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on October 12, 2012
Description of the attached video (note that the 1080P video was resized to 480P to reduce the video file size to comply with the limits imposed by Amazon - video upload not currently working, will try to attach the video later):
One of the primary functions of a security camera is motion triggered video capture. After finding that the camera failed to initiate motion triggered video capture when a person repeatedly walked across the camera's field of view at various distances, and usually failed to capture a full-sized F-150 pickup driving across the camera's field of view at a distance of 10 to 15 feet, I was curious what was required to trigger motion capture. In a controlled environment I set up a side-by-side test with a Y-Cam YCBLHD6 Bullet 1080HD and a Trivision NC-306W. At the end of the video clip is an actual attempted break-in that was captured by a Trivision NC-306W; based on my testing with the Y-Cam YCBLHD6, none of that video would have been captured if I had a Y-Cam YCBLHD6 installed in that location.


Roughly three weeks ago I purchased two YCBLHD6 Bullet 1080HD security cameras, as well as two additional inexpensive 640x480 resolution Trivision NC-306W security cameras (I already have several cameras from this manufacturer, but the low resolution is a limiting factor in some installation areas). In the last two weeks I have wasted in excess of 38 hours trying to work through various issues with the Y-Cam YCBLHD6 cameras, most notably the camera's extremely poor motion detection capabilities and frequent lock ups. By comparison, the Trivision external cameras (I also reviewed these on Amazon) continue to work well in the same residential environment, without a single lock up since April/May. I was hoping to eventually install several YCBLHD6 Bullet 1080HD security cameras in an industrial environment to supplement the CCTV and Trivision IP cameras installed there; however, the problems that I am facing in a residential environment are making it impossible to buy any Y-Cam cameras for the industrial environment.

This review may appear to be an advertisement for the Trivision camera line, but that is not the intention. I simply had the good fortune to previously purchase several comparatively inexpensive Trivision cameras, for which support and firmware updates are neither available, nor necessary. Y-Cam has both a company provided support forum, and email based tech support. For the record, I am probably not a typical purchaser of this product; I have worked with computers for 30 years, roughly 2/3 of that time professionally in the IT field in positions ranging from computer/technology instructor, computer/network support, programmer, and IT manager.


The Y-Cam YCBLHD6 camera currently ships with the 1.2360 firmware. While trying to make the two cameras work as advertised, I also installed the 1.2436 firmware and the 1.2641 firmware. A quick summary of the firmware versions:

* 1.2360 firmware: Cannot connect to a WPA2 wireless network with a non-broadcasted SSID, poor motion detection (although slightly better when infra-red lights are used to produce a black and white video).

* 1.2436 firmware: Can connect to a WPA2 wireless network with a non-broadcasted SSID, poor motion detection (although slightly better when infra-red lights are used to produce a black and white video), adds an available 3 second capture before the motion-triggered event, adds an "M" character to the recorded video when motion is detected.

* 1.2641 firmware: Cannot connect to a WPA2 wireless network with a non-broadcasted SSID, slightly improved motion detection (captures nearly non-stop when infra-red lights are used to produce a black and white video in a motionless room).


Problems experienced during testing:
* The cameras shipped with the 1.2360 firmware, rather than the 1.2436 firmware (released 21 days after 1.2360, up until a day or two ago 1.2436 was the most recent publically accessible firmware). As such, out of the box the product cannot connect to a non-SSID-broadcasting WPA2 wireless network. The 1.2436 firmware also adds the capability of recording up to 3 seconds before the motion detection event and a couple of other useful item - a less technical user of this product might not consider immediately installing new firmware on a hardware product such as a camera.

* Regardless of the appearance of the "M" indicator in the camera's web-based live view, video recording due to motion detection usually does not work correctly with either the 1.2360 firmware (does not show the "M" indicator) or the 1.2436 firmware. The motion recording window 1 was stretched to completely cover the camera's picture. The sensitivity setting was adjusted to various values from 1 to 100, and the threshold value was also adjusted to values from 1 to 100. Regardless of the sensitivity and threshold values, and regardless of day or night mode, with a 13 second record time (3 second pre-trigger) and a 13 second split time, the camera will not reliably record video due to motion. It makes no difference if a person walks across the camera's field of view 100 feet away or 10 feet away, the camera fails to record motion to the internal memory card, a configured NAS, or a configured FTP server. It makes no difference if a full size F-150 pickup truck drives 15 feet away from the camera across the camera's field of view in day time or night time (with headlights on), the camera fails to record motion to the internal memory card, a configured NAS, or a configured FTP server. So far, the only reliable triggers for the motion detection video recording are moving a hand within 6 inches of the camera (causing more than 50% of the pixels in the video to change), rotating the camera on its mount, and low to the ground rolling fog. I set one of the Y-CAM YCBLHD6 cameras up in a temporary location next to a new Trivision NC-306W camera to compare motion detection capabilities. With the YCBLHD6 set to a sensitivity of 100 and a threshold of 3, the YCBLHD6 recorded only a single 13 second video clip, while the NC-306W captured more than 4 minutes of motion triggered video in 18 motion triggered 10 second video clips. One of the Y-CAM YCBLHD6 cameras was bought with the intention of replacing an existing NC-306W, where the better resolution of the YCBLHD6 camera should assist in license plate legibility. The result of the side by test showed that the YCBLHD6 captures almost twice as many vertical and horizontal pixels to describe the same object at the same distance, but that enhanced resolution is useless if 17 of 18 motion detection triggering events are missed.

