remocam smart home security cameraRemocam Smart Home Security Camera is a new security camera for monitoring your home.

It does come with something different!

It allows you to control your other infra red devices using the App replacing their remote controls if you want – you can control your TV from the App

I’m not sure how useful this is long term for monitoring and securing your home.

But at least you won’t be having to search for the remote when it gets lost.

As well as this it does allow you to monitor your home remotely and send notifications when it detects motion.

But as with all new home security cameras launched on indiegogo or elsewhere it’s not without some start up issues and features to be improved or added as they go. This is the norm.

In this review I go through these points as well as where they’ve done a good job with the start up camera.
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Installation

The set up and installation is quick and easy to do – you plug it in, download the App to your Smartphone, sign up to your account and then follow the on screen instructions.

It does take longer than the minute they say but it still is quick and it can be done in minutes.

It talks to you during the process using a male voice – after you plug it in it says “Welcome to Remocam” which you have to hear before moving on to the next step. It is then a matter of waiting for the camera to set itself up with your Wifi and pushing a button on your phone as directed and having the camera read a QR code from your phone which does all the set up – saving you having to do any set up.

The requirements for setting up the camera are:

You need a WiFi router. It works with 2.4 GHZ or 5.0 GHZ.

A smart device that is Android 4.0 (Ice Cream Sandwich) or above or iOS 7.1 or above and the free Remocam App downloaded to your smart device.

The upload speed needs to be a minimum of 1 mbps to ensure you don’t have any issues with using the camera. If you want to add more than one camera the company says you shouldn’t have any problems as long as your upload speed is greater 1 mbps.

The restrictions as to where you can place it are:

Its designed for indoor use not outdoor use

You need to be able to plug it in to the power – the supplied power cord is 9.8 ft long but with the use of an extension cord you can then place it where you want.

The camera can be placed on a shelf, tabletop or any other flat surface in range of your WiFi. If you want to mount it to a wall you need to buy a bracket separately (Under $10 when checked)

It needs to have a good WIFi signal otherwise you will have problems with being able to have watchable video – recorded or live feed and quality of audio can be affected too.

If you want to see most of the room at one time without panning you need to place in a corner as it has a view of 70 degrees which does leave blind spots until you use the panning feature (which gives you almost 335 degrees if you place it in the center of the room).

It is portable so you can take it with you when you move or want to use it a different location with a different WiFi. It involves dleting it from your account, resetting the camera ( button underneath the camera) and then adding back to your account just as you set it up initially.

Contract

remocam smart home security camera priceTo use the camera you don’t have to sign a contract or pay a subscription fee. You can also store video locally on a Micro SD card that needs to be bought separately.

But, if you want to store your video online away from the camera the company has 3 subscription plans

You do get 30 day access to their jog plan to try out when you buy the camera. The details of the 3 plans are:

Jog – 3 days to a maximum of 3G stored cost $3.99 per month or $39.00 per year

Sprint – 7 days to a maximum of 30 G cost $7.99 per month or $79.00 per year

Marathon – 30 days, unlimited GB cost $27.99 per month or $279.00 per year

Also, if you reach the maximum GB in the timeframe it stops recording until the video deleted as over 3 days old to free up space.

You can cancel your plan at anytime but there is no refund of the unused portion. I think this is a bit unfair that they don’t refund the unused portion especially if you’ve bought a yearly plan and use it for less than 6 months.

Support

They don’t have the best support hours for anyone that works especially in the PST time zone. They are open between 8 am- 12 pm and 1 to 5 pm PST – Monday through Friday except on holidays.

When I contacted them for this review they can back to me very quickly with good answers to my questions. It was one of the quickest and best responses I’ve experienced.

Cameras

remocam smart home security camera angledThe camera resolution is 720 p. This isn’t as clear as you get with 1080 p but it is of a good crisp quality during the day and when using night vision. It should be effective at seeing faces clearly across the average living room.

