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I need to find a good, wireless "Nanny Cam" that I can install at some dear friends house, people who are my "adopted parents". A wonderful couple I have known for most of my life who are now caring for their 97 year old sister in law.

Here is what I need in my new cameras;
Easy to use and very RELIABLE, these people are not tech savy.

2.4 ghz or 5 ghz wireless WIFI Nanny or Interior Security cameras

3 Megapixels or more (ideally)

App supports multiple cameras and ability to switch from one camera to the next camera easily on the control device

Use IPhone and or IPad to monitor and control cameras

Able to work with WIFI extenders due to the distance between camera locations


Pan, tilt and zoom features would be nice

2 way sound (listen and speak via the cameras).

An App written to be used by English speaking customers

American Based TECH SUPPORT with English speaking customer service / tech people (I don't speak Sputnik).......



Personal experiences with the cameras I just tried
Let me tell you my experiences the last few days trying other products. First, I spent a lot of time on Amazon reading camera set up manuals and user reviews. I found a camera I thought fit the bill, based upon its high number of positive reviews. I ordered 4 of them, What a freaking nightmare that quickly turned into.

First, the cameras were supposed to be almost "self connecting" and really simple to use. I ordered 4 of these and memory cards and took them over to my dear friends home. I tried and tried to get the camera linked into this couple's WIFI network and was not able. My friends have Apple I Phones and an I Pad and I am not that familiar with Apple products, but this isn't rocket science or brain surgery. But it's also not that different than Windows and Android systems for connection issues. I tried to connect on their WIFI system and I tried each of the cameras, I constantly ran into the very same fault where the cameras would not sync with the WIFI network. Same exact fault message at the same part of the install process. EVERY SINGLE TIME.......

After spending 6 hours, over 50 tries with the 4 cameras, resetting the WIFI system, rebooting the cameras so often I almost wore out the reset buttons, I finally packed up everything and brought it to my house. I wasted another 5 hours trying to get these connected to my WIFI system using Android phones, (2 different ones) a Windows computer, nothing. I did get one camera to work briefly on my WIFI system after 15 attempts and I was sitting at the desk where the Wireless Router is located, so I could touch the WIFI source, the camera and the Android device. But the moment I moved away from the desk, that camera never worked again and I had all of the same connection issues.

Incidentally, the cameras I bought have a Cat5 jack on the back of them but it won't work unless the cameras are first connected via WIFI. Many cameras actually work just the opposite, you can use the Cat5 cable to configure and set the cameras up and then you can move the cameras off the cat 5 cable and place them for WIFI use. Why would you have a Cat 5 connection on a camera if you MUST connect the camera via WIFI? Just think about the logic of this set up. By the way, I asked the Tech support why they have Cat 5 ports on the cameras if they MUST be connected via WIfi, I never got an answer. Seems pretty strange to me.......

I returned to my friends after my brief success and double checked all of their router settings and made sure the password didn't have any special characters, etc. I replicated the connection process again and again and reset the cameras every new attempt. I even moved furniture so I could sit at their WIFI router and attempt the camera pairing with the devices within 5 feet of one another. I got nowhere. Not one ounce closer.......I even deleted and reloaded the APP on each device at least 3 times, just in case the APP download had some issues. Didn't matter......

Technical Support contact results
I had tried to contact the advertised 24 hour tech service, but its not 24 hrs, it is instead, 9 to 5 central time. After waiting nearly 12 hours for the first email response each day, when my initial email to them which laid out specific issues was replied to with "Read the manual, and watch Help video" I nearly lost it. They didn't answer one question about the connection faults or error message which I had seen by then, dozens of times.

Their technical service said they had "never heard of the Xfinity router" and I copied all of the properties about the WIFI router into an email and they responded again "never heard of this router" and they implied I should buy a new one, yet every other wireless device they have works flawlessly for this couple including multiple devices and even blood pressure machine which sends to the VA daily. I am not going to purchase a new WIFI router when everything else works fine. They wanted me to "send them a link to my router", not going to happen. If they can't get what they need from the technical summary of the product from the specs page, its not my job to perform their technical research. The only thing I am going to "send" is the box packed full of these cameras, back to Amazon........

A Help Video or merely a Demonstration?
Well, the "Help video" is a nearly 7 minute demonstration of how to connect these "****ing cameras which I had replicated the process step by step so many times, I could do it in my sleep. The "Help video" had NOT ONE SPOKEN WORD the entire video. NOTHING, but watching someone's hands do the process which is cryptically outlined in their "User Manual". It's not a "Help video", its a demonstration and the fact the company doesn't know the difference is simply astounding and speaks volumes.

