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199 of 208 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TOP BRAND, EASY SETUP, RECOMMENDED FROM AN INSTALLER
For those of you interested in mainly watching the cameras from your smartphone or computer, this is the product and brand to go with.  I have been installing security systems for several years now and Swann continues to impress me.  I use other brands because clients sometimes buy their own, but none have an easy setup and support like this brand.  I read the review...
Published on December 2, 2012 by Pomeranian

versus
140 of 150 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a Sony CCD and a not "Pro System" by any means. Save your money.
I am the ONLY person that posted real pictures. Be sure to check out my pictures. I wish someone had done it sooner.

July 16, 2013 UPDATE:
Swann removed customer images. To see the images mentioned please use this link.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-media/customer-gallery/A1B9PHF8TA7BSS/ref=cm_aya_bb_lists

NOT Sony:
I opened up...
Published 19 months ago by crsjb08


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199 of 208 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars TOP BRAND, EASY SETUP, RECOMMENDED FROM AN INSTALLER, December 2, 2012
For those of you interested in mainly watching the cameras from your smartphone or computer, this is the product and brand to go with.  I have been installing security systems for several years now and Swann continues to impress me.  I use other brands because clients sometimes buy their own, but none have an easy setup and support like this brand.  I read the review about the DDNS server being out and the reason from the tech representative explaining why and I like Swann even more for that.  What many non-techs don't understand is that a DDNS server is something you have to pay for, but Swann provides this for FREE.  Not only that it seems like they are beefing it up so that it doesn't fail in the future.  With other brand DVRs I used other DDNS services I had to pay for and those would fail more times than i could think of.  I had clients call me every time it went out, all except customers who owned a Swann DVR.  The setup is very easy for the DVRs and with this new D1 and 30 frames per second on every channel it's amazing that it's available for this price from the top brand.  In my reviews I like to also provide hints on how to make setup easier for those future owners. See below.

Hints 1: test all equipment before running cables and doing any drilling, you never know if the shipping man handled package badly.  Good thing about Swann is also their 1 year warranty and great customer service so no problem is something arrives damaged.

Hint 2: Install DVR near router and monitor/TV you plan to watch it on. Swann is great in that it doesn't force you to buy their monitor, you can use your HDMI compatible TV or a regular computer monitor.  To use the internet features, such as watching cameras on your phone,  you will need a hard wired connection to your modem, you can buy a long Ethernet cable if the DVR will be further than 4 ft from your router.   

Hint 3:  port forward ports 85 and 9000 to the DVRs IP address then reboot the DVR.  Go to Swanns website and under the support tab go to DDNS support to create your free DDNS account.  After creating your account you create a domain, this is your easy to remember online address for accessing your DVR on your phone or computer.  Input your account and domain information on the DVR and you are setup for Internet access.  See hint 4 for input on your phone.

Hint 4: on Swannview Pro app for name you put whatever name you want to give your DVR and for for "server" or "address" you put your Swann domain name plus the swanndvr.net that goes after it.  Put 9000 for port and user I'd and password are the user I'd and password for your DVR.  If you don't put password just leave it blank and the default user I'd is "admin".  Then you are done and you can see your cameras.  

Hope this review is helpful and hints help make it easier.  Great thing about this brand is also their technical support is awesome.  FYI They have support in French and spanish. Tienen apoyo tecnico en Español tambien.
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140 of 150 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Not a Sony CCD and a not "Pro System" by any means. Save your money., May 20, 2013
By 
crsjb08 (Houston, TX) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Swann SWDVK-830008-US TruBlue D1 3000 8CH DVR and 8 x 600TVL Cameras with 1TB Hard Disk Drive (Black) (Electronics)
I am the ONLY person that posted real pictures. Be sure to check out my pictures. I wish someone had done it sooner.

July 16, 2013 UPDATE:
Swann removed customer images. To see the images mentioned please use this link.
http://www.amazon.com/gp/customer-media/customer-gallery/A1B9PHF8TA7BSS/ref=cm_aya_bb_lists

NOT Sony:
I opened up the camera and took a picture of the CCD chip. I assure you it is not Sony. In fact, I don't know what it is. It is not Sony, not Sharp, not Panasonic and not even cheap Korean. [...]

