What does the Bluecherry software consist of?

The server, the driver (if you plan to use analog cameras), the cross platform remote client, and the web interface.

The server is closed source, written in C/C++ and handles video streaming from network cameras using RTP, and video streaming the driver using Bluecherry hardware compression cards.

The client is open source, written in Qt/C++ and handles live video streaming from multiple Bluecherry servers, video playback from previously recorded events, pan / tilt / zoom control and bandwidth management features.  The client is also cross platform, and we provide the client application for OS X, Linux and Windows operating systems.

The driver, if you are using analog cameras, is open source and freely downloadable from Github.  Using the Video4Linux2 API it dual streams H.264|MPEG-4 encoded video and MJPEG video.  Our software also reads the motion detection flags from the on-board motion detection analytics, saving huge amounts of CPU time.

The web interface, supports live streaming and provides access to all configuration settings.  There is also an API for accessing certain parts of the software (live view, Pan / Tilt / Zoom control, etc).

Does Bluecherry provide an Android, iPhone, iPad or any mobile application?

This is on our list of things to add (http://ideas.bluecherrydvr.com/forums/45409-general/category/33946-mobile-apps), but at the moment we do not have a mobile application.  We do have web based viewing that will work on Android or iOS devices, which can be access using https://hostname:7001.

We have worked with the developer of IP Cam Viewer (Android: https://market.android.com/details?id=com.rcreations.ipcamviewer&hl=en or iOS: http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ip-cam-viewer-pro/id402656416?mt=8) to add support for Version 2 in that application.  If you want to be notified when we do release a mobile app, click the link(s) below:

Android: http://www.bluecherrydvr.com/downloads/android/
iOS: http://www.bluecherrydvr.com/downloads/ios-client/ 

What are the minimal system requirements?

We’ve put alot of work into optimizing our software for low end processors.  If you are using just a Bluecherry hardware compression card you could get away with using an Atom or Celeron CPU with 2GB of RAM (assuming a headless installation without the client running).

However handling motion detection on IP cameras uses more CPU and memory.  If you plan to deploy 8 1.3 megpaixel cameras we would recommend atleast a i3 CPU with 4GB of RAM.  Typically you will not need server based CPUs (Xeons for example) unless you have 32 or more cameras.

Is Bluecherry’s software based on Zoneminder?

We get this question alot.  The short answer is absolutely not.

While it’s common place for some companies to use existing open source software and build on that (a good example is Boxee), our software is completely written from the ground up for commercial applications.  It does not contain any code from Zoneminder, and never will.

We do use some open source libraries, and comply with any licensing for those.  We also give back to those libraries and supply patches for bugs that we found, or features that we want added.  A good example is our patches to libav.

What is Zoneminder? 

Zoneminder is free open source security / recording application that is written to work with Video4Linux supported capture cards. While it does support network cameras it does not support audio and does not have a GUI interface. Zoneminder is community supported and commercial support / SLA is not available. It is also licensed GPL, which means we couldn’t use any of the source code if we wanted to in a closed source application.

 

How are recordings stored?

Video and audio are stored in a Matorska container (.mkv).  These files, by default, are saved to /var/lib/bluecherry/recordings, though this path is adjustable and we support multiple storage locations.

Can I record audio from analog or IP cameras?

Currently we only supported capturing audio from IP cameras.

I don’t want my employees to view / access certain cameras. Can I block these?

Yep. You can create as many users as you need and define their roles into the system.
This article steps you through access restrictions on a per user basis.

Are software updates free?

Bluecherry provides free software updates for each major release cycle.  The version that you purchase is a perceptual license for that release.  So, if you purchase a version 2 license, you will receive free updates for the life of version 2.  Once version 3 is released then you can continue to use version 2, or you can upgrade to version 3 (at 50% of the price of version 3).

Can I use generic video capture cards?

Currently we do not support generic video capture cards and only support the Bluecherry (BC- series) hardware compression cards.  The Bluecherry cards support on-card motion and video compression (MPEG-4 or H.264) along with video output.  We also wrote the driver for these cards, so we know what to expect and what the card is capable of doing.

Which IP cameras are supported in version 2?

Currently we support over 1500 IP cameras and the list continues to grow.  For a complete list, please visit our supported list page.