It's time to talk about English Languge Product Material on China products
A few words about the manuals. I am NO LONGER patient with these companies who are producing "English Language" manuals written by people for whom English is not their primary language. This is a relatively new phenomenon since the invasion of China crap in the last 15 years. Someone copies and pastes the English language together into incoherent sentences and completely worthless manuals. Here are some examples of the language from this cameras manual and other technical sources which were referred to me, the customer......

"Open the app read and agree for Private Police" (Say what in English?, Perhaps "Privacy Policy")

"Create Profile of your Placement" (Apparently, they meant to register the product...??..)

"Download to your emulator".....(I know what it is to "emulate" something, so I can imagine what this is, but again a complete failure in English, How many of you own an "emulator"?.....)

"Essential critical to pairing, make pairing conenction lights sure are fast flashing double second on all items or failure is alike" (FYI, I spelled the words just as they did)......Turns out, after I searched for the "connection lights, the tech support told me "We use directions for lots of products and not all apply." So, I pressed for clarity "Does the device even have pairing lights?" and the answer was "No." Seriously, WTF? Not only was the above gibberish, it served no point even being in the instructions for this device.

Bottom line, I am going to read every product manual (when possible) BEFORE purchasing any technical items from now on and when I encounter gibberish such as the above, I am moving along. Is it too much to spend some money and hire an English Speaking (as their PRIMARY LANGUAGE) writer to create or at a minimum, edit the documents they are all copying from one another?

My patience with China SHEET is completely gone. I have long maintained that Made in China is more often a warning label and my experiences have borne that out time and again......

Ok, my rant is over....for now.....

I still need to find some cameras which will work. I am relying upon the personal experiences and wisdom of the GTT family.

Camera Brand which I just Tried
Incidentally, the camera brand which was a train wreck for me was the Morvelli Camera Brand, so lets skip that one.......Check out their website, I wish I had before I bought the cameras.

https://morvelli.com/

The website is largely pointless, unless you want to drive to someones house in the Chicago area and there is a map for that. None of the links are connected to anything and there is nothing other than the email address for their "24/7 Tech Support" which works 9 to 5 central time.

The Morvelli has 70 5 star ratings on Amazon and frankly, I hope I just got 4 bad cameras, but how else can one explain such failure to connect something which is supposedly simple? I did notice that nearly all of the bad reviews have come in the last 30 days, so I wonder if something is up with their production of these new to the market cameras.........

A sincere thank you for helpful information which leads me to my solution......
 

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This may not have everything you are looking for but...these are amazing cameras for the price with great support. They are growing like crazy.

The founders are both from Amazon .- started out doing their own thing a couple years ago - based in Seattle.

Take a look at what they have to offer. Tons of support videos about setup and use.

Wyze | Making Great Technology Accessible

I bought one of their $20 cameras about 1.5 years ago. It has been flawless. I had it outside on my porch this past winter and it never made a hiccup - and it is not meant to be an outdoor camera. They are working on an outdoor unit or an enclosure right now.
 

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If you want the best and most reliable, that would be NEST. You can get them on sale or reduced price in bundles of multiple cameras. From what little I know about you, I strongly suspect that price is secondary to reliability and Nest fits that bill. Singly they run as much as $200 each. They have both indoor and outdoor cameras. They are accessible via the internet and you have a choice of keeping the history for 5 days for $50 per year with other options for longer periods of time. They do have sound capability. Also notifications that you can set for any movement or just when it spots a person. I have mine set just for persons, therefore when it sees a car, I do not get a notification, but it is still recorded.

Since they constantly upload to the internet, you do need a decent internet upload speed. I currently have mine set for 720P, but they also can do 360p or 1080p. I ran my single camera on a 1mbps upload at 720p for 3 years with no issues. My neighbor has 3 running at 360p on the same 1mbps upload, but that is really stretching it. I now have 7mbps upload so could change to 1080p, but the 720p is just fine.

Check them out at Nest Cam | Indoor and Outdoor Home Security Cameras | Nest BTW, you can set them up to have multiple user access. I do that with my neighbors as I take care of his place most of the time.

Dave
 

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Discussion Starter #4
This may not have everything you are looking for but...these are amazing cameras for the price with great support. They are growing like crazy.

The founders are both from Amazon .- started out doing their own thing a couple years ago - based in Seattle.

Take a look at what they have to offer. Tons of support videos about setup and use.

Wyze | Making Great Technology Accessible

I bought one of their $20 cameras about 1.5 years ago. It has been flawless. I had it outside on my porch this past winter and it never made a hiccup - and it is not meant to be an outdoor camera. They are working on an outdoor unit or an enclosure right now.
Thanks Stan, that brand is at the top of my list as I am reviewing the various choices.

I hope Jake is doing well as well as you and Mrs. CT.

It's interesting to see the photo's of Jake as a mature dog. He sure is a good dog. I sure am glad you both made the decision to take a chance on him after the loss of Bentley.........It seems like it was a win for all involved.

