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BT Smart Home Cam 100 review

Richard Easton
25 Apr 2015
Our Rating 
Price when reviewed 
79
inc VAT

The BT Smart Home Cam 100 is an inexpensive network camera with average image quality

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Specifications

Sensor: 1/3in CMOS, Viewing angle: Horizontal 78 degrees, Vertical 45 degrees, Diagonal 90 degrees, Video recording frame rates: 1,280x720 (10fps), 640x360 (30fps), 320x180 (30fps), Night vision mode: Infrared LEDs, Size (HxWxD): 140x80x70mm, Weight: 146g, Warranty: One year RTB

The BT Smart Home Cam 100 is small and inconspicuous, and is certainly less menacing-looking than many other network cameras we’ve tested. It's a clean design without, as is common on network cameras, an external antenna. It’s all-black body will also help you hide the camera away. The Home Cam 100 is designed to be oriented vertically and comes with a stand that lets you adjust the camera angle easily with its ball mount. You can also wall-mount the camera with the screw holes in its base.

Setting up the Smart Home Cam 100 is relatively straightforward with an Android or iOS device. You’ll first need to plug it into your mains power and set the switch on the back of the camera to the ‘Setup’ position. This makes the Home Cam broadcast its Wi-Fi SSID, which you can search for and connect to from your device.

Once you open the BT Home Cam app it will ask you if you want to set up your new camera, and the setup process takes you through connecting the Home Cam to your home's wireless network. There’s no Ethernet connection so you have no choice but to connect it wirelessly. You’ll need to select your home Wi-Fi network and enter the password, which is then shared with the Home Cam. There’s no option to use push-button WPS to quickly pair the camera with your wireless router, which would have made the process easier.

During setup you’re able to sign up for a remote monitoring account, to view your camera's footage over the internet, as well as assign a name and description to the camera. This will be particularly useful if you plan on installing numerous cameras around the home, so you can easily tell one from the other when switching between feeds. Once setup is complete you flip the switch on the back of the camera to ‘Network’ so it will connect to your router and be accessible through the app. A pair of indicator LEDs show the camera’s current status, such as when it’s establishing a wireless connection.

BT Smart Home Cam 100 front

The Home Cam can capture video in up to 720p resolution at 10fps, which isn’t the smoothest we've seen but is sufficient for monitoring purposes. If you drop the resolution to 640x360 the frame rate increases to 30fps. Disappointingly, we found that the video feed would drop out when we forced the camera to broadcast at its maximum frame rate quality setting. Setting it to ‘auto’ at least resulted in a stable video feed. There’s a microphone built in so it’s possible to capture audio as well as video, although we found the microphone wasn’t sensitive enough to adequately capture audio beyond a metre away from the camera.

When viewing live footage from the camera, either from the apps or the web portal, there was a noticeable delay in audio that meant it was out of sync with the video. This was on top of around a two-to-three second delay between something happening in reality and the video being available to view.

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