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Ask Slashdot: Open-Source Forensic Surveillance Analysis Software? 131

McBooCZech writes "I am trying to set up a surveillance system. It is not intended to build a real-time on-line surveillance system to watch a wall of monitors on a 24/7 basis. The main scope is to record video (24/7) from the fixed cameras around our facility and when needed, get back to pre-recorded video and check it for particular event(s). Of course, it is possible to use a human to fast forward through video using a DVR-type FF function for short video sequences. Unfortunately, for long sequences (one week), it is not acceptable solution. I was searching online the whole weekend for the open source software for analysis of pre-recorded video in order to retrieve events and data from recorded video but had no luck. So I ask you, Slashdotters: Can you provide some suggestions for forensic software to analyze/find specific events in pre-recorded video? Some examples of events: 'human entering restricted zone,' 'movement in the restricted zone,' 'light in the restricted zone.'"
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Ask Slashdot: Open-Source Forensic Surveillance Analysis Software?

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @11:33PM (#42804897)

    Something about an autoturret system for shooting squirrels with a watergun comes to mind...

  • Easy (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @11:34PM (#42804903)


    • Re:Easy (Score:5, Informative)

      by cusco ( 717999 ) <> on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @01:56AM (#42805657)
      No. Not just NO, but absolutely NOT. Zoneminder is barely a recording system with marginal live display capabilities, it is not a forensic tool in any sense of the word. No insult intended to the developers, but it is absolutely not adequate for commercial use.

      Developing forensic video tools is hard, it takes a long time, it costs a lot of money, and takes it an enormous amount of testing and tweaking. So far only the big names in security video have adequate Intelligent Video, aka Video Analytics, offerings, Milestone, Lenel, Verint, Exacq, a few others. None of them are cheap, Exacq is probably the least expensive and easiest to use, but most limited. Some of the camera manufacturers have pretty good analytics available in their firmware, normally for an extra licensing fee. Pelco, Axis, Panasonic, some others that I haven't used. You need to configure the VMS (Video Management System) to be able to capture the events though, and not all are able. Again, you're back to the big names.

      Join some of the forums on LinkedIn, especially CCTV Video Surveillance, IP Technology & Solutions. Yes, IAAPSP (Physical Security Professional) .
      • By "Forensic", do you mean accepted by the courts? If not, what does "forensic" mean and what does it have to do with a tool's technical capabilities?

        • by cusco ( 717999 )
          I don't think that Zoneminder can watermark exported video, which means that most courts will not accept it as being definitively unedited. Still admissible in most courts, but not accepted as fact.

          What I was referring to is the programs lack of the ability to analyze the video stream for desired activities, such as wrong-way traffic, package left behind, loitering, and the like. That's what is normally meant by 'video forensics', at least in the security field.
      • Milestone has a free version that'll record for... a week, I think? Also, VideoIQ cameras have built-in analytics, along with some Bosch cameras.
        • by cusco ( 717999 )
          Axis and Sony have free versions that work with one camera as well. In the case of Axis it's their full-blown standard version, Sony's used to be about half the feature set (haven't installed it for a long time, don't know if that's still true). If you want to add more channels you need to start paying. Any analytics beyond what is native to the camera is extra as well.
    • by Zedrick ( 764028 )
      As Cusco said, NO.

      I worked with CCTV for a security company for a few years, and I really really really wanted to replace the sony/geovision/axis/aimetis-crap with some open source solution, but I just wasted time trying to get it (something with comparable features) working. Zoneminder is (unfortunately) very primitive, outdated and not compatible with many modern network cameras.

      The proprietary junk is much better, at least for now.
  • by Anonymous Coward

    ZoneMinder is highly componentised and comprises both the back-end daemons which do the actual image capture and analysis and a user friendly web GUI enabling you to both monitor the current situation and view and organise historical events that have taken place.

    • Oh God! Your reply is exactly what was NOT asked in my post. Because of such a comments, the Slashdot is often overwhelmed by not relevant topics (posts). Thank you anyway.
  • A few suggestions (Score:5, Informative)

    by twoxyo ( 1747878 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @11:38PM (#42804939) Open Source Camera Security Software Open Platform Video Surveillance System
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @11:57PM (#42805067)

      From iSpy's uses and features page:

      iSpy is PERFECT for ghost hunting and UFO spotting (actually the reason I wrote it in the first place...)

