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TRENDnet TV-IP311PI Outdoor 3 Megapixel Full HD PoE Dome Day/Night Network Camera
TRENDnet TV-IP311PI Outdoor 3 Megapixel Full HD PoE Dome Day/Night Network Camera
Price: £123.41

49 of 51 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good camera - but with a few flaws, 3 Dec. 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
THIS IS MY ORIGINAL REVIEW TO MENTION NON-VERTICAL MOUNTING OF THE DOME VERSION:

I ordered this with the plan of mounting it vertically on the side of my house to monitor the back garden (and the dog digging it up). One thing that isn't made totally clear in the details, is that while the lens can pan and tilt, it CAN'T ROTATE - meaning I was left with a "portrait" image which was only visible if I turned my head by 90 degrees. There's no option to rotate the image in the camera settings (or in Surveillance Station that I'm using on my Synology NAS). Picture quality looked pretty good though, so I've returned it for the bullet version (and decided to go for the 3mp version this time). Hope that helps somebody!

AFTER GETTING THE BULLET VERSION:

So I've replaced the dome with 2x 3mp bullet versions of the camera. The image quality is great. The cameras themselves are much smaller than I thought, quite discreet and very well built. They look and feel like solid pieces of kit.

I decided not to use Surveillance Station (SS) on my Synology NAS for a few reasons. I like to have motion detection running so the camera is constantly recording if anything happens, but also use live view on my iPhone/iPad at the same time. I found that the frame rate in live view was quite poor while the camera was constantly "looking out" for motion and running itself through the Synology NAS on my network. I also have a couple of indoor pan/tile Foscam cams I'd like to use with SS too, but the pan/tilt controls are very sluggish when it runs through SS - and there's also the fact you only get 2 camera licenses included (and I'd need 4 in total so thats another £80-100).

So - I wanted to ditch SS and use the cameras built in software if possible. There were two things I needed to sort out to be able to go with this solution - 1. record video onto my Synology NAS; 2. email me when motion happens (for when we're away from the house). Here are some notes on some issues I ran into setting this up - figured this would be useful to save other users sanity...

RECORDING ONTO SYNOLOGY NAS

The camera won't record into a subfolder of a shared folder - it will accept the path and format the space, but it won't actually record anything to it. For example I had originally created a shared folder on my Synology NAS called "Camera" with folders inside this for "Front" and "Back". I then set the file path when completing the Network Storage settings page to "/Camera/Back" - note the first slash is required. This didn't work. I removed this folder and created a new shared folder called "Camera-Back", and set the file path to "/Camera-Back" - this worked :) So each camera will have its own shared folder.

EMAIL NOTIFICATIONS

Email notifications on this camera are seriously broken and need some work by Trendnet in the firmware. Firstly there is no "Test" button to test the server settings you have entered are correct, so its a frustrating case of trial and error. No emails were being sent out when motion was detected whether I used Gmail or Outlook's SMTP server settings. It turns out that firmware 5.1.6 (the latest version as of 7 Dec 2014) doesn't support TLS server authentication - something that I think pretty much all SMTP servers need. So the emails were simply not getting to the SMTP server to be delivered.

This is when I discovered that the 1mp version of the camera (TV-IP320PI) has a version 5.1.7. In the release notes this mentions the addition of support for TLS authentication which would hopefully fix this issue. For some reason the 3mp version (TV-IP310PI) only goes up to version 5.1.6, which doesn't have this fix - strange given they are presumably the same camera with different resolutions. I tried installing the 1mp firmware onto the 3mp camera, but it rejected the firmware and luckily I didn't brick the camera.

Then I re-downloaded the 3mp version's 5.1.6 firmware, but then just changed the URL it was downloading from to http://downloads.trendnet.com/tv-ip310pi/firmware/fw_tv-ip310pi-5.1.7.zip - I thought that maybe the firmware was released but just not linked to from Trendnet's website. This did download but the release notes didn't mention a TLS fix. I installed it anyway, it installed without issue but the emails still didn't work, so I went back to the official 5.1.6 release.

So - if you want hassle-free email notifications I would suggest trying the 1mp version (TV-IP320PI) first! I almost returned mine to Amazon to swap for the 1mp version, then I came up with the following (pretty long-winded) workaround (until Trendnet hopefully get the firmware versions in sync). This basically creates a local intermediate SMTP server which doesn't require TLS (as the camera doesn't support it), which then relays the messages out to a SMTP server which more-than-likely will require TLS (your email providers).

* Install "Mail Server" package on Synology NAS
* Enable the SMTP server; leave all the IMAP/POP settings disabled (I don't want to handle incoming email)
* Enable SMTP authentication, but tick to "ignore authorization for LAN connections"
* Enter the domain name as "yourname.com" (whatever domain you want to send the notification emails "from")
* Leave SMTP-SSL and SMTP-TLS disabled
* Then, on the camera, set the SMTP settings to the local IP of your Synology NAS within your LAN, no SSL, no authentication, and set the senders address to "something@yourname.com" (the domain you entered on the Synology)

Emails *might* now be sending...

