Amazon.com: Customer Reviews: Q-See QT228-8B5-5 8-Channel CIF/D1 Security Surveillance DVR System with 500GB Hard Drive and 8 Weatherproof Color Cameras (Gray)
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Style Name: with Eight 480TVL Cameras|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
ThisQ-See 8-Channel Security Surveillance System works well for my needs and is also a very good value. To be perfectly clear, this is not a high-end system with high definition cameras, but it isn't priced like a high-end system either. This is somewhat of a budget system that exceeded my expectations for what you get and how well it works. Here are my observations:

Note: We already own a Defender, a Zmodo, and another Q-See System used to monitor our small business, so it was easy for me to switch out the main DVR unit and cameras to do a side-by-side comparison. The other systems have roughly the same specs and features

Our Use - We recently bought an old but very large building for my wife's business and needed a way to monitor the six exits, the retail shop space, and 2nd floor training areas.

Included:
* Main Control Unit - this is a fairly small unit (smaller than most DVD players)
* 8-Cameras - these are also fairly small, good physical quality and include mounting hardware
* USB Mouse - connects to Control Unit
* Remote Control - gives access to all menu functions (batteries included)
* Required Cables - 65' Video/Power cables
* Power Supplies
* Window Warning Stickers
* Software CD

Features:
+ Camera; IR Illumination for night vision
+ User configurable Options; Privacy Zones (blackout areas in the display), Motion Zones (areas where motion triggers an alarm)
+ Network Access; Can be viewed by a PC on the local network
+ Alarm Notification; Audible alert and E-Mail capability (which works very well)
+ Display Options; Includes a VGA monitor connection and BNC/video out for TV viewing
+ Remote Control; Really makes it easy to quickly access features
+ Remote User Access; Can be viewed remotely on PC/MAC, iPhone, and Android

Pros:
+ Setup; Basic configuration is very easy
+ Image Quality; Good for basic security needs in both bright and dark settings, better than the Zmodo cameras
+ Night Vision; Surprisingly good clarity and range, also much better than the Zmodo system
+ Value; Lots of cameras and features at a reasonable cost
+ Options; Can be made to do everything we need it to do
+ No Exposed Camera Wires; Wires can pass though the mounting hardware so are hidden and protected

Cons:
- Slightly Washed Out Colors; Colors are somewhat muted, but can be individually adjusted in the controls to get the best possible picture for the lighting condition

Hints/Notes:
* Alarmed Events can be recorded and searched on later
* A 500GB Hard Drive can record up to two years of video on this system
* Placing a camera too close to a window will cause the IR to reflect and blind the camera when it shifts into night vision mode
* Supports PTZ Cameras (not included); we use Zmodo Home Indoor Pan Tilt Surveillance Camera with IR Night Vision for 80 feet

This system covers my needs very well and provides a lot of advanced features that are nice to find on a budget system.

Highly Recommended!

CFH
77 comments|147 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on December 31, 2013
Style Name: with Eight 480TVL Cameras|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This Q-See QT228-8B5-5 Security DVR is an economic security system. The included cameras are not high-definition cameras. It only provides 480 TV lines of resolution. Also, it only comes with 24 infrared LEDs for night vision. With reasonable daylight, I can tell people's face at 50 feet away. However, at low light or no night conditions, I really have hard time to tell people's face at 15 feet away. Don't get me wrong, I do see objects at 40 feet away under total darkness condition, but I just can not identify a person that far in low light (or no light) condition. If night vision is important in your case, consider other premium models with more infrared LEDs (like 36, instead of 24).

This system allows remote monitoring via a smartphone or PC. Though I am somewhat familiar in configuring my router and my cable modem for remote access, the provided manual is not clear enough in guiding me to take advantage of this remote monitoring feature. If remote monitoring is essential to your needs, you should download the manual and go over the manual first to make sure you can handle the networking side.

The DVR itself is very easy to operate. The 500GB disk space can store up to 2 year's of video.

All in all, for residential homes, I think this Q-See QT228-8B5-5 is a cost-effective security system. I would recommend this set to my friends.
11 comment|67 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on March 4, 2014
I bought this for a friend who owns a small store. It was easy to set up and use. I also bought her a 26" monitor with HDMI connection.
The picture is clear day and night. The cameras are much smaller and inconspicuous than the old ones. I recommend this system
0Comment|40 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on June 1, 2014
These were pretty easy to install (though I have no clue how to configure it for the remote viewing) but the drilling holes into the house and running the lines seemed to be pretty easy. Then hooking up the cables and connecting it to the router was also straight forward. I have had it up and running for a little over a month. My 500gb hard drive filled up completely. I have neighbors very close to me on all sides and am very close to the street. I also have some extremely horrid neighbors which has lead me to have to have it record all night long at times. I can't find a way to only have certain cameras record 24/7 and others only with motion so that uses up extra space. I had to buy a 1tb portable hard drive to transfer files. The included dvr appears to write over old files after it fills up. Has it helped with my horrid neighbor problem? Unfortunately, not. They are all aware of the cameras and they know that they do work but no one cares. I guess I wasn't lucky like some of the reviewers who stated certain people moved etc. Granted, it has only be a little over a month but still - I was very hopeful. I love my place but HATE my neighbors.

