Home Automation Systems - Wireless Security Systems Update

Good news for those folks looking to learn about and buy home automation systems and wireless security systems...

A new page has been added to this site to showcase the many diverse products from SmartHome, the premiere Home Automation manufacturer. This new page is just the start of a whole new segment for this site. Come back again and again as new products and recommendations are added.

Learn how to use the latest Insteon technology to control your home. Features include Home Control, Lighting Control, Temperature Control, and Home Theater Control devices. Find ways to monitor the yard, control the garage door, sense for water leaks and keep an eye on the front door.

Create lighting scenes for a quiet evening at home, a party, a romantic interlude, or watching your favorite movie. Just one touch of a button and the lights dim to the appropriate level.

For more control, use your computer or iPhone to keep track of things. Get held up at work but yet your girlfriend is sitting outside your front door waiting for you? No problem. Use your iPhone to send a code to turn the heat up, set the lights to the right level,
and open the front door.

All possible with these great Home Automation and Wireless Security System Products.

Be sure to visit the new page
HOME AUTOMATION to see what I'm talking about.

Updated Evocam List of Supported Webcams for Mac

I was looking at the server logs today and noticed that a past post of mine Q&A: What Wireless Gear Works With Evocam Software for Mac OSX? was the number one page viewed. Seeing how that post is now a bit out of date, I thought it would be a good idea to update that list with the latest news from Evological. Here is an Updated list of cameras and accessories currently supported by Evocam software for Mac OSX:
Last Updated: 21-Sep-2009. If these cams are available from our sponsor site, there will be an active link to that particular webcam.

Airlink Network Cameras
.....AIC250W Wireless G Network Security IP Webcam <<( image of gold star My Best WiFi Pick)
.....AIC500, AIC500w, AICP310, 747W
.....Pan/Tilt Supported

AirLive Network Cameras

Arecont Network Cameras

AvioSys Network Cameras
.....9060A IP Kamera 9060A Plus Internet IP Camera

AvioSys Video Servers
.....9100A IP Video Plus Network Video Server

Axis Network Cameras
.....206 Network Camera (0199-004)
.....207 Network Camera - Color
.....207W Wris Network Camera Wireless 802.11G 30FPS in VGA Res
.....207MW Network Cam - Wirelss Megapixel
.....210 Network Camera (0197-004)
.....213 PTZ Digital Video Camera (0220-004)
.....2100, 2120, 2130, 2420, Panorama, M1031-W
.....Pan/Tilt/Zomm Supported
.....MPEG-4 Video and Audio via RTSP Supported on 207 Series

Axis Video Servers
.....241Q Blade Video Server (0209-011)
.....2415, 2400, 2401, 2411, 2460
.....Pan/Tilt/Zoom Supported

Canon Network Cameras
.....VB-C10 Network Camera
.....VB-C50Fi All-in-One Camera & Server
.....VB-C50i Pan Tilt Zoom Network Camera w/Built-in Network Server
.....VC-C50i Communication Camera
.....VB-300 Wide Angle PTZ Network Camera
.....Pan/Tilt Supported

D-Link M-JPEG Network Cameras
.....DCS-900W Wireless Home Security Internet Camera
.....DCS-920 Wireless-G Internet Camera
.....DCS-1000, DCS-1000W
.....DCS-3220G CCD 2-Way Audio 4x Zoom 54Mbps Wireless Internet Camera
.....DCS-6620 10/100TX PTZ Dual Coded .05 Lux Optical Zoom Internet Camera

D-Link MPEG-4 Network Cameras
.....DCS-2000, DCS-2100, DCS-2120,
.....DCS-5300 Internet Camera
.....DCS-5300W Wireless Internet Camera
.....Pan/Tilt supported

Digitus Network Cameras

Edimax Network Cameras

Gadspot Network Cameras

Genius Network Cameras

GrandTec Network Cameras

Hawking Technology Network Cameras
.....HNC210, HNC300,
.....HNC320W Network Camera - Wireless

Hurviron Network Cameras
.....SK-N190, SK-N490, SK-N590

Intellinet Network Cameras
.....550710 Network IP Camera

IQinVision Network Cameras
.....IQeye 1.3MP IP Security Camera

JVC Network Cameras / Video Servers
.....VN-C30U, VN-A1U
.....Pan/Tilt/Zoom supported

