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on November 15, 2012
I live in rowhome/townhome with a common driveway in the rear. We live in an urban area. A few weeks ago, someone walked into my yard and stole a bike that was locked to my fence. I was more concerned than angry as it was located near my back door and I was home at the time. What's to stop them from coming inside next?

I've been thinking about getting a security camera for some time. After the theft, I started checking Amazon and found the Zmodo system. The reviews were all 5 stars at the time of my purchase. At around $200.00 for 4 cameras and a 500GB DVR, I figured I couldn't go wrong. If you search Zmodo on that popular video sharing site, people claim the 500GB will hold about 30 days of video and it can be set to overwrite. Once set, you can basically leave it alone and review an incident if needed.

As of this writing, I have two of the four cameras installed. I have them both mounted on the rear of my home and pointed towards the drive. I've never owned a security camera before, so I have nothing to compare them to, but I am very satisfied with the clarity of the cameras during the daytime. From where I have them positioned, I can see my yard and beyond. I don't believe I can read a license plate, but my next door neighbor has a cargo van and I can read his advertising. Our back drive is very dark. Nighttime viewing is ok, but not great. However, I have a motion light mounted to the rear of my home and when it goes on, I can see my yard quite clearly.

I've been using the system for about a week. Overall, I am quite pleased with my purchase. It does exactly what I need it to do at a very affordable price.

Pros: It comes with 4 cameras and you can add 4 more. It's easy to install, the camera picture quality is good. It comes with everything you need to get started right away. The DVR has 500GB of memory so you don't need to add a hard drive. You can set the system for remote viewing. (Either from other computers on your network - or remote viewing using a mobile device.) I can't comment on the remote viewing as I don't have it set, but plan to do so in the near future. I'll update my review once completed.

Cons: The print on the directions is small and not easy to read. However, it comes with a cd that allows you to view them on your computer. The mounting brackets are ok, not great. If you need to monitor a very dark area, you might want to add a motion light or some other form of outside lighting to improve the performance. You can adjust the brightness on the camera if extra lighting is not available, but daytime viewing may look washed out unless you adjust it each day.

Lastly - For me, the value was in the DVR. I didn't want to spend a ton of money upfront. My thought was I could always add better cameras if needed. The included 60' cables are basic quality. I suspect if I upgrade to coaxial, the picture quality will improve. I have it hooked up to an old computer monitor, but you can also connect it to a newer TV. By doing so, you may improve the picture clarity even more. In order to use this system remotely, you'll need to connect the DVR to your router via a c5 cable or wireless bridge. I plan on doing the latter as I am trying to avoid running c5 cable through my home. For areas where you might not be able to run wires, you can add a wireless camera to the system such as the Lorex LW2110 Lorex LW2110 Wireless Digital Security Camera, but you'll still need to supply the camera with power.

If you are looking for an affordable starter security system and don't mind running some wires, the Zmodo PKD-DK0863 works well for me.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________
Update 12/05/2012

As mentioned previously, I wanted to set this up for remote viewing. In order to do this, I needed to connect the DVR to my router. You can connect via a Cat5 cable. If your router is not near your DVR, and running wires through you home is not easy/possible, you can do like I did and add a wireless bridge. I recently installed a Cisco/Linksys WET610N bridge. Set up was fairly easy. I can now view my cameras from any computer on my home network. In addition, Zmodo has an app that allows me to view the feed from my Iphone. It works very well and I'm pleased with the picture quality. If you search Zmodo remote viewing on Youtube, you'll find several videos that will help make the installation easy.
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on September 9, 2012
This security camera system works pretty well, view angle is amazing in every light condition, the installation was easy, I installed them in my restaurant we move all the cables throw the ceiling without issues. If you are looking for some system that delivers efficiency, easy install and a fair price I think you're on the right way for sure. Some things you must consider is to buy extra long cables if you need to cover big areas like me.
Speaking about the software...pretty easy to use, we only experiment some delays on remote access config because our Internet provider is a mess (not ZMODO fault's).
I think if you buy it, you'll not be disappointed.
Thanks!
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on January 18, 2013
I am a professional installer of CCTV surveillance system and I recently purchased this for a customer who wanted a very low budget system. As the saying goes you get what you pay for. I ended up using the DVR and replaced the cameras from another supplier.

