How to Setup Hikvision Surveillance with Blue Iris on Windows 7, 8 or 10

How to Guide's

Hikvision Surveillance

How to Setup Hikvision Surveillance with Blue Iris on Windows 7, 8 or 10

INTRODUCTION:

Today I’m going to show you how to setup your Hikvision & Foscam IP Cameras using a surveillance software program called BLUE IRIS. I will be installing Blue Iris on an affordable Custom Built NVR (Network Video Recorder) using a Micro ITX Intel i3 Haswell PC. Another great solution is an Intel NUCas shown by Network Camera Critic here.

Most people will choose a pre-built NVR over a Custom NVR and that’s fine. Pre-Built NVR’s are best for set & forget 24/7 surveillance systems. However if you need a surveillance system with flawless motion detection and email alerts then a Custom NVR running Blue Iris is a much better solution. Hikvision provide their NVR Software (iVMS-4200) free of charge to try on your Windows PC. After experimenting with their iVMS-4200 software I found there Motion Detection software to send a lot of false alarms due to changes in light. I tried to adjust the sensitivity but had no success in fixing the false alarms. Frustrated by this annoyance I eventually made the switch to Blue Iris and have never looked back.

SUMMARY:

This article describes how to setup a Home/Office/Work CCTV Surveillance system using Hikvision & Foscam IP Cameras running Windows 7 Professional This article also covers how to use build your own Custom NVR and install Blue Iris Surveillance Software.

STEP 1) RESEARCH YOUR IP CAMERAS

This tutorial is based around Hikvision & Foscam IP Cameras. You can use what ever IP Cameras you like. Currently I use a combination of Hikvision and Foscam IP Cameras. Based on my research it was hard to go past Hikvision IP Cameras. For roughly $100-$200AU per camera, it’s impossible to find an IP camera in Australia that provides
3 Megapixels @ Full High Definition.

My first ever IP Cameras were from Foscam Australia. The Foscam IP Cameras I purchased were 2x FI8910s for $89AU per camera. With PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) and Wifi Capability these were great cheap starting out cameras. However where these cameras fail is in their overall video quality.

The FI8910 Foscam cameras are only 640×480 @ 300K Pixels which means any video recordings do not have a very good overall image quality. Unsatisfied with the image quality I went back to the internet to research a replacement. This is when I discovered Hikvision IP cameras at Network Camera Critic. The main thing that attracted me to Hikvision Cameras were their low retail price on an online marketplace called Ali Express. At first I was skeptical about purchasing from China as there is no warranty attached to these cameras. Like any good Aussie, I even tried to purchase these in Australia to support Australian businesses. This is where I discovered Hikvision IP cameras were over double the price and only available through authorised electricians. So for half the price of what you would find in Australia it was hard to go passed the affordability of these IP cameras. To further secure the deal, positive feedback & discussions from forums such as Whirlpool, IPCamTalk and CamIt helped put the mind at ease.

IMPORTANT UPDATE: The best place to buy Hikvision cameras “used” to be Ali Express. CCTV Camera China and E&M Security were the 2 best suppliers for quite some time. Sadly at the beginning of 2015 there was a crack down on these Chinese Hikvision suppliers undercutting local Hikvision distributors. Therefore they no longer exist under that name. So unfortunately you can no longer source cheap Hikvision IP cameras from these stores. There is a new player CBX CCTV SYSTEM who are currently supplying Hikvison Cameras with over a dozen orders placed. Please use Aliexpress at you own risk as many customers are reporting faulty Hikvision products. My advice would be to consider buying from Ebay & Amazon before purchasing from AliExpress.

If you really need piece of mind with a 3 Year Warranty and enjoy doing business locally, I highly recommend sourcing your Hikvision products from DIY Security Cameras

HOT TIP #2: Strongly consider your IP Camera’s Installation Position and Field of View as mentioned in STEP 4 of this tutorial.

