Author Topic: Video Monitoring and Security  (Read 39946 times)

Offline TimSuggs

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #30 on: January 21, 2010, 02:29:51 AM »
Tim, great one.  Love the pictures really puts the equipment into perspective.  (Is that you in the monitor  ;))

Still need to get a reel of coax and 8 or 10 BNC's to terminate it with.  If only I had the time. LOL

Thank you, thank you!  I was a day late, but hey, at least I came through with it (and I got my camera back from my daughter in working condition this time)  YES, that is my ugliness on the screen.  I took that shot within about 1 minute of powering the system up, the picture quality got much better as the camera warmed up.  And as a side note...  The 32" Sanyo Flat Screen (not LED, but it is a flat screen) TV was a freebie too!  I was sitting in the right place at the right time when a guy was moving out of his apt at 4:am and he had a full truck by the time he rolled out the TV on a furniture dolly, I wound up getting the TV, remote and the furniture dolly for free.  AND the table it is sitting on came from the same apt dumpster too.  I wiped a little pollen off of it and it was good as new.

Now Docwatmo, I can tell from your posts you got me beat hands down in your CCTV experiences and knowledge.  When I talk about "terminating" things, people start running and screaming, so I guess we differ a little bit there, but I happily and respectfully bow to your superior CCTV knowledge and prowess.

With my "DollaTree CCTV" setup, you could insert just about any camera of choice and it is going to be basically the same connections, a video feed and a power supply.  The "ends" of the cable requirements may change from one camera/VCR to the next so you may have to juggle adapters around until you can get it right enough to hook up on both ends, but, basically that's about it.  Plug it into the recording media of your choice (VCR/DVR,DVD-R) and you got yourself a viewable history of what took place in front of that camera for the last 2/4/6/8 hours.  The X-10 cameras I have used in the past had the same "needs" as this camera did, but was accomplished with a different type of "cable".  The X-10 used a flat wire like you would use for a telephone with RJ-11 connectors that carried the video, audio and power.

WallyWorld carries both wired and wireless cameras for a fairly decent price, and if it doesn't work for some reason, just take it back and get another one NOW, saving you the shipping delay for a "return" if you got it mailorder. 

And just because I know there's somebody out there that is wondering, a WIRELESS camera works pretty much the same way except it runs on a battery (9v x ?), sends it's video/audio feed via a radio signal through an attached antenna, rather than a wire, and you have a radio receiver that receives that signal that is plugged into all the right "holes" (video-in/audio-in) on your recording device.  Range of the signal from the camera varies, and so does the length of time between battery changes in the camera (the receivers usually have AC power supply).  Keep that battery "change" in mind when selecting the location for your camera, cause your going to be skinnying up that ladder to change the batteries every couple of weeks or so.  And I just bought a 4 pack of Energizer 9v today at WallyWorld for my metal detectors and it was a little over $13.00 with tax, so keep that in mind too.  If you had to swap out 4 batteries every week, damn, that's pushing $700.00 a year your blowing through on batteries!  And I don't know about all of you, but I'd like a little better "return" on my $700 than a pile of dead 9v batteries.

So no matter which way you want to lean, it's not rocket science, you can do this.  All you got to do is try.

Tim.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #31 on: January 21, 2010, 05:55:41 AM »
Your too kind Tim.  Although, i'm far from an expert and there are many people who probabbly know the video and camer/lens side of things better than I do on here.  I've done 5 installations (4 x 4 camera and 1 x 2 camera) and played with a couple of cameras in the last 10 years.  Thats all the experience I have.

Offline TimSuggs

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #32 on: January 21, 2010, 12:14:39 PM »
Your too kind Tim.  Although, i'm far from an expert and there are many people who probabbly know the video and camer/lens side of things better than I do on here.  I've done 5 installations (4 x 4 camera and 1 x 2 camera) and played with a couple of cameras in the last 10 years.  Thats all the experience I have.

