Review of wireless CCTV system

Here is my review of this four-camera wireless CCTV system.  I purchased it from eBay, here is the link (which may not be visible in the future, but you could surely find similar listings) Link: http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/HD-Outdoor-Digital-Wireless-DVR-2-3-4-CCTV-camera-System-7-LCD-monitor-Record-/351374918216?

The system comprises a base unit with screen and recording slot for a micro SD card (not included but only £10 for 32GB), four wireless cameras, powers supplies, and all connections/mountings. 

The cameras require 5v power via a phone charger-style mains adapter, but they transmit wireless (not via your wifi but via their own system) to the base.

Four-camera wireless CCTV

At the base you can either view all four cameras at once (no sound), one specific camera (with sound), or all cameras on a loop (cycle time is configurable).

The base unit has a battery as well as an adapter so can be moved around the house. The screen it quite large and decent quality, but the buttons and the operating system look very cheap.  One of the things I was looking for was a device with a built-in screen – I didn’t want to have to plug an immobile base unit into a screen just to see what has happened during the day, so this portable unit with screen is perfect.

The recording can be configured for various styles at various times of the day.  For example, you could set it to record permanently during the morning, motion detection at tea time, and off at night.

The motion detection is OK.  Motion on any camera will activate recording of all four cameras.  There is supposed to be a pre-record feature, whereby it captures video a few moments before the motion is detected, but it doesn’t work. This means that records start when the subject is already in view, rather than before they come into view. The sensitivity of the MD is variable by camera, but I found it’s fairly random.  Sometimes a branch blowing in the wind will trigger it, other times a car passing takes quite some time to trigger it.  Masks can be applied to ignore motion in certain areas of each camera.

Cameras have night vision powered by infra-red.  The device has a slight red glow at night.  The camera responds to a sudden change in brightness quite well – my camera is mounted near my 400W security light, and when this light turns on it takes the camera less than a second to adjust to the brightness. The cameras will NOT work at night when pointed through glass – the IR they emit reflects off the glass and all you can see is a glaring image of the camera’s IR system.  It works fine when mounted outside or not in front of glass.

The cameras are supposed to be water resistant, but the box I received said “indoor” rather than “indoor/outdoor”. I covered the backs and connections of the cameras with insulating tape.

You can connect the unit to your TV or computer.  To play videos captured from all four cameras you need to download and install the RFSMediaPlayer program (free). The quality is OK – enough to see what is going on, but you’ll probably not be able to identify unknown crooks unless they come fairly close.

Pros:

  • Cheap
  • Does the job
  • Motion detection
  • Sound
  • Night vision
  • Pretty easy to use once you get past the Chinglish instruction manual.
  • Mounting is good, allows for all angles; comes with screws and rawl plugs too.

Cons:

  • Cheap Chinese quality
  • Grass and plants show a colour cast, slightly purple.
  • Night vision only works when not pointed through windows
  • Length of power cables is unusably short – only a metre or so.
  • The clock on the device loses/gains time badly, so needs adjusting regularly.  When you adjust it, the values shown to you are those which you last set, not the current time.  So when you adjust the time, you will probably have to adjust the date too; annoying.

Conclusion

It’s a decent item at a very good price.  If you require better quality images then you’ll need to fork out double or triple the money.  I do recommend it for an entry-level system.