on December 1, 2012
Obtaining this TrendNet camera is my first foray into a home security camera and so far it has been pretty impressive -- it does a lot for the price. While I haven't had it for long, here are my initial thoughts:
-PoE. I went with PoE (TV-IP672PI) over WiFi because a) either way you will need a cable for power and b) if part of the purpose of the cam is for security, I'd rather have a cable over a WiFi signal "hanging out there" for some bored hacker to try and tap into, even if it is encrypted. Since I only have this one camera for now, I am using the TRENDnet Power Over Ethernet (PoE) Injector TPE-103I which is working out perfectly.
-Night vision. The NV on this camera is working out really well and adequately covers a large living room + dining room. Keep in mind that when NV kicks in, the camera automatically switches over to black and white. When the IR LEDs are on, they will emit a dim red glow.
-PTZ. Pan, Tilt, and Zoom. It's still fun to play with PTZ on this camera and you can do it from a web browser or your mobile TrendNet SecurView Pro app. The mobile apps are a bit different for Android vs. iPhone, but both allow you do pan and tilt (zoom seems to only work on the iPhone). Note that Internet Explorer seems a bit more friendly to operating the camera's web interface as compared to Chrome or Firefox. And yeah, when remotely viewing the cam with your mobile app the video is choppy and there's a delay when you pan or tilt, but that is not surprising.
-Overall large viewing area. They call this a "megapixel" camera with 1280 x 800. Those of us familiar with marketing for camera phones and regular cameras know that more megapixels does not mean a higher quality image. While the image quality for this camera is pretty decent, it isn't superb, so what the megapixel bit means here is that you get a larger overall image for a given area. In addition to that, because the camera can pan and tilt, that just adds to the possible viewing area. Overall I find the image quality for both color and B&W modes to be perfectly acceptable.
-Realistic color. Some low-end cameras that have built-in night vision don't have an IR cut filter or leave the IR LEDs on all the time, resulting in really bad color accuracy. For example, some cameras with NV will show green objects as greyish pink. This is not the case with this camera. When it's in color/day mode, colors are more or less what you expect.
-2-way audio. This is a pretty fun feature. The camera has a built-in mic and you can hear audio from the area the camera is installed in from the mobile apps and via the web browser interface. I haven't tried hooking up external speakers yet though.
-Onboard micro SD storage. If you add a micro SD card to the camera, you don't need to leave a PC on all the time and can still have local access to videos or snapshots recorded by the camera. I confirmed that this camera supports micro SD cards with up to 32GB of capacity.
-Overall tons of features. I won't go into it all here, but I like how there's a lot of options. You can configure the camera to email you video or snapshots, you can turn off the fairly bright status LEDs, there's an external privacy button right on the camera to point it downward when you're home, etc. The more flexibility, the better (usually)!
-While the web configuration utility on the camera has been mostly frustration free, it seems there's a bug where the camera will stop sending video when certain options are saved and you have to reboot it to resume the video. I put in a help ticket with TrendNet to get feedback on that.
-When the camera's NV mode is set to "Auto", its threshold for switching from daytime/color mode to firing up the IR LEDs seems too small. In other words it switches over to NV mode too easily (e.g., room gets darker with passing clouds) and as far as I know, you can't adjust the threshold. You can set the NV mode to "manual" but then you have to turn it on and off via the web utility (at least there's that).
-If you want to configure DDNS (Dynamic DNS) on the camera itself, it seems you can only use DynDNS which is no longer a free service. DynDNS is not really expensive, but you should be able to put any DDNS provider you want in there; I have no idea why they would restrict that. Most modern home routers also have a DDNS option and hopefully have more DDNS provider options than this camera, so the workaround is to configure this on your router instead.
-This camera has a manual focus dial as opposed to an auto focus lens, which seems to be common as all the home security cameras with IR night vision that I researched had manual focus only. As mentioned previously, my camera is covering a fairly large room and all areas within the room have perfectly acceptable focus, therefore the lack of auto focus isn't an issue as far as I'm concerned.
-If you want to use a gmail account to send you the email alerts, you'll need to configure the following settings on the camera: smtp[dot]gmail[dot]com for the SMTP Mail Server option, port 465, and SSL-TLS for the Use SSL-TLS option. Then, if your camera has a static IP address (recommended), you'll also need to fill out the Optional Primary DNS LAN setting on the camera, otherwise the camera can't resolve the SMTP server address to an IP address. You can get the Primary DNS IP address from the device settings option of your home router.