      Sounds legit.

      • by SydShamino ( 547793 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:18AM (#42805175)

        Because no one has ever created something for a hobby then discovered it had a different, viable, commercial use.

        • by Anonymous Coward

          My problem with iSpy is that the source code is gigantic for what it does and doesn't compile without a ton of work. So you're basically trusting some exe from a UFO nut. It also has network support, http server, etc built in. Does it have secret code that uploads your webcam to some IP address if it detects a ghost? Who knows.

          • Does it have secret code that uploads your webcam to some IP address if it detects a ghost? Who knows.

            That seems relatively easy to check. All you need is a sheet, a pair of scissors, and traffic monitoring software on your router.

      • Some people are just jealous because they don't have ghosts and UFOs.
    • by Osgeld ( 1900440 )

      I use ispy for industrial automation type tasks when a butterfly flaps its wings and some weird anomaly pops up on one of the machines. Has a lot of features and works quite well

    • Don't forget OpenCV: []. As another post says, it may well be necessary to assemble components to satisfy a specific application. My experience has been that commercial systems are horribly inflexible for unique requirements.
  • by cinghiale ( 2269602 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @11:40PM (#42804951)
    It might be a lot easier to install sensors to log interesting events that you can go back and review the video.
    • by ColaMan ( 37550 )

      Yeah - we've got a stack of mobotix cameras with PIR sensors.
      Really cuts down on the noise if you're also doing motion detection - you can AND them together and only get motion from people (or hot objects - we use it to look for haul trucks)

  • by girlintraining ( 1395911 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @11:47PM (#42805001)

    Some examples of events: 'human entering restricted zone,' 'movement in the restricted zone,' 'light in the restricted zone.'"

    Just tell Homeland security that some occupiers are planning a protest. They'll pay for the install and maintenance of your system. Every now and then, leave a deflated half-assembled tent in the parking lot...

  • by Elbarfo ( 1197279 ) on Tuesday February 05, 2013 @11:48PM (#42805007)
    Many commercial DVR/NVR's will have this functionality built in. Motion recording, motion event triggering, motion search, and motion search by area are rather common features in commercial CCTV software. I have never seen anything approaching this in open source or free software.

    There are several brands I would recommend. Any of these can sell standalone servers or just the server software.
    Exacq (
    milestone (
    Avigilon (

    Of those three, Avigilon has the better video handling, IMHO. Especially when working with 3, 5, or 16MP cameras.

    All are somewhat comparable in price.
    • by icebike ( 68054 )

      Most of these as well as a couple dozen others are available very cheaply. Even Costco stocks surveillance systems.

      The problem might come with this requirement:

      Of course, it is possible to use a human to fast forward through video using a DVR-type FF function for short video sequences

      If these short sequence are the ONLY activity in the landscape, than any commercial system (under $500) will do. With the cheapness of these it really does not make sense to homebrew them.

      On the other hand, if there is a lot of activity and you are only interested in finding a small segment where something is
      happening, these, as well as any homebrew

    • Is installation of cameras just plug and play? I've heard that you have to mess around with baluns. Is that right?

      Also, what cameras to get? IR? Dome cameras or bullet? What mm should they be? How do you know?

      What about viewing over the Internet? Also, how easy is it to hack them? Any additional security recommended?

      How far should the low-voltage camera lines be from medium voltage (120 and 220 volt) lines to not cause interference?

      • Is installation of cameras just plug and play? I've heard that you have to mess around with baluns. Is that right? How far should the low-voltage camera lines be from medium voltage (120 and 220 volt) lines to not cause interference?

        There are a lot of ways to answer this. Much is dependant on the types of cameras you are installing. Standard video cameras (which will be the cheapest) simply require a CCTV grade coaxial cable (RG59 or RG6) and an 18 Ga. 2 conductor. There is specially made cable that has both these combined together, called Siamese cable. You will be able to get approx 1000' out of RG59 and 1200-1400' out of RG6. At those extreme lengths, being anywhere closer than 2' to HV lines (especially 220V) may cause interfe

  • I'm sure somebody here will help you with this. They probably shouldn't.
    • I'm sure somebody here will help you with this. They probably shouldn't.

