Over the past few years that I have been here at TweakTown, we have seen a number of IP cameras come through the lab. Arlo from Netgear is probably the most memorable solution I have tested, but even those can get to be a hassle when you are changing batteries every month.
The only real solution for those of you that are serious about security is to have a vendor come in and install a full on system or go with a DIY solution in a box. We have seen quite a few cameras from Foscam in the past, and one thing that has always been amazing is the setup process. Well, you are probably wondering what Foscam has to do with all of this and that all comes together as Huntvision is in some fashion a part of Foscam. I am not sure if one is the budget brand of the other, but they share many of the same devices.
With that said, the kit sent over for us to review is a four-camera kit consisting of a set of 720p cameras that connect to and get power from an NVR. This is simplified with each camera supporting PoE along with being IP66 weatherproof. We also have IR support with night vision range of 65ft along with the comfort of an NVR that runs 24/7 monitoring and alerting you.
Compatibility includes Firefox, Safari, and IE8 and above. It does not support Microsoft's Edge browser. MSRP of the Huntvision HT-NR1108-XP-AB41 is $399.99 with a one-year warranty. As of this writing, Foscam was having a sale on Amazon where you can get this kit for $259.99.
Packaging is quite vibrant for the Huntvision kit. We have an image of the complete setup on the front along with a full suite of marketing across the bottom.
On the backside, they go into a good bit of detail about the kit along with several diagrams outlining the NVR.
Taking our first look at the NVR, I was surprised at how compact the unit was. Across the front, we have LEDs for power and each channel along with HDD and LAN.
The backside of the NVR is all business with eight channels of PoE for cameras and another for network connectivity. There is also an HDMI output for direct connections.
Internally, the Huntvision comes with a Seagate Surveillance drive in the 1TB. For those of you that are serious, you will want to replace this with a WD Purple or larger Surveillance solution from Seagate.
For the direct connection aspect of the NVR, Huntvision included a mouse for navigating the interface.
Above, we have a first look at the cameras. They appear to be quite similar to the FI9900p I reviewed in January.
Taking a closer look, each camera can swivel at the base and camera side with an elbow joint in the center.
A full suite of IR LEDs enables this solution to get some rather impressive distance in night vision.
With this solution supporting PoE, we have just two wires coming out of the back of the camera. One being gigabit Ethernet and the other, the reset button.
Quality is rather good for all of the cameras in the kit. As you can see, I have three up and running for this review with the fourth waiting for a new cable.
Setup is straightforward for the most part. If you have never touched these cameras before installation, the NVR will automatically login to each of them and set them up optimally. If you have played with them, then you will have to enter your username and password for each.
Down the side of the settings menu, we have options for configuring your NVR with scheduled recording being one. As you can see, using the grid above you can shade areas when you want the cameras to record.
Motion alarms can be setup in the alarm menu. You can also add audible alerts if needed.
Within the device menu, you can see info about your drive along with formatting a new drive should you replace the stock 1TB.
The video encode menu allows you to configure the quality of each stream. The settings seen above are the maximum for the 720p cameras that come included.
Moving over to the playback menu, to the left, you can select channel you want to view followed by the search button. Results then come up along the bottom as slices of red motion in the blue bars. As you can see, I had plenty of action on camera two around 2 PM.
I have been using this setup for going on two months. Just as I was about to write up this review last month, I had a few issues with some Ethernet cables so I held off to make sure everything was ironed out. I can say for the most part everything has been operating normally. One thing that threw me off in the beginning was the Ethernet cables being some sort of crossover with pins 7 and 8 being switched with 1 and 2 on the opposite end.
Otherwise, build quality is rather good with this unit, the NVR is wall or ceiling mountable, which is certainly a plus, but the included 1TB drive is a bit lackluster especially when you have four cameras and the possibility of eight streaming to it. On the camera side, these units are just as rugged and durable as the 9900p, and I enjoyed that camera. 720p isn't the greatest resolution but as a kit for a little over $250 and the recordings are on site instead of the cloud, its worth it in my book.
Performance is solid, not superb but good enough for me to pick out rodents when they decide to dig through my garden. The night vision capabilities of these cameras are excellent, almost too much as you pick out all the creepy little eyes pop out as all the nocturnal animals come out along with a few stray cats. Setup is simple with the hardest part being the running of the Ethernet cables and as I said above the odd crossover deal Foscam is using can confuse at first.
Overall, this setup is a solid deal. I'm not sure I've seen anything with this quality ever come close to the price offered in this kit.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Z170 Premium - Buy from Amazon
- CPU: Intel Core i5 6500 - Buy from Amazon
- Cooler: Noctua NH-U12S - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Memory: Klevv CRAS 16GB (4x4) DDR4 3000 - Read our review
- Video Card: NVIDIA GeForce GTX 980 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- OS Storage: Intel 730 480GB SSD - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Secondary Storage: Intel 750 400GB U.2 SSD - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Case: Thermaltake P5 - Buy from Amazon / Read our review
- Power Supply: Thermaltake Toughpower Grand 1200 - Buy from Amazon
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 - Buy from Amazon
|Quality including Design and Build||85%|
|Bundle and Packaging||90%|
|Value for Money||92%|
The Bottom Line: When is comes to a DIY security system, the Foscam Huntvision four-camera kit is my recommendation for quality at a reasonable price.
PRICING: You can find products similar to this one for sale below.
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