Surveillance systems are basically used to monitor commercial places, traffic red lights and lots of private companies but i am sure that lots of people out there must be interested in keeping an eye on your home and what’s going on in your home when needed or when you are away from your house like sitting in the office. This post is totally about that.

Here below there is a complete video surveillance system but most important from that is how you can do it with Linux.

First What is the need/use of this:

  • Keep an eye on your home when you are working in the office or record the complete video of the day events.
  • Can keep an eye on your kids whether they are back from the school and what are their day to day activities.
  • Can secure your valuable items by keeping a tab on it means you can easily alert the police in case you see something wrong in your house when you are away from house.

The accessories you will be using for Video surveillance system are:

  1. Cameras: Wires/wireless/night vision, any of it which you think you need and fall into your budget.
  2. Stand Alone Network DVR/PC based DVR: Where you can record, view and store on internal hard disk (4-channel/8-channel depends on your requirement)
  3. Static Internet IP: Broadband connection can be converted into static IP with some extra charges. At least 1 Mbps connection is good enough to implement stuff.
  4. 1TB hard disk: In built hard disk in Network DVR
  5. Wires: Based on the requirements, normal prices are 35 Rs/meter.

Connecting to LCD:

  • Network DVR has a VGA port where you can connect to your LCD TV. It’s pretty much simple like connecting your CPU to the monitor.

Connecting to Normal TV:

  • Network DVR has normal pin based connector to connect to CRT TV’s.

One more thing, you can connect both the LCD and CRT TV’s at the same time but you need to switch on/off the VGA button in the DVR.

Steps to complete the setup:

  1. Find some good place (depend on what type of surveillance you are looking for, like some hidden place if you don’t want people to know that they are under surveillance) and fit the cameras you had bought.
  2. Finish up the wiring needed to connect cameras.
  3. Connect the 4-channel DVR points to cameras at the other end.
  4. Connect the DVR to your internet modem (bridge mode/nat mode).
  5. Put in the static IP in your browser.
  6. Enter the login credentials and start watching your home from any remote location where you can just access the internet.

One more thing, every LCD has a VGA pin, you can ask for laptop LCD connector cable from shop, and use the same cable to connect both the LCD and DVR to transfer the video.

Linux Setup:

Above i was just explaining a normal setup which a normal person will do but what you should do when you are a linux geek. Here it comes.

U need the following stuff and your complete monitoring system is ready.

Apparatus:

  1. Linux Box (Intel P3/P4 old box loaded with some linux flavor like Fedora or Ubuntu)
  2. USB Webcam (Starting cost 300 rs)
  3. Install Zoneminder, a open source application. (Screenshots).
  4. Internet with real IP. Obviously when you are using linux then you should be given some benefits. Following the the alternatives for the same:
    • dyndns can be configured on your system/router and you can use your dynamic IP as the static one.
    • Auto upload the jpeg frame to any FTP Server.
    • Auto mail the small clips/jpeg to personal email account.
  5. Supports more than 20 usb/dvr cameras.
  6. Easy to access with control panel.
  7. motion sensor feature can be used, hence you only record when it is required (will save a lot of space).

FAQ’s:

1. Why do i really need it ?

Ans: No one really need it, it’s just extra ring of precaution you are putting up to make sure that your valuables are safe.

For ex: You are sitting 15KM away in your office and someone break into your house. This could be the best way to know what’s going on in your house and you can alert the security for the same without even moving from your chair.

2. Why need a LCD when you have the browser to watch ?

Ans: You are sleeping and your door bell rings and you wanted to know who is on the door without leaving you bed or you are watching your favorite serial or last few balls are left for the match. You have the remote beside you and you switch the mode of the TV from TV to av1/av2 and there it is. You know who is really ringing on your door.

Places from where you could buy some serious surveillance equipments:

  1. http://www.vigilanceandsecurity.com/
  2. http://www.video-surveillance-guide.com/

References:

  1. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Surveillance
  2. http://www.deskshare.com/Resources/Articles/wcm_setup_PCvideosurveillancesystem.aspx
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