Would appreciate the guidance!


Apr 28, 2015
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My name is Al, I’m a licensed Electrical Contractor, and have no problem wiring your house, commercial building, high rise, or running miles of cat 5/6 wire however don’t ask me to fix your radio, or change your camera's ip address.

I’ve been watching and reading the posts for some time now. Know I’ve made some mistakes with regards to my system, although some things have worked out ok so far (or pretty much so).

I’m using a PC with Milestone Essential, works pretty well although have nothing to compare it to. One of my Hikvision turret DS-2CD2332-1 cameras has died after a rain storm, which I need to replace. In addition would like to add 2-3 additional cameras. Have read it’s suggested not to purchase from Amazon? Also that the higher the megapixel the lower the night quality which I doesn’t seem logical. Cameras purpose is security, ir’s try to reach apron 50 ft, system set to record on motion trigger.

So my questions...

*Is there a more “friendLy” software I should consider
*Adding 2-3 cameras, turret have worked better than domes (especially at night) would like 3-5 mp cameras- any suggestions? and where to purchase?

Is there a substantially better recording software?
and oh so many more questions that I’ll resolve over time!

Thanks for taking the time appreciate the help!


IPCT Contributor
May 12, 2016
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Waterproof your Ethernet connections with dielectric grease and self sealing silicone tape.
Blue Iris - Video Security Software would be a good software alternative.

For night time performance the Dahua Starlight Varifocal Turret (IPC-HDW5231R-Z) (or ZE variant) will do much better than higher resolution cameras. Zoom the camera in a bit to see more detail. As you increase the number of pixels on an image sensors each pixel gets smaller, as a result fewer photons of light reach each pixel and the result is just tons of noise. The Starlight sensors are also what's known as back illuminatedwhich improves night performance substantially. Even in regular cameras there's a lot more to a good camera then the number of megapixles, sensor size is pretty important here too.

A good place to order them is from user


IPCT Contributor
Dec 5, 2016
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Blue Iris is the PC NVR software that most folks (with PCs) use here. There's an entire sub-forum dedicated to it, lots of folks helping folks as questions come up. One of the members has even created a series of YouTube videos showing how to get the most out of it. I've only ever used Blue Iris, so I can't compare it to Milestone.

The thing to watch for on Amazon/eBay is that you're not buying a model of camera that is intended for the Chinese consumer market. The firmware for those is usually only in Chinese, but resellers can "hack it" so that it's in English. The problem is, if you ever try to upgrade that hacked firmware, it will often brick the camera (worse case), or apply successfully, but then your menus are now all in Chinese. These cameras also often come with plastic casings/mounts, whereas the true International versions of these cameras usually have metal casing/metal mount.

The user (Andy, ... forum name @EMPIRETECANDY) that @tangent recommended you consider for ordering Dahua equipment has been helping folks on the forum here for about as long as Dahua has been making the Starlight model cameras. He doesn't just sell him, he stays active in the various threads and helps answer questions and keeps the forum updated on new equipment coming out. The few times folks have run into weird issues that the forum couldn't figure out (there is a ton of collective knowledge here about Dahua stuff), he's brought the issues directly to the attention of Dahua support engineers. He's based in China, accepts payments via PayPal, and ships via DHL (so stuff arrives pretty quick)!
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