Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

Posted on
Thu May 17, 2018 6:46 pm
roussell offline
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Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

Through a series of unrelated and unfortunate events, I've lost the bulk of my existing IP cameras. I've also recently decided to drop Sighthound, because well, I just didn't care for a lot of things about the product the more I used it.

Anywho.... I still feel the need for cameras, my wife more so than I, so I'm in the position to start from scratch with something. I don't want Nest, I really don't like their storage/usage plans, so I've narrowed it down to a few options and wanted to see what you all are doing these days.

    1. Ring Cameras: I like Ring, I don't have any presently, but I like their list of features and $10/month for unlimited cameras isn't horrible (although I'm still not crazy about paying it.
      PROS: good features, nice cameras, I like the over-all app function, two-way audio, siren, and lights built in to the cams.
      CONS: They're expensive ($200+ can get a nice IP cam these days), No wired LAN option. I was hoping the "wired" camera would be PoE, alas it's just power, the data connectivity is still wireless. No open standards or "local" connectivity. Monthly "rent" to Ring to make them useful - just not a fan of this model. No internet, no storage - that's probably the biggest negative, and one not easily overcome.
    2. IPCAMS and Server based recording: This is what I had, although I'd choose something other than Sighthound and get better cameras this time. Probably Amcrest or Hikvision cams and either SecuritySpy or BlueIris for the software.
      PROS: Everything is local, recording still works if no Internet. Cheaper initial camera cost. More control over setup and config. one-time purchase, no service "rent"
      CONS: Everything is local, if there's a problem with server, power, app, network - it's all on me. Ring's over-all feature-set is arguably better. App probably not as WAF-friendly, unless I develop something custom. A decent camera server will be power-hungry, and I'm actually trying to save power these days (giant servers are all shut down)

Similar to #2, I would consider a commercial black-box security DVR instead of the server/application, but I have no clue which ones are safe (from Chinese backdoors) and reliable - suggestions appreciated.

...and Similar to #1, I see that Amazon has a line of cameras/service similar to Ring (even though they own Ring, confusing!) and I generally like Amazon products, but I'm not sure about these cameras at all.

I'd like to hear from everyone, but especially the Ring users. I find myself leaning that way, even though there are a lot of personal CONS. I really do want to hear what other are doing though. There are a lot of options these days.

Thanks in advance,
Terry

Posted on
Thu May 17, 2018 10:45 pm
kw123 offline
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Re: Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

I am using UniFi cameras with their free nvr software running on an Ubuntu box running on my Mac Pro under virtual box— you can use their hardware or any Unix or windows machine but not OS X directly.
Very stable, everything is local, but you can use their remote access app.
Indigo through the UniFi plugin gets the events from the motion recordings and puts the image path into indigo the device state eventPic of that camera. So you can reference it directly

The motion trigger is simple: set the area, sensitivity and time for trigger, define n secs before and after for video recording.
What I would like to see is a time dependent setting. With the sun changing and my trees I have periods of time where it triggers every minute when the leaves move.

It’s not the cheapest solution but the cameras are high quality. I came from a mixed bag of all kinds of older cameras using security spy — which also not the cheapest solution

I am happy to have switched.

Karl


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Posted on
Fri May 18, 2018 1:17 am
noel1983 offline
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Re: Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

Very interested in the outcome of this.

I’ve been wondering whether there’s a blend of a solution with ameras that can record to the cloud or even to an aws instance running the right software like blue iris or unify nvr albeit ideally not needing extensive management that then could fall back to local memory card recording in the event of an internet failure.

I’m not sure a perfect solution exists for all requirements but everything I’ve read points to local server or device still being the ‘best’ albeit maybe not the most functional from an app perspective etc as the cloud companies like ring are clearly investing hugely in their app developments.

All down to the standard balance of simplicity vs cost vs geekiness integrating it with other systems

Posted on
Fri May 18, 2018 5:20 am
roussell offline
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Re: Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

Thanks Karl for the info on the UniFi cameras. I didn’t even realize Ubiquiti made cameras. Is there anything about using them that would require their network gear? I’ll have to look into their NVR software, pretty cool that it’s free. I like the features of Blue Iris, but really not crazy about spinning up a Windows VM or box just for it. Everything is MacOS or Linux here...

Terry



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Posted on
Fri May 18, 2018 5:24 am
roussell offline
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Re: Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

noel1983 wrote:
...All down to the standard balance of simplicity vs cost vs geekiness integrating it with other systems


You said it man, nothing really seems to have everything, so the tough part is deciding what sacrifices you make. One of my favorite parts of Indigo is that it’s hassle-free (if I leave it alone). I never had that with my last camera system, but I want it with the next so I don’t think I’ll sacrifice on that.

