Which Capture Card

Post here to ask any questions about hardware suitability, configuration in ZoneMinder, or experiences. If you just want to know if something works with ZoneMinder or not, please check the Hardware Compatibility sections in the forum, and the Wiki first. Also search this topic as well.
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Which Capture Card

Post by jamescollings » Thu May 24, 2018 6:21 am

Hi, I haven't been around these forums for over 10years... because my ZM installation just worked... didn't need to do anything to it :)

I have now decided to upgrade to something that isn't reliant on "old hand-me-down" hardware and as part of this complete refresh I am looking at the Capture card. I am still using an old PV-149 4camera 120fps card, however I believe that Linux no longer supports this card, and since it is many years old there is probably quicker/slicker cards on the market.

So... what card should I be looking to buy to pair with a brand new super-fast Ubuntu server? I run 3 analogue cameras.

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Re: Which Capture Card

Post by iconnor » Thu May 24, 2018 1:57 pm

Slicker might get you h264 encoding or something like that, but really... you aren't going to get any greater quality out of your analog cameras. I'd stick with that card. I use one of them on ubuntu 1604.... I guess I'll find out about deprecated support for it once I upgrade. I would be surprised if support was removed though.

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Re: Which Capture Card

Post by snake » Fri May 25, 2018 8:43 pm

jamescollings wrote:
Thu May 24, 2018 6:21 am
So... what card should I be looking to buy to pair with a brand new super-fast Ubuntu server? I run 3 analogue cameras.
I have used a BT878x card, and while it worked, I had better results with video encoders. I've written about them in the wiki hardware compatibility list. No chance of them becoming incompatible with server hardware. You read from them in ZM as if they are a camera.

I would search for a 4 channel video encoder or 4 channel video server and buy one used. Try a new brand if you are adventurous and let us know if it works.

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Re: Which Capture Card

Post by delpi » Thu Jun 07, 2018 8:55 pm

i'm curious. You are just using a video card because you have analog signals? An IP camera doesn't require a capture or video card of any type? Or does it somehow offload the cpu?

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Re: Which Capture Card

Post by nycynik » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:07 pm

IP Cameras do put all the load on the CPU. So depending on the setup, that might not be awesome. I'm kind of new here as well, so I'm not sure how many cameras per type of CPU, but 3 cameras would be fine with anything modern. It all comes down to how fast you want to sample them, how many there are, color/b&w/image size (SD/HD/>HD)/network and finally CPU type.

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Re: Which Capture Card

Post by apolonio » Fri Jun 15, 2018 3:34 pm

I still run the old BNC stuff because the wiring is all still there especially with hard to reach places. But I am moving to mostly IP based access

But if compatibility is an issue, you should be able to buy a standalone DVR (or do they call it NVR nowadays) with 4 or 8 channels which you should be able to access via RTSP stream and decode it on your Zoneminder box

Also not sure if this is still true but those BNC/Analog cameras may take less CPU. From the first paragraph of this link

IP Cams require an extra level of processing to analogue cards as the jpg or mjpeg images need to be decoded before analysing.

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