* The 1.2436 firmware seems to be prone to corrupting the internal memory card, which is a bit challenging to install and remove especially when mounted outside. I installed a new 32GB SanDisk class 10 micro SDHC in the camera. While reconfiguring the camera, the storage setup would occasionally show that the total size of the micro SDHC card was 0MB. I used the Format feature in the camera configuration, and later noticed that camera reported that either the memory card was not ready, or that the memory card capacity was 0MB. The same problem was experienced with the 1.2641 firmware.

* The camera appears to be prone to frequently locking up (or possibly just falling off the network) several times a day (requiring a power cycle to correct) after periodically uploading video clips over the wireless network to a NAS device. The camera reports a signal strength of 68% were physically mounted. Probably 10% to 15% of the 13 second videos that are uploaded to the NAS are corrupt, while close to 90% of 60 second long videos are corrupt when uploaded.

* The camera apparently does not try to reconnect to a NAS or FTP server if that server is temporarily unavailable (for instance, caused by power cycling a wireless access point to which the camera is connected). When the camera becomes unresponsive, the camera must be power cycled for it to reconnect.

* There is no option to record to the internal memory card, and then asynchronously upload the recorded videos to an FTP server whenever that server is accessible. This is an important feature because under normal operation the videos may be automatically transferred to a centralized location used by multiple cameras by default, and if access to that centralized location is disrupted (possibly by a criminal disrupting the wireless network or disabling the centralized storage location), then the cameras will continue to quietly record video onto their internal memory card until access to the centralized location is restored (this is a feature of the Trivision cameras).

* The nested directory storage structure of \ Year \ Month \ Day \ Hour \ Minute on a NAS device makes it very difficult to quickly scan through a day's worth of videos by examining the Windows generated thumbnail previews of the videos which were generated by multiple security cameras. The nested directory storage structure requires repeated navigation in and out of directories; storing all recorded videos to a single directory would eliminate the repeated directory navigation.

* When the videos are stored on the internal memory card, the camera forces the user to enter a password twice to view each video (Internet Explorer 9, Windows Media Player 12.0.7601). Selecting the save password checkbox in the password prompt dialog does not eliminate the need to re-enter the password twice when the next video is selected.

* The YCBLHD6 camera body is typically warm to the touch in a 70F (21C) room, while the Trivision NC-306W camera body appears to remain cool. Will the YCBLHD6 camera be subject to heat related lock ups when the YCBLHD6 cameras are exposed to several hours of direct sunlight when the ambient temperature rises above 105F (40.5C)?

* The YCBLHD6 camera does not work with either the MultiLive software (not shipped with this camera, but is shipped with the Trivision and other Y-Cam models) or the Synology Surveillance Station.

* The 1.2641 firmware breaks the camera's ability to connect to a WPA2 protected wireless network that does not broadcast the SSID.

* Every installation of a new firmware version erases all setting contained in the camera. Be prepared to stretch a Cat 5 or Cat 6 network cable to the camera when a firmware upgrade is required so that the settings may be re-entered.

* The camera setup utility is similar to the one that ships with the Trivision cameras, however the Y-Cam version is newer and only detects Y-Cam cameras, while the Trivison version detects both Y-Cam and Trivison cameras. Both versions of the setup utility are subject to problems where cameras attached to the network are periodically not found by the utility.

* The YCBLHD6 camera does not ship with a full printed manual, only a quick start guide and manual on CD were included. The manual on CD was not as extensive detailed as the printed manual provided with the Trivision cameras.

