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  • Buy cameras for HS or Blue Iris and switch type?

    Hello everyone, first post so excuse me if this post is in the wrong section.

    I know Foscam cameras work with HS, and so does Blue Iris via PI, but Blue Iris supports a multitude of cameras. My first question is; When selecting cameras, if running Blue Iris via PI should I select Foscam cameras because of compatibility with HS or because I will be controlling the cameras through Blue Iris can I select any of the cameras that Blue Iris supports?

    2nd question; when it comes to gigabit switches should I purchase managed or unmanaged switches? Admittedly I don't know what all of the functionality is when it comes to managed switches, but I'd hate to learn that I need a certain function too late when I've chosen to save money and purchased an unmanaged switch.

    I am deploying my home automation in stages, the first stage is installing POE cameras managed by Blue Iris running on a Lenovo K450e i7 3.8 GHz processor with 2 Tb HDD and a 8 mb SSHD with an Nvidia GPU. After that stage will be the deployment of HS on a separate PC where I will start to automate my home.

    Thanks in advance for your input.

    Fester

  • #2
    Welcome to the Homeseer forum Fester.

    When selecting cameras, if running Blue Iris via PI should I select Foscam cameras because of compatibility with HS or because I will be controlling the cameras through Blue Iris can I select any of the cameras that Blue Iris supports?
    Personally I would primarily look at the camera quality et al first. Today you can get much bang for the buck on a good quaility IP HD POE camera. Next if using more than 2-3 cameras I would look at a software NVR which allows you to utilize many different types of cameras. A software NVR is much more flexible than a hardware NVR with a proprietary firmware. Homeseer is not an NVR. Homeseer 3 Touch just plays back jpg files in quick succession. On the Wintel side; there is a Homeseer 3 plugin for Blue Iris. I have old Panasonic PT SD IP cameras online today that work as well as they did 10 years ago. Same with an old Axis server. I do not utilize wireless cameras here. (I have played with them though). I have not seen any Gb connected cameras yet. (they probably might exist now out there)

    Read some here about CCTV in general(cameras and NVRs).

    2nd question; when it comes to gigabit switches should I purchase managed or unmanaged switches? Admittedly I don't know what all of the functionality is when it comes to managed switches, but I'd hate to learn that I need a certain function too late when I've chosen to save money and purchased an unmanaged switch.
    I have migrated to 24 port managed Gb switches and one managed 24 port mid stream POE Tycon managed switch (not really a switch though but rather a managed injector). Today my KODI STB boxes are all Gb connected. I do utilize wireless and have had good luck with Ubiquiti stuff. Note that the AP(s) are POE connected today.

    A few HS folks here are doing a virtual boxes on a multcore / mucho memory box for their wares today. While I am not a server hugger have separated boxes for my automation, CCTV NVR, MythTV box and NAS boxes; that is me though.
    - Pete

    Auto mator
    Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.500 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04 64 bit Intel CPU - Mono 5.18
    Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.531 (Linux) - ARMBian Ubuntu 18.04 64 bit Arm CPU - Mono 5.20

    X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation.

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    • #3
      Hi there... here's my 2c...

      Originally posted by Fester View Post
      I know Foscam cameras work with HS, and so does Blue Iris via PI, but Blue Iris supports a multitude of cameras. My first question is; When selecting cameras, if running Blue Iris via PI should I select Foscam cameras because of compatibility with HS or because I will be controlling the cameras through Blue Iris can I select any of the cameras that Blue Iris supports?
      I haven't integrated camera viewing through Homeseer, but I've had pretty bad luck with Foscam cameras. I picked up half a dozen or so on one of their past sales, and installed 3 of them around the house with PoE injectors... most of them would blackout (needing a hard reset) after a couple of weeks and one is already dead and emitting whirring noise from its built-in speaker.

      2nd question; when it comes to gigabit switches should I purchase managed or unmanaged switches? Admittedly I don't know what all of the functionality is when it comes to managed switches, but I'd hate to learn that I need a certain function too late when I've chosen to save money and purchased an unmanaged switch.
      If you don't plan to run multiple network/subnet in your house, just go with a good unmanaged switch. Dell, hp, Cisco are good brands.. they boot quick and are pretty much bulletproof, running continuously for years.

      You'd probably also want PoE switches for PoE camera and/or sip phones.. there are PoE wifi access points too. When buying a PoE switch, check the number of actual PoE ports. Most lower priced switches mix PoE and non-PoE ports (usually 50:50), so just make sure the number of PoE ports are adequate for your needs.