      Why? Just like there's "significant, non-infringing applications" of DVD burners and the like -- there's perfectly valid reasons why someone would need to review their security tapes for activity.

      And just like DVD burners, outlawing them because they could be used for something you disapprove of is a bad idea.

      Or, are you suggesting we should withold all of our technical expertise based on what I can only assume is general paranoia that

      • I know how to do a lot of things I would not teach my own children how to do. It's really likely they'll figure these out on their own as I did, but it's best for the commonweal that I not help them do so now as the ability absent the guidance of experience could be harmful both to society and to them. Oddly enough having to earn that knowledge on their own is better for them too. From the stuff I have on hand in the house right now in common household goods I could make LSD, PCP, methamphetamine, Bath S

  • I'm assuming what you mean is you want to be able to detect motion in a real time feed. You may be able to cook up some voodo with "Motion". [] Although it may take some modifying because it is meant mainly for usb webcams, etc.
  • by AHuxley ( 892839 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:02AM (#42805095) Journal
    If you have a Mac and some cams (up to 60 cameras) []
    and []
    "SecuritySpy can send email notifications, play alarms, or run scripts when motion is detected."
    • Mac mini's start at $599 new. Don't bother with e-bay. They're always in demand and you end up paying pretty darn close to MSRP for something used anyways. Now mind you, I've never priced out a professional DIY Surveillance kits. So this still might be a cheap and effective route to go. Plus, you can 'Time Machine' backups of the video over a LAN, WiFi, or locally attached USB drive.

      • by AHuxley ( 892839 )
        Yes with a few day/night waterproof ethernet powered or wifi ready cams, it could be a good set up. ~$100 per cam?
        Until the led ring fails, then its day only :)
        • by cusco ( 717999 )
          Is this supposed to be a home or hobby system? If not then purchasing cheap cameras are a mistake. They're unreliable, insecure, feature-poor, and utterly inadequate for the stated usage.
  • Video analytics can only help out so much.
    Realistically, video analytics can and often does present a lot of false positives, so its not the be all and end all to security.
    I would not rely solely on CCTV for any half decent security solution, purely because it only offers after the fact protection.

    What I would be asking is what events are you specifically looking for ?
    I would honestly suggest you use CCTV as part of a security plan, and not using it as your only plan.

    Access Control systems can log who, when

  • Multiple webcams: []

    Motion can be told to act on or ignore a light switching off/on using a threshold.

    It can be setup to detect large or small amounts of motion and long or short periods of time before triggering.

    I'm not sure about singling out specific parts of the screen as triggerable/not triggerable.

    • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

      Yeah, I second that motion... probably the best software video monitor. Just point it at a V4L2 device, and it'll fill up a directory of still images or short .mov or .swf videos of everything interesting that happens in front of it. Very tunable.

      I had it looking out my window for a long time, so you can see snippets of cars driving by, and people walking up to and away from your door. Also had it aimed down the hallway to my computer room at one point, so you can see everyone enter and leave. You can co

      • by adolf ( 21054 )


        "Just point it at a V4L2 device" != analyzing video from fixed cameras around a facility.

        Motion is cool. Motion is not an appropriate answer for TFS (TFA?).

        (That said: Thank you for reminding me about Motion. I've recently had need to set up a simple, single recording webcam in my house with motion detection, for free or cheap, and had forgotten all about it. I have a USB camera scavenged from a broken HP laptop which is easily concealed.

        But for the level that the poster is asking about, involving

        • I don't know anyone in security that doesn't want a continuous recording of the video.

          Perhaps I'm misunderstanding, and these cameras provide a continuous recording, plus automatically upload selected highlights - that's pretty cool. If they're ONLY recording "interesting things" - that's not good (for me).

          • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

            Yeah, yeah you can configure motion to just log pictures / video at regular intervals, and then log more / at a higher framerate when it detects some threshold of activity. Then you can show your boss that something wasn't happening at a particular timestamp as well.

          • by adolf ( 21054 )

            Yes, you're misunderstanding. They can do that too. Or talk to a proper DVR system. Or combinations of these things, like always record lower-quality video (storage, bandwidth) and record higher-quality video when something interesting happens and send a series of stills out via email.

