Category Archives: CCTV

No DVR video on IE9 (active x) problem, IE9 and Win7

Solution for all of you that use DVR boxes that have web interface over Active X. This solution is for people using Win 7 and IE9.

On IE9:
Press ALT, open menu Tools > Internet Options > Security Tab > click on Internet icon > click on Custom level then find “Download unsigned ActiveX controls” and select “Enable” or “Prompt” for more security > click ok(twice)

DIY cheap POE 4 port injector using patch panel

By using 8-port patch panel (cost 11 euros / 16$) create 4 port POE injector. This is very simple /cheap project when it comes to POE injector.

This is done by wiring RJ45 pins (3,6,1,2) for networks to other patch panel port, and wiring power to Rj45 pins (8,7to negative DC & 5,4 to positive DC) to POE panel ports.

Full details at

See my other POE wiring and cheap ebay POE injectors posts

DIY CCTV IP and Analog camera guide

This is on on-going post and will update it from time to time…

You might ask your self: What CCTV camera should I get? IP, Non-IP, wirelss, type, brand and so on.

Please refer to my other post relating to CCTV wiring, CCTV server and so on .

lets start …

CMOS and CCD chip-set
There are two common types of CCTV cameras, CMOS and CCD. CMOS based cameras are generally cheaper but do not produce as clear or sharp images as CCD cameras. CCD cameras provide pin-point clarity and are much more expensive.

Analog camera use TVL marking, the number of television lines that the camera is capable of producing.
Cheap are in range of 380 TVL
Mid range about 420 TVL
Higher resolution cameras of over 500 TVL
note: anything bellow 420 TVL will have very hard time recognizing faces or see any moving objects.

IP cameras
IP camera use same type resolution as you home Digital Camera. 1Mega pixel, all way up to 5Mpix

IP camera image formats
IP cameras can broadcast images in following formats: Jpeg, M-JPEG, Mpeg, and Video stream (port). This all depend on brand and quality of camera.

Video compression algorithms are divided in two groups: Frame based compression (JPEG, Wavelet, JPEG 2000) and Stream based compression (MPEG-2, MPEG-4, H.264, MPEG-7). Usage of stream based compression algorithms enables greater savings on storage space and network bandwidth but these algorithms require higher computing performance.

IR cut-off filter
Infrared (IR) cut-off filters are used with color CCD or CMOS imagers to produce accurate color images.
Cameras with IR cut-off filters are more expensive but provide better color images, this has to do with Day & Night functionality. Read a link for mode details.

Light levels are usually measured in Lux.
Typical light levels are:
+ Full Summer Sunlight: 50,000 Lux
+ Dull Daylight: 10,000 Lux
+ Shop/Office environment: 500 Lux
+ Dawn/Dusk: 1 – 10 Lux
+ Main Street Lighting: 30 Lux
+ Side Street Lighting: 0.5 – 3 Lux

The golden rule: give the camera approximately 10 times its quoted minimum scene illumination. The major problem is when they do not have enough light to produce a picture

If you need very low light camera setup you have two options: 1. get (IR) InfraRed illuminator ($20-80 on ebay). 2. Get camera that has 2 image sensors. B/W sensor for night recording and other for day recording. These are best but expensive.

IR InfraRed illuminator

note: IR do not work behind glass (windows), they creates reflections.

CCTV camera Lens
Use this Lens calculator
and Axis one

PTZ – non PTZ
Good PTZ camera cost at least $400-$500. On ebay you can find cheap $100 versions, with have low quality images. Also PTZ cameras with IR can’t work in outdoor dome, so will have hard time getting them to work outdoor.

Digital PTZ: this is not real PTZ, there are no moving parts. Its simply camera with at least 1 megapixel with digital zoom.
What I would do: For the price of one good PTZ camera you can get 2 or 3 non-ptz camera. Get more non-ptz cameras and place then well. This way you get more coverage for less money.


Motion detection
Use motion detection when ever possible. Most CCTV system have motion detection zoning which will eliminate fake alarms. Record only what you need, otherwise you will record to much of unwanted stuff, that will take time to review.

