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on June 22, 2010
The Defender SN502-4Ch-002 is my first DVR system and for what it has should be my last. It stores a months worth of video and the video is surprisingly good. On a 55" tv the quality isn't much worse than what regular cable, using only the coax cable, would be. The color quality is great. As far as the night vision I'm very surprise on how well the night vision video. Sometimes I just like to turn to the dvr's channel to see if the pesky neighborhood cats are around. I've see a few good cat fights with it, oh and you have instant replay!!! I hope this video helps. Make sure you get to the end to see video samples.
1515 comments| 237 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on May 28, 2010
I have had this unit installed now since its release. The set-up was a breeze. I should mention however that I have allot of experience with computers and networking, but even with that said I still think the set-up was very basic and easy to understand. I set up the system to check to make sure the cameras were all working, which they all worked fine, in about 15 minutes. This test did not include any of the networking, but it showed how easy it would be if I did not need the network functions. After installing the DVR, cameras, and running the included wires for the cameras, I had it set up and recording using the motion detection on all the cameras in about 15 minutes again. The networking did not require any degree to figure out, and the tech support is excellent if there are any problems. I did purchase an extra squid adapter and power supply for the cameras because I installed two of the cameras inside my house and two outside and I wanted the ability to turn off the inside cameras when I was home for a little added security in case I had any online security breaches. This is really not necessary, but I like to be able to tell my guests who are staring at a camera that the inside cameras are off for now. Setting up this system for mobile view using my BB Storm was no problem at all with the provided step-by-step document.

Since I installed my system I have had two of my business friends over and they were amazed with the quality of this system for the price I paid for it. They also told me about the horror stories, things I was able to avoid, they had while installing and setting up there professional systems. Both friends told me, if they had it to do again they would go with this system, but the model with 8 cameras, for there business.

The reason I gave this unit 4 out of 5 stars actually has nothing to do with the unit.
-The video quality is worth every penny I paid for.
-The set-up was a very easy process.
-The customer support is great.
-Worked on my BB Storm with OS .607 and below. Will not work with OS .713 as of right now!
I only have two problems with this unit. Neither kept me from purchasing the unit obviously:
-The firmware, that came on my unit, does not support the e-mail notifications currently. I have been assured the problem is being addressed and should be fixed soon. This is the reason for the 4 out of 5 stars. I will update this when the problem is fixed.
-The DVR accepts the standard security cable type, but the cameras are not the standard type. This means that if you were to run all the wires for these cameras and decided later that you wanted to install better cameras, you would have to run new wires because Defender does not sell a converter for the cameras end of the wire.

I should also add to this post, in case anyone was wanting to be able to use the remote viewing or mobile viewing for this unit, that Defender recommends [...]
for users with dynamic IP from there ISP. This is also what I used, and I would definitely recommended it. DYNDNS makes it very easy to set up an account and also provides information on how to set up your router to auto-sync with your account. You can set up the DVR to auto-sync as well, but do not set up both the router and the DVR. Just set up one or the other and let it do it's thing. Defender provides all the information needed to set up the DVR with your DYNDNS account.

I would definitely recommend this unit to anyone looking for a great video surveillance system [...].

On a side note... I contacted the Defender tech support about this unit and its functions, before I bought it, and they sent me a coupon for a discount if I purchased it from there website. [...]
1414 comments| 86 people found this helpful. Was this review helpful to you?YesNoReport abuse
on July 1, 2010
Let me just say that I put these systems in a lot for people and its not a bad little home system. I like the features that the DVR offers and it comes with everything you will need in a complete package. The cameras on the other hand were not a very good quality. During sunny days the cameras get washed out with to much light so its hard to see anything from them. The IR use for the night time is better but still far from high quality. Overall this is still a good system and worth the price but because of the cameras only 3 stars from me.
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on January 9, 2011
This has been the worst quality product that I have purchased in years! 1 camera was defective, and the units hard drive was not even formatted when shipped! The DVR would only run for approx 10-15 hours before overheating, and locking up. It would not record anything on the hard drive. After spending 3! hours on the phone with "customer service", I was given three different numbers to call. One of them was out of service altogether! And the rest were only open 8-5 and i never recieved an answer. I finally emailed them, and was told that I had to ship the units to New York on my dime, and that i could not recieve replacements until they were tested defective. I was aslo told that this process would take approx a month! Over a month later, I recieved a new camera, but recieved the original DVR back with the statement that it tested fine! It worked for 18 hours, and repeated the exact same behaviour! I finally decided to dissasemble the unit myself, and found that it uses a seagate "fanless" hard drive. According to Seagate, these must be installed with sufficient ventilation, and a steel barrier between the motherboard/cpu and the hard drive. This DVR unit is NOT designed this way. All components are smashed together in one small compartment, with very little ventilation. I have been forced to install a hard drive ccoler fan and cut a hole in the top of the case!!! Now it works perfectly! POOR quality/designed product, and even worse "customer service"! Look elsewhere. Update 6/14/12. The unit now randomly stops working and revolts itself. It has also completely lost the ability to replay recorded footage. Just freezes up and has to be unplugged to reboot. Found this out while trying to replay footage of an attempted break in! Worthless.
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on September 30, 2010
Cameras come with 12LED's only which in turn decreases the max distance for night vision.
DVR (although comes with 4 cameras) only comes with 4 channels so no room for expansion.
Quality is alright, I believe it's only 420 lines of resolution which theoratically should produce a 480i signal.
Set up is EXTREMELY easy, and networking features are simple to set up as well.
Overall I gave this 3 stars only because for the price you can get the same exact thing (different brand) but the 4 cameras would come with (24 LED's) as opposed to 12, and DVR would come with 8 channels as opposed to 4.

