Panasonic Home Monitoring & Control Kit Review - App, Issues and Conclusion Review

Sections

Panasonic Home Monitoring Kit – The App

Once set up, the entire

system is handled by the Panasonic app. The app is a little archaic

looking, but reasonably easy to use. The system can be set to one of

three alert settings: Disarm; Arm: Away; and Arm: At Home.

When

armed, the hub activates the the camera’s motion sensor and window/door

sensors. The sensors track motion and sound and instruct the camera to

begin recording when anomalies are detected.

Recorded footage is

stored on a microSD card in the main hub – meaning it’s a good idea to

place it out of reach or hide it, in case tech-savvy burglars spot it

and steal the microSD.

You can also set the app to alert you

when the sensors are triggered, which I  recommend you do. The app

features sub-menus for every connected device, which, when clicked,

offer a variety of commands.
Panasonic Home Monitoring & Control Kit
For

example, going into the camera section enables you to see a real-time

view, instruct it to record video, take photos, or use its built-in

microphone to talk to people in the room – a useful feature if you’re

using the system to watch kids or pets while you’re away.

The

camera can also be used as a baby monitor, with the lullaby feature

allowing parents to play one of five preset jingles. Be warned, though:

the preset lullabies sound a little creepy, similar to music featured in

a Wes Craven horror movie.

The smart plug lets you remotely turn on and off whatever is plugged into it.

I

plugged in a lamp. Using the smart plug, I set the hub to automatically

turn on the lamp when I disarmed the system. I also occasionally used

it to remotely turn on the light to make it look like I was home when

the motion sensor detected anomalies.

Related: Y-cam HomeMonitor HD Review
Panasonic Home Monitoring & Control Kit

Panasonic Home Monitoring Kit – A few technical drawbacks

While this all sounds great, there are a few issues with Panasonic’s home-monitoring system.

For

starters, while eight mobile devices can be registered to the hub, only

the first four can be used to control the system. This could be problem

for people living in shared houses or with large families.

Second,

the camera records at a maximum of 6fps at a 640 x 480 (VGA)

resolution. This is disappointing when you consider that the majority of

smart home systems record at 720p. The low resolution was fine when the

camera was recording close-up objects during the day, but it didn’t

perform so well when capturing footage at a distance or in low light.

For

example, when people are more than a few meters away, or the camera is

shooting in the dark, their faces are close to unrecognisable – which

means Panasonic’s kit won’t be all that useful identifying nighttime

intruders.

I also experienced issues connecting to the smart hub.

When on the move, on at least three occasions out of ten the app would

fail to connect to the hub. The problem was exacerbated when I tried to

connect via 4G.

On several occasions I received a remote alert

from the system, informing me that a motion sensor had been tripped,

only to find I couldn’t connect to the camera and check what was going

on. This resulted in causing more than a little undue stress.

Panasonic Home Monitoring & Control Kit

Should I buy the Panasonic Home Monitoring & Control Kit

Overall,

if you want to fully secure your home without having to pay for add-on

devices then the answer is no. There isn’t enough hardware in the

starter kit to fully monitor a two-bedroom flat, and the camera’s low resolution only really works in regular light.

That said, if you want a smart home-monitoring system to remotely monitor kids, or pets, during the day then at £230 the kit offers decent value for money.

This

is especially true when you consider that the Panasonic system doesn’t

charge a monthly maintenance and storage fee, which many competing

camera systems, such as the Nest Cam do.

Verdict

The

Panasonic Home Monitoring & Control Kit is a barebones starter pack

more suited for child and pet monitoring than home security.

Score