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Panasonic Bb-hcm371a Network Camera (bbhcm371a) Reviews
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Product Reviews


Average Customer Rating:
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(based on 10 reviews)

80% of respondents would recommend this to a friend.

Customers most agreed on the following attributes:

Pros:

Durable (5), Exceeded Expectations (4), Easy To Use (5), Compact (6)

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Works quite well

By Steve from Oakland, CA on 12/23/2011


Pros:

High Quality Audio, Exceeded Expectations, Convenient, Compact, Easy To Use

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I have 4 of them and just ordered a BB-HCM371A for outside use. If you're familiar with setting up any wireless device (set SSID, IP mode DHCP or static, set the WEP encryption key, etc) you should no problem setting this up. The audio quality on the mic. is excellent, you can hear every word in the room, furnace noise, planes flying over, etc. It IS sort of like being there. The only downside is the frame rate is a bit lower than 30 FPS, and depends a lot on the connection speed. Works well for monitoring elderly parents that want to stay in their own home but need a little extra attention.


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Great Camera Tech Savy users - setup challenging

By Bobby C from Aspen, CO on 11/16/2011


Pros:

Convenient, Can Be Easy To Use Once You Put In The Time., Durable, Compact

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Great camera. Great Support. The support I received went beyond what I have had with other devices. It takes some time to figure it out but the manual covers "most" of it and certain routers can be a challenge. Read other reviews here and pick up some hints. The WEP is outdated but I created a second network with a spare router to overcome this. I own 2 of these now.


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Returning tomorrow

By JV from Undisclosed on 09/19/2011


Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

Would not work on wireless even after many hours of trying. I was then told it has problems with Windows 7. Finally using WEP security is way out of date. I have a few other Panasonic wireless cameras that do work but this must be an old design.


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Not "really" for outdoors

By Floondog from NJ on 09/02/2011


Pros:

Compact, Inexpensive

Cons:

Difficult To Use

Bottom Line:

No, I would not recommend this to a friend

I agree with the reviews that this is not for the technically challenged. I am a 20 yr IT pro and ended up having to use an Ethernet crossover cable to configure this. It did not like my Linksys E3000 router. Once I mounted it, I was disappointed to find that the power supply is for INDOOR USE ONLY. Ummm, isn't this an outdoor camera??!


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Configuring this webcam with later Airport Extreme

By seapixie from Undisclosed on 10/12/2010


Pros:

Inexpensive, Durable, Compact

Cons:

Did Not Meet Expectations, Poor Wireless Security Protocol, Difficult To Use, Poor Documentation

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I wrote a review earlier noting I was disappointed that this wireless webcam only supports WEP encryption, which is abysmal. Additionally my Apple Airport Extreme wireless router does not support WEP encryption (probably because WEP is pretty useless against anyone with tech savvy these days -- they just have to google for the a script that can break the encryption within a few minutes). I have disabled security because I'm not terribly worried about people hacking into my wireless network, and I set up mac filtering (which is also pseudo-security at best). As an FYI to anyone else trying to work around this and using the mac filtering as a workaround: There are three mac addresses associated with this webcam, and all of them have to be added to your mac filter in order to for you to be able to access the webcam images: 1. The MAC printed on the back of the webcam - the MAC associated with the ethernet card 2. The MAC associated with the wireless card, which the instruction manual tells us is one value higher than the ethernet MAC. 3. The MAC belonging to the camera itself. This can be found in the camera admin pages, under maintenance. Scroll down and look for "BSSID" ... notice how it looks like a MAC address. Add this address to your mac filter's "allowed" devices.


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Great camera

By ibrescue from Brookfield, WI on 06/29/2010


Pros:

Durable, Exceeded Expectations, Easy To Use

Cons:

Poor Documentation

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

I have purchased a total of 3 of these cameras now, the oldest one is well over a year old. They work fabulous and the picture quality is great. I had originally used them as wireless, however, these cameras will only support WEP and I'm running WPA/WPA2 so that is a drawback. However, I use them to look after my second home and have them set up to detect motion and upload pictures to a FTP site. That works great. The documentation is not the best, but playing around with the setup and camera itself have taught me quite a few things. Overall, excellent product. I would consider myself an expert in computer hardware, software, and network configuration.


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Great Product but not for the rookie install-wise

By Cabin Cam from Seven Devils, NC on 04/19/2010


Pros:

Operating Temperature Range, Full Featured, Internet Monitoring /control, Easy To Use, Compact

Cons:

Incomplete Documentation, Zoom Quality Poor

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

From a product performance point of view, this camera is outstanding and very full featured. The framerate to image quality selection provides a good blend of control between image quality and framerate/motion of movement. Brightness controls allow for adequate light control in high and low light conditions. The pan angle span of 120 degrees (60 degress left and right of dead center) is only a bit limited, but acceptable given it's a totally enclosed dome protecting the camera. The tilt angle of 45 degrees down/20 up from dead center) is more than adequate for viewing the ground and sky for home needs unless you have th need to look straight up for some reason. The 35' power cord was more than enough for us to run power from the camera mounted under a covered porch through the side of the house and plug into a wall socket. The audio quality is good (we can hear bird chirping with ease). The camera controls are very intuitive and easy to use. An especially nice feature is what I'd call the positional reference point of the pan and tilt buttons. When you click them, they pan or tilt the full 120/65 degree pan/tilt span from the position of the lens and return to the position the lens was in when you click. So if you are say, 30 degrees to the left of center and click pan, the lens pans 30 more degress to the left, 120 degress to the right, then back 90 degress back to the original 30 degree left of center start position. It also holds whatever zoom setting you are in during all pans and tilts, either using auto pan/tilt or manual arrows. The 10X zoom is just OK as the image degrades in resolution quality rather quickly as the zoom factor increases. The Zoom does, however, have a mouse (slow) as well as right click (fast) zoom speeds. Now the bad news. Installation is not for the rookie. You'd best be pretty PC/network savvy with good troubleshooting and problem solving skills before you take on installation. My wife and I work in IT and are pretty tech savvy and it took us two weekends to finally figure out that the instructions were missing some steps in set up that kept the remote (browser) control feature from connecting. Yes, setting it up to control onsite isn't hard, but the main reason we bought this camera was to watch over our mountian house via an PC from anywhere. THAT part took some doing to finally figure out. Once installed and fully operational, this camera ROCKS. The color is excellent. it also operates at -5 degrees below freezing; a must for up here in the NC mountains in winter. Highly recommend this product. We'll be getting another one.


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Cool Cam!

By Anonymous from Parma (Italiy) on 03/20/2010


Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

Cool Cam, but I'm searching firmware to have a zoom, but I can't find it!


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Excellent Quality

By lc from Undisclosed on 11/14/2009


Pros:

Exceeded Expectations, Compact, Durable, Easy To Use

Cons:

Expensive

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

The camera was simple to set up, easy to mount and operates perfectly. Would love to see a Mac OS version of the software.


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Great camera with many features!

By dvander67 from Denver, CO on 12/22/2008


Pros:

Durable, Exceeded Expectations, Easy To Use

Cons:

Expensive

Bottom Line:

Yes, I would recommend this to a friend

The quality of the camera and wireless connection is superb! I had three other outdoor cameras and this one has prevailed. The audio quality and volume is very good. The connection software was also easy to setup with many advanced features I was looking for. I have not used the mic features, but you will need an outdoor rated speaker to go with this as an additional purchase. I also purchased the BL- WV10A Wireless Camera Monitoring System and that setup was difficult after already completing the setup for my wireless system. Recommend on both.


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