1. DIY HOME SERVER - Blue Iris - Requirements
Before you can use Blue Iris as a surveillance station monitoring your IP cameras, you’ll have to configure your home server for PCI passthrough and then create a Windows 10 Professional VM passing through your system GPU.
The complete procedure is explained in a previous post called DIY HOME SERVER 2021 – Software – Windows 10 PCI Passthrough. Take your time to implement it properly before continuing this post.
To optimize motion detection and eliminate false positives, we’re going to use artificial intelligence to analyze the camera streams. So let’s set up DeepStack AI Server on our Windows 10 Pro Blue Iris VM.
2. DIY HOME SERVER - Blue Iris - DeepStack AI Server
3. DIY HOME SERVER - Blue Iris - DeepStack AI setup
Install Blue Iris on your Windows 10 VM. Enter your license key after installation at first startup.
Open up the (global) Settings and select the AI tab.
Set the DeepStack IP to localhost (127.0.0.1) and the Port to 5000.
Enable Default object detection and set mode to Medium (or High if you want more accuracy and have enough CPU power) .
Enable Auto start/stop with Blue Iris.
Disable Facial recognition.
Then click the Start now button.
Set all settings as displayed here.
In the To confirm input, specify the objects you want to detect.
A list of all possible object classes is listed in the DeepStack AI Server documentation.
4. DIY HOME SERVER - Blue Iris - NAS storage
We’ll store all camera recordings on a TrueNAS Core SMB shared network storage location. I use a dataset called Camera created on a pool occupying a 8TB SEAGATE Iron Wolf HDD. Don’t forget to set proper security on the dataset.
5. DIY HOME SERVER - Blue Iris - License
Beware the Blue Iris license you’ve paid for will only get you updates for 1 year. This means after this one year period you’ll have to either :
- renew your license to continue getting updates
- never try to update again after the expiration date
If you do try to update Blue Iris after the expiration date, Blue Iris will throw you back in demo mode, without any warning!
So, if you don’t want to renew your license, don’t forget to disable automatic updates before your license expires and do not try to update Blue Iris after the license is expired!
I’m not happy with the way Blue Iris handles their licenses. I’m willing to pay for decent software but the manufacturer should give us all updates for free except for the major version updates. It’s no good customer support strategy to stop even security updates for a paid security product after only one year.
Please Blue Iris, reconsider your license policy and make it more customer friendly.
6. DIY HOME SERVER - Blue Iris - General setup
It’s best practice to keep the Database path on a fast storage device.
I choose to keep mine on the Windows 10 Pro Blue Iris VM local drive because my Proxmox sever uses fast SSD to store the VMs. But if you want to, you can point the database path to the DB folder on your network storage location.
Select the Cameras tab.
Select the appropriate option under Hardware accelerated decode.
In my case, I use PCI passthroug to pass through a NVIDIA Quadro P620 GPU to the Windows 10 Pro VM.
Select Intel + VPP if your system uses an Intel CPU with integrated Intel QuickSync Video.
7. DIY HOME SERVER - Blue Iris - Add a camera
Enter the cameras IP address, Username and Password.
When using a ONVIF compatible camera, click the Find/Inspect button.
Select the DeepStack option.
In the To confirm input, specify the objects you want to detect. A list of all possible object classes is listed in the DeepStack AI Server documentation.
Set the + real-time images option to 5.
Enable the options :
- Burn label mark-up onto alert images
- Auto-flag confirmed alerts
On the Record tab, enable the Video option and set it to Continuous + Alerts.
Activate the Pre-trigger video buffer and set the value to 5 seconds.
Activate the Combine or cut video each to 1 hour. This nicely cuts the continuous recordings in 1 hour slices.
Activate the Record dual-streams if available option.
Click the OK button to finally create the camera.
8. DIY HOME SERVER - Blue Iris - Add additional cameras
9. DIY HOME SERVER - Blue Iris - Camera Streams
Set up the Main stream.
- Resolution : as high as possible
- Bitrate type: Variable
- Video quality : Highest
- Frame rate : 15 fps
- Max. Bitrate : 8192 Kbps
- Max Avreage Bitrate : 4096 Kbps
- Video encoding : H.264
If possible set the I Frame interval equal to the Frame Rate.
If your camera is pointed at your front and has to capture fast moving object like cars, set the Frame Rate to 20 or even 25 fps. Leave all other cameras at 15 fps.
In a next post, we’ll explain how to create a NTP Server in a LXC container on our Proxmox home server. This will allow the IP cameras to sync their time settings without leaving the local network.