Security Camera DVR-*n*x

From: Chad Smith 
------------------------------------------------------
So one of the places I work got a security camera recently, and it's good
for seeing who is coming in and out, but as of right now, it's just a live
feed, there's no capture device.  The facilities guy, who is a certified
electricity knows very little about electronics.  So he bought a DVD burner=
.
 Which, you know, has huge drawbacks.

So he decided he was going to get a hard drive for it.  Which, when I heard
that, I assumed he was getting a capture device to go with it.  I even told
him where to find a great deal a 2TB eSATA / USB drive.  Which he ordered.
 And then asked me where to plug it up.

Argh.

So I told him he needed a DVR.

He ordered another DVD burner.  It said it records to DVD=B1R....  somehow
that was the same thing as a DVR to him.

Double Argh.

So...  I basically need to show him exactly what to get.  I've found severa=
l
security camera DVRs online, but the vast majority of them come with their
own cameras, which we don't need, and don't want to have to replace the
existing one with.

My question is, is it better to just plop down the $130 - $170 for a
readymade solution, or use a PC, to keep it on topic, I am more than open t=
o
Linux based suggestions, as long as there is an ISO I can download and burn
to install on the yet-to-exist system.  I'd actually prefer Linux to Window=
s
if there was some sort of "Security Camer DVR-nux" distro that "just works"=
.
 :)

Requirements:

It needs to work with an external hard drive (how would it not?)
The captured video needs to be viewable on any computer, (Win/Mac/*n*x), so
I can just unplug the USB drive from the capture box and stick it in a
Windows PC and show it to whoever.
The hardware / software cost needs to be under $90 to make it
more appealing than a ready-made DVR.  So if it can run on older existing
hardware, that would be awesome.
It would be awesome if I could access that drive from our internal network.
 but that's not a must-have

I'm not sure what connection the video feed is actually using, but the box
that plugs into our TV monitor spits out RCA cables.

I don't think there is any audio, so that's not a requirement.

Thanks!

- Chad W Smith
"I like a man who's middle name is W." - President George W. Bush - Februar=
y
10, 2003 bit.ly/gwb-dubya

=============================================================== From: Dee Holtsclaw ------------------------------------------------------ Have you looked at this? http://www.zoneminder.com/

=============================================================== From: Chad Smith ------------------------------------------------------ I had not. But I am now. *downloads iso* - Chad W Smith "I like a man who's middle name is W." - President George W. Bush - February 10, 2003 bit.ly/gwb-dubya