Home Monitoring/ Smart Homes the thread!!!

I've been using Blue Iris for a few years, starting with version 4 and now version 5. I've experimented with a variety of NVR options including Surveillance Station, MotionEye, ZoneMinder, etc.

Overall BI has been very solid - its interface isn't the greatest but it is better than the alternatives. The level of flexibility and configuration are great, although it would be nice not to be bound to a Windows host. Surveillance Station is good, and easy to use, but the licenses per camera were obscene when I looked at it. BI had a reasonably high cost up-front but long-term its been decent.

I have a heterogenous camera environment, which drives some of the challenges that led me to BI. I have 7 outdoor cameras (all PoE Reolink), and inside I have cheap 7 Wyze wifi cameras covering common areas or pointing out windows. The Wyze cameras I flashed to the Dafang firmware to support RTSP. These cameras aren't flawless with BI as the stream often will disconnect/reconnect for a few seconds. Not a deal breaker for me, but not ideal.

I also have BI set up with GentlePumpkin's AI detection using DeepStack and it works very well. It does rely on additional set up - I run DeepStack in a docker container and the AI app on the BlueIris host.

I went from a bare-metal machine to running BI in a Windows 10 Pro virtual machine about 18 months ago. I use Proxmox as the hypervisor but it could easily be any host (KVM, VMWare, Hyper-V, etc). My host is a Ryzen-based machine thus I can't enable Intel QuickSync for video compression, so I initially I passed through an NVidia GPU but found it really didn't make any difference. Machines are fast enough now and BI can use the substreams on cameras for motion/AI detection and the high quality stream for viewing to aid CPU usage.

My VM has the following config:
- 8 cores
- 16GB RAM
- 100GB boot drive

I did a lot of experimentation - it seems like by overprovisioning CPU and RAM, my host performed better. CPU of the CM is rarely over 50% and averages around 30%; RAM usage hovers around 40-50% with occasional peaks. If you run the DeepStack AI on the BI host it will go up slightly.

I have a USB drive and a NAS that I store the clips and images to (in case the VM is ever unavailable, I can still access those files).

I use the BI app a lot - it received an update recently but still looks like it was smacked with an ugly stick. Its usable. The BI web interface (called UI3) is decent, and I only go into the actual BI console interface to do SW updates and change any configuration. I tend to have the web interface running 24x7 on a monitor for quick reference/monitoring like a dedicated NVR.

I'm no expert, but if you do have questions please let me know. I do have BI integrated with my home automation (Home Assistant) for notifications/detection as well.

Hope this helps.

The problem is your home could become alive and try to kill you. People need to be aware of this before giving to much to technology. I once seen a house eat a kid in animated documentary called Monster House. That house came alive because of magic but technology is magic to not advance people.

Baron Of Hell wrote:

I once helped a house eat a kid in animated documentary I wrote called Monster House. That house came alive because of magic but technology is magic to not advance people.

IFTFY. You aren't fooling us.

Dramatic Marlin wrote:

I've been using Blue Iris for a few years, starting with version 4 and now version 5. I've experimented with a variety of NVR options including Surveillance Station, MotionEye, ZoneMinder, etc.

.. snip ..

Hope this helps.

Thank you mucho much a lot. I've decided to start with Synology Surveillance Station on my DS2415+ for now and see how that goes. I'm starting with 2 cameras ( ANNKE C800 ) so I don't need to buy more licenses. It's a cheaper buy-in for me right now. If I'm not happy with it or decide to go with a lot of cameras, I'll switch over to Blue Iris. The setup you described is pretty much exactly what I would be looking at doing.

A friend of mine has a 2-bay Synology and was thinking about setting up monitoring. Once I started talking to him, he really got the hair and now has Surveillance Station running with the same exact cameras I am going to get so he's kind of my testbed.

Seriously - thanks for the detailed reply. I do feel I will switch to Blue Iris some day so I will hit you up at that time with questions. You did mention you upgrade the software, so I think that means you pay the yearly fee for the software. Is that correct?

-BEP

Seriously - thanks for the detailed reply. I do feel I will switch to Blue Iris some day so I will hit you up at that time with questions. You did mention you upgrade the software, so I think that means you pay the yearly fee for the software. Is that correct?

Yes - I prefer to keep current and the price, while not ideal, isn't too bad. The software update schedule is pretty routine as well.

Good luck!

Dramatic Marlin wrote:

Yes - I prefer to keep current and the price, while not ideal, isn't too bad. The software update schedule is pretty routine as well.

The price for the yearly fee is well-worth what you're getting out of it, in my opinion. If the software had a Linux release, I think I would have used it instead of going with the Synology solution.

My friend who has the 2-bay Synology caught a neighbor kid stealing some painters poles from the side of his house on Saturday. He was still getting his setup dialed in and it already helped him out. How timely.

-BEP