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Posted: 2/7/2006 7:56:54 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 7:58:05 PM EDT by FourStringSlinger]
Currently running a 4 camera setup at my business, and thinking of looking into that new fangled computer camera stuff.

I'm running an Ultrak splitter, and some fairly old-school cameras [dunno the brand], record to VCR. 2 cams outside, 2 cams inside. I'd like to add 1 more outside and 1 more inside.

What would I be looking at price wise and labor to upgrade to a six camera setupl, run to a comp, archived on a hard drive etc? Can I just add 2 cameras or will I need to replace them all???

Thanks in advance.
Link Posted: 2/7/2006 10:03:16 PM EDT
[Last Edit: 2/7/2006 10:11:23 PM EDT by Recorderguy]
It sounds like you do not need a high flying Digital Video Recorder, just something better than you've got. I do this for a living, and for a small (no offense) operation I would use this:EZWatch Pro It is expandable, and a fairly low-cost option. (I am not affiliated with them, just put it in before for customers who had it, and now recommend it to potential customers who do not want/need the High Speed/Low Drag stuff we do sell)See their web site for the pricing, features, and system requirements. I have put this in, and it is a nice system and a very good value, bang for your buck wise. I think the business grade version will record up to 7.5 frames/second per camera or lower, depending on your requirements. The professional grade will do higher frames/sec. but is more expensive. This will also record audio if you have it, but it is one less channel your could use for video on that board (4 channels total per board, either video OR audio, 1 audio channel/board) Software is also accessible over a network, which is really cool. It can also email you an alarm if detected, i.e. motion. Check their website, lots of features.

As far as replacing your cameras, only do it if you want to or don't like the quality of the camera, it is not required, don't let anyone tell you it is, video is video. The software mentioned above records at 320x240 resolution, pro is 640x480 resolution. So it depends on the resolution you want and the quality cameras you already have. They sell adapters for the cabeling of the cameras, if they don't match the boards (BNC I think, been awhile), at any decent electrical supplier.

You could put the new cameras you want in yourself (Radio shack, Sam's Club, and EZWatch also have these, don't know of the quality, or of the resolution/quailty you desire). It really isn't that hard to put them in, if you can mount a shelf, run a drill, focus a camera, and hook up a stereo you could probably do it - it's all the same, camera's mount very easily, and the hook up is a cinch(don't know your exact building and where the cameras are going) Also EZWatch's customer service for their software is outstanding.

For a pro to do it, price varies for cameras utilized ($100 on up to many, many thousands), distance of cable run to recorder from camera, and how many walls it must go through, and how hard it was to mount said camera. I am in no position to give you even a rough estimate, without these details.

Hope this helps. I have made some glaring assumptions and made some conjecture. If I am way off, disregard this.
Link Posted: 2/8/2006 8:26:35 AM EDT
Thanks for the advice.

I am fairly handy and equipped with tools so installation isn't a problem...just wanted to make sure The cams would be compatible with a newer system.

I am def considering a DVR, though, since it would cut down on having to store 30 days worth of tapes, and I can get one of those units that is a DVR and splitter all in one, which would help save spave in the office.

Link Posted: 2/8/2006 8:27:08 AM EDT
tag for later
Link Posted: 2/10/2006 9:52:27 PM EDT
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