64 of 65 people found the following review helpful
on October 25, 2013
Rarely am I this blown away by a product! To begin with, it isn't exactly easy to install. Be prepared for some planning and drilling, since the cameras are all wired, but it is all worth it. The DVR is nearly silent, so you can place it just about anywhere. I used an old computer monitor with it, but it has an HDMI output, so you could just connect it to your TV. After setting that up (which is super easy), you need to mount the cameras. The tilt and pan camera is amazing. Once you mount it, you can control it even with the smartphone apps (I used the iPhone one). The other cameras mount in a fixed position, so I put the pan and tilt in the center of my main living area, placing the fixed ones down the hall, and one outside facing the driveway (yes they're weatherproof!). After setting up the system, I decided to play with the clarity and night vision. If you've seen Ghost Hunters, you know what you're working with. What amazed me was the clarity of the night vision. I wrote "can you read this?" on a piece of paper and placed it on the table about 15 feet from the main camera. I turned off the lights, and I could read it easily in the complete darkness!
I don't live in a high crime area, but I like being able to check on the home while away. This added just the right amount of security for me. I cannot recommend this more highly!
72 of 77 people found the following review helpful
on October 18, 2013
Q-See did a great job here. I was scared of throwing away hundreds on garbage so I spent days reviewing DVRs and cameras (BTW I notice there is a (assuming) competitor of Q-See that writes all-caps bad reviews on other QSee products--look at his/her comments and the wording is all the same, copy paste on multiple items with no specifics).
The software interface is a breath of fresh air, very clean, not just on the box menu system itself, but through the web interface as well. I am using Chrome and it is working great. Remote viewing of my home security cameras, good to go. Some of the options available on the DVR are really nice. One example is the very well designed screen to block out areas you don't want to trigger the record-on-motion-detected.
Instructions are written by a native English speaker (can't take that for granted nowadays). The instructions for getting the system connected for remote access are thorough and cover both UPnP and DMZ for the router setup. The cameras work as expected, no complaints there.
So far, very good. Will post an update if there are any developments otherwise.
47 of 52 people found the following review helpful
on September 30, 2013
I coupled this with 4 Q See night vision cameras and it is simple yet functional. I was hesitant about those systems that were clean and slick to look at but I found out the only way to access menus and control was either from the all in one remote or the mouse. God forbid if the remote got lost or broken then how do you even turn the darn thing on/off. So I admit I am a bit of a traditionalist/hybrid when it comes to electronics. The performance is good, it provides settings for qvga or vga (good/better) images. The unit is lightweight but shell feel solid enough, I put my flat screen monitor on top of it without denting the top of the shell. The back has options for output (VGA, HDMI) which I used the HDMI into a 19" led TV that I found on sale. The menu setup is not as user friendly or intuitive as I'd like but once I played around I kind of understood where/why they put it under what folder.
-Price was usually less than other if not comparable/cheaper than generic no names
-Build is better than most I explored
-Q See is a name I know of
-Compatible with my Swann nanny cams too! In the works for patching them in somehow, if I need to, I have no problems buying another Q See DVR
-Can access menu through optical mouse (included) or button.
-Playback remote included w/ batteries
-Can be usb backup via external hard drive
-The buttons on the unit do not light up...non contrasting scheme makes it somewhat difficult to read.
-Menus/software not as user friendly but still better than most I can say that!! Still easier to use than zmodos menus
TIP: in menu when searching for recorded files and/or images (in file management) if not sure about time, leave search empty - select the day and just click search. It will pull up the whole day's records.
-Remote and mouse feels cheap but it serves its function well. The mouse is USB and optical FYI.
-There is no separate manual on/off switch. If you want to shut it down you must go through the menu and it takes longer than I thought to actually shut down or use the stop/esc button on DVR and hold it for 2 secs. The on/off that is supposed to work which is the left button with the red does not turn ON the unit. With no manual toggle..I literally have to unplug it and replug it for it to turn on. Don't know why that is but I see common complains about the same thing and I thought maybe I would not get a buggy unit..I think it maybe design. It is still not enough for me to return it though.
