Trendnet ProView Wirless N Internet Camera

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Product: Trendnet TV-IP512WN Wireless N Internet Camera
Provided By: Trendnet
Price:

 

Introduction:

Today we are going to have a look at the TV-IP512WN Wireless N Internet Security Camera from Trendnet.  This camera boasts two-way audio, 802.11a/b/g/n compatibility, an SD Card slot and more.  It gives you peace of mind knowing that your gear is being watched and that you can receive instant email notifications if someone tries to grab your stuff thanks to the built-in motion-detection.  With the price of security systems dropping, having an additional wireless camera can expand the monitoring ability of your home or office.

Box

 

Bundle & First Look:

When I first opened the TV-IP512WN box, I was happy to see that everything I'd need to setup the camera is included.  Trendnet includes a 6' cable, a pair of antennae, power supply, documentation and software CD as well as all the mounting hardware needed for a basic install.  In my opinion, nothing was left out - for an indoor installation.

Bundle
Bundle

 

The design of the camera is quite nice and it offers a few interesting features as you can see in the images below.  The camera itself features an SD card slot that accepts SDHC cards.  This can be used to store recorded video and images if you don't have a network attached storage device or FTP server available.  Also, the TV-IP512WN offers easy wireless setup through the WPS button on the opposite side of the camera.

 Side With SD Slot
Side With SD Slot
 Side With WPS Button
Side With WPS Button

 

You'll notice above that Trendnet has even included a proper lens cap on this unit to protect the glass.  This is a very nice touch.  The camera can be mounted from either the top or the bottom with the supplied hardware and this gives a lot of flexibility.  With the included mounting hardware and 90° elbow, you can also mount this camera on a vertical structure as well.  As we look at the rear of the camera, you can see a pair of RP-SMA antenna connectors in addition to the 10/100 Ethernet port, power connector, Line Out  Reset button, and Input/Output ports to network alarm systems and other devices.

 Camera Top & Bottom
Camera Top & Bottom
Rear
Rear

 

On the next page we'll look at the full feature list and some specifications before we fire this unit up and try it out.


TV-IP512WN Features:

The information below has been taken from the Trendnet product page and re-posted here for your convenience.

The ProView Wireless N Internet Camera transmits real-time high quality streaming video over the Internet. Manage your Internet Camera from any Internet connection. Wireless n technology provides unsurpassed wireless coverage and improved streaming video quality. Add this camera to your wireless network at the touch of a button with Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS).

Manage up to 32 TRENDnet cameras with the included complimentary camera management software. Advanced features include motion detection recording, email alerts, scheduled recording sessions, MPEG-4/MJPEG image compression, 2-way audio, input/output ports, a removable lens, digital zoom and a built-in SD card slot to store images directly to a memory card. A wall/ceiling mounting kit is included and the off-white IP camera housing blends into most environments.

  • Wi-Fi compliant with IEEE 802.11n standard
  • Backwards compatible with IEEE 802.11g, IEEE 802.11b and IEEE 802.11a devices
  • 16x digital zoom
  • 1x 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet port
  • Input/Output ports to network alarm systems and other devices
  • High quality MPEG-4 and MJPEG video recording with up to 30 frames per second
  • Resolution up to VGA: 640 x 480 pixels
  • 1x removable 6mm, F1.8, CS Mount Lens
  • Included wall and ceiling mounting hardware
  • Manage up to 20 user profiles
  • Hear and talk to people in your camera’s viewing field through your computer
  • Built-in SD card slot allows you to store still images or video directly onto a SD memory card**
  • Supports TCP/IP networking, SMTP Email*, HTTP, Samba and other Internet protocols
  • Record streaming video to your computer, SD card or network storage devices
  • Motion detection triggered email alerts and image upload via FTP
  • Supports 64/128-bit WEP WPA-PSK and WPA2-PSK
  • Wi-Fi Multimedia (WMM) Quality of Service (QoS) supported
  • Multiple adjustable motion detection windows with just-in-time snapshot
  • Quick Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) installation
  • Complimentary IPView Pro 2.0 software: manage up of up to 32 cameras ***
  • 3-year limited warranty

* Does not support SSL
** SD memory card sold separately
***Monitoring multiple cameras may require a high performance CPU

Camera Setup
Camera Setup

Specifications:

Below is a partial list of specifications.  The full list can be found over here.

Camera
General Sensor: 1/4” color CMOS SOC image sensor
Resolution: 640 x 480 pixels
Lens: 1/3” CS-Mount, replaceable
Focal Length: 6mm
F/No: F1.8
Minimum illumination: 0.5 Lux @ F1.8
Focus depth: 70cm ~ infinity
View angle: horizontal: 45 degree, vertical: 34 degree
Audio Built-in omni-directional microphone/speaker
Sensitivity: -48dB +/- 3dB (5 meters max)
Frequency: 50~16000Hz
S/N: 50dB
External speaker output
Two-way audio with echo canceling
Codec: ARM/PCM
Image & Video Compression: MPEG-4 / MJPEG
Profiles: up to 4 profiles simultaneously
Exposure/white balance control: automatic
Resolution: VGA (640x480), QVGA (320x240), QQVGA (160x120) up to 30fps
I/O Connector Input: 2 sets (pin 1/2, pin 3/4)
Output: 1 set (pin 5/6)
RS-485: 1 set (pin 7/8)
SD slot Secure Digital card (up to 16G)
Hardware
Network IEEE 802.3u 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet, Auto-MDIX
LED Power, Link
Reset Button Reset settings
Power Consumption 9 watts
Power 12V, 1.5A external power adapter
Dimension 170 x 80 x 40mm (6.7 x 3.2 x 1.6 in.)
Stand Dimension 128 mm (4.7 in.)
Weight Camera: 260g (9.2 oz.)
Stand: 116g (4.1 oz.)
Temperature Operating: 0°C ~ 40°C (39°F ~ 104°F)
Storage: -15°C ~ 60°C (5°F ~ 140°F)
Certification CE, FCC

 

 

Software Installation:

The Trendnet TV-IP512WN can be operated and setup through the web interface alone, or through the IPView Pro 2.0 software that comes bundled with the unit.  Both have their place, but if you have to monitor more than one camera, the IPView Pro software is the way to go.  We'll look at both options in this review.  First up is the included software.

