Hikvision ColorVu DS-2CD2347G1-L(U) and a sincere thank you
  • My hope with this post is to make a positive contribution. A few friends and I decided that we were all going to work on house projects at the same time. 3 of us decided to tackle home security. Our last project was securing our networks, so this was the next logical step.

    The guy who went all in on Unifi for his home network went with Unifi for his security system. It was straight forward, setup relatively quickly, and he's using the G3 flex. He hasn't had any issues to speak of, but the cameras leave a bit to be desired.

    The second guy went with a Eufy system. They're kind of an odd duck, there's some local recording happening, but he's still got to deal with sending data to foreign servers to access remote features.

    After locking down my home network, I knew I wanted everything local. I knew I wanted an app for my phone, I wanted a multiplex app for Apple TV. I wanted a doorbell cam. We want what we want and SecuritySpy was the only option that made sense to me. I didn't want to use my work computer for this, so I was going to need to get a capable system to run SecuritySpy on. I hackintoshed an Intel NUC (super easy) running Catalina. I'm also using it as part of home automation system. I decided on the Hikvision ColorVu DS-2CD2347G1-L(U) in both 2.8mm and 4mm and went with the DS-HD1 for the doorbell. The doorbell camera quality is exactly what you'd expect, but the audio is pretty good, and that's mostly why I wanted a doorbell at all. What really blew me away was the quality of these ColorVu cameras and the ease of setting them up with Securityspy. I've setup servers before with dynamic DNS and this was by far the easiest approach to that. Within 90min I had the software setup, my first camera added, dynamic dns, the phone app, and the ATV app. That blew my mind. I expected it to be more difficult. More manual. This was more or less all automatic. The low light capabilities of these cameras is out of this world. Very very low noise, the picture is 2-3 brighter than what my eye sees using the ambient light from the neighborhood porches. Just crazy all around. I painted my cameras to appease the HOA which meant taking them apart. They break down into 4 pieces. Couple coats of spray paint and I was good to go. I just wanted to take a moment and say that not only am I excited about my new security system, I'm confident that I also made the right decision. I spent a little more than the fella with the low end Unifi setup, but it was totally worth it and I have a feeling that he'll be upgrading his to try to keep up with me. I love that my system is secure, doesn't rely on any outside servers, and no foreign company has access to my data. Thank you to Ben, the SecuritySpy team, and the great members of this forum for helping me figure out what I needed.
  • Totally agree with your comments on how great and easy SecuritySpy is to setup. I too was blown away at the feature set on offer, how polished the software is, and that it all works so well with the various remote access methods. Ben’s support on here is second to none and that alone is more than worth the license costs. I’d recommend SecuritySpy to all my friends if only Macs were more affordable, which leads me onto the following question...

    I’d love to know more about your Hackintosh configuration with an Intel NUC please. I’m running SecuritySpy on my previous MacBook Pro 2013 laptop which means it can’t be used for anything else. Which model did you buy, what CPU / specs did you go for, how much did it all cost? Is it reliable, any driver issues?

  • Paul, my original plan for the NUC was to run an ESXi server and use it as the hub for my home assistant install as well. That didn’t go so well, but it probably had more to do with my lack of experience with ESXi than anything else.

    As far as Catalina goes. It’s really really easy on a NUC because there aren’t many variables and there’s usually someone who has already done it. I went with the NUC 10 i7 which is about $600 plus ram and HD, but you could probably save some money going with an older or less powerful setup. I believe the NUC 8 has better onboard graphics so for a dedicated machine that might even be a better choice. I’m only using about 10-12% with 4 cameras. I’m not going to post the link, but google nuc 10 technolli hackintosh and click the YouTube link to watch how easy it is. A little googling from there will fill in the blanks. Someone recently figured out Bluetooth/WiFi , but if I was relying on either of those, I’d just buy an adapter. Usb-c works fine. Anything thunderbolt requires a reboot meaning that I can’t hot swap thunderbolt devices. I don’t see that as a big deal personally.

    The real issue with the nuc, comes down to placement. When I l’m using the app on my phone or on iTunes the fan kicks on almost instantly and you can hear it from 20’ away. I’m looking at options to either swap out the fan or a fanless case from Akasa. The thing gets loud.
  • So glad to hear you've both had such a good experience with our software SecuritySpy, many thanks for your kind words!

