Security cameras come in all shapes and forms and are no longer used for just security reasons. Many people use them inside the house for keeping an eye on pets while they’re out busy doing other things.
In the past year or so we’ve seen a whole array of new security cameras which offer an incredibly easy set-up process as well as a whole bunch of other features such as cloud storage and mobile viewing. I’ve got my hands on the UCam247-HDO1080 Plug & View WiFi Camera, see what I thought of it after the jump.
Setting up any wireless camera is a very similar process and the UCam247 camera is no different, except maybe a little speedier thanks to its well designed companion mobile app.
Firstly you’ll need to do is attach the camera to your network router using the supplied Ethernet cable. Once you’ve done this you can go ahead and install the UCam247 app from the iOS App Store or Google Play Store. Once you’ve got the app opened up the camera should appear instantly and you’ll then be able to view the feed straight away.
Pretty much all settings are set and adjusted via the app which is great news as you don’t have to log onto the camera using a browser or any other means (Although this is possible to access more settings). Overall this is a lot quicker and allows you to change settings with ease.
The first thing you’ll want to do is go ahead and set a password. You can then view a list of available wireless networks and connect to yours. Once connection is successful you can go ahead and disconnect everything and your camera will remember the WiFi connection details you just set-up next time the camera powers up.
You’re probably thinking where does the video recordings save to. Well, if you unscrew the front of the camera it will completely slide off and you’ll find a slot to insert a microSD card (64GB maximum). If you don’t fancy using a microSD card and happen to have an NAS drive hooked up then you can have it store the video on this instead. It’s a bit of a shame that no cloud storage is bundled in with the camera.
I would also suggest activating motion detection as this way your microSD won’t fill up as quickly but instead will only begin recording when movement is detected. You also have the option to set an alert so you’ll receive a push notification when motion is detected.
Obviously as the camera is full HD you’ll want to have the resolution set to this to get the most out of it. Although you’ll want to take into account if you’re viewing the camera feed on a mobile device remotely. You’ll probably want to use a lower resolution as you’ll be using 3G. During our testing we found that 640×480 (VGA) worked the best.
The UCam247 HDO1080 camera does have your normal web interface as well if you happen to have a browser handy. With this comes a whole load of other features such as defining the motion detection areas on the camera view. You can place up to 4 detection boxes on the feed and this will help to prevent unwanted footage being captured. Also included in the settings that can be changed here are enabling a still image to be emailed when movement is detected, setting time limits on when to record and changing image settings such as exposure and brightness.
On the front of the camera you’ll find 24 infrared LEDs which allow you to see up to 15m in night vision. The camera does also have a built in microphone to capture audio although its not great quality.
The applications for both iOS and Android are great and very easy to navigate. When viewing the camera feed the default view is in portrait mode but rotating your phone can change this to landscape therefore offering a larger view. In the portrait view, you’ll see four icons along the bottom of the screen. The first will take you to the gallery of screenshots made, the second actually allows you to take the screenshot, the third is to enable/disable audio and the last will allow you to enable/disable the built-in microphone.
The UCam247 1080 is a great addition to security cameras already on the market. The ease of set-up using the companion application is absolutely great and much speedier than previous products I have tried. Video quality is also superb seeing as it’s full HD although the audio quality from the built-in microphone is something that could be improved.
If you’re looking for a camera to keep an eye on your pets while your out then I think there are probably cheaper and better suited cameras out there but if you’re using it as a full security system to keep an eye on your possessions then it’s definitely a good choice.
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