Not worth the time or trouble.

Discussion in 'ZoneMinder' started by hmjgriffon, Apr 11, 2014.

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  1. Murilo

    Murilo n3wb

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    Hey guys, thanks a lot for this thread.

    I have 10 câmeras in my store (runing at 720p @ 10 fps), using motion detection to record all of then.

    I have tried Zoneminder for 3 months in a Ubuntu VM, after several troubles (change record files folder, 100gb/day with tons of files, socks limits on browser), a LOT of CPU processing (more than 50% when viewing all cameras), several crashs (that made me set to mocord just 4 of 10 cameras) and a lot of headache, I finally decided to check for alternatives.

    I have tried Shinobi too, maybe its better than Zoneminder, but still a lot of trouble for just a few cameras. When I was thinking to stick with Shinobi, moeiscool decided to change the project to have a "pro" version, maybe with a more mature software it will be a good option.

    And then I found BI, now it's running in a Virtualbox VM for 4 days.

    Files: 30gb up to now
    CPU Load - i7 920: 15% (idle) and 20~25% with 5~6 cameras detecting movements and recording.
    Viewing all cameras through GUI at 8 fps over a RDP connection (cameras in Brazil while I'm in USA/Germany).

    My tests will continue for more a couple of days and I will probably order the full version of Blue Iris.
     
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  2. jasauders

    jasauders Getting the hang of it

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    Glad to hear Blue Iris is working for you. If it works for you, by all means, great. I've been keeping my eye on ZoneMinder for years, though like you I ran into snags that shifted my focus elsewhere.

    If you're trying to hone in on a Linux-specific option, Bluecherry is another to consider. I have been running Bluecherry for about 2 years. It's been rock solid. I haven't had any major issues with it, literally, at all. It's running on a low end i3 system, and even still the processor is next to asleep. I have 8 cameras, all 3 megapixel, all 10 FPS, recording to a 2TB drive. There's no dedicated mobile app for Bluecherry, but TinyCam does have a pre-defined Bluecherry entry for live viewing remotely, which works great. Pretty easy to set up.

    The thing I like about Bluecherry is it has an actual client, and likewise, it's cross platform. So while the server is specifically designed for Linux (which, just personal opinion here, I consider a benefit), the client is available on Mac, Linux, and Windows. Takes the edge off quite a bit as some friends and family have requested CCTV installs and I don't have to give their OS of choice a second thought as I know they can interface with it (so far, two are Ubuntu users, one is a Mac user, two are Windows users, so you can see how the cross platform client helped in this case).

    Other oddball uses I've grown to appreciate: My HTPC system (computer in my living room which controls Netflix, Kodi, Amazon Prime Streaming, DVD playing, etc) is running a full OS (Ubuntu Gnome), but just scaled up to nicely fit for longer distance (living room) viewing. Having the client there is nice on the weekends when the kiddos are napping and I'm on the laptop catching up on work. Fire up the client on the HTPC, full screen it, let it rip while I work. Helps to see what the kiddos are up to. Likewise, I have an old laptop on my nightstand. It streams the video feeds throughout the night. It's nice if I'm woken up during the night to just glance over and know what's going on. I know others can accommodate these things in different ways, but I figured I'd share while my thoughts were rolling.

    If nothing else, possibly something to consider. But if Blue Iris does what you're after, then carry on. :)
     
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  3. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    bluecherry needs a mobile app..otherwise simply unusable for 99 percent of folks who want to be able to view a recorded event..even if 30 seconds earlier...
     
  4. jasauders

    jasauders Getting the hang of it

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    A native mobile app would help, surely. All things considered, I'd take a cross platform client + live view on mobile over no client whatsoever and a mobile app capable of pulling down past feeds. Remotely pulling feeds isn't the quickest thing in the world unless you have the upload bandwidth to support it. That said, there are some misc oddball things that help, such as automatic email notifications with screenshots of motion detection, etc. There's no denying that a mobile app would be a nice supplement to what's already provided, though. That said, just speaking entirely from my own experience, the majority of folks I've worked with are typically after a live view when on mobile, seemingly just to spot check the driveway and see if the kids are home, or see if that Amazon package is at the front door, etc. I have yet to come across a deal breaker in any capacity regarding someone requiring digging up past feeds when out and about on mobile. I'm not denying that there's not folks out there who require this -- just speaking from my own experience that that particular item has yet to be an issue.

    One thing I've flirted with in my mind regarding Bluecherry and their lack of mobile app is whether something like that could be integrated into TinyCam when interfacing with a Bluecherry server. I have a very high opinion of TinyCam. It's a solid app. The mobile apps I've used with multiple other CCTV systems are often very lacking, prone to crashing, etc. If TinyCam could somehow be extended to carve past feeds from Bluecherry, that'd be a pretty stacked offering.
     
