Who doesn’t love a good story? 😀 To start I’ve been running Zoneminder for a while personally, and it’s done great. Then again, it’s been great with older PTZ cameras (think Wanscam). See this blog from 8 years ago (time sure flies).
This is an unpublished blog that I never got around to writing up. So I’m just going to write my experience around IP cameras real quick here and just post this as is.
I started off with Zoneminder and it’s still good for free and if you are using older IP cameras just based of JPEG based images streams off HTTP.
However modern cameras usually support RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol).
I haven’t used the product in a while, and maybe they support that now, but when I originally started to write this article they didn’t. Checking the home page looks pretty modern, so possibly the application is even better then when I first started using it.
Overall I liked Zoneminder. Though the management UI was def lacking and dated.
For a good while I ran Shinobi which amazing still seems to be supporting the latest Ubuntu release. However, I found the application to be buggy and the community to be lacking.
Installation was a pain. Management was a pain. Data Retention was a pain, support was a pain.
But if you had it up and running properly, it did well for itself. At least in supporting RTSP and motion detection and file recording quality.
My cousin told me about this product by Milestone Systems: XProtect. I dabbled with this one a bit, overall, I liked it. The setup was OK, as most windows setups are, just double click and wizard away.
The Design was for the most part intuitive, some design aspects I felt were a bit clunky, and the software felt like it ran on an older framework (which I’m all for, given it remains stable).
Installation of Cameras I remember wasn’t too bad, but it’s been a while since I used it, and I unfortunately never blogged about its install and use. Sorry.
When my bike got stolen from my Garage and I had to go back to view footage, it was nice as it kept all recording for up to a defined point, and motion detected section where highlighted. This made it really easy to find the section of interest and export the video for evidence submission.
Being Windows and all it is of course more resource intensive then the linux counter parts, but if compute power is not a concern then I’d def say give this one a shot.
Surveillance Station by Synology
OS: Embedded Linux
If you happen to use a Synology NAS, did you know it comes with 2 licenses for Surveillance Station. If you have any modern IP Cameras this is by far the best option.
Installation is a breeze, just look for the app in DiskStation Manager (DSM), install, done.
Given you don’t have any complex networks with firewalls blocking traffic (flat layer 2 switched is best), installation of IP Cameras is also unreal easy as you are more then likely to find your Camera in the provided device list.
For me this was the case with some more modern based IP cameras, then simple auth configuration, IP configurations and you’re off to the races. Configuring motion detection was also fairly straight forward with this application.
The thing is you only get two licenses for 2 IP cameras, if you have more you have to shell out a license for each one, they are perpetual, so there’s at least that.
Surveillance Station by QNAP
OS: Embedded Linux
If you happen to run a QNAP, they have similar software available under the exact same name.
I tested this out with a QNAP and some older cameras, I did manage to get them connected but still haven’t got motion recording to work, for some reason it seems to want to rely on FTP service on the host NAS, even though it’s running on it and could easily in theory save to a path the NAS itself can write to. This seems rather dumb, I’ll have to further test to find out but this one is nowhere near as nice as Synology’s version.
There’s also this one I’ve heard about and come across when searching for solutions, which is a product called Blue Iris. I personally have not had the chance to play with this software so I can’t comment on it’s installation, and ease of use.
If you’ve used this product, please leave a comment with your experiences.
That’s all for this old never posted post, that will now be posted. Cheers.