Opt for real Sony CCD. A real Sony CCD with less TVL will be better than this knock off CCD.

No IR Cut Filter:
If you don't know what this means take a look at the customer pictures section. You WANT a camera with IR Cut Filter.

Not Pro:
This is sold as "Pro System", well I posted 13 actual images on the product page. So, judge for yourself. I spent a week obsessing about CCTV systems and decided on this. It's going back.

The cameras are junk. 600 TVL means nothing. The images are blurry and the only option to adjust image quality is at the DVR using brightness, contrast, hue, saturation. There is no adjustment on the camera itself. 480 TVL cameras would be just as good, if not better.

This is NOT a full D1 DVR. It might record adequate D1 video if it had better cameras. While you can record 8 channels at D1, you can only play back 4 channels at a time. So, if you are actually scanning for an event you have to scan 4 channels, then scan again on the other 4 channels.

Why TruBlue?
I thought for sure the system would have blue LED infrared like some of the newer CCTV system. But it has the red ones. Why is it called TruBlue? I guess because of the blue light on the DVR around the control panel that you will never use because it comes with a mouse. What a joke!!!

Noise:
Why haven't more people commented on the noise. It is louder than my 5 year old desktop computer with the fan on 100%. And the fan is constant. So, plan on installing this DVR someplace isolated (like a closet).

*** UPDATE ***
The day I posted my customer images taken from the system, the manufacturer added more "product pictures" - pushing my customer pictures out of plain sight. Shady. For that reason, I've lowered my rating from 2 stars to 1 star.

*** UPDATE 2 ***
I took a risk and bought some "700 TVL Sony Effio CCD" camera direct from china at a e-bay for $35. WOW! They are so much better. I posted pictures comparing them with the Swann in the customer pictures section. The Swann garbages is getting boxed up tomorrow and shipped back to Amazon.
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45 of 53 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stellar for the Money, November 30, 2012
By 
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Swann SWDVK-830008-US TruBlue D1 3000 8CH DVR and 8 x 600TVL Cameras with 1TB Hard Disk Drive (Black) (Electronics)
We purchased this system for our small business about a month ago and have been very pleased with it. It allowed us to catch one shop lifter, one person breaking an item, and determine who was at our registers when various errors occurred in the first two weeks alone. The quality is pretty solid for the price, especially the picture quality which easily allows you to see faces, even in the dark. Colors are correct, unlike other systems, the menu is a very easy to use graphic interface that is incredibly self explanatory. The kit comes with everything (hardware wise) you'll need to set up your system, besides a monitor. To see what all the system has, I recommend checking out Swann's website for exact specs.

The set up was very simple for anyone who is 5+ on a tech experience scale of 1-10. If you the kind of person who can get your VCR to stop blinking 12:00 (if you have one) and are able to hang drapes with a drill and screw driver, you should have the ability to set this system up.

The tools I used:
-Phillips Head Screwdriver to screw cameras to wall or ceiling and adjust camera angle
-Power drill to drill to drill pilot holes for camera mounts and holes for wires
- assorted drill bits
- Electrical tape to secure connections
- a straightened clothes hanger to help pull wires

The system is a snap to set up and took me only 10 hours or so to finish, from planning to programming. It took me so long mainly due to the fact that I was installing these cameras in a 150 year old building with countless renovations and alterations to work around. In new (post 1950) construction it should be a breeze. All the BNC cables twist and snap together. Plan where you'll put your cameras for best coverage, where you'll run your wires, run your wires, install your cameras, plug it all in, turn it on and SHAZAM, you are in business. You will need to buy a monitor for it, but that is pretty normal for these type of systems.