PROS: The DVR is usable, customer service is excellent ( to make up for the quality of the product), very easy to network system. PRICE

CONS: Camera resolution very low and dose not produce true colors (I will upload some pics to demonstrate), if the camera is facing any type of shrubbery they appear as a light purple haze and not green. The IR distance is less that 25ft.

This system would be suitable for a commercial area as a store or quick shoppe about 30' x 30'. With the cameras installed no higher that 8ft. Would not recommend it for outdoor surveillance.
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on April 23, 2013
Thought I needed help installing, but it only took me a total of 90 minutes to connect cables and mount hardware. The web access was fairly easy to configure as long as you go to [...] to do it. STILL working on getting it on my phone via the Zviewer Android App. Trying this page: [...]

I mounted the cameras INSIDE on my windows because I wanted easy access to them in case of technical difficulty or in case I needed to reposition. I also didn't want to run the risk of water damage or even vandalism -- which is the reason I got them in the first place -- someone stole our riding lawnmower. I uploaded a picture of what my screen looks like with the web access -- BEHIND a double-pane glass window. So imagine the clarity if I had them mounted OUTSIDE.

The picture is clear enough in the daytime -- if you're trying to do spy work, its not for you. Good for basic home surveillance. You can make out faces about 10 feet away. But if the point is to just have an idea of what's going on around your property, this serves the purpose.

ANYWAY, will update in a few weeks, but so far so good!

UPDATE 4/24/13: So mounting INSIDE wasn't as bright an idea once night fell -- the glass reflected so I could see NOTHING. But STILL love the product!

UPDATE 4/29/13: Mounted them outside (basically on the opposite side of the windows where they were mounted inside) and the view is unobstructed. You will definitely have to go into settings and adjust the color settings on each camera to get the highest night vision quality. With all outdoor lights out, night vision is nowhere near as clear as daytime, but its tolerable. Just make sure you have your outdoor lights on in the areas you want to watch the most.

UPDATE 5/31/13: Had a street lamp installed by the local power company. CRYSTAL CLEAR night vision. So the moral of the story, exterior illumination DRASTICALLY increases night visibility. Daytime is still great. It rained HEAVY for a couple of days straight on three different occasions since initial purchase and no problems. So far so good.

UPDATE 8/23/13: Still going strong! Even was able to go back to a specific time-frame and take a screen shot to catch an annoying neighbor's dog laying a major load in my mailbox flowerbed! MORE heavy rain and STILL good to go. Great system. Would be MUCH better if I could access it on my Android phone, but hey.

UPDATE 8/24/2013: GETTING REMOTE ACCESS ON ANDROID PHONE | Okay, I figured it out: I made sure my user name was capitalized the SAME EXACT WAY as it is on the DVR settings, in addition to removing the Http: from in front of the IP address and BINGO! It logged me in. However it works only on my Galaxy Note II and not my husband's Galaxy S2. My settings:

DeviceName: (EXACTLY as you have it in your ROUTER's Port Forwarding / Port Triggering settings)
Address: 192.168.1._ (No "HTTP" EXACTLY as in your router's Port Forwarding/Port Triggering settings)
Port: 7050
Username: (type EXACTLY as you see it in the DVR setting -- case sensitive)
Password: (Your Password)

[ASIN:B0058E0WO2 Zmodo PKD-DK0863-500GB Outdoor Security Camera]]
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on October 13, 2012
I ordered this to get proof a neighbor was "peeking" at me from around the fence I put up. For the price I am very happy. Would I have upgraded the cameras had I any clue what I was doing? Maybe. Would I have gone wireless so I dont have to belly crawl my attic? Maybe. I have more time than money so this system was exactly what I needed yet could afford. I dont have a clue and this system was SOOOO easy and when I messed up the settings I just reset to factory settings and started over. Simple. I'll admit, I didnt even read the installation or directions it was so easy.

I have an alarm system and I can wire this into it if I choose. I can add 4 more cameras if I choose. I just upgraded to a smart phone and I will be setting up the system to view on that. Isnt technology great? Whats even better is someone like me can install, set up, monitor this system with practically NO technical skills.