LevelOne Network Cameras
.....FCS-0010, FCS-1020

Linksys Network Cameras
.....WVC54GCA Wireless Internet Home Monitoring Camera

Lorex Network Cameras
.....LNE3003 IP Network Security Camera

NCL Security Network Cameras

NorthQ Network Cameras

OvisLink Network Cameras

Panasonic Network Cameras
.....BB-HCM311A Network Camera w/2-way Audio
.....BB-HCM331A Outdoor Network Camera w/Audio
.....BB-HCM381A Network Camera (Pan/Tilt)
.....BB-HCM531A Outdoor Pan/Tilt PoE Security Cam
.....BL-C20A Wireless Network Camera
.....BL-C111A Network Camera - Wired
.....BL-C131A Network Camera - Wireless <<( image of gold star Most Popular WiFi Pick)
.....KX-HCM10, KX-HCM230,
.....KX-HCM250 Network Camera
.....KX-HCM280 Network Camera
.....Pan/Tilt/Zoom supported

Pixord Video Servers
.....1000 Network Video Server

Planex Network Cameras

Powerline Network Cameras
.....IP Camera

Sitecom Network Cameras

Sony Network Cameras
.....SNC-Z20N, SNC-RZ30N, SNC-M3W, SNC-P1
.....Pan/Tilt/Zoom supported

StarDot Network Cameras

StarDot Video Servers
.....Express 6

Swann Network Cameras
.....Max-IP-Cam Network Camera

Topower Network Cameras

Toshiba Network Cameras
.....IK-WB01A Wireless Network Camera
.....Pan/Tilt/Zoom supported

TRENDnet Network Cameras
.....TV-IP100W Wireless Internet Camera Server
.....TV-IP110W Wireless Internet Camera Server <<( image of gold star My Low-Cost Entry Pick)
.....TV-IP200, TV-IP200W,
.....TV-IP312W Wireless Day/Night Camera Server
.....TV-IP400 Advanced Pan/Tilt Internet Camera Server
.....TV-IP400W Wireless Advanced Internet Camera Server
.....TV-IP410 IP Based Camera w/PTZ

VCenter Network Cameras

Veo Network Cameras
.....Observer XT

Vilar Network Cameras

Vivotek Network Cameras
.....IP2111, IP2112, IP3133,
.....IP7131 Network Cam - Color
.....IP7132 Network Camera 802.11b/g

Vivotek Video Servers
.....VS2402, VS3100

Unsupported Cameras
Due to firmware limitations, Evological is unable to add support for the following cameras.

D-Link Network Cameras

Hawking Technology Network Cameras
.....HNC230G, HNC290G

Linksys Network Cameras

Livescribe Smartpen - Nice Mac Compliment

This post is a bit off topic as far as security measures are concerned, but given the fact that this site devotes a major portion of its content to Mac Compatible products like webcams and such, I felt that as a reader and Mac user, you may find this interesting...

image of livescribe pulse smart pen
A couple of weeks ago I picked up one of these SmartPens by Livescribe. Within a couple of days I was hooked and now I wonder how I ever got along without it.

Smart pens have been around for a while but none of them hooked on the concept created by Livescribe.

As I said, this isn't exactly security related but it is a useful and worthwhile product.

One second thought, this does play an important security role. Using this pen means that it isn't always necessary to carry a notebook computer with you. THIS reduces your security threats from theft etc. This
is a good security device.

To find out more about this unbelievable gadget, I encourage you to visit this link and find out for yourself how useful the
Livescribe Pulse Smartpen can be and how it can simplify your life.

Logitech Introduces 7 New Webcam Models

image of logitech webcam pro 9000
Logitech, a major webcam manufacturer has introduced a bunch of new web cameras - seven, to be exact. These include the Webcam Pro 9000, Portable Webcam C905, Webcam C600, Webcam C500, Webcam C300, Webcam C250, and Webcam C200. 

The range of prices run from a high of $99.99 for the
Webcam Pro 9000, pictured here (features a 2-megapixel sensor for 720p video), to a low of $29.99 for the Webcam C200 (includes a 1.3 megapixel sensor with VG video capture).  For more information on any of these cams, just click on the links.

Home Video Surveillance Setup - Part IV (Software)

Thanks for returning - this post is the fourth and final segment in this thread on how to set up a Apple Mac Compatible Video Surveillance Monitoring System...

In the prior segments, we've learned about how to select and prep a Macintosh computer for this system. We've learned about what types of cameras are available for us to use in this spy system. And we've seen what features these web cameras have that would be important to us. In this segment, I will be teaching you about some of the software you can use to capture and manipulate the images your spy cam(s) are going to gather for you.

As in all software selection processes, features and ease of use probably are going to dictate what you feel is the best solution for you. What one person might feel is important might not matter that much to the next. Please keep that in mind.