Not as kind as you think, but thanks for the compliment.  I just know when I see more experience than I posses.  I have run hardwired computer networks, alarm systems, low voltage lighting, pre-wired houses for Cat-5, done a few telephone punchdowns and so on, but I don't know it all by any means.

What I would like more info on are the "multiplexers" (if that's the correct term)  so that you get multiple video cams on one viewing/recording source.  I know there are "simple" versions that either automatically scroll through the video feeds at a set speed/tiime interval and then there are more involved systems that allow you to pull up this or that feed full screen, select which feeds you want to switch through, add this feed, drop that feed, and then there's the whole world of DMX options adding pan/tilt/zoom, etc.  And please, feel free to explain it to me like I was a 5 year old, it soaks in a little faster that way.

Tim.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #33 on: January 21, 2010, 01:07:45 PM »
Daddy has 4 apples (Cameras) and Mommy has 1 watermelon (TV)...

Just kidding.  I've only dealt with two hardware Video multiplexers on our primary camera systems. (I use software muxing on the rack cameras).

Sanyo MPX-MD4 (From our first 4 camera DVR back in 2001)
and the newer Panorama (SECUBE) ET-800 (Has MUX and the DVR in the same box). http://www.secubeusa.com/et_800.php

These are higher end systems.  (In the $1500 range for the Sanyo (Back in 2001), probably cheaper models now) and the SECUBE was about 1200 in 2008 fully configured.  Base model is about $699 now.

Both hardware and software mux's work in similar ways.  The lower end just captures individual clips form multiple cameras.  Say for example you have 2 cameras and they are "Seeing" video at 10 frames per second each.  The mux will capture 5 frames from each camera (or whatever interval you set).  The frames are then stored as 2 separate videos.  This is a really basic explanation because there are many muxes and DVRs with many different capabilities and I've only used a couple of them).

A good hardware mux will capture each video as a separate stream (All 10 frames each) and record it to a different area of the storage medium (Huge improvements since DVR replaced Tapes).  This allows you to view or zoom to individual cameras as needed both with live video as it happens and with the recorded video.

Video is a bit of a misnomer here, because "Technically" most system don't capture video, they capture a series of stills from the camera (Yes I know that is what video really is, but the distinction is in the number of frames, full motion video is anything 30 frames per second or higher).  This is mostly because it saves space on the recording medium and reduces the hardware requirements to handle what would essentially be full motion video.  There are systems that do capture direct full motion video but your file sizes grow so fast it either requires a tremendous amount of storage, or a short hold time.

Software mux is cheaper, easier and just about as good (It can get flaky and will Skip frames more often than hardware).  Works on the same principle, just lets the computer do most of the work of the DVR and MUX.

I have to get back to work right now, but i'll try to put something more together and post it to the Vidsecintro site late tonight or sometime tommorow.







Offline bartsdad

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #34 on: January 22, 2010, 02:09:52 AM »
Hey Doc and Tim,

I'm really enjoying the info and the banter. :beer:

Keep it up, lots of good info, we all thank you.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #35 on: January 22, 2010, 09:18:11 AM »
I must apologize.  My intentions have once again been quashed by the real world.  I'm swamped and don't have any spare time to do any write ups at work today (maybe a little time tonight) and i'm gonna be traveling Saturday and part of Sunday so you may not see anything till late Monday. 

I'll still be checking in on my phone periodically, but I wont be typing much with these giant sausage fingers on my itty bitty keyboard on the phone :)

I'm hoping to put together a step by step with photos of the 2 camera software based wireless system I have in place on the racks sometime next week.  Just got to tell all these people at work to stop breaking things and that I have important things to do and stop bothering me with work related stuff LOL.

And with that, Doc out.

Offline JGreene

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #36 on: January 22, 2010, 10:29:53 AM »
Not a problem Doc.   I'm going to look around the WWW and see what I can find.  I'd like to see an explanation of the specs on the equipment as well as a priority, what's important and what's not so important.  I'll post the links as I find um.  I'm thinking the specs on the camera are going to be most important.

