BlueIris NVR Software

Moved to www.NetworkCameraCritic.com

BlueIris is one of the bargains in recording software for your surveillance cameras at only $49.95 per server. It has some unique features that makes it idea for home or small business surveillance and it’s easy to use. It also has a huge list of cameras that are supported and new cameras are constantly being added.

This is the screen you see after you configure all the cameras and it’s been recording. The icons across the top allow you to configure a camera, set camera properties, start the web browser interface, see camera stats, take a snapshot, start/stop recording, the traffic light icon and the help button. The majority of the screen as you can see is the camera display and the most recent recordings are on the right.

BlueIris Softtware

The traffic light icon is the most unique feature, especially for home use. You click it to control when the camera should record or not. If you select RED, it immediately stops recording. Selecting GREEN immediately starts recording. Selecting YELLOW gives you a minute or so to leave the house before it starts recording, like a house alarm. This way you won’t get a bunch of recordings and alerts sent to you while you are getting out of your house.

Double-clicking on a camera allows the camera take up the full screen, a feature that’s not that common among NVR software but very useful. If you want to see only cameras, you can click the X above Clips to hide the clips.

BlueIris Softtware

If you have a PTZ camera, you can control it using the PTZ controls at the lower left. You can also set presets to go to desired locations quickly.

BlueIris Softtware

The client and server are combined into one program. If you want to access BlueIris remotely, you do so from its web interface. It works on all browser’s I’ve tested it with including Safari on IOS and Chrome on Android. This is what the interface looks like. Different in that the Clips are on the left and cameras displays on the right. You can view the cameras live and recorded video, but not configure any of BlueIris settings from the web interface.

BlueIris Softtware

You configure the web server by clicking the Options button on the main screen and then the selecting the “Web server” tab.

BlueIris Softtware

Recordings (Clips) are managed by the thumbnails on the right. Clicking a recording starts to play it in a continuous loop by default. You stop playing it by clicking the X in the upper right corner. Right click on the thumbnail to delete it or copy/move it to another location. You can also show clips for all cameras or one camera and sort the clips.

BlueIris Softtware

Clicking on the clock face icon will give you a timeline that you can scroll through to find recordings by time. You can scroll by date and/or move the timeline with your mouse. As you move the timeline, it displays the thumbnails below for that time period.

BlueIris Softtware

That’s basically how it works and it’s pretty simple. Setup is a little more complex, but not more so than most other NVR software. You add a camera by right-click on the background and selecting “Add new camera” which brings up this screen. As you can see, there’s a lot of tabs for different options. In the General tab you name the camera.

BlueIris Softtware

The next thing to do is going to “Video” tab and click the “Configure” button to select the camera brand/model from the drop down, enter the IP address, port number, user and password.

BlueIris Softtware

Other tabs of importance are the Trigger Profiles where you set motion detection options. I suggest cranking it up towards higher sensitivity until you capture what you need.

BlueIris Softtware

It captures any movement anywhere on the image by default but you can create a motion mask which contains various shapes to either detect motion or mask motion. In this screen, the black is areas are masks where not to look for motion and the red is motion detect hot spots. You can use rectangular shape or create your own shapes with a brush

BlueIris Softtware

The other tab that’s useful is the “Record” tab. This is where you set recording options for a camera. If you click on the Format button, it lets you chose from their proprietory format BVR or a common format like AVI or WMV. You can also chose the compression options like H.264 or MJPEG.

BlueIris Softtware

Another powerful feature that’s stronger than the competition is its User configuration. Here you can define what camera groups a user can see, when they can see it and time and bandwidth limits by user.

BlueIris Softtware


The software is stable, have used it for over a year, the support is excellent. When I purchased new cameras, they were very helpful in providing support for cameras that did not previously exist. For under $50, I don’t think you’ll find better NVR software. It does run on Windows, but you can access it from any device with a browser including Macs and IOS/Android tablets and phones.

The only downside is that it handles the video motion detection in the software and this requires a decent sized processor. You can do tricks to minimize the CPU use, but if you have multiple megapixel cameras, I would recommend a computer with at least an Intel i3 or i5 processor. My experience shows that the software does use fewer resources than other products like Milestone XProtect but is not as light on the processors as ExacqVision which does in-camera motion detection but doesn’t support nearly as many cameras and costs considerably more.

Also, while they do provide excellent support, there is an independent BlueIris forum (http://www.cam-it.org/) that’s pretty active and a great place to ask questions not only about the product but also IP cameras in general.

You can download a trial or purchase the software by clicking here.



16 Responses to “BlueIris NVR Software”

  1. 1 yozz
    May 20, 2012 at 6:33 pm

    hello bro, im newbie in cctv, can u explain this NVR software connection from DVR. Thanks for this knowledge experience.