HIKVISION DS-2CD2032 IP CAMERA OVERVIEW:

  • Hikvision DS-20321/3” 3 Megapixel CMOS sensor
  • H.264 dual-stream encoding
  • 30fps @ 1080P (1920 x 1080) or 15fps @ 3MP (2
    048 x 1536)
  • 4mm, 6mm and 12mm fixed lens
  • Day/Night IR Cut Filter
  • IR LED advertised working distance 30m
  • IP66 Rated Outdoor Bullet
  • Powered by PoE
  • Smartphone apps available

In 2013 I purchased 3x Hikvision DS-2CD2032s for US$109ea from CCTV Camera China. At the time of writing this tutorial these IP Cameras sold for a crazy low price of US$84-86ea from Ali-Express. These Hikvision IP Cameras are great during the day but lack good night vision. This is due to the absence of EXIR. Compared to conventional IR network security cameras, Hikvision’s high-performance EXIR series delivers the most advanced levels of night-time surveillance available on the market today – with best-in-breed illuminators for any dark environment, indoors or out. If I had the opportunity again I would purchase 3x Hikvision DS-2CD2332F-I Cameras instead. The DS-2CD2032s still do a pretty good job.

HIKVISION DS-2CD2332 IP CAMERA OVERVIEW:

  • Hikvision DS-2CD23321/3” 3 Megapixel CMOS sensor
  • H.264 dual-stream encoding
  • 30fps @ 1080P (1920 x 1080) or 20fps @ 3MP (2048 x 1536)
  • 4mm or 2.8mm fixed focal lens
  • Day/Night IR Cut Filter
  • IR LED advertised working distance 30m
  • IP66 Rated Outdoor Bullet
  • 3D DNR & DWDR & BLC
  • Smartphone apps available

HIKVISION DS-2CD2032 & DS-2CD2332 HIKVISION IP CAMERA FEATURES:

HIKVISION DS-2CD2032 & DS-2CD2332 HIKVISION IP CAMERA FEATURES:

FOSCAM FI8910W IP CAMERA OVERVIEW:

Foscam FI8910WS
  • IR cut-off filter for day/night operation
  • 3.6mm Lens (67°) viewing angle
  • IR lights can be turned off manually
  • WiFi (802.11 b/g) and Ethernet Connectivity
  • 640 x 480 Pixels (300k Pixels)
  • Two-way audio with internal mic & speaker and external jacks
  • Pan/Tilt control (pan: 300deg tilt: 120deg)
  • Night vision (up to 8 meters) via auto IR-LED illumination
  • Video Motion Detection (with email notification and image upload via FTP)
  • Supports standard browsers – Safari, Chrome, Firefox
  • DDNS support
  • Available in black, white or silver

I purchased 2x Foscam FI8910W’s for $89ea before I discovered Hikvision IP Cameras.
The advantage of the Foscam Camera’s are they are wireless and can be positioned anywhere my wireless router can see them. As mentioned in the introduction, these cameras have a low resolution of 640×480 @ 300K pixels and I would not recommend that you purchase these for your surveillance system. I found these to trigger false alarms with slight changes in day lighting condition. Thankfully Blue Iris enables me to eliminate this foscam firmware gliche. If I had the opportunity again I would purchase 2x Hikvision DS-2CD2432F-I Cameras instead. These have built in PIR (Passive Infrared) Sensor.

The benefits of Passive Infrared Sensors are:

  • Passive Infrared Detectors use a sensor that detects infrared radiation
  • The PIR considers a temperature range as “normal” and anything else as reason to raise the alarm
  • This range is usually between 15-20C
  • Sudden changes in temperature trip the detector

RECOMMENDED INDOOR IP CAMERA THE HIKVISION DS-2CD2432 FEATURES:

  • Hikvision DS-2CD2432 Indoor Camera1/3” 3 Megapixel CMOS sensor
  • H.264 dual-stream encoding
  • Internal Microphone & Speaker
  • MicroSD card slot for up to 64GB internal recording
  • 30fps @ 1080P (1920 x 1080) or 20fps @ 3MP (2048 x 1536)
  • 4mm fixed focal lens (79° viewing angle)
  • 2.8mm & 6mm optional
  • IR LED advertised working distance 10m
  • Powered by PoE or 12V
  • 3D Digital Noise Reduction
  • Digital Wide Dynamic Range & Backlight Compensation
  • Smartphone apps available

STEP 2) PREPARE YOUR HARDWARE

This tutorial assumes you have or are willing to purchase the following hardware.