Now, he needs a brother or sister to show the ropes. We have had great success with dogs we have had a couple of years showing the ropes to new "pack members". Dogs really do seem to enjoy having a canine family member and it seems to help prevent boredom and they both tend to keep one another busy.......We continue to keep our eyes open for our next "pack member".........

One thing I have learned reading product reviews, regardless of the product, there is a percentage of the positive reviews who even admit not having tried the product, yet they post some 5 star review and nonsense like "It sure looks like its going to work well so I am happy" despite them not even having used the product yet......

And the flip side is a negative review of the product which in reality, has nothing to do with the product itself. Everything from shipping issues to failure to get a discount coupon applied and everything in between and some will trash a product for issues which have nothing to do with the product itself.

Reviews are like anything else, of value when fact based and accurate or nearly worthless when they have no relationship to the product itself.

I would like to be able to add an outside camera or two for Mom2 and Dad2. I would like for them to be able to see who's at the door, etc as well as their deck and rear yard area without going to the door itself. After my frustrations the last few days with wireless cameras, I was about ready to have an electrician pull a series of cat 5 cables to connect a POE camera network for them, but I would prefer to avoid that if I can achieve these goals with wireless cameras.

Thanks again.
 

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We have a system based on the Blink cameras that are now owned by Amazon. They meet all of your requirements except one. They are only 2 MP cameras while you're looking for 3 MP. Otherwise, they are very similar to the ARLO systems.
 

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If you want the best and most reliable, that would be NEST. You can get them on sale or reduced price in bundles of multiple cameras. From what little I know about you, I strongly suspect that price is secondary to reliability and Nest fits that bill. Singly they run as much as $200 each. They have both indoor and outdoor cameras. They are accessible via the internet and you have a choice of keeping the history for 5 days for $50 per year with other options for longer periods of time. They do have sound capability. Also notifications that you can set for any movement or just when it spots a person. I have mine set just for persons, therefore when it sees a car, I do not get a notification, but it is still recorded.

Since they constantly upload to the internet, you do need a decent internet upload speed. I currently have mine set for 720P, but they also can do 360p or 1080p. I ran my single camera on a 1mbps upload at 720p for 3 years with no issues. My neighbor has 3 running at 360p on the same 1mbps upload, but that is really stretching it. I now have 7mbps upload so could change to 1080p, but the 720p is just fine.

Check them out at Nest Cam | Indoor and Outdoor Home Security Cameras | Nest BTW, you can set them up to have multiple user access. I do that with my neighbors as I take care of his place most of the time.

Dave
Thanks, Dave. Ironically, I think you know me fairly well as you nailed the issue of product quality and reliability verses price. That is exactly how I feel about these types of things and many purchases, in fact.

A neighbor who also happens to be a snow plow and even lawn mowing customer as well, has a cabin about 5 hours north of our location. He has two or three Nest cameras and he uses them to keep an eye on the place. I think he may even have a camera which looks out the window, yet is inside the house, because he also has a round exterior thermometer which hangs on the wall on his cabin so he can see the actual temp in side, as well as getting the information communicated to him from other sources. He has been happy with the Nest cameras.

He even was telling me how when he got the snow plow bill for his cabin, he checked it against the actual recorded dates and found he was being over billed by about 25% for events which didn't occur. Too bad his other snow plow provider isn't as honest as the guy who plows his driveway at this house.....:laugh:

I like the idea of multiple administrator accounts as well as it might be able to help me resolve any issues which might come up without me having to drive across town to their location. I could potentially address any service issues remotely which would be helpful.

Thanks again for your response......I appreciate it.
 

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We have a system based on the Blink cameras that are now owned by Amazon. They meet all of your requirements except one. They are only 2 MP cameras while you're looking for 3 MP. Otherwise, they are very similar to the ARLO systems.
Jim, thanks for the reply, has the battery life been an issue at all for the cameras you are using? I see some reports where some get great battery life where others complain about replacing batteries monthly or more often? I would imagine the settings have a large impact on that issue........

Also, for these types of devices, I have always used the Energizer Lithium Batteries (the silver and blue electronic device batteries) like in my game cameras and they last a long time. In fact, I usually run out of memory card space before batteries on the game cameras......

2MP would be fine as well, for these cameras. I selected 3MP more of less in a coin flip in my typing fingers......:laugh:

Thanks again..........
 

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Thanks, Dave. Ironically, I think you know me fairly well as you nailed the issue of product quality and reliability verses price. That is exactly how I feel about these types of things and many purchases, in fact.

