better-off getting a separate PC to use as a vms, can anyone comment on whether I'd be making a massive mistake buying Reolink Gear ? They appesr to be working fine at my mates house so ?????
Reolink .. very good reasons why members dislike that company.

If you need good lowlight performance you will need cameras built with better components, so you would need a larger budget.

It really comes down to what you need and what your budget / affordability is.

For me I spent a lot on what were junk cameras when I started to learn, and that is one route to take while learning.

If you can afford better get one dahua oem or hikvision oem 4mp 1/1.8" varifocal camera to learn with.

You can always keep that one camera in the mix covering your most critical low light needed FOV.
 

wittaj

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Your mate thinks reolink is okay because he hasn't had a need to provide video to police from an incident at night.

See this post from another thread with examples from reolink at night and tell me if they are any good.

Post some examples from your friends reolink at night with motion.

 

Shaky

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Reolink .. very good reasons why members dislike that company.

If you need good lowlight performance you will need cameras built with better components, so you would need a larger budget.
I guess that is one of the main problems with the Reolink cameras then. Not good really I suppose as lowlight is more often than not when, shall we say most illegal activity would be taking place. Especially where I live as I'm on a small cul-de-sac with only 8 bungalows on it and there's 100% some neighbours kicking about at various times during daylight hours, so summat suspicious would definitely be spotted but not so at night. :(

It really comes down to what you need and what your budget / affordability is.

For me I spent a lot on what were junk cameras when I started to learn, and that is one route to take while learning.
I'm more inclined to be of the "buy better, buy once" camp tbh, hence my questions here, to save unnecessary expense buying sub-standard kit. My original budget was what I guessed would be a decent starting point, obviously my lack of knowledge on this subject steered me the wrong way :lmao:. That is why I've asked the questions on here as what maybe looks fairly simple to put in place on paper is very rarely anything like that in real life. :banghead:

If you can afford better get one dahua oem or hikvision oem 4mp 1/1.8" varifocal camera to learn with.

You can always keep that one camera in the mix covering your most critical low light needed FOV.
Thanks for the suggestion @mat200 I'll have a look at those particular models and figure out what else I need to make a sort of "starter system" until I get a bit more used to using it. :thumb: I take it those models would be acceptable for the distances I have shown on the pdf ?

Your mate thinks reolink is okay because he hasn't had a need to provide video to police from an incident at night.

See this post from another thread with examples from reolink at night and tell me if they are any good.

Post some examples from your friends reolink at night with motion.
I'll have to ask him if he'll get me a copy of some of the evening motion recordings and if he agrees, I'll put them up here. I must admit I didn't get the chance to see any darkness shots as I was only there during the day fitting it for him. He seems to be well happy with it though but like you say @wittaj mebbe he hasn't really examined any lowlight recordings that have movement on them. I see what you mean re: the quality (or lack of should I say :thumbdown:) of the lowlight recordings on the Reolink stuff, quite shocking really as I thought an £800 budget would've given me some fairly useful gear ! His setup cost him £400 + £177 for a UPS and a pair of network powerline adapters.

Thanks again both for your input, it really is appreciated.
 
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Nothing looks better than an 8 megipixel camera in daylight. It also will look good at night without any rapid movement. Everything bad around my neighbothood happens at night.

After tying to identify 3 kids that tried to open my car door and they then did open my neighbors truck door to ramble thru it, i down graded from 8 mp cameras to 4 mp with larger sensors looking at my driveway.
 

xcore

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Hi Shaky,

For the UPS consider getting APC and also consider getting capacity which would suffice to buffer these 30 minute power cuts. It should be powering your PoE switch as well, this way you might have uninterrupted video feed.
I use APC 1500VA models (both rackmount and tower). I don't have additional batteries b/c I don't usually have power cuts. You might need batteries depending on the load/powercuts frequency.

I used many brands of UPSes, and I'm never buying anything but APC (they have their own issues, specifically with remote monitoring, but otherwise they stable as rock.
 

Shaky

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Nothing looks better than an 8 megipixel camera in daylight. It also will look good at night without any rapid movement. Everything bad around my neighbothood happens at night.

After tying to identify 3 kids that tried to open my car door and they then did open my neighbors truck door to ramble thru it, i down graded from 8 mp cameras to 4 mp with larger sensors looking at my driveway.
Yeah, it's the night-time recordings that I would be more interested in than daylight due to the reasons I posted above. Daytime I'm not half as bothered about capturing anything as I can virtually guarantee if there was anything dodgy going on, one of my neighbours would be out straight away asking questions.
 

