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Old 09-15-2008, 02:37 PM
James
 
Default Gentoo video camera security system

Grant <emailgrant <at> gmail.com> writes:


> I'd like to use 2 or more video cameras to monitor 2 locations over
> the internet. Each of the locations has a Gentoo desktop running
> 24/7, and they are on the same local network. Zoneminder looks very
> powerful, but is there something simpler that I wouldn't have to set
> up mysql for? How would you select cameras for this? USB, ethernet,
> wireless? I like the idea of a camera that doesn't run its own
> software and instead relies on the Gentoo system for that, but I think
> that will limit me to USB and it's 15-foot cable maximum?

Hello Grant,

First off, the amount of bandwidth consumption by the streaming video,
is of paramount concern. The bandwidth consumption between the different
technologies is HUGH.

Currently, the most efficient algorithms for video compression, is the
new H.264 (aka Mpeg4-AVC). For Video surveillance, use the simple profile.

I can run 2 video cameras at about 10 frames per second over a 56Kbit
Frame Relay circuit (with full CIR).

I believe the closest thing for Gentoo would be an offering by vlc
or x.264. Go find the ffmpeg dev lists and see what is the latest
thing that is recommended (currently supported). Most folks that
are successful with this, are embedding their solution into a product
for sale. You have to really dig to find a workable, open source
solution. Maybe there is something else, but, I'll bet it's a
bandwidth pig. H.264 is very asymmetrical. It requires tons of
processor resource to encode, but not so bad on the decode end.
The profile details that a particular project (or vendor0 uses is
often a well guarded (trade) secret.

Alternatively, you can purchase a 4 channel encoder that accepts NTSC
(or PAL) camera inputs and streams to a windows based PC. You set
an ip address and gateway and away you go, totally routable.
A simple setup will set you back about ~1K.

Zoneminder does not support h.264 (the last time I checked ...months
ago). It good for a campus setup, but if you are going to route
(stream) video across a WAN (or the Internet) H.264 is the best
solution. Robust and reliable. Stay away from "ip cameras"; no
standards and all technology is closed to inquiring minds...

Use H.264 in your keyword searches....


hth,
James
 
Old 09-15-2008, 11:29 PM
Iain Buchanan
 
Default Gentoo video camera security system

Grant wrote:

but I think
that will limit me to USB and it's 15-foot cable maximum?


A friend of a friend set up a security system in his house, using USB
cameras, and ran it more than 15 foot! Apparently, you can use a
USB-cat5 converter (not ip based, so you can't route it, just uses the
twisted pairs) and get even further. cat5 is cheap too. I suggest you
experiment (or find someone else who has) and see how far they ran their
cable.


HTH,
--
Iain Buchanan <iaindb at netspace dot net dot au>

Joe Swanson: [to Brian, who just joined the police force] Great job,
rookie!

Cop #1: You're a real credit to the force!
Cop #2: Additional generic cop compliment, Brian!
 
Old 09-16-2008, 01:40 PM
Grant
 
Default Gentoo video camera security system

>> but I think
>> that will limit me to USB and it's 15-foot cable maximum?
>
> A friend of a friend set up a security system in his house, using USB
> cameras, and ran it more than 15 foot! Apparently, you can use a USB-cat5
> converter (not ip based, so you can't route it, just uses the twisted pairs)
> and get even further. cat5 is cheap too. I suggest you experiment (or find
> someone else who has) and see how far they ran their cable.

I think USB cameras would be the way to go. Does anyone know of a USB
camera that works well with Gentoo?

Also thanks to James for the h.264 tip. That's the kind of thing you
don't figure out until you're already deep into zoneminder.

- Grant
 
Old 09-16-2008, 01:52 PM
Neil Bothwick
 
Default Gentoo video camera security system

On Tue, 16 Sep 2008 06:40:11 -0700, Grant wrote:

> I think USB cameras would be the way to go. Does anyone know of a USB
> camera that works well with Gentoo?

You can also use standard composite output security cameras, connected to
a TV card with a composite input.


--
Neil Bothwick

Bury a lawyer 12 feet under, because deep down they're nice.
 
