Want to keep an eye on your yard while you’re down at the Dog and Duck? D-Links wireless pan tilt network camera could be just the job for you.
The DCS-5222L comes with an installation CD, a remote control, a metal camera base and mounting kit, a power cable and an Ethernet cable. Optionally, you can buy a micro SD card to record what’s going on while hopefully not a creature is stirring, not even a mouse.
The camera is a dumpy little creature that stands about six inches high, and is equipped with an array of LEDs on its working end and an antenna to pick up your wi-fi.
It works with PCs, Macs, and Linux and supports a number of browsers including IE, Firefox, Safari and Chrome. It’s got a built in microphone too, if you want to record the spiders having their mysterious conversations while you’re out of sight and site.
Installation is a bit of a doddle. You plug the Internet cable into the back of Mr Dumpy, kick off the installation CD and off you jolly well go. Once you’re up and running, you can use your PC, your smartphone or your tablet to view what’s going on in your den across the internet, using mydrink.com to tune in and turn on It has both a night and day mode, which you can set to auto.
From the web interface you can choose the live view, playback recording – provided you have that micro SD card in the slot – and alter the settings of the camera remotely, too. From the browser, again, you can perform an automatic 360 degree scan, zoom in and out, tilt the camera up and down, left and right, and take a photo.
From the settings menu can switch on motion detection and if the said rodent makes an appearance it will send you an email alert. You can also create scheduled notifications.
So how did it all work out in practice? Well, it certainly works when you’re down the Dog and Duck – that’s the Kite in Oxford in my case. I’ve used my iPad, my smartphone and several PCs to check out that all is well at Chez Moi.
The camera supports H.264/MPEG/MJPEG multistreaming and H.264/MPEG4 mulitcast streaming. Image resolution is HD720 and a maximum of 1280/720 at 30 frames per second. It weighs 540 grams and its dimensions are 114x114x125. An additional sensor can be attached to a door or a window via the standard IO port that’s built in.
The night vision works well, even in complete darkness but don’t have it gazing out of a window at night – the array of LEDs at the front reflect back into the lens.
This is a fun and functional piece of kit, easy to set up and easy to use. Prices range from £159 to £186, when we searched on the web for the unit.