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Customer Review

99 of 117 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Meh..., August 20, 2011
This review is from: Swann SWDVK-425504 S 4-Channel Digital Video Recorder with Smartphone Viewing and 4 x 600TVL Cameras (Discontinued by Manufacturer) (Camera)
Overall a decent product for the price. Fairly straightforward plug & play type setup, requires only a minimal amount of technical know-how to get up and running. The most difficult part for us was running the cables neatly along the outside of the house, through the attic and down in to the wall. It should be noted that these cameras provide a wide-angle view, which we really like, however the downside to this is things appear farther away then they really are. The picture resolution leaves a lot to be desired as well. The company touts these as high-res cameras but they are anything but. A word of caution: unless your subject is within about arms-reach of the lens you will have a difficult time making out any distinguishing features of your perp. Most people walking alongside of our house (about 8 feet from the camera) are only identifiable by the color of the clothes they are wearing. Oddly enough, the night-vision picture is typically alot clearer than the daylight video we get off of these. Also it's worth mentioning that I live in the Silicon Valley, am an A+ certified technician and have worked diagnosing, troubleshooting and fixing complex technical & network issues for several years at a large corporation. Despite all of this, and after 3 whole days of working at a solution, I have been so far unsuccessful in getting any of the internet/mobile viewing stuff functioning with my setup. Just a heads up, if your internet router is not UPNP compatible, you're in for one hell of a ride. Swann claims it is still possible to configure without UPNP but I have had zero luck with the port forwarding option. When I called tech-support I was put on hold for 10 minutes, then given the option to leave a message for someone to call me back. I left 2 messages and I didn't receive a call back either time. Finally I called a third time, waited through the annoying automated system for 30 minutes before a kindly Indian gentleman picked up. I asked if he could walk me through the network setup of my new Swann security system and he assured me he could and began asking questions about my cable-modem and router. I gave him the model numbers on both and he told me he would be emailing me instructions on how to configure the system with my specific router as soon as we hung up. It has been 8 hours since I spoke to him and no such instructions have yet arrived at my email box. I even spelled my email address out phonetically for him and double checked that he had it correct. Nothing in the Spam folder either. What a huge disappointment. I will probably get this working at some point, but I will likely have to buy a new router and waste another 9 or 10 hours of my life screwing with it. More proof that in a MADE IN CHINA economy you really do get what you pay for...
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Tracked by 3 customers

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Showing 1-10 of 10 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Aug 31, 2011, 6:17:21 AM PDT
James Cain says:
Amy, I will follow this problem up with Tech Support. You most certainly should have received a reply very quickly.
Our Level 2 guys in Aus can help you set up your route pretty quick. Even without Port Forwarding it is certainly possible to set up your DVR to be accessed from the Internet.

Best regards,
James Cain
VP Quality Assurance

Posted on Sep 9, 2011, 4:47:44 PM PDT
Wow, thank goodness I read your Feedback. If you are A+ Certified and are having issues I fear my basic AAS in Computers will be far from enough educatiion to help me a bit. Maybe we need Masters! Ha Ha Ha!!

I hope you solved the dificulties and I hope you Post your Results soon.

I hate with a passion Companies that have poor Tech Support.

Thank you!

Posted on Dec 4, 2011, 5:25:02 AM PST
Horse Lady says:
So glad I read your post. I am not buying this product based solely on your experience with their customer service. I, like so many others, am tired of being ignored after I purchase a product or service. Thanks for posting.

In reply to an earlier post on Jan 13, 2012, 1:15:59 PM PST
[Customers don't think this post adds to the discussion. Show post anyway. Show all unhelpful posts.]

Posted on May 22, 2012, 7:12:25 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 22, 2012, 7:14:05 AM PDT
Keithmj says:
Does anyone know what the difference is between the SWDVK-425504-S, the SWDVK-425504-C and the SWDVK-425504-US models are? They seem about the same. But there is about 100.00 difference in the prices..Thanks.
And if people don't like this company then what do you recommend? No one ever says, they just complain.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012, 2:42:10 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 23, 2012, 2:49:02 AM PDT
James Cain says:
Hi Keith,
The differences are in the cameras bundled with the kits.
The -C kit comes with ADS-180 cameras. These are our budget model CMOS cameras which is reflected in the price. These cameras have 400TVL resolution and up to 33ft night vision. Budget CMOS cameras give a reasonable image during day and night.
The -S kit comes with Pro-550 cameras. These are our entry CCD cameras. They have 420TVL resolution. These cameras give a good overall image, with a blend between reasonable colors during the day and good night vision up to 50ft.
The -US kit comes with our Pro-580 cameras. These are 480TVL and have the strongest day/night vision of the 3 kits we have here and can see in darkness up to 65ft.

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012, 8:07:58 AM PDT
[Deleted by the author on May 23, 2012, 8:11:39 AM PDT]

In reply to an earlier post on May 23, 2012, 8:16:30 AM PDT
Keithmj says:
Thanks. I purchased the reconditioned system found at this should do what I want it to and since it is my first camera setup it will be a teaching experence. I can always upgrade later if I need to.

Posted on May 23, 2012, 12:16:07 PM PDT
Last edited by the author on May 23, 2012, 12:17:35 PM PDT
Disway says:
I don't understand why the UPNP compatibility issue was such a big deal? Routers these days with such capability built-in are quite inexpensive, as an experienced IT person like yourself who should be able to resolve this in a matter of hours (running to the store and pick up a new router). All my randomly purchased wi-fi routers support UPNP. Stating your background experience with your end outcome don't seem to go together... Plus, your last comment was just plain unnecessary. Not that helpful!

Posted on Nov 16, 2012, 6:47:41 PM PST
A+ ? Really? And you are troubleshooting complex network issues? Hmmmm. An A+ cert these days is basically a meager requirement for any IT position out there these days; AKA "Geeksquad"... That statement just makes me not believe your review. uPNP simply sets up port forwarding in an automatic (plug n pray) fashion. Most good Network admins turn that crap off. Port forwarding is pretty simple and straight forward; keeping in mind that the A+ doesn't really certify you for network troubleshooting, and CompTIA's Network + also doesn't TRULY certify you in any specific way for network troubleshooting/fixing. (you just need to know most networking standards and be able to pass a basic test to get the Net+ cert) I got both of those back in 2000 and they weren't very difficult and at that time I had absolutely no IT exp.... Network troubleshooting skills can't be taught. They have to be learned. If you would have said, I have a CCNA, at THAT point, I would have thought "Wow, OK, here we have a CCNA (assuming your cert wasn't earned on braindumps) that can't figure out the port issues and I would have exhibited a more valid cautionary response...) ... BUT, possessing an A+ only certifies you for basic PC hardware and software troubleshooting.... with very very limited networking understanding.
Just added this commend not to be rude, but I don't want this "A+" comment to mislead anyone on how difficult it is to get what ever port issues there may be to work properly. I have not purchased this yet, was just looking over reviews and saw this A+ reference and laughed out loud. The A+ is a start to an IT career and most PC technicians at your local computer repair shop have this. Network issues are a whole different story and for you Net admins reading this, when I say "A tale of two packets" should ring a bell. Knowing the OSI model and what really is happening behind the scenes is essential for good network troubleshooting. I'm sure, like most other consumer grade IT hardware, that this system is not THAT difficult to get up and running. Now, running cable and crawling in the attic? Probably not a cake walk but whatever.
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