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492 of 527 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ZMODO DVR systems
Do your research. I've seen a lot of bad reviews for Zmodo DVR's on other websites from people that don't know anything about CCTV IR based camera systems...

I own 2 of these DVR systems, in my experience they are the best. For years I struggled with PCI based DVR solutions, (SAMS club specials to) they ALL SUCK. The software for all PCI based cards is the...
Published on March 9, 2012 by Mech

versus
765 of 789 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for the price
If youre looking for hi tech crystal clear images and detailed images, move on. If you just want a basic, easy to install CCTV system this is great. Its as easy as mount the cameras with 3 screws, plug the cameras into the cables, run the wires to the unit and plug them in. Its easier than the average surround sound system.

the night vision is OK, works well in...
Published on November 21, 2011 by JS


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765 of 789 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not bad for the price, November 21, 2011
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264 Internet & 3G Phone Accessible 4-Channel DVR with 4 Night Vision Cameras and 500 GB HD (Camera)
If youre looking for hi tech crystal clear images and detailed images, move on. If you just want a basic, easy to install CCTV system this is great. Its as easy as mount the cameras with 3 screws, plug the cameras into the cables, run the wires to the unit and plug them in. Its easier than the average surround sound system.

the night vision is OK, works well in darkness up to about 10 feet; the images are black & white though. The overall image quality is OK, if someone is within about 15 feet the image is clear enough to recognize a stranger by the photo. Past 30 feet you'd have a hard time distingushing between Jessica Simpson and Hillary Clinton. When you attempt to 'zoom' the image it gets very grainy, so forget that idea. The field of view is fairly narrow, so if you are using it in a small space (10x10 room) the view is limited.

Overall, its a breeze to put in and use, just dont expect the best image quality. if youre a small business or a homeowner, its fine though.

UPDATE 2/13: here we are less then 18 months later and the system is not working properly. First, one camera developed issues with the image and rolling lines. Then a second camera did the same thing. Now the images freeze on the screen every few minutes for 30-45 seconds and it stops recording while this happens. I tried to contact Zmoto with no luck. For being less then 18 months old and only used inside a climate controlled store, I am disappointed. Pass and pick another better quality setup.
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492 of 527 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ZMODO DVR systems, March 9, 2012
By 
Mech (Louisville, KY) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264 Internet & 3G Phone Accessible 4-Channel DVR with 4 Night Vision Cameras and 500 GB HD (Camera)
Do your research. I've seen a lot of bad reviews for Zmodo DVR's on other websites from people that don't know anything about CCTV IR based camera systems...

I own 2 of these DVR systems, in my experience they are the best. For years I struggled with PCI based DVR solutions, (SAMS club specials to) they ALL SUCK. The software for all PCI based cards is the same Chinese garbage. No support, no updates, short operational life.

Out of the box the Zmodo systems work very well and without hassle. Couple of points to this...

#1 Camera quality, for the price you can't expect the best. The most important feature here is the DVR and these are worth the price (- cameras). These don't have much range, they are too small you really need to tailor cameras to your environment. Buy a larger one for distance visibility at night. Do your research. You can't expect these to see a license plate 15" away.

#2 To improve image quality use coax and not the dual cables provided. Lot of quality loss in these but it isn't practical for companies to sell these with large coax bundles shipping would eat you.

Only complaint I have is the manual is bad engrish.

Regarding the actual DVR, it's fairly easy to use, the interface isn't the best but it is better than other systems. The IE software is like all IE software, its buggy. This one isn't compatible with mac but you can use vMEye on your iPhone to view it remotely. There are other options for Mac, I don't ding the DVR for bad third party integration. DVR should be standalone and work on its own anyway. The newer model is mac compatible. As for upgrades, there are non, but its pretty rock solid as is. Would be nice to be able to shell into it to play with the linux build on it. Again I wouldn't ding this product for the lack of upgrades when you compare it to the rest of the low end DVR market.

