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Home cameras

VarinnVarinn Vancouver, BCRegistered User regular
Girlfriend and I are looking at cameras for around the house, primarily indoor usage to cover our living and family rooms/garage. There are plenty of windows in these spaces, as well as all of our entrances to the house.

We saw and snagged a trio of TRENDnet TV-IP762IC cameras for cheap cheap from an NCIX local to us. I spent today playing with and attempting to set them up in a way that works well and I'm really not that satisfied with them. We are debating returning them for a few reasons
1. Mediocre video quality at best, live stream looks ok. Recorded video is junk and I can't seem to get the settings up to correct it.
2. Software is horrible to use, I'm usually ok with the software but this one I struggle with navigating and setting up correctly.
3. Does not work well with my NAS, I'm forced to leave the app running on a spare laptop versus letting my NAS do the decoding.
4. Mobile app sucks! The TRENDnet app looks great, but as far as I can tell mobile viewing only works while I'm connected to my home wifi... somewhat useless??

What I'm after is this
- 3 cameras, 720p+ quality
- WiFi (802.11N)
- Day/Night modes
- Cloud/mobile service and/or easy connectivity to save events on the DNS 320L NAS and recall from it
- $500CAD max budget
- Semi-sleek design, I intend to hide them among books, shelving, etc.

Where should I be looking for these? The Nest cameras seem to be the simplest solution but I need to research how to save videos without the cloud service plan. Alternatives would be offerings from Dlink that match our NAS, some more standard models that include a DVR like Swann, Lorex, Qsee, etc.

Posts

  • FantasmaFantasma Registered User regular
    Contact a reputable Security Camera Installation Office, no system is bullet proof. If you decide to go by yourself, you may try this place:

    https://www.lorextechnology.com/site/store/index.jsp

    Hear my warnings, unbelievers. We have raised altars in this land so that we may sacrifice you to our gods. There is no hope in opposing the inevitable. Put down your arms, unbelievers, and bow before the forces of Chaos!
  • bowenbowen How you doin'? Registered User regular
    edited January 2016
    Check out ubiquiti stuff, their cameras are tiny as fuck.

    quDXSDo.png


    That's straight from icyliquid our vanilla liaison.

    bowen on
    not a doctor, not a lawyer, examples I use may not be fully researched so don't take out of context plz, don't @ me
  • SeñorAmorSeñorAmor !!! Registered User regular
    As a guy who works in the security industry, I was going to also suggest the Ubiquiti line.

    If you have specific personal questions, please feel free to PM me, otherwise I'll keep an eye on this thread.

  • VarinnVarinn Vancouver, BCRegistered User regular
    Wow that little Ubiquiti Micro thing is awesome, quick search online and the video quality seems pretty dang good. Doesn't hurt that they're cheap either!

    I will try to look more at it soon (at work currently), do they have any kind of cell phone app that I could use to view from outside the house or would I have to set up some funky things with my network/router to make it happen?

    It looks like the big kicker with pretty much all of these cameras is having a DVR ($$$$) to go with them, unless I'm able to relinquish my laptop to essentially act as a server (which I would prefer to avoid)

  • SeñorAmorSeñorAmor !!! Registered User regular
    There's an app, but it's for local viewing only (at least I couldn't figure out how to add external cameras).

    You can probably set up a port forward in your router, however, so you can look at the cameras remotely using a browser.

  • VarinnVarinn Vancouver, BCRegistered User regular
    We returned the Trendnet cameras last weekend, luckily NCIX was easy to deal with on that!

    I did some looking at the dropcam units, but my big concern with them was the added monthly charge (not significant, but $20usd a month is $29.04cad and getting worse by the day. Recording at a high quality in our relatively high-activity house would use upwards of 300GB a month for one camera according to their own website. We want 3... So that would obliterate our monthly data cap with our ISP and it's an extra $50 a month for unlimited data.

    I came across the Dlink DCS-2630L and did some looking at them, they seem to be a fairly comparable unit in terms of features/quality. It has a nice android/iphone app for remote viewing, it can record to an SD card (meh), and it's designed to record to their own little separate DVR unit with another external hard drive.

    My IT buddy at work suggested doing it a different way though. His recommendation was to set up our DNS-320L nas to run an FTP server. Grab the cameras and set them to record on motion trigger via FTP, leading the files to our nas. We could manually set up in Windows (he thinks) a restriction on the save folder where any files older than 14 days would be deleted to make room for the new ones (or however much we needed to maintain capacity).

    I think this is a reasonable workaround to get us temporarily recording clips while we look at getting a proper DVR setup, either through integrated support with the NAS (Dlink says it is coming in a few months) or buy buying the DVR and a drive to give us full control over recording/playback.