            It's almost as if someone had thought of this stuff before you did.

            • You can also have it store full-quality of the last 3 days, then have a script down-grade it for long-term storage but keep "active" footage as high quality. Motion is nice because you can extend past what any of the designers originally considered.
        • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

          Yeah, I should have put my last paragraph first.

          Hey, another interesting idea! Toss all your streams through a VLC VBR streaming encoder and monitor the bitrate. Then you can graph it using something like ntop or a munin plugin and see the peaks during the timestamps that some movement is happening. If the camera records and streams h.264 instead of mjpeg, then you might not even need the VLC part...

          Yeah, yeah, it's a hack. Just trying to manage expectations this time :P

  • Clearly out of price range, however this is a pretty cool solution: []. Does everything from 2d and 3d modeling to multi camera angles on a building.
    • by rwa2 ( 4391 ) *

      Yeah, I used to work with a lot of those people from Autometric. They used to have a cool Star Trek LCARS interface. They were trying to sell it to do airport security, and had some pretty nifty 3D models that showed the coverage field of every camera. It was more geared to giving you realtime alerts of stuff that's happening on cameras and sensors, though.

      It was a spinoff of EDGE, which was pretty much that 3D Earth sensor fusion thing from Snow Crash that was around on SGIs and big iron before being po

  • by Quila ( 201335 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:24AM (#42805225)

    What I want to know is where I can get the one that allows you to zoom in infinitely and refine a sharp image out of a few pixels.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      The word you are looking for is "Enhance."

    • Just shout "ENHANCE!! ENHANCE!!" at the screen.
    • What is this, the 1980's? A modern CSI Enhance Button can zoom into the perps DNA helix merely from a reflection in a hub cap and extract a portrait of their entire family.

      • Pshhhh. Everyone knows that REAL CSI crews don't use the footage from the cameras... They bend space time in such as way that the right reflecting off of the subject at the time of the crime winds up in the present, where they can view it.
        • Some people say CSI created the world. We're just the playback of an intricate global surveillance network's recording. Only mirrored for clarity. And enhanced.

  • by tlambert ( 566799 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @12:44AM (#42805295)

    What you are asking for is a computer vision system. Typically there are parts, but no complete Open Source implementation of what you want, unless you are willing to assemble them yourself, and accept somewhat less than commercial quality.

    Here's the most comprehensive resource: []

    Movid is the part you want for human tracking; typically these systems are going to require parallax cameras, meaning binocular vision, for some of the recognition.

  • Try training a neural network to recognize patterns.

    You could also have a rotation of shifts of humans responsible for each segment and have them reviewed in parallel.

  • I was searching online the whole weekend for the open source software for analysis of pre-recorded video in order to retrieve events and data from recorded video but had no luck.

    WTF is wrong with the editors, this is an obvious troll post with bullshit question. In about 3-seconds it takes to type open source video recording you get all the answers out of Google. Douchebag poster and double-douchebag for the editor who approved this non-story.

    Slashdot is now a corporate non-story advertising medium full o

    • by cusco ( 717999 )
      This is where Google is not your friend. There is no open source or even inexpensive option that will do this adequately. Several posts higher up are the names of several offerings, all commercial, which will do the job for varying costs depending on the options selected. Zoneminder can't even come close.
  • There's a cool trick called "background subtraction" that lets you watch only the pixels that are changing in a video. For an example, check out this open source software: Scene [].
  • There are a million and one off the shelf solutions that will detect movement, etc and trigger recording based on it and likely something came with the cameras. I don't know of any that both record 24/7 AND highlight events. It might be possible to duplicate the video stream through two solutions or have overlapping coverage cameras with some streams set to record 24/7 and some that trigger on movement.
  • The easiest way is to combine it with running an event based system in parallel such as the hydra control freak. This will let you record just the events based on
    sensors placed in the correct places external to the camera. You can then view just the events very easily and if one warrants further investigation relate the time back to your 24/7 based recorder. Using PIR, IR beam or other systems in the protected zone will provide much more reliable intruder detection that trying to do video content analysis,

  • Try the software from RetailNext. They have a very robust analytics software, which can do Dwell Analytics, People counting, Face Detection , Gender Recognition etc..
  • Kestrel. Nuff sed.
    • Not nuff said, where can I find this Kestrel. A google search learns me that it is a bird or a starship from Star Trek.