A neighbor who also happens to be a snow plow and even lawn mowing customer as well, has a cabin about 5 hours north of our location. He has two or three Nest cameras and he uses them to keep an eye on the place. I think he may even have a camera which looks out the window, yet is inside the house, because he also has a round exterior thermometer which hangs on the wall on his cabin so he can see the actual temp in side, as well as getting the information communicated to him from other sources. He has been happy with the Nest cameras.

He even was telling me how when he got the snow plow bill for his cabin, he checked it against the actual recorded dates and found he was being over billed by about 25% for events which didn't occur. Too bad his other snow plow provider isn't as honest as the guy who plows his driveway at this house.....:laugh:

I like the idea of multiple administrator accounts as well as it might be able to help me resolve any issues which might come up without me having to drive across town to their location. I could potentially address any service issues remotely which would be helpful.

Thanks again for your response......I appreciate it.
Here is a night screen capture on my Nest camera from 2 years ago where a teenaged young lady got stuck about 1/4 mile from my place and was knocking on doors trying to find someone to help. This was at midnight and the temp was zero. She was 30 minutes from dying. She was not dressed warm enough, but you know how teenagers are. Fortunately I heard her at the door as I had just gone to bed. BTW there is an option for saving video segments, which I had done on this instance.

Dave

Edit::: I should mention that these are ac powered. No batteries.

night visitor.jpg
 

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Jim, thanks for the reply, has the battery life been an issue at all for the cameras you are using? I see some reports where some get great battery life where others complain about replacing batteries monthly or more often? I would imagine the settings have a large impact on that issue........
I have 5 cameras inside the house and 5 outside. I usually use Energizer lithium batteries and get at least a year's use out of each (I replace them every fall on principle. I'd rather not have to pull out a ladder to do it in the middle of winter.). If I use alkaline batteries it drops down to 7-9 months. I've only ever done that with indoor cameras until I can go buy more lithium batteries.

I can't imagine what someone would be doing to only get a month out of a battery. Maybe they are using cheapo Dollar Store off-brand Chinese batteries?
 

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@SullyBear:

There are two important pieces of information that I didn't see in your original post (maybe I just missed it):

- What is the actual purpose of the cameras? Defining the use case will also define how to determine the way to measure success in supporting that use case.
- Who will be using the app? You? Others? Both?

The Wyze cameras that I have (super cheap, no PTZ in the models I bought) do everything that you've listed (including two way audio) and image quality is very good. But, the app is still evolving and they're adding features fairly regularly.

Setup was really easy, and the couple of times I've reached out for Support I've communicated with English speaking folks. HOWEVER... Their turnaround for support requests is slow because they're a growing company and don't have a large support staff at this point.
 

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As far as Wyze - I find their forum very good. I’ve found all the answers I was looking for just by searching the forum. Also, it seems that the staff is quite active there answering questions.

Wyze Community
 

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I have 5 cameras inside the house and 5 outside. I usually use Energizer lithium batteries and get at least a year's use out of each (I replace them every fall on principle. I'd rather not have to pull out a ladder to do it in the middle of winter.). If I use alkaline batteries it drops down to 7-9 months. I've only ever done that with indoor cameras until I can go buy more lithium batteries.

I can't imagine what someone would be doing to only get a month out of a battery. Maybe they are using cheapo Dollar Store off-brand Chinese batteries?
The interior cameras are AC powered and the exterior battery powered, all wireless, correct?

Also curious how you cycle from camera view to camera view on the APP? Are the camera's numbered or do you have them separated by Inside verses Outside? I haven't looked at the actual APP yet...............

Do the exterior cameras record based upon the motion sensor picking up activity?

Some of the reviews about the cameras seem to complain about a delay in the time from when the motion occurs to when the actual recording occurs. They seem to imply that by time the camera starts recording, the image has often moved out of view. Have you had any issues with this?

I am sure some of it is based upon camera placement because if the view is limited to items passing by the camera and someone can be out of the camera view or recording range in a second or a matter of a couple of steps, I can see some issues with this. Any system works better when the camera placement is well considered of all the variables.
 

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@SullyBear:

There are two important pieces of information that I didn't see in your original post (maybe I just missed it):

- What is the actual purpose of the cameras? Defining the use case will also define how to determine the way to measure success in supporting that use case.
- Who will be using the app? You? Others? Both?

The Wyze cameras that I have (super cheap, no PTZ in the models I bought) do everything that you've listed (including two way audio) and image quality is very good. But, the app is still evolving and they're adding features fairly regularly.

Setup was really easy, and the couple of times I've reached out for Support I've communicated with English speaking folks. HOWEVER... Their turnaround for support requests is slow because they're a growing company and don't have a large support staff at this point.
The purpose is for friends of mine to be able to monitor the 97 year old sister in law, they are caring for. All of these cameras are strictly indoors and the reason why I suggested the ability to pan and move the camera is so they can follow her if necessary as she moves from one location in a room to another. They have large rooms which are connected. For example, their great room, kitchen and dining room combined are probably 1,000 sq feet. I am hoping to be able to position one or two cameras in the great room area and cover the entire area.

