Monday, July 18, 2011

Swann Security - Video Camera for the Home

About a month ago, after a while of reading up on the systems, I purchased a Swann Video Security system for the home from Fry's.   The experience I have had so far has been mixed.

The good points.   Swann's video works as advertised.   It is a 400 line system and it captures video on a DVR from eight vantage points around our house.   While better resolution would be a plus, the level of view is plenty good to be able to see what you want to see.   The software used for remote access actually allows you to capture photos of various camera positions.   The photo at the left is one of our front door and about the level of resolution you get on the phone application - although the live video is even clearer.

The bad points.  I have two complaints with my experience so far.  One relates to the Fry's installers and one to the system.   The Fry's installers (it took two - one to put in the system and one to link it to the network) were subpar.   The guy who installed the system did not clean up after himself very well and did not fill in drilled holes.  That is just sloppy.   The network guy began by criticizing Apple - yammering about how hard it was to work with that platform.   When I bought the system I specifically bought it because Swann advertises that the system works with the iPhone and iPad for remote access.   I ended up buying a separate monitor and router (which probably was not necessary) just to get the job done. After the purchase I went to our network consultant and asked him both about the criticism and also about the need to put the security on a separate router.  He said both were basically silly comments.  It also took the network guy two trips.   I would give the Fry's installers a C- in performance.  That is a stark contrast from the level of information and helpfulness that we got from the sales person.

The Swann software is adequate but not much more.   The software has no documentation that I can find on the site and while it works on the iPad it has not been optimized for the iPad.

I think the Swann system is pretty good.  Now that the wires and network are set up it should be fairly simple to modify the system as the technology improves.  So all in all this is a pretty good system to add another level of peace of mind to our home.

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