Video Camera Options

I currently use Nest and want to switch to Alarm for my cameras, but I’m interested if I can set my cameras using the following options. I’ll have indoor and outdoor cameras and I want them to behave a bit different.

  • Indoor: Off when disarmed or home, on and notifying when away. This is to respect the privacy of anyone in the home. Should be easy enough.

  • Outdoor: On all the time, but only notify when system is armed. I don’t want to be flooded with notifications when we’re out just living our lives. Ideally when the system is disarmed it’s on without notifying but when the system is armed stay or away it’s on and notifying.

Nest can do that, kind of, but it’s not perfect because the Nest app sucks at geolocation. Since Nest and Alarm can’t speak to each other via API we have to manage Nest separately and I don’t want to do that.

You can set recording rules & notifications to only occur when the system is armed.

You can’t set cameras to be completely off so that you can’t even live view them when the system is disarmed. That would be a good feature though. I’ll pass it along as a feature request.

I’m also interested in ADC cameras with the SVR.
Is my understanding correct that the cameras continually record and send that data over WiFi to the svr to be stored?
Does this cause congestion in the home network?

The main benefit of the SVR is the ability to continuously record. Personally, I wouldn’t pay for it unless I were going to use it to continuously record. But you can program it to just record clips if you want.

If you do continuously record then, yes, it will continuously stream video from your cameras to the SVR. It can cause congestion on your WIFI network if you don’t plan it right.

Some options to avoid that problem are:

  1. Don’t continuously record too many cameras.
  2. Hardwire the cameras so they don’t stream over WIFI.
  3. Use a WIFI access point with enough bandwidth to handle the cameras in addition to your other traffic.
  4. Use a dedicated WIFI access point for cameras such as the Smart Gateway.
  5. Reduce the resolution or frame rate on the cameras so they use less WIFI bandwidth.