      An alternative is to use non-PoE switch and use a PoE injector panel.

      With managed switches, you can play with VLANs.. generally used in bigger network to partition the network for security and performance reasons; or to connect far apart areas together. But you'll definitely need more technical knowledge to setup/maintain one.
      HW: HS3 w/ Win8.1 on ASRock C2550d4i. Digi AnywhereUSB, Hubport, Edgeport, UZB, Z-trollers, PLCBUS, SONOS, GC-100, iTach IP2SL, WF2IR, IP2IR, RFXtrx433, Harmony Hubs, Hue, Ademco Vista 128BP, NetAtmo, NetAtmo Welcome

      Google Search for HomeSeer Forum

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      • #4
        I've got different makes of camera, 3 wired IP, 1 wireless IP and 2 wired into usb adapters.
        All work fine through BI.
        I have a managed switch and 2 unmanged. Unless you really want to play with the managed functions - don't waste your money.

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        • #5
          Pick cameras for their quality and reliability. I find Foscam low on both. A dedicated NVR like BI is essential to managing multiple cameras with motion detection and storage management. POE is recommended and wired over wireless given wifi is shared access and multiple camera streams will quickly saturate a home wifi setup.

          The BI PI (I'm the author) is handy to interface HS3 events with BI actions but not essential to a successful BI install. My plugin is about control, not about media - so it won't help get images into HsTouch but would help move a PTZ to a preset when the doorbell rings, for instance.
          Author of Highpeak Plugins
          SMS-Gateway Plugin
          Blue Iris Plugin
          Paradox (Beta) Plugin
          Modbus Plugin
          Yamaha Plugin

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          • #6
            Pick cameras for their quality and reliability.
            This is most important and should be first even if just purchasing one CCTV camera.

            Don't put the cart before the horse when looking to do this. If it is CCTV / Security stuff put priorities in just that piece.

            PT, PTX, digital control of focal length and analog zoom (way better than purely digital zoom) are some new features of new cams.

            Here have been gravitating to stationary cams and wide angle HD resolution stuff for outdoors.

            One of the nice things about using software or a hardware NVR is that you can configure your firewall to access all of your cameras with one simple set of rules rather than having multiple rules per IP camera.

            My oldest analog stuff here is Optex and Panasonic which still works just fine after 10 years. (well Axis stuff too).

            I personally like the footprint of the Optex combos and one goal is to refit them with IP HD camera boards which will fit just fine in the Optex modularly designed device.
            - Pete

            Auto mator
            Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.500 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04 64 bit Intel CPU - Mono 5.18
            Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.531 (Linux) - ARMBian Ubuntu 18.04 64 bit Arm CPU - Mono 5.20

            X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation.

            Comment


            • #7
              If you plan to use motion detection, you'd want to check which brands/models that has in-camera motion detection that's supported by BI. This can hugely reduce CPU requirement of the BI server (lowering resource requirement and power consumption).
              HW: HS3 w/ Win8.1 on ASRock C2550d4i. Digi AnywhereUSB, Hubport, Edgeport, UZB, Z-trollers, PLCBUS, SONOS, GC-100, iTach IP2SL, WF2IR, IP2IR, RFXtrx433, Harmony Hubs, Hue, Ademco Vista 128BP, NetAtmo, NetAtmo Welcome

              Google Search for HomeSeer Forum

              Comment


              • #8
                I have been running Microsoft USB 720p lifecams (11) for over 3 years without one failure, all using USB extenders from monoprice (up to 100'). I had to add USB cards to my server to handle them all but they are inexpensive and simple. All the the cameras are powered off the USB port so as long as the server is on they are powered. Initially I started with them as a test and kept adding more, then I really liked the ease of setup add they just don't break. I recently lost most off my network to lightning even my blueiris server lost its HDMI output, the dust settled and the only thing left running (still on battery backup) was my server and all cameras filmed some awesome lightning.

                John

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                • #9
                  John, what are the specs of your blue iris server?
                  Tom
                  baby steps...starting again with HS3
                  HS3Pro: Z-NET & 80 Z wave Devices,
                  HSTouch: 4 Joggler (Android Kitkat), 2 iPhone, 3 iPads
                  Whole House Audio: 5 SqueezePlay Jogglers w Bose Speakers
                  In The Works: 10 Cameras Geovision, new Adecmo/Envisalink Alarm, Arduinos
                  System: XP on Fanless Mini-ITX w/ SSD

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                  • #10
                    Nothing fancy just an Asus I5 2.90 ghz with integrated graphics, win 7 64, and 3 USB cards. That machine runs 8 cameras and I have another smaller machine with 5 cams in the garage that feeds those cameras to the main server over my network. I ran 10 cameras for a while on the main server but I moved some cameras and decided to split the load, the main server rarely goes over 50% CPU load.

