Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: HooToo HT-IP206P IP camera
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on November 6, 2013
After good experiences with three of the less expensive HooToo pan/tilt (PT) IP210F and one of the fixed outdoor IP212F cameras (and a large array of other-brand commercial IP cams installed at work), I decided to try the more expensive pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) IP006N outdoor camera. The Amazon price for each the first two types of IP cams was $70. This more expensive version combines outdoor protection with the pan-tilt capabilities to the first camera, adds zoom, and maintains night vision. Its current Amazon price is $250.

Out of the well-packed box, the camera appears to be solid and of a much higher quality than the other HooToo cameras I've already installed. Much more of the camera is metal and the form factor is pleasing. Another reviewer wrote that the camera is beautiful and I agree.

Unlike the other HooToo cams, which I mounted inside and onto a house, I chose a harsh outdoor environment about 100 feet away from the house, where the camera is exposed to salt-water spray and heavy weather. This required construction of a mounting post, a trench for a buried power cable, and over two months of experimentation with various mounting and wiring configurations.

For those familiar with the HooToo web-based programming interface, the setup is identical for this camera when compared with the other two HooToo's IP cam products I already own (five other cams). Programming any IP camera (whether HooToo or not) requires a fair amount of computer experience and patience. Even with a fair background in network technology, I found the learning curve steep with the first cams. However, having programmed five other cams in the past year (both wired and wireless on a network with bridged extensions), programming was familiar and uncomplicated with this new IP006N camera.

For those unfamiliar with IP camera programming, the basic steps involve accessing the camera via a browser-based interface accessed on a LAN while the camera is plugged into an open Ethernet port on a same-network router. After accessing the camera, a port number must be assigned, wireless access enabled (with network settings and password) and Internet access programmed. Security settings, device names, email notification, and dozens of other settings can be configured as well.

To allow Internet access to the camera, the network router must next be accessed to (1) configure a fixed LAN IP address for the MAC camera identifier and (2) open the router port to allow access to the LAN from the Internet.

To reiterate, all of these steps are shared by other brands and models of IP cameras, so naïve users should not be too quick to criticize HooToo if they have difficulties setting up their IP cams. For the non-tech-oriented user, this technology is complex and is best done by someone with network programming experience.

For what it's worth, one of the reasons I initially chose HooToo over competing brands was its reputation as a company that prizes its customer service support. As other Amazon reviewers have commented, I found this to be completely true, and was more than impressed by HooToo's service accessibility, patience, and willingness to assist me with any question I raised about setting up any of its products. As a typical example, when one of my HooToo cams lost its dedicated web-accessible IP address, customer service sent me a specific personalized protocol to reset the cam, providing me with a new unique IP address for Internet camera access. This obviously took a fair amount of effort and time on their part and is not the kind of service I've ever received from other tech companies unless I was paying for tech support services (Microsoft, Apple, and HP come to mind).

I've now had the camera working and under testing for about two months. No fault of the camera itself, but it took me a month to work out the installation and power kinks to get the camera to stay on and not repeatedly reset itself. Because of this experience and the limited number of reviews thus far (since it's a relatively new HooToo product as of November 2013), I'm going to list my criticisms of the camera before reporting further on its virtues.

CONS:
First, I found that the nominal operating voltage range for this camera is a bit tighter than the prior HooToo cameras I already installed. For comparison, the IP210F cams operate on 5VDC. In reality, I feed several of these IP210Fs using both the included AC bricks as well as lead-acid batteries off of a PV energy house system. Doing so, I've found the IP210F cam operates from a range of about 4.5-6.5VDC. It may operate at higher voltages too, but I don't want to risk burning out the main board by experimenting. Likewise, I've found the fixed outdoor IP212F operates from a range of about 11.5-14.5VDC.

In contrast, this camera, the IP006N, has a narrower operating voltage range, about 12.0-13.0VDC. Above and below this range, the camera sometimes drops off the network or resets itself.

