Rated 4.1 out of 5 by 7
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by schlafe Easy installation, remotely accessible, and very good image quality
The Q-SEE Premium Series 8-Channel 2CIF Video Surveillance System is capable of providing multiple views on a local display as well as remote viewing on a tablet, smartphone, and/or computer. Installation is straight forward. Each camera has 3 screw holes for mounting. Installation takes some time as each camera does require a cable run back to the DVR. Try to choose a central location for your DVR that will be easily accessible when running the cables to/from the cameras. 100' cables are included for all 8 cameras to provide both video and power (see image attachment). You will need 3 power outlets for this particular system (one for the DVR and 2 additional outlets for the cameras). Each 4 camera set is powered by one AC power brick that has a fan out to 4 power cable adapters (see photo). The kit comes with everything you need - the DVR kit includes a network cable, HDMI cable, and a mouse. I recommend installing the DVR first, attaching it to a TV via HDMI and configuring the network connection and remote viewing prior to installing cameras. Once remote viewing is configured you will be able to position your cameras while watching the live video feed on your table/phone device. No need to have an additional person watching the TV/display or running inside and outside again to make adjustments. Note that the HDMI output to a television provides a better image than the VGA cable. The image quality in daylight is superb and the night vision images are much better than I had expected. The 2x zoom is also a plus. The USB backup is a great feature allowing you to easily pull content off of the internal hard drive.
February 3, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by Mark Home Surveillance made easy
First off, this surveillance package comes with 8 perfectly sized cameras, which is more than plenty for most homes. installation is very simple, after routing the wiring from the DVR to each camera that is, wish they were wireless. Not a huge deal, as it was still easy to install each camera, they can be placed inside or outside. Wish the connections came with covers for the outside camera's, as the bright connection end colors scream unplug me. The connections being very close to the camera it can be hard to hide away, I wrapped them with electrical tape in that situation. Each camera comes with a snap on sunshade to help with sun glare. The only issue I have had with the cameras is if placing on the inside looking through a window. Works great in the daytime but the the night vision picks up the glass rendering the camera useless.
With the 8 cameras I can view everywhere in my home either on the monitor, or on my iPhone. The mobile app is great for remote viewing and playback. The picture quality is perfect for home use and provides excellent views, night (night vision 100') or day. There is no audio with this system, but its not really needed. I do wish I could easily hook into my home coaxial and be able to view on any tv in the house, although. Has 1 VGA output as well as 1 HDMI.
The software loaded on the DVR can be tricky at first to navigate, as it only comes with a mouse. Using the mouse on the pop key board can be a drag, but isn't horrible. There are far to many options to meet anyones needs, very customizable. From motion detection recording to 24/7 recording, having alerts of movement sent, it is a complete package.
Overall this is a great Surveillance package for anyone wanting to secure their home.
February 1, 2014
Rated 2.0 out of 5.0 by mixmox OK hardware, but software almost useless
The hardware 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, but installation and deployment revealed numerous problems…
1. The system is advertised as an 8 camera 2-CIF (704x240) system .Attempts to configure the cameras to use these setting using the supplied software simply fails (only one camera can be set up properly). You can only configure the cameras properly by connecting a monitor and mouse to the DVR directly and doing the configuration directly (confirmed by QSEE tech support).
2. The supplied software which is used to configure the system, view videos, capture frames, etc. is absolutely awful. It is poorly designed, very buggy and terribly translated from Chinese to English.. Examples:
2a. Password management is confusing and highly suspicious. The desktop software lets one create users and set passwords - sometimes this is for the desktop software and sometimes it is for the DVR system itself. Even worse, the system has a user called ‘default’ that one cannot delete and one cannot change its password. This essentially means that there is a backdoor to every system with user/password default/666666. Using the desktop software I was also not able to remove the rights of ‘default’ (view everything). Using the mouse connected to the DVR, I was able to set their rights to ‘none’. I would not be at all surprised that there are other hidden accounts.
2b. There is a setting to have the system reboot itself periodically (a sure sign that the DVR firmware is so unstable that the development team don’t trust it themselves).
2c. The ability to view or configure the system via a web browsers required plugins to be installed. Firefox 24 said a plugin was needed but does not offer to install the plugin or tell me the name of what is needed. Chrome said that QuickTime was required and offered to install it which I did. You have to restart Chrome to get the Quicktime player to work and then it found the one that was installed was out of date and suggested an update which in turn needed a reboot and then it worked. The Chrome browser version offers no playback functionality, only real-time viewing (misnamed as ‘preview’!) but the Internet Explorer version does.
