December 6, 2014
Location: Houston, TX
This is the second security camera system we purchased and the first by Lorex. We purchased the LNR1612 - full 1080P HD, 16 channel system with 12 cameras. This system was purchased for security at our house, which is also my place of business.
Unpacking: The box arrived on time and contained individual boxes for each camera, the POE switch, the DVR, and accessories. Everything was neat and secure and unpacking was easy.
Activation: Based on some other reviews, I set up the system in my office with four cameras attached, using spare Ethernet cables. The system went through a firmware upgrade and was quickly online. I logged in to the DVR via Internet Explorer, using the IP address assigned by my router, then set a static IP (my preference) and rebooted. Set up was then very simple - most of the menu options available via the HTTP interface are essentially the same as those available directly on the system via mouse and screen, which is perfect as the DVR is now installed in an out of the way place safe from prying eyes of a would-be thief. There are a few things that can only be done via the screen and a mouse, which creates a minor problem - I am awaiting arrival of a 25' USB extension cable so I can use the mouse where the screen is located (in another room from the DVR box) when that becomes necessary. A suggested upgrade would be to make the web interface capable of doing everything, including setting up the display format for connected screens.
Physical installation: One of the major selling points for me is that the cameras are all POE, meaning that a single Ethernet cable run carries power to the camera as well as the video signal back to the DVR. Each camera comes with 100 feet of Ethernet cable - more than enough in most cases. I installed three cameras using one length of cable and still had 15' left over - this is easy if (like me) you are comfortable terminating Ethernet connectors and results in neater cable runs in the ceiling space. One trap: after terminating one connection twice and finding that the test failed on wire 1 each time, I realized that the factory installed connection at the other end was faulty. Cut this off and installed my own connector and voila - tested OK. With POE there are no separate power supplies and cables for each camera - a real bonus when compared to the old system. A 35' HDMI cable running to the TV in the living room allows us to monitor the system there, and another long VGA run to my office allows me to also monitor while at work.
Performance: Video quality is truly impressive. Inside the house I can read the writing on boxes from 15' and identify faces from 20'. Outside I can read a license plate of a car passing by the house. Color reproduction is excellent. The resolution of the previous system was such that I could not have identified anyone based on video surveillance, and the color reproduction was all wrong. A key lesson there is you get what you pay for - the old system was bought at one of the "big box" stores for a few hundred dollars.
Android app: using FLIR Cloud, it was a simple matter of scanning the code on the top of the box and connecting. I have since tested this app several times while connected to the same LAN via wifi - easy and with excellent video clarity. In fact I used the app to fine tune aiming of the cameras when the time came.
The system has been up and running for about two days now. I still have more cameras to install - an easy thing to do, and I am confident that the system will find them quickly.
Final thoughts: Unlike others, I have not had to contact technical support, but if you are not tech-savvy you may want to have someone help you. There are many advanced features on the DVR, all of which can be left alone and the system will work fine - but being able to tune motion detection, recording options, email alerts, alarm outputs, etc, is a definite plus for me.
Overall, worth every cent.