Lastly support. I had some issues with the last one I ordered missing parts and having a mixing issue (maybe woot issue). The support was very surprising. I hadn't needed it before. Make sure you call the US support, don't email or use web chat it goes to China.
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257 of 277 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars For the price paid.....THIS UNIT IS WORTH EVERY PENNY!!!, March 18, 2012
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This review is from: Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264 Internet & 3G Phone Accessible 4-Channel DVR with 4 Night Vision Cameras and 500 GB HD (Camera)
This system packs a massive load of value for the price paid. If you're looking for a basic camera system with decent camera images, then this is what you're looking for. By no means is it a commercial level feature packed system that can produce "High Definition Images". It cannot see fine detail, but produces usable images to see mischef around your property or business. For example, if you want to know which neighbor is messing with your car or who's dog took a crap on your lawn, you can probably identify someone you've seen before. The closer you can get a subject to these cameras the more detail you can see.
INITIAL IMPRESSIONS:
The DVR looked exactly as I intended. It was a good size and included a Western Digital 500GB Green Drive with a very recent manufacturing date. The cameras were smaller than I thought. No problem with that. All metal construction. Looked perfect for my installation. Everything was packed well in China!!
INSTALLATION:
I had already wired up my house with Siamese RG59/power cabling. I used no crimp BNC connectors and cut off the power plugs that were on the supplied bundles of camera cables. I spliced the plugs to the power cabling at the camera end and DVR. (Note: I used crimp caps with a little corrosion compound for the connections outside) If you're going to do this make sure you dont damage the conductors while stripping. Use the proper strippers and crimpers!! The supplied power wire is very delicate (looked like 30awg wire). I mounted the cameras on the underside of my roof soffits. I won't get into much detail on that. Every application is different. I can say the supplied brackets worked out well. I had to mess with the cheap ball socket to get the camera to hold the position I wanted. I'll try to post a picture of how I mounted them.
POWER UP:
I had everything connected including an old CRT monitor I had laying around. Everything worked and I was up and running with images on my screen. I adjusted all the cameras. A lot of back and forth, up and down. I got a workout. I started clicking around the menus. I've never used any other CCTV DVR before but I found no problems figuring out the menus. The included instructions were not that great. I just used them for reference. If you struggle with any type of menu system, you're probably have difficulty. I use all different types of menu structures for the type of work I do so I didn't have any trouble. I found it very intuitive.
NETWORK SETUP:
I am not a network setup expert. If you know nothing about networks, have someone else set it up for you. The instructions are not very good for someone who doesn't know what an IP address is. Once I figured out what IP address my router gave to the DVR I was up and running on another networked PC in my home. It did take a little tweaking of the settings within Internet Explorer to get it to work. Make sure it prompts you for unsigned Active X. The Zmodo website has information on this. There are also videos on youtube on this subject. For some reason, it only works on IE. I can't get access on Firefox, Opera, or any wireless device in my home. I need to consult with someone else on that. My router also opened up the ports I needed automatically because it had that feature. There is a setting in the DVR that you need to enable for that to work. I did get remote access on my Android phone with the IP Cam app. You need to know what INTERNET IP address you are by going to whatismyip or log into your router. Because I don't have a static IP, I need to use the DNS Service suggested in the information supplied. I won't go into this. It's too complicated and like I said, I'm not an expert. I can figure it out but can't explain it very well. I know it will work once I get it all set up.
OTHER COMMENTS:
I setup basic stuff like time/date, recording, motion, without issue. It may take a little messing with different settings to figure out how it all works. I'm very happy with the features of this DVR. I like how you can search for specific camera recording with motion marks. This way you don't need to watch hours of video. You can go right to where it saw motion. You can fast forward or manually go back. I've read other reviews of comparable DVR's in which you can't do that. A definite plus!! I'm still discovering other features the more I mess with it. Overall, I'm very happy with my purchase. Amazon currently has the best price. It was delivered without issue as usual.
***If you're not interested in remote access or home network access, this system will still work great. You can view everything from a monitor connected to the DVR and use the included laser mouse. You'll be up and running and love it!!
I hope this in depth review helps others decide what system to buy.
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126 of 146 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Be warned - remote feature is very hard to set up!, February 15, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264 Internet & 3G Phone Accessible 4-Channel DVR with 4 Night Vision Cameras and 500 GB HD (Camera)
If you are looking for a basic surveillance system, this one will do just fine. The picture is OK, not crystal clear but good enough. I love the motion detection, night vision, and snap shots via email that you can set to receive in 1-10 min intervals. As to the installation ... If you have no IT background, you can probably still get through the basic installation fine. However, if you are going to try to set up the remote viewing feature, be warned that the instructions are not clear, and the pictures included with the instructions are not readable at all. Yes, you can call the tech support, but prepare for a LONG hold (and only during business hours - no weekends, no evenings). I was on hold for 67 minutes and spent another 1.5 hrs on the phone with the tech who helped me with the remote and iPhone set up. I thought to myself: this is a person who does it for a living, and it took him 1.5 hrs to set it up, how is someone like me without any IT background supposed to do that? The tech I spoke to admitted that the instructions are written very poorly and impossible to understand for a layperson. The set up still has some glitches even after the tech call, so I need to call again and go through another waste of a couple hours, but at least all the basics are installed now. So, if you have IT knowledge (or know someone who does) or a lot of patience and time, you should be ok. Otherwise, this will likely be a very frustrating experience.
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47 of 55 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Beats anything at Sam's or Costco. Great Value!, August 9, 2012
By 
PoopScoopGuy "Chuck" (Batavia, IL United States) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264 Internet & 3G Phone Accessible 4-Channel DVR with 4 Night Vision Cameras and 500 GB HD (Camera)
I have looked at the 4 channel security systems at Sam's club for years. For $219.27 with free Prime shipping and no sales tax, this just cannot be beat. I should add that I did not receive the DVR in the listing, PKD-DK4216. Instead they sent me what must be a newer model, the H9114V. It is much cooler looking and does not have any front panel controls, just a clean shiny black panel. The features are accessed using the remote or using the included optical mouse, both work great. Very sleek looking. Note: It is smaller than the photo makes it look as well, not VCR sized as expected, but only about 11" wide and 1 12" tall.