  • I think this is the base level functionality for most systems. They'll only record information when the lighting in the frame changes or something passes in front of the camera. Even your basic Swann security system will do that, and let you watch highlights from your iJunk. Typical on Enterprise grade CCTV products as well, with export options to various USB devices or email. Better packages will print activity reports as well. Dalmiere is another Enterprise grade device I've used - plug it in with its cam
  • by Anonymous Coward

    My QSee from Costco has zones that you set up by drawing a mask on a grid atop the video for each camera to show which spots in the view that you care about, such as the sidewalk on a grassy lawn or front door on a house, and when something comes into that field of vision, the DVR marks a list of "events" where something entered that specific zone. You search by events per camera, not by human recognition or anything fancy, so motion triggers an event and in quiet areas there are only a handful of motion ev

  • by Robot3 ( 2834213 )
    And do somone have forensic tools for web pages? Wit which i can see who acces to my pages?
  • They have very nice camera's and the software you get for free with it. []

  • by adolf ( 21054 )

    Why are you going back in time for analysis?

    There's a plethora of products that record (DVR-style) with analytics for the stuff you're asking about, but they all do it in real-time as it happens. Milestone comes to mind, as do Panasonic's offerings.

    Why do they work this way? Because if it were that important, you'd want to know right away, not a week later when you get around to it.

    Failing that, if visually scanning a weeks' worth of video is taking too much time to be worthwhile, then perhaps you need to

    • Why are you going back in time for analysis?

      I'm picturing trailcams as used by hunters. They're just ruggedized digital cameras. Some of them even have the LCD part of the camera inside a clamshell so you can review the video up a tree or what have you, without needing an additional device. To my mind it would be better to have wifi so I can just pull the video from the device once I get into range, and the owner could install a massive antenna if they chose to do so. Maybe build a mesh network, have them wake up and chat with one another on a schedu

      • Yes, they do some things pretty well, and it has become a competitive market, meaning low prices. Potential drawbacks: fairly narrow view angle, no panning, bulky. Wifi can probably be added easily by sticking an Eye-Fi in the SD slot, but I don't know what kind of range those have. Limited internal battery capacity remedied by adding external power. Can be configured to save single or multiple snapshots or record video at intervals or on motion detected.
  • "I am trying to set up a surveillance system ... from the fixed cameras around our facility"

    I see, so when you say Open Source what you really mean is Free because this has nothing to do with using and contributing something back. Otherwise you would have said so.

    For example, you could donate to the programmers who make the software that you decide to use. You could have an interesting custom requirement that you could make a module for and release as OSS. Or you could find and fix bugs or documentation for

    • Hmmm.... strange. Do you think free software (free as a beer) is just for people who contribute somehow? Crazy idea. Anyway, I was using SQLObject for commercial purposes for long time. And finally.... SQLObject 1.3.0 release was partly my work. Think about it. Anyway, thanks for your comment.
      • by kegon ( 766647 )

        Not all Free software is open source and not all open source is free. It seems to me that your only concern is that the software is free; that's how you phrased it.

        Yes, I think if your company uses open source software then you should try to give something back because you are a commercial user and you are no doubt saving a bundle of money.

  • I use vitamin D software to monitor the webcams in my apartment. [] It does a pretty good job detecting whether something is a person or not, and you can configure it to send you an email when it detects something. It also only records video surrounding an event. The starter version is free and has some restrictions in terms of total cameras, but its not that expensive overall. Presumably a place that has a "restricted zone" has a security budget more than $0.
  • There is a product called Vindex which is specifically designed for "indexing" video. It intelligently collects up "events" and displays a gallery view (bunch of thumbnails) representing these events. By "intelligently" I mean that it isn't just looking at raw differences between frames but does considerably more math to eliminate false positives.

    It can also process video at up to 60x normal playing speed, which means analysis of a night's worth of video takes a few minutes. Compared to just playing at h

  • Okay, so yet again, another Slashdot question along the lines of this:

    "I have something that I want to do that is demanding, and which at its core uses technology that had to be specially developed to fill a niche. But I don't want to pay for it." *waves open-source flag* "How about something open-source? Can you guys do the legwork for me and tell me how to get this for fre*backspaces a lot* using open-source?"