They also need to be able to see this woman in her bedroom and so they can hear her in the middle of the night. She had been getting up in the middle of the night and wandering the past couple of weeks. The bedrooms are located probably 100' or more apart at opposite ends of the house. Their home is all on one floor and sprawling. It's also an old home which has a lot of stone, brick and concrete in the exterior, which complicates wireless signals, even within the home.

They are not tech savy and it has to be kept very simple. The cameras which I originally bought had many good reviews and supposedly the cameras could be set up with the motion sensor to follow her as she moved about in her room, etc. The woman they care for is not only 97, but legally blind. She has also entered a stage recently (last two months) where her dementia is aggressively advancing. She now no longer knows the husband and often has to be reminded as to who the wife is and where she is being cared for. As of yesterday, her mobility is now an issue so it has complicated her care, but possibly simplified the camera needs. They think she may have had a series of strokes in the last two days.

I am really lobbying HARD for them to transfer this woman, who is their sister in law, to a facility as her care has gone from being relatively easy to troublesome to now, extremely difficult. What started over 3.5 years ago as a "roommate" situation when they brought her into their home, has dramatically evolved to where they are full time caregivers for this woman, and she is very demanding in my opinion. They don't necessarily feel that way, but they are acknowledging how this has become a tremendous burden. It's really more than they can handle. But that's easy for me suggest the actions they should take as I am not emotionally invested in their sister in law, but they are.

Sadly, there are times when situations like this grow from being a compassionate situation and evolve into an outright burden which is actually threatening their very well being. This is now where they are. When I suggested yesterday that she must be relocated to a facility with staffing who can handle her care, they replied "Well, she won't be happy." Frankly, her mental state is such that she doesn't know who they are 90% of the time nor where she is and it breaks my heart to see them on the verge of physical collapse due to exhaustion in caring for this woman.

I agreed that she might not be happy, but to be blunt, she will likely forget she isn't happy and they can return to a life together, without every action they take being directed around this woman's need for care or attention. They can't go out of the home together and haven't been able to now for several months. One always has to stay with her while the other runs out to quickly complete what needs to be done so they can get back to help the other. Their routine is 100% directed by their care for this woman. It's really sad to see.

I have been in the situation where they are and it's heart breaking to deal with, but it's not a sign of personal failure to acknowledge when you simply can't do it anymore. Frankly, the people who professionally work in the facilities and deal with those who are in this situation have my utmost respect. I simply don't have what it takes to repeat myself explaining the same details, every 90 seconds 15 hours a day. I am just not built that way.
 

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The interior cameras are AC powered and the exterior battery powered, all wireless, correct?

Also curious how you cycle from camera view to camera view on the APP? Are the camera's numbered or do you have them separated by Inside verses Outside? I haven't looked at the actual APP yet...............

Do the exterior cameras record based upon the motion sensor picking up activity?

Some of the reviews about the cameras seem to complain about a delay in the time from when the motion occurs to when the actual recording occurs. They seem to imply that by time the camera starts recording, the image has often moved out of view. Have you had any issues with this?

I am sure some of it is based upon camera placement because if the view is limited to items passing by the camera and someone can be out of the camera view or recording range in a second or a matter of a couple of steps, I can see some issues with this. Any system works better when the camera placement is well considered of all the variables.

Here is a YouTube video showing the Nest app at the 14 minute mark. There are quite a bunch of videos on YouTube regarding Nest. The camera records continually, so there is no delay at any time. As long as you subscribe to the Nest Aware function, you can view anything that happened during the subscription period which is 5 days, 10 days or 30 days. Otherwise, you can only view live activity, which may be all you need. I only subscribe to the 5 days ($50 yr), as anything I need to save, I just save the video of it before the 5 days ends. You can also view these on the computer if you feel you need to see it on a bigger screen, but the phone app is the easiest to scan. You can choose what you want notified of. In my case, I chose to only get a popup notification if it sees a person. However, when you look at the screen, you will see a visual notification of any kind of activity. All activity is actually there, but you will notice a white dot next to activities as a notification. So you can just scroll during a period of time looking for any actual activity. If you have any questions, I would be happy to help.

Dave

Nest Cam Outdoor Review, Installation and Software Walkthrough - YouTube
 

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Here is a night screen capture on my Nest camera from 2 years ago where a teenaged young lady got stuck about 1/4 mile from my place and was knocking on doors trying to find someone to help. This was at midnight and the temp was zero. She was 30 minutes from dying. She was not dressed warm enough, but you know how teenagers are. Fortunately I heard her at the door as I had just gone to bed. BTW there is an option for saving video segments, which I had done on this instance.