For me, the emails were getting from the camera to the Synology as I could see them in the "Mail Log" panel of the Mail Server app. But they were being undelivered because my email account (i.e. the recipient of the notification emails) - an Office 365 Exchange online account - was rejecting the message with an error like "blocked using FBLW15". Email servers are way too complex for me to understand fully but it was probably something to do with DNS records not matching or some antispam measure or something - either way a load of hassle I didn't want to get involved with.

What I ended up doing is, in the Mail Server app, click on SMTP Relay and enter the details of the SMTP server you were originally trying to put directly into the camera (but it wouldn't connect because of the TLS issue). I *think* the Gmail/Outlook details I was originally trying to use before would work here, but I ended up using Amazon SES (because I use it for a load of other email-related stuff too).

FINALLY the email was going from camera -> Synology -> Amazon SES -> me. A couple of seconds after motion detection I now get an email :)

INSTALLATION

I haven't installed these outside yet but a massive hassle is that they don't have a network port directly on the camera (for PoE install as I am doing), so this limits the neatness of the install. Instead they have a network/power cable bundle (about 45cm long) which comes out of the camera. The last thing I want to be doing is to drill a 2.5cm diameter hole to fit this through the wall of my house, so this bundle will have to sit outside and the PoE'd network cable will come out to it.

In the box there is a cover which goes over the network cable join, which has rubber seals and looks as though it will pretty reasonably waterproof the connection. I don't want to totally rely on this though, nor do I want to install a junction box by the camera to house this cable, so after installing this cover I'm going to wrap the whole join in waterproof self-amalgamating tape which should hopefully keep it well sealed in the weather. I'm lucky that in my install positions I have somewhere where I can neatly hide this bundle before the network cable goes into the house.

SUMMARY

To summarise then there are quite a few annoying issues with this camera which you may or may not have to work around depending on how you want this set up, or depending on whether Trendnet update the firmware soon to fix these issues. I bought/returned a couple of other outdoor cameras to compare (including the expensive D-Link DCS-7010 which is much bigger than it looks, poor resolution, not very good IR distance, and has a massive cable bundle which would definitely need a junction box to hide outdoors) and all things considered the Trendnet easily wins in terms of value, image quality and (important for me) the actual size/build/discreetness of the camera.
Comment Comments (6) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Apr 27, 2015 7:00 PM BST


NETGEAR R7000-100UKS R7000 Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Gigabit Cable Router, 1 Ghz Dual Core, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, Implicit and Explicit Beamforming, Upstream and Downstream QoS
NETGEAR R7000-100UKS R7000 Nighthawk AC1900 Dual Band Wireless Gigabit Cable Router, 1 Ghz Dual Core, 1 x USB 2.0, 1 x USB 3.0, Implicit and Explicit Beamforming, Upstream and Downstream QoS
Price: £154.98

19 of 21 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent, 8 July 2014
Verified Purchase(What is this?)
I'll start by explaining my previous setup and its shortcomings. I had an Airport Extreme connected to the modem supplied with my BT Infinity install. This worked well enough but in our mid-sized 3 bed Victorian terrace we weren't getting very good wireless signal upstairs or in the garden leading to frequent dropouts.

I "remedied" this by adding a couple of Airport Expresses, which due to the range from the Extreme had to be connected via Ethernet - so this was done via powerline adapters. This gave us signal throughout the house on one SSID, but the powerline adapters were causing a bottleneck in the system. You could be sat next to the Extreme, but my MacBook Air would decide to connect to an Express upstairs therefore routing all traffic through the powerline (which in our old house was giving nowhere near the 200mbps speed promised). The result was our 60mb internet connection was getting about 5mb in some situations depending on which access point you were connected to. The only reliable way around this with my existing equipment would be to run Ethernet cables to each of the Expresses, which wasn't an option.

I wanted to ditch all of this and replace with a single router to manage the whole house - and this Netgear R7000 has definitely cured all of our problems. We now get full signal throughout the house and garden at 300mbps on the 5ghz range. We use 5ghz for our laptops and 2.4ghz for our iPhones/iPads (for longer range at slower speed). On all devices we now get the full speed of our 60mb internet connection and it has proven to be rock solid in the last week since I've installed it. (My MacBook Air is limited to 300mbps as its a few years old, so when I upgrade to a new one with the AC wireless there should be a nice speed/range boost.)

This is the router you want if you're after good range and a fast reliable connection.
Comment Comments (2) | Permalink | Most recent comment: Nov 5, 2014 10:00 AM GMT


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