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Adding Survaillance Fucntionality to HP N54L


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Hi Guys,

Many firsts for me. First time setting up a Home Server, First time renting a house and first time installing a full home surveillance system.

I live in Bangkok and am moving into a rented house soon and would like to install up to 3 cameras so that when me and my wife are away on holidays we feel a bit more secure about our home.

I am installing a N54L home server soon, mainly for shared storage, media streaming and playing with windows server essentials 2012. All Cat6 wired around to the home with Gigabit switches etc. I have some experience with Yawcam and was impressed using just my logitech webcam.

I would like to know if it is worth using my Home Server over a dedicated DVR given I want:

- Have 3 infra-red cameras for day and night usage
- Option to view the cameras live over the internet
- Option to view cameras when home (see who is at door etc)
- Be alerted via email if motion is detected when on holiday with included image
- Have reasonable quality images
- Maybe option to record footage (if movement)(Not essential)
- Not have to spend too much money (under £300 / $400)

I have tools to make up Ethernet cable ends etc and fairly handy with DIY tasks. But as the property is rented I would like to keep drilling holes etc to a minimum.

Am I correct in thinking I need IP cameras and I can get Cat5 cameras that could get power over the cable also? How would this connect to my Home Server? Additional Hardware or just over Gigabit network? What software would be able to meet my above requirements? Any recommendations on good value IR cameras?

Finally is it even an advantage using my Home Server to do the job of a DVR? Or is it better to just go with a kit that has cameras and DVR all setup and ready to install? What would the benefits be of using my own Home Server with IP cameras over a DVR Kit ready to go?


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Check out iSpy.  I use to have this running on my home server and it worked with my cameras nicely.  I was running a INSTEON.  Many featurs such as motion detection recording etc.


I liked running it on my homeserver because the videos were automatically backed up online as well and it was easy to have full access to everything I wanted.


My other DVR solution was just to limited to what I wanted.


My only concern out of these systems was that if somebody broke into your house they could easily find the server/dvr and just rip it out so you never have any evidence.  I never did figure out what to do about this before I moved into my new place.

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Thanks for that Gavin. Could you tell me what IP camera you used? I am not sure if I can mix cameras over time or if all the IP cameras need to be the same model.


I like the idea of having screen shots emailed to me upon movement like Yawcam does. The issues is Yawcam and a webcam is an easy setup, but going to IP cams, even hardwired with ethernet seem to be so much more complicated for some reason. All I want is 2 or 3 affordable cameras that work at night to record when movement occurs, email me some stills and save the footage locally and remotely.

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I have the insteon cameras.  But I also had another brand that I can't remember.


The good thing about the iSpy solution is that it works with many brands of cameras.  As long as its a supported solution you can mix them all in and it will monitor them individually.


There is a free version of iSpy.  You can give it a try and see if it meets your needs.  Its pretty good.  If you want remote functions I think that is where you start to pay.

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The de facto standard for IP cameras has to be Blue Iris. 


Seriously, that software will solve just about any problem you can think of.  Nothing else is even in the same ballpark, price or functionality.


If you're looking at options in cameras, take a look at the HKvision 2032 bullet cams.  Cheap, and awesome.

Edited by Firebaall
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Would it be a pain setting up a HDD in my N54L as NFS for the HIKvision 2032 to write to? or would it be able to write to the normal formatting (NTFS?) for windows OS (Server Essentials 2012). And also If I wanted buy cheaper, different branded IP cams for different locations around the building would they all be compatible with something like bluviris?


is a dedicated NVR any benefit over my N54L?


I don't have vast amounts of cash for the setup and what with cabling, poe switch, IP camera and setting up my new N54L with HDD for media etc I have to budget wisely, but also don't want to lock myself out of possible future upgrades.


Lastly would something like this be OK to add power to Ethernet cables? I can't understand why it is so much cheaper (£30) over the single injectors that are like £15 each. 41aI6WQZbxL.jpg

Edited by Bmouthboyo
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To be frank, Bmouthboyo (u Welsh bro ?), you may be better off biting the bullet and going for a full system like this




At 200 quid all in it seems to fit most of your listed requirements without all the faffing about with putting a ad hoc system together and end up costing more and not even working !?


just a thought :)

Edited by Essexraptor
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haha not welsh.


I did think about a DVR setup but from research it seemed the VGA resolution is poor and as I have a home server, and networking equipment I thought IP would be a good future proof and expandable option.


As far as I can tell from my research I would but NVR software on my Home Server and hard wire to a poe switch, or normal switch with injectors. These then got to any poe camera I buy.


I like the idea of not having to install coax cables all over the property and the higher resolution will make footage useful.

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