We often get the question:
1) Why are you using the expensive camera Axis P1347-E when I have just seen a complete set with NVR/DVR and several cameras at Costco ?
2) I am considering getting this NVR with 4 system, that do you think about it?
We are glad to hear that you are working on Cameras in your neighborhood, this is an important step in securing your neighborhood.
It is even greater to hear that you are taking the lead in this effort for your neighborhood.
When we started this process we evaluated a number of vendors including systems from Lorex, Q-see and others that had a very attractive price point. Our conclusion is that these systems can not do what we want. We learned the hard way that systems that looks good on data sheets not always work as well as expected when mounted in SF Bay area weather.
The most important lesson was to be sure to install and test a potential system before the 30 days return right has expired. We had to return a number of systems before finding one that worked, we started with lowest price and worked our way up the price range until we found one that worked. This process took many months.
The major design requirements for the neighborhood Guard system are:
1) Ability to capture faces and license plates both day and night, rain or fog.
2) Ability to work at the house that is hosting the camera WITHOUT the need for a DVR/NVR or a computer. The amount of hardware and equipment installed at the hosting house has to be an absolute minimum.
3) Build in good motion detection working both Day and Night. (Had to return a system that worked great during the day, but didn’t work at all at night)
4) Ability to send high resolutions images to the internet (PUSH) based on motion detection. It is a requirement that no configuration of host family’s firewall is required, no need for fixed IP address and not need for dynamic DNS.
Image wise we found that while some analog systems are good, and constantly improving, to get the best images you need a true digital cameras. High resolution (in our case 5 Megapixel – 2560×1920 equivalent to 1920 TV lines on an analog camera) is a requirement for good zoom after the fact capability.
Systems that are compatible with the Neighborhood Guard specifications above should IN THEORY EVENTUALLY be able to participate in the Neighborhood Guard data exchange cloud storage, video retrieval and other features.
The advantage to using the AXIS P1347-E is a) that we have already done the testing and know that it works, AND b) that as a member of Neighborhood Guard you will have help installing and setting up from the your neighbors who has already installed such systems and got them working.
When all this is said, the systems from: Lorex, Q-see, Logitec, Comcast, and alarm companies are are probably good alternatives for video surveillance of your home.
These systems are designed for close range use and give excellent value for money.
Neighborhood Guard has just started a committee to collect experience from neighbors on which systems works best, and how to best install. The goal of this committee is to be able to make specific recommendations on actual systems and their installation.