Home Surveillance System

The backbone of our home CCTV system consists of a few hardwired analog cameras connected to a digital video recorder which keeps approximately 2 months worth of footage on file.

The recorder itself is isolated from our network, and it’s multiplexed feed is fed out to the usual array of internet thingamabobs by an encoder, and to all the TVs in our house by a modulator that converts the composite signal from the DVR to a specific TV channels frequency.

This allows me to access the video feeds remotely, but in a worst case scenario means an unauthorized user could access the live feeds, but would be unable to access the recordings or recorder itself.

I’m no network security guru, so both the alarm system and the CCTV system have this sort of “one way” (or “look but don’t touch”) relationship with our internet enabled home automation systems to prevent people smarter than me from ruining my day.

I have, however, been remiss with maintaining the DVR basically leaving it alone for the last four years happily recording 24/7/365 – so when I went to review video this morning to check the effectiveness of the new LED flood lights (I replaced the old 150 watt bulbs in the security lighting with 75 watt equivelents that draw 14 watts a piece yesterday) the system crashed…HARD.

This ended in my replacing the 1TB drive that was factory original with a 2TB I had on hand, and paying just a bit more attention to the system maintenance and scheduled restart settings the DVR has.

Guess I’ll have to wait another day to check out that lighting.


  1. Madeye says:

    Mustn’t skimp on maintenance … LOL!

    So, you write, ‘I replaced the old 150 watt bulbs in the security lighting with 75 watt equivelents that draw 14 watts a piece yesterday

    Seems to me the old paradigm of rating lamps in watts is pretty much dead these days.

    It was enough of an issue with the introduction of CFLs … ‘This 15 watt CFL produces the same light as a 60 watt incandescent.’

    Now, with LEDs coming on strong, the issue is exacerbated because not all LEDs of equivalent power consumption produce equivalent light outputs. So, a 6 watt LED may produce as much light as a 15 watt CFL, which may produce as much light as a 60 watt incandescent – but, then, again, it may produce much less :-(

    I expect that soon both lumen and colour temperature rating will become standard on bulbs.

  2. Mugwug says:

    Agreed. This is not apples to apples.

    I can only go on whats printed on the package, and what the reviews online say. By the same token I’m buying a lightbulb here, not a new car so I don’t want to spend the rest of my life researching these purchases.

    As it turns out the bulbs are entirely adequate. They seem to put out less light in general (the light is more tightly focused so general illumination is lower) but a whiter and can be focused on the ground so are likely less irritating to the neighbors while still providing a deterrent.

    Consumption, according to the wattage, is substantially less so as long as the asthetics and illumination are reasonable I am happy. This represents a notional order of magnitude decrease in consumption for the flood lights (at 28 watts instead of 300).

    I am satisfied – at this point – that the security lighting around the house is not pulling more hydro than it absolutely needs.

    I am disappointed that I have to “roll the dice” when buying bulbs, and hope that they do the job.

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