Wireless IP Camera Solution

Hey all,
Looking to nail down an IP camera. I purchased some wireless foscams but discovered they don’t stream mjpeg. Also I’ve read some things that are not so positive about their quality and customer support. The device seemed solid in hand, software was a bit lacking due to lack of english and some features.

However here’s what I’m after:

Wireless connection to router/NVR
Hardwired power
24/7 recording option through NVR
Some sort of ST integration for motion alerts
Weather proof
MJPEG stream option
Remote viewing, ideally through smartthings
720p+

Does anyone have suggestions? I was looking into Amcrest but I’m not sure what sort of quality they are. Any suggestions?

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I use both Arlo and Amcrest cameras and I’m in the process of phasing out my Arlo’s as soon as I buy and install the wired ones. You can choose whichever cameras work for your needs and have them all pull into Blue Iris which has some level of integration via community generated smartapps. The Amcrest cameras I use all seem to support mjpeg as well.

The hard part with any of these will be the remote viewing through smartthings as it generally requires using port forwarding / openDNS or some form of VPN setup which can certainly make things a lot more complex. There are very few cameras that are supported and integrated in smartthings. Thats one of the main reasons I originally went with the Arlo’s. While they serve a purpose they are not ideal for many things and or people.

How do you find the Amcrest cameras? Have you had any issues with the community device handlers/Amcrest App?

I really like the one I have now (IP3M-943S) as it seems rock solid compared to my last Amcrest (IP2M-841W). The first one gave me all sorts of grief and would disconnect from my network on a daily basis sometimes even more often. This new one has not lost connection yet in the two weeks since I set it up. I could also never get the first one to save video to the SD card where this one does it no sweat. I’m thinking I just had a bad one and I’ll never know because it quasi melted itself. It always ran hot but I threw caution in the wind and installed it outside upside down under a protected awning. In the 90+ temp days and nearly 80% humidity coupled with the tendency to run hot if gave up the ghost after just a few days out there. Now I don’t think that played to much into it as this new one is mounted in the same spot and works fine. I think there was a problem with that unit and it was gonna go down in a blaze of glory no matter where it was mounted. With that said I’ll likely buy another one of those (might go with the 3MP version this time though) for inside the house. I do plan on also getting 2 more outside camera and will probably go with a dome style and will likely be the Amcrest ones.

Regarding the community DTH’s I used the app on here for a bit and you can read my multitude of problems getting setup on it but I eventually did. It is/was a nice app and I’ll probably install it again here shortly if I don’t get off my duff setting up Blue Iris. The downside and this isn’t the developers fault is you can watch the video stream outside the home network unless you setup a VPN or DDNS type setup.

The Amcrest app works OK, it does the job for the most part but there are a lot of settings and features not available in the app that you need to access directly on the local network.

Thanks for the detailed reply. Sorry, I got side tracked for a week or so with other obligations. Really my main requirements is just to get motion detection within smartthings. I know there’s been some issues with the firmware updates pushed by amcrest so I wanted to hear from someone using them to see how it functions. The IP3M-943 is a 3mp camera correct? From what I can tell in the model #, IP*M = IP camera with x amount of megapixels. Do you think the NVR is a better route with these or direct to SD? I guess the nice thing with the NVR is being able to watch all 4 at once, but I’m hoping to integrate with action tiles so that’s semi-irrelevant. Really if the SD card let’s me skip to the motion detected, I’d almost rather use that as there’s no chance of it not recording and it’s less stress on the network. Thoughts?

Sorry I’ve been out of town for a week and missed this when I came back. I didn’t test the motion detection feature to much when using the DTH from Belgarion. I did note that it was appearing to work though but I didn’t have that camera up and running long enough to really test it out. With this latest camera I set it up to run independently and when I get around to buying another I was planning on eventually setting up the BlueIris server for it. For now it’s running just WiFi and SD card. I’ve got it recording all motion and alerts to the SD card and notifying my phone via push on alerts. It’s been pretty reliable so far with that method. It would require additional work in order to get it working in ST though it doesn’t have an alarm out feature like the Foscams do. I stuck a 16gb card in the unit just to get it started and it seems to hold about 3 - 4 days worth of alerts which I don’t think is bad considering this is a front door cam. I’m planning on upgrading that to a 32 or 64 when I get around to ordering one.

Regarding the NVR, I don’t have experience with one yet so I can’t really chime in much there but I do know that the Amcrest iPhone app allows you to view multiple feeds at one time in it too. I too want to minimize the network stress from having multiple cameras going so I’m planning on hard wiring as many or all of them and feeding to the BlueIris server. I like the idea of continuous recording but I’ve not seen a NVR system aside from the BlueIris one that can be integrated with ST.

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