When transferring your files onto a portable hard drive be aware that it takes forever. It also will have a huge box in the middle of your screen that you cannot minimize which will block your viewing that entire time. It took over 10hrs for me to transfer about a week's worth of files (and not necessarily the files that had the overnight recordings). Granted, could it be my portable hard drive or is it just how long it takes? I don't know.

I have noticed an occasional flickering of the cameras - not sure what causes that. For me I feel that the recorded footage is good (but again everything that is being recorded is close). It doesn't seem to pick up animals (or at least rarely) which could be good or bad depending on what you need it to record for. Sometimes a bug flying very close to the cameras will cause it to start to record.

All in all not a bad set. I bought them when they were $269.99 on Amazon and for that price I think they are very good.

Update: It has crashed 2 times since when I installed them in April though. I have no clue what caused it to happen each time. There was no problems with my power (electric) nor was there any issues with my internet. Hopefully, this isn't an occurring issue.

Update: 11/6/2014 It has crashed on many occasions. They do work still and work well but it has crashed on me numerous times though I don't know what the cause is (my internet connection, interference, the software?). I can't compare them to any other security camera system so not sure if these are good or if they are horrible. Also all my neighbors are still here and no one has moved or changed their behavior because of the cameras.

Update 11/19/14: For some reason now it is harder to make out people when viewing the video (on my laptop and my monitor - both the same ones I had been using since day 1). I notice they now seem to look all pixeled. They still crash every once in a while and am not sure what causes it. Also the colors are never true no matter how I have tried to adjust my monitors. There have only been two times that the colors seemed to be true and that is when there was a storm outside and the light was odd. Then the grass actually looked green, it never had any other time. Again, I cannot compare these to any other cameras but I am kind of disappointed in them. I was able to finally configure them so I can view them on my Kindle Fire and Ipad. It actually ended up being quite easy to do even though I had no clue what I was doing.

Update 1/20/15 These aren't even a year old yet and they crash probably once a week. I also have noticed that one of my cameras must be ready to go since it has started to look odd (looks like there is some hazy light all around it - never looked like that before). They also seem to not record enough for motion when it counts yet they will start to record for something silly. I won't go into details, lord knows I don't want to give any pointers to any would be criminals out there. I can also still say that not one single horrid neighbor has left nor changed their ways because of my cameras and I highly doubt the quality of the video would be enough for the authorities.
On a side note, I have already filled up 3tb of hard drives which I can only get one portable hard drive to work with this camera security system (Seagate). All the others I have bought will not let me backup, so I have to use the Seagate and then use that to backup to the other portable hard drives. For the not so good quality it takes up a lot of space. Also I don't understand why there isn't an option that you can choose a camera to record constantly (as wanted) and have the others record on motion. There are times when there is a lot of iffy activity and it would be nice to record with that one camera and have the others just record if they detect motion, yet I cannot find anyway to do that so I have to hit record and have all 8 record which takes up a lot of space.
Again, I cannot compare these to any other camera system but for the $299 I paid I don't feel they are worth it.
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VINE VOICEon December 3, 2013
Style Name: with Eight 480TVL Cameras|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This Q-See DVR and camera package is my first experience with a Q-See product or any security camera and DVR system and I'm generally very impressed. The cameras are what I expected, everything needed to install the cameras and wiring was included and easy to use, and the DVR was essentially ready to start monitoring and recording the cameras out of the box.

In more detail, the cameras are roughly the quality of a non-HD TV broadcast in daylight or strong artificial light. I've installed 6 of the 8 cameras at house corners and doors and under light, any person in the camera view is easy to distinguish. The cameras are a reasonably wide angle so they capture a lot of viewing area. The story is a little different in low light or no light. While they do have night vision and you can see objects as far as 40 feet away in total darkness, it would be hard to identify a person from more than 15-20 feet away or outside the center of the camera view in the low light/no light mode. So, depending on how important absolute positive ID of a face or other features are in no light, you'll want to take careful attention to get the cameras installed precisely to aim with a persons face in the center of the view within 10 feet or so of doors, windows, or anything else you are monitoring.

The DVR itself is pretty easy to use at least for the basic functions. The hookups for all of the cameras are easy to do and once you have it connected to a monitor the cameras are on and recording after some simple setup steps. Rewinding, reviewing, and configuring special recording features isn't as easy and this is one area where the manual is little help. If you've come to expect software and electronics manuals to be lousy, this manual is pretty much what you'd expect. But, if you aren't afraid to guess at a few things and click every button on the screen, you can figure it out. The DVR does a nice job of saving recorded files when it sense motion on a camera and in the advanced recording configuration, there is a way to block our certain areas of a camera from triggering the motion detection. There are situations thought like shadows, rain or snow that may cause some unavoidable false alarms on recording.

