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Defining Events


Archerfish SmartBox and Camera Surveillance Kit Review

The initial setup process is not done at this point. While you could certainly just use the Archerfish for a live video feed from your camera, you don't get to harness its true power until you define events and zones.

An "event" is when you are telling the Archerfish to record the video feed for later viewing. This is based on motion and it is based on the "zones" that you define. You can have the event setup to be triggered by a person, a vehicle, general motion, or an external trigger.

This is within a certain time span and you can set the minimum duration before the motion "triggers" the event. At that time, the Archerfish will record the video and have it stored in your SmartPortal for later review.

Defining Zones

Archerfish SmartBox and Camera Surveillance Kit Review

Instead of recording any motion that comes across any part of the camera's view, you can define up to three "zones." Make sure you have your camera mounted exactly where you want it before you do this, because you will be drawing your polygons based on the previewed image.

A good example of this would be if you had the camera set up to see a loading dock. You want an event to be triggered if a person gets too close to your building, but you don't want it to be triggered by traffic that is just passing by.

Reviewing Recorded Videos

Logging into your SmartPortal, you can then look at the different events that have been recorded since the last time you reviewed them. These videos can be viewed right in your web browser or they can be saved (or deleted) individually.

Archerfish SmartBox and Camera Surveillance Kit Review

The motion detection seems to work quite well, but I found the video quality to be lacking. Bear in mind that the MP4 files that result are only at a QVGA resolution. You'll be able to make out that it's a person, but the precise facial features may escape you.

The user interface is certainly robust, but it may take you some time to get used to how to use the menu. There are "hidden" drop-down menus that only appear when you hover your mouse pointer over them.

Closing Thoughts

Video monitoring solutions are supposed to be more affordable and more robust these days. The Archerfish Kit seems to address the latter, giving you the ability to access any of your cameras over the Internet. The ability to set up "zones" and "events" is quite useful as well.

Unfortunately, Archerfish doesn't do a lot in terms of helping to bring the price down. The basic Archerfish Quattro Kit, which provides you with the Quattro SmartBox and two cameras, runs for the cool price of $1699, not including the monthly subscriptions fees that you'll have to pay.

The camera resolution is not as good as I would like to see, especially at this price, though I suppose this helps with accessing the feed over a mobile device. The ability to record video from all cameras to a USB-attached storage device is certainly useful, since the online account will only hold 50MB of data at a time. This also allows you to pull the USB drive every day and lock them away for safe keeping.

If the Archerfish solution were a lot cheaper or "included" the monthly service fee, I may think otherwise. At this premium price, I expected a bit more value added features to justify the price. More online storage or even some backup internal storage would be a start. It's clearly priced for enterprise, businesses and people living in large mansions.

Coincidentally, you could set up a more budget friendly solution with a webcam and a properly-equipped NAS with a bit of work. However, for most people willing to pay the price for a professional, easy to setup solution that monitors multiple locations over the web, this could very well work out for you.

Pros

  • Relatively easy to setup and configure
  • Highly scalable with support for up to four cameras per box
  • Good motion-based events and zones
  • Solid build quality

Cons

  • Each camera needs its own separate power source
  • Only QVGA resolution video
  • Only 50MB of online storage with basic plan
  • Much more expensive than expected

Overall Rating: 7.0/10.0

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