This thing has a 500 gig Western Digital hard drive pre-instaled in it. That used to be an $80 value on its own. All I had to do was connect cameras and plug it into power and a VGA monitor to make it work. I also changed the default password. All cameras work great, not HD, but I think the images are very good. (I was used to a cheap wireless camera system I had before which was very grainy.) My property is pitch black at night, so the night view is fairly limited with just a spot on the ground and some tree branches visible. A person would have to walk right up to the camera and look at it to be seen with any detail. But if we had street lights or security lights I am sure it would be much better. Daylight is great.

So, I connected the cameras, mouse, monitor, power and turned it on and up popped four images. Nice. Then I took it all apart and started routing the cables. A half inch or smaller boring bit is all you need if you are going through walls like I did, since you can fish the power and video connectors through the hole individually.

The cables are way longer than I needed since I was just putting this in a 20x20 outbuilding. Lots of extra cable.

So I got it all installed and then I hooked up the Ethernet cable... Ahhhh... sweet. Note: I am configured through a Ethernet switch (actually a wireless access point which also has wired ports) which connects to my wired router (Netgear dual with wireless turned off). You do not need to be connected directly to a router port, you can go through a switch. I tried looking at the manual to do the configuration and got bored with that and just found myself going out to Google. That is how I found the Zmodo knowledge-base. [...]

I was able to find out everything I needed at the above web site. I was able to get all the correct network settings installed by starting with this page: [...] That told me how to get the default settings via DHCP. Later you need to change this to Static as per the instructions (adding 20 to the last two IP digits, in my case 25 + 20 = 45). Be sure to read all the sublinks about setting up IE with the correct Activex settings, setting up port forwarding in your router (they even had screen shots of all the most popular router setup software, including my own) and use the port checker link to check the port settings and get the external address as well, Port checker here: [...] Remote settings: [...]

Then I found another page for the iPhone: [...]

Note: I am NOT a network expert. In fact, I am pretty illiterate about network stuff. I just searched and followed directions. I am however very computer literate (used to the jargon) and that helped me fill in some blanks which might have confused, say, my wife.

Now I can remote view all four cameras from either my PC via IE or on my iPhone. The iPhone app Zviewer is awesome. It even works over ATT 4G. I am leaving on a vacation next week and it will be very cool to pull out my phone and see four realtime views of my property from 1000 miles away -- and without dealing with messy web cam stuff and Windows/PC software. And don't forget... this thing is recording the video as well. You can rewind and see what has happened in the past as well. it's stand alone. In fact, the unit comes with a computer CD and I have no idea what it is for. I think it is for backing up settings or something to your PC via the unit's USB port.

I can't wait to dig into some of the more esoteric features of the DVR setup software -- maybe get a motorized camera, mess with the motion detection...there is a lot of stuff in this thing. ALL for $219.27 flat. Awesome! Very happy so far. And check out Youtube for a video overview:[...]
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149 of 183 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Terrible, Look for something else, May 1, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264 Internet & 3G Phone Accessible 4-Channel DVR with 4 Night Vision Cameras and 500 GB HD (Camera)
My car was keyed about a month ago and I was looking for a good surveillance product to prevent the vandalism from happening again. After doing research for a couple of hours and reading reviews, I thought this would be a good product to go with.

When I had first opened this product, I was skeptical because some pieces had been missing. For example you are not given a VGA cable even though it requires VGA output to display the channels. There are no screws provided to mount the camera's while they decided to give you the plates to attach the cameras to. Furthermore upon hooking up the camera I had noticed that one was not functioning. This was already a bad start as not only did the company who made this decide to be cheap and not give you the VGA cable, but one of the 4 cameras was already faulty. Needless to say I decided to keep on setting up giving the product a chance.

I am disappointing to say that the night vision on the camera is horrible as you cannot see a single thing in the dark. The field of vision is extremely limited and small meaning that if you are expecting to see the front of your residence it will require all four cameras positioned very far back. Let's just say you won't be able to even recognize who is walking around if they decide to vandalize something. Not only that but the camera's would turn on and off by itself from time to time when recording. I found this out when I was reviewing the video log.