    I favor open software and open standards. But don't you think that if it takes a bit of hard

    • " But don't you think that if it takes a bit of hard work to come up with a solution, the people who did the work should get compensated? "

      When was the last time you sent Linus Torvolds a check? If people want to write and offer Open Source code for free, why would you feel the need to complain about it, especially given the fact that the answer to my question is undoubtedly that you never have sent Linus a check.

      • by Shoten ( 260439 )

        " But don't you think that if it takes a bit of hard work to come up with a solution, the people who did the work should get compensated? "

        When was the last time you sent Linus Torvolds a check? If people want to write and offer Open Source code for free, why would you feel the need to complain about it, especially given the fact that the answer to my question is undoubtedly that you never have sent Linus a check. entirely missed every point I stated. Nothing I said was anti-open-source. I even stated that I favor it. But you need to be realistic as well. And it's a well-known fact that even open source is supported by commercial enterprises. I've bought Transmeta processor-driven devices in the past, for example. So yes, I have sent Linus Torvalds a check.

        Have you?

        • You are pro-Open Source, but anti-people-asking-for-open-source-solutions. Got it. Off you go now ...
          • by Shoten ( 260439 )

            I'm pro-open-source for the reasons that open source is good...openness. I'm anti-people-wanting-a-free-lunch, which is all this topic is really about. He doesn't care about openness, he just wants something for free. Open source is not about getting something for nothing, it's about sharing information so that things may progress and the common good can be served. But apparently, you're not intelligent enough to grasp the difference.

            So...noticed you didn't answer my question about sending Linux Torvald

            • " But apparently, you're not intelligent enough to grasp the difference."

              If you possessed a modicum of intelligence combined with a true understanding of the myriad reasons why different people choose Open Source as a development paradigm and as their software solutions, you would ... ironically ... realize what a true moron you are.

              "So...noticed you didn't answer my question about sending Linux Torvalds (yes, that's how it's spelled by the way...get the man's name right, at least?) a check. Is that a no?"


              • by Shoten ( 260439 )

                Ooh, big words like "modicum." I'm impressed. I'll let the modding history of my comments versus yours stand as third-party assessment of who grasps things more fully here. And I recognized that your question was intended to be rhetorical, but surprise...there was actually an answer other than the one you assumed to be valid, and which directly tapped into what my point was about commercial enterprises being the basis of financial support for all...not most, all..large open source projects.

  • by Anonymous Coward

    I'm not entirely sure that what I'm about to recommend will hit a home run for you, but I wanted to throw it on the table anyway so you can review your options and see what works for you.

    I run video surveillance at home. I have two outdoor cameras mounted in hidden locations which watch the front door and back door of my house. (my house is on a corner, so in some way shape or form both the front and back door is visible in some way from the street) I did this after a package went missing on my door step th

    • Thanks. Your post helped a lot. After reeding of all posts here, I think I am looking for very similar solution. - IP camera - POE (Power Over Ethernet) - "Direct To NAS Recording" (FTP or SAMBA) - inputs for PIR sensors - Infra Red light for night vision (the problem is some cameras have IR LEDs, their light can be visible a little bit, when lighting) - Mechanical IR-Cut Filter Switch - basic surveillance functions incorporated in to the camera (camera sends stream when preset event
  • Hello,

    In short if you don't want to keep reading: OpenCV + IP cameras (and a lot of work).

    Now if you actually want to keep reading:

    I am Leonardo M. Rocha and I have worked as software engineer in the research area of in this kind of systems for 3 years in this team:
    You can check some publications on the subject here:

    There is no right answer, it all depends on your particular system, what it actually has to do, the light conditions, the a

  • I use ZoneMinder with most cameras set to 'Modect' so video is saved only when motion meeting my criteria has been detected.
    ZoneMinder presents an array displaying the number of events recorded by each camera in the last hour, day, week and month.
    If you also kept your 24/7 recordings you could use the ZoneMinder events to pinpoint where/when to go look in your video archive.

