General > General Technical Chat

CCTV (home) options, especially ones without any subscriptions or cloud use

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MK14:
I'm intending on getting new CCTV equipment.  Ideally set up and installed by me (DIY), but I'm not ruling out getting professional installers.

What I already have (no longer set up, anyway) is too old, to consider useful these days (low res analogue), and has fallen out of use.  So in real terms, you can consider me starting from scratch, but I do have some experience with older CCTV stuff, I use to use a fair bit.

I've spent sometime researching this, recently.  But I've been horrified, by the huge abundance, of apparently rather cheap (e.g. £20/$20), CCTV cameras on e.g. Amazon.  But which either need a paid monthly subscription, or claim they don't, yet reading the reviews seems to indicate, that if you don't get the optional subscription, the camera mysteriously keeps on conking out, after perhaps 3 months, unless you start a paid subscription.

Why don't I like the idea of subscriptions and/or cloud based systems (no need to read this paragraph for many, who already know).
Because if it's £10/$10 a month and I use the cameras for 8 or so years, it would come to an extra £1000/$1000.
Also, the subscriptions price, could suddenly go up, perhaps dramatically, in later months/years, potentially disrupting a perfectly nicely working CCTV system.
Worse still, they could decide to stop the service, entirely and there are possible privacy concerns, having the video/audio feeds going to some cloud services, which might be able to see lots of stuff, both outdoors and indoors, where you live.

One apparent solution, is these 4 or 8 camera capable kits, a hard disk of perhaps 1TB, which come with perhaps 4 cameras and long leads, as well as the main control box/unit.  Which doesn't need any subscriptions/internet etc.

Another is to get a PI Zero (as many as needed), its CCTV camera case (I'm not sure how weather proof it is, though) plus a suitable camera module for it, and power supply.  The software for such an adventure, seems to be rather dated now (but that is not necessarily a show stopper).

I'm open to various budgets, but like the idea of some kind of camera which can go close to a window (with any IR night vision, being disabled to avoid it glowing against the window), with internal SD card (which can be a very heavy duty (extreme), high endurance card (or better), meant for such applications), I like the idea of it supporting some kind of remote local web (IP) access, perhaps recording a continuous week or so, of stuff.  But accept that external cameras (there is probably going to be other work, where I am, where such cameras might be, so now is probably not a good time for external ones), either now or in the future, may well be necessary.

I also fancy ESP32 based cameras, perhaps outside, on batteries, which only activate, when there are people (possible intruders), nearby.  But I'm not sure how realistic (i.e. are they toys/hobbyist-messing-around or professional tools).

Ideally I want to let this thread be a general CCTV one, so if you want to discuss various options (even if they don't suit me), or controversies over these subscriptions/cloud based services, etc.  That is fine, with me.

Examples (amazon links not put in, as they were a rather large number of lines of numbers and might not work, if people read this thread in years to come):

(following probably needs a subscription and even if it claims it doesn't, I suspect reviews on this or similar cameras, claiming it really needs one, even if they claim it doesn't, seem to be genuine reviews)
Tapo 2K Security Camera Outdoor, 360° PTZ WiFi Camera, IP65 Weatherproof CCTV for Home Security, Motion Tracking, Full-Colour Night Vision, Cloud&Local Storage,Works With Alexa&Google Home(Tapo C510W)  for around  Limited time deal
£46.99 with 33 percent savings -33%

I fancy PTZ (a remotely positional camera, Pan/Tilt/Zoom), especially for outside, as it avoids multiple trips up a ladder, making fine adjustments.  But it is by no means an essential requirement, especially for any indoor use ones.

The following is an example of a 4 camera set (which can accept 8 cameras, if you want), and seems to not need any subscriptions or internet.
ANNKE 8 Channel Outdoor Security CCTV Camera System with Smart Human & Vehicle Detection, 3K Lite H.265+ DVR with 1TB Hard Drive and 4x 1080P Home Security Cameras, Email & APP Alert with Images-E200 £169.99


In summary:
I DON'T want any subscriptions and/or (other peoples) cloud/servers, to be involved.  Regardless of how cheap the cameras seem to be.
I.e. It is like buying an inkjet printer for £10/$10, or a very cheap, high capability projector.  But new ink cartridges (with a tiny capacity), cost £50/$50 each, or new projector bulbs, are £500/$500 and don't last that long, etc.

If I've missed any information out, it could be, because I'm both open to a very wide range of possible solutions, and perhaps need to experiment and develop the CCTV system, over coming months and years.  E.g. AI detection of object types, sounds both fun/interesting but potentially problematic if it doesn't work reliably.  E.g. Too many false alarm alerts.

nctnico:
I use a Foscam camera + Qnap NAS for this purpose. No subscription needed.

nfmax:
I use 3 Annke cameras of different types, powered by PoE, on their own LAN firewalled off from the Internet and anything else, controlled by Security Spy software running on a Mac Mini. This does motion detection and recording, and allows me to access real time camera feeds and recordings from the companion iPhone app, connecting to the router/firewall using a VPN

tom66:
I use analog Annke cameras, they go up to 4K now (low frame rates but it's CCTV so you rarely care.)  The Annke DVR has an ethernet port on it which exposes some RTSP streams to my Home Assistant interface on a Pi 3, the Pi then makes them accessible anywhere in the world.  You have to be a little bit keen to set something like this up, I have my own SSL certificate, DuckDNS domain (free), the HA instance runs in a Docker container, and the method for exposing the streams from the DVR is not particularly well documented (poorly translated pages on the Annke website), but it does work very well.

I do have a lot of other things integrated into Home Assistant too so it made some sense for me, for instance my smart heating system, car charging, and all the Zigbee smart devices.  All on my own personal service, which I own the infrastructure to, and with a monthly subscription cost of nil.

I modified the DVR to add an internal lead acid battery which gives it 30 minutes of runtime in the event of a power cut.  Not a perfect solution as the HDD dies before the DVR but avoids having the DVR go offline for short outages.  It back-powers the cameras through the power connector; the 12V power supply was 'tweaked' a little to increase the output to 13.5V keeping the lead acid battery in float charge. 

(The Ring camera is there too, but it only updates when motion is detected in its small zone.  Eliminating it is a longer term goal, but the OH is a fan, so it's staying for now.)

soldar:
Yes, I have several IP cams on the LAN and an NVR recording 24/7. these days that is simple and inexpensive.

I would avoid WIFI as unreliable and easy to interfere with.

I do not have any memory cards on the cameras. Just the NVR which I put together myself.

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