  5. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    remote client, while nice, is not needed for most applications...if you do, there are much better options like milestone, exacq, or digital watchdog etc...I have not met anyone, literally anyone who would find it acceptable that they cannot check on a motion event or other event remotely..live view is mostly useless unless as you say to see a package was delivered...the fact that they dont have a mobile client tells me there is a serious issue with the development...
    There are other benefits to remote clients such as push notifications, and in blue iris things like profile/alert changes, (easy to disable alerts when you get home)...enable/disable cameras, etc..
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2017
  6. jasauders

    jasauders Getting the hang of it

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    The lack of a mobile client isn't an unknown thing about Bluecherry. It's something they are working towards. Some folks out there have different preferences than yours. Some folks find the benefits they get from Bluecherry outweigh being able to draw up past feeds from their phone and are fine with mobile live view. It's not a sign of "bad development". I've seen the code, helped troubleshoot that code and have experienced this product over a solid period of time. It's rock solid stable and easy to use. That's not a sign of bad development, it's a sign that they deliver when fully tested and ready. I'm not saying I don't want a mobile client, but I'm saying what they offer gives me, and others, something that other outlets do not. When it comes to remote clients, Milestone is still lacking as they only have a Windows client. The cross platform client of Bluecherry acts as a benefit here. 100% of your folks may fit that paradigm, but most of mine do not. Likewise, I feel as though the UI is cleaner. It may not matter to you, but it matters to others, thus the blanket statement of "this is bad, but these over here, much better" goes against what some folks out there might experience. I'm not arguing that you're wrong, I'm simply saying that different folks have different preferences. There is no one-size-fits-all answer. People have options, choice, and a different subset of preferences and differences to hash out. And that's okay. Honest. It's okay to explore different options. As long as what you're using/what you're after does what you need it to, who is to argue?
     
  7. aristobrat

    aristobrat Getting comfortable

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  8. jasauders

    jasauders Getting the hang of it

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    All depends on your perspective. :)

    But yes, the roadmap is nice, the transparency is nice as well. Several features I requested were added and a few more are already in progress. Small but good group of devs from everything I've experienced.
     
  9. Dragon

    Dragon Young grasshopper

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    I write software for a living and usually choose open source solutions because I can modify them to do exactly what I want them to do. Unfortunately, when it came to ZoneMinder, it had too many critical problems that had no obvious solution. Running on a dedicated NUC with 1.9Ghz i5 processor and 8gb ram, it would consistently capture about 4 seconds of video followed by dropping 3 seconds, then resuming. Multiple alarms don't combine into a single capture, so a PIR sensor trips an alarm that captures a cat moving for a few seconds, then a motion alarm triggers a separate video that captures the cat going through some of the same motions and then moving farther. Watching just 3 cameras (2mp and 3mp) plus motion capture on them hit 60% CPU. GUI camera view and replay is quite primitive.

    Blue Iris ate even more CPU than ZoneMinder and I did not like having to remote control the machine to view video. I don't want to have to run a powerful server capable of multi-stream video playback that only gets used to view the video occasionally. Blue Iris (at least then) had no way to view a subset of alarms. Ie I have cameras that trigger on every motion that get a lot of false positives, but they have alternate motion regions or PIR sensors that rarely trigger false alarms. I want to only look at the rarely false alarms most of the time.

    So I went with Milestone XProtect which has all the features I want and is light on CPU use. I paid for it but it's now free up to 8 cameras with no limit on saving recordings. XProtect's motion alarms are a little primitive (and low CPU) but most cameras can now handle the motion alarm processing and send XProtect an alarm.

    Bluecherry sounds like it could be cool too.
     
  10. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    Blue iris uses way less cpu than zoneminder...blue iris you simply need to set it up properly selecting direct to disk recording, blue iris also now offers hardware acceleration which further reduces cpu consumption significantly...if you properly setup blue iris, using zone crossing and correct motion settings you wont have all those false alerts...the in camera motion detection you rely on with milestone is practically useless...

    blue cherry offers no remote mobile app...
     
  11. jasauders

    jasauders Getting the hang of it

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    I'm a bit surprised by your Blue Iris vs ZoneMinder system resource comparison. Blue Iris is far from the lightest VMS I've used, but ZoneMinder reigns king by several fold with all I've experienced when it comes to using high CPU resources. The issue with ZoneMinder is it's slicing up the video into singular JPGs and thus storing them accordingly, and in the event of motion detect, analyzing each individual frame to the next to the next to the next. Rig up six cams @ 10 FPS and you have 60 FPS slamming the box looking for a place to be stored and analyzed. Just two 3 megapixel cameras was enough to tax an i3 processor to the point that I didn't think adding a third 3 megapixel camera would even be possible... Blue Iris should use less than that by quite a margin, particularly with some of the knobs within the application that you can turn to tune things down.

    All that said, ZM *is* getting better. It's just... a glacier-like process. :p The development version of ZoneMinder is moving to mp4 based storage (finally) which cuts down a mammoth amount of the resources it currently utilizes. It's not in mainline yet, and should have been months ago, but you know... things take time I suppose.

    This is where I ended up after my rendezvous with ZoneMinder (and a number of others). I'm definitely a fan of it. Good dev speed, good chunk of niceties. Certain folks like to bring up at every opportunity there's no mobile app :p but the web UI is designed to scale with mobile very well, and likewise TinyCam has a Bluecherry entry for live view, so that's neato (which I'm very thankful for as TinyCam is easily the nicest mobile app I've used). The server/client relationship is gold. Slinging live video feed a remote desktop connection is a bit janky to me, but a client tapping direct into the ffmpeg streams from the server is something I, quite greatly, appreciated.

    But hey, like anything else, mileage and preferences vary. May your experience with Milestone work out well for you. If not, there's still some options out there. And besides, that's part of the fun, right? ;)
     
  12. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    A proper mobile app is very important for most...I know I could not implement any system without a mobile app, that is something that is often assumed to be available....therefore it is important to point out.
     
  13. bp2008

    bp2008 Staff Member

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    I think MP4 is a terrible file format for surveillance software because the file isn't valid/readable until it is completely written. Why they would choose MP4, knowing this, is beyond me. Should have chosen another format like MKV or even cooked up something proprietary like Blue Iris did, so as to not have that limitation.
     
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