Noob needs some guidance

Post here to indicate any hardware you have used and which is known to work with ZoneMinder. Not for questions.
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skysurf76
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:38 am

Noob needs some guidance

Post by skysurf76 » Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:22 am

I'm the "IT guy" at a business that has 16 analog cameras going into a SpyClops system. The owners of the business want remote access to the cameras bad and SpyClops works like 20% of the time. For the record I had no input at all when the system was installed.

So now I've been tasked to this fix this dumpster fire. At first I was going to get PCI capture cards, but after searching the forums it appears there are analog to IP video converters. I'm an electrical engineer by profession and am doing this as a favor to the business owner, so I am technically proficient, but I need to get up to speed on the camera stuff. I can build a computer to run the OS and software no problem, I just have to get the analog signals from all these cameras into the box. My questions are as follows...

#1 I have no idea what type of cameras the business has. They all come into the SpyClops system through BNC cables. Do I need to investigate to find out exactly what type of cameras they have before moving forward? SD, HD, does it matter?

#2 What type of video encoding will ZoneMinder accept? Is it standardized? There are many different video encoding standards. I would assume the output of the IP encoder could be important i.e. H.264 and all the other video formats I can't remember right now.

#3 What IP encoders would you recommend?

Thanks so much for the help, I'm doggy paddling so far.

burger
Posts: 262
Joined: Mon May 11, 2020 4:32 pm

Re: Noob needs some guidance

Post by burger » Thu Dec 31, 2020 6:51 am

For general advice see the dummies guide in my signature.
skysurf76 wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:22 am
#1 I have no idea what type of cameras the business has. They all come into the SpyClops system through BNC cables. Do I need to investigate to find out exactly what type of cameras they have before moving forward? SD, HD, does it matter?
If they are BNC / older cameras, then they are most likely NTSC or PAL standard CRT video. There are newer HD types on coax/BNC but uncommon. Those would not be compatible. I've never had trouble with IP Video Encoders and NTSC/PAL.
skysurf76 wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:22 am
#2 What type of video encoding will ZoneMinder accept? Is it standardized? There are many different video encoding standards. I would assume the output of the IP encoder could be important i.e. H.264 and all the other video formats I can't remember right now.
Generally, not an issue. Most are H264 or H265 now. Some also have MJPEG. H264 is the most common. What you want is Onvif compliant cameras/encoders. If you get a proprietary camera, then you may have trouble. See https://wiki.zoneminder.com/Finding_Camera_Stream_Paths
skysurf76 wrote:
Thu Dec 31, 2020 3:22 am
#3 What IP encoders would you recommend?
See https://wiki.zoneminder.com/Hardware_Compatibility_List
Also, search the forums. they are a common topic.
fastest way to test streams:
ffmpeg -i rtsp://<ipaddress>:554/path output.mp4
from terminal, and run through paths on ispydb or in zm hcl

If you are new to security software, read this:
https://wiki.zoneminder.com/Dummies_Guide

skysurf76
Posts: 11
Joined: Thu Dec 31, 2020 2:38 am

Re: Noob needs some guidance

Post by skysurf76 » Sat Jan 02, 2021 3:28 am

Thanks for getting me on track Burger. I think I have my setup figured out, I just wanted to get a quick sanity check.

I pulled out an old AMD Phenom II X4 B50 Processor with 12GB ram I had in the basement and put a 240GB Kingston SSD in it for the boot drive. I have a 4TB HGST Ultrastar coming from Amazon for the storage drive. If the IP encoder just spits out streams of H.264 then really the only thing the computer is going to be doing is reading the data over Ethernet and storing it so I don't think computer performance will be an issue. (there won't be any motion detection or anything, just constant recording on all cameras)

For the IP video encoder I'm wanting to get the Axis M7016 I think since I have 16 cameras I have to hook up. I would "assume" that I can get a ~30fps stream from each camera over Ethernet according to the documentation. 30fps would result in 1.3TB per day, so I probably won't have the framerate set that high, but I just wanted to verify that the M7016 can spit out streams for all 16 cameras to ZoneMinder at the same time.

Thanks for all the help so far Burger.

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