Dave

Edit::: I should mention that these are ac powered. No batteries.

You likely saved this young woman's life. I hope she learned some important lessons and doesn't repeat the mistakes which could have cost her dearly.............She was lucky you were home and were able to notice her and willing to help.

Sadly, there have been cases in our area where people have used their vehicle being broken down or such as a ruse to get into the home and victimize the residents. You just never know............I hate to have that measure of "skepticism" about others, but sadly, I do............

On the other hand, one of our new neighbors was leaving in their FWD Lexus this year during a blizzard in January. I stopped them in the neighborhood when I was in my cab out plowing and I told them they should avoid going out as the roads were very bad. She insisted she would make it and I watched her drive down the county road. She didn't make it 1/4 mile and I noticed all of the lights just "disappeared". Visibility was really poor, but I NEVER saw her lights again.

I went home and started thinking about it and decided to go back out and plow the county road with my tractor just to make sure she wasn't stranded.......Sure enough, I found her, vehicle off in the ditch, 3/4 buried into a snowdrift. I took pictures of the vehicle but it was snowing and blowing so hard, its difficult to tell anything from the pictures. It took a wrecker about 4 hours to respond. She could have easily been in very serious trouble..........By time the wrecker got out to the scene, the van was buried under a drift and the wrecker driver had to dig to find a place to hook on to pull the vehicle out.
 

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The interior cameras are AC powered and the exterior battery powered, all wireless, correct?
All of the cameras are battery powered. Each uses 2 AA batteries. The kits come with a "sync receiver" and that is the only thing that requires AC power.

Also curious how you cycle from camera view to camera view on the APP? Are the camera's numbered or do you have them separated by Inside verses Outside? I haven't looked at the actual APP yet...............
You assign each camera a name or number during the setup process. So I have cameras labeled as "Front Door", "Back Door", "Back Patio", "Driveway" etc... You can name them anything you want. As I recall you are limited to 30 characters.

Within the app, each camera shows up by name along with a still image from the camera. You just tap on the image and it will give you a live video feed. There is also a section where you can view any previously recorded video. Each clip is labeled with the camera name and the date/time. You get 2 weeks of free storage online with the purchase of any of their cameras. If you want to keep them longer you can either download them or pay a monthly fee for long-term online storage. (I'm not sure what that fee is. I don't use it.)

Do the exterior cameras record based upon the motion sensor picking up activity?
The only difference between their exterior and interior cameras is the case they are in. The exterior are designed to be exposed to the weather, interior cameras aren't. They are all motion activated.

Some of the reviews about the cameras seem to complain about a delay in the time from when the motion occurs to when the actual recording occurs. They seem to imply that by time the camera starts recording, the image has often moved out of view. Have you had any issues with this?
This is sort of a weird "How do you have your system configured?" thing. What you describe certainly can happen. But it is all dependent on how sensitive you have your cameras set. If something runs past a camera it won't trigger and start recording but a few seconds of movement will. You can adjust this in the camera settings.

There are pros/cons to playing with the sensitivity. If you set it to sensitive you get a notification every time the wind blows and a tree branch moves, every time a bird flies by or every time your cat walks through your living room. If you don't set it sensitive enough, the camera may not trigger until whatever was moving is already gone. It takes a bit of playing with it to figure out what sensitivity level works for each camera (they are individually adjustable!).

[quote[I am sure some of it is based upon camera placement because if the view is limited to items passing by the camera and someone can be out of the camera view or recording range in a second or a matter of a couple of steps, I can see some issues with this. Any system works better when the camera placement is well considered of all the variables.[/QUOTE]

Exactly. I had to move mine a few times to get them to work the way I wanted them to work. Mostly because I didn't think things out very well when I first set them up. I have a small deer trail in the far back yard. At first I setup a camera to record across the trail but the deer where usually gone by the time the camera triggered. I moved the camera to one end of the trail and pointed it down the trail. Now I get images every other day when they come through.

The other thing to be aware of, as I mentioned, each kit comes with a receiver. You can setup up to 10 cameras per receiver. I have all 8 of my cameras using one receiver so they all show up in the app as one "system". But I could have set them up as 2 systems (indoor and outdoor, for example).

If I had done that I could turn on the outdoor system and leave the indoor system off. That would be a good setup if I'm home but want the yard monitored over-night.

Because I have all of my cameras using one receiver, I have to turn on/off each camera individually. You have the versatility of turning on/off complete system or individual cameras. Both ways work, it's just a matter of how you want a given system to work for you and it takes some thinking about it before you set everything up.

There is a downside to the Blink system that people should be aware of though. It absolutely requires that you have WiFi. If your WiFi router goes off-line or loses power, you have nothing. You'll get an alert on your smartphone that the system is offline but that's it. So if your house is in an area hit by a major storm where you lose power and you want to check on things remotely, you'd be out of luck. This is one of the hazards of any WiFi-based system.
 

