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'[PIC]: Video surveillance system'
2004\10\12@190549 by John Nall

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OK, I had some qualms as to whether or not this actually deserves the PIC
notation.  But I does relate (trust me!) and so for better or worse, I did it.

I have a need to buy, and install, a multi-camera video surveillance system
for a small business.  As part of this, I want to do some development
work.  Trouble is, I do not know squat (that may be a strange term to our
foreign friends, but it means "nothing") about video surveillance
systems.  So in order to start, I need to bone up on just what all is
involved.  My usual faithful guide, of course, is the Internet, but I have
found a lot of information about a lot of different people who would just
love to sell me a lot of different things.  The money is limited, and so I
need to buy only what I need, which probably consists of several camera, a
DVR (digital video recorder) and some sort of black box that lets the
several cameras (probably four) go to the one DVR.  From those basics, when
installed, will evolve the Pic connection.

Can anyone suggest reading material, or provide further info?

Thanks,
John  

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2004\10\12@192632 by Bob Axtell

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I design video surveillance systems for law enforcement and (in the
past) Casinos. There are several fine
engineers here with similar qualifications.What are you trying to do?
Tell us in detail.

--Bob

John Nall wrote:

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2004\10\12@192754 by Alex Harford

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On Tue, 12 Oct 2004 19:05:32 -0400, John Nall <.....jnall01KILLspamspam@spam@alltel.net> wrote:
> OK, I had some qualms as to whether or not this actually deserves the PIC
> notation.  But I does relate (trust me!) and so for better or worse, I did it.
>
> I have a need to buy, and install, a multi-camera video surveillance system
> for a small business.  As part of this, I want to do some development
> work.

> The money is limited, and so I
> need to buy only what I need, which probably consists of several camera, a
> DVR (digital video recorder) and some sort of black box that lets the
> several cameras (probably four) go to the one DVR.  From those basics, when
> installed, will evolve the Pic connection.
>
> Can anyone suggest reading material, or provide further info?

Not PIC related, but you might want to look into a PVR setup like
MythTV or Freevo.

Ie a beige box PC with 4 Hauppauge PVR cards and a hard drive might be
what you are looking for.  Hauppauge PVR cards can take coax, S-Video,
or component inputs from what I've read.

I've been looking at putting together a PVR for home use, so I've done
just enough reading to be dangerous. :)

Alex
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2004\10\12@201341 by SavanaPics

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I don't know about the software part of this but I bout two 4 channle  
Digital video cards ( with DVR software) for less than 25.00 each, and the work  
beautiful. Up to 4 carsd er pc ( 16 camsa) even has motion detect that actuall  
works by monitoring the pixels. I can give you the source, but you will have to
contact me offline
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2004\10\13@093450 by John Nall
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At 04:26 PM 10/12/2004 -0700, you wrote:

> >I design video surveillance systems for law enforcement and (in the
> past) Casinos. There are several fine
>engineers here with similar qualifications.What are you trying to do? Tell
>us in detail.

Probably a lot more than just "several" fine engineers here.  :-)  I
probably should have designated the query as an EE query to start with
(hindsight is a wonderful thing).

To answer the question, what I am trying to do is a two-phase thing.  The
first phase involves setting up a video surveillance system for a small
business.  The second phase will involve a control system, utilizing PIC
technology.  No questions on the second phase (at least not at this
point).  But I have no experience with setting up a video surveillance
system.  I know that I can buy a turnkey ready-to-install system, which
will consist of some cameras, a digital video recorder, and some sort of
box that enables several cameras to merge their input to feed into a single
input of the DVR.   So, two questions:  (a) what is the nature of the box
that merges the cameras, and are they available as a standalone unit?  (b)
Can a DVR be put together from scratch?  All it seems to be is a computer
with about an 80-gig hard drive dedicated to nothing but storing the video
images and some software that manages the drive.  Is there Linux software
for doing this?  So any suggestions and/or comments are greatly welcomed.