Offline Archangel Mike

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #37 on: January 24, 2010, 10:32:12 PM »
Hi All,

Our neighborhood has one road that comes in and T's off to reach both sides of the neighborhood. Several months ago the neighbor closest to the road asked about camera systems.  I agreed to build a system that can record traffic coming in and out.

Used 2-4 year old PC. 1-GB memory 80GB hard drive using Linux
Use zoneminder.com software.
1 cheap ($8) video input card (great for one camera. OK for 2, get much better card for more)

I'm planning on buying a decent IR camera and change out the fixed focus to 9mm so it gets the appropriate field of vision 80-100' at a range of 80-100' feet.  This should run about $150.

We're going to put it under an eve behind a downspout. I'll post pictures when I get it all together.

Mike

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #38 on: January 24, 2010, 10:41:01 PM »
I'm VERY interested in the Linux software you used.  I'm working on a similar 3 camera setup for a Carwash in the next couple of months and I wanted something more stable then windows.  I hand't seen anything on Linux yet.  What Linux Distro are you using?

Thanks

Doc

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #39 on: January 26, 2010, 07:50:02 AM »
Mike,  Do you have any suggestions for good quality 4 port (or more) video input source that works with Linux?  Probably have to be USB or FW as i'm using a mini Dell EX (for harsh environments) for the box and it doesn't have an open 1/2 hight PCI slot.

I just ordered the Dell hardware for the Linux box that will be doing the recording at one of the installations.  Its my first attempt using Linux for video (I've used it off and on for a couple years now but never had luck with video applications) and I've got the go ahead to experiment from the guy buying the hardware.  So I can take my time, play and get it right :)

Thanks



Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #40 on: January 26, 2010, 08:09:55 AM »
Ray.  Considering your not needing night vision with your motion cameras i'll give you some suggestions.

This is a great camera that covers all the specs well.  I like the outdoor quality bullet cameras becosue they are touch, and their size and method of mounting make them easy to get "Out of the way".

This model is really nice.  A little pricy but you can't go wrong with it.  http://www.securitycameraworld.com/Cameras/Sony-Weatherproof-Mini-Bullet-Camera.asp

The specs you want are probably 1/3 inch CCD for any outdoor application
420 lines is what I consider a minimum for anything shooting over 10 feet.  The cheaper cameras do fine inside of 10 ft but you lose lots of quality and detail outside of that.  Since you don't need night vision, anything over 2 or 4 lux is ok.  The lower the lux rating the better your low light video will be (Dusk and dawn).

Here i'll show my ignorance a bit.  I don't know what the "Camera wakeup Speed" is called, so someone help me out here :)  Since you'll be using motion lights at night, the camera will adjust to low light and when the motion lights come on there will be a blind flash and it will take time for the camera to adjust (depending on the location and intensity of your lights, this may not be an issue but you'll have to experiment).  My cheapo webcam type camera loses about 3 to 4 seconds of video during a flash, but I don't' think is as much of a problem with cameras like the bullet above.

Auto features like white balance and gamma correction are great, but they do the most good in low light conditions.   A really good low lux camera (.5 or below) will do an amazing job of adjusting to low light conditions and still get good video.  This is where you'll start to run into issues with night time transition.

When a camera gets close to is low light threshold you start getting an issue (of which I don't know the name) but i'll call it flashing.  Not a problem for straight recording but if you do motion sense controlling it becomes a problem.  The image on the screen at low light will waver or flash, each time it sets off the motion sensing.  Good software can work around by having a variable motion sensing setting, during daylight, more sensitive and then at dusk it tones down.  Again, since you aren't shooting night vision, you could set your sensitivity on motion low enough that it doesn't trip.

Back light compensation is another bonus on some cameras.  This is particularly useful if the camera shoots east or west and the sun can interfere with objects.

If your going to spend a little extra money, i'd put it into the cameras.  

