I want to implement a security system with say 3 cameras that save to one PC

Posted on 2005-05-04
Last Modified: 2010-04-11
I looked at this a few years ago but at the time the largest HDD was about 60gb but now surely it can not be too much trouble to store camera recordings to a pc.

What i am considering at both home and office are either wired or wireless cameras that save data to a pc with large HDD's

Wired is probably cheaper, but wires can be cut easily, whereas with wireless I can have a pc in roof space and no-one knows where it is or even if its in the same building.

I need cameras that record good images to a pc in real time or at least regular images.  Ideally I can build my own PC without a problem, but the main thing is what cameras are best for the job? and if I have three cameras I can have a windows OS installed on one 250gb drive that saves data from 1 or 2 cameras, then a second drive that stores data from a third camera.

It would be great for the PC to store a continuous 7 day cycle, then after 7 days overwrite the previous 7 days, but realistically if the cameras can be turned on 5pm friday and off at 10am Monday that is my ultimate aim, but the 7 day cycle is just my perfect solution.

Sorry for writing so much,  I hope someone can help me.

Question by:auraorange
    LVL 18

    Accepted Solution

    Well a lot of this depends on how advanced you want to get and how much money you want to spend.  I've looked at a lot of security vendors and what they offer and have chosen a vendor who has implemented a security camera system in my organization.

    I highly suggest atleast for the cameras that you go to a security vendor who does this day in and day out. Camera quality is simply amazing these days, but there is a lot to consider.

    The top security systems are built so that you aren't recording a dead room (well you are, but you aren't).  If there is nobody in a room then the cameras aren't saving the data....if someone walks into the room then the camers are setup to automatically record from say 7 seconds before the camera was activated.  

    You can also record in low resolution until an "event" happens and then the camera can automatically start recording in a higher resolution.

    From what I've looked at and from the vendor we have, standard digital security systems work like this ......we have cameras that record to a digital recorder (a special device with a large hard drive). The digital recorder can control the camera such as the pan tilt on the camera and all other controllable features. There is also propriatary software that is used to view and control the camera (via IP address) from any computer.

    No matter what, there has to be someway for the camera to interact with your PC.  I don't know if you can do that solely with software or if you need a digital recorder device. I only know what systems I looked at and what my organization implemented.

    But I highly suggest researching some vendors and talking your needs over with them. They are the experts on this and they will be able to sit down with you and tell you exactly what you need to get what you want.
    LVL 18

    Expert Comment

    Just to add.....I consider security systems a big deal since no matter which one you go are usually talking about a decent amount of money.  Don't take it lightly.  My organization learned this the hard way....they didn't think about the future and changing technology and ended up 10 years ago with a camera system where the vendor then went out of business shortly after the system was purchased and we were left with an already obsolete and unmanagable system.
    LVL 12

    Assisted Solution

    Okie....There are some softwares and hardwares (here we call it Fish Camera)...Made by Taiwanese guys...they have got the automatic software to re-write the video files...i guess its suitable for you..probably a quick enquiry in any of your fav IT store may give you some more info...
    LVL 18

    Assisted Solution

    Any security system is only as good as its weakest link. In your scenario I see the dependence upon a pc for media storage as suspect.

    That being said digital video monitoring solutions have come a long way and few will be based upon a pc, most use their own recording appliance. The wireless solution although might be attractive will cost twice what a wired solution would.

    I think a better solution would be to install a 4 channel Digital Video recorder that is networkable and connect it to a basic camera / monitor solution. The DVR should run less than 1k with 4 cameras costing around 300 for black and white and 450 for color. Double those costs for a wireless solution.

    I like the networked solution because you can make any computer on the lan act as a monitor.

    There are a variety of on-line sources where you can get this stuff from but the piece of mind that you can get from a professional installer for an extra 20-30% of the cost can be more than instructional enough to justify the added expense.

    Hope this helps.

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