Overall, I am pretty happy with it. I will stress that you should couple this with a set of decent cameras though. More tvl means clearer pics so the qsee cams I bought are pretty good considering the price. They are the bullet style cams 600 tvls. Decent detail and fairly accurate color at 30 ft give or take. A few of my indoor mini cams are 450 tvls and u can seen the difference. Generally the safer bet for outside is dont go below 500tvl if that. I didn't need the detail indoors so that's fine. Outdoors I say spring for the better details so u have something substantial for police reports. Decent lower res cam can run about 30 to 60 bucks. The decent tvl res cams will hit about the 50 to 100+ range. Then u have pro which can get insane with pan tilt room etc 150 to hundreds more. I will tweek some of the settings some more on a later date but for now, I see my mailman/UPS dude tossing my mail around like bocci ball and neighbors that don't clean up after their pups..WTH!
UPDATE: 11/1/2013 - I expanded my system and purchased a zmodo 8 ch dvr. I am using both just separated them by duty. I will say compared to the zmodo, I still like the functionality of the menus on the qsee more. The Qsee allows to search files by events i.e. motion, power loss etc. The zmodo - it gives a time grid as well with blue range markers to narrow the time frame but unless you have an idea, it seems you maybe replaying the whole day when you were gone. I also noticed that real time display seems clearer from the qsee dvr than the zmodo and I checked the advanced settings. The qsee was running either HDMI or VGA - the zmodo I tried coaxial/RCA and VGA (the zmodo has no HDMI). Eitherway the results were the same and yes, I used the same 600 TVL qsee cams in NTSC/D1.
86 of 100 people found the following review helpful
on January 1, 2014
I read documents for 4 days prior to attempting installation and setup. I worked and read for 2 more days during setup. When I called for help, the agent was snippy, anxious to get me off the phone, and sent me something else to read.
Your documentation ( and you certainly have plenty of it ), although written by a native English speaker, certainly wasn't written by someone with a sixth grade knowledge of punctuation or grammar.
It appears as though product development, your technical writers and software development have only limited communication with one another.
During the setup process I was prompted to enter "the" IP address in various and sundry locations. Which IP address? I was working with 3 of them: One for the router, one for the computer and one for the dvr.
Setup for the iPhone was accomplished as a result of reading a user review. iPhone automatically changes the "a" in "admin" to upper case. Upper case "A" doesn't work. Software development could have resolved this in advance.
Functionality for the ipad was accomplished by trial and error and limited help from the same software review. Again, software development failed. Further, I couldn't find a solution while performing a search in Knowledge Base. Your technical writers failed.
Once you back up a file, you can't back it up a second time. It's still on the hard drive. You can see it. But you just can't copy it for police use. Their IT guy needs your hard drive for that which means your security system is shut down until it's replaced
Hard drive replacement as outlined in the most current downloadable instructions for QT series says a standard desktop, SATA, 3.5"' 1 TB, 7200 rpm hard drive is required. Further tells which screws to remove and electrical precautions.
Damned if they didn't forget to tell you it needs to be AV rated. Damned if they didn't forget to tell you the disk then needs to be formatted after it's installed.
All of the things their technical writers forgot to tell me throughout the setup and maintenance of the system have overshadowed any pleasant experience for which I might have hoped.
Still...great hardware. Plug and play it ain't.
You have an excellent product with marvelous capabilities, durability, packaging.... I couldn't be happier with those issues. Your customer support, technical writers and software development really suck, however.
20 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on November 25, 2013
I have tried numerous consumer-oriented IP cameras, but this is the first pro-style model I have tried. I know from experience with multiple other cameras that these cameras usually start out as professional models, or are made by professional surveillance companies, and are adapted for the consumer market. When that happens, the packaging and marketing text makes it sound like it is easy to get them up and running by the average user, but it is a veneer that wears off once you start trying to set it up. Q-See does fall into that category, but they executed the setup process better than most I have tried. The bottom line is, I ended up getting everything to work as advertised with less frustration.