The Android device software fails to work at all. QSEE tech support suggested to use another Android app called dDMSS lite - which is clearly based on the same code but actually works.
2d. Error messages and prompts have been poorly translated into English. “Log out firstly”, “no find! CH03” etc there are even truncation problems where there is insufficient room for the English translation (from Chinese) so you get tabs called things like “udio Video strea”. Buttons and values in pull down menus use obtuse programmer type words like “ REC_TYPE_MTD” and “DevParamCfg”. Not only is this very amateurish software but it is pretty clear that English speaking people have not done any translation quality checking. The translation ‘packet’ is used instead of ‘package’ so we see “loading packet” and similar awful examples throughout.
2h. Settings, such as playback speed, have to be set every time one plays back a video even in the same session!
2i. The so called SmartPSS software utterly fails to configure the cameras with respect to resolution and framerate. I regard that as one of the fundamental and primary functions of the software. Tech support suggested not using it and setting the cameras directly on the DVR unit with an attached monitor. Indeed, that did allow the cameras to be set up.
2j. Saved snapshots are claimed to be placed in a certain folder which does not exist. Instead find then in: C:\Users\yourname\AppData\Local\VirtualStore\Program Files (x86)\Smart Professional Surveillance System\SmartPSS\Capture
2k. Video or snapshots that you capture are not saved in any standard format. In order to convert the files to something that people can actually use you have to install additional software (Dahua Smart player) and convert to AVI files. This software is of the same puking quality and an absolute pain to use. I am pretty certain that high school students could design a better UI and workflow.
3. Tech support was very helpful in trying to get the software to work on my plain vanilla Dell Windows 8.1 machine. I needed to update the nvidia drivers to get things to work. They were also able to tell me to configure the cameras directly from the DVR etc.
4. 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. The cables and power supplies are identical to those that come with Defender equipment.
Most of the PDF manual describes how to drive the UI instead of explaining what the settings do. It simply repeats the gibberish that one finds in the software, for example it says:
Please refer to the following sheet for detailed information
Network Function: It is for you to set network function. It includes: “WAN”, “10M”,’100M’,”1000M”.
In other words the manual does not tell you what “network function” or what the options might be used for.
Awful English abounds in the manual as well, for example: “You can memory your password, so that when you can log in the next time, you do not need to input user name and password”
The text of the PDF does not always match the items it is describing, for example, the PDF refers to a ‘Cancel’ button but the screen capture of the software (on the same page) shows an ‘Exit’ button. This illustrates the extremely unprofessional quality of the software.
The system provides an HDMI cable for connecting the DVR to a modern display. Good.
7 Free DDNS
QSEE provides a free DDNS service that allows one to define a subdomain at my-qsee.com allowing better remote access to your installation. Good.
If you are prepared to do all the set up and configuration via the DVR itself then this product may be viable. If you place any value in the software user experience, take care when selecting a security camera system, the same software house (Zhejiang Dahua Technology Co., Ltd) also supplies almost identical and awful software for at least one of the competitors (Defender). The cables and power supplies of the QSEE 308 are also clearly from the same supplier as the Defender equipment.
I have been using computer software for 36 years. I have seen some terrible things in that time but I have to say that the nonsense coming from Dahua is easily the worst I have seen. It would be laughable if it were not being sold as part of actual products.
Tech support: good
Modern items: good (HDMI, mobile support, DDNS)
February 10, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by DIYguy Good for a first timer in security cameras
About average tech savy and we were able to get this running and set up pretty easily. When you first unpack it, set up everything laying on the floor. It is easier to set up the menus and cameras with them right in front of you instead of trying after you have snaked the cables and hung up the cameras.
Once you are comfortable with the system, place the cameras and run your cables.
The 100' night vision is pretty optimistic. Real life view is about 40-50' with a camera 10' from the ground.
Being able to check the cameras on-line using the QSEE hosted website is nice, but the image quality is reduced compared to reading directly from the hard drive. Works great to see when a delivery has been left on the porch while I am at work.
I'll be ordering another to set up on my parent's house. Waiting for it to go on sale!