ALSO!!!! These cameras are NOT weather resistant. The only reason DEFENDER says they are outdoor cameras is because they have night vision. Realistically speaking, these cameras would need to be placed in an enclosure because rain or snow WILL break them.
I'm returning this set and going with a different brand.
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on October 19, 2011
I have dealt with a lot of different companies since I have started buying things off of the internet. But none as terrible, awful, and incompetent as Defender Customer Service Techs. If you call this number 1-866-946-7828 because you are having any issues with your security system you will get NOWHERE!! The Security System itself is a great product but once Defender has your money they act like the customer doesn't exist anymore. I have been calling for weeks trying to get a replacement part that probably cost $5.00 and have got nothing but the run around. And to think I was considering purchasing a 16 camera system from this company in the future, but not now.
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on November 9, 2010
I shopped and shopped the internet looking for an affordable camera system for my home. I finally decided on this system and it was a great choice. I had it up and running in less than 10 minutes out of the box to test it. Installation was very really is a plug n play system. I made the experience of hiding the wires in a finished house more hassle than I needed to because I wanted perfection. You can't tell we have cameras unless you really look. Wire is thin and easy to hide under carpet etc.

One of the main reasons I bought this system is because I wanted a video/power wire all in one. A lot of systems need a power outlet near the camera and a seperate wire for video back to the recorder. Way to much hassle to have an electrician come in for that. This system has one wire for both.

I am quite surprised at how great night vision is. I was concerned it only sees 15 ft...but being new to this prior to my purchase I thought that would be a problem. It sees 15 ft in absolute pitch black like our backyard. However, if there is a hint of light, porch light, street light anything than the camera is amazing at night. I have one that sees at least 50-60 feet at night only from the front porch lights down our street.

Networking was a breeze. The 10 steps or so and video online to walk you through it made it no trouble at all. I can view it on our internal network, from any computer outside the house and on our iphones.

Highly recommended!
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on January 6, 2011
After my house was broken into while I was work, I told my co-workers I wanted to get a security camera system that would let me watch my house via the Internet from work. "That would cost more than you could afford," someone told me. Man, was he wrong. This system gave me exactly what I wanted and I was surprised at the excellent video quality, considering the price. Also, there is no on-going cost for monitoring over the Internet, as I would have expected.
Because my house is very close to the street, the two cameras in the front yard catch the street from each direction, and I really enjoy just sitting in the house and watching cars and people going buy. If I hear any racket outside or the dog barking, all I have to do is hit "jump" on my remote and the TV flips to the cameras, and I can see what's going on.
The technical support people are very good, and they are Americans who talk to you plainly. I can also see the cameras over my Ipod Touch, which I keep by my bed at night, so if I hear any noise I just flip it on and (through my Wi-fi) I can see what's going on.
The only problem I had was that one of the cameras had some sort of short in the wire, so that if you wiggled the wire it might work for a moment but then it would go blank. I have sent it back and they are supposed to be fixing it or sending me a new one.
I have a very small house so four cameras is good, but I would suggest, if you have a larger house and can afford it, to consider an eight-camera system. One reason I say that is I have learned from looking at YouTube videos of security cameras at work that catching an intruder on camera doesn't always mean you get an adequate shot for a positive identification. More cameras can help make sure you get a good shot of the person, and also give you more to watch if you are like me and just want to sit inside and see what's going on outside.
Criminals are getting more brash, so if you are considering getting a camera system, whether it's this one or another one, I say do it. It's a good investment.
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on December 11, 2010
this is a great product if you were able to attain a functioning model.. I purchased one and the hard drive failed multiple times was told by multiple agents it is a known problem.. still waiting to get a working model.. customer service is slow lack to act and have to make multiple calls to proceed..
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on March 25, 2011
Im actually using this system in my small business, first I bought one for a friend who needed a security system and then after he was telling me how good it worked for him I decided to buy one for me and I have to say its one of the best camera security system I've ever seen of course at this price. But the best of the system is its software wich can be easy configure by anyone like me who has no experience installing cameras. I did it by myself the kit come with everything you need. The thing I like the most was that it can record by motion detection wich can save you lot of HD space, and Im still trying to configure the internet option to see on my blackberry but I cant figure out how to do the port fw process its killing me. But overall this system is the best you can get for the price. PD: I bought a led monitor to see it in my office and its better than watching it on the computer :)
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