The menu's for the device are really slow and the playback settings are even worse because the fastest setting you can set for the playback is 16x. This entails to fast forwarding half a minute a second which means if you are attempting to review 1-3 hour videos you will be there for a very long time. Honestly browsing the menus are extremely frustrating because it feels like running today's applications on a Pentium 1.

When it came time to put this product to good use it failed me as my car was vandalized a second time two weeks later. At the most crucial moment when I needed the surveillance most, the camera's turned on and off throughout the night. There is no way that they were disconnected as they were hidden on the roof of the home. The night vision didn't help because it doesn't actually work (You can't see anything let alone recognize anything).

Needless to say, save your hard earned money and find a different surveillance product.
Had this product actually worked, I would have been able to catch the culprit who vandalized my vehicle but unfortunately not only did it fail but it costed me dearly.

I will never buy from Zmodo ever again and would suggest everyone who reads this to stay away.

Very disappointed!!
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11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great! Its a much better system than I expected, especially for the price!, August 29, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264 Internet & 3G Phone Accessible 4-Channel DVR with 4 Night Vision Cameras and 500 GB HD (Camera)
The camera quality was much better than expected!! I was expecting grainy pictures and figured as long as they are "OK" then I will be happy. I am much very happy with the system and quality of everything. The system is very user friendly and easy to operate, getting the network up and running isn't difficult if you are computer savvy. Overall for less than $200 I have a great system that I can see anywhere, and its one more deterrent for thieves or vandals.

I included pictures so you can see the quality, I have two of them run with 100ft wires with no quality loss and these pictures are on my 55" tv so you can really see how good this system is. Hopefully this helps you guys out
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48 of 59 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Sorry company to deal with, July 2, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264 Internet & 3G Phone Accessible 4-Channel DVR with 4 Night Vision Cameras and 500 GB HD (Camera)
I bought the this Zmodo system several weeks ago. When the system arrived I had a letter in the box saying that the cameras that were part of the system were on back order so Zmodo took it upon themselves to send me subsitute camers of a lesser quality. They state they were giving me heavier cables to make up for the subsitution. I contacted them and told them I wanted the cameras that was to be included with the system since they had a higher resolution. I was told that those cameras had come in and would be sent to me once I return the other cameras. I sent the other cameras back and then received an email from Zmodo had decided to give me a refund instead of the proper cameras. So now I have a Zmodo DVR without cameras. Update. With the help of Amazon's great service dept. the right cameras were sent to me. I give Zmodo one star and Amazon 5 stars for making things right.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zmodo 4 camera with DVR works as promised, June 26, 2012
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264 Internet & 3G Phone Accessible 4-Channel DVR with 4 Night Vision Cameras and 500 GB HD (Camera)
Review of Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264 Internet & 3G Phone Accessible 4-Channel DVR with 4 Night Vision Cameras and 500 GB HD.

System arrived quickly and works as advertised. Overall, I am very happy with the purchase, especially considering the price. The cameras work great in color or black & white night vision. The resolution is fine to recognize someone within 20 feet or so. It would be hard to recognize the face from farther away, but for this price camera system you can't expect that. As other reviewers suggest, you could just buy a higher resolution camera for 1 or more channels if needed. Also as others noted, the camera mounts are cheaply made and the weakest link. However, I got them all to work by loosening them and then quickly tightening them after I had them aimed correctly. It looks like they use a standard screw base, so you could just purchase better mounts somewhere.

The software that comes with the DVR is much more powerful and with more options than I suspected from reading the other reviews. The interface is a bit clunky to navigate and the documentation is very poor, but I was able to figure it out fairly easily just by going through the various software menus. One nice feature is that you can point and click on a transparent, square block interface which is overlaid on the image projected by each camera. By selecting individual squares you can mask out portions on a camera's field of view that you don't want the system to detect motion in. This was very helpful for a camera in our kids room, where we wanted the motion detection triggered if anyone enters or leaves the room, but not if the kids move around in their beds. I just masked out the field of view covering the beds.

I recommend this system to anyone looking for a cost effective, basic system with lots of features.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Updated: Bumpy start, now smooth sailing., July 1, 2013
By 
MsUhler (Bradenton, FL) - See all my reviews
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
This review is from: Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264 Internet & 3G Phone Accessible 4-Channel DVR with 4 Night Vision Cameras and 500 GB HD (Camera)
First Review: We got the first one two weeks ago - easy install on all the cameras. However, the equipment would not record and one of the cables was defective. We returned the original unit and received a new unit and connected the hard drive and the additional and everything worked for two minutes. Then there was hard disk errors. The manual has NO support number and there is no support or phone number on the unit to look for support.

Update: We did manage to find support information and the staff on the support call were extremely helpful. Turned out one of our settings was slightly off but the hard drive was not defective. Three months in and I couldn't be happier with the system.
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