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With the greater technology available nowadays, IP camera has become more valuable in term of functionality and flexibility. TV-IP121WN is one of the Trendnet latest wireless N IP cameras which offers 4x greater coverage as compared with wireless G IP camera, infrared night vision up to 16 feet, motion detection via email/ftp/http alerts, one touch WPS, SecurView Pro software and etc.
TRENDnet is a global provider of award winning networking solutions to small and medium size business and home users. Building networking solutions since 1990, TRENDnet enables users to share broadband access, multimedia content and networked peripherals for true anywhere connectivity. TRENDnet's diverse product line includes Wireless, Fiber, Switch, Gigabit, Voice over Internet Protocol (VoIP), Keyboard/Video/Mouse (KVM), Internet Camera, Print Server, Powerline, Bluetooth, Storage Server, Power over Ethernet (PoE), and Multimedia Accessories.
Wi-Fi compliant with IEEE 802.11n standard
Backwards compatible with IEEE 802.11g, and IEEE 802.11b devices
One touch WPS connection button
Power and activity LED indicators (can be disabled)
Infrared lens enables night vision (up to 5 meters)
1x 10/100Mbps Fast Ethernet port
1 x detachable antenna
3x digital zoom
Dynamic DNS support
High quality MJPEG video recording
Support up to 640 x 480 pixels resolution at up to 30 frames per second
Images controls: Brightness, contrast, saturation and mirror (horizontally/vertical)
Supports TCP/IP networking, SMTP Email*, HTTP and other Internet protocols
Record streaming video to your computer
Supports 64/128-bit WEP and WPA/WPA2-PSK wireless encryption
Two adjustable motion detection windows with just-in-time snapshot, triggered video recording, and email alerts
Included mounting hardware
Quick Universal Plug and Play (UPnP) installation
Complimentary SecurView Pro software: manage up of up to 32 cameras **
3-year limited warranty
Package & Contents
Trendnet TV-IP121WN comes with a standard packaging which is similar with other networking products. Plenty information are available on the packaging including the complete specifications. Three years warranty are given which is fairly reasonable.
Here is Trendnet TV-IP121WN's internal packaging where everything is packed nicely and neatly. Bundled accessories besides the Trendnet TV-IP121WN IP camera are Internet cable, user manual, driver & software CD, AC-DC adapter and mounting kits.
The provided mounting kit for Trendnet TV-IP121WN is a pretty useful kit and the details will be shown in next chapter. IP Camera is a pretty complicated device hence another complete user manual is provided in softcopy besides the hardcopy with brief information.
A Closer Look on TRENDnet TV-IP121WN
IP camera has become much more common nowadays compare with previous years due to its availability and affordability. Hence IP camera does not only used by corporate but also being used by normal citizens for either home security or other usage such as baby monitoring.
Trendnet is a world-class networking vendor and they have plenty of networking devices including Internet IP cameras. They have two series of IP cameras; ProView (entry series) and SecurView (professional series); TV-IP121WN is one of the latest Trendnet SecurView IP cameras.
Trendnet TV-IP121WN comes with standard IP camera size and weight; 70 x 100 x 57 mm and 155g for the camera or 290g including the mounting kit. Unlike other IP camera, Trendnet TV-IP121WN has a pretty eye-catching enclosure which is painted in white instead of ordinary colors like black.
Trendnet TV-IP121WN is equipped with a 1/4" color CMOS sensor with up to 640 x 480 pixels resolution at 30fps. One of the cool features of Trendnet TV-IP121WN is its night vision ability with Infrared bulbs which makes it able to function during low night condition too; up to 5 meters.
In term of Trendnet TV-IP121WN's I/Os, there are ports for antenna, mounting kit, power jack, Ethernet LAN, mic, WPS and reset button. Most of the I/Os are pretty standard but one touch Wi-Fi Protected Setup (WPS) is something unique which helps to simplify the connection pairing.
IP camera could be either connected via Ethernet cable or Wi-Fi for data transmitting and of course wireless is a much preferable choice due to its simpler setup. Trendnet TV-IP121WN is equipped with Wi-Fi IEEE 802.11n which has 4x greater coverage than a wireless G IP camera.