  • Here is a product that is used for keeping people away from industrial machines: []
  • I've some professional experience with camera systems and I can echo/add the following - 1) use multiple types of sensors. Zigbee based devices, or for a larger office building type scenario something like ubiquiti's mFi. Most cameras have I/O and many have an SDK you can mash up something that fits your exact needs but watch out for 2) all these camera companies have complicated learning curves for their hardware, few on-line support communities compared to other hardware categories I work with, little

  • It's not quite clear to me what you want to do... but here at work, we have a number of cameras in our server rooms, um, sorry, "computer labs", running 24x7x265.25, on servers running Linux. On that, we have motion taking the feed, and when motion is detected, whether it's people, or the lighting blinking, or too many clouds alternating with sun, and it sends the video in an email.

    Will that do what you want?


  • Using motion: [] you can define restricted areas, define amount of change in the field of view to trigger some kind of alarm, define special commands that are triggered when uploading video stream, etc. Quite versatile I'd say.
  • Some thoughts. (Score:3, Informative)

    by jasauders ( 2834617 ) on Wednesday February 06, 2013 @03:26PM (#42812031)
    I posted this anonymously but now I can't find it on the listing here. If this is a repeat from another post (that I cannot find), I apologize. I'm not sure if my thoughts here will be directly in line with what you want, but I wanted to share what I did in case it would help.

    To start, ZoneMinder is a project that I have a soft spot for. It's a very complex application that works moderately well than even some brand new proprietary solutions out there today. That said, ZoneMinder has to go through a monumental facelift before I would consider using it again. Last I used it, it would run for a few minutes then just stop recording and populate thousands of errors in my syslog. ZoneMinder has had some recent developer activity with some individuals who are taking it upon themselves to do work on it and patch it accordingly. The problem is, these individuals don't have access to patch the core version in the repos. I wouldn't be surprised if a large update comes out soon or that ZoneMinder gets forked under a different name with all of the updates. Either option is possible. That said, ZM isn't my software of choice at the moment.

    Instead, I use Motion. Just a quick disclaimer, Motion is admittedly not for Grandma Edna who never used Linux before. It's something that requires a little bit of setup. It's a daemon, not a GUI. You have to create the directories for each camera feed. You have to adjust all of the parameters you want within the config file. You have to lay down the initial foundation upon which Motion will run on. If you want some insight with getting started, have a look at my YouTube tutorial I set up a few months ago. [] (take note there's also a Part 2)

    Motion works by watching the MJPG stream of your camera and taking snapshots accordingly. Those snapshots can be configured to stay regular JPG's, or you can turn off JPG's all together and have the system stitch them into an avi file and have more of a video-esque playback. Because MJPG isn't that fantastic with compression, it's literally impossible to have a flawless amazingly epic jaw dropping 3000 FPS feed that looks like BluRay quality. MJPG is solid, but it's not something you would want to be running as a traffic cam where every second makes a tremendous difference. The reality is when it comes to surveillance footage, it only takes a single JPG to really capture the face of a crook. MJPG is very well suited for things like that, so running an MJPG setup at 2, 5, 7, 10 FPS, whatever it may be could very well be a home run.

    As I said, Motion has no GUI. You may be wondering, but wait, I want to have a montage of all video feeds actively running. You can do that relatively easy, but it'll take a little bit of leg work. Here on the Motion FAQ I posted some ideas as to what you can use to create your own montage. This will be very basic with no additional features, but you'll see all cameras running at once. Likewise, you can click on each feed to see it full screen. I built my own motion.html file and just keep it saved locally and open it in a web browser when I want to have view. I use Method 2, but each one should serve its purpose: []

    I personally run dual streams. I have Motion running at 1 FPS with the MJPG stream of my cameras which saves the JPG's accordingly to the specific directory for that camera... meaning my camera out front will save the JPGs in /media/surveillance/front_cam/snapshots. On top of that, I also run 24/7/365 full time recording, which utilizes the H264 stream of my cameras. Motion does not support H264, so this particular stream is not involving Motion at all. Motion is only dealing with MJPG. My cameras have
  • Try adding MTI to your search terms.

"Well I don't see why I have to make one man miserable when I can make so many men happy." -- Ellyn Mustard, about marriage