Thank you Zmodo and Amazon!!
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on March 29, 2013
I read a lot of mixed and negative reviews for this item and similar models and was skeptical, but decided to take a risk anyway. I'm glad I did, for under $200 it is a great buy. It is not professional grade, nor did I expect it to be. The image quality is actually better than I expected it would be, even in total darkness it renders an acceptable image and the motion detection is almost too sensitive that I had to cut it back. Many of the complaints surround installation and setup. The included printed instructions are a bit lacking, but a search of FAQs on the manufacture’s website will yield better information and step by step walk thru. The setup itself is pretty simple but if you want access over the internet it is a bit more involved. Like anything techie, you need a basic understanding of computers and networking, You need to open a DNS account, open router ports, and configure the NVR, all of which is easier than it sounds if you just follow the directions. I had a few issues and frustrations but found them to be more the fault of the ISPs, Time Warner & AT&T in my case, who block ports and generally don’t seem to like to play nice with each other at the expense of their customers. If you are accessing from within your owns network rather than across the web with multiple ISPs this should not be an issue. Again most of the complaints deal with the setup, not the product itself, and we should not blame product for the problems caused by the 3rd party providers. There are workarounds, and once resolved it was a fairly quick and easy process. If you lack the tech knowledge, just get a 9 year old to do it. PROS: good image, can view directly, via the internet but I can’t access from my work, I think it is port blocking again (but this time by corporate security) but fine form every other computer, iPad, iPhone and there is also an android app for those who have not upgraded yet. Image is fair to good, even in total darkness. CONS: needs to be hardwired to the router with a cat5 cable which may limit where you can place the unit, although a wireless adapter might work. I used wired cameras, however wireless models are available. The wireless camera isn’t 100% wireless, it connects wirelessly to the router, but it still needs AC power so it must be close to an outlet, they don’t exactly mention that. The software is a bit rudimentary, but it works. I can see they are improving the GUI. BOTTOM LINE: For a low cost video surveillance system this is the ticket and in my opinion a fine product that has been unjustly treated by reviewers.
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on April 27, 2013
The DVR is good.The cameras are decent during the daytime and OK at night time.For the price it is a good entry level system.My biggest problem is the lack of instructions.I am very tech savvy and it took me 5-6 hours just to get the Android app and IE setup right(because there are no instructions). I am very happy with my system and enjoy watching my house from anywhere.Update...My house got broken into during the daytime 2 weeks after I installed the cameras.Police identified and arrested him because of the footage.The police and prosecutor loved the video. (None my stuff was recovered).I am going to post the video on Youtube when the case is over and post a link here. Update: here are the videos of crimes I captured on my camera's https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vLQwvXMCdJQ and https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=luZK-mhy1Ao
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on February 23, 2013
The only difference between what is described and what I received from Amazon is the cameras.
The description shows these white cameras; 30' IR (night vision); 480 Lines; CMOS sensor.
What came had the silver cameras; 65' IR; 420 lines; CCD sensor. I prefer the cameras that actually came with it over the ones it was supposed to have, even though the resolution is slightly less.
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on February 17, 2013
I bought 2 of these as I had a large area to cover and two would have done it. However the night I received them I hooked them up to test before installation good thing I did because one system just would not work Disk error. I returned it for refund with amazon no problem. I ordered received tested returned and was credited back within one week. As for the other system, it functioned until I got it installed and now the motion sensing for some reason is not working. I have to call support yet so for now it is on 24/7 record and overwrite. The cameras seam to be doing very well for now if you can hold off until you can save up more money you should and get a better set up. If not this is fine just check if it works before you install it.
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on October 10, 2013
Crap mounting hardware for cameras, really cheap, and does not hold the cameras well, plastic thumbscrews break very easily.. Unit picture shows on amazon picture shows a RCA jack to hook to the tv, but in reality a BNC jack. ( This is specified in the directions that came with unit.) I ordered one from ebay. One of the mounting devices broke while trying to install camera. Cameras are "Bullet style cameras" and are only about 5 inches long by 3 inches wide. When the necessay adapter arrives I will update as to the actual functioning of unit. Now I am scared.
Buyer beware on this very deceptive advertizing, not as represented on Amazon.

Bought bnc adapter to find out it does not work. Worst resoloution cameras I have ever seen. This is crap and it's going back. What a pain in the a** to take down all the cameras.

BUYER BEWARE
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