Summary

Our Score

6/10

Review Price free/subscription

TRENDnet TV-IP212W Wireless 2-Way Audio IP Camera - TRENDnet TV-IP212W

A big problem we came across during testing is the camera's inability to handle low light conditions. It's supposed to be able to operate down to 0.5lux but we found that the Axis 207MW and its 2lux limit was actually much better. For example, in the lab on a sunny day we closed the window blinds and switched the lights off. The Axis camera adjusted its iris so we could still see a lot of detail in the room but the TRENDnet camera couldn't make out anything unless it was right next to the blind where sunlight was leaking in.

In general, the audio functions worked well and we could switch the camera's microphone and speaker feed on or off as required. The live view page has Talk and Listen buttons for conducting conversations over the link. As with all other IP cameras you will have to endure the inevitable lag of around a second between each end of the link but quality for the internal microphone is good with little interference from background noise. The only problem is the camera has no volume control for the microphone which was, on occasion, too loud.


Mobile users will find the documentation a real disappointment as it pays them scant attention. Using the 3GPP option you can stream video and audio to mobiles that support RTSP but you're on your own when it comes to setting up Dynamic DNS (DDNS) services to enable the camera to be accessed from the Internet. We would recommend going for Panasonic's IP cameras for this function as the company includes a free DDNS service and plenty of help in setting this up.

For wireless connectivity the camera supports both Infrastructure and Ad Hoc modes but note that it does not function as an access point. In Infrastructure mode you'll need a separate wireless access point and the camera must be configured with its SSID and security settings. We successfully connected the camera to a Belkin N1 Vision router via a WPA encrypted link and the site survey feature in the wireless configuration section made this a lot easier.

Verdict

The TV-IP212W offers a good range of surveillance features but its value is affected by the average video quality and its inability to work in low light levels. We also found during testing that the camera would occasionally freeze when being configured, requiring a reboot to clear.

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