What made you choose BI over alternatives

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What made you choose BI over alternatives

Post by roadkill401 » Tue Jun 01, 2021 8:58 pm

I have no system right now. I just bought two ReoLink E1 cameras to test them out. I have multiple Synology NAS hardware so it would be cheeper to pool the surveillance licenses together and run the network cameras off the Synology.

But cheeper doesn't mean better. I would like to know why the members in the community here chose Blue Iris over the multitude of alternatives out there. Just want to get a feel before throwing in my $100 for the software + hardware costs to go this route. I am looking of something that is setup and just run. I don't particularly need tinker box. Looking for an easy home surveillance solution for starting with 2 camera's but likely to be 4-5 in the next year of so.
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Re: What made you choose BI over alternatives

Post by Thixotropic » Tue Jun 01, 2021 9:28 pm

Flexibility and features were 2 of my key "must haves".

BI can use almost any camera, and it has an impressive number of configuration options that give it very broad capability.

It also has some 3rd-party extensibility for things like AI face/human detection, license plate reading, etc. Although I don't use the extensibility stuff (yet), I probably will in the future.
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Re: What made you choose BI over alternatives

Post by Matts1984 » Wed Jun 02, 2021 12:42 pm

+1 to that.

I wanted to be able to bring in any camera so that I had that flexibility with cost and quality. I'm very happy with the cameras I have and I've never spent more than $60 on one. I also wanted to be able to keep all control, storage, etc local... zero cloud or monthly payments. Yes there is annual Blue Iris support if you want updates but the cost of that is less than half a tank of fuel for my truck, soooo... I can deal. I just hate monthly anything. Prior to actually going BI I did evaluate a few other programs, mostly because I was cheap so I wanted something free. I found every competitor to be less feature full, customizable, and in many cases less "current". While the default install may not have all the tweaks enabled and tuned, you can squeeze an awful lot of productivity out of older hardware with options and tweaks in BI. I fully hear you on the lack of need to have a tinker box and I too have a primary objective of a stable platform that does it's job and that my wife can feel comfortable with. Blue Iris does that hands down very well and I'm able to impress friends who might have a Ring setup at their house. They have a monthly bill, limited storage, and it's all in the cloud... but yes it's easier to set up. I have 3 weeks of continuous video on 9 HD cameras, very customizable motion triggers, remote viewing capability with a decent (not great, but it is more than functional) mobile app, and a VERY active developer... all running on a fairly robust server but I completely admit it's 10+ year old hardware that, other than storage drives, cost me about $250.

Bottom line, Blue Iris does take a bit of work to get set up and get set up right. I have a friend that deployed a pretty powerful server for a church with 14 HD cameras (better than mine) and originally it was maxing his server CPU. With some simple tweaks to BI we got that to 10% CPU with little to no user experience loss. This community, the user guide/manual, and some general Internet searches are here to help. Once it's running though and you're happy - you don't have to tinker, but there is PLENTY that you can if you get the itch. Other than adding new cameras and running software updates, I've done very little in the past year or two.
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Re: What made you choose BI over alternatives

Post by TimG » Wed Jun 02, 2021 5:56 pm

I originally used the cctv software that came with my [no name] X10 home automation, but it was restricted to D1 resolution so it had to go. I then tried iSpy which was quite good, but cost a lot per annum for remote access. It was well over £100 a year to run two cctv servers with remote access. I also had to write my own config files for ptz cameras which didn't thrill me. Updates were non existent, and there was no support.

Compared to that:
  • BI5 is constantly upgraded,
  • they answer my support questions quickly,
  • they will try to add new cameras for you if you can't,
  • and it works with so many cameras of varying resolutions.
Blue Iris really is the Swiss Army knife of cctv software.
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