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  1. #1
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    Do any of you supplement your home security with video surveillance?

    I am thinking about installing a small webcam or several small webcams in my garage and/or outside the front and back door ever since a bike of mine was swiped right off the front porch after my wife forgot to lock it up after coming back after a hard rain. The hum-dinger is that it was probably one of the punks who walks past our place everyday, but we have no evidence of it. With some sort of video surveillance, I would be able to track down who done it. In some cases I may be able to make the camera(s) inconspicupous enough that nobody would know they are there.

    Therefore, in order to effectively implement this concept, I am interested in any suggestions you guys may have. For instance,

    What do you use to record?
    If you use a computer, what program do you use?
    What file type is it stored as?
    What quality file type?
    Do you manually dump the footage after a certain period of time, or does whatever program used do it automatically?
    What camera(s) do you use/recommend?

    It seems if I were to use a webcam or something hooked up to my computer, it would probably tie up the computer's resources and/or run out of hard drive space short before requiring a dump. If the images are of good enough quality, then they are sure to take up a lot of space, otherwise, they probably wouldn't be of sufficient quality to use in identification. If you have or are doing said surveillance technique, how is it done? Could you post a sample snap shot of the footage to depict its quality?

    Thanks

  2. #2
    Senior Member Michigander's Avatar
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    My apartment is secured by a Remington home security system. I also lock my door and never leave my 2,500 dollar Giant where it could be stolen. Haven't had a bike stolen since I was 12 and left my worthless anyway Murray in front of the house. Just the same, it sounds like a video surveilance system would be fun to play with.
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  3. #3
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    It sounds like a neat idea but really isn't practical. First, to get a reasonable number of frames per second to catch the face of someone in the act, you need a lot of storage capacity. You also need reasonable resolution and the right lighting to reliably make a positive ID. You then need to get lucky to get a useable image of someone in the act.

    Then you have the problem of actual enforcement. Many police departments won't bother really investigating petty theft. You would need to lobby a detective to view a video, get an ID, track the guy down, get an arrest warrant, and build a legal case based on your evidence. If it is a murder case, you might have a chance. With petty theft or vandalism, good luck. The police probably won't care to follow up.

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by merlin70
    It sounds like a neat idea but really isn't practical. First, to get a reasonable number of frames per second to catch the face of someone in the act, you need a lot of storage capacity. You also need reasonable resolution and the right lighting to reliably make a positive ID. You then need to get lucky to get a useable image of someone in the act.

    Then you have the problem of actual enforcement. Many police departments won't bother really investigating petty theft. You would need to lobby a detective to view a video, get an ID, track the guy down, get an arrest warrant, and build a legal case based on your evidence. If it is a murder case, you might have a chance. With petty theft or vandalism, good luck. The police probably won't care to follow up.
    I could see this being the case in a big city where the police are inundated with more relevant cases, however here in this small college town, I might have slightly better luck. Besides, who said I was going to turn to the police first.

  5. #5
    Junior Member ragnarok5987's Avatar
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    i dont think installing a video surveillance system in around ur house would be practical. i mean think about it, the best way not to get ur bike stolen is to keep it in a safe place, but unless u have the money to play around with it go ahead. secondly, the bike is stolen, so its gone, and chances r, u might not ever get it back, and finally, are u really going to spend all that money setting up surveillance and leave another bike out there on purpose to catch some other guy who might steal it? it might be fun to watch and catch him at it, but not much can be done about it other than that. even if ure in a small college town, the chances of u running into the guy and remembering his face are pretty slim imo

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by ragnarok5987
    i dont think installing a video surveillance system in around ur house would be practical. i mean think about it, the best way not to get ur bike stolen is to keep it in a safe place, but unless u have the money to play around with it go ahead. secondly, the bike is stolen, so its gone, and chances r, u might not ever get it back, and finally, are u really going to spend all that money setting up surveillance and leave another bike out there on purpose to catch some other guy who might steal it? it might be fun to watch and catch him at it, but not much can be done about it other than that. even if ure in a small college town, the chances of u running into the guy and remembering his face are pretty slim imo
    I apologize for not clarifying... ever since that instance my bike was swiped off our front porch, I have never left it outside unlocked. I ALWAYS bring the bike in with me, at home and at the office. On the rare occassion it must be ouside wherever, it is locked up like fort knox (cable around wheels; U-lock around frame and immobile object) and I don't intend on leaving it ouside unlocked, even if for only a second. However, I have heard from others here, that even when kept secure in their garages, their bikes have been stolen. Mind you, bike theives can break in, too. So, it is more of a final resort, if the bike is stolen, after all else fails, to better track down the SOB and get possibly get the bike back. To me, there is nothing worse to find it missing and not have the slightest clue who done it. I'd take a a blurry figure of anything over nothing.

    Disregard my initial idea of putting cameras at the front and back door. I only considered that because that would have been handy then when my previous bike was stolen. I will only really need the camera(s) inside the garage.
    Last edited by anonymouse99; 04-19-06 at 08:25 PM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Keith99's Avatar
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    A lot of the commercial places that do video monitoring keep just one days worth.

  8. #8
    Mostly Harmless Dead Extra #2's Avatar
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    Stay away from X-10 stuff, it is complete garbage.

    There are surveillance systems available that record on tape and can be motion activated.

    As far as the police not caring: If you are correct, and you can identify the person on the tape, I would imagine it would be a lot easier to get help. i.e. "I'd like to report a theft (blah blah blah) ...I have a video of the thief, and I can tell you where he lives."

    I did have some X-10 stuff, and it was neat while it lasted. I had a wireless camera on my front porch, the pictures it took were kept in a "circular" file on my HD. Lot's of history that automatically gets overwritten if you don't need to save it.
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  9. #9
    Perineal Pressurized dobber's Avatar
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    Bummer about the theft.

    I quite often forget to close the garage door at night. Then again it's a moot point since the side door doesn't lock.

    Just one of the benefits to living in a sleeply little farm town.
    This is Africa, 1943. War spits out its violence overhead and the sandy graveyard swallows it up. Her name is King Nine, B-25, medium bomber, Twelfth Air Force. On a hot, still morning she took off from Tunisia to bomb the southern tip of Italy. An errant piece of flak tore a hole in a wing tank and, like a wounded bird, this is where she landed, not to return on this day, or any other day.

  10. #10
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    I had a buddy who owned a covert surveillance company. I rigged up my apartment for a few hundred dollars with a night vision camera aimed at my parking spot to catch the neighbour’s kids vandalising my car.

    If you look around and are a bit handy it should be pretty easy and not too expensive. You can even rig them up to a motion sensor so they would not run all the time then they are real easy to hook to a VCR, and would catch the SOB's only when they are there.

    I like the idea of a wolverine trap, the idiot would be pulling the trigger himself.

  11. #11
    J E R S E Y S B E S T Jerseysbest's Avatar
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    On the other hand, having visible camera's might be better then ones that are hidden. Keep the honest men honest
    Quote Originally Posted by SingingSabre View Post
    Cheating: a symptom of the problem.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jerseysbest
    On the other hand, having visible camera's might be better then ones that are hidden. Keep the honest men honest

    You can get dummy cameras real cheap too.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Nachoman's Avatar
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    I like the idea of motion sensors. They can set off bright lights, and start the cameras rolling. Have you thought about the motion sensitive robotic dog?
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  14. #14
    Airborne Titanium EricDJ's Avatar
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    You can get wireless network cameras fairly cheap now. some with motion that won't record until needed. you can get a month on an average hard drive these days.

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