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buyabrick

Information regarding remote viewing of CCTV using iPhone.

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buyabrick

Hello just wondered if anyone had any advice regarding viewing CCTV footage both live and recorded via iPhone. I have been given some advice about buying a system which supports iphone apps to enable you to view live footage remotely and also recorded footage as well as control pan tilt and zoom cameras. I realise it's probably a bit of a specialist thing but I wondered if anyone had used one of these remote viewing apps and what benefits they offer, how practically are and whether they are user friendly to operate. I am looking at a few different security manufacturers who offer the technology but just thought I would seek an independent opinion before I set about purchasing. I have been looking at the CCTV systems on this website which are supplied with iphone apps and they seem to offer the features I need such as live viewing via iphone, playback and camera control. Just to give an idea, I require it for work purposes as I run a convenience store and we currently have a camera kit which is about 11 years old which obviously needs updating. We will probably need high definition and many of the recorders have built in video servers which support remote connection. I would like to be able to login using the app to monitor staff and just make sure things are ticking over and people are safe on the late evening shift as we are a licensed premises. Would like to know if anyone has installed a system that is compatible with iPhone apps and how smoothly it streams and whether its a cost effective option...?

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Gilps

I can't help with the iPhone side but may be able to offer some advice. I use a system at work from Swann which uses a dvr to record and playback. It has remote access via my android phone but I believe that there is a manufacturer supplied iPhone app available. On my android phone I am not restricted to using swanns own app as there are several third party apps out there and I'm guessing this is probably the case with apple too.
At home I run a Synology NAS drive and that supports IP cameras. It comes with a licence to run two cameras but you can add to that if you want.
Both of my systems have the ability to view remotely as well as reviewing recorded material. Something to bear in mind - when you set up the systems you settle recording quality, 720p, 1080i, etc,but you also specify the quality for the remote viewing stream. It is almost impossible to stream to a remote device at HD resolution. The bandwidth re quirement is usually too high. I have my upstream set quite low. This means that I can remote live view but the quality is not great. It's passable as I can recognise my staff and get an idea of what is going on. Meanwhile in the background the system make very good quality recordings.

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neilm

Interesting question buyabrick and thanks for your excellent response Gilps!

Beyond my competence to comment on unfortunately!

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tonybro

Like Gilps, I use a Swann 4 port DVR system. Never use it for remote monitoring, just across my LAN.

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buyabrick
18 hours ago, Gilps said:

I can't help with the iPhone side but may be able to offer some advice. I use a system at work from Swann which uses a dvr to record and playback. It has remote access via my android phone but I believe that there is a manufacturer supplied iPhone app available. On my android phone I am not restricted to using swanns own app as there are several third party apps out there and I'm guessing this is probably the case with apple too.
At home I run a Synology NAS drive and that supports IP cameras. It comes with a licence to run two cameras but you can add to that if you want.
Both of my systems have the ability to view remotely as well as reviewing recorded material. Something to bear in mind - when you set up the systems you settle recording quality, 720p, 1080i, etc,but you also specify the quality for the remote viewing stream. It is almost impossible to stream to a remote device at HD resolution. The bandwidth re quirement is usually too high. I have my upstream set quite low. This means that I can remote live view but the quality is not great. It's passable as I can recognise my staff and get an idea of what is going on. Meanwhile in the background the system make very good quality recordings.

Thank you for the feedback Gilps, so basically I will only be able to view the images but only in standard resolution. That sounds okay as long as I can see what is going on with regards to staff and making sure everything is okay. Do you think it is best to go with an IP based  system or was that just your personal choice? I have seen systems which are HD but not IP based i.e They run over standard CCTV cable and not ethernet cables. This means I will be able to use the cables from my old system, do you think IP is best for the remote monitoring? Should I move towards IP for the purposes of remote viewing and smart phone viewing?

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Gilps

It makes no difference to the remote viewing whether you use ip cameras or the traditional cctv cable type. Those are just methods of getting the camera footage back to the recording device. I've been happy with my Swann system using cctv cables. The cables cost more than ip cables though. My system is about 4 years old and I guess things may have moved on in that time. The only reason I use the ip camera at home is because it was available on MY NAS drive. I didn't buy the NAS for CCTV. I didn't know it was even a feature, but once I knew it was there I just had to have a play. With my home setup I had to use powerline adapters to carry the ip traffic to the area with the camera in then place a power injector in line to power he camera. I'm guessing a dedicated cctv dvr setup would power the ip cameras directly with a single ethernet cable carrying signal and power.
So if you don't mind running cables from the dvr to the cameras then I guess it doesn't matter which method you use. If you want to have cameras in a more remote spot and don't want to run cables then the ip solution is good but more expensive due to powerlines and power injectors. Speak to a specialist for advice on which gives the best picture. Maybe cctv is old hat and being phased out.

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