Recommendations For Video Security System

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Forum topic by RonInOhio posted 01-18-2013 08:43 PM 948 views 0 times favorited 3 replies Add to Favorites Watch
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721 posts in 2826 days

01-18-2013 08:43 PM

Have had some issues in the past with trespassers, thieves and vandalism. Am in the market
for a video survellience system. Some of the want-to-haves are:

Record to Internet Option/access by cell phone
At least 4 cameras,preferably 8
Ease of setup
Customer Support
At least a 30 day record hard drive with dvd/cd option to burn
Good to excellent video quality and see’s in the dark
outdoor cameras.

I have seen these at various places. Sam’s club, Harbor Freight.

Can anyone recommend one or tell me about your experience with a particular setup.

Thanks .

3 replies so far

View RonInOhio's profile


721 posts in 2826 days

#1 posted 01-19-2013 12:09 AM


Also does anyone know if the wireless units can use cabled cameras as well . I looked at the
specs on one wireless unit and it looked to have inputs for cabled cameras but it didn’t
specify it in the information.

View Rob's profile


704 posts in 3033 days

#2 posted 05-21-2013 07:03 AM

I bought a system a few years ago for our business. After my horrible experience with Closeout CCTV, I’d highly recommend buying from an Amazon seller with a good return policy or a local store with a generous return policy, and get a more brand-name system if possible. (Unfortunately, some of the brand-name systems like Defender really lag in technology.) Try out all the features right away, too, even if you don’t currently have any plans to use them.

Most of the standalone DVRs have crappy video quality and the software is awful, if it even works at all. Most of the cheaper systems use older CMOS cameras which really suck, so if you’re going for a cheaper system, get one with CCD cameras.

I put together a video surveillance system from CloseoutCCTV and it was quite possibly the worst online purchase I have ever made. Absolutely, under no circumstances, should you buy anything from CloseoutCCTV, or you’ll regret it. The reason I did it was to get higher-quality cameras but I don’t think the ones I ended up with are much better than those that come in the prepackaged systems.

Both systems CloseoutCCTV sent me were absolute junk. The first one rebooted whenever it detected motion and tried to send an e-mail. On the replacement system, the e-mail feature still doesn’t work, and the masking feature also doesn’t work (making it so recording is only triggered if motion is detected in certain areas of the frame, like around a cash register or door). The network file sharing feature also doesn’t work and the web interface is practically unusable—when you download videos, it downlaods them in real-time…so even though it should only take a few seconds to transfer a 30-minute video file, it takes 30 minutes. If you have Windows 7 or newer (maybe even Vista), you can’t download the video files at all because the piece of crap ActiveX browser app was developed by some no-name Chinese company that couldn’t even be bothered to pony up $20 for a valid security certificate. The IR LEDs in the cameras are so cheap that the frequency of light they emit is actually visible rather than IR. And like most DVR surveillance systems (including some of the name-brand ones), the documentation is horrendous. They use their own acronyms in a couple places, and the manual doesn’t really elaborate on any features that are available in the setup menu. For example, if there’s a checkbox to enable the CMS system, it says something like “enable CMS” without fully explaining what “CMS” stands for, how to set up your CMS to work with the system, etc.

Even though Closeout CCTV claims a customer satisfaction guarantee, the return policy is effectively null and void if you unpackage the system, and is completely null and void if you install the system. The paint started flaking off of the cameras with metal housing even before I tried to mount them, and a couple others couldn’t be mounted without breaking off plastic tabs. The cheap white wire gets easily scuffed up and is nothing more than the cheapest stereo cable CloseoutCCTV could find.

If I had to do it again for the store, I would buy a couple DropCams and pony up the monthly subscription for my main system. Then for my backup system with local recording (in case the Internet goes out or is cut), I’d buy a couple different brands of systems from Sam’s Club, test them without fully installing them, then return the one that is more difficult to use in the long-run.

-- Ask an expert or be the expert -

View NoLongerHere's profile


893 posts in 2638 days

#3 posted 05-21-2013 02:29 PM

If you are relying just on a security camera to stop a crime or solve one, you’re going to be disappointed.

Most crooks know this and wear a hoodie and can’t be positively identified to prosecute them. The camera sucks at night and can’t read license plates on the street. I know.

The best defense is First, remove any signs of good stuff to steal and an easy break in.

Thieves hate lights. Install Lots of motion sensor lights that have dual function: stay lit from dusk for 4-6 hours and then change to a motion sensor that stays on for 5-10 min.
I have 8 motion sensors around my house, 3 on all sides of my shop and one inside!

I have two alarm horns outside and a giant fireman’s bell inside the shop that’s so loud, it hurts your ears if it goes off.

I don’t pay for an alarm service every month but I have two of their alarm signs posted front and back.

But this sign says it all.

Fortunately, it’s been enough to keep thieves away so far.

Knock on wood.

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