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Advice re simple/inexpensive CCTV system


New Member
Thread starter #1

I have tried over the last year to set up a CCTV/monitoring operation in my front garden, but this has been unsuccessful. I bought a wireless camera
Image: http://imgs.inkfrog.com/pix/orcface/10057.jpg
but cannot get the camera output signal to appear on my TV video channel. I then bought a 'USB DVR LEAD - 4 CHANNEL USB SECURITY CCTV VIDEO RECORDER DVR' through ebay
Image: http://images.channeladvisor.com/Sell/SSProfiles/73000535/Images/5/USB DVR Lead.jpg
but could not install the program necessary to use this as my PC (Win XP) kept giving error messages (I subsequently returned this item). NB. I have run a webcam on/from my PC without any problems.
Apart from the above-mentioned difficulties, my main problem now is the cost: I have been trying to keep the expenditure down to the smallest amount possible and I still need to do this. Things are not helped by the fact that I find some of the terminology used in advertisements confusing as they lack a full explanation, e.g., some refer to a wireless camera and then say just 'and connect this to your TV' although this clearly needs more detail.
Anyway, in an attempt to try and keep things as simple as possible, I've decided not to buy/use anything that works through my TV (which is being
used for normal TV-viewing most of the time anyway), or my PC, but get a system that is complete, i.e, it includes *all* the parts needed, i.e,
camera(s) (wireless)
receiver device required
recorder (2 hours max)
monitor (b&w or colour)
As it will be gathered from the above, apart from the set-up being complete and inexpensive, it will have to be fairly idiot-proof to set up and run.
Can anyone point me in the best direction please. Thanks.


New Member
David, from what your requirements appear to be (which are quite similar to mine from what I can see) you definitely want to consider an IP camera - but the question is which one.

I've been checking them out for a few weeks now and, for what it may be to you, I've come down to a toss up between Y-cam (Knight + Shell) and EyeSpy247Ext cameras.

Here's my little pros and cons summary:

Y-cam Pros:
- quality build with specialised hosuing (shell)
- well regarded by customers and reviews from what i have read
- built-in ir nightvision & wifi enabled
- affordable with a total cost around £230 all in
- uk support

Y-cam cons:
- two separate things to put together (camera + shell)
- fiddly cabling (from what it appears)
- video compromised by purple tinge (because it's optimised for night vision from what I understand)

EyeSpy247Ext Pros:
- all in one outdoor unit
- nightvision built-in
- supports wifi N (great for me as i am in a block of flats and want to keep an eye on my car that's quite a distance from my router)
- online recording and viewing which is free (well at least for 1 year)
- at £220 its a little cheaper than the y-cam solution

EyeSpy247Ext Cons:
- don't like the idea of an annual sub to eyespy for the online stuff but they say you don't have to renew if you don't want as the camera works stand alone anyway...which is great in case eyesppy are not around ;)
- brand new product so don't know what quirks it might have and there are no reviews yet (well none that i can find)
- ....still looking at it.

I'm trying to persuade other people in my block to chip to see if we can get a few of these ip cams for general security and at the moment i'm leaning toward eyespy but we'll see.

Not sure how much of this will be useful to you but hope some of it is (and to others of course).



New Member
Hi David...and others who might be interested of course :)

Well, I went with a set of eyespy ext cameras and can honestly say its been a very good decision, to date at least.

I was a little (ok more than a little) doubtful about whether I could get them up and running as eyespy and some reviews seem to claim but have to hold my hands up and say kudos to eyespy for making setup as efficient as described.

In fact the install system is rather neat because it does all the motion detect config work for you as well and starts recording within seconds of the setup.

The ext camera itself is tiny compared to equivalent bullet cams but doesn't seem to have any less quality and in fact both daytime and night time vision is rather good. The wifi n system on the cam works very well too as I have one of the cams a good 50m away from my router and so far no dropouts even with vans and cars crossing the path between where the camera is and where my router is.

As for eyespy's portal it's very simple and unfussy and while there are a few features I wish it had (which I have put forward to them) it does the job, especially since there is no dynamic dns to work about as their system takes care of ip changes to my router - not sure how it works as I didn't enter anything into my router, but it does :)

Anyway, just wanted to post an update to round off my last one.