When in doubt, see the manual. It is easy to read, and was apparently written by someone sarcastic like myself. Hope this helps.
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars DVR - Great . . . Cameras - Not so great, February 12, 2013
I was impressed with the DVR functionality and video quality. I didn't have to read the manual etc the interface was pretty intuitive and easy to configure for motion recording. Overall it has a quality feel to it and the layout of the connections on the back \ front are easy to deal with. Some may find the spacing on the BNC connections a tad close but this is with all DVRs I've encountered.

I could hear the hard drive click on occasion and this was a little disconcerting but I would have swapped the HD for a SSD HD if I had kept it anyway.

I used the 4 supplied Swann cameras in conjunction with 4 "AVTECH AVC462B 6MM 1/3" H.R. Sony Effio 35 IR 6MM lens Outdoor Weatherproof IR Cameras" I bought last year from US Security Solution. The difference was dramatic. The Swann cameras performed so poorly that I returned the whole package to Amazon. I put the camera quality and LOUD $#@! CLICKING NOISE on the same caliber as the Night Owl cameras I bought from Frys.

The tests were conducted by swapping out the Swann cameras in place with the AVTECH and also the cables and the problem was definitely the Swann cameras only.

What I really liked about this DVR besides the true full D1 @ 30fps PER channel, is that you can export \ save the video directly to .avi format as individual channels one 1 step. So if you want ONLY the videos for channel 1, you can get that! The files will be listed as time stamped names on the thumb drive and easily browsable and playable in Windows.

You can not do this with the US411ZS DVR from US Security Solutions at all, ever. Bummer :(
(US Security Solutions has great customer and tech support and can be reached by phone in the USA and they have been very good to me as a customer)

1) I prefer this Swann SWDVK-830004-US DVR over the US Security Solutions US411ZS DVR.
2) I prefer the "AVTECH AVC462B Cameras" over the Swann supplied "high resolution" cameras.

So 4 stars for the DVR and minus one star for the poor camera quality. I would def buy the DVR again.

=====================================================================================================

EDIT: I DID buy this DVR again (roughly), I bought the Swann - TruBlue DVR8-4000 8-Channel Network-Ready Surveillance DVR with 1TB Hard Drive. It was on sale at Frys and BestBuy priced matched it with their Low Price Guarantee. I removed the hard drive and replaced it with a 256Gb SSD drive for low power consumption in the field. The particular model I received was Revision 1 so no external drive capability. Revision 2 - chipset 8107 gives you the ability to use external storage. Both give you USB and eSata BU and the spare USB port can be used to pwr an HDMI\VGA to Composite converter if needed.

This unit with the SSD drive consumes only 96ma and with 8 cameras the combined draw is still @ 1.75A.
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19 of 24 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars 83000 8ch DVR, December 5, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Swann SWDVK-830008-US TruBlue D1 3000 8CH DVR and 8 x 600TVL Cameras with 1TB Hard Disk Drive (Black) (Electronics)
This system comes complete with all needed to install and view. The tech support is excellent and have been able to contact them every time needed. I have had to contact support 7 times in 4 weeks. The system has locked up in the dvr hardrive 4 times now and my ability to revieve email alerts when cameras triggered has not been able to be set up by swann even when taking over my computer remotely and doing all teh stuff a senior level tech knows to do. the pictures are clear but when in low light even adjusting all adjustments has a lot of video noise and does not make out a clear enough image to identify unless within just 10 feet or so.Overall not bad price, not bad tech support my system has been problamatic and am waiting to see if the last firmware update fixes the hardrive problems if not swann says they will replace the dvr after I contact them for a return approval number and it is recieved at there facility and it has been checked out and found faulty I will get a new one. If it comes to that after all my calls to them and having to be guided over the phone 3 times to take apart my dvr while powered up removing the cover unplugging all the cameras first and then hardsetting the dvr reassembling everything and it locking up a day later in most cases I will have to rate the product lower.... Stay tuned.
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13 of 16 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Ok overall with a few problems., January 8, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I had an existing 4 camera system that had a pretty crude picture and fuzzy nighttime images. The brand was called LTS and only cost about $250 for the whole system. Super cheap. I went ahead and thought this would be an upgrade to a D1 system. Our main usage is to view on our iphones while away.
It took several days to configure. Our old system used port 100. This system uses port 9000 and port 85 for http.
We went through the process of opening up port 9000 and port 85 just like we had done for our other system (port 100) but it wouldn't connect. We have a static IP but went ahead and registered for DDNS with Swann and tried that as well. Still no luck. Even waited a day or so in case DNS needed to resolve. I gave up after a couple of days and just changed the Swann DVR to use port 100 and it worked. The instructions with Swann were outdated. I eventually used an internal static ip within my router range. Used the gateway IP for the gateway and DNS. The Swannview pro app looks the same as many other camera viewing apps out there. We were using meye

