While we’re waiting for the final details on our CORE order to be processed, I am looking at a wired camera system. I have wyze cameras now, but they’re all external and we have to charge the batteries. My neighbor’s house was broken into last week and the hubs and I decided it’s probably something that needs continuous recording features. I’m curious what you use and recommend. I hadn’t had a want, need or time to do anything more with cameras before now. I want to integrate with CORE and I wondered what cameras you like better and why?

Do you want to run a sever for the camera NVR or do you want it self-contained? A few of the software NVR systems I’ve used and deploy.

Starting with the most common…

Blue Iris is a very popular and capable Windows based software NVR. However unless it’s tuned well it can be a big resource hog. It has all the features one would expect/want of an NVR plus with the ability to fire events via HTTP or MQTT for integration with other systems.

A lesser known NVR is from Felena Soft. They make Xeoma. Xeoma pricing can get expensive depending on the number of cameras you’re looking at. The benefit of Xeoma is that it can run on a raspberry Pi if you want with an external HDD of course. The software is also available for Windows and Linux. The event capabilities and software features (modules) are abundant and it can serve wide ranges of home and commercial uses.

Next up is what I’m currently running at home and what I deploy for customers. Digital Watchdog Spectrum. This is a professional grade NVR software which is also available as an “appliance”. The software itself is free to download and use from the DW website. The gotcha is that recording requires a license and the motion detection (software based) is tied to the license. However you can test/play with all of the features. DW Spectrum is resource medium and does not hog up a whole system which is nice. The features are very abundant and don’t require any additional licensing. One of the best parts of DW Spectrum is a very good integration with built in Analytics from many vendors (big list). When paired with a supported camera the Analytic events handle the heavy lifting directly on the camera and not the server. Examples are line crossing, loitering, object detection which is the best of them. Object detection is great and you’ve used it likely with Wyze for people vs vehicle detection. Nobody likes shadows or outdoor lights at night triggering a motion event which turns on the lights and now you have a loop :slight_smile:

Anyways, that’s some info on Software NVR’s. I’m sure there are many other favorites.

For cameras I don’t like going cheap because that’s what you get. Before picking out a camera I’d pick out the NVR system whether it’s software or hardware based and purchase supported cameras around that system so you can take advantage of all of the features the system offers.


Based on past conversations with April in relation to all the various setups and NVRs I’ve messed with I think she likely will want a hardware based NVR solution, that allows as much customization as possible while not needing it. Person detection with timestamp logging, masking, option still frame shots, you know all the standard stuff :wink:

In terms of integration with CORE, I think the best solution for her will have WebRTC+PTZ built in, and allow exporting of events via mqtt or other standardized format for use as potential automation triggers.

I do not think she has any interest in dealing with the more complicated AI detections (facial/specific person/type of object) or various software stacks and solutions out there like blueiris, frigate, deepstack, etc

She basically wants to know what the CORE of the NVR world is :laughing:

I can’t answer that. I don’t know what CORE really is yet.

What I do know are the systems I mentioned can integrate with just about any other system without much effort. I can check my cameras from my remote control from the couch :wink: and no my remote is not a tablet or phone.

We’re looking at a plug and play system. Leaning toward REO Link. I’m looking for push notifications, possibly a photo if I’m not at home. Someone walks up to the door to have the light turn on/up. Just some simple integrations, but I also want to have good quality. We’re looking at a 4k system with optical zoom. Maybe some simple image recognition through google.

My home will hopefully be built soon, so I too am interested in this subject. Keeping my eyes on this.

I’ve messed with a couple of their cameras. They are ok but not the best and not fully ONVIF compliant but close enough to work with other systems. I don’t know anything about their NVR but I would verify capabilities for integration before purchase

This “simple” integration is a fun one. It can and often does create a loop of the lights turning on/off/on/off until day time. Then it repeats. Most of the motion sensor capabilities in cameras and software are based from image differences and light/shadows trigger the motion.

This is where I recommend a camera with built in Analytics (marketed as AI) for object detection. Basic person vs vehicle works just fine. It’s not really a complex or complicated algo as it’s based off of image differences and “size of” the object within the different frames. If it’s relatively the size of a person then it matches the person detection… same for vehicle. Now you “can” get very sophisticated and expensive cameras that do a lot more, but not really necessary for this type of event. Another route that can be used with Analytic capable cameras are “line cross”. You draw a line for a boundary and if a object of a defined size or larger that you specify crosses the line then it triggers the event.

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I am intrigued by DW Spectrum, but their page does not mention any costs. Can you share them with us?

Agreed I have a couple of them, good price point, decent image/compatibility. I run Synology surveillance station and they work with that. PTZ control from NR/HE done via web request node urls. I also run Hikvision (used/free), which are pretty cheep, but I tend to steer away from.

