Shinobi for home surveillance

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Article from Issue 283/2024

Learn how to quickly get up and running with Shinobi NVR and your IP cameras.

When I began looking into surveillance software, I initially used ZoneMinder – a great piece of kit specifically made for monitoring and recording IP camera feeds – but eventually I decided that the Shinobi network video recording (NVR) tool [1] is a better option for my particular needs. (ZoneMinder worked well when I used it with a pair of cameras connected to a Chromebook, but when I set it up with my current five IP cameras, it resulted in a runaway RAM-usage problem. This may have been due to my particular hardware or a misconfiguration, but it required a daily system restart to prevent lockups which made it no longer suitable for the task.) NVRs record the feeds from IP cameras, and many NVRs also offer other features, such as:

  • Recording from multiple feeds at once
  • Hardware or software transcoding
  • Saving to a range of different storage solutions
  • Substreaming, or taking the raw camera stream and redistributing it
  • Motion recording, which can often save on storage space and system resources
  • Zoning, or setting zones to monitor for motion to minimize false positives and further reduce storage needs
  • Live viewing and administration from a web GUI
  • Integration with other software, such as Home Assistant
  • Still photos and time-lapse photos and videos

I used the free, open source version of Shinobi for this article. A Pro (paid) version of Shinobi unlocks a few additional features, but I've never felt limited using the community version.


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