Author Topic: Home security - DVR worth it?  (Read 993 times)

thenewguy

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Home security - DVR worth it?
« on: May 10, 2018, 10:04:53 AM »
We bought a house about a year ago in which the previous owners had installed a security system with wired sensors and cameras. My thinking then and now (and seemingly the general consensus of MMM readers) has been that paying for a monitoring service is a waste - paying money to feel safer.

However, since the cameras are already installed and wired - it seems like it might be worth the one-time cost to buy a DVR. Originally there were 6 exterior and 2 interior cameras, but I've since gotten rid of the interior ones. I don't know exactly how old the cameras are, their resolution, etc...

A lot of the DVRs out there (such as https://www.amazon.com/ANNKE-Security-Standalone-Output-Surveillance/dp/B00K7PSDGQ/ref=sr_1_3?s=electronics&ie=UTF8&qid=1525967761&sr=1-3&keywords=security%2Bcamera%2Bdvr&th=1) seem to have capabilities built in and corresponding smartphone apps that allow one to remotely view camera feeds. I tend to be leery of trusting the encryption/security of consumer grade stuff like this though... is that rational?

MustacheBeginner

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Re: Home security - DVR worth it?
« Reply #1 on: May 10, 2018, 05:35:22 PM »
I think in general it is worth it and you should get the DVR. I have a small Amazon cam I bought for $179 or so and it has an app on my phone, giving me notifications when something moves and I can check in. In my case it definitely helps giving me a sense of security meaning I can call the cops in case a burglar makes it in. I would bite my own ass if I saved the 179 and then having a burglar getting away with stuff and there is nothing I can do.

Cheers
Andre

gooki

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Re: Home security - DVR worth it?
« Reply #2 on: May 12, 2018, 03:24:46 AM »
Having visible cameras is as big a deterrent as having them hooked up.

Sayonara925

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Re: Home security - DVR worth it?
« Reply #3 on: May 12, 2018, 10:09:52 AM »
I've run DVRs for the past 18yrs at two homes.  I find it convenient when something is out of place, etc. to be able to check recordings and solve the mystery. 

Some examples:  One time I noticed the hood of my car ajar, parked on the street.  Yep, a crew of guys had attempted to steal it while I was sleeping.  I had a battery quik-disconnect that saved the car from being taken.  They couldn't figure out why the car wouldn't start and left when a neighbor's motion detector porch light turned on.

One time there was a graffiti run on a previous street I lived on.  Several neighbor's walls were spray painted with nonsense.  It was 2 guys at 3am who decided to have fun at other's expense.  Cops were given the video.

One time it was a shrub that had been getting damaged somehow.  Recording showed it was the next door neighbor's Nanny had been backing up into our driveway when leaving their home each day.  She was a poor driver and was running into the shrub, even damaging our garden wall.

Anyway, stuff like that, constantly.  Lots more stories.  Never has caught a burglar, but has come in handy many times to provide answers.

If you never have issues at your location, maybe forego the DVR, but if things do happen here and there it's a nice-to-have. 

Do the cameras have BNC type connectors?  Cat5 type?  Other proprietary type?
Wiring the cameras is the hardest part and that's already done for you.  If the cameras are outdated, you could purchase a multi camera/dvr combo starting in the $200 range.  Camera resolution (day/night) is critical to how useful the footage will be in case you do need to review an event.  The cost obviously goes up with quality.  An entry level camera, for example, will probably not be able to make out faces or license plate numbers, while a newer 4K camera could mean the difference in making an arrest or not.

Personally, we're now in the $550 category system with 4K cameras/DVR with many bells and whistles incl all the notification apps and microphone to also record audio.

thenewguy

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Re: Home security - DVR worth it?
« Reply #4 on: May 14, 2018, 11:27:14 AM »
Thanks for the feedback folks!

It does make sense that the cameras would provide the same level of deterrence whether hooked up or not... But also that they could be useful beyond just preventing burglary.

Sayonara - The cameras have BNC connectors (presume that means analog signal?), and a wall-mounted power supply where the cables exit the wall. The DVRs I see for sale on Amazon accept the BNC connectors and advertise 1080p recording, so I take that to mean that there's a possibility these cameras could have resolution that high. Are the 4k cameras all ethernet?

We really don't have a crime problem right now that we're trying to fix. On the other hand though we'll likely be going down to one (garaged) car soon, so the car that now sits in the driveway almost all the time making it look like someone is home will be gone.

I'm a red panda

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Re: Home security - DVR worth it?
« Reply #5 on: May 14, 2018, 11:50:12 AM »
I've run DVRs for the past 18yrs at two homes.  I find it convenient when something is out of place, etc. to be able to check recordings and solve the mystery. 

Some examples:  One time I noticed the hood of my car ajar, parked on the street.  Yep, a crew of guys had attempted to steal it while I was sleeping.  I had a battery quik-disconnect that saved the car from being taken.  They couldn't figure out why the car wouldn't start and left when a neighbor's motion detector porch light turned on.

One time there was a graffiti run on a previous street I lived on.  Several neighbor's walls were spray painted with nonsense.  It was 2 guys at 3am who decided to have fun at other's expense.  Cops were given the video.

One time it was a shrub that had been getting damaged somehow.  Recording showed it was the next door neighbor's Nanny had been backing up into our driveway when leaving their home each day.  She was a poor driver and was running into the shrub, even damaging our garden wall.

Anyway, stuff like that, constantly.  Lots more stories.  Never has caught a burglar, but has come in handy many times to provide answers.

If you never have issues at your location, maybe forego the DVR, but if things do happen here and there it's a nice-to-have. 

Do the cameras have BNC type connectors?  Cat5 type?  Other proprietary type?
Wiring the cameras is the hardest part and that's already done for you.  If the cameras are outdated, you could purchase a multi camera/dvr combo starting in the $200 range.  Camera resolution (day/night) is critical to how useful the footage will be in case you do need to review an event.  The cost obviously goes up with quality.  An entry level camera, for example, will probably not be able to make out faces or license plate numbers, while a newer 4K camera could mean the difference in making an arrest or not.

Personally, we're now in the $550 category system with 4K cameras/DVR with many bells and whistles incl all the notification apps and microphone to also record audio.

Would you share what camera and/or service you use?

We have been having a few minor things happening around the neighborhood and want to add cameras for a bit of piece of mind.
The videos posted on our nextdoor site you can see faces on the doorbell cameras, but not to the street.  I haven't seen how well they do with night vision.