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Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: CJsNvrUrly
Date: May 02, 2021 08:55AM
I bought these Blink cameras for Waitin4CJ for his birthday (day before yesterday) but he didn't like that they uploaded video to the cloud before storing the footage locally, so he's looking at these Reolink cameras instead.
Do any of you have any experience with them? What are your opinions?

Blink cameras
Reolink cameras




bunny smileyCentral VA
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 02, 2021 09:59AM
CJs,

You're looking at two _very_ different systems. The first are cheap wifi surveillance cams, along the lines of Wyze cams, Eufy cams, etc. The other is an actual DVR based surveillance system, not cheap wifi cams.

Cams like Blink cams are dandy for the most basic of surveillance system. Easy to place. Easy to use. Basic cloud storage for free. Can't remember if they support storing footage on a chip in each cam. They aren't a full-featured surveillance system like the Reolink.

The Reolink is a full-featured surveillance system like those offered by Swann, Lorex, Night Owl, and installed in businesses and homes by alarm and security companies. The cams themselves do not store footage in the cam itself or send it to the cloud. It stored in the DVR itself. The only proprietary hardware is the DVR itself. The cams and cabling and the connections on the DVR are standardized.

Ignore what Reolink says on the page about the app "allowing" use of unlimited quantity cameras. That's marketing speak. The number of cams accessible depends on the number of cams supported by the DVR and how many you actually have connected to it. And, with the Reolink, you have to mount the cams and run the cables to them from the DVR. It uses standard off-the-shelf hardware. The network configuration might be a little tricky but it's a non-issues once configuration is complete.

One bonus to a system like the Reolink model is that it is based on standardized cams and cabling. If a Reolink cam fails, replace it with another cam that supports the same standards, regardless of brand. Connect the cam and it will just work. Cable fails? Replace the cable with the same type from another manufacturer. It'll just work.

We had a ZModo system surveillance system at my office similar to the Reolink model. The DVR failed. Kept the cams and bought an entirely new surveillance system from Swann that supported the same cam and cabling standards. Removed the ZModo box and put the Swann box in place. Configured the Swann box. Done. As the ZModo cams failed, we swapped them out for the cams that came with the Swann system. Done. No muss, no fuss.

If you go for the Reolink, confirm that you can access the cams from both your phone _and_ your Mac. Many standard surveillance systems like the Reolink aren't particularly Mac friendly. That's one of the reasons I was thrilled to get rid of the ZModo DVR. The Swann system was much better when it came to compatibility with the Mac. I can vouch that Swann's tech support is solid, too.

The type of system you need is 100% dependent on what you want in it. For some, a few Blink type cams is dandy. For others, a full-featured system like the Reolink or my office's system from Swann is far more appropriate. If I had a house and the time and bucks to run the cables, I'd go with a full-featured system.

If you go full-featured, I'd look at a model from Swann before I'd get a system from Reolink. This is because I know from experience Swann systems are decent, they are mac friendly and the support from Swann is solid.

Robert



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2021 11:56AM by Robert M.
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Bernie
Date: May 02, 2021 10:18AM
What Robert M said.

secret smiley

We have Wyse for many cams at my Mom's house that we monitor on iPad. Cloud based.

We have the DVR system as a back up for home security. No cloud.

My main security is an antique Logitech Alert used to sell new for $250.00. The devil I know.




Staunton, Virginia



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/02/2021 10:37AM by Bernie.
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Kraniac
Date: May 02, 2021 11:00AM
The Blinks are great but the two i have ( XT2) do not store to flash..cloud only..i dont like that. they also do not have options for continuous recording to (flash). I don't like that either.
The sound on the Blinks is pretty impressive..mics pick up very well at low speaking volume from a distance...very good for what they are..

I purchased 4 Wyze Cam v3's..i like everything about them except the sound SUCKS #^$..it's pitful
and shameful that this got past the designers of an otherwise good product..I'm leaving soon to return four of them.
I need decent sound to communicate with my 94 year old Dad and his caregivers..WYZE fail...i should have done more reading on the WYZE V3's..the sound issue is well known

Im till searching for a plug in cam, with local storage on flash, Option for continuous recording and a decent microphone at a similar price point..50 bucks each would be fine if it was a completely considered system..

