Vitamin D: the cure for the common webcam

Due to my recent break-in I had ADT reactivated, but really to catch anyone now-a-days it requires either some DNA or some good old footage.  Since I already had several webcams I set out to find software to help me use them.

I found this link and decided since they’re free I might as well try them all out.

I was looking for:

  • Remote viewing (bonus for Android support)
  • e-mail notification
  • motion detection with few false alarms
  • Multiple camera support
  • IP Camera support

I thought that order was important, but I soon realized the motion detection with few false alarms is the most important unless I plan on being glued to the computer all day.  Some had great remote viewing, but the motion detector would e-mail me for every gust of wind and I didn’t see anything besides just a threshold to tweak to fix that.  Others just had no features.  Sure I could watch 16 webcams at the same time, but why? Some would send me a picture after the motion had ended and didn’t keep track of any time before the motion.

I found Vitamin D was #1 for a reason.  I found the settings for motion detection were fairly easy to setup.  I could define an area and it would only report motion in that area.  Vitamin D sends me an e-mail that actually shows me what is going on and highlights the motion.  I found some free webhosting with FTP and FTP all of my videos (FTP requires paid version).  Vitamin D allows one to specify how much of your hard drive to take up and acts as a DVR.

The drawbacks?  The free version only supports one camera.  I currently have 2 going and I’m looking to purchase another so I paid the $50 for the 2 camera version.  A good example of “try before you buy.”  There is no remote viewing even with the paid versions.  That’s OK.  I have logmein installed so I can check my cameras.  At the $50 price point there are probably other good applications, but I had already configured this one and it met my needs.  I’d like 4 camera support, but oh well.  I can cover what I need to cover with 2 cameras.

Vitamin D has a range of IP Cameras they claim to work with.  Those get quite pricey when features like Wifi and night vision are added so I will wait on that a bit until I can figure out which camera meets my needs (I wish i could just take a bunch home and try).a screenshot of a video player

HomeCamera was a nice product as well as far as the e-mail, remote viewing, and multiple camera support went, but the motion detection would always send me pictures where the person had just left the shot.  I don’t need backs and legs!


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