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Is it possible to build a DVR security system using a pc?

Discussion in 'System Builder's Advice' started by Black Panther, Jul 12, 2011.

  1. Black Panther

    Black Panther Senior Moderator™ Staff Member

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    Is it possible to build something like this, using a pc so that it comes cheaper?

    I have plenty of spares to build a pc for the purpose. All I would need would be the camera.

    And perhaps some kind of pci card?

    To buy the above system in link and one camera it'd cost me €323.58 whereas if I only buy a camera I wouldn't spend more than €40 maximum...

    What I have in mind is something which is powered on and records on a 500GB or 1TB HDD.
     
  2. theoneandonlymrk

    theoneandonlymrk

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    it is pretty easy if you get net connected camaeras as you can link into it permanently, their is software out there that will do the motion sensing and event or full time recording to disk and you could add cameras easily,

    i dont know any soft packages because ive not done this but a friend has something like this set up permanently the key to simplicity appears to be net linkable cams as it does away with the need for a capture card.:)
     
  3. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    It is def easy if you can find the right software to limit the FPS (lower storage segments) and maybe motion detection so it only records if there is a change to the video.

    At work we use Vicon camera systems, It technically is a custom video system that they have patent but can be built easy as long as you can get the software to match it.

    It consists of cameras, a server, and a workstation viewer.
     
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  4. Mussels

    Mussels Moderprator Staff Member

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    all you really need is a TV tuner, attach camera to input and hit record.


    IP cameras/network connected ones are even easier, as they will come with (or reccomend) software software to use for the recording.
     
  5. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    IP cameras are a good way to do this but if you have a multi switch network then make sure the cameras are routeable :)
     
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  6. robal

    robal

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    Hi,

    I've explored the idea some time ago.
    It's not easy, because the software is quite tricky to configure.

    What you need is a Linux box and ZoneMinder http://www.zoneminder.com/
    You may also consider exploring MythTV (with connection to ZoneMinder) for eye-candy interface and display.

    I'm warning you... It's not "follow install wizard -> enjoy" type of venture.

    The cheapest PC based CCTV would be entirely based on cheap IP cams.
    If you're looking into something with better quality, you may have to go for:
    a) more expensive IP cams
    b) proper capture card (eg: http://www.bestofferbuy.com/4-Channels-Ports-CCTV-PCI-DVR-Video-Composite-Security-Capture-Card-p-14758.html?currency=GBP&utm_source=gbase&utm_medium=cse&utm_campaign=gbase_uk) and CCTV-grade analog cams

    Cheers

    EDIT: I've realised that what I'm proposing here may exceed what you require. If you want to record stream for one USB / IP cam, you could do it using easy-to-use Windows webcam recording software
     
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  7. n-ster

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    My Uncle owns a grocery store. I built him a DVR system for cheaper than the company, but this is commercial use. spent 1750$ (including a 350$ software and 4TB in HDD) for it instead of the 4200$ the company charged

    it was CCTV indeed. I basically built a computer with lots of HDD space and stuck a DVR card thingy inside lol
     
  8. brandonwh64

    brandonwh64 Addicted to Bacon and StarCrunches!!!

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    Was this wireless or wired network cameras?
     
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  9. n-ster

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    wired CCTV cameras
     
  10. newtekie1

    newtekie1 Semi-Retired Folder

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    http://www.ezwatch-security-cameras...-Line-Cameras-You-Provide-the-PC-p-17169.html

    I use those systems. Probably more expensive than what you want, but damn reliable systems. The main issue with doing this the right way is that you are trading out the cost of a dedicated DVR for the cost of a PCI card with hardware encoders for each of the channels. But at least this answers your question, yes it is possible to do this with a PC.:D

    Oddly enough there was a ad for them on the TPU main page today::roll:
    [​IMG]
     
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  11. Wrigleyvillain

    Wrigleyvillain PTFO or GTFO

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    Movieman over at XS does security systems for a living. If you have an account there PM him. He's a friendly old dude. :)
     
  12. Msap14 New Member

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    i know someone who uses a computer with software to secure his storage facility, works fine, i think he just has a tv tuner and 1TB Mirror RAID, once the footage gets old the program just deletes the old footage and his computer keeps rolling.
     
  13. twilyth Guest

    Using a pc is probably the least practical and cost effective way of going about what you want to do unless you need more than say 16 cameras or something specialized like PTZ cameras (pan-tilt-zoom).

    Not only do you need at least one adapter card that can accept input from multiple cameras, but then there is the software as well, plus all of the normal crap you have to deal with in maintaining a PC.

    For a wired system, there are plenty of manufacturers that make fairly sophisticated systems targeted at the home user. Here in the US at least, you can find 16 channel systems with 8 cameras, built-in DVR and multiple remote access via the internet for under $1000. The cameras will be 640x480 resolution and have built-in infra-red illumination for use in complete darkness. It will also do motion sensing and a crap load of other stuff you probably won't ever use. If you want a basic 4 channel setup, you can probably get that for under $400.

    But those are all wired systems. Honestly, the price of wireless, IP addressable cameras has come down so much that this is probably the way to go if you don't feel like spending a few days running cable. Newegg had one on sale just a day or so ago for $70. That is a ridiculously low price for something like this. Just a year ago I don't think you could touch a camera like that for under $200.

    And quality is getting better too. Right now almost all of them are 640x480 resolution just like the wired systems but some are much higher (1024xsomething I think) and aren't a lot more expensive. The only downside is that you probably need an n-type router if you want to use all of the cameras simultaneously - like say for recording.

    Another problem with wireless, although I haven't seen this first hand, is that there will probably be some noise. Wired systems are wonderful because the picture is always crystal clear. I imagine that the IP cameras are probably insanely better than analog wireless, but I doubt that they are perfect. That becomes an issue when you're using software to detect motion.

    That's why my old Lorex system has PIRs (passive infra red) detectors on each camera - and that is a wired system that probably could have easily gotten away with using software instead.
     
  14. Jetster

    Jetster

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