As with all Home-Plug products, setup is a cinch. Just plug the provided power cable into the camera and into the nearest mains socket. Then, using a Home-Plug network adapter, take the signal from the mains to your router. Wait a few moments for the devices to establish communication and you’re ready to go.
By default the device is set to accept a DHCP assigned IP address so, once plugged in, you should be able to access the web interface straight away – just type the IP address into your browser. Otherwise you will need to run the included IP CAM utility which will detect your HomePlug devices and help you configure networking options for them. DNS and email settings for Internet access and auto emailing can also be setup from this software.
To start viewing images you simply open a browser and put in your devices IP address or, if you’ve setup DNS, the camera’s domain name.
Once you’ve opened the web interface you can either logon as a user or an admin. As a user you can view the video stream, email an image and adjust image settings. As an administrator, you can adjust network, email, and security settings as well as do everything a user can.
Image quality settings include resolution, compression quality, and, orientation – in case you’ve had to mount the camera upside down. A particularly useful setting is anti-flicker which enables you to synchronise the video sample rate with monitors, fluorescent bulbs, and any other non-continuous light sources. The video streaming is powered by Java and enables you to take screenshots which is very useful.
Image quality isn’t brilliant but, for general surveillance use, it is more than capable. I would’ve liked to see some remote (or automatic) lens adjustment so that you can zoom in or refocus but this would likely have added a lot to the cost.
As it stands there isn’t much you can do with this device, except maybe use it to see who’s at the front door. You really need to combine it with the recommended DVR software which has motion detection and scheduled video recording to take full advantage - then you may stand a chance of actually catching that thief.
Solwise has added some great functionality into a very innovative product and offered it a price that would appeal to anyone. However, image quality and lens remote control issues mean the Solwise HomePlug Camera is more of a novel toy than a serious surveillance device. However, if all you need is to recognise someone at the front door before you open it then maybe this is the device for you.