Set up was very fast. They included a step by step instruction guild and with very little trouble I was viewing my new SpotCam right away. I must tell you that there was a small bit of trouble on my end and since I did have a bit of trouble I want to share it with you. First, make sure that the computer you use to do the quick set up on is a Wi-Fi enabled computer and not a hard wired PC. My desktop is wired and the setup software does not work from a hard wired Ethernet computer. The main reason is that while setting the software up which is only for the Cam and not the computer, the software asks you to switch to the Wi-Fi signal coming from the SpotCam and the program then sends log in information to the cam for it to use. Once I figured that out, it worked fast, taking less than 10 minutes to finish.
Video Unboxing and Review
I logged into the website and right away there was a firmware update. It installed with no interaction on my part, and very quickly I was ready to view my new Spotcam on-line. The interface on the website is very self-explanatory. Not much need to go into details here. The only part that I should point out is that you may want to take a good peek at the settings, and the tabs available there. There are extra features you can make changes to from this tab, and they auto change the camera functions.
I contacted customer service, due to what I perceived to be a quality problem with my camera. You see, the box and the web site said it was 720p and what I was seeing was not even close. I am embarrassed to say that I forgot to remove the small piece of plastic covering the lens to protect it during shipping. Once I fixed my mistake, wow, the can produced a crystal clear image that was more that I had expected.
Included in your SpotCam purchase the device stores, for free, 24 hours’ worth of video on the company’s cloud server. This means you do not have to take up valuable hard drive space with hours upon hours of video backups. The way the system works is that once the first 24 hours of video is stored, the older parts start rolling off the server so if something happened and you need a backup, you can download the video and review it, save it, or toss it. And should your computer be stolen in an invasion, no problems, well aside for the loss of the computer, the video of the thief’s activities is still on the cloud server.
The program allows for several means of viewing. You can sit at your own PC and view every moment of the day, or if you are away from home, you can use an Android or Apple device to remotely view what is going on while you are away. I have the ability to test the Android app and it is nice but has a small problem which the company is well aware of, and that is that the talk function does not always work correctly.
Now that I have mentioned the talk function, let me take a few moments to explain it before I continue. If you are monitoring your home or business from a remote location and you see someone in the room that should not be there, you can speak to them and tell them to leave now, the police are on the way, or say hey, it might prove funny to see their reactions if nothing else, as they will probably look straight in the direction of the voice, and snap, you have a perfect picture of their face for the police to use for identification.
There are a lot of settings you can play around with including shutting the camera off, choosing a schedule when the camera turns on and off automatically. 180 degree rotation if you mount the camera on the ceiling and need to flip the image, hide the Status LED so it doesn’t appear the camera is on, HD Video can be disabled if you have lower bandwidth and just need SD video. You can also disable Night Vision or make it manual and reduce flicker if the image has interference but this wasn’t noticed and didn’t have to be touched.
You can also setup the camera to trigger alerts, such as motion sensing, when it detects sound or when it goes offline. (Since it is connected to the Spotcam cloud, the cloud service will notify you if it loses connection with the camera). You can adjust sensitivity to make sure you don’t get false positives and set an alert schedule. To send alerts to your phone you have to just put your mobile phone email that converts to SMS.
Another way that the video feed can be viewed it to invite others to watch your cam. This can be done one of two ways. The first is private and the second would be public. Now, the private is done using a person’s email address. You enter the address under sharing on the can interface on the screen, and invite them. They get the invite, and sign up for a free account and it is done. Until you remove them, they can see your can 24 hours a day or during the scheduled viewing times you set up. Make sure to remind them not to use the log in with Facebook option. It will not allow them to view the camera at all. The second option is public. This option allows anyone and everyone to link in and see your cam. It means anyone who uses the software app can look at your home, your face, your pet, whatever you have the cam pointing to. One word though, making a cam public does mean you agree to abide by certain rules, and while the company does not monitor the feed, they do expect you to abide by the rules. In private mode, there are no such rules. If you want to create like a live TV cam footage of your environment for the public Internet to see, you can do this with SpotCam.
One feature that I truly like is that this cam does have auto night vision. If the room goes dark, then the cam will still record perfectly in the dark. The colors drop to grey scale, but the quality is still outstanding. I have tested this out and have a 2nd video included to show a time lapsed video showing the outside of my house. This was taken through the window, and once it turned dark there is one point where the video shows the cam as it reflected off the window, so I guess it is important to know that for night time, the glass will cause problems. Also note this cam is for indoor use only, do not subject it to the outdoor elements, it is not meant for that. It is also apparent from the short 40 second video that the dark frames are not the same quality as the day time frames. This is a compressed view of the day from 9am to around 8pm, and as such there are variations in video quality. The more unchanging the view, the better the image and especially so at night.
Time-Lapse Video Production
One or two last things to mention is that should you desire to store more video on the company’s server that just 24 hours’ worth, there is a fee to do so. I have never used any other cloud storage service of this type before so I honestly could not say if the rates are competitive or not, but from what I saw, they looked good to me. You can add time at any time you desire.
Lastly I want to mention one of the customer service personnel by name. Jacky Lin was excellent at responding to and answering my questions. I usually get the two to three week turn around when I pose a question. Many times, my questions are never answered as the person who responds is not qualified to answer anything asked. Jacky was not only more than helpful, but she responded to my first message within two hours, and she is on the other side of the world. I felt like anything I asked was the most important question she had ever received, and that I was her most important customer. My hat is off to the quality, speed, and accuracy of the service she provided.
Now, SpotCam offers forever free the 1 day of cloud video storage with your purchase of the SpotCam, but let’s say that you need to store more footage. You can purchase a cloud subscription service to meet your video storage needs. You also get a 50% discount on additional SpotCam camera’s so you can create a full home monitoring solution at a discounted rate.
I could go one for hours telling you just how wonderful this cam is. From the video quality, the customer service, the night vision, the still shots, the quality of the website, it goes on and on. Of all the products I have been privileged to review, this one is by far the best of the best. If you have a business you need this cam, if you have a home, you need this cam, if you have a baby, this is the best baby cam you could ever own. You owe it to yourself and your peace of mind. Visit Myspotcam today and see just how fast they can provide you with the best monitoring device this reviewer has even seen.
The first five people who order the SpotCam Camera will also get a free 1 Year upgrade to the 3 day video storage cloud service, so you get this $39 bonus. In order to qualify you will need to purchase the SpotCam and then leave a comment confirming your SpotCam order number, once your order number is validated you will be given a coupon code to give you full 1 year access to the 3 day recording.