* While there are roughly twice as many pixels (both horizontally and vertically) defining an object in the video captured by the YCBLHD6 camera, there does not appear to be twice as much detail in the captured video. The captured video is darker, apparently lacks sound capture, and tends to introduce motion generated artifacts even at the highest quality setting. The YCBLHD6 camera also switches to black and white infra-red night mode when the Trivision NC-306W is still able to produce full-color properly lit video in the same lighting conditions.


Testing specific to the 1.2641 firmware that was recommended by tech support in response to my formal request for assistance:
After reconfiguring the camera's settings following the firmware install, motion detection tests were performed with the camera still connected to the network using a Cat 6 network cable. No video was uploaded to the configured NAS device despite the appearance of "M" in the camera's web interface. The camera was reconfigured to record to the 32GB SanDisk class 10 memory card. Again, the camera failed to record video despite the appearance of "M" in the camera's web interface. The camera's web interface showed that 64MB of space was used on the memory card, the same amount of used space as before testing began with the new firmware. The "Reset Settings" option in the camera setup was used, and then the camera configuration was re-entered. The camera still could not record to the memory card. The Format command in the web interface was used to reinitialize the memory card, after which the camera's web interface indicated that the memory card had a usable space of 0MB and that the card was "not ready".

The camera was then disassembled and the memory card was reformatted using a computer. Once the memory card was reinstalled in the camera, the camera was able to record to the memory card and the NAS when the "M" appeared in the camera's web interface. The NAS was configured as the destination for the videos and the camera was placed next to the Trivision NC-306W camera that was used for previous comparisons (the Trivision was configured to use wireless, while the YCBLHD6 was still using the Cat 6 network cable) in an indoor setting with the motion capture target (sitting in a chair) roughly 10 feet (3 meters) in the center of the camera's capture area, with the light turned on.

The motion detection window 1 was expanded to cover the entire preview window, the Threshold was set to a value of 3, the Sensitivity to a value of 100. The H.264 bit rate was set to 8000 (the maximum value) and the H.264 quality was set to its highest permitted value. Motion capture was then tested for roughly 25 minutes. The YCBLHD6 recorded roughly 30% as much motion triggered video as the Trivision camera, with the Trivision set to record 10 second video clips and the YCBLHD6 set to record 13 second video clips with a 3 second pre-buffer. During the motion capture testing, a large house cat joined the motion capture testing - the YCBLHD6 camera had a roughly 10% success rate at picking up the movement of the large house cat at a distance of 3 to 10 feet (3 meters), while the Trivision camera started recording a new 10 second video clip every time the cat moved. One corrupt video with an extension of avi_tmp was uploaded by the YCBLHD6 camera at the end of the test, roughly at the time when the lights were turned off in the testing room. The camera's built-in microphone on the YCBLHD6 test camera is apparently not working - none of the videos captured with the 1.2436 or 1.2641 firmware include sound, even though that option was enabled in the camera's setup.

After the lights were turned off, the camera switched to infra-red mode, and then the camera started recording new 10 second long videos one after another despite the absence of motion in the room (the "M" indicator appeared typically 3 seconds into the video due to the 3 second configured pre-buffer). Between 3:00 AM and 3:59 AM (roughly four hours after the camera switched to infra-red mode), the YCBLHD6 camera recorded 261 videos, none of which recorded any actual motion (roughly half of the videos were manually checked to confirm that there was no motion when the "M" appeared in the recorded video). The Trivision's infra-red motion capture recorded nothing between 3:00 AM and 3:59 AM - it did record the large house cat playing with a toy roughly two hours earlier.

In short, the 1.2641 firmware does appear to improve the motion triggered recording capability. However, with a threshold value of 3 and a sensitivity value of 100, the YCBLHD6 camera misses an unacceptable percentage of motion triggered events that were captured by the cheap 640x480 camera when the lights were turned on, and the YCBLHD6 camera records nearly non-stop in a motionless room when the infra-red lights are used. (Neither camera with the latest firmware is able to connect to the wireless network.)

I understand that the YCBLHD6 security camera is still fairly new, but in my testing the camera model seems to have significant problems. It is yet to be determined if the above problems are hardware defects, or if the motion detection, stability, and video transfer problems will be addressed with a soon to be released firmware update.

