View Full Version : Home Security Camera System

Eddie Simmons
12-04-2011, 6:26 PM
Looking for a 8 wired camera system for our home. Looking at the Samsung SDE 4001, does anyone have this one or a Samsung system?
Thanks in advance

Dan Hintz
12-05-2011, 8:13 AM
I have a Q-See 4-cam system, but I believe they make an 8-cam setup. No major complaints so far, although I would prefer to have a higher-def video for each cam.

Harry Hagan
12-05-2011, 10:39 AM
To avoid Buyer’s Remorse, you should see the system in operation prior to purchase to determine if it will yield the desired result. Image and construction quality vary greatly and are not necessarily related to cost.

Check the image quality at the zoom level you require. A wider angle, especially when recorded, may be useless if you need to identify something or somebody in the image. High contrast areas between shadow and sunlight and night performance can also be an issue.

A built-in heater in colder climates may be necessary.

Sam Layton
12-05-2011, 6:26 PM
Hi Eddie,

I have also been looking for camera's. In my search, it seem to me that the kits you purchase are of less quality. I want a quality dvr, and camera, so that I can make an ID if needed. I am still trying to research and learn as much as I can. Interesting what Harry says about zoom level, wide angle recording...


Matt Meiser
12-05-2011, 6:40 PM
Costco has been running coupons on a multi-camera DVR system (maybe the Q-See system?) that has remote viewing capabilities. I can't speak to the quality but the price was attractive. With the stuff that's been going on in my neighborhood I'm tempted, but thinking I might be better off with a shotgun.

Harry Hagan
12-06-2011, 11:16 AM
One of my cousins invested in a moderately priced system ($4,500+) for four cameras with heaters and a DVR with digital zoom that can handle up to eight cameras. He did the install.

On three of the four cameras you can usually* tell if the person is a child or an adult but not their gender. You can usually tell a car from a truck—if it’s a dark or light color but not the make or model. License number? Forget about it. The digital zoom is worthless if the original image isn’t sharp.

The fourth camera is zoomed close enough to convict someone caught in the act.

The bottom line is, with his system and camera setup, you can most likely tell when something happened but not who did it. He has Buyer’s Remorse in spades.

* Don’t bet on it!

Anthony Whitesell
12-06-2011, 3:29 PM
Just an FYI on these cameras. Not all locales allow the unmanned video capture in to a public or other private area or of a person without their knowledge without a permit.

"Video capture in to a public or other private area" is the video taping of a public property which includes the public road in the background. As long as the frame only includes your property you may be fine; but you may still need a permit.

"Video capture of a person without their knowledge" is self explanatory, a sign maybe sufficient; again you may still need a permit.

A few months back there was an article in the regional paper here in NH about the alledged treatment of a suspect by an officer during questioning outside the suspects home. The father brought the home video surveillance to file a complaint. The father was then charged due to not having a permit for the cameras and what they were recording. The article then went on to explain the above.

Matt Meiser
01-09-2012, 11:16 AM
Anyone have any experience with the "Talos" brand sold at Parts Express?

I'm looking at this DVR: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?partnumber=334-155&utm_source=Bazaarvoiceps
And these cameras: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?PartNumber=334-136
Or this system: http://www.parts-express.com/pe/showdetl.cfm?Partnumber=334-210

The first DVR has 2 good reviews and two bad, one of which the reviewer edited to say they replaced a failed unit and the other just gave a bad review because its doesn't work with a Mac. The camera has 1 good review. The complete system 2 good. Not a very good sample size.

Here's what we want:
1) I want a camera that "sees" our driveway. I want to add a second monitor to my shop PC mounted in a location that I can see it in my shop to see if anyone is in our drive. The first DVR unit has an alarm output that I'm wondering if I could use to create a driveway alarm that would chime or ding when there's motion in the driveway area--something else we are talking about doing. I'm frequently home alone, in the shop, and have no idea if someone pulls into our drive.
2) Wife wants a camera that you can see who's at the front door.
3) If we are going to do it, might as well put a camera out back that sees my shop so we'd have video if something ever happens.

How long can the cable runs for these types of cameras be? I've got empty conduit to my shop to add an inside camera there with a pull string and could pull in cable but the run would be 150-200' depending on where the camera goes and where the DVR goes. I wouldn't want to buy a second DVR for this.

Dan Hintz
01-09-2012, 1:15 PM
For 150-200', you would need to either go wireless or Ethernet... the typical RCA cables typically seen on lower-priced cameras isn't going to do well at that range.