-If you want to use the Synchronize with NTP Server option on the camera so you never have to worry about setting the time and date, you can use the IP address of your router (providing it has the NTP server option enabled -- most home routers should have this feature), or you can point the camera to a public NTP server such as pool[dot]ntp[dot]org. If you use the latter option or anything with a Fully Qualifed Domain Name (e.g., example[dot]timeserver[dot]com) you'll again need to ensure you have the Primary DNS field filled out. Again, if your camera is configured to get an IP address via DHCP (not recommended), you probably don't have to worry about this Primary DNS field.
-You can "draw" motion areas with this camera, meaning you can configure the camera to only trigger recording when it senses motion within an area you define. Right now I'm not sure my camera is adhering to my pre-defined area too well, but I'm still working with that.
-Aside from doing PTZ from the mobile apps, you can save snapshots to your phone, as well as send and receive audio.
-If you manually set the time and date on the camera or copy it from your PC, the time and date will be lost when the camera reboots or is power cycled. Best to use NTP server option to avoid this.
-Opened a help ticket with TrendNet support for a pre-sales question and got a response within 24 hours, which is promising for potential future issues.
-When you mount the night vision version of the camera to the ceiling, note that it has a smiley face :)
Overall I'm fairly pleased with this camera's performance and options. Hopefully it also proves to be durable and I'll update this review accordingly should there be any significant changes in my opinion. I would recommend this camera, especially if you only require just one, or maybe up to a few, indoor cameras.
***Update 1 - December 6, 2012
-I have now tested audio output from the camera. Connected a small, battery-powered speaker to the 3.5mm jack and used the microphone feature from my phone. There was a delay in sending audio from my phone of course, but it worked more or less as expected. Fooled the dogs, but not the wife.
-The bug I mentioned where the camera stops sending video after applying certain changes to the camera via the web interface is not yet resolved. When this issue happens there will be no video output to any browser or via the mobile apps. It's not really a deal-breaking issue by any means, more of an annoyance, but still working with TrendNet tech support to figure it out.
-While DynDNS no longer seems to offer free DDNS, no-ip[dot]com does. I'd check to make sure your router supports them though, because it's not an option on the camera itself.
on June 26, 2013
This is my first IP camera. It was a bit difficult to configure on the camera itself; and the software is confusing and poorly documented. I got it running over wired network with PoE (power over Ethernet).
To help others, some of what I have learned.
First, go to the TrendNet site and get the setup wizard for the camera, the latest firmware, and the SecurView Pro software and manual. All of these were substantially more updated than what came in the box; don't even bother with the CD.
Power the camera on. Run the setup wizard and do the basic configuration; it'll help if you understand your home network and internet setup. I have a typical router which hands out IPs internally via DHCP but I chose to give the camera a static IP address so I could eventually configure access from "outside" more easily.
After you have gotten the camera configured, go to the camera in a web browser (the setup wizard gives you a link at the end). Now, update the firmware on the camera. Once that's done, you can go in through the browser again and do any other config that you like; there are extensive options. I left most of the video ones at default.
You can configure alerts directly on the camera, through the browser. For example, if motion is detected, you can have a short video e-mailed or FTPed somewhere, or a set of JPGs, or a recording made; you can do these in combination. The e-mail setup is good; if you know your e-mail service's parameters (e.g. SMTP server, port, whether to use TLS) it's dead simple and there's a good test button. I configured mine for GMail without any problems. I did not test FTP as I wanted it to alert me when motion was detected, and e-mail fit the bill. Typically I have noticed a delay of about a minute to deliver me an e-mail with video clip.
At this point, you could be done. You do not NEED the SecurView Pro software. I installed it to see what it did. It lets you monitor multiple cameras, archive video to a server or drive, and offers enhanced functionality probably more suitable to people who need to go "back in time" often and need a good client app to do that. You should install the server pieces on a computer in your location that can stay on all the time. You can install the client piece on any computer that can "talk to" the server somehow. Note that the camera itself offers the ability to store videos; I put in a 32GB micro-SD card for that purpose, so again SecurView Pro is not needed. Anyway, it's free and it's not bad, though you should invest some time to go through the manual as the software is not that obvious and the manual is usable, though not fantastic.
