General theory of operation question

Forum for questions and support relating to the 1.31.x releases only.
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sunriseblvd
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Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:24 am

General theory of operation question

Post by sunriseblvd » Sat Jun 09, 2018 9:24 pm

I want to use ZoneMinder at my elderly parent's house. I don't want to use some proprietary solution because they go obsolete, unsupported, and they tend to be targets for use by bots (as my old one just became).

Does ZM have more advanced modes than just pulling down compressed pictures? I ordered a "SV3C IP POE Camera Security Outdoor 5 Megapixels Super HD 2592x1944 H.265 Waterproof Cam Onvif IR Night Vision Motion Detection". Does ZM use any of the H.265 capability or will it always just download a JPG, then decompress it, then recompress it to view in the end user interface? Does ONVIF compatibility mean anything with regards to ZoneMinder?

bbunge
Posts: 2676
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:40 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: General theory of operation question

Post by bbunge » Sat Jun 09, 2018 11:15 pm

Zoneminder is continually being worked on to improve existing features and incorporate new ones. Some things that are in the works but not perfected, yet, are record to video and direct remote storage.
ONVIF capability is present in ZM 1.30.4 but still has some issues.
ZM will work with most IP cameras.
There is nothing wrong with the way the current release works by saving images. After all, film and most video streams are comprised of a stream of still images. If you have to report an incident to law enforcement, most would rather have the still images.
You don't have to have new high powered equipment to run ZM. It will run on a Pi and some NAS boxes. I use old PC's. One system I manage with 17 cameras runs on an old Dell i5 quad core with a 1 TB drive. I have 16 GIG of RAM but it has run on 8 GIG satisfactorily. Five cameras record during the work day with the rest on motion detect. Nights and weekend they all do motion detect. I can store 30 days of videos on the drive.
ZM runs on many flavors of Linux, desktop, server or bare bones install. I prefer Ubuntu as I have the best success and performance with it. See the ZM WIKI for the best install procedures. To get started may I recommend installing with a shell script: https://wiki.zoneminder.com/Ubuntu_Serv ... e_easy_way
Stick with ZM 1.30.4 until the next version, 1.31.x, is released.

sunriseblvd
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:24 am

Re: General theory of operation question

Post by sunriseblvd » Sun Jun 10, 2018 1:36 am

Ok thanks for the info. I am concerned about the quality loss from doing so many recompressions. I would've hoped by now they had a way to not have to recode everything so many times. I'm assuming the cellphone application also recompresses the video stream, further lowering the quality of the capture.

Does other software like BlueIris also work the same way as ZM? Or does someone else have a way to intercept the data without having to recompress..

You mentioned Ubuntu server... I was going to use Linux Mint. Should I use Ubuntu instead? I'll be running it on an i5 3.2ghz with 8GB of RAM and a 2TB HD.

One last thing... does ZM work well behind SSL?

bbunge
Posts: 2676
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:40 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: General theory of operation question

Post by bbunge » Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:45 am

I really feel that quality does not suffer from using jpg's. There are at least three apps for iOS and two for Android. All of which are great for quick looks at the cameras. Just keep the resolution low, 640x480 5 FPS is good enough for a security camera system. Yes, those settings will catch crooks!

The i5 should work well. I feel it is best to set a system up as a server without a monitor. Use a remote PC to manage the server via Putty and or Webmin. Mint is OK but the GUI will use up resources. If you insist on a system with a desktop use Lubuntu 18.04 and install the minimal version with the desktop, utilities and Firefox. There is a shell script on the WIKI that is great for installing Zoneinder on a desktop system as it will install Apache, Mariadb, PHP and Zoneminder.

Can't speak to Blue Iris. Never heard of it.

SSL can be incorporated into Apache2 easily (my production server uses https). Google is your friend. Zoneminder also has authentication and can use Google reCaptcha.

sunriseblvd
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:24 am

Re: General theory of operation question

Post by sunriseblvd » Mon Jun 11, 2018 1:06 am

bbunge wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 12:45 am
I really feel that quality does not suffer from using jpg's. There are at least three apps for iOS and two for Android. All of which are great for quick looks at the cameras. Just keep the resolution low, 640x480 5 FPS is good enough for a security camera system. Yes, those settings will catch crooks!

The i5 should work well. I feel it is best to set a system up as a server without a monitor. Use a remote PC to manage the server via Putty and or Webmin. Mint is OK but the GUI will use up resources. If you insist on a system with a desktop use Lubuntu 18.04 and install the minimal version with the desktop, utilities and Firefox. There is a shell script on the WIKI that is great for installing Zoneinder on a desktop system as it will install Apache, Mariadb, PHP and Zoneminder.

Can't speak to Blue Iris. Never heard of it.

SSL can be incorporated into Apache2 easily (my production server uses https). Google is your friend. Zoneminder also has authentication and can use Google reCaptcha.
Thanks for the advice. I really look forward to building this system when the parts start coming in. As for resolution, I need at least 4MP resolutions so hopefully so many layers of compression can keep up. None of the low resolution systems have been adequate for a number of reasons.

I think I'll go with a GUI-less installation and use Putty, like you said. What distro is best for that in your experience?

Oh yes... should I run two different networks for a home network and for the camera system? I'm not a networking expert but I seem to remember that Ethernet sends packets to all systems on the network and you can saturate a network.

mikb
Posts: 463
Joined: Mon Mar 25, 2013 12:34 pm

Re: General theory of operation question

Post by mikb » Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:49 pm

> Ethernet sends packets to all systems on the network

Only if you are using coax cable (10 base-2 thin/10 base-5 thick) and have travelled back to the 1990s (shared medium).

Or you have an ethernet hub which is dumb as a box of rocks.

Most modern ethernet switches are smart enough to work out which port any particular machine/camera is on, and after the first blind-scattergun-packet probe - forwarding the first packet everywhere, will continue sending packets only to the port that actually responded.

You can upset this plan by pulling out the cable and sticking it in a different port, but the switch will soon work out what you did.

sunriseblvd
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:24 am

Re: General theory of operation question

Post by sunriseblvd » Thu Jun 14, 2018 1:18 am

mikb wrote:
Mon Jun 11, 2018 3:49 pm
> Ethernet sends packets to all systems on the network

Only if you are using coax cable (10 base-2 thin/10 base-5 thick) and have travelled back to the 1990s (shared medium).

Or you have an ethernet hub which is dumb as a box of rocks.

Most modern ethernet switches are smart enough to work out which port any particular machine/camera is on, and after the first blind-scattergun-packet probe - forwarding the first packet everywhere, will continue sending packets only to the port that actually responded.

You can upset this plan by pulling out the cable and sticking it in a different port, but the switch will soon work out what you did.
Which Linux distro do you recommend for a GUI-less installation and that can do the script you mentioned?

(my network knowledge dates back to the 90's when 10mbit ethernet was normal!)

bbunge
Posts: 2676
Joined: Mon Mar 26, 2012 11:40 am
Location: Pennsylvania

Re: General theory of operation question

Post by bbunge » Thu Jun 14, 2018 12:24 pm

Ubuntu 16.04 or 18.04. Stick with a single LAN. GIG Ethernet will not fail you. In fact my 17 cam system runs on a 10 100 switch which has a lot of other traffic.

sunriseblvd
Posts: 18
Joined: Fri Jun 08, 2018 4:24 am

Re: General theory of operation question

Post by sunriseblvd » Wed Aug 01, 2018 4:38 am

Got it up and running just fine on a GIG ethernet network.

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