8 Channel Home Security Camera System
The Vimage (VMNV8POE) is a very small and compact Network Video Recorder. This 8 Channel NVR takes a very different approach to its case design. Unlike most NVRs on the market this NVR has no physical buttons on the front. There is no way to manipulate the NVR menu or functions with physical buttons. You fully control the NVR using the included mouse. You also have the option of programming the NVR via a PC by entering the NVR menu via a web browser. The lack of buttons should not concern you and I for one, love this approach. The design resembles that of my old Mac Time machine, all white, rounded corners and all the connections are found on the back of the device. The product has a solid build and does not feel cheap when holding it. The compact size should allow most consumers to install the NVR in a media center cabinet or even expose the NVR on a small table.The back of the NVR comes with a VGA and HDMI port for live viewing of the cameras. You will probably need to extend the length of your VGA or HDMI cable if you need the monitor to go into another room but there are a lot of extenders on the market that you can use for this. The NVR also offers two USB ports. One on the front and one on the back. I used the USB on the front exclusively for the mouse but you can use either USB for mouse control. The USB also acts as a backup source for video. If you ever need to back up an incident you simply use a USB storage drive to backup your incident directly to your drive. You will also find a Gigabit network port to connect your NVR to a network located right next to the HDMI port. One nice feature about this NVR is the 4 port POE switch built in. This allows you to connect up to four network IP cameras directly to the back of the NVR. The network cable will power the cameras and transmit video at the same time. This makes installation for consumers very easy. In my experience, connecting and viewing the cameras was extremely easy. The NVRrecognized the cameras as soon as I plugged them into the NVR and began showing me an image. The one drawback to this NVR is that any additional cameras above 4 cameras will need to be plugged in separately to another POE switch or powered separately before going to another switch. This in itself is not hard, but for most consumers it can be a little difficult. If you simply want a 4 camera IP camera system this little system is ideal. The NVR supports one Hard Drive up to 4TB in size. All though I would much prefer to have additional storage capacity I understand that design itself was developed to be compact and therefore limited in its capacity. A majority of NVRs on the market simply support 2TB hard drives so having 4TB capability makes a big difference. Recording 4 IP Cameras at 2 Megapixel, 15fps a second, 24hrs a day at the highest quality will give you about 12 days of recording. Pretty impressive for such a small product. The recording options offered on this NVR are listed below.
|Display Resolutions:||Maximum Frames:||Display Output Options:|
|1920×1080||120fps at 1080P||(1) VGA|
|1280×1024||240fps at 720P||(1) HDMI|
|1280×720||480fps at D1|
I found the NVR menu to be quite simple and easy to navigate. Consumers may have a little trouble with terminology and there may be a small learning curve, but all in all, the system did not prove difficult to navigate. The NVR does provide a nice IP search function that essentially finds IP cameras on the network for you. You simply pick the cameras you want to add to the system and the NVR pretty much does the rest. I was able to find and add several ONVIF cameras on my network and the NVR had no issues connecting with them. You do have the option of manually adding cameras by entering the IP address for the camera.
Live remote video worked well over my iPad, iPhone and Android devices. On my windows PC I was able to view the cameras over Internet Explorer and the speed and quality was very good both on the local network and over the WAN. I did have difficulty viewing the NVR when using Chrome or Safari on my Mac. I installed a dedicated application designed for this system and I was able to view the cameras perfectly. The mobile applications, PC browsers and dedicated apps all allowed me to enter the NVR menu and also perform playback.
This little NVR really is the near perfect. You get all the bells and whistles found on typical NVRs compressed into a small package. Considering that a majority of the NVRs on the market are typically 17″ wide and look more like an old school VCR, it’s refreshing to see a different take on the design. There are several NVRs on the market that do come in smaller cases but few that look this nice. The obvious drawbacks are the limited hard drive space and a limited 4 port POE. We must consider though, that most NVRs do not come with a POE switch integrated anyway and must be purchased separately so considering that it only has 4 POE as a drawback really is not fair. The fact that it does support 8 cameras does however make it a little awkward because you only have 4 POE ports available. I would recommend this NVR for anyone seeking a 4 channel IP camera system that needs little to no effort or setup. If you need 8 cameras just keep in mind that there will be additional costs to just adding the 4 additional cameras. There is also a model that comes without the 4 port POE. The product links are below.