DVR Software for Home Video Surveillance Cameras

I was just wondering what DVR software everyone uses for home security camera viewing and recording.
I built a surveillance system a while back for my house with a few different types of outdoor security cameras and I currently have them showing live feed and recording on a couple of laptops in my living room because 4 of the cameras use 1 software and 2 of the cameras use another software that came with the cameras. I’ve tried iSpy software and it is great for connectivity but it uses a lot of CPU with more than just a few cameras and also has to be paid for to access the cameras outside of the local network, which would be fine if it didn’t have such a large draw on the CPU of the PC running it.
I would love any input or suggestions of DVR software that others use.

I’ve been using ZoneMinder ( for about two years. Setup is a bit of a bear (or at least it was when I first deployed, it’s being actively developed and has likely improved) but once you have it configured it runs like a clock.

If you only want straight recording w/ no movement sensing or timestamping then it’s pretty light on CPU relative to other DVR software. I have it running on one of those old AMD Bulldozer APUs with 4GB RAM with three cameras on 24/7 record and sytem load usually averages around 1.

I’ve also had experience with Ubiquiti’s Unifi DVR and cameras, extremely easy but I’m pretty sure you’ve got to use their cameras so it’s pricey.

1 Like

I will check out ZoneMinder, I appreciate the info. I am running all 6 cameras 24/7 live view and recording. No movement sensors as they seem to be set off by everything and I think I benefit more from 24/7 recording cause sometimes things I wouldn’t normally have set up to be set off by a movement sensor ends up catching something that is useful like a car accident or someone in a neighbors back yard that shouldn’t be there.

1 Like

I have heard from some who have setup Shinobi, and they are liking it. One has it running on an rPi4 with 4 cameras and motion detection and his system is running on low CPU usage. I have played with ZoneMinder a good many years ago and it was detailed, but good even back then, too.


Thanks for the info, I will look into Shinobi as well. I’m always up for playing with a rPi so that could be a fun project.

1 Like

+1 for zoneminder as I’m running it too. CPU is quite high for my HD cameras but I still manage to run it along side other virtual machines on the same server.

The mobile app has been a bit hit and miss over the years sometimes but it’s pretty good now.

I keep meaning to have a look at Blue Iris, maybe one of these days…

Yeah I was curious about Blue Iris as well. I just wasn’t willing to spend the money on it since I’ve heard that their camera compatibility isn’t really high. Otherwise though it looks like a nice interface and I’ve heard that it’s a solid DVR software.

@knewman, I’ve never thought about running zoneminder that way, I always prefer to know that the camera has triggered. It’s usually a false positive but or the postman, but in your configuration how would you know if someone had been snooping around your house?

I don’t know about @knewman setup but as for mine when I pull up the recorded video it actually points out times with activity. That just works better for me though because I live in a corner lot and have cameras completely around my house, they actually get activity constantly from the street next to my house when cars constantly drive down the street or someone walks by down the street also the front of my house faces a busy street and has a sidewalk so the cameras constantly get triggered by cars going by or people walking down the sidewalk. Besides, I have them set to record to a server that has 4 4TB HDDs in RAID configuration so I can record months of video as well as a laptop hidden somewhere so if my house ever got robbed I would still have video recorded.

I use the cameras as a reactive measure - if I know something happened then I’ll check the footage. So to answer your question - I wouldn’t know if someone was snooping. Ignorance is bliss.

I’m sort of in @JamesC_HTAssets boat in that I get a lot of foot traffic within my coverage field. I did have modect configured for a while but it resulted in so many false positives I decided to just record 24/7 since I have the disk space.

1 Like

Same here using it as a reactive measure. I guess my version of having movement sensors is that most of the time someone is always home and I have live view of all of the cameras setup so any PC in the house can pull them up but they are always displayed on monitors in my living room that are mounted around my TV so anyone sitting in the living room will see if someone is messing with something. Also I have motion flood lights in front and on the side of my house over my garage so that helps with drawing attention at night.

Fair enough, just different way of doing it I suppose. My false positives aren’t too bad other than car head lights at my front door. I suppose it’s a trade off between disk space and CPU.

I’d often thought about setting a PIR motion detector beside the camera which then triggers zoneminder to record which might give the best of both worlds.

My camera also offer two video feeds so I wanted to do the modect analysis on the low Res feed but record the HD feed. I never figured out how to do that though.