Motion detection and one-way audio are some other Trendnet TV-IP121WN's useful features where the motion detection could be used for alert triggering via http/email/ftp while one-way audio allows audio transmitting besides the video; 2-way audio is supported with optional speaker.
Here are the I/O details of Trendnet TV-IP121WN.
A good mounting kit is not only able to simplify the installation setup but also giving flexibility to the IP camera to capture better viewing from different angles. The given stand for Trendnet TV-IP121WN is able to be mounted on the ceiling, wall or to be placed on a stationary surface .
Software for CCTV surveillance monitoring is important as well for IP camera as it simplifies the management especially if more than an IP camera are setup. SecurView Pro is a compliment software for Trendnet TV-IP121WN which can be used to manage up to 32 IP cameras.
Besides the SecurView for the PC version, SecurView Mobile is also available for iPhone and Android phones which is absolutely free. SecurView Mobile is an enhancement for IP camera and it is ideal for remote surveillance monitoring; effortlessly and 24/7 surveillance is no longer a dream.
Installation, Testing & Performance
IP camera setup is slightly more complicated than other hardware due to its ability. It is advisable to connect the Trendnet TV-IP121WN to the router via LAN port instead of the Wi-Fi for the first time setup, as the IP camera has to be configured and paired between them.
IP address of the Trendnet TV-IP121WN could be identified via the router's configuration page or via IP setup. Double click on the detectable IP address will allow user to change the IP address manually. Both of the default administrator ID and password are "admin".
Trendnet TV-IP121WN could be accessed by any web browser by typing its IP address (exp: http://192.168.1.100) but if specific port has been defined for Trendnet TV-IP121WN then it must be included in the IP address as well (exp: http://192.168.1.100:80).
Basic web browser configurations of Trendnet TV-IP121WN are digital zoom (1x, 2x or 3x), night mode, live view, setup, manual record, snapshot, browse and listen. Click on the setup button will further break down the configurations into detail setup; mainly for administrator.
Here is the advanced setup of Trendnet TV-IP121WN via web configuration. Basic camera name and location could be added which is definitely useful if you are having couple of similar IP cameras at different locations. Indication LED and IR LED could be set to auto or off.
Smart wizard is a good startup kit for newbie as it guides the user how to setup the Trendnet TV-IP121WN step by step effortlessly. Five basic but important steps are included such as camera settings, IP settings, Email settings, wireless networking and final confirmation.
There are total three user accounts can be configured for Trendnet TV-IP121WN; administrator, general user and guest. These three user accounts have different accessibilities which is important to ensure general user and guest do not able to access the advanced web configuration.
Here is the networking configuration page which consists of IP settings, DDNS settings, uPnP and port number. If other port is used instead of the default port "80" then the port has to be added at the end of the IP address in order to access the IP camera; different device should have different port.
For connecting Trendnet TV-IP121WN with the router via WI-Fi then this is the page that has to be pre-configured for the first time. Site survey will display all the available wireless networks and appropriated authentication method has to be selected; WPA-PSK, WPS2-PSK.
Image quality settings can be configured at this section such as brightness, contrast, saturation, mirror, light frequency and etc. Besides that video quality can be configured as well including video resolution, video quality and frame rate; faster network is required for better quality.
Event server setting is important for IP camera and Trendnet TV-IP121WN supports three type of motion alert triggering; via http, ftp and email. Email is the most common method for motion triggering and here is the example on how to setup the motion alert setting via email.
Trendnet TV-IP121WN is equipped with two levels of sensitivities for its motion alert triggering. Detecting area and coverage can be configured by moving the mouse cursor; playing around the sensitivity and threshold will fine tune the motion alert triggering; minimizing false alarm.
After the sensitivity and threshold have been configured then the motion alert triggering method must be activated in order to send out the alert with the pre-selected channel; either via HTTP, email or FTP. Besides the motion alert triggering, schedule alert triggering is supported as well.
Factory reset, system reboot, configuration backup and firmware upgrading can be done via this section. These are standard features of networking devices but pretty useful. Stay with the latest firmware is important to enhance the device's performance or solving its bugs.