It has a viewing angle of 70 degrees and can be panned remotely to give a total view of 335 degrees giving you almost full view of everything happening around the camera. It can be tilted a total of 95 degrees. Depending on the area you are monitoring you can monitor an area with one camera that might have taken several using a fixed view only by using the pan/tilt function.

Panning and tilting is done by tapping on the feed from the camera using the arrows on the screen. When moving the camera isn’t noisy but it can be heard while the camera moves. There can be a little delay between the tapping on the App and the camera moving which takes a little getting used to and you can find the camera overshooting where you wanted to go. This does allow you to cover the sam area with one camera that you’d get with a number of cameras with a fixed view (even the Piper NV with a 180 degree view you’d need two).

You can also zoom but this is a digital zoom and is done on the image on your phone not by the lens moving – the image does deteriorate the more you zoom. You can zoom up to 3 times.

The camera is designed for indoor use only. If you are wanting to monitor outdoors you have to do this through a window which can cause problems with reflection and glare particularly at night with the night vision. Unlike other camera models you can’t turn off the red lights/ night vision so you are likely to have a lot of reflection at night even with the outside illuminated. If outdoors is something you want to monitor then you might want to consider Arlo with wireless cameras and battery powered – can bre used indoors and outdoors.

Video Storage

remocam smart home security camera being placedAs talked about in the contract section you have a choice of storage methods – you can use a Micro SD card (32 GB or less) to store video locally. Or you can subscribe to one of their three subscription plans for storing remotely on their cloud servers.

Storing video online has the advantage that if there is a break in and the criminal steals the camera you still have the video to use to help with identifying them. You can also view them remotely. As well as viewing you can download them to your phone without restriction.

They are stored logically making it easy to go through them looking for the ones you want to view.

To protect access to your video and camera it has 256 AES encryption

If storing to a 32 GB Micro SD card you can store between 10,500 (HD) to 27,000 (low quality) motion videos clips at 20 seconds long depending on resolution chosen of high, average or low.

At present those videos stored on an SD card can’t be accessed remotely. To watch them you have to put the card in your computer or other device. (It is promised that they are working on giving remote access).

When the card gets to only 500 MB being available new video is recorded over the oldest video. There is no notification from the camera to let you know that it is close to full. This is something you have to monitor yourself manually by taking card out and viewing it on your computer.

When you are live streaming video and something important is happening or cute you can capture them on your phone by taking pictures and/or video (up to 5 minutes) and store them on your phone.

At present you can’t choose to have your videos recorded on both the card and to the cloud it is one or the other.

Alarms

remocam smart home security camera on shelfThe camera comes with a built in 85 db siren that you can turn on remotely. It isn’t triggered when the camera detects motion, it needs human intervention. 85 db is equivalent of industrial machinery in terms of loudness – not ear shattering but can’t be ignored so anyone in the house will hear it.

This is great for preventing the siren sounding when it is a false alarm but it does mean if you miss a notification when there is an intruder you can’t attempt to scare them off and bring attention to the break-in, or alert others to an event in the same way as the Canary Home Security System works.

You could use this with a basic home security system that notifies you when someone forces entry and/or it detects motion in the home. These can be set to sound the siren and send notifications on detection. You then have the camera to see what is happening remotely and call the police if there is a break-in etc. A good basic security system is the Fortress Security Store GSM-B System (it doesn’t have an App). If you want one with an App you could look at the Scout Alarm System.

Notification

remocam smart home security camera monitoringYou can set the system to send you notifications when motion detected to your App whether it is open on the phone or not. You don’t have the choice of any other type of notification such as email or text.

Many of these camera types can send you notifications when a loud sound is detected, which you don’t have with the Remocam. This isn’t as big a con when compared to these other cameras as most people turn these off as they end up with too many notifications where there doesn’t appear to be an issue.

When you receive a notification when motion has been detected you’ll be able to view the video that was recorded if you have it recorded in the cloud on your phone.

If motion continues after the 20 seconds of recorded video you will receive another notification of motion detected and son on as long as motion is continuing past the 20 second video length.