July 15, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Shengjun Good value for the quality and features
I have been using a Dropcam in my baby's room before I got this system. I would say the two systems have comparable picture quality. Both are easy to set up. Both offer remote access. Consider this system come with eight cameras and covers the whole houseI wish I didn't spend $150 on only ONE Dropcam.
February 12, 2014
Rated 5.0 out of 5.0 by Bob1017 very rich in features
This is my third system and by far the best. Features that are found in pro series systems at a reasonable price. The hard drive is upgradeable to a massive 3TB. Backup to a USB drive. You can remotely see your camera's via a smartphone it computer.
January 21, 2014
Rated 4.0 out of 5.0 by JamesC NICE BASIC SYSTEM. GOOD FEATURES AND PICTURE QUALITY, BUT HYPER-SENSITIVE MOTION DETECTION.
I live in a community with little crime, so I never thought my home would be a target for thieves, but a few years ago – in broad daylight - my home was broken into and burglarized. The experience was eye opening and made me think seriously about home security and steps I could take to make my home more secure and less desirable for thieves. There were no witnesses to the break-in and, at the time, I didn’t have cameras installed, so the identity of the thieves remains unknown. I’ve since made changes to make unwanted entry into my home virtually impossible, including subscription to an alarm monitoring company, and now installation of this Q-See surveillance system. I ran the DVR and cameras back to a 19-inch LCD color TV/monitor I purchased a few years ago, but never really had a use for, until now. I’m somewhat savvy when it comes to electronics, and am no stranger to DIY projects, but having no prior experience with this sort of equipment, I was a bit intimidated by the Q-See surveillance system, thinking it would be complicated to install and to use, but it wasn’t, until it came to accessing the menus for the first time. I had trouble navigating through the menus, but eventually figured it out after reading and following the instructions, which are well-detailed, but I would not go so far as to say they are easily understood by someone with no prior knowledge or experience with this sort of equipment. Once you install one camera, the process is the same for every other camera. Each camera includes 60-feet of shielded cable. With some planning, I was able to run cables (mostly in the attic space) and place cameras in locations I thought would be the most effective deterrent. This system provides 8 cameras, operating on 8-channels, which is the maximum this system will handle. The DVR is relatively compact; equal in size to that of a large cereal box, so it doesn’t take up much space on a desk or in an A/V cabinet. A remote control and optical mouse are included for accessing the Q-See’s on-screen menus. Although you can zoom the cameras up to 2X while viewing live or during playback, which is a nice feature, the cameras are fixed and don’t have the ability to tilt or pan, so you need to install more cameras in order to capture all of the angles. For that reason, if your goal is to cover a property with multiple entries and access points, I recommend this 8-camera set up, or a kit with more than 8 cameras. The clarity and quality of the un-zoomed images on my 19-inch flat panel LCD TV/monitor connected via HDMI to the DVR is very good and ‘live’ feed is the same quality as recorded. There are also settings for QVGA and VGA. With a few mouse clicks, I can switch back and forth between TV programming and the surveillance footage. You can also access the menu through controls on the DVR. I personally don’t like seeing exposed wires, so my installation is in-wall. Installation is not difficult, and there is no shortage of detailed instructional materials included with the Q-See surveillance system, but installation does take time, so plan to spend a number of hours determining the location of the cameras and the better part of a weekend reading and performing installation, especially if you plan to run cables inside of walls, as I did, which significantly increases the burden hours for installation. Since the provided cables are shielded, they can be run inside the same wall cavity as electrical wiring, which makes planning the cable route from camera to DVR a bit easier. A con that I have is with the menus setup, which wasn’t necessarily user-friendly or intuitive, with a number of folders, which made finding anything difficult, especially at first. After some time, I started to understand the menu setup but still think this could be improved upon. Another con is that I filled half the DVR’s 1 terabyte hard drive in about 1-week having captured mostly empty rooms on video. The DVR is set to record on motion only, but seems to be recording even when there’s no activity. I haven’t had a chance to fiddle with this to determine the cause, but my guess is that the default sensitivity of the motion detection is probably too high and will need to be set lower, if possible. In short, this Q-See surveillance system comes to you complete with everything needed for installation of up to 8 cameras in the box. This system performs well, with a video output and features that rivals that of commercial systems costing thousands of dollars. Images are clear and not distorted, even those taken in total darkness. Overall, I’m very satisfied with the performance of this Q-See surveillance system. While there can be no guarantee against a break-in, if anything should happen on my property while I’m not at home, Q-See will be there to capture it.
February 6, 2014