Planning on buying/setting up home surveillance system.

Discussion in 'Buying Tips and Advice' started by CanadianDonkey, Aug 21, 2008.

  1. CanadianDonkey macrumors member

    Feb 15, 2008
    Alright, so just be forwarned, I'm still in the planning stages, so I may ramble and go off on tangents as I type.

    Anyways, I have this plan to start a internet video series of me and my roommates doing stupid fun crazy stuff. Kinda like jackass/dudesons/cky..ect. And best of all, I have a financially successful friend who believes in the idea and is able to make this dream a physical possibilitie.

    Now, what I want is to have a home surveillance system set up consisting of several cameras placed around the house, monitoring everything, and saving raw video (something that I can edit with final cut or imovie).

    To start, I'll need a good program, right? A little google searching, and I came up with "SecuritySpy"

    It seems like my best bet, but the price is a little steep. It's about $588 USD for the unlimited camera version, or $300 for the 8-camera max version. Hs anyone used this program in the past, or have a similar, yet cheaper program that they know of?

    Next, I'll need a nice Mac to run all this. My current Macbook is awesome as it is, but I think I'll need a more powerful desktop model. Recomendations for an iMac or Mac Pro? If I plan to have 8+ cameras running on this thing, would it be best if I had two 8-core processors, or would the iMacs processor be able to even handle this? I'm heavily leaning towards the Mac Pro on this one.

    And what about graphic processor? Would a 256 MB cut the cheese (recording around 8 video sources at a medium resolution) or should I consider upgrading that? Since I'll be getting a refurbed, should I look at OWC, and could I possibly resell the stock graphics card that came with it?

    I'll also need extra hard drive space... but thats easy...

    Moving on... I'll need cameras! I've been looking at some nice CCTV cameras, for about 100 each for a IR indoor outdoor camera. But then I'll need to figure out the best way to connect them to the Mac. Any ideas?

    I need to do some more research in this area. I'm not quite sure if these cameras handle audio. In that case, I'll need to record that seperatly. Again, any ideas?

    Well, I'm tired from all this planning. I'll be back, with some more research, and hopefully, if anyone here reads this and has some positive feedback and ideas to help me with my dream here, that would be much appreciated.

    Thank you.
  2. cctviskillingme macrumors newbie

    May 7, 2009
    Any news on this?

    Im planing to do the same thing, but dunno to buy some analog cameras, then would need something to plug them on my imac.... I need about 6 outdoors ir cameras, and ip are very very expensive...
  3. fokket macrumors regular

    Apr 13, 2009
    If you had a PC I might have been able to help, but guess not.

    IR indoor camera? Is it a REAL IR? because they cost at least more than $1000.
  4. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    I have a 4 camera setup - they are all networked (Axis 207MW) wireless cameras - resolution is 1 MP - so the video quality is fantastic. Make sure you get good resolution cameras - it really depends on what you want. $100 cameras might not cut it.

    Security spy is pricey, but it does the job. The funny thing is that these cameras that I have - they have an inbuilt server so they can transmit the videos to an FTP server, they can even be configured to watch all 4 cams in one screen (split mode)

    Now that I think about it, I wasted my money on security spy since the cams have this feature - but if you have cameras which don't have inbuilt servers, then security spy is the only way to go. I couldn't find anything else that would do the job well.

    My connection plan is simple:

    Each cam is connected to a power outlet. It transmits video wirelessly to my airport - that's it! If you're going to get a non-networked camera.. then you'll have to run a/v cables from each cam to a video input card which will be connected to your mac.

    P.s. - my macbook pro (unibody) handles all 4 cams and security spy beautifully. No problems whatsoever, your macbook might be able to do the job. Try it out before spending money on a mac pro.
  5. Music_Producer macrumors 68000

    Sep 25, 2004
    Yep, but easiest to set up. My cams are $350 each - but if you think about it - they have the inbuilt servers and have motion sensors - so if something triggers their sensors - they start recording instantly (with audio) - uploading to an online account, sending images via email, etc.

    If you're going with a lot of cameras (8-16) then it makes sense to go analog since so many ip cameras would just kill a budget (unless you're protecting something really really valuable!)

    Initial configuration has to be set up via windows - after that, everything can be configured directly via safari.

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