I’ve been looking in to setting up a home pc security system.
I just need to monitor the car parked outside the house and the entrance hallway, the first to catch anyone damaging the vehicle, the other to spot burglars coming or going ... so i just need a couple of cameras and some home security software to manage them.
I found this, Zone Minder, free bit of software, runs on any Linux distro and is seriously feature packed, even more features than some of the commercial software out there.
I also found a few wifi cameras but wasn’t impressed by their price or spec really, but when you do find some good ones you just need to locate these wifi cameras near a power source and they can feed in to Zone Minder as a managed camera. Depending on whether the manufacturer has obeyed standards, Zone Minder can also “manage” custom features such as Tilt\Pan\zOOm ... motion detection is included in the software so this isn’t a camera-specific feature, also you can create zones for motion detection taking to stop false alarms, very clever. Auditting seems quite good, key thing for me though is ability to upload videos to an out of the house system in case the security PC gets stolen during a break-in!
What I’m looking for is a camera without bells and whistles, what does that mean? Read on ...
This wi-fi camera supports live viewing of video from anywhere in the world - it has a built-in CPU and web server. Movement can be recorded and saved to SD card, hard drive or a VCR. Supports infrared for night-time viewing.
What this really means is the manufacturer has a relationship with a company, or has this in-house (unlikely), so that you’re camera is pretty much just sitting on your network and using the router to contact the service to store pictures. You subscribe ($$$ or free) and to view your camera you visit an external URL, huh!!!! I’ve read a fair bit about these services and most reviews are very poor indeed, as are the comments regarding most wifi cameras quality to be honest unless you start looking at real commercial solutions.
If anyones interested in building out a prototype system with me, feel free to get in touch ... I want to bring whats available now with a view to being rugged, getting the job done, producing crisp\clear video output with no real fancy features, supports NAT and doesn’t want to hang off a DMZ or directly off the internet, and for less than £100 per device (I’d sacrifice here and go higher ....), all managed by this Zone Minder.
Simple search showing some of the cameras available: