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  1. #1
    DF PwNagE burner1's Avatar
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    Default After some advice re; setting up shop cctv

    Looking for some pointers into helping a mate set-up some cctv coverage on his shops. Theyre only one room main street affairs but next to each other so installation to both is not a problem.

    What he is thinking about is setting up to around 6 cameras on the premises, with good quality dvr facility and remote 'web' access to cams, and if possible, zone triggering and txt to a mobile.

    I've told him it's not going to cost peanuts but obviously looking at savings where he can.

    He'll hopefully be getting a static IP from isp, so he wants to be able to access the system from home etc. All cams connected to dvr for recording etc.

    Does he need seperate IP cams to do this, or can you use hard wired, non IP ones and access them individually through dvr's built-in firmware via a single IP connection to the dvr ?

    I've done 'home' usb webcams using the likes of quick cam etc. and port forwarded through a router, but obviously this being a business, wants decent multi coverage and recording etc.

    Any info/pointers appreciated.

  2. #2
    DF Super Moderator Over Carl's Avatar
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    Default Re: After some advice re; setting up shop cctv

    I'm glad this question came up as a mate wants to do exactly the same for his garage.

    The only differences are that my mate is tight so price matters more than quality (madness for security kit, I know).

    Due to this, I doubt he will get a fixed ip, but ip addresses don't tend to change themselves without a router reboot/line disconnecting.

    My first and primary consideration is I suppose similar to burner's. Will individual cameras happily work through a router using nat, or would they need to be connected to a "server". Also would getting a usb modem help to get the "server" a proper ip rather than a local one it would be assigned from a router help? (I would preferable not to do this for obvious reasons)

    Thanks in advance.

    Sorry for the hijack burner, but the questions are so similar it had to be done.

  3. #3
    DF Jedi ZX7R's Avatar
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    Default Re: After some advice re; setting up shop cctv

    If you do install a server, you could consider using such a service as [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]

  4. #4
    Argyll's Apprentice TwoPlAnKs's Avatar
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    Default Re: After some advice re; setting up shop cctv

    The shop i worked in have always had one central recorder - previously a little Dedicated Micros box that took in 8 standard cameras and output to a time lapse VCR that recorded all 8 cameras for 24 hours onto a 3 hour vhs tape - incredibly shit.

    This was updated to a Dedicated Micros DVR with 16 inputs and a hard drive inside, to get the data off you could use a usb pen in the port on the front or the built in DVD burner.

    That one did have a network connection on the front and came with remote access, just forwarding the port on the router would make it work over the internet. I believe this allowed offside recording too but we never had it set up - all a thief had to do was bash the box in and take the hard drive (or take the whole thing since it was the one of the most expensive items in the shop)

    For a hard drive recorder for CCTV cameras with 6 inputs you'd be looking at a good few hundred quid, up to and over a grand for a really fancy one, then most output to a normal pc monitor so you can get small ones quite cheap/free spare. Higher end ones have "spot" monitors which let you have other monitor outputs set to view different cameras or different rotations/mutliplexes but that is getting more expensive, but useful for having a monitor on the shop floor for staff or customers as well as the one in the back office.

    Remember showing a mutliplex or rotated view of all cameras on the shop floor is silly - it lets people work out where the blind spots are. Use a reduced mutliplex or a reduced rotation or even better just one static camera. Often you won't get a good view of somebodies face when they are stealing but most people, especially crooks, will look at a cctv monitor positioned above the door on the way in. if this has a camera right next to it then you'll get a perfect view of their face.

    The central recorder in this set up gets expensive but it lets you use standard cameras and standard monitors - which can be cheaper and better than their USB or IP alternatives. It also means you can add cameras later cheaper, and replace with better quality or add outdoor ones or whatever.

    The important thing is not to scrimp on time lapse - obviously you won't be getting the VCR version in this day and age but when we had 9 cameras to one 3 hour tape the time between frames was immense and you'd often get a very frustrating situation where you'd see a crook walk up to a bottle of champagne in one frame, then see them walking away with the champagne gone and a bulge in their jumper but no actual evidence of them taking it because their arm reached out between the frames. You need to get a big enough hard drive to record, say, a month of footage at more than 2-4fps from every camera I would say.

