If you are looking for a video surveillance system to monitor your home or business, you better be prepared to shell out over $1,000 for a very basic and limited system, to over $5,000 for state-of-the-art digital video recording systems.
If you are on a limited budget, that is not an option, however, if you have an extra or not too old PC laying around, you have the makings of a “roll your own” digital video surveillance system. By adding a few inexpensive items, you can put together a system that will do the job for home or small business needs on a budget.
The system will be based around that spare or old PC of yours, though it can’t be more than a few years old. A ten year old computer would not work for this, though I just picked up a used Dell on Craigslist for $200 complete with Windows XP, and I am sure you could find similar bargains on eBay. We will start with the most obvious parts, the cameras.
There are some good deals on dome b/w wired dome cameras. We are on a budget, so the b/w wired ones cost much less than colored wireless. You want to pick the best locations to film, so you start with the front and back door. These are not outdoor cameras, so they have to be placed inside, pointing at the door. You might want to put another one in the kitchen and the bedroom at home, or at the back of the store and the office if a business.
Sony makes a great mini dome camera that is only 3 inches across and records excellent quality b/w video, even in low light conditions at night. It is easy to install on the ceiling, in the corner, and you can run cable down from the attic. Each one sells for $44.95 dollars x 4 = $179.80 for your best price on cameras.
You will need a DVR card to record the video, and GeoVision has a great one for this purpose. This converts the video to digital, so you can save it to disc. It also will let you monitor the connection over the Internet, so you can see what’s going on when you are not there. Open the computer, carefully insert the card, and restart the computer. Install the software and you can start monitoring all cameras, and set it up to monitor it over the internet. They cost $179.95 for the 4 camera card.
The final thing you need is cables to connect everything together, 50 ft rolls are $19.95 x 4 = $79.80.
Now you have what you need to “roll your own” digital video surveillance system. The cost is $439.55 if purchased individually, though if you order the “Roll Your Own” system, we will slash the package down to $399.95. You can still pick up the items individually if you need only some of them, or you can upgrade to 8 cameras, or wireless cameras, or hidden cameras.
Provider of Spy & Surveillance Equipment