Lorex DVR Amcrest Foscam Setup

Posted on
Sat Jun 08, 2019 4:31 pm
whmoorejr offline
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Joined: Jan 15, 2013
Location: Houston, TX

Lorex DVR Amcrest Foscam Setup

I thought an analog DVR would be a no go with home automation.... I was wrong and here is what I've learned so far.

Due to some IP Camera latency issues and issues with plugins, I had an opportunity to grab an 8ch DVR with cameras from Lorex for $240. Why consider switching from IP to older analog tech? Well, if you are going to use a DVR or NVR anyway, I only have to worry about configuring one device (the DVR) versus configuring the NVR and each camera attached to it. I know you should be able to configure the cameras from the NVR, but mine never would. With the loss of plugins, I decided to take a break from IP cameras for a bit. If I need a PC and Internet Explorer to setup cameras, I might as well scrap everything and go the blue iris route.

So I got an older 4k MPX DVR... DV908 model with 8 1080p cameras. (It's brand new, but judging from the firmware it was designed around 2017)

So far this is what I was able to get working and what doesn't (yet) work.

Working:
The DVR utilizes CGI commands are similar to the older Foscam cameras. So, I'm able to do snapshot.cgi for each channel off of the DVR.

The DVR is ONVIF, so my Amcrest NVRs will recognize them. Since an 8CH Amcrest NVR is only$70 w/out a hard drive... I'm thinking about parking an NVR at a few TVs and running the HDMI to the TV for instant viewing of cameras. This should work great on my Roku TV as I can control that via indigo or via Alexa through indigo... So, "Show me the cameras" could be an Alexa routine that executes an indigo action that sends an on command to the TV and switches the input to HDMI3. (No lag time waiting for a smart tv app to pull an RTSP feed.)

Amcrest Surveillance Pro software will also recognize the DVR for easy viewing from Macs. Also cool because you have more settings options from the software than from the DVR.

There are cgi commands for events... I'm thinking this would have to be a plugin that would poll the DVR every few seconds and use the response to update a device status or variable to integrate the motion detection part into indigo.

Not really working:
The Flir software for MAC (what you are supposed to use with the DVR) would recognize the DVR, but I couldn't get it to actually view anything. Tried my Amcrest software and that worked fine.

The http://user:pwd@10.0.3.255/cgi-bin/snapshot.cgi?channel=8 works... sorta. As long as you only pull an image once every minute or so, no problems.... but if I request an image more frequently, the DVR freezes then re-boots itself. I also can't find a usable cgi command to adjust the snapshot size. You can adjust it in the DVR, but it's hit or miss what resolution you get. (as you refresh the image, sometimes it's 352x240, sometimes it's 704x480. (I like a bigger image for control pages, a smaller image for attaching to a text or pushover message)

The Lorex DDNS works, but only if you use SeaMonkey (or maybe pre-version 12 safari). I haven't tried pulling snapshots off the DDNS address because I'm having enough issues with the local snapshots.

Posted on
Mon Jun 10, 2019 7:24 pm
mundmc offline
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Posts: 531
Joined: Sep 14, 2012

Re: Lorex DVR Amcrest Foscam Setup

Nice- My Amcrest NVR doesn’t even ALLOW snapshots!

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