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on June 25, 2013
Whether you're happy with this or not depends on your expectations. I guess if you come from the old-school technology world it's just fine; but for me coming from the modern digital world, I found a number of aspects unsatisfactory and wish I'd know about them earlier.

Don't be fooled by the use of an SD card. At its heart this is old school technology. The CCD is 640x480, not high-def, and in low-light it shows the characteristic noisy artifacts of old school CCDs. There is no built-in display, rather you set it up (and view it if you wish) by connecting an old-school video cable (no HDMI here) sending an NTSC or PAL signal over the wire. Configuration is done using 5 small buttons on the back and will take you back to the days of configuring VCRs or similar consumer electronics in the early 80s --- the sparse display, the clicking of buttons in some non-obvious way to get anything to happen.
The biggest problem with this scheme is that when you want to mount the box, you will have to make allowances for some way to run the video cable from where the box is to a TV in order to see that it has view of the area that you want. This may not be a problem if you plan to have it connected to a TV full-time, and are running cable through a wall or whatever, but it's a big problem if, like me, your plan is to use it essentially as an on-going recorder, and to only need to view the footage in the (hopefully unlikely) case of an incident.

The other worrying aspect about this being old school tech onto which modern technology has been crudely bolted is that I have no reason to believe that the recording to the SD card is done by code in any way written by someone who understood the relevant issues. What you would like in this scenario is the use of an extremely careful file system which ensures that under no circumstances will the file system and files ever be corrupted (even if the bad guys yank power from the device as soon as they see it). This device appears to promise nothing of the sort --- the manual specifically includes warnings about how you can corrupt the SD card is you do things in the wrong order, like remove power before telling it to stop recording. I mean, WTF? The single most likely response to the device being discovered is having its power yanked, and you're telling me that in that case all bets are off and its recording may be useless?

Bottom line is that if you were hoping for a security box appropriate for 2013, this is a disappointment. It does what it promises to do, the old-school stuff, fine; but its pretensions of being relevant to the computer age are just pretensions.

One final point to keep in mind is that the box is bigger than it looks, in particular it is quite a bit deeper than it seems from the photos, and the mounting system adds another two inches or so to its depth. It doesn't mount flush against any wall!
The mounting bracket is superficially nice --- it allows for a fair bit of tilting the camera angle. However it is tightened simply by twisting a handle as tightly as you can, and to my eye looks like it will wear itself loose and have to be retightened every few months. I do wish a slightly more robust mount had been included --- this always seems to be where device makers skimp.
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on May 6, 2014
OOTB this unit appeared to be exactly what I needed for my application. Setup was easy although initial setup with the menu is a bit cumbersome. With no display on the unit you must first connect it to a video display to proceed. Implementation was quick. The problem arose when we reviewed the first days recording and were only presented with 7 hours of video. Assuming we did something wrong, we rest with brand new batteries for day two. This time we recorded only 76 minutes of video. Our settings were LQ 360 x 240 res and continuous recording which according to the manual should have provided at least 12 hours of video minimum. Defender support is non existent. The phone number only provides recorded help, no live person. Online chat is just as useless with agents simply spewing the manual ad infinitum. The finally relented to replace the item in 2-4 weeks if I provided full payment up front @ $179.99 on a credit card that would be reimbursed at a later time. REALLY? That's customer service? Luckily this was a product that Amazon.com sold and was not just sourcing from another company. Even though it is difficult to get an Amazon agent (no phone numbers published) and when you get one to call you back from the Call Me button it is usually from overseas somewhere. This time when I requested an agent in the U.S. response was swift. Within 12 minutes Amazon had completed a replacement strategy that was more then acceptable. The unit will arrive in less then 24 hours and at no charge as long as I return the defective unit within 30 days. And the even arranged for UPS to pick it up. The no phone number for customer support bothers me but the end result exceeded expectations.
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on September 9, 2013
The memory card was empty (0 GB) when the recording system arrived and could not be manually reset/overwritten as it is "write protect" (that's the message that appeared on the TV screen after I followed the resetting/overwriting instructions).

Despite the "24/7 live support" promised on the box, the only way to contact the company for technical support is to log in a case online and wait several days for someone to call back. Not convenient when you can only set up the system after hours (i.e. when the people you're "spying on" are not present).

On a side note, the power cord is pretty short and I'm not sure it would have reached the power outlet I was planning to plug it in. However, there is a battery compartment that uses 4 AA batteries – which could have been useful if the system had been able to record, but without memory card... no recording possible :(
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on April 23, 2014
I purchased 2 of these. One works fine, but I kept trying to figure out how to get the motion sensor to work on the other. I have finally determined that the unit must be defective, because I swapped the location of the two units, and the other works fine wherever I have it, but the problem unit records all the time, quickly burning through the available disk space . But guess what? Amazon will not take it back because I just passed the 30 day "return window" (by a few days). So I'm stuck with a $150 item that isn't functioning. I've been a Prime Amazon user for quite some time. This is the first time that Amazon has really disappointed me.

The manual for this item leaves a lot to be desired. It's not an easy learning curve.

