Home Surveillance overhaul with D-Link DCS-5222L

D-Link DCS-5222L

Got two D-Link DCS-5222L IP Cameras from Lazada to replace my old D-Link DCS-930L (3 of them). I was a fan of cheap IP Cameras and was always telling people how I can monitor my home for under $100. However, as time passes by, I am no longer satisfied with the poor field of view offered by cheap IP Cameras. As an interim solution, I even bought wide angle lenses meant for Smart Phones and mounted them on the D-Link DCS-930L using adhesives or magnetically.

D-Link DCS-930L with self mounted wide angle lens bought separately.

D-Link DCS-930L with self mounted wide angle lens bought separately.

Here’s how one of the 3 look like:

Even with the wide angle lens, I wasn’t satisfied.I did not mount the cameras securely so a slight knock will tip the cameras off the surface and I spent quite a bit of time looking for the fallen lenses.

I decided that enough was enough. I took the plunge and went for the D-Link DCS-5222L which is a PTZ IP Camera with wide angle lens built-in. The IR LEDs were also immensely useful. No more pitch black videos in my NAS at night!

Another feature I look to the D-Link DCS-5222L is the availability of RTSP streams. This allows me to:

  1. Use VLC to easily launch the RTSP stream on any computer for quick viewing or monitoring
  2. Use FFMPEG to record the RTSP stream onto my NAS or local disk. I know VLC can do the same but after much tries, FFMPEG appears to handle errors from the live streams without crashing so easily.

In my next post, I will talk about how I use VLC and FFMPEG to build my own command line IP Camera recording and viewing.

Cheers!

Special SD card turns any digital camera into Wi-Fi enabled one!

toshiba-flashair

This technology isn’t new. It’s has been around for many years under the Eye-Fi brand. However, the cost has been prohibitive. There are many China-made alternatives as well but I just can’t trust them.

Toshiba has come up with a very affordable version. Turn any normal digital camera into a Wi-Fi enabled one by using this special SD Card. Basically, this SD card has a Wi-Fi chip built in. It draws power from your camera’s SD card slot and creates a Wi-Fi hotspot. When you use your smartphone or laptop/PC to connect to that special hotspot, you can download photos off the camera without any cable.

This is great for those who prefer to take holiday photos with a Digital Camera / DSLR but want to upload them without getting to a computer to download the photos.