Saturday, 25 April 2015

Mydlink Home Monitor HD

Mydlink Home Monitor HD DCS-935L

D-Link adds an even more interesting device to its Mydlink Home range

A few weeks ago, I covered the D-Link Mydlink Home Smart Plug, and almost immediately it sent me more of this range to explore, including this surveillance camera.

The DCS-935L or 'Monitor HD' is much like a dozen other 720p web cameras that I've seen in the past few years on one level. A significant number of them are made of shiny white plastic, can be wall mounted or free standing, use a USB power supply and offer a fixed focal length lens.

To get it operational, the process is pretty much identical to all the other Mydlink Home gear, in that you use a QR code printed on it (and on the documentation) to identify it to the Mydlink application on a phone or tablet.

Once the app has that information, it can relay the wi-fi access point details you'd like it to connect to, and from that point onwards you can access it either through your phone/tablet or via the Mydlink portal website.

Where this is better than some of its other Home automation products is that the web interface gives as much control over the camera as the mobile apps, allowing you to configure if it is motion or sound activated and when you'd like it active.

It's all pretty straightforward, and the picture quality is surprisingly good, even if you're accessing it over the internet.

Those interested in the security options will be encouraged by the inclusion of an IR emitter allowing it to see up to five metres in the dark and exposure compensate for variable light levels in the daytime.

But these capabilities can be bought for less, and something like the Logitech B525 HD Webcam, for example, costs about £40. That begs the immediate question as to why this would be worth more when technically it isn't that remarkable?

On its own, the DCS-935L is something of a tough sell, but if you own other D-Link hardware, then it suddenly starts looking much more interesting. As part of this Mydlink Home range, you can build rules that allow the camera to either trigger other devices, like the Smart Plug, or be triggered by the motion sensor, for example.

How complicated you'd like to make the interaction is up to you, but the camera can be instructed to become active and record sound and video under an almost infinitely complicated set of circumstances.

However, as clever as that is, I'm also happy to accept that not everyone is a hopeless geek or has the time to construct elaborate interactive home environments.

Alone, the Monitor HD is interesting, but it requires greater investment in extra equipment to truly reach its full potential. Mark Pickavance

A HD surveillance camera with automation bells and whistles.

Key Features:
• 1/4" megapixel progressive CMOS sensor
• 5 metre IR illumination distance
• Minimum illumination: 0 lux with IR LEDs on
• Built-in infrared-cut removable (icr) filter module
• 4x digital zoom
• Lens: Fixed length 2.38mm
• Aperture: F2.4
• Angle of view: (H) 78.44°, (V) 47.9°, (D) 85.98°
• Minimum object distance: 434 mm
• Exposure Time: 1/7.5 to 1/24,000 sec.
• Built-in microphone
• Video resolutions: 1280 x 720, 800 x 600, 720 x 480, 640 x 480, 320 x 240 at frame rates up to 30 fps
• Wi-fi: 802.11b/g/n/ac wireless with WEP/WPA/ WPA2 encryption