    Thoughts??

  • VarinnVarinn Vancouver, BCRegistered User regular
    Bump!

    I bought the DCS-2630L and set them up last night. They seem to be working well enough, I can remote view them from my work and my phone using the remote view app or the website. Picture quality is great, framerate over wifi isn't the best however during live view.

    I tried to setup the FTP to record but whenever I hit the test button to try saving a sample video it says the FTP test has failed. Can anyone help me figure out where I'm going wrong?

    I set the NAS according to this guide . I did change port, and the max user count.

    Then I setup the camera to record video clips to FTP. I set the FTP server address as the IP of my NAS, the port as the custom one I picked, the username and password as the login information from the nas (that I use to enter the settings page), I set the file path as "/Recordings/Camera1/". Am I doing something wrong? Should I be using a different server? Should I try other ports? Different username/password? Do I have the file path entered incorrect? What is the passive mode feature used for?
    ppi23m8a37r7.png

    FTP.PNG 187.1K
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    Have you tried manually testing ftp access?


    Download an ftp client like filezilla to your computer and, while on same LAN connection as your nas, try to login to the ftp server (you'll need IP, username and password, may not need un/pw if your ftp server is setup for anon access). If you cannot login then your ftp server needs some configuration (make sure ftpd is running, your pw is correct, your account is not disabled, your account exists, that type of stuff). Once you can login try to write a file into the ftp user's directory. If you can login but cannot create or copy a txt file over then you've a permissions issue. Then also create the /Recordings/Camera1/ directory cause the camera software may not be able to write to a directory that doesn't exist. After you can do the above, retry the camera ftp upload test.


    Passive mode has to do with negotiation of communications between ftp client and server; it won't be relevant if the devices are on same LAN. If you want to port forward your ftp for external access then passive or active might play nicer with dumb consumer routers but I cannot recall which.

  • VarinnVarinn Vancouver, BCRegistered User regular
    edited February 2016
    Followed your steps, and it all works!

    I'm now recording videos to individual folders on the NAS, and I've gotten pretty much everything set up the way I want it! I ended up needing to setup the accounts on the NAS, so I made one for the camera, and one for me and my girlfriend. I learned a bit more about all this tonight so I managed to get the NAS a little more locked down than before. I used to hide the NAS from guest accounts by just not mapping the drive, but now they need a password to access it.

    The only side effects seem to be
    1: Even with schedules set to only record when we're asleep and/or at work I can see these two 1080p cameras using a bunch of space. I may need to buy another HD...
    2: I will need to closely monitor my data usage, I am not yet sure if they are always live streaming to the web account or only when being actively watched through the app.
    3: My mapped network drive for the NAS keeps disappearing from the file explorer. I can log in fine through the network locations list, but I like to keep it mapped as it holds all my photos, movies, and music. Foobar keeps freaking out when it goes away. Only my Volume_1 portion seems to disappear, the peer to peer portion that the NAS created for the torrent feature stays. I believe it's a permissions issue, at first I was getting an error that mentioned something about too many logins or something like that.

    The green circles are the drive that I essentially keep all of this on, and it is the one that goes away. I bet I could solve my issues completely if I moved the ftp server and video recording to a second drive in the NAS.
    n9pcu8gxjpve.png

    Varinn on
  • DjeetDjeet Registered User regular
    If your cameras have the functionality you can greatly reduce space consumption by having it record based off of motion detection; we have weeks of content from 8 cameras on a 1 TB drive (though these are crappy analog cameras and not 1080P digital). When doing playback you don't really want hours of nothing happening to slog through anyways. Otherwise you can reduce the framerate, but the playback will be choppy and you might miss something you wanted to see.

    If your internet is metered then you may want to port forward access directly through to the web interface on the nas/dvr instead of using a 3rd party website. 1080P video at 30 fps is probably around 100-200 MB/minute unless there is some good encoding/compression being used.

    Sorry, not sure how to help on the drive mapping issue.

  • VarinnVarinn Vancouver, BCRegistered User regular
    Got a response back from DLink support, fairly quickly I might add. Their answer about the data was that the cameras will stream 24/7 no matter what the other settings are so long as they are connected to a web account. They suggested unplugging the cameras or switching ISP's to one with unlimited bandwidth. Not happy with either I placed a call to my ISP and managed to get us upgraded from the 50/10mbps plan with 400gb of data to the 100/20mbps with 500gb plan for +$0 (for 6 months, then +$10). It's not much, but it could be enough to get us through. If need be I'll have to end up either downscaling the live stream video quality (currently set at 1280x720 10fps with 256kbps CBR) or paying for the unlimited bandwitdh option... An extra $30-$40 each month.

    Thanks for the help everyone, I think I know how to take it from here.

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