Recording Rates
As a guide to different applications the following may be useful:

Car Parking, external people movement 0.5-2fps
Office, shop 2fps
Money counting 3.5-7.5fps
Traffic monitoring 5-25fps

Recording Quality
The common standards for composite video signals are as follows
CIF 352 x 288
2CIF 704 x 288
D1 704 x 576 (DVD level quality)
Better video quality large files, this will depend on you Hard Drive size. Keep at least 15 days or recording.

Recording formats
There are few (MPEG4, H264, Divx, Avi, and etc) This depends on your CCTV DVR system. Also different formats produce better quality then others, as well as, different size files.

  • Motion JPEG is very popular compression format. MJPEG fits very well for video archives because of its frame based nature.
  • MPEG4 can be 3 times more efficient in terms of compression ratio in compare with Motion JPEG.
    But MPEG4 is a bad choice for systems with frame rate less than 5-6 frames per second.
  • H.264 can be 50-100% more efficient in compare with MPEG-4
    MPEG-4 and H.264 are ideal for CCTV systems with limited but stable bandwidth.

Google for CCTV tools for bandwidth disk space usage calculators.

So what camera should I get? This depends your budget and specific needs.
Some budget info:
+ Cheap IP camera $100-150 (low image quality, cheap Chinese products, Ebay)
+ Good IP camera >$300
+ Mobotix, the best IP camera for outdoor and night recording, >$1200
+ PTZ, cheap $120-150, good PTZ >$500+

Start by looking at sample images at link

Please refer to my other post relating to CCTV wiring, CCTV server and so on .

How to wire POE camera CCTV

Wiring POE camera is simple. POE is unified standard for wiring POE devices using regular network cable (cat 5e and 6). You just simply connected one side of network cable to the camera and other side to the POE interface. Power-over-Ethernet is an extension to the IEEE802 standard opening the possibility to power remote nodes using the standard CAT5 data cable. Special network switches or midspan injectors provide 48V to the network.

Important: The network cable that is plugged to POE adapter should only connect to POE device like camera. Be careful, connecting non-poe camera to POE switch will destroy the camera. Mark the POE cables properly.

Now the good stuff, basically you have two options depending on how many POE devices you have or plan to have..

POE switch: ($100 – 150)

POE injector ($40-50):
These are good solution if you have only one POE camera. If you camera is POE (read manual to 100% sure) then you only need POE Injector. Connect network cable to POE injector marked as POE device, the other end of this cable goes to camera. Install power to injector, connect small network cable (DATA) to you hub. IMPORTANT: make sure you connect POE network output to camera only.

Mix mode

POE for non-POE camera
you can use POE injector and POE splitter.

For DIY solutions read my other post for more info..

Blue Iris CCTV remote monitor , off site, remote DVR monitoring

This instruction if for Blue Iris software but can be used for any CCTV DVR server..

Technicality there are few way to do this… They depend on your ISP using NAT protocol and how much time you want to spend on it. Lets see:

If you ISP does NOT use NAT then you can do following.
1. On you DSL/Cable modem go to dynamic DNS tab and register for one of those dynamic addresses. While in DSL/Cable modem setup, go to port forward, pick a port (ex 88, don’t use 80), setup port forwarding for port 88 to destination IP (IP address of you CCTV server). In Blue Iris web server option change web server port to 88 as well, restart the server.
Dynamic DNS
note: RISK: with this setup you are exposing you server to world. Your DSL/cable modem can be hacked (very unlikely), and well as BI server if some bug in the BI security is discovered/published.

Any ISP setup, even behind firewalls or NAT (easiest)
1. On Blue Iris server simply go to and create a account. Download and install the Log Me In (free) software. From remote location, log in to your account, pick your server from ACCESS list. you will have to install web browser add-on for first time users. You should see you CCTV server desktop. So when ever you want to remote log in, go to, log in to your account and that’s it. Simple…
note: this setup creates a lots of network traffic on you home and remote location. The quality depends on network speed. This is fine setup for occasional remote monitoring.

2. my setup
On Blue Iris server start BI web server. Go to and create account. Download and install the Hamachi service. Under NETWORK tab create new network. Create Mesh network and give it a name. Download the installer and install it on you BI server and remote computer. Start the Hamachi. On remote location, right lick on server name, click on BROWSE. In IE add this address as trusted web site so Active-x would install. Now you have full access of you BI web server as if you were home.