If it is on the SD card you need to go home and remove the card and view on a computer or other device. In that case you are better launching a live feed from the App to see what is happening now.

Remote Monitoring

remocam smart home security camera appYou monitor the camera using your smart devices (IOS or Android only). You can’t use a PC or web browser to do this.

You can do it from anywhere you can access the internet with your device.

Each Remocam account can accommodate up to 5 cameras and up to 5 people to monitor (who can also receive motion notifications) and view them. If you want more cameras you need to open an additional account.

Anybody added to the camera has the same rights as the person who added them which could be a problem if you fall out with someone, so you do need to be careful who you add to it.

The cameras do not all have to be in the same location, so you could monitor your, business premises all from the same App to keep it all in one place if you wanted.

However, at present you can only view one camera’s live feed at a time. To watch different cameras you have to toggle between them.

You can change the resolution you are viewing from HD. to average to low which can help reduce costs depending on your data plan but it does make the picture become grainy and less able to identify people.

The 2 way audio allows you to have a conversation with anyone at your home. It ‘s not the best quality but passable with a little delay so can still be an effective way – it’s great for conversations with your children, spouse or anyone else that may be there from anywhere you’ve got a connection.

You can also use the functionality to talk to your pets to assure them or to give them a talking to if they’re misbehaving.

From the app you can have a list of emergency contacts that you tap to contact straightaway if there is an issue that needs addressing.

Battery

There is no requirement for batteries. It is powered by plugging it into the wall socket using the supplied AC adaptor and power cord.

There isn’t a backup battery. If there is a power outage the camera stops working. You miss anything that may happen during that time.

When power returns it will boot back up on its own. There should be no requirement for re-setting.

Sensors/Detection

remocam smart home security camera zoneWhen set to record on motion detection it will record a total of 20 seconds (it starts recording in less than a second). This starts as soon as the movement is detected by camera by a change in the pixels as determined as to the sensitivity the camera is set to.

To prevent getting too many notifications or videos recorded you can adjust the sensitivity or set up detection zones. This helps to stop being notified if you have a pet wandering around at home or you can set it to narrow down to just a specific area that you want to receive notification or watch video for when there is movement in that area as you might for an entrance or area where no one should be going to. You could set it to watch a drinks cabinet if you have concerns about that while you are out for the evening.

Setting The Camera

The camera set up is all done through the App. You can set up each of the cameras differently about how they respond to motion detection and setting up their zones, notifications and sensitivity. They can each be named separately so that you can know which one has detected motion.
The camera is always on once set up, so is available to be accessed. You can only turn it off by unplugging it.

You can turn on/off for it to record motion and/or send notifications manually. It can’t be scheduled or use phone location (geo-fencing) to turn it on or off. It therefore has to rely on you remembering to do this.

Camera Panel

remocam smart home security camera backThe camera is controlled with your smart device.

You can’t set up or program it using the camera itself.

At the front of the camera is the lens and with a set of LED IR lights for night. On the base there is the microphone at the front and on the side is the speaker.

At the back is line in and line out ports but you don’t need those to use those.

There is also the slot for the SD card and the power port.

On the bottom of the camera base is the reset button, plus there is the product serial number and MAC address

Protection Against It Being Switched Off

When there a power outage or internet outage the camera stops recording and monitoring your home or premises as it doesn’t come with a backup battery. There is no notification to alert you.

Coverage

The distance it can be from your router is dependent as always on your set up and location. It will work where you have a WiFi strong signal. If the signal is weak or dropping out a WiFi repeater that works with your router can boost the signal.

Wireless or Wired

The camera works with your WiFi so no wires needed for communicating with you. But it does need to be plugged in using the supplied power cord.

Dimensions

The camera dimensions are 5.5 by 4.1 by 4.2 inches.