Second, the wiring bundle (including connectors for Ethernet, microphone, speaker, and power) is not weatherproof and must be enclosed in a box to protect it from water and corrosion. I mounted a box on the pole beneath the camera for this purpose.

Third, it took me several days to figure out that the protective dome unscrews to provide access to the camera itself, and that the reason I couldn't get the camera to fully pan or tilt was because the inner camera (under the dome) had been wrapped in foam to protect it during shipping. Opening the dome and removing the foam easily solved that problem. Incidentally, the camera is set up to be mounted with the dome down. (I originally mounted it dome forward and couldn't figure out why the pan and tilt controls were not intuitive. This was fixed as soon as I remounted it dome down.)

My fourth criticism has to do with the apps that I use to control our cameras and view the images. Our technology is Apple-based, and Safari's interface doesn't allow easy control of any of HooToo's cams. (FireFox on Windows doesn't either.) Based on other Amazon reviews, I tried several iDevice-based apps and found the greatest functionality through the app, IP Cam Viewer Pro. This actually works better than the app suggested by HooToo's customer service. Nevertheless, when the IP006N is accessed over the Internet, any pan or tilt commands result in sending the camera to the extreme edge of its visual range, rather than simply advancing the camera a few degrees at a time. This is not a problem for the IP210F cams or when accessing the IP006N over the LAN.

Fifth, the video recording feature on this (and all HooToo cameras) is not understandable. I can take still shots easily, saving them to a computer or device, or emailing them on the fly. Nevertheless, I am unable to figure out how to access video recordings I take on this or any HooToo camera.

Lastly, at least one other reviewer has commented that the IP006N dome is not entirely waterproof. In two months of use, I've not noted this problem despite having had several major rain and windstorms. However, after reading about this possibility, I did ensure that the dome was fully screwed on after mounting the camera.

PROS.
For the price, the quality of this camera is unbeatable. Combined with customer support, I absolutely recommend this above the competition. HooToo actually mailed me a replacement IP006N after my initial one dropped off our network and I couldn't figure out how to reset it. (After much troubleshooting, it's possible that that problem was due to voltage fluctuations on our 12VDC buried cable rather than camera itself. Whatever the case, the new camera worked when the initial one did not.)

Image quality is a major improvement over the less expensive indoor and outdoor HooToo cams that I have scattered around the house and porches. The ability to magnify images on the fly is something I always thought might be nice, but after seeing the quality of the IP006N video magnification, optical zoom functionality is something I now consider essential rather than simply optional.

Brightness in day and dusk light settings is good. Night color correction is still a bit lacking, but better than non-corrected images from the other cameras. As other reviewers have noted, the infrared LED night illumination is limited to the area immediately around the camera. (Expecting more illumination is analogous to using a flash on a camera to take a night image of a football field. External lighting is required for such photos.)

Overall, this new HooToo offering provides customers with a high-quality weatherproof, PTZ IP camera at a great price point. After some initial installation and setup issues, I now have wireless access to superb video from over 100 feet from the nearest router in a harsh outdoor environment. HooToo offers excellent support despite the complex technology and setup required. The camera has excellent daytime and good night images, near 360 panning, great zoom features, and an interface accessible with user-friendly apps. Similar offerings by other companies simply fall short.
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on June 14, 2013
The setup for this camera is nearly identical to the other brands on here, and if you run into any problems there's a wealth of info on the forums. It always helps to do some research first, and it can save you a lot of headaches especially if you are not the tech saavy type.

Overall, I was surprised how easy this was to setup. I basically just plugged it into my router via a cat5 to access the web interface, setup the wifi, then moved it to my place of choice. I was happy with the quality of the video and smoothness of the pan & tilt, and the zoom in/out function is a plus. The infrared night vision works great, and for android phones, I recommend the TinyCam monitor pro app for $3.99 which works with the Kindle Fire as well.

