what hardware for my cameras and needs?

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Joined: Wed Oct 28, 2020 6:01 pm

what hardware for my cameras and needs?

Post by nobitabre82 » Wed Oct 28, 2020 6:10 pm

Hi everybody,

I am considering a dedicated zoneminder server. Was thinking to buy something like an intel NUC, but I am just not sure what would be sufficient for my cameras.

I would like to record whenever motion is detected; if it is possible to constantly record, yet still quickly jump to all motion detection events, I would prefer this to recording on motion events.


2x Xiaomi Dafang 1280x720, 20fps, rtsp, audio (only need to record audio from one of those two)

1x Sonoff Cam, 1920x1080, 20fps, rtsp, audio

6x noname cameras, 1280x720 (or less), 20fps, rtsp, no audio

2x Reolink RCL-410, 2560x1920, 20fps, rtsp, audio (if possible, only record audio when motion detected in order to use less storage)

3x raspberry pi cam streaming via motion, 1200x800, <10fps, server push, no audio

I might want to add another Dafang, Sonoff, and/or raspberry pi camera later, so the server should have some capacities more than needed to work with the cameras mentioned above.

I currently view all these cameras' streams from my android phone. In order to give zoneminder highest priority access to the cameras, I thought I'd only connect those cameras to zoneminder directly (not my phone), then have zoneminder re-stream their content to our phones etc. Is this sensible, or would it require considerably more workload from the server? And can this be done without too much delay (some of those cameras won't need to be transmitted without delay, but others, for example the main entrance, should be able to show an actual live stream).

The server needs to only run zoneminder, syncthing, and perhaps an mqtt client. I would likely use debian as OS, unless another Linux distribution would work better in your opinion (if so, which one?).

I have zigbee motion sensors placed near some of those cameras that are connected to my Home Assistant, which could be used for motion detection (rather than putting that workload on zoneminder) for some of these cameras.

What do you suggest I buy? My limit is around 1600 USD for all the hardware. I can go a bit higher if necessary, but would like to keep costs as low as realistically possible.

Thank you for your advice =)

Posts: 287
Joined: Mon May 11, 2020 4:32 pm

Re: what hardware for my cameras and needs?

Post by burger » Wed Oct 28, 2020 8:43 pm

Used server hardware is a good option (understanding the risk of hardware failure). You can get something for perhaps $500 or less, but you will want to buy a couple of 4TB HDDs. So, include that in the cost factoring. The more cores the better. Higher end CPUs will perform better. More HDDs means more history. 3 or 4 4TB HDDs is a good start.

20FPS is a lot. I'd think 12FPS (on the cameras) would be plenty. 6FPS is ok. It depends what/where you are filming.

You shouldn't have any issue streaming from the server. Install guides are on the wiki
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:

Posts: 39
Joined: Sun Aug 28, 2011 8:41 am

Re: what hardware for my cameras and needs?

Post by parky » Thu Sep 23, 2021 1:42 pm

I second the ex-corporate hardware. It gives you a stable platform that is built to run 24x7x365 at a fraction of the cost of what you could buy new

I just costed up an HP Z400 to match mine and it comes in at £300 including a surveillance drive of 2TB so you are well under budget. The same goes for POE switches where you can get an HP 24 port one for £30, which also gives you reliability at a bargain price

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