Review Price free/subscription
TRENDnet TV-IP201W IP Camera - TRENDnet TV-IP201W IP Camera
Network options include static, DHCP, or PPPoE IP assignment and dynamic DNS can be enabled along with Internet access. Wireless networking is available with the choice of 64bit, 128bit, or no WEP encryption. You also get basic user control with two levels of access for administrators and users.
The camera can upload a regular stream of images to an FTP server for maintenance free monitoring and you can specify on which days you want it to do so, for how long and how frequently the image should be taken. Or, you can use motion detection to trigger an email of the image to be sent to you.
Image quality can be adjusted by way of frame rate, resolution, light frequency, and compression level. I found full frame rate at full resolution was not able to keep up with any kind of motion on screen and the frame rate had to be dropped to 15fps to maintain a constant stream. The optimal setting for the full 30fps required the resolution to be dropped from 640x480 to 320x240 but compression could be set to its lowest level.
Picture quality is acceptable and though there is obvious speckling in the darker areas it is not the green and red blobs you sometimes get with bad noise handling. Overall colouration is also good. The lens shows even focus right to the corners but there is obvious barrel distortion in the outer two thirds of the image. The compression level adjustment covers the full gamut of artefact free to blocky mess and everything in-between, so you should be able to find a decent compromise between image quality and lower bandwidth.
The TV-IP201W ships with its own IP surveillance software which enables you to monitor live feeds from up to 16 cameras simultaneously. Controls on the main viewing screen include video capture, still capture, image rotation and audio on/off.
Clicking the settings button, all the settings from the web interface can be adjusted and you can also setup sophisticated region based motion detection, adjust detection sensitivity, and assign a musical alarm to be played when triggered. Video capture settings can also be adjusted from this screen.
While the TV-IP201W doesn’t offer the kind of picture quality you get from the likes of the Axis Communications 207W, at only £127 it does provide a worthy low cost alternative. It’s easy to use and has all the basic features you need get a fully operational surveillance system setup. The included software also means that adding and monitoring multiple cameras is a cinch.