Video quality seems perfectly acceptable to me. Is it wonderful? No, but it's in color, it's pretty detailed, and it does what I wanted: let me know when something happens in some area. So I got what I wanted for a decent price, and I would buy this camera again. It would be nice if TrendNet made it clearer that you can run without the SecurView software, and if the setup were a little more obvious, but if you're willing to invest some time you'll get it done. I spent about two hours including understanding the SecurView software.
The camera itself is fairly chunky but has a nice look to it. It can be powered via PoE; you can buy a $20 PoE injector here if needed. I have one with a 50' CAT5e cable and that works fine, no need for a power brick where the camera is. The LEDs on the front can be turned off through the browser interface.
on May 23, 2013
Firstly this is my first IP camera so I have nothing to compare it against, so some of the issues I mention may not be Trendnet specific.
One thing that is clear after my 2 weeks of use is that if this camera is typical then there is space in this market for someone to produce a much slicker, easy to use quality product at a good price point.
Firstly the good:
1. The image quality is pretty good in good lighting.
2. Audio is pretty good.
3. The camera has a lot of features, Wifi, sd card recording, Pan/Tilt/(digital)Zoom and motion detection which allows you to highlight part of the scene as the area to monitor for movement.
4. You can get video clips or snapshots via Email when the motion detection is triggered.
5. Build quality is reasonable if not outstanding, and the white colour does tend to stand out a bit.
6. Works well with phone apps (after setting up dynamic dns). I'm using IP Cam Viewer on Android and that does the job quite nicely.
Now for the bad:
1. The web interface whilst mainly usable is a bit clunky and requires a plugin to see the live video streaming. It does work with IE, FF and Chrome though (on Windows at least).
2. Again with the web interface some of the options are buried away in different places. I tend to want to be able to get out of "privacy mode" and adjust the IR lights a fair bit because of my usage in a busy room, and these are buried away.
3. You cannot stop motion detection without either turning off each individual option (SD card recording, snapshot emails, video clip emails) or clearing the motion detection area. There are a two icons to the upper left of the main live view screen which the manual describes as buttons, one for stopping/starting recording and one for controlling motion detection. In fact these are indicators and don't do anything (there is a button at the bottom to control recording).
4. Privacy mode is described as turning the camera off, when in fact all it does is point the lens to the base of the camera. This means that the camera continues to work as normal. In privacy mode the camera still occasionally records things, worse the IR lights come on at night even though you're not using the camera.
5. When the lighting is in-between night/day the camera starts constantly switching the lights and IR filter on and off which leads to an annoying clicking sound. This is even worse when in privacy mode.
6. The motion detector triggers when the camera switches between night and day modes, which means it records a lot when it is in-between and clicking away.
7. The night vision is OK, but not brilliant. Especially when the camera decides it needs the IR lights but there is still a light source (like a lamp) in the room.
8. The field of vision on the camera is not very wide. This can be an issue if your rooms are not large.
9. Setting up control from the Internet via a dynamic DNS service is quite involved, but this is not a Trendnet specific issue and their new "cloud cameras" appear to address this.
10. Using the PTZ triggers the motion detection and therefor records and sends emails etc.
11. This is kind of obvious, but the motion detection area is only useful when you keep the camera static. I don't know what I was expecting here, but of course if select and area for motion detection it doesn't "move" when the PTZ is operated. I doubt any cameras can do this.
12. Lack of Autofocus.
13. Lack of Optical Zoom.
14. Doesn't record to "the cloud".
Note: As the camera was supplied it didn't come with the latest firmware. I'd suggest you update the firmware before doing anything else are there are security issues with the old firmware.
I've contacted support to mention a couple of issues and ask a question and they have so far been useless. I suspect Trendnet source their gear from the Far East and don't actually know their own products that well.
Here was a question I asked:
"I just wondered if you could tell me the difference between the "CBR" (which I've worked out is Constant Bit Rate) and "Quality" encoding methods?
Which one produces the best quality, and how different are the bandwidth requirements?"
And here's the reply I got:
"We apologize For your inconvenience. We do not have this specific information. We do not have or offer educational materials for the camera.
Both specific encoding settings are for the constant bitrate.
Here is a link with more information about CBR. <wikipedia link here>"
So Trendnet don't actually know what the options on their own camera do and "we do not have or offer educational materials for the camera". WTF, isn't the manual educational material, and why can't I ask a question?