In term of installation and setup, basically we did not encounter any problem as we have the experience to setup a similar IP camera before for the CCTV surveillance. Furthermore the way to setup Trendnet TV-IP121WN has no different with other vendors' IP cameras; more or less the steps are still the same. Once the IP camera mounting and first time configurations are done then Trendnet TV-IP121WN is ready for service. Trendnet TV-IP121WN's mounting kit offers great flexibility as it can be mounted in any direction to have better viewing from different angles. Some of the common soft configurations are Wi-Fi establishment/pairing with the router, motion alert triggering, port forwarding for surveillance monitoring outside the intranet and etc.
Trendnet TV-IP121WN's viewing on Internet browser is very straight forward; just type in the local IP address or the external IP address in the address bar. However it is good to use Internal Explorer 6 and above as there are some compatible issues with other Internet browsers like Google Chrome. The quality of the image and video are pretty sufficient for moderate surveillance but we are looking forward to see greater frame per second, resolution and higher mega-pixel of the IP camera so that more details image and video could be captured. Infrared viewing or night vision function of Trendnet TV-IP121WN performs pretty well as well; although it couldn't display the motion clearly but it is still able to perform as what an Infrared IP camera does.
Mobile viewing on Trendnet TV-IP121WN is as simple as viewing on PC's Internet browser but we have encountered a compatible issue with iPhone's safari as iPhone does not support Java/Flash so no image/video will be displayed. However this could be solved by installing the Trendnet iPhone application (SecurView) which is free and can be downloaded at Apple Store. Other than that we did not encounter or foresee any other compatible issue. FYI SecurView is only compatible with Trendnet IP cameras and it is able to control those IP cameras with movable len. Anyway SecurView does have some room for improvement like viewing it in horizontal display, digital zooming and so on.
We are not going to discuss those standard features of an IP camera but motion alert is something that we would like to address here as it is a very useful feature. Basically user can configure the motion alert coverage area on the captured area and two coverage areas are supported which can be set with different sensitivities and threshold levels. In term of the motion alert's performance of the Trendnet TV-IP121WN, it is doing a great job for moderate surveillance usage although some other IP cameras do offer 3 coverage areas and audio alert triggering is supported. Thanks to the historical graph where it guides the user on what sensitivity and threshold levels should be configured or else trial & error method is the only option; it is always good to start with high sensitivity and low threshold.
The purpose of IP camera is for surveillance and remote surveillance is also as important as onsite surveillance. Hence we have done the port forwarding on Trendnet TV-IP121WN via the router so that the IP camera can be accessed externally; outside the intranet. The default port is 80 but you may change it to other port like 8080 or other for security reason. The port forwarding setup for Trendnet TV-IP121WN is pretty simple where it could be done within a minute; the configuration has to be done at router's setup page. We have no problem to access the Trendnet TV-IP121WN from external network and the image quality is as good as onsite surveillance except the fps since the surveillance is done via external network. Anyway it should be good enough for mainstream surveillance where fps is not the top priority like casino, factory, jewellery shop and etc.
If you are looking for a mid-range IP camera or still not sure should you go for analog camera or IP camera then you should spend some time to get similar with Trendnet TV-IP121WN. Trendnet TV-IP121WN is a wireless N IP camera which gives 4x greater coverage and other great features are infrared night vision surveillance, motion alert triggering via http/ftp/email and so on. Trendnet TV-IP121WN costs about 165USD which is not as cheap as analog camera but it is definitely worth to invest on it especially for light and moderate usage because it is so simple to be setup and comes with greater of flexibility as long as you have some basic networking knowledge. Furthermore 24/7 & remote surveillance are no longer a problem with Trendnet TV-IP121WN with the SecurView Mobile app; workable with iPhone or Android phones.
+ Wireless N IP camera
+ Infrared for night vision surveillance
+ Great flexibility mounting kit
+ Easy setup & configuration
+ Motion alert triggering via http/email/ftp
+ Compliment PC & mobile phone apps
+ 3 year warranty
- Looking forward for greater resolution
- No working with iPhone safari
- No audio alert triggering
Thanks to TRENDnet for providing this sample for us to review.
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