Terry


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Posted on
Fri May 18, 2018 5:26 am
noel1983 offline
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Re: Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

Out of interest what are your requirements for cctv? In terms of what events do you want to capture is it just motion triggered recording or permanent recording etc?

Trying to figure mine out to help me choose solutions!




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Posted on
Fri May 18, 2018 7:19 am
Different Computers offline
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Re: Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

Don't forget to add the Security Camera plugin to your evaluation matrix. It does an awful lot.

SmartThings refugee & happy to be on Indigo now.
Mac OS 10.12.6 on a i5 MBP running Harmony Hub, Hue, DomoPad, Dynamic URL, EPS Device Extensions, HomeBridge Buddy, Smart Dimmer, MatplotLib, Plex, Scale Adapters, uniFAP, Wunderground, Airfoil Pro.

Posted on
Fri May 18, 2018 7:23 am
roussell offline
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Re: Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

noel1983 wrote:
Out of interest what are your requirements for cctv? In terms of what events do you want to capture is it just motion triggered recording or permanent recording etc?

Trying to figure mine out to help me choose solutions!

Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk


If the motion detection is good enough -meaning that false positives are ok within reason, but false negatives are not ok, ever- then just motion detection based recording is fine. I liked the theory of Sighthoud's "advanced" detection algorithms detection between a human and anything else. In practice it didn't work well so I could never depend on person-based motion events. I think in reality they just looked for a tall rectangle bounding box, because swaying trees, tall shadows, and other things "taller-than-wide" would trigger as a human. Conversely a human crawling or on their hands and knees moving through the camera's field of view would never trigger as a person.

It wouldn't be horrible to have a system that records everything with one retention period, and motion triggers would either save those motion clips separately (with a separate retention period for those clips), OR have motion events direct you to the position in the continuous recording where the motion occurred.

Obviously, the ability to integrate motion events and optionally pull stills into Indigo would be a huge bonus, but not essential to my selection.

We live in a "good" neighborhood, but there have been some elements coming in from across town, walking dogs through the neighborhood while scoping properties to hit later in the night. They're targeting unlocked cars and garage doors for the most part, and we always secure everything before going to bed, but it'd be nice to see whats going on. Plus I have to travel cross-country now every couple of months, so the cameras give my wife a much greater peace of mind when I'm 2,500 miles away.

Terry

As a side note, Alabama has a right to defend law so they bad guys just may encounter a pissed off redneck with a 12 gauge bullpup. They'll hear nothing, and only see the muzzle flash though...

Posted on
Fri May 18, 2018 12:09 pm
petematheson offline
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Re: Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

Terry, I’ve recently had a security issue at our place with people snooping so have very quickly brought my CCTV system up to standard.

I’m running Security Spy with a few cameras all motion sensing.
I have a mixture of Hikvision and UniFi G3 cameras and I have to say, so far, that the daytime picture is much better with the UniFi, but the night & IR image is far better on the Hikvision.

I have literally today bought an IR extender for the Unifi, although I’ve also just purchased a separate IR Flood light for £20 from amazon which should give far greater illumination at night, and also prevents false triggers since bugs will be attracted to the IR flood away from the camera and not the one built into the camera itself.

With security spy you can then upload your recordings via FTP for remote storage.

I have been running this on my Indigo second hand Mac Mini and have had no reliability issues at all.
I’m still tweaking the sensitivity, mask and trigger length settings to get the best out of the motion detection but it’s a great system since it all hooks in to Indigo.

I wish the UniFi cameras were better at night as I prefer US made over Chinese cameras, although you could argue both are at risk of dodgy things!
I don’t think you should have to pay an extra £70 to get the IR that my Hikvision does as standard.
But, the UniFi G3 is smaller, nicer looking and provides a great image in the daytime for sure.

I’m having rules trigger on my Indigo that iMessages a group of my neighbours (camera covers a shared drive area) so if anybody comes down the drive at night we all get an image of them.

I would avoid cloud based systems like the plague, although may look at a ring doorbell sometime soon.
Their outages are completely out of your control - I read that Nest went down for hours for all products on the last few days?
Not good enough for something as important as my families security.


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Posted on
Fri May 18, 2018 5:19 pm
lanbrown online
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Re: Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

A few other things to think about.

What happens when the FCC kills net neutrality? Will there be caps, limiting speeds, etc?