..some of the newer cams also have sound activated video recording too..i think this is a worthy feature next to movement activation..
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: GGD
Date: May 02, 2021 11:19AM
Quote
Kraniac
I purchased 4 Wyze Cam v3's..i like everything about them except the sound SUCKS #^$..it's pitful
and shameful that this got past the designers of an otherwise good product..I'm leaving soon to return four of them.
I need decent sound to communicate with my 94 year old Dad and his caregivers..WYZE fail...i should have done more reading on the WYZE V3's..the sound issue is well known

That's interesting, one of the "improvements" of the V3 vs V2 was supposed to be better sound. I'll have to search on these issues to understand what they did. Thanks for pointing that out.
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Gareth
Date: May 02, 2021 12:02PM
I haven't used either of those systems, but I do use Arlo and Ring.

My biggest issue with cloud recording, is that 1080p isn't always 1080p. I.e., depending on network conditions and compression, a "1080p" camera recording can look like 240p, i.e. horrible and pixelated. And you rarely get a 24/7 recording option with cloud recording (sometimes you can pay more for this option, i.e. with Arlo it's a $10/camera option).

So, between the garbage resolution and my desire for some 24/7 recording options for outdoor cameras, I'm looking at replacing some of my Arlos with a hardwired DVR/NVR solution. But, it's certainly a lot more work to wire up a hardwired solution, so cloud recording does have it's place in various scenarios.
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: May 02, 2021 12:04PM
I have 2 Hikvision PoE cameras, 3 Reolink PoE cameras and several Eufy 2K cameras. All record locally to my NAS.

I'm very happy with the 2 Reolink bullet cameras. Image quality is really good and they've been rock solid. The Reolink dome camera has been rock solid, but there seems to be an issue with blurry night vision. I think that it's condensation on the dome that is the issue. The Eufy's have great image quality (day and night) but are wireless and do drop occasionally. Unlike the Wyze cameras that they replaced, they reconnect without needed to be powered off and on. The Wyze cameras are pretty much relegated to a box these days.
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Bernie
Date: May 02, 2021 12:10PM
Concerning the Wyze cam sound.....

I can hear fine on the iPad from the camera, but to talk to someone from the iPad to the camera is lame.

My wife has to be right there at the camera to hear me. My Mother who is 92 can't hear the TV much less a security camera, so it is not a problem.

Sometimes when someone calls on the phone she will answer the TV remote. Some days are better than others.




Staunton, Virginia
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Ombligo
Date: May 02, 2021 12:13PM
I have four wyze cams, they work fine for my basic needs EXCEPT there is no web viewing option, app only.

Wifi is now locked down at work, and no one gets a cell signal strong enough for anything. So I cannot access the cams during my workday. That defeats having the cameras.

If there is a basic affordable camera that has web viewing access - please tell me.



“No persons are more frequently wrong, than those who will not admit they are wrong.”
-- François de La Rochefoucauld

Growing older is mandatory. Growing up is optional.
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 02, 2021 12:14PM
Mac,

Please clarify. If you have Reolink PoE cams, are they off-the-shelf surveillance cams like PoE models designed for use with a standard DVR/NVR or are they Wifi/IP type cams designed to be stand-alone cams that work with an app like Wyze and Eufy cams? They are different types of cams and it's hard to tell which you have in place with your NAS box.

FWIW, I have several Wyze cams in place and they've always reconnected to our network without power cycling. Power goes off. No connection. Power restored. Cams connect to the network without an issue. At my office, we have some Wyze cams as a backup to our hardwired surveillance system. We originally put them into place after our main system's DVR failed. Replaced the DVR but never removed the Wyze cams.

Robert
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 02, 2021 12:17PM
Ombligo,

What you're asking about is something that differentiates many of the cheap and expensive WIFI cams from other cams as well as full-featured security systems. I can view Ring cams via the web on a phone or computer. I can view our Swann's cams on my phone or on my computer (via a Mac application) Can't do that with Wyze cams.

Robert
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: macphanatic
Date: May 02, 2021 12:32PM
Quote
Robert M
Mac,

Please clarify. If you have Reolink PoE cams, are they off-the-shelf surveillance cams like PoE models designed for use with a standard DVR/NVR or are they Wifi/IP type cams designed to be stand-alone cams that work with an app like Wyze and Eufy cams? They are different types of cams and it's hard to tell which you have in place with your NAS box.

FWIW, I have several Wyze cams in place and they've always reconnected to our network without power cycling. Power goes off. No connection. Power restored. Cams connect to the network without an issue. At my office, we have some Wyze cams as a backup to our hardwired surveillance system. We originally put them into place after our main system's DVR failed. Replaced the DVR but never removed the Wyze cams.