    Remember not to hide the cameras too - they are great for evidence but better as a deterrant and to make good customers feel safe. If you are going to have blindspots then perhaps use those black dome cameras so people dont know where they are pointing but if possible big fuck off noticeable ones are best.

    Our DVR had 4 audio inputs I think, I guess you could have ambient mics in the shop to record conversations which could be very useful for settling debates with customers. We'd often use ours to settle what note somebody handed over or what they bought but I'd have loved to have played it back every time some dozy cunt asked for one brand of fags then freaked out and treated me like an idiot when they claimed to have asked for another one.

    Another (expensive) thing to look out for is PTZ - our system had the ability to connect one PTZ camera but we didnt have one. I think it stands for Pan, Tilt and Z-axis or something (thats a guess) and basically lets you move the camera with arrow keys in real time. Could be very useful for following people around the shop, since one of the most common uses I made of the cctv was for watching people without making it obvious (although that's actually stupid for theifs - I just used it on trouble-making hooligans - because if you make it obvious you are watching then they wont steal)

    We had a very shit outdoor camera which got replaced with a superior model shortly afterwards - they have LED things that light up the area with "invisible" light and give you a fantastic black and white picture of the dark area outside whilst also working as colour cameras during the day. You should be able to connect one/some of these up to your DVR if you get one, but be prepared to pay a lot especially if you go down the route of seperate IP cameras.

    They'll probably do motion sensitivity - ours had outputs on it for each camera that basically put an electrical pulse up a wire if that camera detected movement, so you could hook it up to your burglar alarm. I guess some of them would support remote alert systems too - with a dialer to dial up your phone or some text message service, or perhaps a central control office with monthly fees. There are certainly services available where they will get an alarm callout/motion detected on cameras so they'll tune in and watch them and if they can see an intruder they'll call the police for you but that has an expensive monthly outgoing. We had that on our alarm system but they couldn't see the cameras, so they'd get one of us out of bed to open up the shop and see if its full of crooks or not and thats a wee bit more scary and annoying than looking at cameras on your laptop in your nice warm bed. Our system also let you search for all motion events between two times on one camera, which was handy for the outdoor ones if something got vandalised at night and we had no idea of when.

    One final thing we didn't have but some systems do is two way intercom - you can be sitting at home with a microphone listening and watching the criminals in the shop and tell them to fuck off over a loudspeaker. If you got that set up anyway you could combine it with a tannoy for telling the customers stuff and playing music (with a PRS license of course)

    On the legal side - you aren't really supposed to film outside into land you don't own, or public land, without the councils permission. And anywhere that is being filmed needs to have a sign up telling people they are on camera and who runs the system, or it may not stand up in court. Bear in mind that if you have an outdoor camera into your yard or whatever and a sign in the window, that might not be visible when shutters are down at night or whatnot.

    If you know a bit about electronics you can probably set it all up yourself and possibly get a decent DVR with a small hard drive and upgrade it yourself. Speak to other shopkeepers - they are the ones who use these systems day in day out and they know which are best. They all have problems and benefits much like any other gadgets.

    My main word of advice is shell out for the decent DVR - its literally the center of the whole system, and if possible have it in a locked office inside a locked metal box. It will be cheaper in the long run and you'll get better cameras for it. And I'd have been much more confident if we'd had external recording backup too.


    Link to site:
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]


    Another page i found detailing how you can even hook them up to your tills to catch your staff stealing:
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]



    Here's the badboy we had at one point, a Dedicated Micros Digital Sprite 2 with cd burner:

    We did have two different ones so that may not have all the features i mentioned above - some may have been only on the other one. If I remember rightly that was the one i preferred over the other make of DVR we had, and was miles better than the Dedicated Micros VCR machine.

    This is their entry level system which gives you 9 cam inputs, a monitor, a second spot monitor, remote network viewing and 24/7 recording up to a month:
    [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]
    Last edited by TwoPlAnKs; 2nd December 2008 at 01:36 AM.

