Product has all the right features and is reasonably priced. Not a HD system, but people are recognizable in day time. Will work out of the box (live views) but it takes time to understand and tweak configuration options. Not for the technically challenged.
I bought this system to receive intrusion detection email alarms when away from home. Email alarms only reliable for cameras installed inside home.
Great Features: live view, recording on schedule, on alarms per camera. On-alarm recording can be set to include 30 sec prior to alarm.
Viewable with VGA monitor, TV, over ethernet, Internet, smartphone (android worked well).
Video records searchable by date, time, camera.
Swann DDNS Server works well (use if internet connection gets dynamic IP address from ISP). Can sends alarm emails with small jpeg image (works well with web-based Gmail).
Package comes with all accessories and cameras have decent length cables (60ft).
Recorded files can be played with latest Windows Media Player in addition to Swann player.
Very good live technical support (but must have basic knowledge of IP Networking, DHCP, DNS...).
Cameras resolution OK in day time, so-so at night (people not recognizable). Short focus (10ft)
Cameras cannot be mounted inverted as image will be upside down (would be convenient for attaching under eaves).
Motion detection mechanism is suboptimal: compares subsequent images and is NOT done by infrared sensor detecting warm bodies. I found motion detection unreliable outdoors if there is any kind of plant in field of view. Slight wind causing leaves, shrubs or flowers to move trigger alarm. Restricting sensing areas with the setup screens -a nice feature- did not help very much. Ambient light changes (alternating clouds and sunshine) also triggers false alarms outdoors. Lowering sensitivity to say 2 of 8 reduced number of false alarms, but there were still 5-6 an hour.
False alarms are less of an issue for ‘recording on alarm’. Hard disk fills up, but oldest records get overwritten when the disk is full. Still, you have to watch a lot of records to find an actual intrusion even if you know the date.
False alarms are big issue if ‘sending email on alarms’. I found my outdoor cameras will send dozens of false alarms each day even when sensitivity is set to very low. My recommendation is to configure email on alarm for indoor cameras only.
When recording on-alarm, it is possible to record 30 sec prior to event. Unfortunately, the emailed jpeg image is also from prior to the event and will not show intruder.
Product only partially meets my expectation. I want to be alerted reliably by email for intrusions on my property outside the home, not just for successful break-ins.