The other unit is doing it's job, now that I have figured out how to program it. You need to hook it up to a TV in order to program it. Not the most convenient thing to do, but theoretically, you do it once and it works from there. I say "theoretically because there's a lot of trial and error to get it the way you want it. I also had to purchase a card reader because it is not convenient to play it back - easier to remove the disk and watch it on a computer. The images are very clear on the "medium" setting. All said, if I had it to do over again, I'd buy a different gadget.
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I was prepared to handle some of the drawbacks other folks have mentioned, but even then did not end up liking this product for several reasons and finally sent it back. Yes, it requires a TV for set up (I don't see the set up as being completely necessary) and yes, the cords are too short. However, the whole device seems to have been made with little to no thought put into actually designing it. If you mount it on the wall or keep it on a surface, either way, the video jack and one of the recording on/off buttons shows up right on top of the device - visible in plain view. I mean if this is meant to be a covert surveillance device, shouldn't it NOT be obvious to the other person (i.e. nanny) that they are being watched. I even tried to stick duct tape on the buttons that are visible from the outside, but the tape wouldn't stick. From whatever recording I did while testing it, the picture quality seemed ok, no complaints there. I mean it's not HD, but it's acceptable. All in all, I think there are much better and more covert products available. Bought two other devices today, will test them before posting. Hopefully I'll find something that works well.
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on December 18, 2012
I bought this product and set it up the same day. I had a little problem with recording. The problem was that I did not know what I was doing. I called the company and the lady walked me through with pleasure. I bought this product for my mother and she is so excited and happy because she says this product works well for her. It records clear, easy to set up once you understand it's working, does not make noise, does not get hot, looks like a deodorant sprayer that goes into bathrooms. Instead of the SD card that they send to you, I recommend that you upgrade that card to a 32 SD card. I was so excited with the lady because she solved all my problems, gave me a quick course on the products functions, now I feel like an expert. If you are look for a camera to record that comes on by motion, something that the person cannot tell is a camera, this is the product you need. Have some light on where you set up this camera. It does work good with a little light but you do want to catch the person or things that is causing you grief. The price is great, I would have paid 250.00 for this product but it was much cheaper than this.
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on September 23, 2015
A Terrible product.

Did not work as expected or as claimed. To put this into perspective, the video quality of this product was not as good as the worst 40 year old video camera. The motion only (scheduled recorder) did not work at all and it failed to record key events that I bought this unit for. Save your money an buy a real surveillance system for a few bucks more. If I could give it less than one start, I would.

Read the other reviews and take heed.
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on January 4, 2016
I agree with earlier reviews... the quality is poor in low light, but otherwise works well. It is the size of a small speaker, like you'd have on your desk and was easy to disguise. I doubt anyone even noticed it was there. It is significantly bigger, though, than the motion detector units we have installed in the house. Had a pretty wide angle as far as view went and the video was pretty clear. I didn't have time to sent up the sensitivity for the motion detector before I left on vacation, so every time one of the animals walked by or the wind blew, it came on. Fortunately we didn't have an incident because there were hours and hours and hours of video after a 7 day trip. Overall, I would say the product worked well and if you have the time to set it up properly, it will do the trick in good light.
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on January 26, 2013
I've used this for 1 week now. Install was easy. I installed using an AC adapter. The cord that comes with this is pretty short and white. I work in a distribution setting so anything that bright really stands out. I had to dirty up the casing so it would blend in. I also used a black adapter so it also would blend with setting.I have not tried battery only and likely will not given their short life. I bought a 32 gb SD card and it recorded a weeks worth of video clips (2700+ of them). I recorded motion only and I think it only used about 2gigs. The video quality was really pretty good (I have it set up in a well lit area). A couple of things I don't like. The area I needed covered was almost directly below the detector. I had to really angle the thing down, but in doing so you can see he top of the unit and the black strip where the SD card goes, as well as the RCA jack. This could draw attention to it. I would have preferred those be covered to blend with the unit. Overall this thing did exactly what I had hoped and gave good video quality.
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on August 12, 2010
Works as advertised, almost.

Pros:
* Motion detection works well, and can be configured.
* Multiple recording modes, including continuous and motion detect.
* Multiple quality settings, to suit your needs and to provide the right balance between quality and memory usage.
* Can be connected to TV to configure and view videos.
* Fairly easy to setup.

Cons:
* The camera lens angle (especially in the vertical direction) is not wide enough to cover a large room.
* Absolutely horrible is low light, even motion detect doesn't work. The video comes out totally dark, even when everything can be clearly seen with a naked eye.
* I tried using rechargeable NiMH batteries, but they only lasted 2-3 hours, which means you have to use expensive lithium batteries or connect using the adapter. With adapter this camera is anything but hidden, unless you have other motion detectors in the house that look the same. Also, the adapter cord is short, which makes it harder to setup closer to the ceiling (hiding cord is much easier than hiding the adapter that ends up being half way up the wall). Outdoors it's even more obvious.

Info:
For highest quality recording, you'll need a bigger memory card, you only get about 9 hours on 2GB.

Basically, unless you can place it on a shelf somewhere, with adapter/cord hidden behind, and unless you have plenty of light in the area of interest, I would not recommend this product. If you really need something hidden and useful, get a camera with low light capabilities that is hidden in an ordinary object that would not look out of place with a cord, like a lamp or a clock.
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