    • May 20, 2012 at 6:53 pm

      A DVR is used to record and view from analog cameras. My reviews are primarily for people with IP cameras. These type of cameras are intelligent cameras that have a computer inside of them to process the image and allow remote viewing from the internet, some can record in-camera and connect via an ethernet network in the same way your computer connects. The equivalent of of a DVR for IP cameras is called an NVR (networked video recorder). You can buy this device in the same way you buy a DVR and they sell hybrid DVR/NVR’s where you can mix analog and IP cameras. You can also get software that does the same thing. BlueIris for example can support analog cameras if you have an analog video capture card on your PC, it can also work with USB Webcams and IP cameras from various manufacturers. Buying software is just a choice compared to buying a DVR or NVR. The advantage of software is it allows you to upgrade or replace PC hardware without having to buy a new software license and it’s considerably less expensive than buying an NVR or hybrid DVR. NVR software is available for free like Zoneminder and Milestone XProtect GO and at a cost like BlueIRis and ExacqVision.

  2. 3 David
    May 20, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    The only browser I have had issues with is Dolphin on my cell, the rest work fine. Dolphin won’t allow you to logon. Not sure if it is a setting in Dolphin or something with Blue Iris.

    You are right about support. Ken does a great job with support.

  3. 4 DSod
    May 20, 2012 at 11:53 pm

    If the motion detection on all the cameras is done by PIR on each camera (via I/O), would that prevent the software from becoming boged down with the addition of cameras? I guess the answer should be obvious but I thought I’d ask anyways since I’m new to this 🙂

    • May 21, 2012 at 3:36 pm

      That was my theory too and was going to try it. I have a Bosch PIR motion dectector, but I think Ken would have to write code to make it work as it’s not there now, at least not for my ACTi cameras.

  4. 6 KenB
    May 21, 2012 at 2:51 pm

    Should note that there is no way to view previously recorded video on iOS devices. Viewing with Safari on my iPhone is very nice for live view only. The iOS “app” should be available soon. it was expected to be ready 4 months ago. My current version is 2.64 – waiting for the app to upgrade to Blue Iris 3.

  5. 8 David
    May 26, 2012 at 5:36 pm

    Great Blog! What are your thoughts about purchasing a old dell poweredge server w/ dual 3.2 Xenon’s and 4 gb or ram. Do you think that would be sufficient to run both the milestone or blue irus software w/megapixel cameras?

    • May 28, 2012 at 11:29 pm

      Don’t know but keep in mind commercial grade servers tend to be noisy and power hogs so it may be cheaper long term to get a new Ivy Bridge Nehalam PC that has more processing power than an older dual socket xeons. Check the processor specs against newer processors on one of thos processor rating sites like http://www.cpubenchmark.net.

      • 10 David
        May 31, 2012 at 4:16 pm

        Sweet that website is great! You mentioned that you are currently using the ACTI Enterprise free NVR, how do you like it? Is it CPU intensive?

      • May 31, 2012 at 4:52 pm

        As long as you have all ACTi camera, you can use this software. It uses very little CPU, maybe 10-15% with 6 ACTi 1.3MP cameras on an Atom processor since it’s able to use the camera’s capabilities for motion detection rather than the NVR PC’s processor.

  6. July 4, 2012 at 7:56 am

    Hi, have you tried setting up a camera on https using blue iris? I can’t seem to figure out.

    • 13 Bill Byrne
      November 11, 2012 at 1:23 am

      I have been using Blue Iris for last 10 days and your blog has filled in a lot of gaps and I appreciate your excellent review.

      I am Using a Wanscam PTZ and a Foscam 1809 with speaker for the front door. I have to install the Front door camera and test the two way communications. It took me a day to learn and implement the port forward scheme for these cameras but it does allow remote access of these 2 different cameras using their dedicated active X software, Blue Iris has the advantage of displaying numerous cameras on one display. I will suggest to ken that they should add Talk and Listen Buttons for front door surveillance.
      so that inside conversation does not get sent inadvertently to the Camera speaker at the front door.

      I just purchased a Apexis PTZ with a speaker and their Active X sottware looks better than the other Camera manufacturers.

      I am perplexed by all these Chinese Camera manufacturers. I honestly believe their is only 1 manufacture who has formed several very similar companies which gives the impression of fair competition. I have seen almost identical Documentation and commonality in all these products. They all seem to reside in Shenzhen Province. I talked to Apexis the other day and they say all their stuff is now Agasio in Texas. I am not a conspiratist but I find this strange.

      I still have a lot of wiring to do and purchased a lot of CAt 5, ethernet connectors and crimper. I
      am zeroing in on how to implement Power over ethernet (Poe) for the wiring runs


  7. 15 Marcus
    July 1, 2014 at 6:43 am


    I know this is an old review, but I wanted to find out Camera Motion Detection.
    I was wondering if the IP camera itsel,f has its own Camera Motion Detection and it is configured correctly.
    Can BI support recording Camera Motion Detected video streaming from the camera, instead of using
    BI’s own software motion detection? If it does, then won’t be so power-hogging on the CPU resource
    on your PC hardware.

    Thank you.

    • July 1, 2014 at 4:47 pm

      This site was move to NetworkCameraCritic.com a long time ago. But BlueIris can only do it’s own motion detection, hence the higher CPU use. You would have to go to with a commercial solution like Exacq or Milestone to do camera side motion detection. You can get Milestone XProtect Go for free, supports 8 cameras and 5 days recording. The next level up supports 26 cameras with no recording restrictions for $49/camera. WrightwoodSurveillance.com is an authorized dealer and even though you are in OZ, you can order from them since there’s no shipping involved, just a license key.

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