At last Swann catch up with he rest of the visual security market by providing an IP based camera system. This is a good start, although I hope they make the improvements needed to make it an excellent system. Out of the box: I was very impressed with the size of the NVR unit, and that it provides POE (Power Over Ethernet) to provide the power over the same Cat5 cable that it uses for the data instead of using a power injector into the back of the NVR. This box powered up from a separate power brick. There are 3 LEDs on the front which are so bright - it would be better if they were not so bright so the box is not providing a beacon to theives! Also, there is nothing to say what these LEDS are actually indicating!! The cameras are very nice and compact, but the main drawback is that it looks like the designer and/or manufacturer has never even tried to mount one onto a brick wall and pass the cable through the wall!! The camera cables (a HUGE RJ45 socket, a power connector (not needed) and the reset button) are about 18 inches long, and in order to get the Ethernet socket through the wall the drill size required is a MASSIVE 30mm. I tried a 25mm drill and this was too small. So after you have drilled the hole you risk not having any brick to drill mounting holes into. This is schoolboy stupid. The RJ45 socket should be much much smaller to enable passing through a smaller hole. Mounting these cameras on a 15 inch brick wall took a lot of work, simply to get a 5mm cat5 cable to it! If it wasn't for this I would give a Five Star rating, instead of the Four Stars. In operation, the NVR ran though a wizard, then picked up the cameras quite happily. The video quality of the menus and text is pretty poor, but the image quality provided by the cameras is great. I still have to get the configuration exactly right, as it is a bit confusing trying to re-do the order the cameras show in the output. I agree with other reviews that the PC remote viewing is very hit or miss, it worked the first time then never again. I have to try to sort this out too. The SwannLink iPhone App worked like a treat, straight away. It is a bit slow to connect all the cameras but really is good once it gets there. This impressed the client no end! The IR lighting is very good for areas, but a bit trickier to manage when trying to point the camera along a wall to cover a doorway, it is too bright on the wall and doesn't reach the doorway, I think I will have to tweak where this is pointing to see if it helps. The cameras cover about 65 degrees, but it would be better if they could be wider for some areas. Still at this price I cant be too critical. I see from other reviews that the cables supplied have faults, I am so pleased that I was running them over installed Cat5 cabling as having to replace one of these would have been a major pain! I wish Swann would offer the option of not supplying these cables as I now have a pile of these that I will never use! I still have to finally tweak and fine tune the system, so I may uncover some more gotchas later, and apart from the huge hole you have to drill to pass the cable through a wall overall this gets an 8 out of 10.
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