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The purpose is for friends of mine to be able to monitor the 97 year old sister in law, they are caring for. All of these cameras are strictly indoors and the reason why I suggested the ability to pan and move the camera is so they can follow her if necessary as she moves from one location in a room to another. They have large rooms which are connected. For example, their great room, kitchen and dining room combined are probably 1,000 sq feet. I am hoping to be able to position one or two cameras in the great room area and cover the entire area.

They also need to be able to see this woman in her bedroom and so they can hear her in the middle of the night. She had been getting up in the middle of the night and wandering the past couple of weeks. The bedrooms are located probably 100' or more apart at opposite ends of the house. Their home is all on one floor and sprawling. It's also an old home which has a lot of stone, brick and concrete in the exterior, which complicates wireless signals, even within the home.

They are not tech savy and it has to be kept very simple. The cameras which I originally bought had many good reviews and supposedly the cameras could be set up with the motion sensor to follow her as she moved about in her room, etc. The woman they care for is not only 97, but legally blind. She has also entered a stage recently (last two months) where her dementia is aggressively advancing. She now no longer knows the husband and often has to be reminded as to who the wife is and where she is being cared for. As of yesterday, her mobility is now an issue so it has complicated her care, but possibly simplified the camera needs. They think she may have had a series of strokes in the last two days.

I am really lobbying HARD for them to transfer this woman, who is their sister in law, to a facility as her care has gone from being relatively easy to troublesome to now, extremely difficult. What started over 3.5 years ago as a "roommate" situation when they brought her into their home, has dramatically evolved to where they are full time caregivers for this woman, and she is very demanding in my opinion. They don't necessarily feel that way, but they are acknowledging how this has become a tremendous burden. It's really more than they can handle. But that's easy for me suggest the actions they should take as I am not emotionally invested in their sister in law, but they are.

Sadly, there are times when situations like this grow from being a compassionate situation and evolve into an outright burden which is actually threatening their very well being. This is now where they are. When I suggested yesterday that she must be relocated to a facility with staffing who can handle her care, they replied "Well, she won't be happy." Frankly, her mental state is such that she doesn't know who they are 90% of the time nor where she is and it breaks my heart to see them on the verge of physical collapse due to exhaustion in caring for this woman.

I agreed that she might not be happy, but to be blunt, she will likely forget she isn't happy and they can return to a life together, without every action they take being directed around this woman's need for care or attention. They can't go out of the home together and haven't been able to now for several months. One always has to stay with her while the other runs out to quickly complete what needs to be done so they can get back to help the other. Their routine is 100% directed by their care for this woman. It's really sad to see.

I have been in the situation where they are and it's heart breaking to deal with, but it's not a sign of personal failure to acknowledge when you simply can't do it anymore. Frankly, the people who professionally work in the facilities and deal with those who are in this situation have my utmost respect. I simply don't have what it takes to repeat myself explaining the same details, every 90 seconds 15 hours a day. I am just not built that way.
Thanks for elaborating...

I can tell you that the Wyze cameras offer a good viewing angle overall. If you were to position them in a corner of a room that she couldn't actually get herself into (on top of furniture there, for example), you could likely do just fine without PTZ.

One of the new features they added is the ability to put cameras into groups and monitor all at the same time as a live feed. "Listen" audio is always available while "Speak" audio requires that you tap and hold the microphone. An interesting feature of these cameras is the ability to monitor for Smoke/CO detector alarms as well as trigger an event on 'hearing a noise' (not just seeing movement).

For video sensitivity (event monitoring) you can adjust the sensitivity and the monitored area. For audio monitoring, you can adjust the sensitivity.

One drawback to the free cloud services you get with the cameras is the fairly short duration of time that a recording is stored - would be worth it to add the SD Cards...
 

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I tried some experiments with technology to see how well they can handle dealing with multiple step apps, etc. I learned a few things VERY quickly....

1. Multiple step actions are very troublesome. In other words, switching from one camera to another to view them live literally needs to be an existing list of a few cameras and all cameras appear on the same list, like Camera 1, Camera 2, Camera 3, Camera 4. If they have to perform more than 3 steps to conduct a function, it becomes something which is unlikely to be handled easily or correctly.

2. All programming and adjustment features need to be either locked behind an administrator function or placed where they can't change them accidentally in the course of trying to use the function. It's actually backwards from what most would like. Let me give you an example, even something as simple as activating an APP on the IPhone by opening it ends up being an issue because they were sliding their finger on the app icon and it was moving it off the page onto another page. Of course, once the APP icon is moved, it may as well have disappeared as when it's not "where its supposed to be", it simply fails to exist.

