Outdoor Security Cameras with a Mac.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by ZMacintosh, Jun 9, 2016.

  1. ZMacintosh macrumors 65816

    ZMacintosh

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    #1
    No sure where to entirely post this, but I'm curious does anyone here run outdoor cameras connected to a Mac?

    I'm trying to find a clean solution that requires little installation to the exterior of the house, but anyone with tips on managing and installing cables would be helpful.

    Any software ideas on camera recording?

    I was planning on using a Mac mini and 4-5 cameras. the house is pretty much rectangular so a few perimeter cameras and ones over entrances/doorways.
     
  2. DavidDoyle macrumors member

    Joined:
    Dec 11, 2013
    #2
    I can't advise on the cabling side, but SecuritySpy is excellent software. The site has good recommendations on cameras.

    http://www.bensoftware.com/securityspy/
     
  3. 1 iron macrumors newbie

    1 iron

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2010
    Location:
    Infinite Loop
    #3
    I have three cameras on my home being managed by a 27" 2011 iMac running SecuritySpy software. (http://www.bensoftware.com/securityspy/) Two cameras are POE, 1080i, and the other is 1080i wifi. The Mac runs 24/7 with all recorded alerts going to a dedicated 4TB hard drive. The software is highly customizable and easy to use. I can view cameras live, receive motion alerts for each, set up custom motion detection zones, and review any videos or photos that are taken on my iPhone. SecuritySpy doesn't have a dedicated app but there are several that work with the software. I am using the Remote Patrol app and it works well.
    Running wires was also a hang up for me. It took some time and planning but I finally found a solution that works. I used outdoor rated CAT 6 cables which I fed through walls, under eaves, and even through rain gutters in some locations. I would have preferred my wifi camera to be wired but it is challenging given its current location. I have multiple APE throughout the house so wifi coverage is strong enough. Overall, the setup could probably be better but it works for me and I'm very satisfied. The folks over at Ben Software/Security Spy are very responsive to any inquiries you may have and there is an active user forum for most common questions. Good Luck!
     
  4. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #4
    I understand that you're wanting to use your Mini, but I'll mention that at least one NAS brand (Synology) offers NAS-based surveillance. I'm sure there are others, but this is the one I know about. The NAS does the recording work.

    I'm thinking of a simple installation, but haven't gotten around to it yet, so I can't offer first-hand advice.

    https://www.synology.com/en-us/surveillance/7.2/overview
     
  5. pjfan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus OH
    #5
    This is a legit thread. I've worked with enterprise security camera systems in the past, and just recently started considering an investment into a setup for my house.

    Many security cameras offer Push FTP when the camera detects motion and I thought I would end up FTP'ing everything to the mini, but this software appears to do most common things enterprise software allows along with the recording. I'm impressed -- going to investigate what cameras to roll with now.

    One thing I'm unclear on, does the SecuritySpy record audio as well? I'll have to setup the demo soon...

    Thanks for the thread!
     
  6. monokakata macrumors 68000

    monokakata

    Joined:
    May 8, 2008
    Location:
    Hilo, Hawai'i
    #6
    Do you mind reporting on your camera investigations?
     
  7. Macmonter macrumors regular

    Macmonter

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2008
    Location:
    Vermont, USA
    #7
  8. Gav2k macrumors G3

    Gav2k

    Joined:
    Jul 24, 2009
    #8
    Qnap too
     
  9. campyguy macrumors 68040

    Joined:
    Mar 21, 2014
    Location:
    Portland / Seattle
    #9
    I posted this a while ago - http://forums.macrumors.com/threads...to-check-in-on-grandma.1940453/#post-22295851 - and I had a few more Lorex (a subsidiary of FLIR) systems with NVRs installed at my field offices, and have busted several creeps trying to break into the offices. HD night vision is the best, especially when the dippos look right into the camera.

    I own and run Mini Servers (2012) at each of my locations, however, I find that they're overkill for this kind of service. The much-cheaper NVRs are designed for this kind of service. Also, IMHO investing in SD cameras is pretty much a waste of coin - what SD cameras visualize is generally not useful when pursuing a crime or "seeing" a problem, and HD cameras (720p is often sufficient) pretty much nail the sweet spot for recorded picture detail. I'm still sticking by my recommendation in that post, and there's plenty of config options at Lorex's web portal. Cheers!
     
  10. pjfan macrumors regular

    Joined:
    May 24, 2009
    Location:
    Columbus OH
    #10
    I'm struggling on which direction to go.

    Contrary to the SecuritySpy recommendation, I'm considering the Samsung SNH-E6440. The other direction I'm considering is going all HomeKit route with the FLIR outdoor and Logi or canary indoor from the Apple Store. I doubt I'll be happy about the recording; just bummed Apple Store products aren't on Ben's accepted list.

    Still up in the air...
     
  11. ZMacintosh thread starter macrumors 65816

    ZMacintosh

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    #11
    Thanks for the suggestions, the Synology looks interesting. Had some issues with their products in the past...but maybe they've ironed them out.

    I may start with the Blink just to get a feel for where to place cameras and as an intro. if i decide to get something more hardened like constant stream/recording and mounting, I may move to synology...except only at the point which cameras to get.
     
  12. chef13007 macrumors newbie

    Joined:
    Nov 23, 2014
    #12
    I've always used Blue Iris on a dedicated PC (cheap deals on Dell T20 barebones or other Xeon servers), and it works amazingly well. The security spy software looks similar. Definitely recommend any Hikvision camera as I've installed 30+ of them. Also just bought a few Reolink cams (410WS, Argus, and C1 Pro). The Argus is their version of an Arlo with a much cheaper price point and lacking a few features, like cloud recording and recording to a base station, but it's a dang nice camera for the price.

    410WS is a 4MP cam with audio. Very nice image for the price - although you may not want to run it at the full 4MP if you've got a weak wifi router or lots of devices.
     
  13. 960design macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #13
    May I offer a different suggestion?
    Rasberry Pi running streaming software ( RTSP ) to a private youtube channel. That way you can view your cameras at anytime and record offsite. Very inexpensive, there are multiple ways to configure it.
     
  14. hirsthirst macrumors regular

    hirsthirst

    Joined:
    Nov 3, 2008
    Location:
    UK
    #14
    I have Nest - it’s more expensive to run than the above (I have a Synology NAS & considered using that) but it is so slick to use from anywhere on any device with cloud storage and a very good iOS app.
     
  15. ZMacintosh thread starter macrumors 65816

    ZMacintosh

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    #15
    Its okay, I went with a ubiquiti set-up and can remotely access my stored content and view my cameras remotely as well. It turned out way better this way.
     
  16. 960design macrumors 68030

    Joined:
    Apr 17, 2012
    Location:
    Destin, FL
    #16
    Thanks for letting me know. Googling information on ubiquiti...
     
  17. ZMacintosh thread starter macrumors 65816

    ZMacintosh

    Joined:
    Nov 13, 2008
    #17
    Its definitely a great alternative and you can probably use Raspberry Pi systems for it too, but I had a spare system to capture the video and to remote into when necessary. I think you can use the Ubiquiti App to also remote view as well.
     

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