NVR vs Blue Iris

cousinjoe

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I have a couple parts to this question. Trying to figure out the best solution for my setup.

I have 5 (could expand to 6-7 in the near future) outdoor cams and 4 indoor cams plus a doorbell cam. I'm trying to decide between the dahua NVR and investing in a full Blue Iris setup. I know Blue Iris is the ultimate goal, but at the moment for cost and speed to implement I'm wondering how much I'll miss out on going the NVR route.

My ultimate goal is to remotely view all my cameras while out of the house or at work, receive notifications about activity, and have backups to view if need be. All my outdoor cams are 5442's and my indoor cams are 3241's. I'm also about to purchase the dahua video doorbell as well.

What is the quickest and easiest way to view the cameras remotely without any hardware as something I can get up and running immediately? I have a UniFi network setup at home (UDM Pro and 48 port PoE switch). I know port forwarding isn't very secure and there are better options such as VLAN's, etc.

I would like to integrate the cameras with my home automation (Hubitat, Alexa) for voice controls, etc. Also wanted to see what most do or use to view the cameras quickly? Viewing on your TV's, or another display?

I'm just wondering if I'll fully utilize all of the features of Blue Iris to warrant sourcing a desktop on eBay (super helpful having specs and desktops listed out in the cliff notes) and spending time on the learning curve of the system to fine tune all the details or could I get what I need through the NVR with it's software or possibly a 3rd party software for the NVR?

Thanks!
 
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I've been using BI for five or six years. I just tried, for a laugh, the Dahua PC based NVR. Comparing the two it's like a rotten lemon to the sweetest peach you've ever eaten. Yes, there is a learning curve and a higher cost, but the overall flexibility, control and features make it more than worth that learning curve. Plus you've got a lot of people here to lend a hand when you get stuck.

Figure, round numbers, a used PC with a "Pro" version of Windows on it for $200, an SSD boot drive, 250 or 500 gig, for $100 and a PoE switch (if you don't already have one) for another $150. Then there is storage space for video and a 8TB, surveillance class drive, is in the $200 range. You'd need drives like that for an NVR anyway.

In terms of access, use a VPN for access from outside your LAN. A VLAN for the cameras, or a second NIC in a BI machine, will keep them isolated and prevent them from phoning home or being hacked into a botnet.

I can view the system on our "smart" TV using a browser and the BI web interface, UI3 (thanks to BP2008 for developing that) and do the same when viewing remotely. Anything that can connect via WiFI, a tablet or phone, can also use UI3.

There are tons of threads regarding home automation in conjunction with BI in this forum. Have a look around.
 

wittaj

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Last thing you want to do is purchase a cheap NVR that is underpowered for 9 cameras. Read the tech specs carefully. It will need a lot of bandwidth and the ability to stream all those at the resolution of the cameras.

I was there and once I learned from this site that not all NVRs are created the same and once I looked at those aspects and found an NVR that was capable of running what I needed, to purchase an NVR to run my cams, a dedicated computer and BI was cheaper...

An NVR is basically a computer that all it can do is that and usually not very well. I have had NVRs in the past and am now a BI user and will never go back. Playback was horrible trying to find something even if only set to record on motion. Every morning in Blue Iris in under 1 minute and I can quickly see if anything happened I need to investigate. It took forever to try to find an event on the NVR. I didn't see my electric bill go up when I made the switch. I actually still have an old NVR going just for kicks and backup until it dies. We had a power outage recently and the BI computer lasted the entire outage on backup power and the NVR did not - two separate backup units but the exact same model purchased at same time. You run the computer without the monitor on and BI runs as a service and you don't run anything else on it and the power isn't really as much as you think.
 

cousinjoe

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Thanks guys! Seems like it's a no brainer to go BI. What type of desktops are you guys running, one of the ones listed on the cliff notes page or any other recommendations on top of those?
 

wittaj

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I am running one based on what the cliff notes said - definitely look at refurbished from ebay or elsewhere - get one from a business coming off lease with Windows 10 Pro - I kid you not this thing looked brand new and was a fraction of the cost of a new one.
 