1) They try to make it easier for the average user with large installation posters with a lot of photo illustrations
2) The automatic setup software actually worked, for once
3) Cameras provide a nice field of view
4) Appears to be well made and designed to weather the elements
5) Night vision is usable
6) Overall, they succeed in avoiding requiring the user to buy a networking dictionary, but you still need to dig a little to understand some terminology
7) Viewing IP cameras on a smartphone has been one of the biggest challenges I have had with IP cameras. Some I have tried simply never worked, even though the manufacturer says it's possible. Others I have gotten to work for reasons I cannot explain. The best thing I can say about this product is that I can view the cameras over my smartphone, so I'm not going to push my luck. However, the apps they provide apparently give many peoples issues (see Cons below)
1) Instructions are still not as easy as I think they need to be for the average user. While parts of the instructions were easy to understand and follow, they did not necessarily flow from one thing to the next. I am really not sure how I got everything working. Seems like I jumped around between instruction sheets and steps. I also had to do some searching on their web site. I had to install several pieces of software and drivers, but I'm not quite sure yet what they are for, or how to work them. I doubt I could guide someone else through how to set it up. Still, somehow, I got it to work
2) While the automatic setup software worked for me, if it doesn't for you, then you are thrown into the daunting world of port forwarding! This is something all other IP cameras I have used I have had to deal with. Digging into your router's settings is not the most user friendly process
3) The consumer friendly veneer wears off the deeper you go. The more you go into the settings sections, the more it looks like territory only a security or network professional could love. Still, like I mention in the Pros section, they do abetter job of explaining than other products I have used
4) There is no wireless anything on this product. For the sake of security, everything is wired. This means you have to figure out where you want your cameras and then determine if there is a place for the dvr to go that allows all the wires to be connected. Of course, you have to run the wires to and fro, meaning you may need to get on the roof. The dvr also needs to be hard wired to your network, otherwise you need to connect it to a TV or monitor. I think most people are going to want to use it on their desktop and/or smartphone, though. This, then, requires the dvr to be connected to the network. I ended up placing the dvr in the loft space in my garage. I connected it to the network using powerline adapters. It worked
5) When setting it up, you need to see a screen of some sort. The way I did it was I temporarily moved my dvr to near my desktop and plugged my computer monitor into it. This allowed me to follow the setup screen instructions to set up port forwarding. Once that is done, you can move the dvr back to where you want it. Then, I was able to use the viewing software on my computer to continue setup and monitor the cameras
6) The smartphone software they provide is confusing. They have a lot of different versions and it is hard to figure out which one to use. The only way I figured it out was by going to their web site, searching for android apps, inputting some info and finding the exact app for me. The only other issue with the apps is that the viewer ratings for most of theirs is very poor. It worked on my phone, but it looks like many people have some major issues
So, basically, I can say this: So far, so good. These cameras look and perform like high end security cameras, compared to the plastic cased, over-styled consumer IP cameras I have been using. Despite a lot of little things to assemble and setup, I did actually get the system to work as advertised with a lot less frustration that other IP cameras I have used. As a first step into a pro-style security camera setup, I believe the Q-See system is a good start for the average user, as long as you are willing to invest the time and effort needed to set it up, i.e., it's still not simple and easy.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on November 23, 2013
After a month of use I've come to appreciate the peace of mind that this particular Q-See kit provides. Functionality is fairly robust for domestic usage with a 1 Terabyte DVR (8 camera inputs), 3 stationary bullet cams and a nifty pan-tilt camera all enabled with remote viewing capability to allow monitoring through phone/tablet/computer apps wherever you may be located.
Some thoughts on this kit:
+Setup is fairly easy with better than expected instructions. However, because I use this set in a 1900 square foot, 2 story home most of the 50 feet cabling was not adequate for my needs so I did purchase nearly a thousand feet of additional cabling in order to place the cameras in my desired locales.
