Review Price free/subscription
Axis Communications 207W Network Camera - Axis Communications 207W Network Camera
The home page opens with a live view and you can swap between Motion-JPEG and MPEG-4 formats whilst three buttons underneath are for stopping playback, taking a quick snapshot and swapping to full screen viewing. As always Axis wins out over the competition with image quality with the 207W delivering a sharp clean picture with good colour balance. There’s plenty to play with for motion detection as up to ten custom areas can be specified within the image where motion is to be detected or ignored. When it is triggered the camera can download images at specific frame rates to an HTTP or FTP server and mail them to multiple clients as well.
MPEG-4 brings a number of extra controls over network bandwidth usage but bear in mind that the package only includes one license so you’ll need to buy one for each extra user. In this mode the bit-rate can be restricted to conserve bandwidth and the variable bit rate setting causes the camera to drop the rate if nothing is happening in the viewing area
Network utilisation is always an issue with these types of devices and to test this we used a laptop running AirMagnet’s Laptop Analyzer v6.1 software. We wirelessly linked the 207W to a Netgear DG834N wireless ADSL router with WPA encryption enabled. With Motion-JPEG selected we saw it consuming slightly less than ten per cent of an 802.11g channel with resolution at the maximum 640 x 480 pixels and compression set to medium. Selecting the lowest resolution and highest compression ratio did reduce this to less than three per cent utilisation but the picture quality was so poor as to be completely unusable.
Swapping over to MPEG4 compression saw some interesting differences. With the MPEG4 variable bit-rate setting in action and no movement in the viewing area we saw the 207W drawing around four per cent of available bandwidth and with continuous motion this rose to seven to eight per cent, showing clearly that this feature was working. The bottom line is with 802.11g in the mix you can put multiple cameras on the same access point without completely swamping the wireless channel.
The 207W finally brings in support for 802.11g wireless networks and combines this with top image quality and good motion detection. Installation is much easier that for its predecessor and its looks comparatively good value as well.