AutoRun TV-IP
AutoRun TV-IP

 

Once installed, the software searches for connected cameras.  Once they are found you can input the username and password of each camera, add it to your monitored list and you are good to go.  It supports cameras in your local LAN as well as cameras that are connected to the internet at remote locations.  This is handy if you've got some port forwarding going on your home security system and want to monitor all of your cameras from a remote location.

IPView Pro Find Camera
IPView Pro Find Camera



The IPView Pro software allows you to setup motion detection areas, sensitivity levels and recording options as well.  These are pretty straight forward, and in a few clicks you'll be all ready to go.  Keep in mind that in order for this recording to work, the software must be running on a client machine.

 Motion Detection Setup
Motion Detection Setup
Recording Options
Recording Options

 

The software has the ability to monitor a lot of cameras real-time, and you can choose how they are displayed in a grid.  For a single camera, the default view of the software looks like this...

IPView Pro
IPView Pro

 



Web Interface Setup:

The web interface can be accessed simply by opening a web browser and pointing to the IP address of the camera.  You will be required to login, and then have access to a simple setup wizard.  You can also set things up manually.  For the most part, the web interface is very similar to the IPView Pro setup, but the web allows you to do a few more things.

Image Setup
Image Setup

 

The web interface allows you to tweak the image brightness, contrast, saturation and a few other tweaks.  Motion detection and recording options set in the web interface are applied to the unit globally and you don't need any software running in order to capture video, images and send emails.  This is all built into the hardware itself.  One thing worth noting is that you'll have to be running Internet Explorer in order to set the motion detection and image settings.  IE uses ActiveX controls for this.  The video plays back fine in Chrome or Firefox, but you do lose some controls if you're not using an ActiveX enabled browser.  This is the first major flaw to the unit in my opinion.

 Motion Setup - IE Only
Motion Setup - IE Only
 Video Audio Setup
Video Audio Setup

 

Different recording profiles are available that range from decent quality 30fps 640x480 video to low quality 3GP for viewing on a cell phone.  You can choose which profile to use and have the recorded video sent to a file share, or an SD card located in the camera itself.  These recordings can be overwritten when the storage device gets full, or you can stop recording.  Another one of the handy things about the Trendnet TV-IP512WN is the capability to have it send an email with a photo when the motion detection is triggered - or at scheduled times if desired.  Make sure your outgoing mail server doesn't require SSL and you'll be all set.

 Recording Settings
Recording Settings
Email Setup
Email Setup

 

On the last page, we'll try out this camera and see image quality, video quality and if it emails me images of any intruders.


Testing the TV-IP512WN:

When it comes to testing the TV-IP512WN, we ran a few different scenarios and tried out recording on both the SD card (set up through the web interface) as well as recording to a computer hard drive (set up through IPView Pro).  Both situations worked just fine and an email was sent when the motion detection was triggered.  The camera saves a still image when triggered as well as records a specified length or size of file.  For our tests we used a 60 second clip and had the camera email me.  Within seconds, I received an email with a picture of the offending individual - including a time and date stamp.

I also wanted to see what kind of network lag there was on this camera as well as internet lag.  On a local network, the video shows less than a 1 second delay, but when port-forwarding and viewing the camera from a remote location over the internet, it seems to be about a 5 second delay.  Fujitsu had fun one night bossing me around and timing my response.  He had me do different activities, and timed the delay until he saw me react.  Suddenly, I'm really hoping that he didn't record any video of that "testing" session.


Captured
Captured

 

After leaving the camera running for about an hour in my office, I popped out the 8GB SD card and found that there were already 41 files captured and indexed with a date and time stamp.  These were all short video files and some of them captured some interesting things.

 

My youngest son, James, seems pretty happy to take a coffee cup and a couple of wireless mice for his older brother.  Also, please bear in mind that the captured video is actually 640x480 at 30fps and is quite good - much better than most webcams, and certainly better than the security footage you often see on America's Most Wanted.

 



Final Thoughts:

After showing off the Trendnet TV-IP512WN to a local car collector, he has expressed great interest that I come and install a four camera system at his location.  He already has a security system, but can see the added benefit of live video monitoring of his place.  In fact, anyone with valuables should consider putting up some kind of a video surveillance system so that they can better protect themselves and increase the chances of getting their stuff back if someone should try to break-in and steal their possessions.  The only major flaw I see with this entire setup is the fact that you must use Internet Explorer and ActiveX controls in order to configure picture quality and motion detection through the browser.  All in all, for $300CAD it's a small price to pay for greater peace of mind.

 

Pros:

  • Motion detection and email alerts.
  • Two way audio.
  • Good quality video quality.
  • Can store locally (SD Card) or on a network device.
  • Comes with good software & everything needed for installation.

 

Cons:

  • Must use IE for web configuration.
  • Not a cheap camera.
  • Outdoor enclosure can set you back another $150 (Heated & Cooled)

 

BCCRating 

 Editor's Choice

 

I'd like to thank Trendnet for lending us this camera for the review.  It was interesting to see how well it worked and how simple it is to control multiple cameras.

If you have any questions or comments, please post them in the forum at the "Comments" link below.