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I'm running on an old desktop in a really BIG case. It's an i7-6700K with 32 gigs of dual channel RAM. The mobo doesn't support onboard video which means no Intel hardware acceleration so I'm running a "mid range" NVidia RTX2070 which is a total power hog. One of these days, when I finally get all the cameras installed, I'll replace it with a used desktop from EBay. On a side note, with 14 cameras running at the moment, the 2070 is hardly even being "tickled".
 

cousinjoe

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I am running one based on what the cliff notes said - definitely look at refurbished from ebay or elsewhere - get one from a business coming off lease with Windows 10 Pro - I kid you not this thing looked brand new and was a fraction of the cost of a new one.
Yeah I just searched eBay for a Dell Optiplex 7040 i7-6700, 3.4GHz. I can easily swap drives and memory but from what I’ve gathered this should be enough power for me for ~10-12 cameras. They look to run around $300 give or take with Windows 10 Pro installed. The WD purple HDD’s seem to be the favorite so popping one of those in, and maybe just run the OS and smaller stuff off whatever drive comes installed in the tower.
 
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I've got 14 cameras running and I'm using the substream feature of BI. The CPU rarely goes over 10% utilization for BI and 20% total with all the junk Windows has running. 10-12 cameras would be easily handled by a n i7-6700 even without substream use, unless they're all 4K/8MP cameras at very high bit rates.

task_manager.JPGtask_manager.JPG
 

cousinjoe

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Ultimately I’ll have (6-7) 4MP 5442’s outdoors, (1) Dahua doorbell cam, and (4) 2MP 3241’s indoors. Currently I have (3) 3241’s indoor and (4) 5442’s outdoor but adding more in the very near future as I adjust coverage.
 

fenderman

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Yeah I just searched eBay for a Dell Optiplex 7040 i7-6700, 3.4GHz. I can easily swap drives and memory but from what I’ve gathered this should be enough power for me for ~10-12 cameras. They look to run around $300 give or take with Windows 10 Pro installed. The WD purple HDD’s seem to be the favorite so popping one of those in, and maybe just run the OS and smaller stuff off whatever drive comes installed in the tower.
Consider that an i5-8500 is more powerful than an i7-6700 and can be had for about 300-350 see hp elitedesks.
Note that there is only space for a single 3.5 drive in the optiplex SFF size.
 

cousinjoe

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Consider that an i5-8500 is more powerful than an i7-6700 and can be had for about 300-350 see hp elitedesks.
Note that there is only space for a single 3.5 drive in the optiplex SFF size.
I did not know that, appreciate the info. Back to eBay I go to see what I can find.
 

cousinjoe

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I saw a Elitedesk I5-8500 go for $275 a few days ago. It was bid only. Take your time, the deals are there, it's takes patience.
That’s awesome, I’ll definitely turn on some alerts on my eBay account and jump in on any deals. Thanks for the info!
 

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cousinjoe

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cousinjoe

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As a follow up, are there any major differences between the HP EliteDesk vs ProDesk? Assuming they have the same i5-8500 processor and memory and drives?
 

Flintstone61

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Ultimately I’ll have (6-7) 4MP 5442’s outdoors, (1) Dahua doorbell cam, and (4) 2MP 3241’s indoors. Currently I have (3) 3241’s indoor and (4) 5442’s outdoor but adding more in the very near future as I adjust coverage.
I have 10 Camera's running on a Dell Optiplex 7020 DT. with a 3rd generation i7 3770s, would not recommend for anyone about to buy, because the 6th Generation i-7 using DDR4 and 8th gen i-5 really appear to be in the sweetspot for cost/performance situation. I will say My machine also streams 14 channels from the ethernet feed off the Nightowl 16ch DVR.
Built it up with a refurbished WD Blue 5.0TB...Then I cloned the WIn 10 Pro from the old 3.5 HDD to a Samsung evo 250GB and boom, I'm in. Average CPU usage floats around 32%. It was at 50% until I dropped the frame rates on some hallway camera's. Some of the SFF Pc's on ebay might not have room for a 2.5" SSD AND a 3.5" Spinning storage drive. There is an Optiplex Wiki page Dell OptiPlex - Wikipedia listing the Models with the various form factors and USB ports and SATA ports.etc....
I wonder if any performance gains can be made with a WD purple....It definitely can be glitchy if you try and do too much with it....But like someone else said...I can check the alert column for photos of triggers and see the overnight stuff in a timely manner.
Camera's

3- Loryta IPC-EW5541-AS (fisheye)
3- Amcrest IP5M-T1179EW-28MM
1- Amcrest IP5M-F1180EW (fisheye)
1- Amcrest IP2M-841W
1- Jidetech 2Mp 20x PTZ
1-Jidetech 4mp Mini PTZ smoked dome.
1-Loryta IPC-T5442TM-AS-LED ( not installed yet)
 
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