Home NVR: What Do You Recommend?

I was speaking to an old colleague of mine who asked for a recommendation on a home NVR. He's techy and has collected leftover parts for his house from old demo kits or NFR gear or Costco specials. He'd like to have everything recorded on one recorder, though, so he has fewer clients (web and iOS app).

Current equipment:

  • A 4-channel Q-See HDCVI DVR, with two cameras running on it.
  • A D-Link wireless cube camera
  • A Hikvision dome

He was also looking at maybe adding another outdoor camera, but something inexpensive and wireless (I have no recommendations on that, really, but that's a separate topic).

So the question is, how does he tie all this together?

My recommendation was to use an inexpensive NVR, like Dahua/Q-See, record the RTSP streams from the HDCVI DVR on it (or add it via ONVIF), add whichever cameras are compatible via ONVIF, and have room for future adds.

Thoughts? Better suggestions? Something like Milestone XProtect Go might also work if he has a spare PC, but that's obviously more complex than the NVR would be.


Here's a quick breakdown of my home system:

Cameras:

Mostly Axis and Avigilon cameras, all with 128GB SD cards for edge recording.

All cameras are mounted in secure housings, with cable whips in armored flex cable (pressurized), with pressure-loss sensors and tamper switches on the housings to prevent (or more correctly, minimize) the chance that an attacker gains access to the security network through the exterior cameras. Interior cameras are currently a little less secured, but I may go back and fix that.

Network switch:

Cisco 3560 switch with Cisco RPS 2300 for redundant power. Switch and RPS are on different power feeds (mains power, and solar backup, respectively) in order to minimize any video outages from power failure, storms, or focused outsider attack on local grid. The solar panels are mounted on top of the roof with batteries and inverters in a fortified outbuilding with power cables 56" underground in armored conduit.

The recording network is airgapped from the main house network, there are viewing stations at various points in the house. These run on PC's located in the equipment room (more on that below) with KVM extenders in order to prevent the need to extend network outlets to unsecured parts of the house where visitors or staff sometimes are unmonitored. Network also utilizes per-port MAC authentication and other security measures, but still, I prefer to minimize the accessibility of the core network as little as possible.

VMS/Recorder:

Avigilon ACC on Windows 8 and Exacq on Linux (Ubuntu). Both of these servers also have dual power supplies for resiliency. The mixed architecutre ensures that any bug related to either the NVR software OR the OS platform minimizes the chance of loss of continuous recording. All storage is on a dedicated RAID10 array for each storage server. With the SD cards, and dual recorder platforms, the chance of recorded video loss is relatively small. I'm investigating leasing a local dark fiber loop to also have real-time remote recording for all cameras (27 cams total, didn't mention that above). All recording is continuos at full-res and max frame rates, storage is sized for 60 days of retention.

Equipment room/wiring closet has an automatic fire suppression system and dedicated cooling equipment. Acces to this room is via the master suite, both of which require biometric access.

So far things are working pretty good, but there are a few components I'd like to beef up. The system did come in handy, I recently caught my neighbor blowing some leaves into my yard.

Let me know if you have any questions about my system.

Jealous, probably have latest firmware everywhere too, yes?

Generally, yes. There is a duplicate system to pre-test new software/firmware rollouts for any device. But instead of a total of 27 cameras on the staging network, there is just 2 of each model.

In order to more closely approximate the production system I have some RTSP traffic generators to simulate the "missing" cameras and pump more data through the network and into the recorders.

I have some RTSP traffic generators to simulate the "missing" cameras and pump more data through the network and into the recorders.

good. In the homicile, one thing that separates the (wo)men from the boys is sandboxing with full-suite regression testing (or lack thereof). Word of caution though, simulators must be carefully seeded to be effective, so don't skimp on the random number generator.

And there is really no reason to: This PQRNG 150 is half the size of last year's model, and should be more than sufficiently random for most homes.

No generators for night time?

The house has an 18KW Gilette Sentry Pro auto-start/auto-transfer system for main power backup.

The solar system is sized with batteries to provide 48 hours of runtime for the security systems and other critical components. The battery trays are on a hydraulic lift that keeps the batteries underground to help regulate their operating temperature.

No redundancy on the generator? Should have two with a two week supply of diesel each in underground armored tanks.

So far things are working pretty good, but there are a few components I'd like to beef up. The system did come in handy, I recently caught my neighbor blowing some leaves into my yard.

up until the end you had me... nice post...

"Both of these servers also have dual power supplies for resiliency. The mixed architecutre ensures that any bug related to either the NVR software OR the OS platform minimizes the chance of loss of continuous recording. All storage is on a dedicated RAID10 array for each storage server."

While that was entertaining, this is incredibly unreasonable for a regular homeowner.

When you get a chance, say "Hi" to the First Lady for me. :)

While I'm glad everyone is finding this thread comical, can we please cut it out? 10 posts and not a single real comment on the actual topic.