Despite all the negatives I'm not completely displeased with the camera at it's price point, I suspect it will soon be discontinued and replaced with a "cloud camera" equivalent - although I'm not sure why this isn't just a firmware upgrade..
I can't whole heartedly recommend this camera but I suspect in the context of similarly priced competition it's actually one of the better ones. With a better web interface and some firmware tweaks it could be even better.
(I am not a confirmed buyer because I didn't buy from Amazon).
on November 14, 2013
TRENDnet got it mostly right with this amazing camera. I have had several IP cameras over the years and this one is the best of them by a wide margin. There is very little to complain about this camera and the firmware interface built into it. If you are already familiar with IP cameras and how they are configured, you will have no problem learning these settings in a few hours or playing with them and experimenting to see the results. If you are new to IP cameras, it will take some learning to configure but that's true of all IP cameras and some are horribly difficult to configure for newbies.
This new class of camera uses selectable video codecs and you can have up to four profiles with different resolutions and codecs in use so the viewed can select whatever profile works best for them as they are viewing from a browser. These newer codecs make a HUGE difference in the usability of this and similar cameras. With the old MJPEG (Motion JPEG) codec, you were limited to around 5 - 10 fps (frames per second) regardless of your connection speed. While this camera still supports MJPEG, you now have the choice of selecting the more highly compressed (and thus faster) H.264 and MPEG4 codecs. These newer codecs can stream video up to 30 fps! They can do it at up to 1280 x 800 resolution too! H.264 provides slighly superior video but MPEG4 is more compressed and can provide good video at lower speeds than H.264 so it's a trade-off as to which to use, depending on your upload speeds and your viewers download speeds.
Furthermore, this camera has built-in Wi-Fi 802.11n on the 2.5 GHz band, which I found fast enough in my small two story home, for the signal to reach almost anywhere in the house and provide 1280 x 800, H.264, 4 Mbps streaming video and audio. Oh and yes, of course, this camera provides two-way audio as well. I found the mic sensitive enough if set to the highest sensitivity (100) but I haven't had a chance to try the audio line out so I can send audio to the device.
The infra-red LEDs are also adequate to illuminate a completely dark room for an area between 15 and 20 feet in front of the camera, but not evenly, which I presume is typical of small cameras with LEDs built into them. You really would need a separate infra-red LED flood light if you really wanted to illuminate a larger area or if you wanted brighter video.
Lastly, I found the remote motorized panning to work very well and very quickly. There are presets you can use to pan specific areas over and over in "patrol" mode, which can be very handy if you want to use this for surveillance.
What you should be aware of with this camera:
1. This is not a professional camera and is intended for indoor use only at temperatures above 32 degrees Fahrenheit. Also obviously, it isn't a dome camera so it is vulnerable to physical attack more so than a protected camera if you are using it for surveillance.
2. It has a fixed-focus lens but I didn't find that to be a problem since it has a fairly large focus range and most people are going to use it to focus on distant objects like a room.
3. This camera does NOT have a wide-angle lens. It has a rather narrow field of view, which means it won't be the best camera to use for some applications. Because of the narrow field of view, you will have to pan the camera to get a broader area of viewable coverage. If that isn't a problem for your application, then it doesn't matter. If it is, you may be better off getting a fixed camera with the widest angle of view possible.
4. It has a built-in micro-SD card slot, but I find that not useful for surveillance, since all your important video is then on a card that is in the camera and the camera is vulnerable. It is safer to stream and record video elsewhere. For non-surveillance use, it is fine.
5. Although this camera can stream video directly to an external hard drive, if you want to stream based on motion detection or full-time whenever the camera is turned on, it MUST be an NAS network drive or a Linux Samba network drive, although the firmware incorrectly indicates it must be a Samba drive. This is probably because Samba is a protocol supported on Linux and I strongly suspect this camera is using a Linux variant as the OS (operating system). Most home users will not have an NAS network drive, although you can certainly purchase one relatively inexpensively. I have not had time to try this yet.
6. You can also record directly to any hard drive attached to the viewing computer, but only by manually clicking in the "REC" button at the BOTTOM of the web interface after you preset the folder by clicking on the Folder icon at the bottom of the web interface. The identical looking "REC" icon on the upper left side of the web interface (next to the motion detection icon) is in actuality, not a button at all but a record INDICATOR that only comes on when you record to an NAS network drive. This is confusing at first and THE MANUAL IS ACTUALLY WRONG ON THIS POINT.