Robert

Standalone PoE cameras recording to a Synology NAS. I can view them thru the Synology App or the Reolink App. I can also access them thru the web, although I haven't tried this as I haven't had a need to do so.

Glad you have had luck with Wyze cameras. My experience hasn't been very good. Now that I've found and tested the Eufy 2k cameras, it's worth the extra couple of dollars per camera. They support RTSP out of the box, no beta firmware. The image quality (day and night) is much better than Wyze. The Eufy's also support HomeKit, but I haven't tested this yet. The only downsides to the Eufy's so far is that the stand can't easily be removed and it's a bit more noticeable than the Wyze camera as it stands taller.

The Wyze cameras can be viewed thru a web browser. It would require running the beta firmware and enabling RTSP. Then one would have to have the cameras monitored by either a supported NAS or an always running computer that is web accessible.
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 02, 2021 12:39PM
.....I always feel like.....somebody's watching me.......



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 02, 2021 12:45PM
Mac,

The Wyze cams are serving me well for their given tasks. I'll probably replace them with the Eufy cams as they fail. They just need to fail first - lol!

Robert
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: May 02, 2021 02:35PM
Quote
CJsNvrUrly
I bought these Blink cameras for Waitin4CJ for his birthday (day before yesterday) but he didn't like that they uploaded video to the cloud before storing the footage locally

If he wants a robust NVR system he could consider the venerable SecuritySpy software:

[bensoftware.com]

…or if just live monitoring is required:

[bensoftware.com]

Both require only one perpetual license, i.e. no recurring charges.

Here's a list of cameras recommended by the developer:

[bensoftware.com]
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: CJsNvrUrly
Date: May 02, 2021 02:45PM
Wow! This is a lot of useful information! Thank you!
I'll have to have Waitin4CJ read through it all. (He might not remember his password to post, but he can still read the threads.)




bunny smileyCentral VA
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 02, 2021 02:49PM
....I like to watch......



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 02, 2021 05:15PM
Article,

Can’t say I I’d recommend Security Spy for several reasons. You need Mac to operate it. You need ample extra storage for footage. There is the expense of the software itself. There is rhe expense of compatible cameras. The there is the configuration which can be daunting. I evaluated it and determine it wasn’t worthwhile at all. Modern surveillance systems have eclipsed it and then some.

To Cjs, something else to consider: integration with an alarm system of some kind. Not sure if this is a factor but some of the ca,s put there can be integrated with alarm systems. Even Wize cams can become a part of a pseudo alarm system whe used with Wyze sensors. Wyze is even offfering dirt cheap central station monitoring.

Robert
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 02, 2021 07:46PM
.....watch Brian de Palma's......'Body Double'.......



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: May 03, 2021 12:35AM
Quote
Robert M
Article,

Can’t say I I’d recommend Security Spy for several reasons. You need Mac to operate it.

Generally not a problem for people reading this thread.

Quote

You need ample extra storage for footage.

Only if you want to store weeks of events. Otherwise keep only, say, that last few days of events.

[www.bensoftware.com]

Quote

There is the expense of the software itself.

A perpetual license starting at $50 for SecuritySpy or $28 for RemoteSight.

Quote

There is rhe expense of compatible cameras.

The developer has a list of his favorite cameras for 2021—they start at $100:

[bensoftware.com]

He also recommends this one—under $70: [amcrest.com]

Quote

The there is the configuration which can be daunting.

If you say so.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/2021 12:57AM by Article Accelerator.
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 03, 2021 05:12AM
Article,

Why are you leaving out some important details?

A. The cost for Security Spy varies per number of camera. $49.95 is for a single camera. The cost for the software increases as you add more cameras to the system.

B. The Mac with Security Spy on it must be running 24/7. This may or may not be an issue for some. Not an issue if you happen to have a spare machine on hand for a job.

C. You still need storage for the footage. In this day and age of Apple still shipping Macs with minimal storage, it can be a problem. So, factoring additional storage is a must, even for just a few days worth of footage.

D. You still have to buy the cameras.

E. Configuration can be daunting. I've used Security Spy and that is what my experience with it taught me. It's why I looked elsewhere for a surveillance solution.

My assessment based on experience: the costs for a Security Spy based system quickly add up and can easily prove just as expensive or more expensive than an off-the-shelf surveillance system and that doesn't factor in configuration of the system.