  1. Hikvision IP Cameras @ $100-$200ea
  2. Power over Ethernet [POE] Router @ $98, or POE Injectors @ $24ea
  3. Asus DSL-AC68U Dual-Band Wireless-AC1900 Gigabit Modem Router with an Internet Connection @ $270
  4. Cat6 Ethernet Cables
  5. Intel i3/i5/i7 Equivalent PC/NUC running Windows 7 Professional 64bit @ $400 plus
  6. Blue Iris Surveillance Software $46

My setup cost me roughly $850 for 3x DS-2032 Hikvision IP Cameras plus a custom built i3-4150 PC running off my existing home network. See a full list of my hardware here

Below is a screenshot of the hardware that I will be using for this tutorial. Please use what ever you have available within your budget.

STEP 3) CONFIGURE & SETUP HARDWARE:

Hikvision Cameras

I discovered Hikvision IP Cameras through the following whirlpool thread. From there I discovered the following forums which assisted my installation.

  1. Network Camera Critic
  2. Cam It!
  3. IP Cam Talk

After experimenting with Foscam FI8910W’s I settled for 3x Hikvision DS-2032 Bullet Cameras. At the time these cost me $110AU each. Now they can be had for roughly $97AU each at Aliexpress. Setting up these IP Cameras is pretty straight forward. You plug your CaT6 Network Cable into the Camera and the other end into your Power Over Ethernet (POE) router or POE injector which is connected to your home router/modem. A POE router is convenient and uses less wires. POE Injectors allow you to use anywhere you have a power point and ethernet cable.

There are 2 options for powering your IP cameras. The diagrams below illustrates each method in more detail.

Power Option 1. Using POE Injectors

poe-injector-for-ip-camera-wiring-diagram

Power Option 2. Using POE Switch or Hikvision NVR with built in POE ports

poe-switch-connections-diagram

STEP 4) INSTALL ETHERNET CABLES FROM YOUR ROOF TO YOUR MODEM/ROUTER

When you install your Outdoor IP Camearas, it is highly likely that your Ethernet cables will be running into your roof. There are a couple of methods you can use to re-route your network cable(s) to the room location which contains your Modem/Router.

METHOD 1) INSTALL AN ETHERNET WALL SOCKET

Installing a Ethernet Wall Socket from the room containing your Modem/Router to the roof containing you IP Cameras ethernet POE Router or POE Injectors is the easiest and most successful method of connecting your IP Cameras. Expect to pay a qualified electrian from $120 per wall socket. Prices will vary from state to state. Now before you decide to carry out the work yourself, please read this important information below:

It is illegal for a home user to install their own PERMANENT data/telephony cabling and make Ethernet patch leads, this law is laid out by the ACMA. The (ACMA) Australian Communications and Media Authority are responsible for regulating and monitoring telecommunications cabling in Australia. For more information please click here

METHOD 2) INSTALL A DISCREET HOLE IN YOUR CLOTHES CUPBOARD

Depending on where you Modem/Router is located will determine whether or not this method is an option for you.

If you a like me and renting your property then installing Ethernet Ports is not going to be easy, useless you have an awesome landlord. So the next best thing is to drill a 15mm hole in your clothes cupboard and run your Ethernet Cable up to your roof. Just make sure you cover the hole when you vacate the property.

