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residential outside TV camera - suggestions?

Discussion in 'Security Alarms' started by Scott Berg, Apr 2, 2005.

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  1. Scott Berg

    Scott Berg Guest

    I want to install one (maybe more) TV cameras to watch the outside of
    my house or the street in front of my house. There has been a series
    of vandalism incidents at my house and some neighbors. The
    requirement is to get a clear picture of an incident, probably at
    night, with a timestamp and enough detail (resolution) to be able to
    identify suspects. Everything I've seen so far has given a grainy
    image that tells you it was a light colored car with two people,
    possibly male.

    Is there anything out there with better performance? I have some
    flexibility with cost and installation difficulty.

  2. Frank Olson

    Frank Olson Guest

    Scott, you really need to think this through. How wide an area do you
    expect single camera will cover and still provide "enough detail to be able
    to identify subjects"? The narrower your field of view the more likely
    you'll be able to pick out the details you need, but for that to happen
    you'd have to pretty well have a multiple camera installation (similar to
    what they have in banks). The alternative is to have a camera that "pans"
    the area you want covered which will mean you may not catch the perps "in
    the act" while the camera's looking the other way. If your concern centers
    around a particular area (like around your car which is parked in one spot
    on your driveway for instance), you're still going to need at least two
    cameras to cover both sides of the car. It's not good enough for most
    courts to simple see a perp enter and leave an area. You have to be able to
    "catch them in the act" of committing vandalism and have a clear enough
    image to identify just who's doing it.
  3. Scott Berg

    Scott Berg Guest

    An excellent point! From the demos I've seen and reading I've done,
    I think I understand the basics. One point that I keep coming back to
    is this:

    If I have a few (2 to 4) high resolution (possibly digital) cameras
    fixed on a moderate size field of view each and store everything as
    digital data, can I do an electronic blow up / image enhancement that
    would yield the details lost by having a relatively large field?

    If yes, this would allow me to minimize the number of fixed field
    cameras (lower cost and complexity) yet get the key identification
    information I want. Also, very large disks are now cheap, so
    archiving several days of data for multiple cameras isn't such an
    impossible task. I do understand that the court evidence aspect would
    be somewhat compromised, but it would still be worth it to me.

  4. Guest

    The quality will depend on the camera used, lens, cable and
    connections, as well as the DVR.

    A PC based DVR will not be as good quality as a Stand Alone RTOS DVR.

    That said, when you try to playback the RTOS DVR, on the PC to save or
    enhance, it will be less quality than the PC DVR.

    Best option would be an RTOS DVR, and a simple Video Capture card in
    your PC. Only use the Capture card when you want to save the DVR's
    video to an Avi File. This way you will be getting 740x480 resolution
    which is very good on the PC. The AVI would be huge (80MB for every 10
    seconds approx), so you would use Movie Maker to convert it to a WMV
    file (drops to 500k for every 80MB AVI file approx), and then copy that
    to CD or USB. etc.

    Best of both worlds would be a PC DVR and an RTOS DVR. Loop out from
    the RTOS DVR to the PC. It can double as a high quality capture card
    also, using something like VidCap from Microsoft, free video capture
    software,or AmCap, you can capture video from each single input one at
    a time, when you need to save recorded video. This way you are getting
    the video from the RTOS DVR which is going to generally be better. Make
    sure the RTOS DVR is something like Wavelet and record at at least
    15fps, as you can use your PC DVR for remote video, you wont need to
    worry about the wavelet slow network speeds, use Mpeg4 for the PC DVR.
    Wavelet is better quality than Mpeg4, but slower over the network, and
    larger files so it runs out quicker. Just let your PC do the long
    recordings with features, and the RTOS do the high quality.


  5. Bob Worthy

    Bob Worthy Guest

    Try to get some sleep Rory. All of this at 2:15 in the morning? How many
    amps are you running on?

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