Today, we will be looking into Swann’s “Advanced security System”, to see if it really is advanced, or not. Considering the low price tag; most people would think of this is a “budget” system, but, whilst it is cheap – it certainly isn’t low quality. The DvR can connect 4 cameras – comes with 2, which allows you to add 2 more at a later date.This kit is supplied with the DvR, 500GB HDD(user-changeable), 2x Pro-535 Cameras, HDMI Cable(long), 2x BNC Cables (60ft), Power Adapters, Remote Control, CD, Mouse(USB), Ethernet cable(Small), Mounting plugs+screws, Deterrent Stickers, Instructions. Might I also add, it is neatly packaged too.
Recording, and Playback.
With the in-built, and user replace-able/upgradeable 500GB HDD – you could continuously record 30 days, or with motion detection mode, up to 120 days. How it works is variable, depending on your application/use – in my scenario, using the highest quality settings on both of the cameras –
1 is Motion, the other is Continuous. I’m estimating around 50 days of recording. When the HDD is full, it will delete the oldest videos to make new ones. A good option, if finance permits – would be to put a 2TB+ HDD in, and then you could possibly have 400~ days worth of recording, which would mean you only need to delete older videos once a year.You could also record on a PC, so the storage possibilities are near infinite. I personally use my cameras to not only protect my house, but also to focus on a road, dual carriage way, and houses across the road which is great for Community watch/safety.
If anything bad happens around my road, or the houses over the road, I’d have evidence for the police, to help them investigate, and prevent crime – and because that is such a large distance, and in constant motion, it’s scheduled to run 24/7, which takes up a lot of space, which is where using a separate HDD comes in handy, and this excellent feature gets put to use.
There are multiple ways to play back footage, but I find the PC Software to be the easiest – with the cleaner interface, and easier control. However, if you would like to play back directly from the device on a TV, the mouse is the best way to access the videos. The remote feels like an after thought, and isn’t ideal for going through all the archives.One of the great things Swann got right is the digital zoom feature. With this camera set – you could zoom far enough to read number plates, and even-though you can clearly see faces without zoom, with the zoom feature it would be good to see faces from 15-35 feet way. Easy identification, without much quality loss.
Let’s move onto a key feature – remote viewing. What is remote viewing, you ask? It’s just technical term, which translates into – Mobile/Tablet viewing; let’s skip the long explanation and get to the good stuff. Basically, this allows you to use your Phone, or Tablet to access the DvR(and cameras) either anywhere in your house, via a local IP, or more importantly – you could use an external IP whilst you are out.
Let me throw some scenarios where this feature could be handy. First, we will talk about using the local IP for remote viewing – you could be in bed and hear a loud noise – instead of running downstairs, or looking through a window, just load the app and boom, you can see everything through the cameras, and even rewind/playback any time to see if anything happened prior.
The other scenario – you could be out shopping, at a friends place, or anywhere – you can check up on your cameras to see if your house is fine, and if for example – you remember your gate being closed before you left, and it’s now open; you could just rewind and see why it is now open.
Prevention, and Action.
Firstly, I’d recommend you install the Cameras about 10-12 feet high,if they are lower than 8 feet, there is a chance someone could try to vandalise them, and if they are over 14 feet high, the quality could reduce, and it would be harder to identify people.
The cameras are pretty vandalise proof, but for good measure, you could also make them make a loud alarm noise if they disconnect. Now, having cameras is a great deterrent, as thieves would find your house to be harder to rob than others. This set comes with 4x stickers, plus 4x stickers from the camera set too, and stickers also act as a deterrent.
Thanks to the many features this DvR supplies, you can be alerted when an intruder, etc comes near your cameras; first I’ll just assume you understand what motion means –
when someone is caught on your cameras, you could have it so it quickly emails you, Make an alarm noise, or you could use your app to see them getting closer, so you could alert the police, and get prepared to defend your house, giving you a major advantage over the individual(s).
Did someone try to break in, break, steal, or anything else? You now have 100% untampered evidence that will stand in court. You could start by calling the police, and showing them the footage on the DvR, or you could use the backup feature, to put the footage onto a phone, USB drive, etc to take directly to the police station for further investigation.
Pros, and Cons.
Potential full security for your house.
Records, so you can play back for police, etc.
High Quality Cameras, near HD.
The digital zoom feature is exceptional.
Great PC/Mac Software.
The Cameras have no audio function.
WP8, and Android Apps aren’t polished.
Cheap, and very easy to install, and set-up. DvR is nearly silent – I haven’t disassembled it yet, but I’m pretty sure it is cooled passively, with just the HDD making a noise.
The PC software is great, the iOS app is good. The WP8/Android apps aren’t polished.
The cameras are weather resistant, work in the night thanks to the IR, the cameras also have a great range, and show a good quality image, although, the quality isn’t quite HD, and there are better cameras out there, the Pro-535 are splendid, and work perfectly fine, especially when it comes to identifying cars, and people.
I can very much recommend you buy this system from here.
If you have the extra money, and would like higher quality cameras, then this may be a better system for you to look into.
If you aren’t too good with DIY, or do not have the time – Swann could also install for you. Click here for more information!