Eyespy UCam247i review
The EyeSpy UCam247i is a wireless night-vision IP camera billed as the simplest camera on the market, making it an obvious choice for home office users who don't want to get bogged down with complex configuration settings.
A slip of paper in the box provides a three-step guide to getting your camera set up with a tablet or smartphone. It tells you to search for a free third-party app called P2PCam264, which is available on Google's Play store for Android and the iTunes app store for iOS devices, although it's worth noting that the iOS app is designed for iPhones rather than the iPad.
This kind of video streaming has become fairly common with modern IP cameras, but it's nice to have detailed instructions on setting it up. The included Camera Live application for Windows uses the same technology to send a live stream to your desktop PC.
The applications prompt you to enter the camera's user ID and password, both of which are printed on a sticker attached to the back of it. The ID is a long string of characters, but you don't have to type it in by hand; the app gives you the option of scanning the QR code on the sticker instead.
With that done, we could view the camera immediately from our mobile device. Video quality was surprisingly good, with particularly accurate colour. However, once we switched from using a mobile device attached to the same wireless network as the camera to using our HSDPA mobile internet connection, the stream was unusable, even though we were able to make an initial connection to the camera.
If you’re using Windows, you use the aforementioned Camera Live monitoring application and a Camera Setup wizard. The setup wizard runs you through optionally configuring a fixed IP address before opening the camera's web interface in Internet Explorer, which prompts you to install an ActiveX plug-in. This gives you extra options that aren't available in other browsers, such as volume controls, the ability to communicate via a speaker connected to the camera, resolution switching and instant recording and snapshot buttons.
Viewing the video stream and accessing the settings screens requires a username and password. Although this is designed to be a simple IP camera and is very easy to access via a mobile device, its web interface still has all the advanced options you're likely to want or need in a security system. It's fairly well designed, too, with all the menu options being arranged logically.
A wizard lets you configure the camera's default quality, date and wireless network connection. Once you've configured the core settings, other menus let you further tweak almost everything about the UCam. The Camera submenus provide access to features such as the UCam's privacy mode, which cuts off the audio and video feeds from the camera. You can also enable and disable the camera's built-in microphone and optimise each of the camera's streams so they'll be easier to access via slower internet connections.
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