7. It has a very nice feature which allows you to set up an outgoing email address that includes a ten second video and audio clip, anytime there is motion detected (actually anytime there is motion, on a schedule, or always). It worked perfectly for me and allows you to use any standard SMTP mail server with any port. I used one of my Gmail accounts for mine.
8. Lastly, the user manual is better than most I've seen with other cameras (especially the cheap no-name Chinese imports) but still lacks detailed explanations for some settings and some functionality.
9. The camera comes with TRENnetVIEWPro software (although you will have to download this updated and re-branded version from their website, since my CD-ROM has an older version). This is professional grade multi-camera monitoring and recording software that runs as an app on Windows (not sure about Macs). Be warned that I found this software to be rather confusing and difficult to configure. It has many buried settings that are difficult to find and I found the user manual that it comes with to be helpful but still not adequate to help quickly set this software up correctly. If you plan on using this software, especially with multiple cameras, I would plan on spending many hours configuring and testing it before you get it right. One of the main advantages of this software (other than being able to view multiple cameras in one interface) is that it has more flexible video recording options and can record motion and live video directly to any hard drive attached to the computer it is running on.
Overall, this is an excellent camera and well worth the street price of around $200. I was very tempted to give this a 5-star rating but held back for some relatively minor glitches in the firmware, the difficult to use TRENDnetVIEWPro software, and the less than stellar user manuals.
I've had the camera running 24x7 for 7 days now and it did lock up just once. I'll have to see if this was a fluke (probably) or something that will recur. I was able to reboot it remotely (which would be critical if you weren't physically near the camera) and it recovered. By the way, this is an example where having the camera use a fixed IP address is convenient because when it rebooted I knew what the IP was. If you have it set to DHCP and it reboots, it will get a new IP from your router and you will either have to guess what the new IP is or go into your router and view the IP address assigned. I've also had it recording to a local hard drive for up to 10 hours continuously each of the 7 days with no problems at all. It very cleverly, records files in one minute chunks that are date and time stamped so its easy to see which one minute file you want to review. Lots of files but worth it. I suspect it's also more reliable to record in one minute chunks.
on September 23, 2014
The camera is all-in-all a great PoE surveillance camera. I expected the clarity of the megapixels to be a bit better, but I think it is as described and I assumed that the pixel level would have produced more of a 1080p picture.
Notwithstanding, the biggest issue I had with the camera surrounded the use of a Micro SD Card to store recordings. Like others, despite inserting a million different micro SD cards of all brands and sizes, I continually was told by the web interface that the SD card was not recognized or could not be formatted. Basically, I couldn't get the SD card to initialize, format, and work.
Finally, I followed up with TrendNet after I saw another posting on Amazon. It turns out that the camera will not recognize or format your SD card until you do the following:
Log into the camera and go to Setup > Action > Recording and disable recording before inserting the SD card. After you insert the card the camera then should detect it properly and allow you to use it. Go to SD card management before you enable "Recording" again so that you can format the SD card. Should work then. Hope that helps anyone having similar problems.
on October 15, 2013
This new model of Trendnet has every feature that I have been looking for in an IP camera. The only thing it lacks is auto-focus. Currently, I have 15 (TV-IP672PI) of these in a manufacturing environment (furniture) and these cameras are holding up well even with the dust in our manufacturing area. They replaced the older TV-IP600 cameras which were in place for over 3 years without a hiccup. If the 672's quality is just as good then I'll have no issues at all. I've even got 4 more on order because the managers of the manufacturing area like the picture quality so much. We'll have over 20 cameras once everything is said and done. Most of cameras are powered using TL-PoE150S injectors and we haven't had any issues with any of them.
The PC I'm using to control them is a Dell Precision T7400 (Dual Xeon X5482, 8GB, 2 x 2TB Seagate drives on a Adaptec 6405E RAID1). That PC is connected to a 55" LG 55LS4500 TV in our control room. Currently that PC runs with about 45% CPU usage with 15 cameras connected through Blue Iris and motion detection recording enabled. So far I'm happy with everything!