Power cable 9.8 ft long

Remocam Smart Home Security Camera Features

Inside the box are
1 Camera

1 Power cord adapter

1 Quick start guide

Accessories

The only accessory is a bracket that needs to be bought separately. This allows you to mount the camera on a wall, ceiling or anywhere else. You can change the angle to suit the position. If mounted upside down it is possible to flip the orientation using the App.
It doesn’t work in the same way as other smart home devices that either have their own closed wireless communication protocol or use or industry shared like Zigbee or Z-wave instead it uses infra-red.

It can be used with devices that are controlled by a remote control like a TV. You can use the camera and App to turn them on and off

Not released but available on pre-order is the Remobell which is video doorbell that looks similar to the Ring Wifi Smart Video Doorbell. It can let you answer your door from anywhere in the world on your smartphone – you can see who is there, have a conversation and record video to the cloud. It is battery powered. I haven’t yet been able to find a shipping date.

They have also announced they are developing Remopill which is a smart pill box that reminds you to take your pills. There isn’t a release date for this.

Pros

  • Video can be stored locally (with SD card bought separately) or on the cloud (for a monthly/yearly fee)
  • Can be used to control other infra red remote controller devices such as TVs
  • Quick and simple to set up
  • It is portable for when you move or want to use it in another location
  • Can be panned to 335 degrees view and tilted 90 degrees remotely
  • You can sound an 85 db siren remotely to warn others and hopefully scare off criminals
  • You can control 5 cameras and have 5 people access cameras per account
  • Motion notifications can be sent to your smart devices
  • Use it to control other remote control devices in your home

Cons

  • Cloud storage is available only with a paid subscription plan – monthly or yearly
  • Doesn’t work with other smart home devices
  • Needs internet access to send out notifications and to work to record and monitor
  • Doesn’t work during a power outage
  • Although it is fairly unobtrusive it isn’t designed for concealing
  • It isn’t rated for outdoor use
  • Camera can’t be viewed on a PC/ web browser at present
  • There is no scheduling functionality so or geo fencing so you need to turn on/off motion alerts manually
  • You can’t view video stored on SD card remotely, you’ve got to remove it and plug into PC
  • You can’t send notifications to email
  • Does not give you notification on sound
  • Can only be turned off by unplugging it

Remocam Smart Home Security Camera Consumer Ratings

Remocam Smart Home Security Camera ReviewFor a new launch product it has relatively good reviews with 74% rating it a 4 or 5.

There were some problems with the App initially that caused issues with set up (QR Code reading being the main one) that appear to have been solved in an update. The cost of video storage on the cloud is mentioned in some reviews that it is too pricey.

Business customers as well as those using it at home like the quality of the video. They say the notifications work well. They like the choice of storing video locally. They like the ability to pan tilt to be able to see a whole area. The 2 way communication has been used to talk to kids, speak to employees and talk to pets for reassurance or telling them off.

Remocam Smart Home Security Camera Price

There are a number of home security cameras that have a similar price with higher resolution at 1080p but don’t come with the pan and tilt feature. They do have different pricing plans for storing video online.

In terms of comparatives the Nest Cam is similarly priced with higher resolution but fixed view of 130 degree. It’s storage option is $10 per month for continuous recording with storage of 10 days on the cloud and there is no local option.

The Piper NV which costs about $80 more (at time of checking) with a fixed view of 180 degrees offers 1,000 35 second clips cloud storage (no local option) at no additional cost.

When I checked pricing the best price was at Amazon where it also qualified for Prime and free shipping

Click here to check latest price and availability:
Remocam Smart Home Security Camera

Review Summary

With the Remocam Smart Home Security Camera it is important that to keep in mind that is a relatively new product and there may be issues and quirks with it from time to time that get fixed over time. This is the same with all new product releases it seems in these smart home security devices.

You need to be prepared that there will be niggles with it and be prepared to work though it with the company.

It seems relatively stable and provides good notifications and video quality is good. But it is limited in that it doesn’t work with other systems at present. Also I’d like there to be someone with administration rights and notifications to let you know when the camera is down, Better pricing on the cloud would be great too.

It is good camera for monitoring your home remotely but it isn’t a full home security system.

Filed under: Reviews

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