Offline DeepSea1985

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #41 on: January 26, 2010, 03:49:47 PM »
Great info guys, keep it going because I'm taking notes since this is also on my "To Do" list. I was considering the wireless cameras at this stage mostly because 2 would be mounted outside probably under the eaves on a two story house, next to the motion sensor spotlights, (another project on the list, not completed), so I can pick up power. Running a lot of coax doesn't sound like fun. But that brings up a question, can you mix hard wired with wireless cameras and still keep the system relatively simple?

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #42 on: January 26, 2010, 08:29:19 PM »
Yes you can mix.  The added complexity is mostly in the power supply to the wireless transmitter/camera and the reciever.  Plus the more wireless you run, the more interferance you'll start to run into.  Got to spend more money for higher end wireless gear with more channels.

You can add stand alone wireless cameras, or wired cameras with wireless gear to split the wire.  

If you are going to run a wireless home network, my preference is to put in dedicated wireless cameras on the 802.11x network.  Then you have the best of both worlds.  They can ty into the security recorder and you can log directly into a particular camera (or remotely if it has web server capabilities).  Lots and lots of options.

My experience with wireless cameras is limited to 2 networked wireless cameras (one cheapo and one high end) and 2 cheapo pinhole type cameras (mounted on 2 server racks) that have their own built in transmitters and the receiver picks them up on their own channel.  It works well in good lighting but goes to crap in low light conditions.  (I don't' have any IR on them).

Lighting is really key to quality images.

Running cable is almost always the best option though.  I'd never use wireless unless it is just too prohibitive to run cable (In my case, steel reinforced concrete :) ).  I've never had any issues with the wired cameras.  But even my best wireless camera needs power cycled about once a month.

Doc

Offline JGreene

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #43 on: January 27, 2010, 08:32:22 AM »
I'm thinking the smart thing to do now would be to pick up one of the Sony SCW-B42 cameras and a PC card.  Run temp wiring and see how it looks at the different areas I want  to cover.

For a couple nights I can run coax/power over the rooftop to get a feel for lighting, angle etc.   

4 channel PC cards??

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #44 on: January 27, 2010, 08:45:27 AM »
This is the higher end card i've been looking at for my next aplication.
http://lorexstore.lorextechnology.com/product.aspx?id=771

Its $129 but has some pretty decent software with it.

On the cheaper side, I prefer to use a USB hookup so I can use mini or micro computer based designs.  (PCI card wont fit).  My prefered design is this machine http://www.logicsupply.com/products/de2700

The USB adapter is:  http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5625149&CatId=4445

This guy is only $35 and works well.  Not as feature rich as the others but for basic monitoring and motion recording it works well enough.  (Softw installation was a bit quirky with the older model I have at work, but once set up it runs fine).  (This is the model I have. http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=2475943&CatId=4445)

I've also looked at the following card also and it looks promising for the price.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5272739&CatId=4445






Offline JGreene

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #45 on: January 27, 2010, 12:10:06 PM »
The Lorex looks good.  I like the functionality of the Inputs/Outputs and the potential of powering the camera's from the card.  I couldn't find what load the power out function could supply, but I didn't dig very deep.

Sending an email to my cell would be fine for a notification.  It looked like you could configure it pretty easily by schedule. 

I do want to 'serve' the video on my home LAN.  OTher than maybe Remote Connection, which some video apps don't like and would limit to one remote user at a time.   I can think of two connections that I'd want, one from the office and one from the kitchen.  The PC itself will be in the bunker... oops... I mean the basement.

Offline spisblog

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #46 on: January 30, 2010, 07:59:53 AM »
I'm VERY interested in the Linux software you used.  I'm working on a similar 3 camera setup for a Carwash in the next couple of months and I wanted something more stable then windows.  I hand't seen anything on Linux yet.  What Linux Distro are you using?

