Rated 4.2 out of 5 by 43
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by mixmox fair hardware but the software is terrible! You only get 240 line images!
This system seems to be solidly built. The cameras have metal housings, and everything plugs together without problems. The infra-red lights on each camera are great for filming at night.
Installation and deployment revealed numerous problems however...
1. The hi-res cameras are capable of 600 lines. The DVR unit however forces them to operate in 240 line mode and the firmware does not allow one to select a higher resolution! All the resultant images and video are thus limited to 352x240 pixels. Tech support said they do this on the 16 channel models to reduce memory demands. Well, I am only recording video when there is motion detected, so why not let the customer decide if they want to use the capability of the cameras? I am forced to use low resolution for every camera. Why tout the hi-res capability of the cameras if we can never use that capability?
2. The software used to configure the system, view videos, capture frames is absolutely awful. It is poorly designed and buggy. Examples:
2a. in the playback screen one can zoom the timeline to get better granularity, but there is no ability to scroll the timeline horizontally, so if you are interested in seeing a video later in the day you can only see it on the timeline if zoomed out.
2b. There is a setting to have the system roboot itself periodically (a sure sign that the DVR firmware is unstable) and every time it does, it sends an alert email stating that the cameras (which have never been connected) are missing.
2c. The ability to view or configure the system via a web browser is limited to Internet Explorer only. Firefox and Chrome do not work. The ActiveX plug-in needed is not signed. The software to configure the system is Windows only. Third party smartphone software is available to view the cameras
2d. Error messages and prompts have been poorly translated into English. “Log out firstly”, “no find! CH03” etc.
2e. Setting up additional users failed.
2f. The .avi videos that the DVR produced would not play on my Windows system. To get usable videos, I have to export in .264 format and use the supplied ‘avi generator’ to convert each file to .avi format.
2g. The computer software does not have any help text whatsoever. The ‘help’ menu item just tells us the version number. The PDF manual describes how to drive the UI instead of explaining what the settings do.
2h. Settings, such as playback speed, have to be set every time one plays back a video even in the same session!
2i. In the standalone software, the area for configuring the DVR is NOT under the ‘Config’ tab but rather under a right click menu of the device!
2j. Pop up screens do not get dismissed as one expects in a GUI. E.g. ‘Save’ does not also close the dialog.
3. The CD that comes with the system is a mini CD. This cannot be read by vertical drives and my laptop machine also could not read it. I found a server on my network with a horizontal CD drive and copied it over the network to install the software.
4. Tech support was not familiar with this new model and had no idea what the E-Map feature of the software was for at all. They did not offer to find out either.
5. The cameras have a cable with two plugs which plug into the 65’ cables that provide power and take the video signal back to the DVR. These plugs make fishing the cables through walls etc way more difficult than needed. If the length of the two leads were made slightly different in length, then the plugs would not be next to each other and would then be able to fit through a much smaller hole.
6. When the cameras switch between color and b/w infra-red mode they make an audible click which can draw attention to the camera.
7. The manual says to make sure the DVR is secured but there is no loop on the unit that one could use to lock it, not even a laptop style security hole that would allow a laptop lock to secure the DVR to something.
8. The screws supplied to mount each camera are too small. Use exterior decking screws instead.
Overall, the low resolution and crummy crummy software is very disappointing.
December 24, 2012
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Katie6771 Works great!
I bought this a couple of months ago and have enjoyed the benefits greatly. I started with the original 8 cameras and have since added a few inside as well. I now know that my pup sleeps the day away. The quality is good and the only downside is it was a bit tricky to upload footage.
August 28, 2015
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by jdourth So far, so good!
I bought this less than a month ago. I thought it was very easy to install and easier to use. I wish the resolution was a little higher, but its definitely worth what I paid.
August 22, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Rbradley74 great system ! this is the best !
I got this system 7 months ago and how nice. Picture is so clear and great night vison also. Very easy to install and I'm just so happy with it. i have installed 5 of these for my friends also and tell people to only buy defender. This model is so good because having 8 camera's now and can add up to 8 more if needed. Every home is not the same so you can add camera's to cover all areas. the price is so fair for all you get. Just so happy with defender and this system.
August 5, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by gbd2 Great Service:
I had an older 8 channel dvr with 4 camera. It was nice and did the job. I added 4 more camera. I saw a friend of my who had the 16 channel system an the new iPhone alp for viewing: so I upgraded to a 16 channel system with a 2 TB hard drive and 8 camers. I can now review the camera recording from the phone.
I had a problem and called Defender I got hold of Michel and explained the problem I was having. He had the problem resolved in about 10 min time. In the future If I have any problem I will ask for him, because it was like he was sitting next to me when he told me what to do.
July 6, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Austin Easy to install
I purchased the product a little over a week ago and it was super easy to install. No problems with anything. Great Product!
August 13, 2015
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by The Kid Good picture and easy to set up
I bought this system about a month ago to replace an older system. It was easy to mount cameras and set up dvr. The night view is clear enough to identify anyone from at least 100 feet away. I love this system and would recommend anyone to purchase if they need a good system at a good price.
July 27, 2015
Rated 1.0 out of 5.0 by JeffD not recomended
Worked ok the first 6 months and then started having HD problems, and just over the one year mark the HD in system failed and support will not replace. Took unit to a local repair shop the HD installed in the unit is a standard computer HD and not really made for a security system, then spoke with the hd manufacture that sell this hd an found it is made more for the personal pc they also sell a HD made for security systems that will handle the recording demands which costs only $10 more.
You would think for $600 they could spend the extra $10 and provide what the customer expects
July 16, 2014