Senior citizen needs security camera setup help

There is a ton of much appreciated info here in this thread. Now I've got something to start making plans with. Vettester has even offered PM help. Thanks a bunch. I'm going to research stuff and then start the process. I have my whole house hard wired thanks to Cat5e, a TP-Link 16 port switch, and an open ceiling basement that the garage can access for soffit mounting the camera(s) above the garage door header area. Thus I can see PoE Cameras and Blue Iris starting to play in. I'm going to also research if it's possible to install Blue Iris onto my Open Media Vault v5 server because it runs 24/7.


Blue Iris offers a 15-day trial but I wouldn't install it until you have a camera to connect.

AFAIK Blue Iris requires an always-on PC running Windows, and although it’s possible to run in a virtual machine, it can become problematic easily that way.

If you want to be able to see just a live view of your cameras, Blue Iris is unnecessary. But if you would like to record, transcode, create schedules, and get even fancier, it’s a pretty amazing tool.

If you have the infrastructure in place, PoE cameras can provide a much more reliable video stream than anything that’s dependent on WiFi and/or batteries.


I realize this is thread is moving away from OP topic ... re: BlueIris install without a camera - one of the very best features I discovered and love the most is the Virtual Cameras. I can send a web page display to a virtual camera as an overlay and embed that in a tile... it gets around numerous limitiations I'd run into in the original dashboard - here was a posting on the subject:

Agreed. Getting closer to starting the project. Excited.

I'm probably going to figure out some way to take the Blue Iris recordings and just transfer them over to storage on the OpenMediaVault 4TB for next day viewing - or something like that concept - anyway. I am not a pro at all on OpenMediaVault and sometimes it gets way over my head. That said there might be some kind of avenue to pursue with it, but most likely won't lose too much sleep over it.

Definitely going with PoE cameras. No sense in breaking my total hard wired house now.

Thanks for the forum's continuing input and smarts greater than mine. :smiley: :upside_down_face:

Definitely going with PoE cameras. No sense in breaking my total hard wired house now.

Two advises - POE switches are excellent, but POE hubs can be less so. With >5MP cameras the stream size of many camera's can overwhelm older hubs as they don't isolate the ports like smart switches do. Be picky here! Also, pay attention to your camera choice capabilities - h.264 is widely used and accepted but h.265 has a much more robust compression ability however at the cost of horsepower at the server.
BI uses a stream storage protocol called BVR. This native protocol when used allows you to edit, clip, and rewind/forward clips and stored data without any needed changes. However it requires a special viewer if you keep it in that format and aren't inside BI. BI gives a 'convert' feature that will allow you to grab parts of streams in mpeg (mp4 I believe is the container). I bring this up as I store much of the content locally in BVR, but if I push long term storage to an external drive, I push it in mp4 format. (this is configurable within BI).
For external storage, it's a simple as a drive mapping. Either old school z:=\machinename\sharename or direct to url with pre-saved login creds.
I've been around BI for a number of years - even did Beta for Ken so if I can be helpful let me know!

If you're doing POE, I'd advise using older commercial gear. Like a Cisco 3750 gigabit managed switch, 24 or 48 port. Plenty of power and they run almost forever and are really affordable. Like 65.00 for 24 ports

as a cisco trained tech - yea. these were good units but 15 yr old tech? um... not sure that's a good recommend! The available power budget on these I can't even find - and pretty sure no POE+ or ++ so won't support PTZ - but would do the basics for sure. also, will only do 100mb/port and doesn't do mac isolation per port... I'd really find something a bit newer!
I run this: LGS308P 8-Port Gigabit PoE+ Smart Switch - got it for $50 - VLAN, IGMP, SNMP, spanning tree - md/x - just sits and runs. doesn't even need a fan! oh. and web gui/managable.

Thanks for the info. It's actually the 3750X series, which has IIRC a 400watt POE budget, does do POE+(30watts/port) and is full gigabit. Heck I'm also running a 2960S from who knows when. The MTBF on these things is ridiculous ~20+ years. In the data center at work, they throw out the majority of these because their so old, not because they break.
I also recall seeing other 3750 models that handle UPOE(60watts/port) but those were more expensive.
I don't know about MAC isolation, or even what that is.
And I can use a browser to manage my switches, after I upgraded the firmware, even the 2960S.
I'm likely not even using 10% of the capabilities on these dinosaurs, but for home use they've been fantastic for me.