Doc- There's a zoneminder distro for Ubuntu.  I ran it on Ubuntu desktop 8.04.  I'm not sure if there's a later distro- but that worked for me on marginal hardware (for testing).  I need to recreate the setup for real (using a better machine with more storage capacity).  I'm planning on using an old laptop that I can secure in storage area (attic, crawl space, etc.) so it's not easily accessible in case of break-in, plus it will still be able to capture video (battery) in case the power goes out/gets cut off.

Ubuntu is a very easy distro for a Windows user to convert to.  Very stable, easy to use, and easy to maintain (plus it runs well on older hardware).

This is one of my 2010 projects.  I'll post an update when I get around to it.

www.ubunutu.com
www.zoneminder.com


Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #47 on: January 30, 2010, 08:23:24 AM »
Ubunto is good (Still not happy with the package manger but i'm working it ok).  I play with it.  I started with Suse (back in the 7.0 and 8.0 days) and its still my favorite but I've been a little disappointed with the full distro since 9.4 stopped shipping.  They cut way to much out of it (For my full desktop install).  But i'm really liking the smaller distro's.  Puppy is awesome so far (Great compatibility and small footprint).  I also have a feather and a few other distros running on my VM test machine.  I've never had much luck with any video applications.  I was trying to build a dedicated DVR for video 2 years ago but just couldn't get any compatible video drivers for the hardware.  (Ati 8500 DV). 

And to keep this post within the realm of video monitoring and security.  What video card and what multi port capture cards have you had good luck with on Linux?

Thanks

Doc
 

Offline Tackleberry

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #48 on: January 31, 2010, 03:35:08 PM »
Hi gang, I just found this thread & thought I'd share.
Bought in '02, when the neighborhood we're stuck in started going downhill. (have a BOL)
Similar to this...
http://www.worldeyecam.com/store/product.php?productid=17171&cat=589&page=1
I know it's a little on the pricey side but I love it.
From the intel I've gathered, it's saved us several thousand in property damage & theft.
Money well spent. Especially when you overhear the older neighborhood thugs say to the newer neighborhood thugs, "Stay away from their house. They've got security cameras, a dog & who knows what else." They avoid our house like the plague.
Motion sensing lights work really well with this system.

Offline JGreene

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #49 on: February 01, 2010, 07:24:45 AM »
How does this look?
http://www.samsclub.com/shopping/navigate.do?dest=5&item=467579#reviews
http://defender-usa.com/flash/sn500-4ch/index.php?linkClicked=footage
http://www.amazon.com/Defender-SN500-4CH-002-Feature-rich-Channel-Security/dp/B002UKOUTK/ref=pd_cp_p_1

I like the idea of a 'system' instead of piecing one together.  How does the 'night vision' camera work if/when your outside lights come on?   I'm guessing there would be a few seconds of blind time until it adjusts.  Having 4 cameras and a DVR for a little over $400 looks pretty attractive.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #50 on: February 01, 2010, 07:50:55 AM »
I agree with the all in one systems being better.  Its just a matter of cost.  If you can afford something dedicated go for it, if not, we can do our best to hack together a viable solution.

If the cameras are decent the flash blind is pretty minimal.  (I get about 1 second on my high end cameras and about 1.5 to 2 seconds on my rack cameras.).

Some webcams can stall out for 6 or 8 seconds with large light changes so choose your cameras for the lighting. 

I'll look at that other equipment today,  just getting a bit busy this morning again.

Doc

Offline Tackleberry

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #51 on: February 01, 2010, 10:58:42 AM »
Wanted to put together a system, but when we bought it, we needed it yesterday & didn't have the time to figure out what would work best for us. The tech support is pretty nice to have too. Only needed them a couple of times, but they were helpful.

I have never noticed any flash blind with my cams. The system is set up to record only when motion is detected & as soon as the lights come on it starts recording.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #52 on: February 18, 2010, 11:15:26 AM »
New Turnkey Solution from Night Owl.

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/SearchTools/item-details.asp?EdpNo=5256333&CatId=4445

I just ran across this new setup on tiger.  It is stand alone and runs on 12V.  At that price I would have a hard time building an equivilent system with those cameras unless I got lucky with some free/cheap hardware.