Unfortunately, this doesn't have a mic/speaker so look elsewhere if you need one with that feature. However for an outdoors camera, I would say it isn't really needed.
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on March 2, 2013
I bought this camera to use as a barn cam to view my cattle while they are calving. It arrived in good condition and installation was tricky but acceptable for someone with computer/network experience. The IP Camera Tool software that comes with the camera is useful for obtaining the IP address. It is necessary to have DHCP enabled on your router for the tool to locate the ip address. The IPCamClient software that came with the camera is good and allows up to 64 cameras to be attached, and port forwarding to view the camera remotely. There are only 9 preset positions, but otherwise it works well. I found an updated software version on the web that worked better than the version on the disk, which seemed to have some glitches. The picture quality is quite good when there is adequate lighting. Daytime viewing is in color which is accurate, but night time switches to b/w. The IR led lights around the housing cast a limited amount of light in total darkness, but seem to help when there are some lights on. The zoom is a useful feature but could be higher power. Auto focus, white balance, and iris function are good. PTZ control is good wired but a little jumpy when used wireless. Once you have your presets set it works well. I have tried this camera in two locations. The first was outside mounted on a yard light pole. Daytime viewing was good, but nighttime was not bright enough. The second location is in a 40X80 calving barn. With several lights left on this camera is working well, but in total darkness you will only see shadows up to about 20 ft. I purchased a Loftek camera after this one because it looked identical and was cheaper, but the picture quality has not been as good. Overall, this is a good camera for daytime use and with supplemental lighting. The lens is good quality and the camera seems to be well made. It has been operating for about a week. I will update after I have used it for a longer time.
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on August 13, 2014
Does PTZ really well, great quality lens, fast response from the camera when moving from pre-set to another pre-set. I love the look of the camera it really blends in a looks really professional.

The setup was easy just as any other camera is. (I've setup a handful so I know how they run)

Interface takes some learning if you don't use the manual to figure it out.

Dome and components seem good quality so I hope it last!

I haven't ever heard of HooToo before so I was a bit nervous, especially this being the only one that fit my needs, but so far so good.

**Update**
The customer service is pretty good through email but I just noticed after the first night that somehow the dome is causing weird reflections and the night image is kinda worse then a cheapar bullet non ptz outdoor cam. Hopefully some adjusting or a new dome will fix this issue. Its too bad because the day image is pretty good.

Picture here: http://s1.postimg.org/v6dx992u7/Dome_Issue.png
review image
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on November 4, 2013
Just installed and using Blue Iris software. When compared to other cams the image quality is about half as clean/crisp. Since this was half the price of the Panasonic wireless cams I have I figured I would give it a try....unfortunately I will not be ordering more of these cams.
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on May 31, 2014
The folks at Sunvalleytek sent me a replacement which was great customer service so I've upgraded from two stars to three stars.
The replacement fixed:
1) Focus is off.
2) Colors are extremely bad even for an uncut IR sensor unless it's a very sunny day.
3) The center of horizontal travel is not aligned with the mount.
4) When it detects the limits of horizontal travel one side sounds

However it's still the case that:
Focus is perfect only at maximum zoom because of the lens design.
The sensor is grainy.
The dome adds significant distortion near the threads. This makes the fully horizontal possition of limited utility. The camera should be mounted high enough that it's always looking down.

The new dome is much better than the original away from the threads.

The cable is quite short. The POE jack on my Axis is on the end of a five foot cable. The cable on the HooToo is about a foot so you'll have to mount it on a wall or provide a weatherproof box.

The IR lights are really too dim and you can't turn them off. My IR floodlight would be suitable if I opted for supplemental lighting.