As of today, the Y-Cam YCBLHD6 Bullet 1080HD behaves much like a beta version of a product, and as a security camera, the product is a complete failure.
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on January 7, 2013
I was originally excited about receiving this security camera after having read a glowing review on an external website--- wow, that review was very far off the mark. The first unit delivered was DOA. The second unit hasn't been much better. I wish I had never ordered this piece of junk. The specs are amazing, what is actually delivered falls very short--- I consider it fraud. As other reviewers here and elsewhere on the web have mentioned, the motion detection on this IP cam is terrible... UPDATE--not just terrible, non-existent. It really is a shame, since the video quality is quite nice... UPDATE--but you'd be better off standing outside 24/7 with a camcorder, which is basically what you have here since this can't work as a proper IP security camera without functioning motion detection. I hope they are able to fix it in a firmware update soon. UPDATE--don't hold your breath, they've been promising a fix "in about a week" since August of 2012, but to date, the only beta firmware they've produced is even worse than the full release. The manufacturer, Y-Cam, has been very deceptive and untruthful about the issues with this camera. The support person, Qaed, had me waste countless hours with different motion detection settings knowing full well that it wouldn't work as is evidenced by other users with the exact same issues. Based on the specs, I had planned to buy more of these cameras for some of my clients, but these just aren't usable. No motion detection, buggy double log-in, the camera locks up periodically so you'll have to get on a ladder and unscrew the back of the camera every so often to hit the internal reset button, and the internal storage card frequently becomes unreadable. I've tried tweaking the settings, but either it doesn't record any motion during the day or it records constantly all night-- or both. UPDATE--the latest beta firmware actually makes the motion detection issue worse... no motion at all is detected now, no matter if it's a person or a Mack truck moving in front of the camera. I really wanted to like this IP cam, but as is, I just can't recommend it. Stay far, far away from this camera and Y-Cam, the manufacturer. I have asked them for a refund and they stated that they do not honor the warranty when purchased through Amazon! And now that they've delayed my return through Amazon with their false promises of a firmware update, Amazon won't allow a full refund, only a partial refund, subtracting 15% to 20% for a restocking fee. I even asked the Amazon rep, Irshad Hussain and his supervisor, Aman, if they could at least offer Amazon credit for the $108 to $144 restocking fee I would be out. They stated it was against Amazon's policies and that there are no exceptions. That's $108 to $144 I'm losing off of the original $721 cost here on Amazon. (The price has dropped to $499 since my date of purchase.) Needless to say, I am completely dissatisfied with the product, with Y-Cam the manufacturer, and with Amazon for not trying to do what is right and rectify the situation.
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on November 3, 2013
Paired with a Synology DS 412+ running Surveillance Station. Quality is much much better, and viewing angle much wider, than my previous Foscam 8910w. Still trying to figure out which motion detection settings are best, but I'm very pleased. It was far more than I wanted to spend on driveway surveillance, but the experts in the forums are right....don't go cheap if quality is important....think about how angry you'd be at yourself if the recording of someone smashing your car window late at night showed you that something 'human-like' was the culprit, but you couldn't tell what they look like! For those like me that are doing research I'll try to post a customer image shortly (Update 11/4: Day and night images posted in Customer Images - refer to pics with U-Haul van)...I found those and the YouTube videos to be very helpful.

There is one expert review on this cam that knocks the motion detection/sensitivity...he's been active in many forums, and seems to be knowledgeable - at this point I'm unable to disagree with him - I still can't get the motion settings 'perfect' using either Synology or Y-Cam options, even with Y-Cam technical support advice.

One more Southern California, I've found the on board IR illuminators on both this and the previous Foscam unit I had seem to attract small bugs that trigger motion of these days I'll be trying an external illuminator when I can find time to learn more about them.
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on July 13, 2013
Had high hopes for these as they were 40% less that of the other outdoor IP cams that I use. Quality of picture is good for a budget cam, but it just did not cooperate with my Vitamin D video surveillance software (btw, great product). I found that the picture would go out every 15-20 mins for about 15secs. This may not be a problem for live viewing, but it causes false motion detection alerts on my video surveillance system when the picture returns. I was not able to locate any firmware update that addressed this issue so I had to return the product.
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on March 27, 2014
The best camera. Works flawlessly with the Synology diskstation. I bought two for home surveillance. They are compatible with Synology's surveillance station. Image quality is excellent, I recommend you get a PoE switch so that you do not have to run power line to and from the camera. I bought this switch and worked great: NETGEAR Prosafe 16 Port 10/100 Desktop Switch with 8 Port Poe

It makes installation simple and clean. I have these on 24/7 and have them record to the diskstation.

No complaints. I first bought the Y-cam Bullet HD, Network Camera, Outdoor, 720p, WiFi, PoE camera but that is A LOT bigger then this one. Get this one, you'll be happy you did.
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on November 17, 2014
Way too complicated. Be prepared to spend hours on the phone to the overseas technical department. Good hardware horrible software.
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on October 29, 2012
I ordered 3, these are old stock, generation 1 cams, check Y-Cam site first.

But they are good cams, need to be re-focused before final use.

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