Setup Impressions

The PX2-300D NVR edition 'boots; directly into the Milestone Arcus VMS interface (i.e, accessing the IP of the NAS using a browser leads to the Arcus login page and not the NAS management UI). The setup process is trivial. Upon login (all user credentials set up in the main NAS management UI are retained for the Arcus VMS too), we are presented with a pretty barebones page with a certain number above the Settings menu on the top right. This number indicates the number of cameras auto-detected by the VMS that haven't been set up yet. Configuration involves entering the user credentials for the camera. The IP camera may support multiple codecs / resolutions and frame rates. In such a case, the Arcus VMS chooses some default values which can be altered, if necessary. Recording mode can be set to continuous, never and only when motion is detected. The number of days to retain the captured footage is also available as a configurable option. Motion detection can also be configured with finer granularity. It is also possible to set up IP cameras manually (though my efforts to get a Compro IP70 recognized didn't bear fruit).

After setup, the video streams from the IP cameras show up in the Arcus home page. Selecting a stream leads to an expanded view of the video. A menu at the bottom of the video allows us to go back and view archived footage from a timeline. It is also possible to export the archived video between any two timestamps. The exported file is in the MKV format.

Compare these with the UI from the Synology Surveillance Station below. In addition to recognizing the two Axis cameras, the add-on also had in-built support for the Compro IP70. The LiveView matrix in the browser interface as well as the controls / configuration options are better in Surveillance Station. An example of a useful configuration option available in Surveillance Station, but not in Arcus, is the ability to have fine-grained control over the recording schedule (say, a simple schedule to record only on Fridays between 11 AM and 4 PM).

The Arcus UI also doesn't allow users to view archived footage from multiple streams simultaneously in a synchronized manner. This is possible in Synology's Surveillance Station. However, a big drawback of the Surveillance Station is that the browser UI is heavily based on Java. I also found that Surveillance Station would drop cameras more often than Arcus. I let the NVRs operate for close to 30 days continuously and Arcus dropped the cameras only a couple of times (both times, I suspect, were due to the DHCP lease of the IP camera expiring. This could have been easily avoided by setting up the IP cameras with static IPs).

On the whole, setting up the PX2-300D NVR was a breeze. The browser UI is a bit bare and the VMS currently on the PX2-300D could do with some feature updates. However, the robustness of the system for straightforward configurations will definitely need to be appreciated. The firmware does have some memory effect in terms of not allowing re-addition of the IP of a recently deleted camera, but it was nothing that a reboot couldn't fix. In any case, I don't expect the average consumer to go about randomly deleting and manually adding cameras like I did during the review process. Let us now move on to the mobile scheme of things.

Introduction Mobile Apps: Surveillance On-the-Go
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  • Duckhunt2 - Sunday, February 16, 2014 - link

    No you are all wrong. You bolt a heat sink with fins onto the gun safe and get some thermal grease. You do not have to drill right through the skin. Just a 1\4inch and tap it and put in bolts to hold the heat sink. Make sure it is making as much contact as possible.
    Then internally you have to cut/machine some steel to make a good contact for the heat sink on the motheboard to make contact with the skin of the gunsafe. It is alot of mucking around. It has been done here in the USA many years ago. USA USA. American know-how exported around the world.
    Reply
  • cmart - Monday, July 29, 2013 - link

    I'm no physicist, but in practice if you cool the outside of a safe (or any hollow container) you essentially cool the inside. If the safe -- think of it as a large heat sink -- is in a cool room, the interior should stay reasonably cool with only one device running in it. Reply
  • Dentons - Monday, July 29, 2013 - link

    Most modern computer systems are designed to be cooled by convection. This is why placing a computer in a sealed cabinet can cause it to overheat, even when the outer cabinet is in an otherwise cool environment.

    What would happen if you put a small computer in a large insulated cooler? Even if the computer only gave off a small amount of heat, it would continually produce ever more heat. Eventually, the inside temperature of the cooler would reach a very high temperature, even if the cooler were located inside a cool room.

    It's no different with a safe. A large metal safe with fire insulation is little different from an insulated cooler. A few bolt holes in the bottom would be very unlikely to provide adequate convection currents.

    There are some systems designed for use without air cooling, but they are generally expensive industrial systems. There are a few ways this might be successfully accomplished. One is by the installation of fans and cooling ducts, but such might reduce the fire resistance. Another might be to attach heat pipes directly from the system's CPU to the wall of the safe. Either could be finicky and perhaps unreliable.

    Placing any consumer level system within an unventilated safe is probably a bad idea.
    Reply
  • Duckhunt2 - Sunday, February 16, 2014 - link

    Again, you can put a temperature control on the outside and it could turn off the power to the computer and sound an alarm. There are so many possibilities. There are computers in strong boxes and all these things written about have been overcome. Some of the longest living computers are built inside strong boxes . Reply
  • mamun - Saturday, August 03, 2013 - link

    Need to details to my mail. mamunv6@gmail.com Reply
  • DocNo - Tuesday, August 13, 2013 - link

    And if you haven't heard of them, be sure to check out Ubiquity's AirVision cameras. The system isn't perfect, has some gaps (no IR/nightvision, outdoor camera is wimpy, limited number of cameras) but if your needs are covered by their existing cameras the NVR software they provide is pretty nice considering it's free with the cameras. And if you have the need for a handful of AP's, their UniFi managed wifi system is also really hard to beat for the price. Again, not perfect but amazing for the price. Reply
  • tweakert12 - Tuesday, May 10, 2016 - link

    Maybe an old article, so I doubt anyone will read this, but I've had great succes with Mirasys. A lot cheaper and works pretty much the same way. I bought it at https://www.rrb-security.nl . It's sort of an underdog VMS Reply

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