Only problem is I am not seeing a network connection, so most likely you can't network it.  

This other model doesn't include the monitor but is browser controllable and viewable on your network. (Negates the need for a monitor).

http://www.tigerdirect.com/applications/searchtools/item-Details.asp?EdpNo=5256331&sku=N247-1000&srkey=tiger%204320

Offline Tackleberry

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #53 on: February 18, 2010, 01:54:16 PM »
Thanks for the link. Have a friend looking for something just like that.

Offline ebonearth

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #54 on: February 18, 2010, 10:22:07 PM »
Anyone have any opinion on MJPG vs. MPEG4? I was reading:
http://www.onssi.com/downloads/OnSSI_WP_compression_techniques.pdf
Which discusses the differences in compression techniques and how MJPG is better if you need to press charges as MPEG4 can at times be blurry. Thoughts?

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #55 on: February 18, 2010, 10:53:28 PM »
You do lose a little quality with higher compression.  The biger detriment is lens and focal point.  Cameras have set focal points.  You will only get pristine video at that focal point.  You have to spend some big money to get lenses and cameras that either auto focus or have a wide focal depth.  I have $1000 cameras at work that cover huge parking lots, and the best you can get is a car make and model and color.  Not even close to a license plate.  I have the same camera coving the main entrance at work, and it can't get a license plate 10 feet beyond the focal point which is set to capture faces as people walk in the door.  Its a compromise, I could move the focal point and get license plates but because of the layout of the walkway and doorway, i'd miss the faces.  2 cameras woudl be better, but eventually you have to set a limit or you'd have hundreds of cameras covering 1 small business.

But a cheap $80 webcam in good lighting can get picture perfect video at its normal focal length.  Its all about setting things to capture at their optimal positions. 

The key to good video is mostly in the lenses

However, with the massive storage space available in systems now a days, uncompressed  video should be the default.  Really no need to use higher compression.  A rather nominal 200 gig hard drive can hold days of continous video and 6 months or a year or more of motion capture video.


Offline DeepSea1985

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #56 on: June 08, 2010, 06:51:07 PM »
Things got slow in this thread........I managed to pick up 4 wired cameras on Craig's list, 2 Sony ExwaveHAD and 2 Ultrak KC5520CN  . Next project is to find some combination power & data wire and a card for the PC........Got to go back through this thread and pick out suppliers links and search.

Offline JGreene

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #57 on: June 08, 2010, 07:07:22 PM »
Things got slow in this thread........I managed to pick up 4 wired cameras on Craig's list, 2 Sony ExwaveHAD and 2 Ultrak KC5520CN  . Next project is to find some combination power & data wire and a card for the PC........Got to go back through this thread and pick out suppliers links and search.

Thanks for the revival.  My work schedule is changing soon (for the better) I'll have some time to get a few of these projects completed.

Offline Docwatmo

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #58 on: June 08, 2010, 07:43:55 PM »
I'm just the opposite. My work schedule is going haywire.  Found out today I have to upgrade our Document Imaging system.  This was not on the schedule for another 6 months and now my projects are all over the place.  Plus I discovered the imaging on our truck laptops wont work because of the Hard Drive recovery partition and the Disk encryption.  Get to re image 28 laptops in the next week, which I wasn't expecting to do at all.

I'm going into work an hour early every other day now, which is helping.  Not many people at work between 5:00 and 7:30, get lots done without the (How do I do this and why can't I do that etc).  LOL  Just kidding, I've got a really good user base.  But they do tend to monopolize my time if I let them.

I still need to finish my system instructions and put together the home system.  Hopefully things will calm down after boy scout camps are out of the way.



Offline DeepSea1985

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Re: Video Monitoring and Security
« Reply #59 on: September 28, 2010, 09:33:40 PM »
Knock....knock............anybody home......

Too many threads, so little time to read them all and keep up..................Looks like this one's faded away........