Shaky

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Hi Shaky,

For the UPS consider getting APC and also consider getting capacity which would suffice to buffer these 30 minute power cuts. It should be powering your PoE switch as well, this way you might have uninterrupted video feed.
I use APC 1500VA models (both rackmount and tower). I don't have additional batteries b/c I don't usually have power cuts. You might need batteries depending on the load/powercuts frequency.

I used many brands of UPSes, and I'm never buying anything but APC (they have their own issues, specifically with remote monitoring, but otherwise they stable as rock.
Tbh I've had my cheapo VIX 3065 650VA UPS for about 7 years & it's on it's 3rd battery but hasn't missed a beat. If I went the BI separate rig vms route, I was considering just upgrading to a larger model from that manufacturer of about 1500VA like you suggest. I suppose there's always the option of seeing if there are any used APC models (from people that don't seem to like changing batt's in them once they're past their useful life) as APC do seem to be bloody expensive. I sometimes think it's a bit like brand snobbery and being able to charge extra because of the "but it's an APC UPS, it will be better" mentailty. I am a full-time cynic though but am open to being proved wrong :rofl:.

Thanks for the suggestion though, gives me food for thought. :thumb:
 

looney2ns

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Just say NO to buying anything Reolink, seriously. Except for their new Doorbell cam, it's ok.
You friend thinks Reolink is ok, because he doesn't know any better.
 

Silas

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BI will run on your current setup, but NOT without issues, even as a stand alone, the processor and graphics are going to be pushed at times, but knowing PLEX when using it as a server, if it would ever try to do a transcode of either video or audio when you are trying to capture data, something WILL degrade and you will not be happy with overall performance.

This is my experience, YMMV
 

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Just say NO to buying anything Reolink, seriously.
Tried one of their 8 port POE switches and have no issues with either the build quality or functionality. Also trying out the Dahua 8 port POE switch. Looks like the same quality and functionality as best I can tell.

As far as your ReoLink camera comment, I fully agree.....
 

looney2ns

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Tried one of their 8 port POE switches and have no issues with either the build quality or functionality. Also trying out the Dahua 8 port POE switch. Looks like the same quality and functionality as best I can tell.

As far as your ReoLink camera comment, I fully agree.....
I say that based on all the underhanded shenanigans that Reolink has pulled over the yrs.
Don't reward bad behavior.
They are horrible as a company.
 

Silas

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I 'think' that what happens today is that people miss the whole picture, most (myself included) are after a quick fix for an issue and we seek/use the internet for answers, often though, the answer is not what they want to hear as the decision to purchase has occured and they do not want to accept what they have is not the best solution.
Almost any camera will work, any NVR will work, BUT the answer you are given often doesn't show the YEARS of experience and heartache (expense) expended to get to that point, as identified IMO the use of wireless or extenders has proven to be problamatic to say the least, yet for some, it not only works, it works well, hence the reolink supporters, but the story ends there for them, for those of use that provide ongoing support (often reluctantly) we know this is not the end of the issue.
Yes the install you did of the reolink stuff has provided a solution, and it may be the right one for that use case, but the reason forums like this exist is because collectivly we can assist to help people get to the more suitable solution first time and at best least expense and outcome.
 

Shaky

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I 'think' that what happens today is that people miss the whole picture, most (myself included) are after a quick fix for an issue and we seek/use the internet for answers, often though, the answer is not what they want to hear as the decision to purchase has occured and they do not want to accept what they have is not the best solution.
Almost any camera will work, any NVR will work, BUT the answer you are given often doesn't show the YEARS of experience and heartache (expense) expended to get to that point, as identified IMO the use of wireless or extenders has proven to be problamatic to say the least, yet for some, it not only works, it works well, hence the reolink supporters, but the story ends there for them, for those of use that provide ongoing support (often reluctantly) we know this is not the end of the issue.
Yes the install you did of the reolink stuff has provided a solution, and it may be the right one for that use case, but the reason forums like this exist is because collectivly we can assist to help people get to the more suitable solution first time and at best least expense and outcome.
Very good explanation and one I agree with 100%. Tbh I had never really considered getting a cctv setup as there's very rarely ever nobody in my house. However, this does give a false sense of security as it only takes the one couple of hours away for some low-life to strike and cause loads of heartache. It's only with me agreeing to fit my mates camera's for him that got me interested as i always thought cctv was massively expensive but even his setup (admittedly as I now know thanks to this board is underwhelming to say the least) at just under £600 isn't exactly a kings ransom for piece of mind. ;)

