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Security cameras


Ponddude
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I know not everyone has a security on their display, but those of you that do, which ones do you use? How do you record them? Are they wireless or wired?

Spill the beans already!!

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I don't have cameras on my display (static until this year), but I do play with cameras.

The cheapest/easiest way would be to get a set of 3 wireless cameras and a 4 channel receiver. I got one from Costco or Sam's Club for around $120. Set up the cameras (each needs power for it's wall wart), plug the receiver into your VCR, set the receiver for scan all four channels, put in an 8 hour tape on slow speed and there you are. Just have to remember to change the tape every 8 hours.

Or the 'right' way to do it would be with a security designed recorder (either tape or hard disk). These can record multiple channels for many days at a time and offer search capability. Some can be triggered by motion sensors. This setup would probably cost maybe $300 for a simple 4 camera system up to the $2400 (from Costco) for the system I'm salivating over, 16 cameras and a humongus hard disk with controller built into a large LCD panel display.

Or, I've seen, somewhere, an all in one unit. Motion sensor, camera and memory built into one unit. Records a fairly short amount of time based on motion detected, then you access it with your computer to see it. Around $80 each, I think. Pretty much a toy, I think


Wireless is conveniant to install, but the picture is subject to interferance; sometimes its pretty good, sometimes its pretty crappy.

Beware of the 'camera hidden in a floodlight you just screw into a floodlight socket'. Cheap, unobtrusive and the picture is essentially unusable, especially at night. It transmits the picture over the power lines. If you have good luck with X10, it might work for you, but I've never gotten X10 to work and neither does this, for me. Plus, the system only allows 1 camera total. No way to have more than 1 camera in your house.

If you want to do it right and you have a Fry's electronics nearby, see what they offer for recorders and scanners. As I recall, their camera prices weren't exceptional. Also, check Costco, Sam's Club and especially, Costco online. If you've got an electronics specialty store locally, they might have a good selection of cameras.

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Donald Puryear

I use a DVR card in my server. You can get the cards for around 25$ for a 4 channel to 200$ for a 16 channel on Ebay. Cameras came from either Ebay or Sams club and are wired to the computer.. System works great. Running 8 cameras , never miss a beat.

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My suggestion here is if security is a problem for you, don't opt for cheaper cameras.. I work in the television business and the number of times the local police bring surveliance video from a bank robbery that is real bad due to cheap low resolution cameras makes me cringe. I purchased 2 used broadcast cameras on ebay for under 300 for both, they both have a timecode burn on them for time of day. I feed both of them into a DVD recorder with a hard drive that has 75 hours of storage. I can then stream the video out to rw dvd's. It gives me a high quaility picture.



greg

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I agree that going cheap, well you usually get what you pay for (or less) ... and most wireless cameras are pretty weak compared to the wired cameras.

I have a Panasonic Network Camera that is 802.11b wireless and is actually a good, reliable network camera (and color) ... AND the software works out of the box and its quite good for around $243. It records on motion and can even record prior to the motion because it had a large buffer built in. The downside is that the software doesn't accomodate > 1 camera without a license upgrade ... so you either upgrade it after the first camera ($$$) or run 1 camera per computer on multiple computers ... and the low light capabilities are kind of limiting factor, IMHO.

http://www.amazon.com/Panasonic-BL-C131A-Network-Camera-Wireless/dp/B000NVR9SM/ref=pd_bbs_sr_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1219987825&sr=8-1

But if I had the money, I would get an axis camera (2 or 3) and a quality branded, dedicated 4 camera DVR unit that records onto its own internal hard drive.

I did ask about these myself earlier this year and there is a very low lux, outdoor rated bullet camera (with interchangable lense capabilities -- i.e. fisheye) camera that seemed like a great deal for this application and was around $80 per camera and was reported by other members to be excellent in low light.
http://www.2mcctv.com/product_info-KTCKPCEX230HL.html
or
http://www.2mcctv.com/product_info-KTCKPCEXH190SWX.html

I am also impressed with video quality of the Logitech webcam for a budget priced (compromised) single camera solution.
http://www.amazon.com/Logitech-960-000048-QuickCam-Pro-9000/dp/B000RZQZM0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1219987892&sr=1-1

Ok, and for the most bang for the buck, but fake cameras and a couple yard signs. That will give you the most for the least. Another variation is fake cameras and 1-2 real cameras mixed in. You can get a 4 pack of fake cameras for around $20.

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