How to use a Mac Mini for a security camera system?

Discussion in 'Mac mini' started by iammrhappy, Oct 26, 2014.

  1. iammrhappy macrumors newbie

    Sep 14, 2013
    I own a 8 unit apartment complex that is in a somewhat shady neighborhood. It's adjacent to a supermarket that has security cameras, but I want to get my own system.

    Purpose: To catch and fend off thieves.

    What I have: 2012 Mac Mini. 1TB worth of external hard drives.

    What I want:
    I want to be able to put the Mac Mini at the apartment complex in someone's unit.

    I want to be able to access a live feed of whats going on from my house 30 miles away.

    I want it to save the video into my external hard drives. (This is probably not necessary, but it's nice if anything does happen, I have proof)

    How can I use the Mac Mini as the brain security camera system?

    Would I need to make it into a server?

    What kind of equipment would I need to start this, other than the video cameras?

    Is it possible to see a live feed of the cameras? If so, how could I do this (for free lol)

    Thanks in advanced.
  2. dirtylilhobo, Oct 26, 2014
    Last edited: Oct 27, 2014

    dirtylilhobo macrumors member


    Oct 16, 2014
    The Southwest
    I'd forget about using the mac-mini as a security recorder for video cameras.

    You'd be better off going to a security camera site such as or and finding an 8ch 2Tb DVR and cameras such as the JVC or Sony. Cameras operate on 12vac, the power and video supplied to the DVR with BNC connect. The DVR, with eight or more channels, can provide numerous alarm and recording capabilities and playback.

    Not that it couldn't be done with a Mac but I'd sure just invest in a dedicated DVR system that can be accessed with the Mac.

    And, if you ever hope to utilize your security cameras as a crime fighting tool then you need to opt for the highest resolution color camera of 1920/1080 at least with low lux capability. You'd better secure those cameras, shield them, and locate them where it would be nearly impossible to reach by thieves. But, your shady neighbors won't be above shooting them out either. Overlapping coverage would help to counteract such destruction. Just be prepared.

    If your not into a do it yourself installation I'd opt for a professional alarm company to install those cameras along with the DVR and any internet capabilities you require. I wouldn't put this equipment in someone's apartment. I'd put that equipment in a secure room or customized safe room that isn't accessible by anyone except for yourself.

  3. thetruth1985 macrumors 6502

    Sep 17, 2010
  4. dirtylilhobo macrumors member


    Oct 16, 2014
    The Southwest
    I still think that in order to deter and fend off thieves from the neighborhood the installation of cameras for an apartment complex should be done by a reputable alarm company. They can route the cabling, hang and secure the cameras, build or equip a secure equipment room with appropriate internet connectivity and power distribution if it doesn't exist already.

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