on September 8, 2014
I know this is an indoor camera, but I went to Wal-Mart and bought a clear acrylic jar with a watertight snap-down lid, inverted that on top of the camera, closed the whole thing up relatively tightly, and stuck it on a pole out in front of my beehives 150 miles out in the country on my ranch, ran a 200 foot Ethernet cable out to it, and it's been sitting out there in the rain and snow and wind, streaming video to my office or my cellphone to let me keep tabs on my bees for over a year now. I bought a second one that I think I'll install in my hog hunting blind and hook up over a long distance WiFi link so I can watch the deer and hogs eating at the feeder too. The audio is good enough that I can hear the crickets chirping, the coyotes howling, the leaves rustling, and sometimes even the bees buzzing. I set another one out on the porch of my cabin and just after the unit switches into night vision mode, the trees and grass look like they are covered in snow, and you should see what a thunderstorm looks like on the IR. It's awesome. You can see critters in the grass because their eyes reflect in the Infrared light.
on November 25, 2013
Fantastic camera. It does everything well. The picture quality is fantastic. The pan and tilt speed can be very fast compared with Foscam. The pan and tilt is also a lot quieter than Foscam cameras.
The software is great but you don't have to use it if you use other software on a smartphone for instance.
Two way audio is built in. No need for an external speaker. Very nice! I've used it a few times to calm my son down before I could physically be there in the room with him.
on July 28, 2013
This is the type of product where you can see its potential, but after getting to know the product have to come to the realization that most of the potential is wasted due to poor design and software.
It's the simple things... for example, I want the camera to scan back and forth. Should be easy to do, right? The camera has a "patrol" function after all, right?
So you go into the web interface, point the camera left, and make a save position called left. Easy enough. Point the camera right, make a new save position called right. We're still doing OK here.
Next you define a route. OK, how about left-right? Sure, no problem.
Now hit patrol. Camera goes left, OK. Camera goes right, OK. Camera goes all the way around, MAKES A HORRIBLE GEAR CRUNCHING SOUND, and eventually gives up looking at the floor. Uhhhh... problem!
Even if you change the route to be left-right-left-right-left-right-left-right, it'll be fine until it hits the end of the route. Then it turns all the way around, crunches the gears some, and eventually gives up.
Worse, there's absolutely no way to get the camera to repeat its patrol route once its done! So apparently trendnet believes that if you want to continuously run a route that you need to control the camera manually 24/7 and keep hitting the patrol button!
In comparison with other cameras, the software is really not great.
On windows it insists that you install trendnet software in order to view live video **in a browser**! (i.e. I'm not talking about the secureview "pro" software, I'm talking about "I'd like to see what the camera is seeing" base functionality here!) This is the only camera manufacturer that does this, so *forget* watching this camera from your work PC if you don't have administrative rights -- CAN'T BE DONE. (WANSCAM cameras work with all browsers out of the box, no installing software needed. Why doesn't TRENDnet?) Even worse, if you go into the web interface to define positions without trendnet's software installed it will show you a live view of the camera so you can aim it! So clearly trendnet knows *how* to show live video in the browser without installing extra software, they're just choosing not to! UNACCEPTABLE!
Viewing live video on this camera on a browser in linux is impossible, full stop. I would imagine this applies to macs as well, since they can't install the trendnet browser software. (Clicking the install software button supplies the windows MSI installer -- oops.)
The android app is TERRIBLE. EVERYTHING prompts you to pay for an additional software upgrade. Seriously, trendnet? It's a $170 camera, and you want me to pay MORE money to record simply because I'm pushing the button on my phone? NO. You want me to pay MORE money to take a snapshot just because I'm trying to do it on my phone? NO. Just... NO.
(You can get around these ridiculous android limitations by using chrome, hitting "request desktop site", then surfing to the web address of the camera. But again, these limitations are ridiculous and really reflect extremely poorly on trendnet.)
...that's if you can even get the secureview (not pro, not mobile) software to install on your android device in the first place! For some unfathomable reason trendnet decided to mark their software as incompatible with two out of my three android devices. (The galaxy s3 was the only "compatible" one out of the box.) I had to fake the device config for the android market to allow it to install on my other devices, yet they worked perfectly* after that. WHY, TRENDNET, WHY MUST I WORK **AROUND** YOU TO GET IT TO INSTALL ON MY ANDROID DEVICES?
* Well, as perfectly as the software ran on my S3, anyway. i.e. "please give us more money!" for anything other than viewing a live shot of the camera. Junk.
