Using a Webcam as a security camera -- software suggestions? - DonationCoder.com
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Author Topic: Using a Webcam as a security camera -- software suggestions?  (Read 738 times)
mouser
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« on: July 14, 2015, 11:44:55 PM »

Hey folks,

I'm looking for some (MS Windows) software recommendations.

I'm rarely away from home for days at a time -- but on those rare occasions when I am, I'd like to be able to run some software that does motion detection from a webcam and instantly sends updates to an online source (emailing snapshots would be nice).

The use case I have in mind is fairly specific -- if someone breaks into my house, I'd like to have some images of the event.  I presume they would steal the computer and equipment, so the software is going to have to send the photos quickly before it's disconnected.

Any recommendations, paid or free?
« Last Edit: July 14, 2015, 11:58:01 PM by mouser » Logged
Edvard
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« Reply #1 on: July 15, 2015, 12:03:03 AM »

I assume you're asking for a Windows solution, but I do have a solution if you have a spare box or old laptop sitting around, and can install some flavor of Linux on it (*cough* Debian *cough*).  After setup, install a sync service like Dropbox or Copy, then install Motion.

http://lavrsen.dk/foswiki/bin/view/Motion/WebHome
Quote
Welcome to the home of Motion, a software motion detector.

Motion is a program that monitors the video signal from cameras. It is able to detect if a significant part of the picture has changed; in other words, it can detect motion.

It's a command-line program, so it's very light on resources, the sensitivity, snapshot interval time, and snapshot folder location can all be set.  So just configure it to dump snapshots in your Dropbox/Copy/SpiderOak folder, and voila'... remote monitoring.

For Windows, I know WebcamXP was one of the more popular webcam softwares around, and the free version has motion and audio detection.

http://webcamxp.com/home.aspx
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News:

webcamXP Free and webcamXP Private now with Motion and Audio Detection. We have decided to extend the features of those 2 versions to allow everybody to put in place home security even with the free version. The only feature which remains specific to webcamXP / webcam 7 PRO is the continuous recording (DVR). A license for webcamXP Private allows supporting up to 4 cameras and removing or changing the webcamXP watermark displayed over the video streams and recordings.


Dunno other than that...
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mouser
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« Reply #2 on: July 15, 2015, 12:22:12 AM »

I see WebCamXp folks also make this: http://www.netcamstudio.com/
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Edvard
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« Reply #3 on: July 15, 2015, 12:48:01 AM »

Good catch  Thmbsup
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Deozaan
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« Reply #4 on: July 15, 2015, 02:04:22 PM »

If you set up a program like OBS to just record your webcam, you can leave it running while you're gone, just doing a Replay Buffer (of, say a minute) and then hook into that (or some global hotkeys or something) from some motion detection hardware/software to tell it to start streaming when it detects motion. This will allow you to watch your home get robbed in realtime!

And if the thief shuts down your PC in the middle of the stream, the streaming site (such as Twitch.tv) will have the stream automatically archived for a few days so you can save it or download it or view it.
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superboyac
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« Reply #5 on: July 15, 2015, 03:25:17 PM »

If you set up a program like OBS to just record your webcam, you can leave it running while you're gone, just doing a Replay Buffer (of, say a minute) and then hook into that (or some global hotkeys or something) from some motion detection hardware/software to tell it to start streaming when it detects motion. This will allow you to watch your home get robbed in realtime!

And if the thief shuts down your PC in the middle of the stream, the streaming site (such as Twitch.tv) will have the stream automatically archived for a few days so you can save it or download it or view it.
Well this is interesting!  I'll have to try this.
I remember OBS a couple of years ago, looks like it's better and still being developed, cool!
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Josh
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« Reply #6 on: July 15, 2015, 08:02:10 PM »

Best software per the Gartner Magic Quadrant is Blue Iris: http://blueirissoftware.com/
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mouser
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« Reply #7 on: July 22, 2015, 03:33:47 PM »

I ended up purchasing a dedicated wireless IP camera for this purpose, for $50 on sale; the Foscam C1:
http://www.amazon.com/Fos...g-Detection/dp/B00VN0G8GQ

The setup was extremely frustrating, but it does seem to work reasonably well, and will send emails with photos when motion is detected.  

The main key thing is that it needs NO pc running at all -- it is a self contained thing as long as it can connect to the wireless network, and as i described above, it will serve it's purpose even if it's destroyed soon after alerting -- as long as it has had a chance to send email beforehand.

So the nice part is I can just plug it in when needed and let it do it's thing, and it will send emails with photos if motion is detected.



I may still write a little piece of freeware to do the same thing using a webcam.. something with very few options and features dedicated to this task.
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