In Silicon Valley, it doesn’t matter how nice a neighborhood is, burglaries do happen. Technologies and China manufacturing bring down the cost of owning a pretty efficient and sophisticated IP camera surveillance system for home. The cost of hardware for a complete home surveillance system can be under $400. The cost of installation may be higher than the cost of the hardware itself. If you do it yourself, then, it will be cost effective. Go get a 22 foot ladders at Amazon or local stores, the important thing is it must be sturdy, your safety is dependent on it. There are many types of wireless cameras out there, but you still have to mount and supply power to them, it’s better to do the “wired” way, more reliable, do it once and forget it. After owning a Q-See system, I found out that there are only a few companies that make the DVR box, this is the most important part of the surveillance system. So what are we looking for in a IP camera surveillance system?
1. Resolutions: The newest DVRs record H960 format = 960×480 pixels, D1 = 720×480 pixels (DVD) and the others – don’t bother very poor quality even with the 960×240 (it’s a joke).
2. Hard drive: Where the DVRs save the videos recorded – bigger the size, the more days you can store before getting recorded over – these days the hard drives are very inexpensive 1TB ~$70, 500GB ~$50.
3. Cameras: As of today, the highest resolution ones are 700tvl = 768-1024 x 480-600 pixels – they’re all dependent upon the CCD or CMOS used.
4. Motion and Alarm features. Motion detection is important because we want to find out when the cameras were activated and recorded if we don’t want to record 100% of the time, this will fill up the hard drive very fast. The motion detection must work well and no false recording. Alarm is an extra feature which we don’t use often.
5. Software bundles: Make sure to read reviews to find out which system has the best software for all PC, Mac, Android and Iphones platforms, some mobile software only works with phones and not tablets because of the display resolutions of the tablets are higher.
If we never had cameras installed before, sometimes it’s the best to buy a bundle system: Cameras, DVR together. Always select 8 channels just in case we need to add more cameras. 4 channels normally are efficient for smaller houses but the cost difference between 4-8 is very minimal.
Since we have 500tvl cameras already mounted and we only need the DVR to record, we bought the stand alone DVR for $127 and it works with all our existed cameras. We may order a few 700tvl cameras for the important areas, but 500tvl with a good DVR is efficient.
Since the Lorex system is similar to Night Owl, I think you can use the Night Owl Lite software for Lorex also. I couldn’t get the Lorex software for Android to run on my Android Thrive tablets (one of the reasons I returned the Lorex system).
How good are 500tvl cameras with Night Owl TL-DVR8 system?