Surveillance camera installation explained in five, easy to read pages… Ready? Go!!! Surveillance camera technology can be quite a cumbersome topic to piece together if you never worked with any of the components before. We will try to break down the camera pricing, NVR, and basic accessories. First off, we have encountered a lot analog equipment in the market where are they are utilizing DVR technology vs IP based cameras utilizing NVR technology. This is an important distinction. IP cameras were a huge deterrent simply based on price. Consumer’s impulses got the best of them and they grabbed the first thing they saw at Costco and regretted it ever since.
The Cheap or Costco Surveillance camera installation Option
This is a much cheaper option… The you get what you pay for: It comes with four IP cameras, and 4Tb of drive space. You can add 4 more cameras for $80 each:
Amcrest UltraHD 4-Megapixel (2688 x 1520P) 8C… DVR plus 4 cameras by Amcrest $550
The “one star” reviews on Amazon are… interesting.
Scrapping the Costco Route and Researching IP Cameras plus NVR Surveillance Camera Installation
Your NAS or in my case, my Synology DS217 + series may not be able handle all your surveillance video recording duties. Ie. the CPU, network, and disk usage for 16 cameras. Here is a Synology NVR selector that tells you what NAS models are supported based on what you are trying to record. I picked 16 cameras at 1080p, 10fps, and only 10 days of storage (not all that great):
- You need a camera license per camera. Each NAS comes with 2 licenses so in order to use 14 cameras you need to purchase 12 more licenses.
- We don’t make any specific recommendations as to framerate or resolution. I will point out that using a high framerate tends to mean you need a more powerful NAS as that gets multiplied by the number of cameras and it can add up quick if you use 30 frames per second. Just consider your use case and how many frames make sense for it and the level of detail you need determines resolution. If you are unsure I would reach out to one of our resellers and see what they can recommend for your specific environment as this will vary from case to case and budget.
The DS216+ only supports 16 cameras (2 free, need to purchase 14 licenses). The DS216+II supports up to 25 cameras but I would worry about this killing your other disk functions! Some of the cameras I quoted below are greater than 1080p and will eat up even more resources. Do your NVR research here… https://www.synology.com/en-us/support/nvr_selector
VisualStation – Synology DS218 +
After looking at the configurator, the DS218 + seems ideal choice for future scalability. It comes with two licenses and for my little environment, it would require twelve additional licenses.
I would select this device with the integrated VGA output but unfortunately it only supports 12 cameras
VisualStation or Live Footage PC
A DVR typically uitilzes an attached VGA monitor for viewing camera footage or you install the clumsy third party software on your computer. You cannot connect a VGA monitor to the back of a NAS. The Synology VisualStation series can be used without a computer. Just make sure your PC has the required specs for doing so. Alternatively, you can purchase a Geovision NVR. I’m not sure if there’s much or any value in doing that.
Synology Surveillance Player VisualStation … by Synology for $599.99 http://amzn.to/2CcQSQX
Licensing info: http://sy.to/devicelicensepack
Each NAS comes with 2 free camera licenses but additional licenses will need to be purchased through a reseller such as Newegg or B&H Photo or through distribution. The licensing is the cost of utilizing the VisualStation software. It’s very featured rich software and worth price in licenses. The licenses can be transferred to later Synology NAS hardware upgrades.
Additional Visual Station and PC Viewing Live Surveillance Footage Questions
Axis High End Cameras
Axis is the crème de la crème of IP cameras. While they are high end, we linked some of their more low priced ones here.
These are cheap mountable Axis cameras:
Axis Communications 0555-004 M1025 Network … by Axis Communications for $230.35
Axis 0547-001 M3026-VE Outdoor Fixed Dome C… by Axis Communications for $499.95
P1365-E MKII 1920X1080 Fixed Camera by Axis for $968.47
- Most high end cameras come with a kit and mount. Ie dry wall mount
- The outdoor has its own enclosure kit.
- We can use biscuits to terminate each camera location.
- Running the drops can go through conduit or just run alongside other cabling and conduit and exposed ceilings. Most clients don’t care about this.
Geovision (Best Value) Cameras – Combatable with Synology
Surveillance Camera Installation Likely Scenario
Many clients of ours already have DVR based Surveillance Camera Installation. In one recent case, the client had 14 cameras that required removal before proceeding with new surveillance system upgrade.
5 – 6 Hours Camera deconstruct including old wiring
14 drops – 6 – 7 Hours – Run Cat 5e drops, terminate both ends, and mounting.
Purchase another 24 port switch for 14 cameras
Cisco SG200-26 Gigabit Ethernet Smart Switch … by Cisco http://amzn.to/2j5w7hJ
Third and Fourth Day
NVR install AKA Synology Diskstation implementation. Approximately 13 hours.
Synology IP CAMERA LICENSE PACK (CLP 8 Pack) by Synology for $380.63 x2 http://amzn.to/2za5K3e
Billable Time Summary: 26 Hours
Surveillance Camera Installation Summary
You get what you pay for. This summary does not existing infrastructure like a rack, UPS, router, and internet connectivity. We cover those aspects in other posts.
– Interested in surveillance cameras from Ubiquiti? Check out this post: https://networkantics.com/ubiquiti-surveillance-cameras-support/
Bonus Resources for Internet Support
– How to Install Business Internet
– The Best 5G Modems and ISPs