Computer and storage recs
  • New to securityspy and trying to learn. I have a 2010 mac mini (2.4 gHz Core2Duo with 4 gigs ram) which I use for home automation and whole house audio. I will be using seven 1080p h.264 ONVIF cameras, and I'm concerned that this box won't be up to the task, even running at 5 fps. Any thoughts? I am OK with looking at a new mini, and some ideas re specs would be appreciated. In that regard, I've read a little about compression. My reason for wanting to get the 1080p cameras is that the environment requires some "long looks", which most of the cameras would need. Would compression reduce image resolution, so that reading license plates or faces from a distance would be compromised?

    Also, given the amount of data these cameras will likely generate, I'd like to consider writing directly to off board storage. I have read some posts about recording directly to the NAS. I did ask support and got a good response basically not endorsing it but if so, a thunderbolt setup. Does anyone have any real world experience?

    thanks much!
  • Hi - seven 2MP cameras is a lot of pixels to process and you need hardware that is up to the job - check out our system requirements calculator to tell you what hardware is required for a particular setup. At 5fps (a modest but useful frame rate), your existing Mac mini should be capable of recording from all seven cameras. If you need a higher frame rate, or want to expand the number of cameras in the future, you might want to look at upgrading the hardware to a more modern four-core Mac mini.

    The H.264 compression doesn't reduce the resolution, but does reduce image quality to some extent in order to make small file sizes (as do all lossy video compression schemes). However, at a high quality setting for the H.264 encoder, you shouldn't notice much (if any) degradation; these algorithms are very clever and based around humans' visual perception systems, throwing away information that cannot be perceived, distilling the information down to what is necessary to produce as good an image as possible at the reduced data rate.

    An external thunderbolt drive would give you the best performance and reliability. Otherwise an external USB 2.0 or 3.0 drive should suffice. NAS devices can work well but are inherently less reliable due to the nature of a network connection vs. a bus such as thunderbolt or USB.

    Hope this helps!

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