Security DVR

I'm looking into security DVR systems. After researching it a bit, the current leasing candidate is this one from Q-See:
(Amazon.com product link shortened) ?%5Fencoding=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&v=glance
(The other option, which appears to be several steps lower in terms of functionality, is this SVAT system: (Amazon.com product link shortened) ?%5Fencoding=UTF8&m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&v=glance)
I'm looking for a 4 channel system, and would prefer to buy a complete system. Does anyone have any experience with either of these systems, or any others? It seems they are relatively new on the market and there's a shortage of reviews.
--
Jedd Haas - Artist - New Orleans, LA
http://www.gallerytungsten.com
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I have a 4 channel Everfocus, works OK. but the software to get video and record it to a CD is a real PITA.
On the above system, I see no nention of resolution. Some of the cheap ones record at 320 x 120 which is crap, you will not be able to pick out anything. 320x240 is not much better.
Most systems I've looked at say they display 640x480, note the word display, they record at 320x240, watch for this.
The newer systems say they record at D1 resolution.
Full D1 video is 720x480. Cropped D1 is 704x480. Half D1 video is 352x480......(from google seach of "D1 video")
I don't put alot of weight into FPS, I record at 5FPS.
The above system says 120fps, that's total. if you use 4 cameras you will get 30fps each. At 5fps thats 200 milliseconds between frames, more than enough for security IMHO.
Thats my .02
Thank You, Randy
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q-see is a good one... my brother has a 16 cam on his house and its the best and internet controllable too!!!! the saved video is spectacular as well...
bob in phx.
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Do you have the EverFocus EDR400, Randy?
Is the software you mentioned for your recorder on your computer, or imbedded in firmware in the recorder itself?
Does the recorder you use require hack/spitWindows on the PC to transfer the files or watch the recorded video (not just by the connected VGA monitor)?
I just bought a used EDR400 recorder (a 4-input recorder) but haven't received it yet. I read the operation instructions in the manual pdf download, and I didn't find any mention of hours or recording time per gigabyte of hard drive space in the manual. I realize that the drive space will vary with the selected/chosen FPS, and that the FPS setting is averaged between the 4 inputs.
Do you have an idea of hours/gig for 30 FPS frames per second, using only one camera input? I'm assuming that the other 3 inputs can be turned off, but maybe not.
I think I saw in the EverFocus website FAQ that the EDR series hard drives can be replaced with HDDs up to 450GB so having a lot of HDD space shouldn't be a problem.
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WB
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On Sat, 20 Dec 2008 13:44:40 -0500, "Wild_Bill"

Mine is the EDSR400H, hot swapable drive, I put in a 320gig and have about 22 days of record time. Firmware is embedded in the DVR. I installed the software (Everfocus Powercon) to view/record to CD on my PC. PC is connected to DVR by ethernet cable.
somewhere on the net is a gig to hours converter.
Thank You, Randy
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Thanks for the additional info, Randy.
-- WB ......... metalworking projects www.kwagmire.com/metal_proj.html

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I wouldn't have high expectations of the cameras that are supplied with the Q-see or SVAT packages, Jedd.
My advise on any of the stuff you're considering is to make certain tht the seller has a good return policy for a reasonable amount of time for you to try the equipment out, or determine if you have a purchase satisfaction feature on your credit card.
The details for the cams shows 420 lines for the video, and that isn't actually high resolution, even though they state it. High resolution would be above 470 lines for good detail.
Also, the 30 ft range for the IR B/W black and white mode is most likely grossly exaggerated. You may be able to see something colored white at 30 feet, but there probably won't be enough detail to distinguish what it is, such as a white tennis shoe or a white cat. Anything darker than white probably won't be distinguishable from the rest of the scene, unless it's moving.
I don't know about that recorder, but with most system packages sold for consumer use, you would probably be better off buying a recorder that has the features you want, and then buy separate cameras which can provide high detail in the video, not just vague representations of what you're trying to see. A generic camera won't be universally acceptable/suitable for numerous locations which may have different scene lighting characteristics.
Most of the cams on the market for home use are generally worthless at providing any good detail, whether monitoring daylight or IR-assisted night scenes. Many sellers try to imply that their gear is commercial grade, when it's performance is actually no different than any generic China mini board camera.
Cameras without automatic iris lenses (mechanical lens iris, not electronic iris)generally provide very poor performance when there are wide changes/differences in lighting. Any kind of backlighting or reflection from a bright light source makes most plain CCD or CMOS cameras worthless for scene detail. Unless the area to be monitored is without any big changes in lighting, most cameras without AI lenses will give very poor scene detail. Such an area might be a warehouse with no windows, because sunlight in a scene will wash out most of the scene detail. An experienced prowler can easily defeat most inexpensive cameras with light. Unless the recorder or camera have built-in detection capabilities, all the recorded video will show is a washed-out scene.
The SVAT system package details contains the same info regarding the cams.. high resolution 420 lines (bogus) and 15 feet IR range in darkness, which is a little more realistic, but still pretty much a gross exaggeration. Their cams also have 12 IR LEDs, but their claim is only half the distance of Q-see's cams.
IR LEDs don't emit a lot of illumination for cameras, unless the sensor is a true night vision scope. A first generation NV scope is very sensitive to a very small amount of IR illumination, but camera CCD and CMOS image devices/pickup sensors are generally not.
I have a 140 LED IR illuminator and it doesn't do a decent job of lighting up a 20 ft hallway for several video cameras. I'll be replacing the IR LEDs with 940nm emitters (got a bag of 1000 new Lite On LEDs about $20 on eBay).
--
WB
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<Huge Snip>
I think the best way to use ordinary bullet cams is to hide them. If possible aim them away from lights, and the sun. As stated in another post, I have a 4 cam Pico type system, as well as two other video capture cards. Thirty feet is indeed a maximum distance for most night vision cameras. If you want good detail at a reasonable distance, high end cameras are a must!
To hide them, think bird house cam, garden shed cam, reading lamp cam, you could even hide one in you're computer! Old camcorders can be used in place of regular surveillance cams. You just need RCA to BNC adapters for the video cable. I use an old Sony Handycam to stream over the internet. The zoom function has proven to be very useful.
Steve R.
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