My old DVR system was a normal PC Tower with a 15″ crt monitor and occupied WAY too much space, it also utilized RCA connectors instead of the more typical BNC connectors. The end result? Every time I had to do any work on the surveillance system I would end up making a mess of things (this is the primary reason I wanted a compact desktop PC for the second version) popping cables off their connectors, mixing wires up. There was A LOT OF CLUTTER.
A few weeks ago I experienced a problem with one of the cameras, intermitant signal loss. An irritating problem to diagnose, and one that caused the usual chaos when I started tampering with things. I got angry and despite the fact that the RAM had not yet arrived for the new DVR I decided it was time to pull the old one out.
A few hours of manhandling hardware in and out, some mucking around with the configuration, more grumbling and more mucking around and finally the entire system comes back online.
The computer specs represent a significant increase in power and storage;
Old System: 1.7Ghz Processor, 256Mg Ram, 40Gig HD
New System: Dual 2.8Ghz processors, 2.5Gig Ram, 500Gig HD
By way of storage the old system recorded 6 video feeds (5 camera feeds at 320×240 @ approx 2.5fps recording only motion and 1 feed from the multiplexer at 320×240 and 5fps recorded 24/7) and would keep the last 4 days of activity before automatically overwriting the oldest activity.
New system records 7 feeds (6 camera feeds at 640×480 @5fps recording motion, motion recorded at 20fps when detected and 1 feed from the multiplexer at 1280×1024 @ 5fps recorded 24/7), settings are still being fine tuned but at present 10 days of activity are kept before oldest events are overwritten.
Of course the switch to 640×480 has introduced some interlacing issues as these are analog cameras, and I may finally have to begin experimenting with IP cameras to get around this.
In the meantime I couldn’t be happier with the system. I still need to clean up the wiring quite a bit, but for now it’s adequate (if ugly).