METHOD 3) USE POWERLINE ADAPTERS

Powerline Adapters extend your home network by using existing electrical wiring. Previously I used TP Link and DLink powerline adapters but kept having regular drop outs. I know this was due to a combination of things. Firstly the powerline adapters would get hot in the roof and secondly the wiring in the rental house was not the best. What you decide to do will be based on the layout of your house and whether or not you are renting. HOT TIP: Choosing the easy option (powerline adapters) may cause issues for you in the future.

Powerline Adapters look like the following and can be found in a variety of brands. Personally I had constant connectivity issues with my TP Link and DLink Powerline Adapters. As discussed above I found these to overheat and lose connectivity on hot days due to the humidity in the roof.

dlink-dhp-309

STEP 5) PLANNING YOUR CAMERA LAYOUT:

The next step is very important. You need to decide on the positioning of your IP Cameras. In addition to this you need to be thinking about your cameras (FOV) Field of View. IP Cameras are usually shipped with a FOV of 4mm. This usually gives you a good coverage area without losing much of your subject at distances greater than 5 metres.
Establish a perimeter around your house or office. 4x Outdoor Bullet camera’s should be able to cover all four corners of your house. Make sure you choose covert positions unless you want these to be visible to people. Pair up with sensor lights ($54.90ea) for better results at night. I was able to achieve full coverage with 3x Hikvision DS-2CD2032 IP cameras.
If you are having trouble deciding on a particular FOV consider purchasing a camera with a Varifocal Lens. This will allow you to change the lens FOV at any time to suit the position of that camera. The best Hikvision solution for this is the Hikvision DS-2CD2732F-I. These can be found on Aliexpress here for roughly $170ea.

Once you have decided on which IP cameras to buy and where to position you need to install them. Wireless IP Cameras are very easy to install and reposition. These can be positioned on Bookshelfs, Window Shelves, Bedside Tables, Buffets and anywhere you can think of really. The more covert the better as you don’t want potential thefts to notice straight away. My 2x Foscams FI8910s are used inside the house to detect Motion and send me an email alert with a 15 second video when Motion is detected. Later in this tutorial I will be setting up Motion Detection and Email Alerts for these Foscam Indoor Cameras and Motion Detection Recording for the Outdoor Hikvision Cameras.

Example of Camera Lens FOV Comparison:

cctv-lens-comparison

Example of Outdoor Camera Layout:

HOT TIP: Pair your Outdoor Cameras with your Sensor Lights. This will assist better lighting at night

camera-layout

Roughly Sketch your house and decide your camera layout:

Grab a scrap piece of paper and sketch a rough layout of your house. Think about where you want to put your IP Cameras. Look for blind spots and potential places to breech the motion detection software.

camera-plans-layout

If you are renting it may be difficult to install Outdoor IP cameras without making modifications to your rental property. Houses with Tiles Roofs make it relatively easy to set up temporary fixtures without drilling unnecessary holes. Run Cat6 Cable through your roof and set up a router in the roof connected to a powerline adapter to connect back to your modem for remote internet access.

HOT TIP: Add Dummy Cameras to your layout to enhance your security.

STEP 6) BUILD YOUR CUSTOM NVR

1. Considerations before Building your Custom NVR?

Consider the following before you build your custom surveillance system:

  1. How much do you want to spend?
  2. How many cameras will you be installing?
  3. Will a m-ITX or NUC be a better solution?

Remember that the smaller your custom NVR is the harder it is to find in your house. Even though you we will be saving sample clips to our gmail account, hiding the NVR is a must for any serious home surveillance system. We will be attaching a webcam to our NVR later in the tutorial as a last line of defence should our NVR be compromised.

2. Build your Custom NVR

I decided to build a custom low power Intel i3 Haswell Solution as my NVR. I have 6 cameras connected to my NVR and the CPU load is 35%. An Intel i5 would cover an 8x Camera setup. Anything higher than 8x Cameras I would be looking at an i7 CPU. Now it would be easier to buy a Hikvision NVR and be done with it however an NVR comes with Hikvision Software. This restricts your hardware to an NVR with built in Hikvision Software only. I needed a NVR to allow more control and that meant using surveillance software in conjunction with Windows 7.