Blue Iris web server files
http://yourIP/default.html (IE only, active X)
http://yourIP/jpegpush.htm (Java applet, all browsers)
http://yourIP/jpegpull.htm (Java script, all browsers, auto refresh)
http://yourIP/cell.htm (cell phone version, jpeg auto refresh, slow rate, live feed only) (use this for remote monitoring)
http://yourIP/mobile.htm (cell phone version, jpeg auto refresh, slow rate, + archive)
http://yourIP/iphone.htm (Iphone version, jpeg auto refresh, slow rate, live feed only)

Blue Iris CCTV – reduce CPU, settings, high CPU usage

These are things that I have found while using the Blue Iris CCTV for last year or so…

reduce CPU usages
+ switch from MPEG4 to MJPEG
+ switch recording codecs from MPEG4 to XVID
+ use good video card
+ lower fps on each camera to 5fps (update setting on the camera and BI as well)
+ Lower the resolution
+ disable Web server if not using
+ remove or minimize “Text and Graphic Overlays”
+ defrag you disk
+ disable audio
+ auto rest your server every 3 days, free up resources.
+ checked recording location (does it exists)

DIY server setup info.
P4 CPU is good for 2-3 camera setup
Dual Core 4-8 camera setup
read my other post for more info

Blue Iris CPU usage reported by other users

  • 25 cameras on Intel Quad core 3.2GHz – 16% idles
  • 6 cameras on AMD Quad core 2.8GHz – 40% idles
  • 4 camera on Intel P4 hyper 2Ghz – 80% idles (my old setup)
  • 6 camera on Intel Dual Core 2.2Ghz – <20% idles (my current setup)
  • General Blue Iris setup guide

    CCTV DIY DVR and NVR video recorders (CCTV Server DIY)

    Hopefully you just finished reading How-to on CCTV wiring.

    So what is DVR and NVR. DVR are video recorders for analog cameras. NVR are video recorders for IP camera. DVR recorders cost about $200-300, the price very on type of video compression and HDD (recording time).

    Since this is DIY blog I will write only about home version of recorders, the PC setup.
    For analog type camera you will need to purchase one of these.
    The DVR cards are split in two types: hardware or software encoding. They also come in 4 or 8 camera setup. Hardware encoders are faster since they do all encoding on DVR card, making them more expensive. Software cards use more CPU to record events and are cheaper. DVR cards come with software that can be used to display and record information from multiple cameras at the same time. These are installed in computers to allow them to function as digital video recording (DVR) systems. The quality of recording 1fps or 25fps will dictate the size of HDD that you need. Also, some encoders are better then others when it comes to video compression. NOTE: You need DVR cards only if you use analog cameras, for IP cameras you DO NOT need DVR card.

    CCTV server setup (2 to 6 camera setup)
    CPU: you need at least Duo Core type CPU with 2GHz speed. note: on average P4 cpu can handle 2 cams @ 5fps, with motion detection.
    Memory: 2 GB at least, 4GB recommended. This has to do with pri-motion/alarm recording and if you decide to use this option. This will record 10-15 images before motion was triggered.
    HHD: 500GB at least, 1TB recommended. Need to be able to record for at least 15 days. I personally use motion detection on CCTV software, so it only records once triggered and then records for 30 sec if no other motion detected.

    My setup:
    Windows XP, Blue Iris CCTV software, 1TB HHD, Dual Core 2.2Ghz, 4GB ram, UPS. cpu load at ideal <20% Why Blue Iris? its cheap (<$50), it works well and has web server option. This allows for mobile phone to view and monitor cams as well. Also, using BI web server and LogMe Hamachi for remote monitoring. check my other post relating to Blue Iris and remote monitoring

    other alternatives:
    iCatcher Console
    Do you homework before purchasing any software, not all of DVR cards are supported.

    other free options:
    zoneminder Linux video camera security and surveillance solution The XProtect is limited to one camera (free version)

    Note: Under your CCTV server BIOS setting you can activate following option to ensure the server will auto-start after loss of power. (AC Power Loss Restart / Automatic Power Up)

    DIY CCTV wiring, how to wire security camera (analog and IP camera)

    CCTV DIY wiring
    This text reflects the way I did my home setup. Keep in mind that this guide is for DIY home type setup.
    Before we start talking about CCTV wiring you need to decide if you going to use IP or non-ip (analog) cameras. Also, you have third option which I did for myself, read all of text and then decide.