John

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2004\10\13@103827 by Dave VanHorn

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>  (a) what is the nature of the box that merges the cameras, and are they
> available as a standalone unit?

Sure. You need a security supply company catalog

>  (b) Can a DVR be put together from scratch?  All it seems to be is a
> computer with about an 80-gig hard drive dedicated to nothing but storing
> the video images and some software that manages the drive.  Is there
> Linux software for doing this?  So any suggestions and/or comments are
> greatly welcomed.

I'd be very surprised if there wasn't. I've seen it somewhere, but I wasn't
taking notes that day.  You can also get hardware based units, like a
"watchcorder", an 8mm deck designed for surveilance use.

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2004\10\13@111710 by Alex Harford

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On Wed, 13 Oct 2004 09:34:47 -0400, John Nall <jnall01spamKILLspamalltel.net> wrote:
>
> Can a DVR be put together from scratch?  All it seems to be is a computer
> with about an 80-gig hard drive dedicated to nothing but storing the video
> images and some software that manages the drive.  Is there Linux software
> for doing this?  So any suggestions and/or comments are greatly welcomed.

Mythtv and Freevo that I mentioned before are Linux based.

I search around a bit to see if anyone is using it for security
purposes but I didn't have any luck.  You may want to post on the
mythtv mailing lists though because I'm sure someone would have tried
this.

Alex
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2004\10\13@125808 by Alan B. Pearce

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>  (b) Can a DVR be put together from scratch?  All it seems to be is a
> computer with about an 80-gig hard drive dedicated to nothing but storing
> the video images and some software that manages the drive.  Is there
> Linux software for doing this?  So any suggestions and/or comments are
> greatly welcomed.

This is certainly possible. The TIVO units are Linux based.

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2004\10\13@134327 by Walter Banks

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There is a very nice package that record significant events with some options
  http://www.homewatcher.com/ Home watcher will build a time stamped
video out of stills  triggered by changes in the scene. I haven't used it in any
serious way but it was fun to play with.  It is low cost ($25.00)

w..

John Nall wrote:

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2004\10\13@142403 by Robert Rolf

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There are quite a few books on 'improving' the guts.
"Hacking TiVo" and "Hacking the TiVo" and "TiVo Hacks"

http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/search-handle-url/index%3Dstripbooks%26field-keywords%3Dtivo%26store-name%3Dbooks/002-7128512-4045666

IIRC TiVo Hacks is the best of them.

R
>> (b) Can a DVR be put together from scratch?  All it seems to be is a
>>computer with about an 80-gig hard drive dedicated to nothing but storing
>>the video images and some software that manages the drive.  Is there
>>Linux software for doing this?  So any suggestions and/or comments are
>>greatly welcomed.
>
>
> This is certainly possible. The TIVO units are Linux based.

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2004\10\13@223728 by Brian Havens

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Try Zoneminder (http://www.zoneminder.com) and some Axis
(http://www.axis.com) network cameras.

Zoneminder is a free linux based web app that captures video from
multiple sources based on motion in specified "zones".

Axis makes really nice cameras that have ethernet ports and web servers
built in.  They run linux and can be extended with custom programs and
scripts (http://www.axis.com/techsup/cam_servers/dev/php.htm).


-Brian


On Wed, 2004-10-13 at 08:34, John Nall wrote:
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2004\10\20@054230 by Nate Duehr

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On Oct 13, 2004, at 11:00 AM, Alan B. Pearce wrote:

>>  (b) Can a DVR be put together from scratch?  All it seems to be is a
>> computer with about an 80-gig hard drive dedicated to nothing but
>> storing
>> the video images and some software that manages the drive.  Is there
>> Linux software for doing this?  So any suggestions and/or comments are
>> greatly welcomed.
>
> This is certainly possible. The TIVO units are Linux based.
>

Google for the homepages of the Freevo or MythTV projects.

Nate

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