Old 09-16-2008, 06:07 PM
James
 
Default Gentoo video camera security system

Neil Bothwick <neil <at> digimed.co.uk> writes:


> > I think USB cameras would be the way to go. Does anyone know of a USB
> > camera that works well with Gentoo?


Well I thought you were going to transmit (stream) the video acrosss the open
internet. If you do, the bandwidth consumption becomes an issue.

> You can also use standard composite output security cameras, connected to
> a TV card with a composite input.


Correct you are, if you are going to build a campus (local) video surveillance
system. When you stream the video over the Internet, all sorts of issues emerge.
Chief being the amount of bandwidth you consume.


There are lots of tools for measuring bandwidth. Personally, I isolate the
video system into a single ethernet port, and then measure the bandwidth
consumption on that single (isolated) port. Your ISP may give you fits also
about streaming video. Many ISP look for such things and block ports if
very much is used. Leaving the bandwidth up continuously is also risky
as the many ISP(police) software identify and block such activities.

You need to do lots of reading first! Here's a link to wet your appetite:
http://iphome.hhi.de/marpe/download/perf_spie03.pdf





ymmv,
James
 
Old 09-16-2008, 11:12 PM
Iain Buchanan
 
Default Gentoo video camera security system

Neil Bothwick wrote:

On Tue, 16 Sep 2008 06:40:11 -0700, Grant wrote:


I think USB cameras would be the way to go. Does anyone know of a USB
camera that works well with Gentoo?


You can also use standard composite output security cameras, connected to
a TV card with a composite input.


except that you then have to provide power to the camera as well, and
composite is pretty bad at interference over long distances, especially
if you're running AC next to it!


On the other hand, I've run composite without amplification about 30
meters in a proper shielded environment, and had a clear (as the
original) picture at the other end. I don't know how USB would go over
that distance...


USB cameras put the reliance on your webcam drivers working, composite
cameras put the reliance on your TV card. And TV cards with multiple
inputs can start to get expensive, but most cheap motherboards have
multiple usb nowadays.

--
Iain Buchanan <iaindb at netspace dot net dot au>

Barth's Distinction:
There are two types of people: those who divide people into two
types, and those who don't.
 
Old 09-16-2008, 11:54 PM
Neil Bothwick
 
Default Gentoo video camera security system

On Wed, 17 Sep 2008 08:42:57 +0930, Iain Buchanan wrote:

> > You can also use standard composite output security cameras,
> > connected to a TV card with a composite input.
>
> except that you then have to provide power to the camera as well, and
> composite is pretty bad at interference over long distances, especially
> if you're running AC next to it!

The ones I've seen have a DC power line in the same cable sheath as the
video, a 9V or 12V adaptor plugs into this at the computer end, so there's
no AC anywhere near the video signal.

> USB cameras put the reliance on your webcam drivers working, composite
> cameras put the reliance on your TV card. And TV cards with multiple
> inputs can start to get expensive, but most cheap motherboards have
> multiple usb nowadays.

http://store.bluecherry.net/4_port_video_capture_card_linux_bt878_p/pv-143na_oem.htm

$44 isn't that expensive. How much would four USB repeaters cost, and
even then you'd get less range.

Neither option is the do-all solution, but there is a choice to USB that
better suits some circumstances.


--
Neil Bothwick

Top Oxymorons Number 44: Advanced BASIC
 
Old 09-17-2008, 02:02 AM
James
 
Default Gentoo video camera security system

Iain Buchanan <iaindb <at> netspace.net.au> writes:

>
> Neil Bothwick wrote:
> > On Tue, 16 Sep 2008 06:40:11 -0700, Grant wrote:
> >
> >> I think USB cameras would be the way to go. Does anyone know of a USB
> >> camera that works well with Gentoo?
> >
> > You can also use standard composite output security cameras, connected to
> > a TV card with a composite input.
>
> except that you then have to provide power to the camera as well, and
> composite is pretty bad at interference over long distances, especially
> if you're running AC next to it!
>
RG59 coax cable can be problematic, but should work to at least 900 ft.
RG6 is better (steel coated with copper in the coax core) that RG9.
Power runs, particularly AC are OK to cross (perpendicular) but shot
not be run parallel for more than a few feet.

