July 21, 2011
Location: Chicago, IL USA
Very good for its intended purpose
I live in apartments with windows facing the parking lot. For some time now, I have thought about hooking up a webcam of some kind and pointing it out the window towards where I parked. The logistics of running a long USB cable from my computer to the appropriate window prevented me from doing it that way. A wireless WiFi webcam might be the perfect solution, but not everyone has a WiFi network (and these cameras can be a bit pricey).
The Lorex LW2277b is an interesting compromise between legacy equipment (old fashioned cameras) and modern wireless technology. The camera itself is designed to be usable outdoors, meaning it is in a rugged metal enclosure complete with an adjustable hood that slides forward to cover and protect the camera lens. It is a color camera, but in low-light conditions, it clicks in to "night vision" mode and the image goes to black and white. A ring of infrared LED lights around the lens light up, allowing you to see an image even in complete darkness. There are no wires -- the camera has an antenna that attaches to the back, and a power cable that plugs in to an AC adapter. Bolt the base somewhere, run the power cable, and you are set from that side.
Elsewhere, a tiny receiver -- about the size of a deck of playing cards -- can be plugged in, and an antenna is attached to allow it to receive video from the camera. Video and audio outputs come out of the receiver (cables are included) and then run to a monitor or TV, or in to a recording device. If you just wanted to keep tabs on your car overnight, you could use a cheap VCR and let it record in 6-8 hour mode.
Overall, setup of one camera to the one receiver is very simple. The receiver can support multiple cameras, and can be set to flip between the cameras (full screen), or split the screen up to display four images at a time. I cannot comment on those features, as I only have the one camera. A button is pressed on the receiver to get it in to a scanning more, then you have to press a button on the camera within 30 seconds to let them sync to each other. It seems easy enough.
The camera does have sound, so if it is mounted outside, you can hear a bit of what is going on, but don't expect miracles. It's not quite as sensitive as a home movie camera typically is. So, overall, you have wireless color (in light) or black and white (in darkness) video with sound, transmitted to a receiver within a few hundred feet.