Similarly, remote monitoring on a smartphone or PC isn't hard to set up but you'll need to be fairly comfortable with networking configuration including the configuration on your cable model router or whatever type of internet connection you have. This is another area where the manual is less than great. It's got the right information but you'll be spending a lot of time in both the DVR network configuration and the router configuration and there are times when the manual isn't clear which item it's referring to. You'll also find there are certain router brands than the recommended remote internet configuration (UPnP) won't work for, most notably the devices used by ATT Uverse. However, that's not a bad thing because UPnP while easy to use isn't the best idea from a computer network security standpoint (search UPnP webcam hack and you'll get the picture) so going with the "DMZ" route to provide remote access to the DVR monitoring may be better anyway. Once those are configured, it was easy for me to configure our Android phones and an Android tablet as well as a windows PC to remote monitor,

One note on physical installation: if it isn't obvious, take some time to plan your installation of these cameras and the cable runs. If these are going to be used outdoors. you're probably talking about drilling holes in your eaves and running cable through the attic or some other cable run where you'll have tight and limited access. For me, this was a one person job and I spent 8-10 hours in total installing and configuring 6 cameras, mainly because I was up and down a ladder and in and out of the attic a lot.

The remote monitoring applications for Windows and smartphones are a weak area. They work. That's about it. But, the Windows app requires an ActiveX installation and only runs in Internet Explorer. They also struggle to work with or are blocked by certain anti-virus or firewall software. And certain features such as saving a capture from a live feed or video may require some changes to your Windows configuration that you may want to read more about and decide how important they are to make. Likewise the Android apps work but for the life of me, I see no way to sue or save a captured picture from the feed.

All in all, I really like this system and recommend it if you are looking for a value-class multi-camera security system and DVR. I think that with some tweaks to their software (and better manuals) this could be an incredible system. As is, it's more than good enough to add to peace of mind.

By they way, they make many other systems including some with higher quality cameras, better night vision, tilt-pan-zoom, and larger DVR storage. I think if any of those features are important to you, I'd still recommend looking at a Q-See system based on the value and quality I've seen in this entry level package.
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on March 19, 2014
I am very happy with my system. After installing the system I became aware of a lot of things around my house and my neighborhood, a young kid that had a shop-shop from stolen vehicles moved out, another one who was renting the house next door and was throwing after hours parties and selling dope also moved out. People think twice when they want to litter but look at the cameras. It is like having another pair of eyes throughout your house recording all the time 24 hours a day.
For the price and everything this system does you can not go wrong, I will highly recommended it to anyone.
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on June 14, 2014
I lost a customer after installing this system, the quality was very poor, and the settings were impossible, the remote worked sometimes and didn't allow searches, sequence or playback. If your going to install a system, I recommend the better grade systems.
I had to rate this a "0" to be honest. I removed the system and trashed it, that's how bad it is.
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VINE VOICEon December 30, 2013
Style Name: with Eight 480TVL Cameras|Vine Customer Review of Free Product( What's this? )
This security surveillance DVR system is a really nice. It comes with eight cameras, all the cabling, and software that allows you to view the cameras remotely.

The cameras produce a high-quality recording. I like that you can connect it directly to a monitor, to your computer, or to a television set.

I think this system is perfect for any business owners that want to secure their store. We live in a Victorian home so we will be able to use some of the cable cameras, but we will most likely buy a few wireless cameras also. We don't have the luxury of running wires all over the house.

All in all I think this is a great purchase.
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on April 14, 2014
I purchased the Q-See QT228 a month ago to replace a 4-camera system I had purchased about 4 years ago...another brand that reminds one of a wise bird. I chose to go with Q-See this time because of the positive reviews and the value of their 8-camera system versus the 8-camera system by another brand, no other reason. I own a small business where Customer Service and attention to detail are very important factors...the 8-camera option has me covered, in fact I had a hard time deciding where to install the 7th and 8th cameras without being redundant in areas and angles of coverage.

Installation was easy (and VERY similar to my previous system). The only issue I have with this Q-See model is that the on-screen menu for programming is harder to read in comparison to my previous system. In fairness, I will admit I have yet to invest in a HD monitor versus the smaller TV set I have here at the business. That may very well make all the difference in the world...still harder to read since I have the same TV.

I, personally, have very little patience for trying to figure out how to configure the system for remote viewing on a home laptop or desktop...all that Static IP address kind of stuff...not my cut of tea. Twice now I have hired one of those guys that will come to your home or business to work on computer issues. My guy was very reasonable in price plus since I use the system for my business...the business paid him. I'm certain that saved me a lot of aggravation and confusion.

My Q-See is still very new but I will also say the quality of the camera images thus far are quite impressive...to include the night vision mode. I'm still trying to learn some of the specific programming options available to me, but like with any new purchase, one simply needs to figure out the differences.

I'm very happy with my decision...no doubt.
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on May 26, 2014
Before you buy this product try calling for yourself at the customer service number provided on the Q see web site.
It takes about 30 minutes to get a real person on the line. The music on the line during the wait time is very loud, when you try to speak to someone you must yell and you cannot hear their voice. Many times the person hung up on me and I had to start the process again.
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