  5. #5
    Argyll's Apprentice TwoPlAnKs's Avatar
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    Default Re: After some advice re; setting up shop cctv

    I was just browsing maplins B-grade stock looking for some gadget to stop my car from being more of a piece of shit than usual in the winter and its full of cosmetically damaged but otherwise fine CCTV equipment and DVRs

    one thing thats reduced from £150 to £100 is a 16 camera pci card for your pc. no idea if they work or how good they are, but for a pci card the cosmetic damage cant be serious or it would be fucked, and you wont see it anyway. unless the damage is with the cables of course. from a similar but different system at another place i used to work that had a computer based cctv system, they can slow down the machine so it needs to be dedicated, but this one might get round that.

  6. #6
    DF PwNagE burner1's Avatar
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    Default Re: After some advice re; setting up shop cctv

    Many thanks for all the info chaps. I think a dedicated DVR is the way forward, mainly for reliability and not having to go through a running PC 24/7, my mate isn't that techie minded anyway and with a PC to look after as well, I imagine more phone calls to me with that lol.

    I've looked at some DVR's on the net and seen a few which are between £300 and £500 (Without cameras etc.) And then he can mix and match BNC wired cams to suit his shops.

    Although wireless cams look more convenient, from a cost and security point of view I think he's better off with hardwired ones.

  7. #7
    DF PwNagE Geko's Avatar
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    Default Re: After some advice re; setting up shop cctv

    I've only just joined so sorry for my slow response.


    I would stay clear of cheap video capture cards. I use some for the Met's ANPR. But these will only support 4 cameras maximum and to get the frame rate required are very expensive. About 1K each. So a cheap 16 channel PCI card is going to be incrediably shit.


    I would get some decent cameras with a decent CCD and would steer clear of IP cameras for the moment, as there doesn't appear to be any quality options at the moment. A good DVR with a large HD would be good. As would 1 with an ethernet facility for monitoring via the web. A decent camera will have zone triggering built-in with an output for the DVR. I use Panasonic Cp-480's with a decent computar lens. F1.4. 3.5-8mm. But these are failry expensive at around £200 for the lens and camera.
    Or get a decent sony dome. Although this would be more expensive. And use a convertor to transmit via ethernet. (well... Twisted pair). A decent DVR would be £1000. This is the 1 I use - [Only registered and activated users can see links. ]


    What is his budget?


    Any further advice? Let me know. 1 more thing. Steer clear of maplins and chinese ebay shit.

  8. #8
    DF Jedi dannyboy's Avatar
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    Default Re: After some advice re; setting up shop cctv

    I'm also in the same situation too, i've been after a CCTV system for my shop for a while now. Im currently using 2 wireless cams and a USB capture device plugged into my laptop. Its set to take a pic every second when there's movement but I have to manually switch cameras etc. Trouble is I take my laptop home when I finish anyway so its only "recording" during open hours. I know it's not good, but this is how I caught the last idiots who broke into my previous shop and i'm just using it until I get a proper CCTV system in.

    So now i'm looking for something more advanced, a DVR as well as 4 or 5 cameras recording contiuously throughout the day and night. I was thinking of maybe 2 or 3 dome cameras, an hidden camera (seen them disquised as alarm sensors etc) and also an outdoor 1 for the back yard where the back door is.

    We are short of power points in the shop so ideally I would need them all to be powered by the DVR or some other device. The DVR would be locked away out of sight obviously. Also it would be best to have motion detect camera's for when i'm closed up.

    Ideally I would like to be able to remote viiew the cameras from home. Trouble is the telephone line has ceased at my shop (i've never needed it since moving in). BT want £140 to reconnect the line and then obviously line rental and internet on top. Seems a bit too much as all i'd really use the line for is to view the cameras. Is there any other cheap viable option of getting remote viewing setup?

    I'm looking to spend around £500-£600 on a system anyway. There was a bloke at the Wolverhamption computer market who was selling CCTV systems a while back, I don't think he's been back since but pretty sure he does Bowlers all the time...

  9. #9
    DF PwNagE Geko's Avatar
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    Default Re: After some advice re; setting up shop cctv

    I wouldn't buy the cheaper CCTV cameras. Usually pretty poor and won't last more than a year or 2.

    I suppose it depends on your need. But that's my opinion.

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