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  1. #1

    Default Home Security / Video Surveillance Systems Anyone?

    There have been a rash of vandalisms in North Texas, mostly done by high school kids on vacation (thanks to our new postmodern society where kids get to determine their own version of right and wrong) and my little commuter car got hit twice and a bunch of other vehicles have as well, another neighbor got his car hit as well.

    They're not even trying to take anything, just trying to cause damage. I only have this car because it's cheap and I only drive 5 miles to work, but alas ... it's time to get a video surveillance system for my house. Anyone have any suggestions?

    Some of what I need to know about how to install and operate a home video surveillance system

    1) What's the best setup to make it work properly? I assume I should have it tied into my computer, but I also have a web server so I have a gigs and gigs of space to hold all of the video.

    2) Wired or wireless is better? Have it run non-stop and record to a hard drive or something else?

    3) I live on a very well-lit street, so lighting will almost never be a problem - but what resolution should I be looking for? At most I need to record about 50 feet away from the house, and I'd like to be able to read license plates if possible.

    Like I said, I'm new to all of this ....

    Here not sure if I should be looking for a wired DVR type systems.
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    Something like this that's designed for outdoors and HD ...

    Click image for larger version. 

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  2. #2


    I have installed Night owl for my girlfriend’s parents and my moms. It is very easy to install. It has a DVR system and you can watch from any computer and smart phone. With no annual fees, If you get a Sam`s club member ship for $30 for the year, if you do not have one already. You will save at least $100 on a set.
    Tim Walters (Curky)

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  3. #3


    If you can wire your TV, VCR, and stuff like that. You will be fine. The hardest part is running the wires the way you want.

  4. #4


    From a hardened security standpoint wired is better than wireless ... because someone need only interfere with wireless signals to interefere with your system ... and they can do it outside the range of your camera system. By comparison the intruder would have to gain access to the home and be caught on camera to interfere with your wired signal.

    Also consider that if you are going to have to run power to the cameras you might as well carry A/V, too...

  5. #5


    I would definitely go hardwired. I would also avoid using those pre-made kits from Sams and the like. They tend to use proprietary connectors with limited amounts of cable and such. You definitely want a DVR unit to record the action based on motion. Rolling tape continuously only leads to wasted space, limited video retention time due to limitations in drive space, and having to sift through untold hours of recordings. Using a good DVR with motion-based recording you can block out certain parts of the camera's view to not trigger recording if you have things like trees blowing in the wind that trip the recording.

    Dome cameras would probably look the most attractive and unobtrusive from the street. They make them in numerous grades, resolutions, night-vision capability and such. When planning cameras, it's best to cover all your bases and even cross coverage of cameras to prevent tampering. Cost is obviously a hinderance, but go as big as you can afford. Also when purchasing the DVR, get one that can handle more channels than you're planning on installing for future expansion. Once you have some cameras, you always want more to cover that little nook you forgot about.

    I would advise you contact local burglar alarm security companies that can do cameras and get bids. While the home consumer can install these systems successfully, it's best done by a pro who knows how to think like a burglar to ensure the security of the system and your property. Get multiple bids and ask for references on other large jobs they've done so you can get an idea of their work and when played against each other will get better prices on the gear. Camera systems have pretty high profit margins so pitting them against each other will get that down.

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  6. #6
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    Of course i live in the country so my needs to keep away the teenage tyrants are not really a concern, but i do how ever have to have a security system here, to keep my insurance rates down... that being said... you all have seen pics, of my best friend Mystic, and although she is the most loveable 140lbs dog you could ever meet. I would strongly recommend you never show up here at night, as i have posted many times they are her trucks my vote goes to four legged security, over the technical crap around here.... the cameras capture the images of the tyrants and the damage they cause,, Mystics captures the tyrants and damages them.....
    I did see the same system we use here on our property on the web site Tiger the other day....on sale for half of what we paid for ours a few years back.... if that helps any....

  7. #7


    I also live in North Texas, I live In a gated community but also have a farm in East Texas that I am only able to visit on the weekends. My home in Dallas has a Vivint security system, they have video cameras and motion detectors along with the main alarm. Vivint uses OnStar for there emergency response so you know you always get fast response.

    On the Farm I have a Tahoe that I don't drive that I sit in the driveway, move it every weekend. I have the lights in the house on timers so different lights coke on at different times! I have my boat and jet skis in the barn that is locked down tight so I'm not worried. I have thought about getting cameras installed but haven't decided. The house sits on 130 acres and is pretty far back so no one would see anything happening. Although I do have a front gate to the drive but if I'm not around I never know If something has happened.

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  8. #8


    Steve you might want to check out some of the stuff available at Fryes.
    I set up a decent security system with 5 camera's and a DVR added outdoor motion detection spots and a few other tricks all for around $250.
    Truthfully the Surveillance Video signs seem to be more of a deterrent than anything else, more than once I've seen people looking at the signs then trying to spot the camera's, a few more steps closer and the lights come on, this seems to do the trick every time.

  9. #9


    I'm actually in the market for a system, too. However, I want the camera/DVR system to be integrated with other aspects of the system ... and haven't quite found what I want, yet.

    I'll be doing my own install, as -part- of what I do for a living entails physical security inspections of data center facilities.

  10. #10


    I mostly need to watch out for kids that break into cars in the driveway and/or vandalize, so I assume I can do that myself. Having a camera that can be seen will help a lot, and I agree that the signs themselves can probably do enough to detour people from messing with my stuff. I hope.

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