I'm guessing that with the way I would like to spec my own system, I'm looking at a starting amount of about three times that figure to get a useful setup that can actually get some sort of recognition so I'm busy looking for pieces of hardware now. It is proving to be a minefield coz of all the variations so I keep referring back to this site for examples. :idk:

I think (thanks to @mat200 above for one) I've got the general gist of it and I'm currently looking for 4MP 1/1.8" varifocal units as night vision is what I'm most interested in. I may well be looking in the wrong place though, as judging by the comments I've received earlier, I was expecting them to be a LOT more expensive than the initial Reolink ones I was browsing over but the units I've looked at seem to be in the £120~£150 range or does that seem to be right to you guys ?

If that is the case then it's a pleasant surprise as I only need to budget for less than a grand £ for the cameras and the rest of the kit isn't a problem as I've seen some used Optiplex PC's on eBay for £150 or so. The main thing is that I don't want to rush into buying the wrong stuff and then regret it down the line. I'd rather buy correctly now and then spend time getting it fitted and setup correctly. No point in making daft mistakes if I can avoid them. :thumb:
 

mat200

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Very good explanation and one I agree with 100%. Tbh I had never really considered getting a cctv setup as there's very rarely ever nobody in my house. However, this does give a false sense of security as it only takes the one couple of hours away for some low-life to strike and cause loads of heartache. It's only with me agreeing to fit my mates camera's for him that got me interested as i always thought cctv was massively expensive but even his setup (admittedly as I now know thanks to this board is underwhelming to say the least) at just under £600 isn't exactly a kings ransom for piece of mind. ;)

I'm guessing that with the way I would like to spec my own system, I'm looking at a starting amount of about three times that figure to get a useful setup that can actually get some sort of recognition so I'm busy looking for pieces of hardware now. It is proving to be a minefield coz of all the variations so I keep referring back to this site for examples. :idk:

I think (thanks to @mat200 above for one) I've got the general gist of it and I'm currently looking for 4MP 1/1.8" varifocal units as night vision is what I'm most interested in. I may well be looking in the wrong place though, as judging by the comments I've received earlier, I was expecting them to be a LOT more expensive than the initial Reolink ones I was browsing over but the units I've looked at seem to be in the £120~£150 range or does that seem to be right to you guys ?

If that is the case then it's a pleasant surprise as I only need to budget for less than a grand £ for the cameras and the rest of the kit isn't a problem as I've seen some used Optiplex PC's on eBay for £150 or so. The main thing is that I don't want to rush into buying the wrong stuff and then regret it down the line. I'd rather buy correctly now and then spend time getting it fitted and setup correctly. No point in making daft mistakes if I can avoid them. :thumb:
Hi @Shaky

In terms of sourcing :

Many of us are purchasing Dahua OEM cameras from Andy @EMPIRETECANDY as he provides good customer service and quick shipping.

In the USA, I found that compared to Dahua USA models sold by vendors, Andy's Dahua OEM model selection and prices can not be beat by US based vendors.
 

looney2ns

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The first order of business for any security situation is that you should have a good monitored ALARM system first.
CCTV is considered surveillance not security.
 

Shaky

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Hi @mat200

I've seen the site store and also references to the user @EMPIRETECANDY selling kit but I think (going on past experiences with buying bike bits through a mate stateside) that although the international shipping costs are more than reasonable, the UK's crazy import charges would almost definitely preclude me from purchasing from him unfortunately. :thumbdown: I'm also finding it a bit difficult to actually find a varifocal camera with a 1/1.8 sensor - lol. All the ones I've come across up to now have had a 1/2.8 sensor, whcih I believe is smaller and therefore less effective in low light conditions ? Maybe it's my lack of experience as well in this subject, wouldn't be surprised. :rofl:

Thirty years ago, I would've prolly breezed through it without even breaking a sweat but nowadays, tech stuff always seems to take that whole lot longer to sink in.......I hate getting old ;) I'll just have to keep rattling through threads on here and see if I can workit out that way.....wish me luck :thumb:
 
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