Speaking of speeds, will your Internet handle the number of cameras you will have for them to upload to the cloud? Will you have enough to handle when people are using the Internet as well?

Lastly, you are also putting your faith into that the cloud provider doesn't get hacked.

Posted on
Sat May 19, 2018 2:40 am
durosity offline
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Re: Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

Ring Elite only powers by ethernet and doesn’t use that for connectivity?! What on earth were the designers smoking?! Urgh.

Also what about the ESCAM QF600? Onvif doorbell with a ethernet connection (unfortunately not PoE but you can get adapters to drop it down to 12v). I’ve not got one myself but it has been tempting as it’d work with SecuritySpy.

That said my ideal doorbell just doesn’t exist at the moment.. it’d be the size and shape of the Ring Pro, have a network with PoE connection, have local video support for working with SS (and a OPTIONAL cloud storage service), an API for direct local integration into Indigo.. and most importantly.. HomeKit support.

Computer says no.

Posted on
Sat May 19, 2018 3:39 am
Shutter offline
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Re: Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

I've a Ring Pro doorbell, and it's fine, but for a camera billed as HD I disagree. The video looks fine on a phone, but login to your online account and look at the recording at a larger size and it's full of compression artefacts. Often goes very blocky around motion. I've discussed it with them and they say it's due to a weak wifi signal. I call BS on that.

Also, this morning it didn't record the milkman dropping off our Saturday pint. Cloud based - grrrrrr.

Posted on
Sat May 19, 2018 7:51 am
roussell offline
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Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

The doorbells are neat, but I've no interest in those at the moment - when I mentioned Ring I was looking at their security cams.

@lanbrown - I pretty much detest "in the cloud" offerings, and work in InfoSec so your thoughts are similar to mine.

I was browsing through Amazon, and ran across Riolink cameras. After doing some research, I've ordered a few of them to try. The reviews are mostly good, are POE, 4MP and on sale for $59 USD each so it was worth a shot to see how they work. Not sure how they'll be but I'll give them a try and see, they're easy enough to send back if I don't like them.

I got two of these:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010LH48F4

and one of these:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B4BKJOK

They also have 5MP versions of each for $99USD and without audio. If the 4MP ones work well, I'll use those in close-view areas, and try some of the 5MP for the more wide-open spaces.

They're supposed to be in Monday, so I'll fire them up, and report back with my thoughts and a couple of hires images.

Terry
Last edited by roussell on Sat May 19, 2018 12:13 pm, edited 2 times in total.

Posted on
Sat May 19, 2018 8:54 am
virgahyatt offline
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Re: Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

roussell wrote:
They doorbells are neat, but I've no interest intros at the moment - when I mentioned Ring I was looking at their security cams.

@lanbrown - I pretty much detest "in the cloud" offerings, and work in InfoSec so your thoughts are similar to mine.

I was browsing through Amazon, and ran across Riolink cameras. After doing some research, I've ordered a few of them to try. The reviews are mostly good, are POE, 4MP and on sale for $59 USD each so it was worth a shot to see how they work. Not sure how they'll be but I'll give them a try and see, they're easy enough to send back if I don't like them.

I got two of these:
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B010LH48F4

and one of these:
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B01B4BKJOK

They also have 5MP versions of each for $99USD and without audio. If the 4MP ones work well, I'll use those in close-view areas, and try some of the 5MP for the more wide-open spaces.

They're supposed to be in Monday, so I'll fire them up, and report back with my thoughts and a couple of hires images.

Terry

I have the reolink rlc-411s the 5mp bullet cam with onboard storage. The image is great, and the interface is pretty good also, though they use flash on the web interface for the video. ONVIF and POE make it easy to install and use. No complaints here, other than I want more. LOL

Posted on
Sat May 19, 2018 12:06 pm
roussell offline
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Re: Need new camera system - Ring vs. the world

virgahyatt wrote:
I have the reolink rlc-411s the 5mp bullet cam with onboard storage. The image is great, and the interface is pretty good also, though they use flash on the web interface for the video. ONVIF and POE make it easy to install and use. No complaints here, other than I want more. LOL


I saw the Flash thing, one of the few complaints actually. I can work around that so it's not too big of a concern. Thanks for the info on the image quality; I'm exited to potentially find a good quality POE series of cams for this cheap. I see that Reolink has a free NVR/admin software package too (for Apple & Windows). I'm sure it's pretty bare-bones but for free I'll give it a try. Truthfully, as long as it gives me an easy way to manage the cameras, configure zones and motion events, and some way to trigger Indigo actions from those events I'll be satisfied.

Terry

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