We’ve reviewed a Y-Cam HomeMonitor camera before and we were very impressed with how it performed. At the time we classed it as one of the best due to its ease of use and also that it came free online storage, something that you normally need to purchase as an add-on.
Over the past year there as been as massive increase in the amount of people purchasing and installing home security systems. As technology continues to increase in popularity then unfortunately so will thieves trying to cash in on these items. One way to stop, or certainly reduce the likelihood of this happening to you is to install your own security cameras.
The stylish gloss white camera weighs in at 410g, and measures 125mm x 57mm, not including the WiFi antenna. The product is manufactured from metal and therefore feels very sturdy and solid. This pro version of the HomeMonitor HD is completely weatherproof and therefore can be mounted outside with you knowing that it can stand up to all types of weather.
In terms of connections you have the standard power connection and ethernet port for hooking it up to your router etc. A really nice feature is that the camera supports POE (Power Over Ethernet) and therefore with the correct set-up you actually remove the need for the separate power cable. This is a huge positive in terms of set-up and cable management. Built in WiFi is also on board. The wall mount again is very sleek and has built in cable management.
The camera itself is HD (1280 x 720) and has a wide angle lens to fit as much as possible can into the frame. 24 infrared LEDs on the front provide night vision and there is also a small microphone to deliver audio. A small status LED sits on the front as well so you know when the camera has been successfully connected to a network.
Set-up of the HomeMonitor HD Pro follows the same process as the non-pro version. From start to finish the set-up takes under a minute which is incredibly quick but also very simple, even for a novice user. Firstly you’ll need to connect the power and Ethernet cable. Once complete you can head on over to www.homemonitor.me and if you haven’t already got one, create an account. Once your account has been created they’ll be a few more steps to follow and the status LED on the front of the camera should then turn green to indicate the set-up is complete. You’ll then be able to unplug everything from the camera and install the camera in its final position. The camera is mounted on a ball joint to allow for 360 degree movement so you can always capture the correct angle no matter where you choose to position it.
Using the online interface you can change the cameras settings. One of the best settings in my opinion is the motion detection. The motion detection settings will allow you to add up to two separate detection zones on your current field of view. Within each of these zones you can then edit the sensitivity to which to camera will start recording. This is a very useful tool and one that will definitely be used if you choose to set-up motion detection. An example of its use is if you find that the wind blowing a tree is triggering the camera to begin recording you can then change the settings to a lower sensitivity to prevent this from happening. You can also schedule motion detection to auto enable/disable on an hour-by-hour basis, 7 days a week.
Another feature is motion alert notifications. As soon as motion is detected you’ll be emailed a still image of the area and shortly after the video will be available to view. Both of these will be sent as a URL in the email which you can then click and view the image/video. In terms of the email addresses, you can add up to a maximum of four to receive these notifications, and if you’ve got the iPhone and Android apps installed you’ll get an instant push notification.
As mentioned earlier one of the main reasons we love Y-Cam HomeMonitor products so much is because of the 7 days free online storage you receive, and the HomeMonitor HD Pro is no exception. Recorded clips will automatically be uploaded to the cloud where you can view them as well as download them to your computer. Bare in mind that the free period only keeps clips for the past 7 days although you can extend this to a 1 month period for the price of £30/year.
Video captured by the camera is of good quality and is consistent. The camera has a 64 degree viewing angle which is identical to that of the non-pro version we previously reviewed. Night vision again works very well and the 24 infrared LED’s provide sufficient lighting to view up to 10m away. I was actually also very impressed with the microphone. During our tests it picked up even the slightest sounds and would easily be able to pick up any conversations during a break in or similar situation.
The HomeMonitor HD Pro really has lived up to the high quality products that we see coming from the Y-Cam team. With a setup time of under 1 minute you’ll be up and running in absolutely no time. You can view the camera feed from the free iOS app or even a dedicated application on the Roku media streamer so you really can view the live feed from absolutely anywhere whether you’re sat at home or even abroad on holiday. Y-Cam have managed to pack so many features into the camera including email/push notifications, motion detection and many more.
We did however find one downside which was that there doesn’t seem to be a free standing mount included in the box. On the non-pro version we saw a mount which could be mounted onto a wall but also used as a stand so you could simply place the camera on a shelf or desktop. With the HD Pro you can only mount the camera onto a wall and unfortunately there is no mount/stand included that you can simply just sit on a shelf.
– Free 7 days cloud storage
– Multiple cameras supported on one account
– IP66 weather protection
– Good quality video & night vision[/column]
– No free-standing mount
– One way audio[/column]
The HomeMonitor HD Pro has an RRP of £199.99 but you can currently pick it up on Amazon for £187. Follow the link below to take you straight to Amazon.co.uk.Order from Amazon