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Old 09-13-2020, 01:12 PM
Best4x4xFAR's Avatar
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Advice on Home Security Cameras?

I guess this would be the right place for this, though this forum doesn't seem terribly active, but here goes..

Okay, so itís been one of those things on my list that Iíve put off for years. Exterior security Cameras. Iíll be honest, one of the reasons has been that it seems impossible to get cameraís with enough resolution to really get any detail/ Identify anyone, or even a tag number without spending $10K plus. As with everything, technology gets cheaper, and Iím wondering if the current breed of 4K cameras are both affordable enough and have the needed resolution.

Before I go any further, Iím not interested in Ring, Nest, etc, or any system that wants to stream the footage to their cloud, and charge me a monthly fee. Iím looking for a standalone system with my own DVR/NVR that footage is stored on. And although they would be so much easier to install, not looking for wifi cameraís.

As always, Iíd love to stay away from buying Chinese made products, but as is almost always the issue with electronics, I suppose this is going to be nearly impossible, particularly without breaking the bank. Speaking of breaking the bank, there is some really cool PTZ technology out there now, with cameraís that not only sense motion, but zoom in on and track it, but are around $700/ camera and up, itís not going to fit my budget. So Iím likely going to be looking at fixed position/Focal length Bullet or dome style cameras..

Then the next question is whether to spend more and go with an all-digital PoE and NVR system, or an analog system with DVR. Seems like resolution and image quality levels can be the same, but prices are higher for the digital systems. And both analog and digital system seem to have the ability to monitor remotely through phone and smart TV Apps. So is there really an advantage to spending more on the digital solution, of they are the same resolution, and if so why?

So Iím sure there are plenty of fellow members who have invested in Security Cameras for your home. What do you suggest? What brands do you have good ro bad experiences with? Etc.. Iím trying to stay under a grand total with 6-8 cameras..

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Old 09-13-2020, 11:33 PM
haigha's Avatar
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My cameras are all wifi-based and most have cloud storage so no recommendations based on your requirements.

I'd lean towards PoE for your system. I'm not an expert but I expect it simplifies the set up and maintenance. You'll probably need additional lighting if you want decent nighttime captures. Make sure the system has person detection. I mostly get moths, foxes, raccoons and skunks on my cameras at night. Hedges and trees set off some of the cameras when it's windy.

One thing to check is whether you can monitor your cameras in a web browser and on Echo or Google video devices, if you have those.
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Old 09-14-2020, 01:55 PM
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I found this deal on Costco for 4k system, currently on sale for $650:


8 - Channel 4K Ultra HD NVR with 2TB HDD

8 - 4K UHD Smart Deterrence Cameras (Warning Light + Siren)

Smart (Person and Vehicle) Motion Detection

Smart Home Compatibility

Local Storage with no Hidden Cloud Fees

Limited number of mixed reviews, but it's Costco so you can take it back if you're not happy.

As I wrote earlier, you'll probably need additional lighting.

EDIT: Or this 16 channel system with motorized optical zoom, just over $1k after coupon CYBER25:


No Costco return policy with that one though

Last edited by haigha; 09-14-2020 at 02:36 PM.
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Old 09-14-2020, 04:29 PM
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OP, I've used a couple of different PoE NVR systems here at the house. First one was from Monoprice and was an 8 cam 720p setup. Chinese of course. Video quality was decent. Could read plates in the driveway. Night time quality was pretty meh. Motion detection zones were good though and would send a screen shot and email to my phone. So it served it's purpose. The NVR unit met it's death after a lightning strike after using it for 4 years.

Next one was a Chinese 1080p 8 cam PoE NVR setup purchased off Amazon. Live video quality is better and the nighttime quality is much better. But the hardware was almost identical to the previous NVR unit. I'm sure there are 20+ companies using the same hardware manufactured in China. But the system works and has been reliable over the last 2 years.

What lets these systems down though (both of them) is the browser based management firmware in the units. Scrubbing through footage is an absolute chore and something I am loathe to have to do. Takes forever and quality isn't as good as I would like. The live video on the NVR attached monitor is much better than the recorded video I pull off the unit over the network, regardless of the settings I use. The cheap Chinese apps used to monitor them can be annoying too. IP Pro3 is the current one I'm using if you want to check it out.

All that said, we are glad we have the units. Has come in handy multiple times and is always peace of mind when we're on vacation. But we are certainly on the look for a better solution with all your same prerequisites. Non cloud, no monthly fee, PoE, not crazy expensive, etc.
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