I have several cameras, mostly Foscam but four Axis units. I don't expect Axis quality at 10% of the price but I don't understand the glowing reviews the unit is getting.
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on January 20, 2014
Here's the pro's. During the day the camera does descent, but not great video.(Blue Iris had very grainy video for software everyone says is so great). The Quality of the video seems to change when you restart the camera. It says 355 degree Horizontal but its actually 360, I marked a point on my window and it will fully rotate to the point in either direction on patrol. Its.well built with exception of dome, its plastic and panning fully up part of picture is obscured by a ring that is 1/4 wide all around the dome and distorts the view, so mount this camera high. Glass would of been better for durability and clearer picture. The Wifi signal so far is good to about 90 feet, that's as far as I needed to go and didn't have another extension cord to test farther. Motion detection works very well.
Cons: Night vision- forget it, without expanded IR lights or very bright yard light this thing is nearly blind, the LUX is not low enough. The built in IR lights are good for about 10 feet then fade out fast. The example screen shown for this camera at night are just false. The IR lights would be fine for a porch or small small area. Built in, rotating with camera IR's would of been far far better. Unless your a pro at networking, set up is a bear. You need to first get it working on Lan with IPcamera tool first then after working with your router can jump to wireless, from there to actually seeing it on internet after using a site like no-ip.com to get a dynamic ip address. I know some networking but I am a novice at best, took 2 days to get this to finally work. Using I-Spy free version is the best software to me as it will track and identify any movement or can get a plugin for facial recognition. No other free or trial software including Blue Iris will do this that I found. Without the auto camera tracking might as well buy a stationary bullet camera. con or no there is a minimum of 3 seconds to as high as 15 depending on your bandwidth of lag time for all movements , but seems inherent to security cameras. While I think as many Hootoo is a respectable company, this camera needs minor improvements to be worth its price or at least exceed Foscam and other PTZ IP cameras. Since I see i didn't mention my setup is outdoors. I tried it near porch, and ended up mounting high up on my power pole which has a yard light attached, then added 96 led expansion lights X 4 to cover areas that the yard light couldn't which helps 10X over. If you buy this try the free version of I-Spy software and play with the settings, can make this an interesting PTZ.
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on August 26, 2013
The pan/tilt/zoom mechanism of this camera works really well and the transparent dome just screws off which makes it a lot easier to remove than ones on other cameras. The WIFI was simple to setup and the software is pretty straight forward. I mounted the camera outside and it gives a clear picture during the day. This camera does not do night vision so don’t expect to see anything at night unless it viewing a well-lighted area. The transparent dome has cloudy ring that goes around the very top of it which will distort your view slightly on the upper part of the screen when look straight out at a 90 deg angle. If your mounting the camera slight higher than the area you want to view then this should not be a problem. The mounting bracket is a little flimsy but that is the only part of this camera that is like that, the rest of the well made. I’ve only used the camera for few days now but from what I’ve seen so far I like.
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on December 30, 2013
I'm setting up a weather cam for my website and this was my pick of available outdoor cams. I chose wisely. This is easy to set-up with great picture quality. I love the 8 camera pre-sets and the night vision is very good. The one draw back is the lower mounting screws are hard to access without using a right angle screw driver or removing the camera and housing. A right angle screw driver is not all that expensive and is the much easier of the two options I suggest. The WiFi is impressive and this more than does the job I need it to do.
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on November 27, 2014
First, the description is deceptive. It is not a new arrival when this model came out mid-2013. Not a problem, a good price point for a pan-tilt-zoom camera. I knew I was in trouble when the included instructions were only in German, but the company's website has instructions and downloadable software. The setup software never did find my camera and I ended up having to connect it to my router first, then connecting directly to the camera's built in web server to set it up to connect to my wireless router.

It worked all of 24 hours before failing. While advertised as an outdoor camera, the manual says to only use it indoors. It got cold overnight and even after removing it and bringing it inside to warm up, I could never get the camera to connect again to my wireless network. No POE, so you have to use the included power pack which has a short cord. A mess of cables hangs from the camera after mounting it and you would definitely want to protect the whole mess from rain.

You only get complete control of the camera if you are using IE as your browser - otherwise you get a limited set of feature control. I was hopeful that this would be a good, reliable product but not this time.
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