Robert



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/2021 10:29AM by Robert M.
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: JPK
Date: May 03, 2021 10:01AM
Just this weekend I replaced my blink set up with Eufy Cam 2 & replaced my blink doorbell with a Eufy model too. Seems the wifi is better, the picture is certainly better and I like to I don't have to "subscribe" for cloud storage. Storage is done locally and is easily accessed via app from my iPhone.

I would go thumbs up - so far!

John P. Kelly

PS Anyone want a blink set up with 2 outdoor & 2 indoor cams? PM Me.
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Article Accelerator
Date: May 03, 2021 04:10PM
Robert, I hope we don't belabor this…

Quote
Robert M
The cost for Security Spy varies per number of camera.

…which is why I said "starting at".

Quote

The Mac with Security Spy on it must be running 24/7

Pretty obvious, isn't it?

Quote

You still need storage for the footage.

…which is why I linked to bensoftware's calculator. So let me give you a 'fer instance':



Is dedicating 20 GB really a problem in this day and age of 1,000 GB disks? (If smooth motion is really important to you, 24 fps capture from 3 cameras with storage for 1 week requires 30 GB. Big deal.)

Quote

You still have to buy the cameras.

Yes, the one-time cost of SecuritySpy or RemoteSight is an incremental cost. (In the meantime, I pay $30/year for my Ring doorbell…)

Quote

Configuration can be daunting.

If you say so.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/03/2021 04:11PM by Article Accelerator.
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 03, 2021 04:42PM
Article,

"If you say so" is off-putting. If you want to say you don't find the configuration difficult, then say it. To dismiss my experience in such a manner is offensive.

For many, an extra 30GB of storage dedicated to footage can be an issue. Not everyone has 1TB drives in their machine. Some people don't even have a 512GB drive. If someone needs more storage to accommodate Security Spy, then it's another cost to add to the expense tally.

And, no, that you need to leave your machine running 24/7 isn't obvious. Leaving a machine running 24/7 could be an issue if you have a Macbook instead of, say, a desktop machine. It's another reason why it should be brought up as a factor for consideration.

If you don't want to belabor this, then you need to cover details that are important about your recommendation.

Robert
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: rich in distress
Date: May 03, 2021 08:16PM
Hey CJ!
My opinion is that waiting4CJ should take notice of HomeKit solutions instead, since HomeKit takes care of all the issues discussed here.
It is generally perceived as expensive, though. And many people prefer less expensive systems that claim to be similar.
But I understand (and have thought about it myself) that sometimes a dedicated system a la reolink is the way to go.
So get him what he prefers, before he feels offended by your choice of cameras.

confused smiley
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: NewtonMP2100
Date: May 03, 2021 08:56PM
.....I Know.....What You Did.....Last Summer........



_____________________________________

I reject your reality and substitute my own!
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: CJsNvrUrly
Date: May 04, 2021 08:33AM
Quote
rich in distress
Hey CJ!
My opinion is that waiting4CJ should take notice of HomeKit solutions instead, since HomeKit takes care of all the issues discussed here.
It is generally perceived as expensive, though. And many people prefer less expensive systems that claim to be similar.
But I understand (and have thought about it myself) that sometimes a dedicated system a la reolink is the way to go.
So get him what he prefers, before he feels offended by your choice of cameras.

confused smiley

He's leaning toward the Reolink setup. We're watching for the price to come back down.




bunny smileyCentral VA
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: Robert M
Date: May 04, 2021 01:45PM
Cjs,

Amazon has a $40.00 off coupon available for the Reolink right now. Knocks the current price to $309.99. Reolink itself has it for $319.

Reolink offers an app for the Mac and iOS to access the cam system. Whether or not the software allows you configure the system or just view the cams remains to be seen. Here is a link to the product page:

[reolink.com]

FWIW, bjs.com has a nice selection of similar systems. Similar pricing. The Reolink system from Amazon is actually a decent deal. I just know nothing about the brand.

Robert
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Re: Let's talk about home surveillance cameras
Posted by: CJsNvrUrly
Date: May 06, 2021 08:39AM
Quote
Robert M
Cjs,

Amazon has a $40.00 off coupon available for the Reolink right now. Knocks the current price to $309.99. Reolink itself has it for $319.

Robert

Thanks, Robert, but when we looked at it the other day, it was only $297. We'll jump on it when it comes back down.




bunny smileyCentral VA



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 05/06/2021 12:59PM by CJsNvrUrly.
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