Zoneminder: I was able to get this camera to stream both MJPEG and H264 to zoneminder. Note that if you switch between MJPEG and H264 streaming, YOU MUST REBOOT THE CAMERA BETWEEN SETTINGS CHANGES. Don't know why, but if you don't the camera gets super confused and won't output anything. (Use the zoneminder wiki directions for the trendnet tv-ip512P for RTSP streaming for H264.) Haven't figured out how to get pan/tilt working in zoneminder yet, figure it'll take some hacking.
Using Zoneminder I've had the camera streaming video continuously for about two weeks without incident, so on the plus side once you get the camera working it stays working. No need to reboot camera at intervals as you sometimes encounter with cheap rivals.
So given the very terrible software, why would you buy this camera over a $60 WANSCAM LightInTheBox Wanscam Wireless IP Camera Pan/Tilt/ Night Vision/ Internet Alarm Surveillance Camera LED Webcam Built-in Microphone With Phone remote monitoring support Top End Made for example?
Well, I can think of three reasons why you'd choose this camera over the WANSCAM:
1) This camera has 4x the resolution. 1280x800 vs 640x400. Not much more to say, either you want/need the additional resolution or you don't. In well lit daytime, the resolution is nice. In IR mode, it's a complete waste as the noise from the camera renders the extra resolution ineffective.
2) This camera has 802.3af PoE (power over ethernet) built in. Of course you could always use something like AIR802 POEPASS-01 Passive PoE Injector/Splitter with 5.5 mm x 2.1 mm DC Size Connector to get POE with the WANSCAM, but it's not as clean of a solution. (Those passive poe injectors also don't go very far, only about 15 wire feet vs. 300-ish feet for genuine PoE. So you do get what you pay for here.)
3) This camera can stream H264 in addition to MJPEG. This definitely does work, and if you NEED 30 fps from your security cameras then this (along with PoE) is really what you're paying for...
...but after having both the WANSCAM and this TRENDnet running at the same time, I have to say you really don't need 30 fps from a security camera. First off 30 fps is usable only if it's outside or you have an overly well lit room. In standard interior house lighting it's super noisy at 30 fps. If it's IR then the camera doesn't produce 30 fps, it drops to something like 12 or 13 fps.
Truth is after testing this camera with 30fps H264 streaming to my zoneminder server, I wound up backing it off to 10fps H264 (which is coincidentally the same rate the WANSCAM puts out, only via MJPEG). The thing to remember is that this is a security camera -- doing motion detection with more frames per second just makes the server work harder but doesn't make the motion detection more accurate or sensitive. Additionally, 10fps for security "who's the bad guy sneaking in?" footage is more than adequate. In other words, don't confuse the purpose of this camera; you're not going to shoot the next hollywood blockbuster on this, and you shouldn't bother attempting.
To be clear, when looking at something well-lit the camera was absolutely fine streaming 1280x800 at 30 fps via h264. My zoneminder server was able to handle doing motion detection at that frame rate easily. But since 30fps (vs 10fps) didn't get me better motion detection, and since the recorded video occupied 3X as much disk space there really wasn't much of a point to it. If you were trying to read license plates of cars zipping by a toll booth maybe, but for home use not really.
The bottom line is that with some software tweaks, getting rid of the constant begging on the android app, re-writing the web server so that it doesn't require a plug-in, fixing patrolling so that it doesn't try and destroy the camera at the end of the route, and letting the patrol route auto-repeat this product could go from two stars to four and a half stars pretty easily. However given trendnet's reputation of "one and done" as far as software is concerned, I'm afraid this product will remain a two-star affair forever.
on October 27, 2015
I have 6 of these and 1 with IR lights. Video quality is fine. Took me forever to get them all working. If you are not computer savvy, get the newer cloud cameras, because setup can be a challenge. I have to power down and up possibly once a week - loses the signal and needs to be restarted - would be a problem if I would be out of town for a couple of weeks. I use these for exterior views from the inside of windows. Works okay during the day and at night if there are bright lights on. Easier than mounting exterior cameras, but the reflection on the glass is a problem during a certain time of day. I have pre-wires for exterior cameras, but I was too lazy to hook them up, and these are much easier.
The included software works, but the TrendNet server software uses up all of my computer resources (8 cameras) - Windows 7, i5, 2.4 ghz. I switched to Blue Iris, but that uses a lot of resources also, so now I have the Blue Iris on a mostly dedicated laptop - Windows 10, i7, 3 ghz. If you are going to have many cameras, you will need a high power processor - or get a DVR. Like the cameras for the most part - good value. PTZ works, but sometimes they move back to the home positon by themselves.