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19 of 20 people found the following review helpful
DIY'r Goes Digital Video
on September 21, 2012
I've never owned or hooked up a video system before but was willing to try. We wanted to protect the system from wire cutters or unplugging too so we went a step further in running steel conduit to the mounted cameras outside.
With regards to the system its self, it is pretty cool for the price tag. It has many features and capabilities. Once hooked up I would say I was not as impressed with the video as I expected to be but it serves it's purpose well enough and we can make out peoples faces from a distance. The night vision feature is the same. It works but I don't think it will go the 50 feet claimed. Maybe 30 feet and it's a fairly narrow beam that is well lite not the whole field of the camera lens. The mounts are workable but not without a little help. The screws were useless so we got different self-tapping ones of better grade and won't strip. On some mounts we used a piece of foil inside the universal joint to give it more bite and hold power. Really no problem at all. You will also have to buy a monitor if you don't have one but I went to Goodwill and picked one up used with cables for $15 more. We had more than enough cable to do out job and put the extra in the attic. One con is everything is designed to be plugged into an outlet. We wanted out system hiden out of the way so we put it in the closet and are going to have a special outlet installed in there for it but unless you want to do that for a more professional looking job you'll need to put the system next to an outlet and internet conection. For that we are using a wireless adapter and router instead of the hard cable. We also ran all the wires up throught the ceiling into the attic and out to the eves of the house were the conduit tool over outside to the camera.
So even tho we took it a step further we are happy with the quality of the video and the system overall. It also has many easy intefaces to access system settings and to save via USB memory stick or to PC via network. Playback and search also was easy to use. I found the system to be as easy to use as my laptop really. and there seems to be lots of different preset controls for the basic camera in my opinion. However, the system leaves me wanting to buy 4 more better PTZ cameras with 2-way audio which the system can handle.
The one thing I have not done yet is use the smart phone app for Android to monitor and change the settings yet. I wish I could comment now but maybe later. However, based on my experience so far I do not expect it to be a problem to setup or use even though the apps referenced don't appear to be their brand but third party.
Overall I think for the money I paid I got a great little system that does pretty much what it says and what I need. With a little inginuity we made the system look more like a professional installation and for about $40 more and a little extra work we fortified the systems integrity pretty good too. I figure a new outlet iin the closet will cost about $150 with an electrician and then the only thing anyone will see besides my cameras is when they open the closet to make a manual change or want to view the monitor. We do plan to buy and use some upgraded cameras with audio.