There are many software products available so creating a review of all of them would be an exercise in futility. Instead, I'm going to only concentrate on three of what I consider to be the best. But as I just stated, this is very subjective - you will need to work with each of these (or others) and make your own decision. My goal here is to give you a starting point where you can go on to experiment on your own and find the product that works best for you.

The three packages I will be referencing include
Ben Bird's SecuritySpy, Evological's EvoCam, and Econ Technologies ImageCaster. I've talked about and reviewed EvoCam and ImageCaster here in this blog. An in depth review of SecuritySpy is still on my "todo" list. However, I will provide a mini review here to complete this segment...

The one thing that all of these software packages share is that they are dirt cheap for what they do. I'm truly amazed that these developers can produce such high quality software for such a reasonable cash outlay. If I were writing these packages, I would easily ask 2 to 3 times what these folks are asking. That aside, let's look at what each of these puppies bring to the table.

SecuritySpy is produced by an individual (Ben Bird) versus a company. I don't see this as a plus or negative, just something you should be aware of. The current release is ver 1.6.2 and was published on 1/5/2009. This package is a bit more expensive than the other two but still reasonable. Some of the features include:
- Displays and captures live video from multiple cameras simultaneously
- Supports Macintosh-compatible video and audio input devices, including multiple DV devices
- Supports network video devices (Axis, Panasonic, Vivotek, Sony, D-Link etc.)
- Motion Detection and Timelapse capture features, with audio
- Built-in web server for remote viewing and administration (supports iPhone)
- Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) support for many network cameras
- Real-time MPEG-4 or H.264 compression for efficient storage of captured footage
- Broadcasting support for video delivery via QuickTime Streaming Server (QTSS)
- FTP upload feature for off-site storage of captured footage
- Motion-triggered events such as email notifications, alarms and scripts
- Pre-capture buffer to capture video and audio before the time of motion
- Browser feature for playback of captured footage, with synchronised multi-camera playback
Of all these features, the ones that stick out are Pan/Tilt/Zoom for remote control of your camera, remote viewing capabilities through an iPhone or iPod Touch, and Pre-Capture buffer - this means the software can go back in time and record captured video a few seconds prior to a triggered event. The only negative I see is the pricing structure ramps up as you add more cameras. You can find more information on this application by visiting the link above.

EvoCam is another very capable video capture application with some nice features as well. I won't go into great detail here as my review is already on this site, but I will go over a few of the highlights. Current version is 3.6.5 and was released on 8/1/2009. Pricing is very modest at $30 for a single user license with site licenses available. Upgrades are also modestly priced.

Some of my favorite features are simultaneous multi-camera support. Each camera can be in it's own window with it's own independent settings, Support for any quicktime capable webcamera with unlimited quicktime effects, Triggered events and remote alerts, and a never ending list of 3rd party webcam support. To see a list of supported cams, just visit my post
Evologicals supported webcams. A full featured download is available for a 15 day free test. I suggest you take advantage of this by visiting the publishers website link above.

ImageCaster is the least updated software title of the three talked about here. Current version is 2.1 and it was released on 4/26/2006. A lot has happened in the webcam universe in the last few years and this package needs to be brought up to date. It's a commercial product with a cheap price tag of only $30 with free updates for life. That's a nice feature but if updates are long in the making, that really doesn't mean much.

However, given the age of this release, it must have been years ahead of it's competition for it's still very current in it's capabilities. And it has a few features still not in the other packages. My favorite is the ability to manipulate the images captured. You can add graphic overlays, put borders around your image, rotate, embed the image in a larger picture, and generate a variety of output formats. You can also set up a schedule when you want your webcam running. These features would serve a business well that wanted to broadcast live events. I could see a resort or club using this as a great advertising tool.

Of the three packages, I find the user interface of ImageCaster to be the easiest to navigate and understand. Not, that the other packages are hard, this one just happens to suite me best and seem the most intuitive. This package is also available as a free trial where you can download the latest version and test it with your webcam to see if it will work. Visit the site link about for more information.

Alright, there it is, a quick look at three different video capture software packages. Another reason I've chosen to showcase these three applications is that they ALL allow you the chance to download a free copy and test to your hearts content. Please remember, this post has only touched the surface of what each of these software products are capable of. I can't emphasis enough how you should download a free trial version of each one and test it to see how it will work for you. Spend some time on each site and read everything the publisher has to say about their product. Education is a good thing and you're going to learn lots about webcam security by visiting all of these sites.

Ok, that's it for this thread. You've learned the basics about setting up your own Mac based Computer Security Video Surveillance System - quite a mouth full but very exciting to fathom. And the best part is that it's pretty easy to do with incredible results. I hope you enjoy your new venture.