Synology and the Art of Surveillance – We Review the DS1019+ as a Surveillance Station Part 3

Written by Martin Regtien on . Posted in Storage

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Here’s the last in a trio of reviews of building a Surveillance Station based on some top components.

We started out with some super HDDs from Seagate that are optimised for surveillance jobs. See our review here

Next came some top cameras from D-Link

Finally, we have a look at the Synology DS1019+ platform with their Surveillance Station app.

The Latin phrase "omne trium perfectum" (everything that comes in threes is perfect, or, every set of three is complete) very much applies to this final Part 3 of building a Super Surveillance Station.

We’ve been reviewing countless NAS units over our15 years of publishing. All the major brands have passed our review desks and even though the main game in town always seemed to be to test which one is fastest, we always went for the Value for Money factor with more emphasis recently on applications-based reviews.

I’m glad the bits and bytes days are over as the big brands realise it’s what you can DO with a NAS rather than for us reviewers trying to duplicate a speed limit that can only be achieved in an optimum setting.

The last Synology review we did was on the Synology Cloud and based on a very similar DS-918+. You can check it out here.

It also lists the specs for that very capable unit.

The DS1019+ is essentially the DS918+ but stretched slightly to accommodate a fifth drive bay. All the internals are the same, aside from 8GB of RAM being pre-installed. ... Other notable slight differences are dimensions, weight and power consumption — the DS1019+ uses around 10W more power with the additional drive and RAM.
And the other difference? About 300 Aussie bucks, taking it up to around AUD1000.

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So Let’s Concentrate on the Surveillance Station 8.2 Package

More and more it’s all about the software.
With the emphasis on all the CCTV surveillance everywhere and not having enough personnel to watch everything and everybody, the software needs to be very sophisticated to identify real threats and intrusions and respond immediately.

I’ll give you some examples of the standard features of SS 8.2 which runs on the brilliant DSM operating system.
There is a 100 X Fast Forward/Reverse function to speed up browsing and coupled with the ability to add labels and bookmarks you can keep track of all events at a single glance.

That’s all good and well but you want to be notified the moment something is triggering an event, right?
The multiple camera views instantly switch to a live view of the triggered event and send a notification to security personnel or to your smartphone.

The software even has Deep Video Analytics capabilities on certain platforms that are ideal for big events or shopping malls. Those include people and vehicle-based intrusion detection, customised so that only when they cross certain warning lines alarms will be triggered. And people counting mechanisms will help gauge when maximum capacity is reached for a venue by knowing how many have entered and exited.

Finally, let’s mention Smart Time Lapse which allows you to dynamically condense recordings to a shorter length to save storage space. This is done by customising settings to show footage in its original speed only when events are triggered.
Also helpful to free up storage space is the Archive Vault feature: Old recordings can be archived to a local server and recovered back to the remote server if needed.

And there’s always an App: the DS app will allow you to receive instant notifications if something is being triggered on your cameras. You can also monitor the feed from multiple cameras at the same time.

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Camera Setup

The DS1019+ comes with 2 free camera licenses. That’s a starter kit, so to speak.
For a decent setup you need to purchase a licence pack for 1, 4 or 8 extra cameras, ranging in price from about 70 bucks to around AUD400.

Installing the D-Link Smart Home cameras is a cinch, provided you know the IP address for each cam and give the Wizard the correct user name and password.
I had some trouble in configuring the connection with the brand-new D-Link COVR router as Synology had not updated the router database yet... Sometimes it’s not easy to be on the bleeding edge of technology!

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Conclusion

In a business setup you need 24/7 coverage of your premises so a NAS, more than just a dedicated NVR, will be ideal as it can also address all the digital business assets (more valuable than any physical goods!) in the one system.

Having played around with the Surveillance Station app for some time we conclude that this is arguably one of the better implementations you can have for business or home use.
The platform – in this case the venerable DS1019+ is solid as a rock with a pedigree that other brands would envy.

The other components, namely the Seagate Surveillance drives and D-Link cameras are also top notch so that the main requirement you should have for a Surveillance system, reliability, is fully catered for.

All-in-all we rate the Surveillance Station app from Synology very highly.

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