December 26, 2012
Location: San Francisco, CA
I live in a nice neighborhood, but there have been some recent, strange disappearances of package deliveries. I'm well protected with an alarm system and a more persuasive physical deterrent if someone makes it through the door, but I want to be able to see who approaches my home when I'm not around. The Lorex wireless system seemed to make sense, mostly because of the architecture of my home. I don't have a basement or an attic, so laying video cable from cameras to a DVR won't easily work for me.
So, I got the Lorex system and was immediately impressed with the quality look and feel of the camera and the receiver/display. To test the unit before permanently installing it, I plugged the camera into an outside socket near my front door and then turned on the receiver in my house about 35-40 feet away. Between the outside camera and the receiver was, of course, one exterior wall and one interior wall. No significant amount of metal or electrical wiring is in this interior wall, however, at this 40 foot distance, I had to hold the receiver up to get a signal from the camera. I moved the receiver to about 30 feet and the signal was good, but would occasionally, momentarily tell me that it couldn't receive a signal from the camera. When I moved the receiver to the room where my computer is located, (where I really want to place the receiver) approximately 65 feet from the camera and the addition of one more interior wall, no camera signal could be received at all.
So in its initial test, the system won't work for me. According to Lorex, the wireless range might reach up to 180 feet indoors, but I couldn't make it one third that distance. I can't very well use this system. With such a limited wireless range, I would have to place the receiver so close to the front door of my house that anyone forcing their way into my house could simply remove the SD card from the receiver. In order to connect the receiver to SKYPE, it needs to be hard wired to a PC, and that wouldn't really solve the problem anyway.
Other issues with the system:
- The receiver settings are a bit non-intuitive, but once you get the hang of moving around the screen, things seem to fall into place.
- The motion detection recording has a slight delay in kicking in. I recorded my wife returning home and all I saw on the replay was her moving past the last 30% of the screen. Had she been a burgler, I wouldn't have been able to identify her. There is a setting to increase/decrease the sensitivity of the motion detection, and I had the daytime sensitivity set to Medium. The only setting for the nighttime motion detection is Low, so it is questionable how well this would work when the sun goes down.
Lorex is known for consumer friendly monitoring systems, and their setup manual is well organized and easy to follow. Yes, the onscreen controls are a bit odd, but once you get your system setup correctly, you won't have to mess with that often. The display panel is clear and bright, but don't expect studio quality recording from the camera.... it is a security camera and nothing more - slightly better than what you see on liquor store holdup videos recorded in 1998 and played back on cops and robbers programs.
Other users report getting good range from their systems. I could possibly have a lemon, as my house is pretty wifi signal friendly. But based on my 30 minute test, this dog won't hunt.