Our 2019 and 2020 Owlcam footage has been recorded with a combination of miniature Sony Effio 700TVl cameras and cheap waterproof HD 1080P 3000TVL cameras, like the ones illustrated. All of the video has been captured either on an 8 channel AHD 1080N DVR like the one illustrated, connected to the cameras by lots of coaxial cable, with BNC connectors or a 16 channel 1080P Hikvision DVR.
We are very happy with the results we have had, but the technology and the terminology are a bit of a minefield! You can immediately see that we have a micture of TVL, 1080N and 1080P cameras, and a 1080N DVR and a 1080P DVR! What’s the difference? It’s all about the resolution! 1080 P gives you 2.1 megapixel images whereas 1080N is only 1 megapixel, and 700TVL is something else. But having 1080P cameras is a waste of time if you only have a 1080N DVR!
This article demystifies some of the terminology and dispels some of the myths that the camera salesmen promulgate. We are still trying to work it out to be honest!
Both DVRs come with software that enable you to manage the DVRs from your PC, in a web browser, over your intranet. The DVRs also have outputs for HDMI monitors and a USB mouse, if you want manage the DVR without the network. You can also register your DVRs with a cloud app and access the video feeds on a smartphone from anywhere in the world.
The recording software is quite clever. We have set the system to only record when it senses motion. This motion detection is done in software. The DVR is effectively recording a continuous loop. As soon as it detects motion it starts saving the video until the motion stops. It also saves 10 or 15 seconds seconds before the motion is triggered as well (you set the amount of preset in software). In the first year We saved 500Gb of video, most of which I have never looked at! This year we have set the system to overwrite the oldest video once the disk is full, which means I have the last week or so of video on disk at any one time. I then just dip in and record snapshots of the action as a video log of the nesting, hatching and fledging story.
Overall the Hikvision management software is more sophisticated than the Floureon software.
Our next generation of cameras will probably be digital but that is another ball game.