The xmartO WOS1344 security cameras system is an all in one video recording system. In the box are the cameras (4 in this case), the main DVR unit, a collection of cables and a mouse for use with the DVR.
Disappointingly for the price no hard drive is included, I picked up the WD 1 TB 3.5-inch Internal SATA Surveillance Storage Hard Drive for use in this, keep in mind the additional cost if you don’t have any spare drives. The DVR can accept 2.5″ or 3.5″ SATA hard drives, and these are quickly installed into the main unit.
The cameras are nicely designed, they’re smaller than you might expect and are rated for outdoor use.
On each camera is a short cable that splits into two, a power cable and an Ethernet cable. This proved to be a big problem during installation as the Ethernet plug is massive, it means you have to drill a large hole through the wall to fit through a cable you likely won’t even use. The power cable is a better size and it would make more sense for the camera to have a single cable into which you plug either a power or Ethernet adapter.
You likely won’t use the Ethernet plug as these cameras have WiFi built in.
One major benefit to this system is the ease of setup as they don’t operate over your existing network, the main DVR unit creates it’s own WiFi network and the cameras automatically connect to it, no messing around, just power them on and they auto connect.
This means you just turn the cameras on and the image then pops up on the system within a few minutes, no codes, no pairing, no WiFi passwords.
The DVR unit has connects to allow you to connect it to TVs or monitors. There are a couple of USB ports on the back, one of which will be used for the included mouse. The mouse is used to navigate the menu system, on loading there is a setup wizard to sort out the basics such as the time, date, network connection and recording conditions. To input text you click on the letters using the mouse.
Each camera can be set to record differently, e.g. one might record 27/7, another might record on motion detection.
Users can be set up and configured, handy if you want to give someone access to the cameras but want to restrict what they can do or the cameras they can see.
You also have options regarding how to view the cameras, for example you can have a single camera on screen or you could split the screen into 4.
Picture quality is good and the system allows you a number of different ways to see what’s going on. Plug the DVR into a TV/monitor and you can view the live streams directly, perfect if you want to use this in a work environment and need an always on feed.
If you want to tuck the DVR away in a cupboard rather than have it plugged in to a screen you can still access the cameras remotely, either via a desktop program, a web page or via a mobile app. You’ll need to ensure the DVR has internet access (it has an Ethernet port on the back) for remote viewing and once online it then also has options around sending emails and FTPing footage.
The desktop software was rather clunky and really needs a serious update to be user friendly. It’s ugly, unintuitive, and not at all easy to use. The
web version was better, allowing you quick access to search, view and download footage. The mobile app seemed OK some of the time, but for some reason the DVR keeps going offline and so the app can’t connect. I’ve not been able to figure out why sometimes it’s online and sometimes it’s offline.
Overall this is a versatile system that offers a lot of functionality. The camera design and ease of WiFi setup are the stars of the show, it’s a real pity they’re let down by the lack of hard drive, the needlessly frustrating installation process caused by the fat Ethernet cable hardwired into the cameras and the poor software support.