Recommendations
  • Hi all,

    I'm a bit bewildered by the enormous choice available, and was hoping some kind soul would point me in the right direction.

    My parent's house in France was recently cleaned out, which has been pretty traumatic and they want to get some security for peace of mind. Money isn't limitless, but we were thinking of getting a new mac mini, UPS, and a few (three?) outdoor cameras. We'd ideally like something which could help the police catching the @£$%s if it ever happens again i.e. we're not interested in buying stuff that won't work, and though we're beefing up locks etc, it's remote and people could break in if they want to. Being discrete isn't that important, because we'd also like to make the place look less appealing.

    So we want some decent outdoor cameras (HD, which have okay night vision) and which aren't crazy expensive (less than 200 GBP per camera, ideally less). They can be connected via wifi, but perhaps POE is better.

    Any recommendations, blogs/tutorials to look at, resellers (especially in france, to avoid shipping them over!) would be very gratefully received.

    Thanks in advance!
  • I've recently come across a few high-spec outdoor cameras at very good prices: Dahua IPC-HFW2100, Q-See QCN7001B (these are the same under different branding), and Hikvision DS-2CD2032. ACTi also do some nice outdoor cameras but you will pay more.
  • Thanks a lot for this. In the end we bought two : BW® IPC-HFW3200S

    (http://www.amazon.co.uk/IPC-HFW3200S-2Megapixel-Network-IR-Bullet-Camera/dp/B00C9X1ZCS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1377181511&sr=8-1&keywords=dahua`)

    Unfortunately I'm struggling to get them to work with SecuritySpy. SecuritySpy sees both cameras via Bonjour, but there's no video feed (logging in directly to the camera works fine). The cameras by default export h264, but I don't see that as an explicit option under 'Format' in Video Device Settings (the ones shown are JPEG HTTP, MPEG-4 HTTP, MPEG-4 MPEG-4 RTSP). I presume that MPEG-4 is what I need, but I never see anything but a blue screen (and Camera Status says 'no video').
  • It sounds like you have the "SecuritySpy" profile selected in the Video Device Settings window - this is for connecting to another SecuritySpy server. You will instead need to select the "Dahua Technology" profile (where it says "Device type"). Does that work?
  • Ah, yes, that works perfectly now - thanks a lot. We managed to get the motion tracking working pretty well last night. There were quite a few false positives because of insects etc flying past the cameras, but in general it's all pretty impressive. The only real issue remaining is that SecuritySpy is crashing. A lot (as in, it crashed 5 times in about 30 minutes while we were adjusting things). Would it help to send you the crash logs?
  • Yes please email us the crash logs. This should enable us to track down the problem. To locate the logs, hold the alt key while clicking in the Go menu in the Finder and select "Library" from that menu. Then navigate to /Logs/DiagnosticReports/ - the log files are there. Thanks.
  • Okay; the emails are sent.

    I'm having another problem I hope you can help with... I just rebooted the computer and now SecuritySpy won't connect to the cameras (blue screen). It still has Dahua technology set, and I can log into the cameras via their web interface. But SecuritySpy just says No Video and won't make the cameras active. Is there extra debug info stored somewhere?
  • Thanks for the crash logs. The crash appears to be related to writing the demo message to movies captured while the software is still in demo mode. I'm not sure why it didn't come up in our testing or why no other users are reporting this, but we should be able to fix this easily (an update is on the way next week). If you are planning to purchase the software anyway, doing so should stop the crash from occurring.

    As for the camera, it sounds like it is on a DHCP (automatic) IP address, which can change from time to time. Please follow our instructions to put the camera on a manual (static) IP address instead.
  • Hi Ben,

    Ah - that would make sense, in that we've not had a crash since we upgraded to the full version!

    I don't think the issue is related to DHCP, as the router is set to provide them with fixed IP addresses (192.168.1.101 and 192.168.1.102), and I can log into them directly using the expected IP addresses. I will try with fixed IP addresses just in case, but if this doesn't work is there any way to get some debug output? Does SS write a logfile somewhere?
  • Unfortunately changing SS and the camera to use a fixed IP address didn't work.

    I see a LOT of messages like "25/08/2013 09:28:43.000 kernel[0]: PM notification cancel (pid 1126, SecuritySpy)" in Console. I guess it's not related but I mention it just in case.

    (Let me know if you'd prefer me to start a new thread - this is getting a bit off topic!)


  • One final comment, I also see a lot of:

    25/08/2013 09:44:40.242 SubmitDiagInfo[2652]: Failed to submit crash report: file://localhost/Users/security/Library/Logs/DiagnosticReports/talagent_2013-08-23-202909_Buffys-Mac-mini.crash

  • Hi, the relevant log file is in the SecuritySpy folder within your Documents folder - if you email this to us, we'll take a look. Those console log entries don't tell us much unfortunately.
  • Ah. Right, the log helped a lot. ;-) I removed Perian and now everything is working again! Thanks for your help (and for making such a nice product).

    Out of curiosity, what is Perian interfering with? I'd NEVER have guess that this was the problem!
  • Ah great, yes this is a common problem so I'm glad you found this in the log. SecuritySpy uses QuickTime to decode the incoming H.264 video from the camera, however when Perian is installed on the computer, it replaces QuickTime's H.264 decoding capability. This would be fine if Perian actually were to successfully decode the video for SecuritySpy in place of QuickTime, but unfortunately it generally produces errors instead!

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