Much of this is largely due to their fairly limited use of modern technology. Add into this their fatigue, not having reading glasses handy when needing to perform a function and that if the functions are not locked down, they will be changed in the course of attempting to use them, I decided on a very simple system.

The good news is the system is working for them, it's permitted them to return to sleeping in their bedroom and its preventing them from having to get up and go check on her all the time. They are very happy with this for their needs.

Also, I simply couldn't rely on their unfamiliarity of their WIFI system's basic functions. For example, they didn't know there was a WIFI password, a WIFI name nor where to locate either when needed. I showed and explained everything only to learn that someone changed both the name and password so it no longer matches the label on the WIFI router. I didn't have a new label to install on their router to simplify the process for them.

After extensive research and knowing the need for simplicity and ease of function, I implemented the use of this system. I am pleased to report its working, they can use the system and even called just earlier today to tell me how well it works and how helpful it is.

Infant Optics |

I got the DXR8 system with 4 cameras and while it was not cheap, it has filled their need. I installed the wide angle lens in two of the cameras and the image is very good. The zoom is very very simple, it's either 1x or 2x zoom.

They simply select the camera they want to see, and they can pan the camera and zoom in, plus hear everything. They can respond with a push to talk system which is on the controller.

The controller image can go to sleep at night so it's not a bright light next to their bed, yet they can hear the camera. They have to keep the camera volume turned down or her talking in her sleep and even movements are easily heard. The way I set the cameras up, they start in her bedroom and then down the hall, into the dining room and then the kitchen and great room. So, they can follow her if they need to.

The dedicated monitor works well because when I was trying to use their phones, they don't carry their phones with them at all times like many people do. In fact, they tend to leave them someplace and only respond to their phones when they ring.

I also ran into trouble with their IPhones and the short battery life, requiring their phones to be charged in when viewing the other apps I tried often. This dedicated monitor works very well and its NOT WIFI, its a broadcast network of its own, with coverage up to 700 feet.

I do plan to install exterior security cameras for them. But I want to get them used to this new system first, so maybe in a week or two.

This wasn't the lowest cost option as the 4 cameras and the monitor and extra wide angle lens brought the total to nearly $525, but cost was not the issue.

Are there lower cost solutions? Sure

Are their higher tech solutions? No question

Would this system be ideal for most? Only if you need to monitor one persons inside activities and well being and are not focused on trying to secure the premises.

But this system seems to fit their needs the very best when considering the full objectives.

While most of us like the ease of change and flexibility to make adjustments very easy, I found if the ability to change settings is too near the "operational surface" of the programs, the settings were getting changed in error far too often when they were trying to use them.

Thank you for everyone who responded and provided input. I plan to use some of the suggested systems for other uses including my own.

One other thing, should their WIFI go down, this system still works as each camera is plugged into a small back up power supply (primarily to prevent the camera from being damaged by any surges, etc.) and the monitor has a power supply which also provides the same benefits. While they don't lose power often, even if they did, this would still work and not require any WIFI or reliance on their router, etc.

I am impressed with the quality of the items and the manual. The company has 26,000 plus highly rated reviews.

One other important point, since this is a child monitoring system it does NOT have any recording capabilities. But that's not one of the highest priorities for their needs. I plan to address that need with the future security cameras.

Since the placement of these cameras are very different than where the security cameras will be placed, eventually having a system to record exterior movement, etc. will fall to the security cameras. I will jump that system hurdle once they have recovered from learning this system.......:laugh:
 

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Interesting find.

While you state that this is "not" WiFi, it probably actually is (sort of). Most monitor systems operate on 2.4GHz frequencies which can directly conflict with WiFi access points and many cordless phones. And, even though it doesn't talk about being true WiFi, the underlying operating principles are likely [almost] identical.

The reason I'm claiming this is really to help you to ensure that you're setting it all up in way that will operate optimally.

The only potential drawbacks that I see would be:

- It seems the monitoring station is stationary and not intended to be moved around. So, viewing / monitoring would only work in that one room. Sure, it could be moved around, but there's always the need to ensure it gets plugged in and allowed to boot up (or plugged in to recharge batteries in the base).

- Zero option for remote monitoring in any capacity.
 

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I've been running NEST cams for the past 2 years. I have 4 outdoor and 1 indoor. Easy to install. easy to use, app for computer and cell phone and tablet. Video retention packages are required for any keeping of video. $10/mon first cam, $5/mon for each additional. So I am at $25 per month for the 4 outdoor cams. I don't need to keep video on the indoor cam. It is just to keep an eye on the dogs. You can get 2 of the old style for $298, but the new version is like $598 a pair. I have the old style and I'm going to get 2 more soon. This is what the view on my computer looks like right now, I would scroll down to get the 5th cam.
Example.JPG
 
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