Sunday, April 1, 2018

Bluecherry NVR vs others

BlueCherry is another multi-camera Linux NVR. 

Here is a great 45 minute overview and demonstration. Below is mainly just the stuff not really covered in it.

You can download their client and connect to their demo server to try it for yourself. Note only 4 of the demo cameras would connect for me and one is playing a animated video.

Interface beats Zoneminder by a mile.

Their feature compare with Zoneminder is here. does beat them on some features like heat maps but over all I'd say the Bluecherry interface is better than too.

Does most of what Blue Iris does. Main diffs with Blue Iris

It costs a lot more.

To dup my current 38 cam set up would be $650 to 675 vs $135 for Blue Iris. There is a 30 day free trail though.

Generally the interface is not as polished as Blue Iris though way ahead of Zoneminder

Plays back at up to 128x where Blue Iris does up to 256X

Probably not that big of a deal unless you are having to find when thing X happened in several hours of video.

Also not seeing many automation options. 

For example with Blue Iris I can trigger virtual devices in my home automation system based on motion and loss of signal. Here the only option appears to be email. This is what the options are with Blue Iris for motion or loss of signal triggering.

Motion detection seems thin

Compare this Bluecherry screen

to Blue Iris' these screens

Zoom seems to stay centered on image instead of cursor location like in Blue Iris

This means if the thing you want to zoom in on is off center, zoom is basically useless. Also it is a simple +- button system of step instead of the much smoother Blue Iris method of put your cursor over the subject and use the scroll wheel to zoom in and out.


Not sure about loads since I have not set up a sever to test on matching hardware. The client did not seem to load my PC much at all though all I could pull from their server appeared to be 4 streams around 720p.

Another Linux option is Do not know anyone that has actually tried it though. If you look at the docs, to do multicams on a server (not a RPI) you need to setup a docker image for each cam. I'm still looking if you need multiple web interfaces as well. The demo appears to show a camera only. I like some of the data displays like the heat maps I have not seen elsewhere but wonder about the horsepower required for all that. Especially since I'm phasing out all my 720p cams. Blue Iris is often accused of being a CPU hog. With motion highlighting turned on (similar to but less data intense than heat amps ought to be) 13 (720p to 2K mixed) cams can max a 4th gen i7 (4 cores / 8 threads) during a storm.

Another issue for me is I want a console. If the dogs start barking or a sensor is triggered I want to be able to look at the monitors and see what is going on.One of the reasons I have 3 Blue Iris servers, other than load, is that 13 cameras fit perfectly in a 1:3, 4 up layout full screen display on a 32 inch monitor so that I can see at a glance what is going on.

I should note too load. Those servers are each looking at around 40 mb/s coming in from cameras so sending to the cloud in never going to happen without a fiber uplink.

I am thinking about setting it up just to fine tune motion detection setting for Blue Iris if nothing else.