    Let me help you decide:
    Analog camera
    + price (cheap $30 to 80)
    – old technology
    – low quality of images (380 lines, you need at least > 400 to see facial details)
    – need DVR recorder

    IP cameras
    + better quality
    + better compression
    + cameras have more options (direct email, FTP and etc, no need for server)
    – price (expensive >$150)
    -/+ able to find cheaper Chinese models, low quality

    Option one: Non-IP camera – analog
    This was very common type installation for older systems. To each end point (camera location) you need to bring 2 wires, coax cable and power cable. The main problem with this setup is you are stuck with maximum one camera per wire and not able to upgrade to IP cameras in future. Also, if you ever decide to install PTZ camera you will need to pull extra cable, bringing total to 3 at least.

    CCTV Kit cable

    RG59 Siamese Cable, RG59 Siamese Cable, is the industry standard type of cable used for most CCTV installs. This cable consists of one video cable and one power cable.

    Option two: IP camera
    For last 2+ years IP camera prices have dropped dramatically making it acceptable even for home setups. You simply bring Cat 5e or Cat 6 cable to each location. One end cable goes to network switch and other to camera. If cameras support POE you can use POE injectors or POE switches. If non POE camera then you will need to pull additional cable (12v cable), or use POE kit.
    Cat5e standards
    Unfoiled (UTP), foiled (FTP), screened foiled (SFTP) twisted pair CAT5E cable

    Option 3: What I have done
    Ok, this what I have done. At time I did my home wiring and was not sure which type of cameras will get since price was key factor. Also, I wanted to create setup that was flexible enough to grow with my needs. Since price of Cat 5e or Cat 6 is same as Coax and power cable I simply pooled 2 sets of Cat 5e cables to each location. You can do one cable per location as well, and then if need more in future simply add a small hub. So now you might ask you self how analog cameras can work on Cat5 cable. (keep in mind that Cat5e cable is 4 pairs of twisted wires, and maximum network length is 300feet / 100 meters)

    You can get these adapter.
    Cat 5 (1 pair) to Coax adapter

    Cat 5 (2 pair) Coax and power

    Cat 5 (1 pair) power only

    Cat 5 (4 pair) run 4 analog cameras on one Cat 5 cable

    Non-poe camera wiring how to. This will allow for non-poe IP camera to use single Cat5 cable for power and network. ($10-15 on ebay)

    POE injectors ($40-50 ebay)

    POE injector and splitter ($40-50 ebay), setup for non-poe IP cameras.

    Camera placement:
    To help out with this take a look at this software, DEMO version available at
    For most DIY cameras are installed where the roof meets the walls of the house. This is a good location because it shelters the cameras from wind, rain, snow and sun. Placed near the roof usually have a better field of view and are less likely to be vandalized. Another advantage is easier way to run wires since many homes have a small gap or hole where cables can be run between the roof and the wall.

    BTW if you plan to get wireless cameras, dont forget that you still need power for it, this setup will handle that as well.

    Read my other post relating to Servers and hardware.

    Get non POE network cam to work as POE (use network cable for power CCTV camera)

    Even “normal/cheap” (non POE) camera can to work as POE.. POE (Power over Ethernet / network cable Cat 5 or 6)

    You have two ways to do this… Buy POE injector and POE spiller ($50-60) or get/make cheap version DIY.
    POE injector and POE spiller

    Cheap version

    a way to connect…

    What I did, was to get one of these of the ebay for $10-15.. This is not POE standard, have to use as set/kit. It works by using 4 out of 8 CAT-5 wires for power (kit includes injector and splitter). It downgrades you network connection to 10Mb, which still should be more then enough for IP camera..

    Had very good results with my setup, over 2 years now.. Plus, its great way to run one Cat5 cable to do power and network on it. This will work for any network device: IP cameras, access points, routers, etc.

    If you own POE camera read my other post under CCTV categories.

    Or you can build one yourself..


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