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When you want to secure your home or business with a multitude of cameras, Blue Iris is a must. If you’d like to try it out for yourself, keep reading. In this article, I’ll give you all the necessary info — Blue Iris system requirements, compatibility, how to install Blue Iris on your computer, etc.
For those who don’t know, Blue Iris is third-party software that lets you control multiple security cameras at once, which you can access via your computer, phone, or tablet. It works with most camera manufacturers, and it’s quite intuitive and easy to navigate. Although the software isn’t free, you can always go with the trial version and later decide whether it’s worth the full price.
In my opinion, it’s definitely a sound investment. Before I installed Blue Iris, I really struggled to manage all of my security cameras. They were all over the place, and I would sometimes even forget that some of them existed. The security of my business was definitely compromised, but I didn’t realize that until I actually started using the software.
After a while, not only did I successfully control my cameras, but I was also able to add even more of them. Long story short — keeping my business safe is quite effortless now, thanks to Blue Iris.
Things You Should Know About Blue Iris
First of all, Blue Iris lets you watch a Livestream of each camera and take pictures and recordings. You can also capture audio, but that only applies to cameras that have that option. Moreover, you can do all that via your laptop, computer, smartphone, or tablet. It’s quite easy to zoom in and out as well.
With Blue Iris, you can choose between motion detection, audio detection, or continuous recording. What’s more, you can use their web server or post to a website.
Another cool thing about Blue Iris is that you can receive alerts however you want — via loudspeaker, email, message, or phone call.
Blue Iris works with most camera models out there. There used to be an official list of compatible cameras on their website, but they removed it in the newest version of their site, as it wasn’t extensive enough.
However, in the forum, the support team has provided a list of cameras that have been proven to work with the software. In case your camera isn’t there, don’t worry, as that doesn’t mean that it won’t work. You won’t know that until you actually try connecting the camera.
Luckily, there’s some room for trial and error, as Blue Iris offers a free 15-day demo. So if you’re unsure whether you want to pay for the full version, you can get the demo and see for yourself.
Now, when it comes to permanent licenses, you can go with the LE version ($$), which supports the battery ip camera, or the Full version ($$), which can support up to 64 different cameras. In my opinion, the Full version is always the better option.
Blue Iris System Requirements
According to Blue Iris’ official website, the minimum system requirements for your computer are:
- a Pentium dual-core or 2GHz processor
- 2GB of RAM
- Windows 7 OS
- at least one USB/Network IP camera
That being said, here are the recommendations:
- Intel Core i7 with QuickSync
- 8GB of RAM
- Microsoft 10 (64-bit)
- NVIDIA graphics
- an SSD drive
How to Set up Blue Iris
Step 1. Check if your computer and cameras are compatible with Blue Iris.
For starters, you should do a check-up of your gear, just to make sure that you don’t run into any compatibility issues. Even though I haven’t had any issues using cameras that weren’t listed on their website, you should be careful.
Blue Iris software works with dozens of different camera manufacturers. In most cases, you won’t run into any problems on the camera side. Analog, IP, with or without motion tracking, night vision — Blue Iris can handle it all without any issues.
However, running the software on your computer demands a powerful machine. The website says that you need to have at least a Pentium dual-core processor, an SSD hard drive, NVIDIA graphics, and Windows 7. In Apple terms, that means something from at least 2015, and no Macbook Airs.
Keep in mind that the legacy version of the software runs on almost any machine. If you’re willing to cut corners on speed and features, you can rig your old computer as a video camera control center.
Step 2. Install Blue Iris on your computer.
Once you’ve determined if your camera and computer are compatible with Blue Iris, it’s time to install the software. Keep in mind that it’s not free, and you’ll have to pay to get the full features and support. However, you can download a 15-day trial to get familiar with the software.
Now, let’s go to the installation process. No matter if you downloaded the trial or you paid for the full version, the process is more or less the same. The wizard takes you through the most important aspects of the installation (install location, license key, etc.), and you choose your license package. As I mentioned earlier, you can pick between LE and Full version.
After you’ve finished installing the software, you can finally start setting up your cameras and using Blue Iris!
Step 3. Connect all the cameras using the software.
Before you start connecting the cameras to Blue Iris, make sure that you’ve connected all the cameras to the computer.
Here’s a reminder — analog cameras should be plugged in the back of your computer. As for the IP cameras, you should make sure that they’re all connected to the LAN, visible, and on the same network as your computer.
After you’ve finished setting everything up, open Blue Iris. Go to “Add Camera” and input all the necessary information. For starters, you’ll need the camera’s IP address or USB port ID.
Then, you’ll also need the camera’s username and password, its make, model, etc. In addition, you can enable all its extra features, such as motion detection, PTZ, and such.
This step might be somewhat strenuous and time-consuming, but remember — you’ll only need to do it this one time. And if you run into any issues during the configuration, the Blue Iris forum is a good place to start looking for answers.
Step 4. Configure Blue Iris.
After you’ve hooked up all the cameras to IRIS, the rest of the process should be a piece of cake.
First, you’ll have to set the location and adjust the recording settings. You’ll also need to set the resolution, frame rate, video format, quality, compression, and location. In my opinion, it’s better to keep the resolution as high as possible and keep the frame rate low. You don’t need 30 frames per second to see what’s going on, but you do need the picture to be as sharp as possible.
As far as storage is concerned, it depends on how many cameras you have and for how long you want to keep the recordings. In most cases, about 500 GB should be more than enough. If you have four 1080p cameras recording at 6 frames per second, 500 GB should be enough to store about a week’s worth of data.
After you’ve filled the disk up, the software will automatically overwrite the oldest recordings. In addition, you can save on storage space by setting cameras to record only when they detect motion or sound.
Step 5. Check if everything’s working properly.
Once you get the system up and running, check every once in a while to see if it’s recording properly. Play random recording files after 24 hours, a week, and two weeks. If everything’s in order, a monthly check-up should be more than enough after that.
In addition, you can download the smartphone app. It will keep you informed and alert you if the system detects anything.
However, if something malfunctions or you run into a bug, don’t hesitate to call the Blue Iris tech support team. They’re knowledgeable and polite, and they’ll help you fix the issue in no time.
In conclusion, I think that Blue Iris is the perfect security system. It’s fast, simple, scalable, and it supports dozens of different camera manufacturers. If you’re tired of having a separate app for each indoor and outdoor security camera, with most of them not recording all the time, Blue Iris is the way to go.
Besides, you can always download the trial version. Trust me — after 15 days, you’ll wish you had heard about it sooner. I know it has made my life simpler and easier, as now I have one less thing to worry about.
Have you ever tried Blue Iris? If so, what did you think of it? Feel free to share your experiences in the comments below. And if you liked this article or found it helpful, make sure to share it with your friends.
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