Matt Meiser
01-09-2012, 1:39 PM
That would have been a bonus. Is there any kind of amplifier/repeater available?

I saw this QSee system at Costco. The UI looks a lot more refined and it looks like the alarm output will do exactly what I want. Should be able to wire it to our security system and make it a chime-only zone. http://www.costco.com/Browse/Product.aspx?Prodid=11738510&whse=BC&Ne=4000000&eCat=BC|90607|4802&N=4047297&Mo=29&No=16&Nr=P_CatalogName:BC&cat=4802&Ns=P_Price|1||P_SignDesc1&lang=en-US&Sp=C&topnav=

QSee does sell a 200' cable. Might be worth a try. $55 at Amazon who would take it back if it didn't

Bill Huber
01-09-2012, 2:07 PM
I have a Night Owl, 8 channel DVR with 4 cameras, they are not PTZ, I just did not see a need for them. I worked with a Q See system but did not like the software, my system is on my network so I wanted a good interface.

The cameras are ok, they are not as good as a $2000 cameras we have at work but they are fine for my needs. The picture quality is ok, the night vision I wish was a little better but I can still ID the person.

Kevin Gregoire
01-09-2012, 3:14 PM
1saleaday has some system on special today for 9 more hours

Zmodo 8-Channel DVR + 8 IR Night Vision Cameras Security
System With CMOS Sensors & Remote Viewing!219128

Kevin W Johnson
01-10-2012, 2:21 AM
I have an 8 channel Q-See system that I'm happy with. An Android app allows me to monitor my cameras when I'm away from home (can do this from internet as well). The Android app also allows me an easy to setup and adjust cameras during installation too, no need to keep running inside to check how it looks.

Pat Barry
01-14-2012, 9:24 PM
You guys ever check out Smarthome.com. They have lots of security stuff.

Fred Storer
01-25-2012, 4:50 AM

I am new to the site and have only just found this.

I used to do a bit with security cameras before I retired (10 years ago so I am not familiar with current kit) and it is a minefield. What you want you normally cannot afford and what you can afford you normally do not want.

The golden rule is, never (or very seldom) buy a ready made system. The odds are that it is not right for you.

What you should do is sit down with a plan of the property that you want to monitor and determine what you want to see, with what clarity at any specific location and under what lighting conditions. It is commonsense but it is very seldom used.

The Operational Requirements that I used to work to for image size are:-
Images of identification quality must be head or head and shoulders - nothing else will do. You are kidding yourself if you do it less.
For general area monitoring, a 6 foot tall person must occupy no less than 10% of the screen height at a distance of 30 feet from the camera.

This means 2 things. A lot of cameras with the correct lenses for general area monitoring, and creating "pinch points" in the monitored area which forces a person to pass through the identification level camera(s). Pinch points are normally either gates or doorways. Thus , if you want to monitor a drive, it should be fenced either side to force a person to use it and then you want to get an I.D. image as they enter. On a an averagely wide drive this may take 2 or 3 cameras alone (with the appropraitely "long" lenses) to guarantee an I.D image. Then on top of that you need the area monitoring cameras.

I used to use predominantly fixed lense cameras with a few strategic PTZ's to give the system some flexibility. Major tip. When buying a zoomable camera, ensure that the zoom that you are buying is an OPTICAL zoom. Many cameras advertise zooms up to 24 or or even 30 but these are probably digital zooms and only enlarge the pixels - and of course any defects in the camera such as slight out of focus.

It isn't easy and that is before you start to look at recording equipment, transmission and perhaps most importantly of all, lighting. Lighting is a book in its own right.

As I said at the start, unless you are a major corporation, you probably cannot afford the kind of system that you want, but at least you should be able to target your money at the level of system that you can afford and get some reasonable results.

It's a long time since I did any of this and I am surprised how (some of it) it comes back so easily.

Age and memory do not mix well. Anyway I hope that it has been of some help

Harry Hagan
01-25-2012, 5:35 PM
Good advice from Fred.

Bryan Morgan
01-26-2012, 12:40 PM
I recently setup one of those Zmodo 4 camera DVR systems because neighborhood kids were shooting my house and car with paintballs. It works pretty well and works pretty good at night. The only issue is that the cameras aren't super high resolution and they have a somewhat narrow FOV. We use Wilife cameras at work and they work much better and have a wider FOV and more resolution so I'm thinking about adding a couple of those to my setup.

When I catch the kids I am going to make hell look like a nice comfy place by comparison...