home surveillance cameras

Asking for recommendations for a video camera/recorder system for home security. Costco sells several "Q-See" brand packages, but I'm a little skeptical about the quality, based on the price. I'd rather buy 2 or 3 high quality cameras than 16 mediocre ones. (OTOH I'm not much interested in pissing away money unnecessarily.)
More or less open to any suggestions about specific brands to buy or avoid, or suggestions on other aspects of the overall system that I should be paying attention to.
Burglar alarm is monitored, and sheriffs DO respond quickly, but I'd still like to get clear images of anyone who decides to do a smash and grab when no one is home. Have no idea how many pixels that would require, or other camera specs. I've seen too many TV shows of liquor store robberies where the security footage falls way short of providing clear images of the perps.
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wrote:

I've been researching these but I haven't bought one. Some of these look good:
http://www.surveillance-spy-cameras.com/surveillance-cameras.htm
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You can spend all kindsa $$, or not. There is Zoneminder:
http://www.zoneminder.com /
...but I think it's strictly Linux. Jes a thought.
nb
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On a sliding scale between roll-your-own and plug-and-play, this seems a bit to far towards the former for me ...
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On 7/29/12 7:27 PM, Smitty Two wrote:

I ended up with a Clover (Wisecomm) brand. It works ok but isn't all that clear. I can recognize me walking across a yard. It has a recording card, and a 7" monitor. Two cameras. I learned a couple things. "Wireless" isn't. The cameras and the dvr/monitor need 120 vac. Wireless means the cameras don't need to be directly wired to the receiver. I thought briefly about using some sort of solar setup with an inverter. Summer is a busy time for me so I didn't pursue that thought. It was easier to wire up some 120 vac. The other is the cameras aren't meant to be out in the open. I think the term is "weather resistant". That means they're meant to be under an overhang or otherwise protected from direct rainfall. My intention was to buy the Svat brand. They were on backorder so I passed on those. Another one I looked at seriously was called Defender. Look at the ones on Amazon. There is a lot of commentary about the ones sold there. It looks like a couple companies build several versions/brands. The pictures and descriptions seem very similar.
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Thanks, I have spent some time on Amazon and as usual am frustrated by their piss-poor attempt at creating a useful "sort and select" algorithm. McMaster Carr gets an A in e-commerce, Digikey gets a B, and everyone else on the planet gets an F.
I appreciate the brand-specific suggestions.
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you should post your request in alt.security.alarms from that group's recommendation for superCircuits, I bought 4 cameras of a potential 8 camera system. Incredible quality of video. The cameras were external day/night vision which meant they had a ring of red LED's around the lense that provided illumination at low light levels. unless you looked directly at the camera you couldn't even see these red LEDs when they were on.
They are powered by 12Vdc, so you can run low voltage cabling, not 120Vac around
if you can find my name recommending the system you'll get a better description. Any questions, I always reached a human.
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In article

Thanks. I'll check out the website. Your thread on the referenced group seems to have expired from Eternal September's server.
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Approx what I said was SuperCircuits was recommended in the alt.security.alarms group; I ordered a complete 4 camera inside/ outside day/night vision system for DIY installation [and professional quality]; the items all came promptly packed very well high quality cameras from Korea; they made a small mistake on the quote and honored the lower price, and added two 50 foot cables at no additional charge; what they shipped [and this can happen to anyone] had slight errors ie they were supposed to send 4 connectors one type and 4 connectors another type, but instead sent 8 connectors all the same. Contacting them was easy, always reached a knowledgeable human, They corrected instantly with NO CHARGE, specifically sent me 8 of the other type connectors - in case I wanted to expand my system to the full 8 cameras possible.
Later, again instantly reaching a person, they helped me set up the software of the system.
The quality of the products, the support I received, and the speed with which they operated have me as a return customer.
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On 7/29/2012 5:27 PM, Smitty Two wrote:

No alarm system will prevent someone from stealing your stuff if they really want it. The purpose of an alarm is to suggest to the thief that it would be lower risk to rob your neighbor instead. Fake cameras do that as well as real ones.
As you noted, you're not gonna get clear pictures from any unattended camera system you can afford. The experiment is easy. Take your 640x480 webcam and stick it in the window. Check out the relationships between viewing angle, resolution and focus. Try it in different lighting conditions. Bottom line is, unless someone sticks their face in the camera, you're not likely to get any incriminating pictures.
If your camera has motion tracking, auto focus and optical auto zoom, you may have a chance.
If you want to prevent smash and grab, spend your money preventing the smash. Bars on the windows are much more effective than cameras on the windows.
Go down to the local surveillance camera store and get some demos.
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On 7/30/2012 2:49 PM, mike wrote:

But if you have decent cameras and a decent DVR it may actually enable the prosecution of the riff-raff.

Depends, the "all this for $399" big box outfits are a waste of time but there are decent cameras that aren't a fortune.

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wrote:

Recommendations of brands, vendors, or specs?
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Bars on windows are big no nos with the fire dept. They not only look hideous, they can trap someone inside if there is a fire.
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Meanie wrote:

ALL of my window burglar bars open with locks that cannot be manipulated from outside. I caution any overnight guests that, in case of fire, go for a window, not a door. The burglar-barred doors are key-locked from both the outside and the inside.
If the squints DO get in, they'll have to haul their haul out through a window, which would discourage them from stealing my $1,200 dishwasher (that I got for forty bucks).
I have no real experience with security cameras but you might consider attaching whatever you select to a UPS. Those who de-feather chickens as a hobby often cut the power to a building in hopes of disabling security devices.
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Not an option for me either, based on looks.
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wrote:

I'll bite. Do you have a link to one?
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On 7/31/2012 8:57 AM, Smitty Two wrote:

I played with the concept using a cheapo IP camera from Panasonic. Had pan/tilt. Don't remember whether it could zoom. I determined that I might be able to recognize a person I knew under optimal conditions. To pick an unknown person out of a lineup would take much better resolution and dynamic range.
I have a friend in another state who has a Pelco on a tower 40 feet in the air. Has wide dynamic range, mechanical iris. Pan/tilt/zoom/autofocus. Takes amazing pictures over a wide range of circumstances, but I don't think I'd be able to recognize a face. You can set it to scan and log video. But it's all proprietary and only works with their interface card and software. Can control/view it over the web. Think he paid $500 for it a decade ago.
There was a break-in on his block. The cops came and looked at his video, but don't think it helped them much.
There are a gazillion online webcams. Some of them say what cameras they use.
This is one place to start: http://www.dmoz.org/Computers/Internet/On_the_Web/Webcams /
There may be unstated circumstances, but for most of us, an unmonitored affordable security camera is a waste of effort. If you're willing to monitor it 24/7 and actively discourage prowlers...maybe.
Call up your insurance company. Tell 'em you're gonna install a consumer grade security camera with a VCR. Ask how much that will reduce your premiums. That will give you an idea of their assessment of the effectiveness of the endeavor.
Motion sensor lights and fake cameras are as much of a deterrent as real unmonitored security cameras.
I'm all for catching the perp. But your door is still kicked in and the big-screen is long gone.
There's something to be said for keeping a low profile. What if you do identify the perp. And you're sitting in court with the rest of his "gang". How might the outcome affect your future?
Preventing the break-in is far better than catching the offender.
I saved this list. Don't remember where I got it.
Aldos Visual Capture - http://www.aldostools.org/visualcapture.html Artisan Mx (monitor) - http://endicosoft.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id%&ItemidD BooruWebCam - http://www.booru.net / Broadcaster Studio Pro (hpnf) - http://www.brothersoft.com/broadcaster-studio-pro-56267.html Cam2pc Freeware - http://www.nabocorp.com/cam2pc/freeware.php Cam-a-lot (stream to web) - Cam Chaser Pro (hpnf) - http://www.nonags.com/freeware-cam-chaser-pro_1897.html Camembert (monitor/refresh multiple worldwide webcams) - http://pink-mouse-productions.com/camembert / Cam in Style (combine 2 feeds) - http://download.cnet.com/Cam-In-Style/3000-13633_4-10582589.html Cam Protect (connect via ftp) - http://www.camprotect.net/CamProtect/Accueil.html Capture Studio Pro - Crime Catcher - www.new-software.co.uk Cyberlink YouCam3 (effects) - Dorgem - http://dorgem.sourceforge.net / Eyeline Video Surveillance - http://www.tucows.com/preview/505724 Freelook (= mouselook) - GrabMotion - http://www.grabmotion.com / HDWebcam3 (protection) - Home Security Camera - Homewatch DSL Cam (security monitor) - http://www.zincware.com / HssVss (motion Detector) - http://www.hssvss.com / Jcapture (snapshot - Java req) - http://freshmeat.net/projects/jcapture / ManyCam (multiple app use) - http://www.manycam.com / Metrox Home Security - (hpnf) Move Action (movement sensor) - http://members.multimania.co.uk/wuul / My Screen Cam - http://www.uk-software.com/MyScreenCam / Red Hand (surveillance) - Remote Control Eye (Logitech Orbit & Creative Live Motion) - http://www.remotecontroleyes.com / Perios (timelapse) - http://perios.ic.cz / Procaster (desktop/games/webcam -> web) - http://www.livestream.com/procaster Pryme - http://www.hilo.dk/pryme / RGS-Avacam (free edition) - http://users.belgacom.net/rgs / RK Webcam (motion sensor) - http://public.rkcomputer.cz/index.php?newlang=english Screen Tool - http://topcat.hypermart.net/screentool.html Secure Cam - http://brooksyounce.tripod.com/Soft-SecureCam.htm Senriska (surveillance) - http://sourceforge.net/projects/senriska / SkillCapture (inc motion capture/rfid) - http://www.video4coach.com / SplitCam - http://www.splitcamera.com / V-camshow (worldwide) - http://virdi-software.com/vcamshow/desc.shtml Video Cam Server - http://www.raybase.com/vcs/index.html Video Site Monitor - www.fgeng.com (free edition does not capture images to disk or interact with the Internet) Webcam 2000 - http://www.webcam2000.info / WebcamAMP (addon effects) - no longer free Webcam Broadcaster (hpnf) - http://download.cnet.com/Webcam-Broadcaster/3000-2348_4-10072053.html Webcam Diagnostics - http://noeld.com/programs.asp?cat=video Webcam First (uploader) - http://www.webcamfirst.com / Webcam Max (effects,upload) - no longer free WebcamNow - http://www.webcamnow.com / Webcam Picture Taker (hpnf) - http://www.myfreewares.com/software-14044-webcam-picture-taker-free-download.html Webcam Spy - http://download.cnet.com/WebCam-Spy/3000-2348_4-10238595.html Webcam Thumbnails Desktop - http://www.alnini.com/Webcam-Thumbnails-Desktop/dt-5267.html (http://www.anywebcam.com ) Webcam Viewer - http://www.webcamviewer.de / Webcam Watcher - http://www.webcamwatcher.com/wcw_code.html Webcam XP - http://www.webcamxp.com/home.aspx World of Webcams(put webcam online) - http://ww.com / Yawcam - http://www.yawcam.com /
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