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Odd place to post this I know, but I figure with the varied background of our owners, there's definitely gotta be some opinions on the subject here...

Anyway, I live in a VERY nice twin-townhouse right in the middle of a "transitional" area. Meaning mostly working class, with the mixed "nice" house, and then the total wrecks. Over the last 5 days, my truck was broken into (nothing stolen, no appearance of search), then my next door neighbor had his truck broken into, then his house was broken into yesterday (kicked in the door, ripped out the alarm, stole a tv, laptop, some watches)... and now last night or this morning a guest parked out front had their car window smashed in - nothing taken. Obviously our two places are being targeted for some reason, either as "the rich folk that don't belong" or maybe thanks to the "McCain" sign out in front of the neighbor's place (very strong Obama community) - but either way, now we are going to be working towards reinforcing the house and deterring criminal activity.

So right now I'm researching video surveillance. I would like 4 cameras, as high res as possible (positively identifying a blurred man-like shape is surprisingly difficult), IR/nightvision capable and even more ideally have it's own DVR vs using on of our computers as the DVR. Wireless would be awesome for a couple cameras, but I'm not counting on that being a viable option. Any ideas? Brands to choose from/steer clear of? Important features?

Thanks for any help guys!

-Frustrated-


Kevin
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Oh, and to preempt the smarta$$ replies... sitting at home with a .45 all day waiting for the next hit is the opposite of affordable. :D
 

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I am not sure how much help this will be as I have no direct experience with them, but one company I have heard of that sells a bunch of different video surveillance gear online is Security Cameras Direct (www.scdlink.com). I believe they also have product specialist that you can talk with who will listen to your requirements and help spec out a system. They should be able to tell you what to expect in terms of image quality based on distance, lighting levels, etc. May be worth a call (800-316-6027) just to see what they have to say.

Maybe someone on here has dealt with or knows them and can offer their comments.
 

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i recently put a 16 camera networkable dvr swann system with nightvision in my business. picked it up at costco for around $1600.

works reasonably well but the "award winning" software is probably the worst this machead has ever seen.

did research on a bunch of other brands and options and found this was the best deal going. you might consider wireless cameras depending on install parameters.
 

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Spend the money on a good alarm instead. Cameras don't prevent crimes (not much)
 

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i recently put a 16 camera networkable dvr swann system with nightvision in my business. picked it up at costco for around $1600.

works reasonably well but the "award winning" software is probably the worst this machead has ever seen.

did research on a bunch of other brands and options and found this was the best deal going. you might consider wireless cameras depending on install parameters.
Yea I saw it i think the price went down though.
 

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I know of a few solutions. I have several of the Dedicated Micros DVR's that we pulled out of Daycare centers.. they were like 5K new and I could sell you one for $1800. They are close to 3K on the net. They are out of warranty but work fine. Cams are all over the map. It really is just what you want to spend on those.

PM me if you want more info. I will give you my phone number.


We just installed one of these today at one of our regular customers. It replaces an old tape unit they had. It plugged right in and started recording.

I can give you references. While not really into survellience ssytems...there is not much we cannot do once we put our mind to it. We are setting up another one of these for another client. I suspect that the 4 we have will move pretty fast at this price. We are not advertising them...as we just want them to go to people that appreciate the value.

I could talk you through a lot of it.
 

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A good online source for stuff like this is smarthome.com, though a better option might be to just get a big dog.
 

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Get a loud alarm and reinforce likely entry points.

Get a big gun safe and stick all the good stuff in there.

We have nice video of a car break in at work, yesterday.

Stolen stereo, nice clear video of the whole thing. Stereo still gone.
 

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The Houston Frys should have a selection of the SWANN products. In Los Angeles, I've purchased several of their cameras, and they are inexpensive and still working...
Frys.com ISP
While expect no help from the sales staff, at least you can see it before you buy it, and return it if it doesn't work out.
 

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I got a $1000 4 camera system from CostCo.

During the day it's ok - at night it's a bit weak. The cameras are the weak point.
It has a ethernet port so you can REMOTELY monitor it (the software is ABYSMAL). ( Unfortunatly only a 4 digit PIN) I'd als STRONGLY recommend a UPS for any DVR/camera system.

Wireless cameras are CRAP in my opinion; they can be jammed and picked up by others.
Hide the DVR somewhere. You can hav an IR extender so you can control the unit with a remote. It can show 4 cameras at a tiem or let you zoom in on one. and it can record sound. If I'd do it over then I'd get a cheap computer, a video input card and good cameras and motion detecting recording software. It's just time consuming to set up.


BTW - I have a Doberman & a Rottweiler and had no problems since other than horrendous dog farts.



Oh and put up motion activated lights around your perimeter. It helps! You also can put up warning signs. ( Electronic Surveillance/ Camera warning; Beware of Gun; Go to a gun range and get some used targets....)

Another neat trick is to put up a FAKE camera with a blinking light and a real one that points at the camera!!!!!)

Yeah re-enforce the door locks and doors.
 

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How long have you/your neighbor lived there? Is this a new string of events?

Leave a talk radio on when you leave the house.

I do not belive in car alarms or house alarms that are NOT monitored.
Where I live I hear car alarms 3x daily.


Don't leave any valuables in plain sight in the car.
Do not put the boxes of new TV's or such on the curb.
 

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I have one of these Network Cameras from Panasonic
... actually, the one I have must be an older modle as it's not on the site.

I haven't rigged it to record (not sure if that's possible), but you can remotely control & monitor it from anywhere in the world with web access. Not bad.

edited to add:
It appears you can record, it just costs extra for the recording software. They also have surveillance packages: Camera Management Systems from Panasonic

The quality is decent - not like a hand-held camera, but better than many security cams. They adjust for light low pretty well. Some have optical zoom. And the remote monitoring is pretty nice. I can hop on at work & watch my fish at home (ahhh the misuse of technology).
 
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