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I need a home camera system. It should be reliable and cost around $500, using it for 5 corner home surveillance and a few indoor cameras pointing at living room and down the bedroom hallway.

It should:

  • Come with/has at least 4 cameras and 8ch DVR
  • PTZ (all three), bidirectional audio, indoor/outdoor, weather proof cameras
  • night vision
  • motion sensing
  • viewing distance of at least 50ft
  • be able to store captures for 30+ days (I live in a cul-de-sac, so not a lot of traffic)
  • at least 720p
  • have an Android app
  • bonus: have an API

This is a big list and I've done some shopping on amazon but I wanted to see what other people have found and amazon's selection is limited to a few vendors. I realize that I can't get everything on the list. The systems I'm looking at are from Armcrest, Best Vision, and Funlux.

I'm also up for mixing and matching components, but I don't know if mixing and matching works due to compatibility and other things. I'm a software developer, comfortable building PCs, not sure if that helps.

EDIT: A little more research indicates I can mix and match DVRs and Cameras. For universal compatibility the DVR needs to be TRIBID, otherwise they will work with either cctv or ip or analog, or the mix is limited for example on an 8ch only ch 7 and 8 can do ip, etc...

EDIT2: It seems a surveillance kit could be cheaper than buying a la cart. The total cost would depend on the amount and quality of cable you buy. The consensus seems to be that the cables that come with the kits are poor in quality, to say the least. IMO, measure out the amount of cable needed, get a bit more in case of errors, and then see how much the total cost would be. If the cost of buying a la cart is a bit more, then pay the little extra for a lot more reliability. Otherwise get the kit.

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  • @Andy how much was your system?
    – ton.yeung
    Oct 27 '15 at 15:45
  • Right around $500.
    – Andy
    Oct 27 '15 at 15:46
  • Do those cameras pan tilt and zoom?
    – ton.yeung
    Oct 27 '15 at 16:18
  • The bullet cameras do not. You need to get a Pan/Tile/Zoom enabled camera. They may be included in one of the bundles Amcrest has available.
    – Andy
    Oct 27 '15 at 16:22
  • I dont think armcrest makes any PTZ weatherproof cameras. Would you happen to know if I can mix and match components (dvr/cameras). I suppose that's a different question.
    – ton.yeung
    Oct 27 '15 at 16:42