The hardware I purchased included the following:

  1. CPU: Intel Core i3-4150 3.5GHz 3MB Retail Box – $135
  2. MOBO: Gigabyte GA-H81M-DS2 LGA1150 mATX Motherboard – $69
  3. RAM: Kingston 4GB Single DDR3 Value Series C11 1600MHz – $54
  4. PSU: Seasonic 350W OEM 80Plus Gold Power Supply – $69
  5. CASE: Silverstone Precision PS08 Black mATX Case – $45

Hardware I already had included the following:

  1. SSD: Crucial M4 120GB SSD
  2. HDD: WD Blue 70GB HDD (Please note, upgrading to a 4TB HDD is recommended)
  3. Display: Benq 21″ Monitor
  4. OS: Windows 7 64Bit

For tips on how to build your own custom PC please follow these NewEgg tutorials:

STEP 7) PREPARE YOUR ROUTER

Setting up your Asus RT-AC68U router

Before setting up our Blue Iris Software on our new Custom NVR we need to configure our Modem/Router to allow Local and Remote Access to our IP Cameras. At the moment when we plug in our IP Camera into our router the IP Camera will be automatically be assigned an IP address by the DHCP (Dynamic Host Configuration Protocol) server built into your modem/router.

After you have connected all your IP Cameras to your modem/router correctly, then you will be able to discover these automatically assigned IP addresses by using FING or by simply viewing your Modem/Routers connected devices via the administrator LAN (Local Area Network) page.

Fing Logo

WHAT IS FING?: If you have an iPhone or Android Device, the APP “Fing” is a Networking Tool that helps you configure all your devices by listing their IP address, MAC address and Name. This APP has saved me so many potential network setup headaches. If you don’t own a mobile device simply log into your modem/router via 192.168.1.1 or 10.1.1.1

Fing Screenshot

HOT TIP: Each IP Camera is shipped with a Default IP Address, plus a Default Username & Password. Read your manual to discover what these default IP addresses are.

Next we will need to make a list of unique static IP addresses for each IP camera connected to your local network. Do not forget your custom NVR IP Address. This ensures us that the IP Cameras address will never change should that IP camera ever be disconnected. For this tutorial I will be using the following:

Custom NVR: 192.168.1.100 Server Port: 9898
Inside Camera: 192.168.1.101 Server Port: 8101 HTTP Port: 1101 (Optional)
Side Gate Camera: 192.168.1.102 Server Port: 8102 HTTP Port: 1102 (Optional)
Backyard Camera: 192.168.1.103 Server Port: 8103 HTTP Port: 1103 (Optional)
Front House Camera: 192.168.1.118 Server Port: 8484 or 8686 HTTP Port: 1084 or 1118 (Optional)
Doggy Camera: 192.168.1.115 Server Port: 8282 HTTP Port: 1115 (Optional)

You can use what ever IP address you would like to use that is available on your local network. Be sure to avoid forwarding common ports such as Ports 80,81,82,443 or 8000,8080,808.

IMPORTANT!

Set up Port Forwarding on your Router Now that we have all our static IP’s set, we need to open ports on our router/modem so that we can access each device remotely via to internet.

WHAT IS PORT FORWARDING?: “Port forwarding is a method of making a computer on your network accessible to computers on the Internet, even though you are behind a router. It is commonly used for hosting game servers, peer to peer downloading, and voice over IP type applications.”Port Forwarding Website – Source: http://portforward.com/help/portforwarding.htm

Each Router/Modem is different so please visit http://portforward.com/english/routers/port_forwarding/routerindex.htm for your step by step guide on how to set this up.

Once you have all the correct ports forwarded, move onto Page 2

Share this post