    I'm also interested in the Hackintosh, it sounds surprisingly easy, and the CPU usage is impressively low. Are you getting hardware video decoding from any of your cameras? You can see this in the Camera Info window in SecuritySpy 5.2.4 and later - click the header bar where you see the column names and add the "Hardware Video Decode Status" column. How many cameras indicate hardware decode (a "HW" indicator) vs. software decode (a "SW" indicator)?

    One drawback of Hackintosh setups we've seen in the past is lack of hardware video processing, so it would be interesting to get your feedback about this.

    I do think the current Mac mini lineup is great, but of course can't beat your NUC in terms of cost! I think we're going to see some great things once apple start shipping the Apple Silicon Mac minis - the performance-to-cost ratio is set to increase significantly.
  • I don’t mind getting into more detail about hackintosh. It’s something I’ve done on and off for almost 15 years.

    I do have hardware decode working. On my other machine I edit a lot of video with Final Cut Pro so getting hardware acceleration going on hackintosh was really important to me.

    General rule of thumb is Mojave and later require onboard (iGPU) that supports quick sync. Intel i3, i5, i7 post Haswell should all have quick sync and I think anything skylake and on can do h.265. This is a separate function than your traditional nvidia or amd gfx cards. You can get the dedicated graphics card working and still not have hardware encode/decode, so that part is really important.

    The one I bought has An i7 10710u. It’s a 6 core laptop processor that has a base frequency under 2ghz and can turbo boost over 4ghz and it has intel uhd 300 graphics. If I wanted to, I could run a graphics card via thunderbolt as long as it was on and plugged in before I started the computer. Only AMD graphics cards are supported post high Sierra. The machine has 16GB of ram and a 500GB m.2 nvme drive.

    Onboard gigabit Ethernet works great. Onboard WiFi/Bluetooth in this machine is a little wonky, but if those are features you really need you can do so with a usb dongle. Continuity/handoff/watch unlock are not likely to ever work on this machine unless you use the m.2 slot to install a proper Bluetooth/WiFi pci card. Usb-c works, sleep/wake works. It shows up as a Mac mini in the system profiler.

  • I don’t think I properly answered your question. I have hw decide on all 4 cameras currently. I only have 4 so I can’t comment on the limits.
  • Thanks for your advice mschachtjr, I'll have a look to see what is possible with Hackintosh and the Intel NUC 8s. There are certainly plenty of CPU options as seen in this link! https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Next_Unit_of_Computing#Eighth_generation
  • Thanks for the info @mschachtjr - it's great that hardware decode works properly, as this is so important for SecuritySpy to keep CPU usage down.
  • Hi.
    Would like to short comment on having everything 'local'.
    You are using an Intel NUC, yes.
    How did you disable the bluetooth discovery built in to the motherboard.
    Intel uses these in every NUC to provide enterprise backend support for crippled remote devices.
    If you are using any kind of DDNS or VPN, then your network is not 'local' or 'secure' from several forms of review.
  • I’m sorry, I had made the assumption this was a troll free forum. Thanks for proving me wrong. I think given the context it’s fairly clear that I was talking about not sending video content to a server in China, but thanks for your worthless contribution to this conversation.
  • Please keep the discussions civil - this is indeed a troll free zone!

    I think what @mschachtjr was referring to in terms of "local" is that nothing is sent to the "cloud" for analysis or storage. With these cloud solutions (Nest, Ring etc.), someone else has control over, and access to, your data. Obviously this is a big drawback of cloud solutions, especially as big data leaks/hacks are not uncommon these days. With SecuritySpy, all recording, video analysis, web serving etc. is done on the local machine, under complete control of the user.

    If set up correctly (e.g. with strong passwords and limited port forwarding), DDNS is not in an of itself a security issue, nor is VPN.

    However, concerns about cameras "phoning home" and contacting servers in China are not unwarranted - this has been observed with many Chinese-brand cameras, even major-brand ones. It's unclear what kind of data they are sending back - probably not video data - but it's all encrypted so it's difficult to tell. The best solution to this, if you're worried about it, is to set the cameras up on a separate LAN with no internet access.

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