If the cameras use AC (many ntsc cameras do) then a single point of grounding
common for the AC power supply and the cameras is best. Sometimes isolation
devices and filters have to be used on either the coax, the power circuits
or both. RG6 cable should get you at least 1600 feet.


> On the other hand, I've run composite without amplification about 30
> meters in a proper shielded environment, and had a clear (as the
> original) picture at the other end. I don't know how USB would go over
> that distance...

I do, I design and supervise commercial video installations for industrial
clients.



> USB cameras put the reliance on your webcam drivers working, composite
> cameras put the reliance on your TV card. And TV cards with multiple
> inputs can start to get expensive, but most cheap motherboards have
> multiple usb nowadays.

QSee makes inexpensive cards that will perform 'frame grabbing'.
Before transmitting you have to *ENCODE* the video. The encoding process
is mathematically intensive (expensive) and runs best on a DSP such
as the 6000 series from TI or a FPGA that has a custom processor for
video processing implemented in hardware.

Using a smoking 64 bit machine (Intel or AMD) will get you one to 2 channels
of real time encoding, at best. Now receiving H.264 or any other encoded
video stream and playing it back for viewing (mplayer, vlc mpeg4IP etc)
that's more reasonable.


This is the the best (cheapest) for hobbyist (webcams or ntsc(pal)
frame grabber boards for a (local) campus setting. If you are
going to re-transmit the video (stream it) over a WAN or the Internet
you've got a host of other issues to deal with. If this is the goal,
save yourself lots of grief and use H.264.

It's better that the finest system made/deployed by Pelco, Digital Micro,
GE or Honeywell ever dreamed of. Sure those big name systems have
billions of feature that *nobody* ever uses, but the quality or the
quality for a given amount of bandwidth you use; that war is over
H.264 has whipped all competitors, include what-ever-patented-wavelet
or anything thing else. I know, I've spent years deep in the mathematics
of these issues, put code on FPGA, and used dev kits from TI (Da Vinci)
and many others...

H.264 rules and all other video encoding (although well intentioned)
drooles....


http://www.linuxjournal.com/article/9005

http://www.balooga.com/mpeg4.php3

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/H.264

http://www.pixeltools.com/h264_paper.html

http://mpeg4ip.sourceforge.net/features/index.php

http://www.videolan.org/developers/x264.html


And if you really want to dive into video encoding, check
out this crazy Russian (actually a friend of mine).

http://wiki.elphel.com/index.php?title=Main_Page

Audrey has open source camera designs that run mjpeg or Ogg Theora.



James
 
Old 09-18-2008, 03:13 PM
Grant
 
Default Gentoo video camera security system

> This is the the best (cheapest) for hobbyist (webcams or ntsc(pal)
> frame grabber boards for a (local) campus setting. If you are
> going to re-transmit the video (stream it) over a WAN or the Internet
> you've got a host of other issues to deal with. If this is the goal,
> save yourself lots of grief and use H.264.

I've thought this over and I think I'll avoid streaming over the
internet. I have two locations to monitor in separate buildings.
Each of them has a Gentoo desktop on the same local network. I don't
need to do live monitoring so maybe I should just have each of these
systems record their videos and send a copy to the other system. That
way I always have two copies of all videos, and I can wget what I need
from over the internet if I need to review something.

How does that sound? Would you use H.264 for this?

- Grant
 
Old 09-18-2008, 06:04 PM
Michele Schiavo
 
Default Gentoo video camera security system

Why not zoneminder ?

it's web accessible

save everything, send alarm notification and permit to make the video of the event.

Also have monitor.





Il giorno gio, 18/09/2008 alle 08.13 -0700, Grant ha scritto:


ought this over and I think I'll avoid streaming over the

internet.* I have two locations to monitor in separate buildings.

Each of them has a Gentoo desktop on the same local network.* I don't

need to do live monitoring so maybe I should just have each of these

systems record their videos and send a copy to the other system.* That

way I always have two copies of all videos, and I can wget what I need

from over the internet if I need to review something.



How does that sound?* Would you use H.264 for this?
 

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