Recently I started working with a USA based (Broken Arrow, OK) company called Nelly Security. They sell 100% NDAA compliant stuff, at an affordable price, which I need for some clients. It’s a pretty decent array of stuff, and their NVRs are attractively priced. It’s not high end, but decent. They also have a “Garage Sale” site that sells surplus/closeouts. I’ve only installed a couple of these system, and know nothing about integration with NR/HE (client machines). I can say their tech support/custom service is pretty good, and if your a dealer they offer white labeling on all devices.

Looking for sample pricing it looks like they might be dealer only (my guess is if you called, they would sell), so I’ll PM you some pricing. The “garage sale” site has pricing that’s not too far off. If they won’t sell direct, happy to pass on my pricing.

Auto tracking/human body detection PTZ cam @ $200.

Nelly’s has good deals sometimes. I saw the Uniview products a few months ago and have thought about checking them out. Have you gotten a test camera yet?

Not yet, but on the list. Too many projects right now, however one of the clients I replaced a Costco NVR with one from Nelly wants me to spec a system for a new building. Hopefully I’ll get the chance on their clock. :wink: It’s a good client/friend and I give him deals, so he doesn’t mind being a ‘test dummy’

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Reolink is the best bang for you $$. I installed the 4k 8 camera NVR for 3 people now and there’s nothing but positive feedback. It’s basically have everything a typical person would need and it’s plug and play.

I have Blue Iris because I like to tinker with all the features and integration. Deepstack AI is super easy to add on. Blue Iris supports hundred of brands and they have a huge user base really help.

For me.

  • Blue Iris with a used dell i7 $200 on ebay
  • 8 Anpviz 4k AliExpress $700
  • 4 Unifi Flex Mini for indoor. They are cheap but
    super hard to get due to shortage.
    All in Canadian currency.
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My new home should be built soon. Watching this thread as I want to have a nice camera setup. Keep the good advise / recommendations coming!

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Do you happen to know if I chose to go with the REOLink NVR, do the runs have to be directly to the nvr? Or can I put them on a POE switch and run one connection?

That I am not sure but I did add a few wifi reolink cameras to the same vlan as the NVR and they added fine to the NVR. Whether the NVR will recognize a switch connected to it is another story since it’s not really a router and can only give out one IP per port.

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Well, that’s not a deal breaker for me on this. I can always run more Cat5e. It’s just a challenge to get it from basement to attic. But, we will persevere. Right?

Not sure this is 100% correct. NVR’s are DHCP servers and have the ability to give out a full range of IP addresses (254). They ‘technically’ are routers since they are “routing” the NAT’d data. Any device on the same LAN (or VLAN) should be able to get an IP address from the NVR providing the scope is set correctly.

EDIT: They are not “internet routers” per say since they are not designed to run local network traffic. Just in case someone thinks they can route everything thru it, don’t.

It’s doesn’t really matter. The devices do not know, or care what switch they are connected to, it’s more a matter of proper IP routing. The NVR will be a segregated network device, having one port for your LAN and 8/16 ports on the switch (‘backside’) which will be given a separate IP subnet. If you add an additional switch you just need to make sure the LANs (VLANs) are properly configured.

Pretty sure @april.brandt is running UNIFI, so if you really wanted to play the ‘control’ card you could create a separate VLAN for cams, configure DHCP reservations per each cam MAC address, connect one of the ‘backside’ ports to your Unifi switch (with proper switch port profile/VLAN settings), and the “LAN” port of the NVR to your local LAN (or VLAN). If done correctly the NVR will see the cams as if they are connect to it’s switch, and you can talk to the NVR over your local networks IP.

One BIG thing to note. IP cameras create a massive amount of network traffic. While everything above IS possible, it will likely create congestions on your switches, even with VLANs. When possible I’d recommend using separate hardware for IP base camera traffic (and HDBaseT for what it’s worth).

I stand corrected. Guess you can connect up to 3 cameras this way.

Per Reolink website.

Method 2 . You can plug the PoE switch to PoE NVR, then plug the NVR LAN port to the router.

In this case, the PoE switch can support maximum 3 cameras, which is limited by the bandwidth of the NVR Ethernet port. (The NVR LAN port is a Gigabit Ethernet port, the other ports are 100Mbps Ethernet ports).


Yuk! But good find.

All 100Mbps switches should be returned to the 90s! :rofl:


Not the cameras as such but I use Camect as my NVR and have been very happy. It supports my existing cameras. I bought in full featured during the crowd sourcing campaign so had an advantageous offer but really impressed so far.

Not captured a raccoon, moose, bear or skunk in the UK yet though… still looking, have found an Amazon delivery person though… I am using the HE integration for Camect.

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