+Wired cameras > Wireless. Trust me, I've used several other wireless kits in the past and while I loved the ease of setup and lack of cabling hassles I often encountered battery/power issues and inconsistent connectivity.
+The image quality of the included cams = Great! The resolution is plenty sharp and the night vision modes are sharper than I expected with ample range illuminated in view.
+Really appreciate the weatherproof cameras that allows for greater placement options (eg - outdoor patio).
+Love the remote viewing capability. The iPhone app works great and I find great joy in being able to peek at my dogs and children whilst away from home.
Overall a very nice set with very well made and thought out components (they even include a mouse and remote control for utilization with the DVR interface). My only wish is the inclusion of longer cables because as it is right out of the box the kit seems designed for small, 1 room type businesses and will require a bit more investment for proper placement in homes.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
Our family has lived in a log cabin in a fairly isolated area for over 20 years. There have been times when the things that go bump in the night can bother the spouse, the kids and the dogs. We installed this unit and it was surprisingly simple for someone like me who knows their way around video cameras in a studio setting, but not so much about security cameras.
What is really cool is to see the wildlife that wanders around our home with the infared feature that is a part of this. Recently when we had visitors at the cabin and some noises were heard outside. I was able to check it on my smartphone and able to actually see that it was just a few deer that were foraging for food.
Setup of the cameras is simple, the software is downloadable from the website and took very little time. The equipment is very well made. Over the past month, I have really enjoyed this unit and would highly recommend it for the price.
Users will need to have a montitor or a TV that can be dedicated for this purpose.
10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on November 5, 2013
The DVR has all of the standard features I would expect. The cameras are pretty good, great night vision up to 75 feet. You can see decent images past that. The web and Iphone interfaces work as advertised, I had no problem with the port routing to get this set up, but I can see where some people that are not familiar with IP would have trouble. I use the trigger on motion all the time, I set up a Gmail account and receive emails with 3 pictures attached when motion is sensed. If I am away from a PC, I can quickly look at the pictures in the email on the Iphone or log into the Qsee app to watch the video of the event.
The only downside to this package is the quality of the cables. I would suggest buying better quality cables if you plan to pull them through conduit, I had one fail and had to buy the Q-See QSVRG100 Shielded Video & Power 100 Foot cable, pull the bad cable out and pull the good cable through.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on November 6, 2013
This system is a wow!
The set comes with a 1Tb hard drive that allows you to record and store lots and lots of hours of footage so you will never feel you need to delete stuff because of space. The system can also be expanded up to four more cameras that you can purchase separately.
The cameras themselves are small, yet very potent. The image is fine with 700 lines of resolution. Of course it's not Full HD... but given the use of these cameras, it is unlikely you'll need more than that. The night vision capabilities is IMPRESSIVE... you really can see perfectly at a large distance. The manufacturer claims 100 feet. Although I did not measure, I must say those cameras allow me to see (in darkness) as far as I need and probably more. I'm totally satisfied there!
The wide-angle lenses are a good compromise giving you a good angle of vision without the typical distortion of wider angle lenses. The free apps that allow you to interact with the system on your iPad works fine with me.
All in all, a great system that will take care of most (if not all) of your surveillance need.
9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
This is a great high quality home/office surveillance system which is well designed and capable of monitoring in low light conditions. Remote viewing is available by setting up an internet network connection, this requires internet service at the area of camera installation.
This high tech product comes with a quick start installation guide and a CD which has the owners manual.
After printing out everything that I needed from the owners manual for installation, I still had some questions. Q-See Technical Support is excellent and they answered all of my questions over the phone. They also emailed me 7 more documents which I printed to help with the software and further information. Their tech support is great!
The software is controlled by using a mouse or thwe remote control
Fine tuning picture quality/color
Record on motion detectedmode is available
Pan-Tilt camera,full control of movement
Pan-Tilt camera is awesome!
DVD Hard Drive:
1 TB-This will give you many days of recording time depending on hours per day you need to record.
Once hard drive gets filled it will just start recording over the oldest day.
You will need :
A computer monitor or TV