Current Reliable Outdoor Camera with Local Server Recording? (2018)

I finally am in the market for a camera at my front door and Ring is not desired. I can already trigger a camera process through webcore if someone rings the bell or knocks on the door so no need to go that direction. Plus the way my front doors are setup, the ringer is well off to one side and would make for odd, likely cut-off video at the actual door. I also am not in favor of paying some cloud service to deal with video when I have a perfectly good server running in my home that could likely handle this assuming a device exists that can work that way

I would like, if possible, night vision, two way communication, motion sensing-based recording, high quality video and perhaps the option of going powered or battery (but either is fine IF battery can last a long-ish time).

What’s out there that fits this bill? Thanks!

Ubiquiti. There no frills but much like their networking equipment work very reliably. The only caveat is the local storage, you will either have to buy their NVR or run the software on a computer you own. The actual NVR software is free.

Oh, and you can cloud connect your NVR also for free and then access it through their app which is super convenient.

Thanks for this. Which model were you thinking of? I also have my own 24/7 PC-based server so running their software would be a non-issue.

Why not look into BlueIris then?

You can attach hundreds of cameras into it and it’s all locally controlled/recorded. You can also stream it back into ST or even ActionTiles etc


So even their “cheaper” cameras, the G3, is rated for outdoor non direct contact (like under eves) and go from -4* F to 122*. Night vision is good and they make a add on IR ring that supposedly extends it up to 82 feet.

They also have a G3 pro that has zoom, extended night vision, IP67 rating, etc but it’s a little pricy.

if you already have a computer running 24/7 then you can just install the software there. I personally have a home theater PC which runs all the time and since I only have a couple cameras I run their free video software on that. Overall I’ve been really happy with the Ubiquiti products in general.

As for streaming their software has an option to rebroadcast the live feed from a camera as an rstp stream, you can even set the resolution and frames per second for the stream and it will generate a URL to use. So you can still pump the video into other things.

So use BlueIris as the software and one of the G3’s as the main camera? Okay. I also use ActionTiles so that would be nice.

BlueIris works with thousands of different makes/models of cameras.

I love the Ubiquiti stuff but there are better (and cheaper) alternatives to their cameras. If you are fully bought into their echo system already, I might say differently. One of the main reasons I’m saying this is the Ubiquiti cameras run on 24VPPoE, so either you need their power block for every camera or a quite expensive switch - they might be fine for you I’m not sure?

What solutions might you recommend? I was just researching all of their requirements and it was getting a bit heavy. I have a gaming router and a couple standard switches so nothing with PoE and only need one camera for now and maybe only a second later. This will be for the front door to be mounted on an overhanging roof above the front door steps. Flexibility with the system and quality of the video are at the top of the list. I can get power to where the camera would be mounted as well. A two-way mic/speaker would really be cool, but not essential.

I also own none of their products so I’m not bought into their system.

This kind of goes against what others have said here, but what about a Arlo Pro 2. The camera has two way audio, fully water proof, can be completely wireless as it runs on battery, and can record to a drive attached locally to the base station.

With it having both cloud and local storage you get the added benefit of it the base and storage device is stolen you still have the recordings in the cloud for 7 days.

To be honest, I don’t like the sounds of this one much at all. It seems exorbitantly expensive, claims it doesn’t work below 32 degrees (which happens often here during the winter in Southern NJ) and requires a base station which I’d like to try to avoid if possible. Their own specs on Amazon claim it’s 1080p, but in the details says it’s 720p for recordings.

There are 3 variations of the camera as it has been refreshed a few times. The original Arlo and Arlo pro are 720p the Arlo Pro 2 is 1080p.

The outdoor usage fluctuates a bit because of the battery. Simply put batteries dont do well in freezing weather, but if instead you plugged in power that isn’t a issue

The base station has its uses but that is certainly a preference that is reasonable. It has an additional 100+ decibel siren and allows recording to a local usb storage device.

The Arlo line does have some cameras that dont need a base, but they are not really outdoor cameras.

I would suggest looking at Arlo’s website as stuff on amazon seems to always have inaccurate info listed.

I agree it isn’t the cheapest option, but it is also the only officially supported camera in smartthings and they just work with very little custom setup and management from you.

If your happy running BlueIris you could get a cheaper standard DVR/Camera setup, as long as it outputs a RSTP stream your fine (this one of the formats BlueIris reads).

As I’m in the UK I don’t want to recommend anything in case it’s not avilabible where you are. Some of the popular DVR brands are things like Hikvision, Floureon and Dahua (but there are LOADS). Just find a bundle deal with cameras and cables included which matches your requirements (two way audio, RTSP, network based etc).

This is what I’ve done, that also means the DVR records footage should my server go offline as it only needs a few watts to run so it stays up longer on a UPS. Then BlueIris provides the feed to ActionTiles/SmartThings as well as a smaller history of recorded files.

Here’s BlueIris “works with” list -

This isn’t true, at least anymore. All their current shipping cameras are either standard 48v PoE or include a 48v -> 24v adapter. I’ve bought 7 G3’s in the last year, some using a standard PoE switch, some using a non-PoE switch with standard PoE injector. None are using 24v at the switch.

There is going to be a cyber Monday sale at Best Buy for the 2 camera Arlo Pro 2 kit with the Audio door bell for 350. It may seem like allot, but how does that compare once you add in POE gear or POE injectors for each camera. It isn’t the same cost but not as far out there as you might think.

Yeah, just not my cup of tea. Everything the doorbell does I already can do with my standard doorbell as I added a dry sensor to it some time ago and I really hate the idea of branding on my doorbell. hehe.

I also just don’t have the use for two cameras right now, but will consider it.

I looked at blue iris as well. The software is robust and everything I could find pointed to good integration with ST. I would suggest you try a cheap camera with the software you want to use first to see how you like what it provides. Blue iris has a trial option I would. Certainly suggest trying it out. Maybe even setup VM’s on your server so you can test it with loading it directly on your server.