The picture quality is an improvement especially nighttime. However, for 600TVL vs 400TVL, we expected a major jump in improvement. With a 1080p monitor and HDMI cable, the pictures are still blurry even at 1/4 screen. You can't make out faces at all. I can recognize people if I know them but would be difficult to identify strangers. I'm uploading a photo of our monitor view which also has a blowout problem. After looking more, it appears that the nighttime LED lights are constantly on which is causing the problem.

Another issue we have is that one of the cameras is completely blown out. We tried to lower the brightness all the way with no luck. We emailed support and sent an image describing the situation and have not heard back in three days. I thought I would bit the bullet and order the higher end Pro 780 Optical Zoom camera Swann SWPRO-780CAM Pro-780 Ultimate Optical Zoom Camera (White) and swap this one out. The blown out camera is over our register which is the most important view so I rationalized and thought I'd upgrade. The new camera arrived today and it is huge! Amazon doesn't list the product dimensions clearly. I found on the Swann site that the cameras included with this set is the 530 measures 2.5" and the 780 measures a whopping 10.25" The photos on clear white backgrounds make it appear that they are similar in size. Now I'm concerned that the camera will stick out like a sore thumb rather than be discreet. I'll try out this new camera which has 700TVL but I'm doubtful it will show a major improvement.

The DVR itself is nice and easy to set up and manage. Overall, the quality seems to be decent. The 3star rating is due to the blown out defective camera, lack of response to a customer service inquiry and the complicated setup for mobile viewing.
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21 of 28 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Security System for Business, October 13, 2012
This review is from: Swann SWDVK-830008-US TruBlue D1 3000 8CH DVR and 8 x 600TVL Cameras with 1TB Hard Disk Drive (Black) (Electronics)
I ordered this DVR/Camera Security Monitoring Kit for our small business. Setup was generally by the book and simple to do. So far I have been impressed with the clarity and definition of the recorded video. With the 8 cameras in the package our company is able to effectively cover all entry/exit points of the building as well as monitor the premises during the night as we do unfortunately have some vagrants that loiter around the industrial park we are in during the night.

I love the fact that it includes the LiveView App that allows me to see the premises while away when needed and sends me email notifications if motion is detected.

It is also great that the product is upgradeable, so I feel the investment made is well worth it as it will not be outdated anytime soon.
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10 of 13 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars It could be great with a couple features., January 19, 2013
This review is from: Swann SWDVK-830008-US TruBlue D1 3000 8CH DVR and 8 x 600TVL Cameras with 1TB Hard Disk Drive (Black) (Electronics)
The problem with this system is that if somebody steals the DVR box, it's useless. So you have to hide it very well or put it in some sort of safe or something.

It has two USB 2.0 slots, but doesn't support a wireless USB network adapter? Whyyyyyyy!? It would be so simple and convenient!!.. 1 point off.

It also needs some form of cloud storage.. 5 gigs of real time cloud storage would be infinitely better than any amount of physical storage on the DVR.. So, you know, if somebody steals the DVR, you can still have access to the video of them doing it.. 1 point off.

Add those two options and it's 5 big gold stars, perfect.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as good as I had hoped, April 5, 2013
Vine Customer Review of Free Product (What's this?)
The biggest problem I have with this system is the fact that the cameras are not high definition. The image quality is not that great overall, but it is satisfactory for basic security. I don't think that you will be terribly dissatisfied if you are moving to this from a VHS security system, but it will not compare to other systems that are HD.

