Review: UCam247-HDO, The Outdoor HD Wireless CCTV Camera

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We featured UCam247’s impressive indoor camera back in our July round up of Top 5 Security Gadgets and this time we’ve got “hands on” with the company’s new outdoor camera, the UCam247-HDO.

You can immediately tell from the camera’s build quality that the HDO is designed to survive our ever changing British weather. Indeed, the company has ensured it meets the I67 standard, meaning that it’s “totally protected” against dust ingress as well as the effect of “immersion between 15cm and 1m” – which should be enough even on a very wet day! In terms of operating temperature, the device can work between -20c and 60c.

In addition to its physical strengths, the UCam247-HDO packs a serious amount of tech. The camera records at a resolution of 1280×720 (lower resolutions also available) and supports MJPEG, MPEG4 and H.264 compression. While high resolution is obviously an important factor when buying a CCTV camera – the other thing to consider is frame rate. On this front, the HDO provides an impressive 30fps even when at full resolution.

The camera’s viewing angles are 50 degrees horizontally and 40 degrees vertically and its lens has a fixed focal length of 4.3mm. The HDO comes with built-in night vision which automatically activates at low light and provides a maximum range of 15 metres as well as an electret condenser microphone for sound recording. On top of all this, the HDO features a multi-zone motion sensor, which can send alerts via email as well as the ability to record to the built in micro SD card or your NAS/computer.

At this stage you might be feeling slightly bamboozled by all the features, but don’t worry as UCam247’s key selling point is that they should be “plug and play”. Indeed, the company prides itself on what they refer to as their “unique 3 step install system” – which involves no complicated port forwarding or DDNS setting up. We tested out this by getting the company to send us a review unit to play with.

You can see us unboxing and setting up the UCam247-HDO in this video:

To get setup you simply plug your camera in to the mains and connect it to your router using the supplied cable. Then download the free and add your camera using the supplied ID and pass code. At this stage, you could call it a day – but the majority of users will want to go to Advanced Settings to connect the camera to a WiFi network. Once you’ve done this, you can place your camera wherever you have WiFi coverage (and a power socket).

Slightly bulky plugs/cable
Slightly bulky plugs/cable

Our only small gripe relates to the camera’s cable which you can’t detach. This means that those wishing to mount the camera on a wall (with the power running back inside) will be forced to drill a relatively large hole due to the Y shaped plastic housing as well as the relative bulky shape of ethernet plug (see pic above).

That being said, the UCam247-HDO does exactly what it says on the tin. The setup was very easy and the picture quality was excellent. The HDO is currently available for around £160 which, when you consider features such as built-in SD card and email alerts, makes it a “steal” – if you excuse our pun! For more info visit www.ucam247.com