Forum Spotlight: Video Surveillance and Windows Home Server

by Alex Kuretz on December 17, 2009 · 11 comments

in Forum Spotlight

Forum member “jmpage2″ has shared a writeup of his experience setting up a video surveillance system with his Home Server. He received an early Christmas present in the form of a Panasonic BB-HCM511A network camera that features Power over Ethernet, motion detection and audio capabilities, and he attached it outside his home to monitor the front entrance.


The camera can be access via a web browser on the network, but to really make this a solid solution jmpage2 did some investigation of better software to use with the camera and his HP MediaSmart Server EX495. In the end he found Blue Iris, which appears to have some great features at a very reasonable price, most importantly is the ability to install on Windows Server 2003 (which is the underlying OS behind Windows Home Server) and the ability to be automatically run as a service.


jmpage2 set up the Blue Iris software on his Home Server, and configured it to store all the recordings on a server share. While the software doesn’t have an Add-In for Windows Home Server, the viewing interface is a web server and jmpage2 set it up so that he can monitor his camera from both inside and outside the home.


There are several more screenshots and many more details about the setup and configuration of both the camera and the Blue Iris software in jmpage2′s forum post. This usage of the Home Server is one that is a natural fit, in my opinion. I’ve always been interested in trying something like this out (primarily to figure out which neighbors dog is regularly using my yard) and after reading about jmpage2′s experience I’m a bit closer to trying it out. Do you have a surveillance system set up with your home server, or does this give you inspiration to try it out? Let us know in the comments or in the forums.

Article by

I'm Alex Kuretz, and I'm the founder of I was the Lead Test and Integration Engineer at HP for the MediaSmart Server until April 2008 when I moved on to other opportunities outside HP. I've kept active in the Windows Home Server community, creating several add-ins and helping users make the most of their Home Servers.


Jason December 17, 2009 at 12:34 pm

Blue Iris is pretty open to product enhancements. Maybe if there are enough requests and this article and the demand is brought to their attention they will make an installation available specifically for WHS. It might not have every bell and whistle but could allow for clip playback and camera monitoring from the WHS console.

JohnCz December 17, 2009 at 2:58 pm

The Panasonic BB-HCM511A support RTSP streams so jmpage2, if they are a Windows Media Center user might want to look at DVBLogic for IPTV. This DVBLogic product will treat video from the network camera like a tv tuner in Media Center. Which means, you can do PIP, record, etc. It doesn’t support things like pan/tilt but for most home security scenarios, its usually in a fixed position anyway.

If you want PAN/TILT in Media Center, I found this MC add-on, mceNetCAM, that interfaces with a number of network cameras.

JohnCz December 17, 2009 at 3:00 pm

…one more thing about that DVBLogic product, it will also let your Media Extenders (XBox360) stream it as would any other channel in MC.

Jmpage2 December 17, 2009 at 3:21 pm

I’m not sure if I see the connection. Can DVBLogic do motion based security recording? I understand that there are other applications out there that can record streams 24/7 but most users want the ability to selectively record so that they can review just those events that triggered the recording in the first place.

If DVBLogic could coexist with a real surveillance recording application then I suppose it would have value for someone who, as you say, wants the ability to easily check their security feeds from a media extender device in the home.

Personally for me it will take too long to switch my home entertainment system over to another input, etc, to see who is at the door. I have an application on my iPhone that lets me immediately view the security feeds from anywhere and I will also likely install a small netbook or similar appliance in a central area of the home so that anyone can look at the small screen and immediately see what is on the cameras at any time.

Thanks for input though, if you’d like to make your comments in my forum article we can discuss further.

JohnCz December 17, 2009 at 7:20 pm

It really depends on your needs. In our kitchen, we have a touch computer and by default we have a camera feed from our front door.

Aaron December 29, 2009 at 9:24 am

I’ve been using BlueIris on my windows home server for several years without any significant issues at all and have not found anything better at any reasonable price.
(although I must have broken the image links when I moved my blog)

Thad October 17, 2011 at 10:42 pm

Hi, is this still a viable solution? I purchased an EX495 when it was discontinued a while ago. I haven’t done a thing with it, but am interested in a similar IP Camera set up for my house. Rather than buying a separate DVR, I’d like to leverage my WMS. Sorry for bumping a 22 month old post!

Alex Kuretz October 18, 2011 at 8:25 am

Sure, this is still a viable solution, everything is pretty much the same, is there a specific concern you have?

Thad October 18, 2011 at 10:33 am

Not a concern, but a question. Does it matter what version of OS it’s running? I never upgraded it to Vail. Sorry, a bit of a noob. Thanks.

Alex Kuretz October 18, 2011 at 10:59 am

Yes, the article is about running the system on WHS v1.

Comments are closed, visit the forums to continue the discussion.

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