Archive for the 'General' Category


Intel NUC DN2820FYKH (Celeron) as an NVR Server

Many have asked if they can run NVR software on the Celeron version of the NUC. The advantage of this version is that it costs a lot less, about $130 making it a very appealing alternative to an NVR because of it’s low power consumption, flexibility and size.

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Intel NUC as an NVR PC w/Milestone XProtect 2014 Review

Having a PC as an NVR has some physical drawbacks, they are large, they use a good amount of electricity, fans can be noisy and they give off heat. Along came the Intel NUC (Next Unit of Computing), Intel’s first foray into making consumer PCs. Using the latest 4th generation i5 processor, promising low noise, low heat, low power consumption and a PC that fits in the palm of your hand.

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Hikvision’s Built-in NVR Like Capabilities

I’ve been asked what cameras can record without the need for an NVR or a PC running NVR software. In the past I’ve recommended Mobotix which has solid in-camera NVR capabilities but sometimes the price of these cameras and complexity have been a barrier to many.

Hikvision cameras also have this capability and is probably one of the best implementations I’ve seen once it’s setup, but there isn’t good documentation on how to do this, so I put together this tutorial.

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Embedding Network Camera Video on a Website

I’ve been asked many times, how do I embed the video from my camera on a public web page. It seems like it would be so simple, you can connect to your camera from a browser, how hard can it be to take that video and put it on a web page so it works with just about any browser. Here’s the problem, most network cameras spit out RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol), the standard for surveillance cameras but website don’t understand that protocol, so you have to convert it to a protocol acceptable to most web browsers and that’s RTMP (Real Time Messaging Protocol).

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Monitoring Cameras on your TV – UG802 Mini PC Review

The amount of surveillance cameras being used in homes is rapidly growing. One feature that people have asked me about is how do I watch my cameras from a TV. The scenario is that it’s late at night, you are in bed,  you hear a noise in the house or outside, you want to quickly see what’s going on. You turn the TV on, change the input to where the cameras are and you now have a view of all the cameras without having to leave your bed. Continue reading ‘Monitoring Cameras on your TV – UG802 Mini PC Review’


GSM Security Camera – EyeSee

It was a minor dissapointment that very few IP camera companies appeared at CES 2011, but I did come across a newcomer with a unique product, the EyeSee from Jablocom.

The EyeSee runs on GSM rather than WiFi as many IP cameras do, and it has a very sensitive motion detector that is activated by sound, external alert, or movement. The pictures can be sent via e-mail, SMS call, MMS call, or accessible via a web server.

EyeSee GSM Camera

This opens up IP cameras to remote places where internet access is not available but still has GSM 3G access. For example, a vacation home, a remote traffic cam location and any other place that was impossible to get an internet connect too or the costs were prohibitive.

The camera’s list price is $499 and the U.S. distributor can be reached at (888) 633-7985. More information is available on their website at



One of the biggest benefits of having IP cameras is being able to access them from the internet. Many of us have smartphones, iPads or netbooks that we take with us and it would be great to check in on the place, a pet or the elderly while at work, in a coffee shop or while traveling. Some cameras have 2 way audio, so you can even talk to the person or pet.

The problem many of us have is how do we do it. We all know that if we go to a certain IP address on our home browser, we can configure and view the camera, but how do we do the very same thing when we are not home.


Work in Progress

I have a few reviews in the works for summer including;

1. The ACTi ACM-1231. This is an outdoor camera with built in IR illuminators and 1.3 MP. So far, the image quality is OK, their built-in software is not the easiest to use, that’s why I need more time to get it all working as expected before posting a review.

2. My collection of cameras and locations has outgrown the ability to manage them one camera at a time, which has left me to set up a PC for this and run video management software. So far, I was not able to get H264 Webcam from Timhillone Software working properly which looked promising. Day one of BlueIris testing is going well. Supports all but one of my cameras and hopefully their support team can help with that.

3. Foscam review. Many people ask about inexpensive cameras they find on eBay from China. Foscam is one of those brands and they typically sell for under $100 shipped from China. Their support has been pretty good and the camera has been in use for several months. I’ll put together a comprehensive review soon.


Why IP Cameras?

Many of us are looking to protect our business and homes and looking for a cost effective solution to protect our property while we are gone, by alerting us when someone enters an area they shouldn’t, to capture images of events that take place while we are away, to give us a view of what is going on when we can’t be there, to keep an eye on pets, children, the elderly.
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