Another vote for Wyze.

They are inexpensive and up and running in minutes with the app. You can monitor cams on your phone from anywhere with ease. There is a small monthly subscription fee for cloud storage but you can store plenty on the device sD card. The app has options for alerts of various kinds as well as motion triggers. No need for Hubitat integration.

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I've had some things delay me but it might have been for the better as there is more and more info showing up on the thread. Today, I study PoE cable and PoE cameras and after that the switch situation. I'm already convinced of Blue Iris. Choosing the right cameras to serve for day and night will be my biggest low to medium budget challenge in not wasting money. There are plenty of YouTube comparisons but it is actually overwhelming. Actually the whole project will be focused on low to medium budget. Wish I could go high end but simply can't do it.

What are most of you using for PoE cable? Shielded / Non Shielded; Cat5 /Cat 6? Amazon / non Amazon as the shopping destination. My runs (eventually more than just the initial experiment of 1 or 2) will all be non elements exposed. Two of the runs (30 Ft. max each) will be exposed to the elements for 20 to 25 feet. I already have Paladin crimpers and need to study PoE terminals to see if they require anything different than my standard house computer ethernet needs.

One question I have been wondering. What is the benefit --- if any --- of having a security system run through my Hubitat Elevation??? I don't need full detail just short why or why not info.

Many thanks again to everybody on this thread. It is really taking the edge off the project. I might even write up a tutorial after for other bare bones beginners. Only thing is - it probably wouldn't involve the incorporation with a Hubitat which I --- initially assumed --- was required.

I think the consensus from what I've read is that it's best not to have it run through HE, in that your security system should be absolutely robust. Sure, feed some triggers in HE etc if you like. Set up HSM. But if you are serious about it then have your security system running separately without any specific reliance on HE.

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Understood as to where you are coming from. Thanks

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If you're going to setup Blue Iris to record 24/7 I would recommend Cat6 over Cat5 because of the higher transfer rate. As far as shielded vs non-shielded I would say it depends on exposure to the elements. All of my runs are through attic space so I just used non-shielded. If you have anything that will be exposed to direct sunlight I would say use shielded cable.

As for interfacing with HE I do have some automations setup that interact with my cameras. For example when someone walks up to my front door the camera recognizes that a person is there and triggers a rule in HE that switches the HDMI input on my TV which displays the video from my camera. It also triggers an Alexa routine that greets the person at the door.

There is a lot that can be done by integrating your cameras with other systems so I would highly recommend it.

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Might want to open another Thread for this! So much to discuss - honestly, having made literally terminated 100's upon 100's of cables over the years. I prefer store bought to my own work! It's so easy to buy a 35' color coded cat 5 (or 6) cable. Unshielded cable - not sure if we're talking about the same thing - it's like phone cord. Most (?) cables are shielded and it's not really a question I don't think when buying. I used to have a parts store near me with basket upon basket to pick from, then when I came to Oregon I went to Anixter (or Graybar) - even without a vendor license you can walk in and buy this stuff in their area at the counter usually.
The only benefit really of non-term'ed cable is you can have a small puncture wound whereever you shoot through a wall or header etc.
My latest desire is to get facial recog working right - both with and without mask is now possible!

This is good stuff. I think I'll go Cat 6 unshielded (through the garage and into the full basement); and then for exposure to the elements shorter runs in the future, shielded will be the answer. I could do all attic but doing so through the eaves into a all hip roof construction the intersection / accessibility of the roof / eaves with the exterior walls is simply just too tight on a 4/12 roof pitch. I wish I had the Alexa device. I really like the answer message thingy.


in a bid for one up man ship - like the other poster, I too used a trigger event to tell the TV to display - but I took it farther - to picture in picture! worked great, heavy delay tho. in the end had to remove it as it triggered when cars went by on the street. (I used the camera triggers not BI). Now I just get up when someone knocks.... LOL.

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I do want to add that if your running POE, even tho it is low-voltage stuff, it can create hum and noise picked-up by various things - not kidding here - my hearing aid gets noise from zigbee switches sometimes! Since no camera to my knowledge runs > 1GB interface I'd run a cat 6, shielded when possible so as to protect from noise, and the opposite, pickup of fields that the cable crosses over (the Lhenry of a 12v furnace switch to the thermostat for example!). Just saying! cost difference is literally... zero in my quick search of the google.

I use the deepstack AI integration in BI so it only triggers when there is a person at the door.

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