I do like the standalone DVR that this uses, as other IP-based systems require a computer and a POE ethernet switch. These cameras connect to a DVR that can record continuously or when triggered by motion. The record time is not massive, so you might want to set it to record on motion.

The cameras are not tremendously sturdy, but I don't think that they will give anyone a problem, as they aren't meant to be messed with; once they are up, they are up. They are a bit light and don't have the feel of professional cameras.

You can access the DVR with your phone or computer as long as you have it set up properly and their phone support personnel will be happy to make sure that you are in business right away.

I wanted to test these out, so I picked them up, but I will not be moving from my Logitech HD system and would not recommend the Swann over them unless you don't want to have a computer set up for surveillance.
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6 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Swann is excellent quality, would buy another system anyday, February 26, 2013
By 
HotRods4Ever (Carson City, NV) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Swann SWDVK-830008-US TruBlue D1 3000 8CH DVR and 8 x 600TVL Cameras with 1TB Hard Disk Drive (Black) (Electronics)
I bought this system to monitor my single family residence based on Amazon reviews and am quite happy. I installed 7 cameras in one weekend. I got the system up and running with live view and basic recording out of the box that same weekend.

Setting up recording, sensitivity, motion detection areas, and getting it working on the iphone etc. took a bit more time but could have been done same day if I had not had other things to do.

I did notice that the system seems to not save or may lose settings the first time I enabled them. But there could have been some user error here in how I clicked "apply" after making changes. Go back and double check that you clicked apply. If you are seeing errors or its not working as intended, go back and verify your settings to see if they stuck or if they changed/didn't get applied.

Very easy to set up motion detect areas (red grid select/deselect), and I really like the ability to put a black "block" over areas you don't need the camera to view. I blocked out one section where there was glare at night and another where one camera sees the IR LEDs of another camera.

The technical support team is succinct and easily accessible by phone at all hours. They are knowledgeable and help with your issue right away. I've never been worse than third in line nor have I had to wait more than 10 minutes.

It took a couple of phone calls to get the iphone app working (i think mysterious setting changes again). It appears to work only over 3G for me, but Swann Tech Support said definitely at home when on the same network you should not expect it to work over wi-fi (since same network) - this is no problem for me as I can view the cameras at home on an LCD screen connected to the DVR. I guess if you don't have the DVR hooked up to a screen or only want to view from your phone you'd have to stay on 3G.

Also the included manual and instructions for this unit are incomplete when setting up mobile access... they refer to a web site but the screen captures shown don't exist on my DVR.

The "server" port can be used to link with your phone (input the server port in the mobile app). The password will be your admin password on your DVR or from another user account if you set one up. The HTTP port has to be set to a specific value for it to work (40085).

The DDNS service works excellent and is quite robust, but note that your password has to be all lowercase to work with the DVR. The swanndvr.net registration did not force all lowercase and I could not find a way on the DVR to put in uppercase letters.

Once all my settings were correct, the app quickly pulled up my camera live views!

You can use the SwannView App or the SwannView Pro app with this DVR. Neither app appears to allow searching of past videos stored on your DVR. I like the pro app better.

Overall would definitely buy again and am considering buying another unit and adding additional cameras.

The cameras are very good quality and especially robust. Don't expect them to motion detect out 60 feet, even if it's something as large as a car. Night vision will get glare from the IR Leds off walls, eaves if you installed under an eave or near an eave, etc. Try to have as much open space as possible around the camera. They do have the nice mechanical bracket mount that protects the cable. Don't use the included phillips screws to mount the camera, they round off easily.

One more thing about the cameras, they are great for mounting somehwat covertly because they are small. However, at night the infrared (IR) LEDs glow a medium red so if they are installed in a dark area and you look up at the camera you will see the ring of red LEDs around the lens. You have to look directly at the camera to see them, however, they don't illuminate anything in the spectrum that your eye can see (because they are IR).

I would recommend this system to anyone. Been spying on the dogs in the backyard ever since I got the app working!
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