                    John

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                    • #11
                      I'm bran new to security cameras as well. Just got my first one installed a few days ago. I went with an outdoor dome style Foscam, admittedly, because it looks nice (decorative), which was important to my wife. She hates bullet style cameras and think they look too intimidating to the majority of people that, legitimately, approach our house.

                      It's a wifi or ethernet camera and is not PoE by default, but I was able to buy a PoE splitter to convert it to one. I went with a BV Tech 4 port PoE switch (unmanaged) which I thought was reasonably priced at $50 (I was shocked to see how expensive PoE switches were). It only works at 10/100 speeds, but my camera (and probably future ones) is not capable of GB speeds anyway.

                      Do to the recommendations on another thread, I was convinced to go with BI instead of a hardware NVR. My server, which acts as a simple domain controller, file server, and client backup server, doesn't really meet the requirements of BI, so I went with an Intel NUC kit as a small form factor BI machine (really neat devices!) I went with the i5 kit, gave it 4GB ram, 64GB M.2 ssd, and 2TB external USB and installed Win10. It was between $400-500 for the setup.

                      I'm still playing with and learning BI, but so far everything appears to be working great. I'm hoping to dig into the HS integration this weekend.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Which outdoor Foscam dome camera did you decide to use?

                        Here is a picture of a POE IP HD 3MP camera mounted in a coach lamp. It is sold as an LED illuminated coach lamp.
                        Attached Files
                        Last edited by Pete; August 16th, 2015, 04:50 PM.
                        - Pete

                        Auto mator
                        Homeseer 3 Pro - 3.0.0.500 (Linux) - Ubuntu 18.04 64 bit Intel CPU - Mono 5.18
                        Homeseer Zee2 (Lite) - 3.0.0.531 (Linux) - ARMBian Ubuntu 18.04 64 bit Arm CPU - Mono 5.20

                        X10, UPB, Zigbee, ZWave and Wifi MQTT automation.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Pete View Post
                          Which outdoor Foscam dome camera did you decide to use?
                          I went with this one: http://foscam.us/outdoor-cameras/fos...amera-174.html.

                          It's only 640x480, but that seems plenty good for viewing the front door and small porch area.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I have been looking at the Hikvision 3MP turret camera for our front door, as I saw a post somewhere that said a regular dome camera can experience reflections off the plastic dome and show up as artifacts in the recorded video. I had a night vision camera that, when the infrared LED's were on made the video image foggy looking. I really don't want to go with a bullet camera by our front door.

                            My Lenovo i7 gets delivered today, then I will need to purchase Blue Iris software. Next Monday my Nortel Baystack 5520-48T-PWR PoE 48-Port Gigabit + 4x SFP GBIC Switch will be delivered - it is a managed switch. And with POE over all 48 ports, I think I'm set as far as that goes.... I highly doubt I will EVER need 47 cameras!!!!

                            I also got a laptop to run the HS software on, but alas the dvd drive won't read discs. It sees the drive itself, but when I put a disk in it makes clicking noises and beeps but never reads the disc. When I double click the e drive icon the drive opens and it prompts me to put a disc in. When I check the driver info Windows says the drive is working and the driver that I'm using is the best one. So that will be going in for warranty work.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Pete View Post
                              Which outdoor Foscam dome camera did you decide to use?

                              Here is a picture of a POE IP HD 3MP camera mounted in a coach lamp. It is sold as an LED illuminated coach lamp.
                              pete.. got a model number on that? I would love one in white....
                              HW - i5 4570T @2.9ghz runs @11w | 8gb ram | 128gb ssd OS - Win10 x64

                              HS - HS3 Pro Edition 3.0.0.435

                              Plugins - BLRF 2.0.94.0 | Concord 4 3.1.13.10 | HSBuddy 3.9.605.5 | HSTouch Server 3.0.0.68 | RFXCOM 30.0.0.36 | X10 3.0.0.36 | Z-Wave 3.0.1.190

                              Hardware - EdgePort/4 DB9 Serial | RFXCOM 433MHz USB Transceiver | Superbus 2000 for Concord 4 | TI103 X-10 Interface | WGL Designs W800 RF | Z-Net Z-Wave Interface

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