Whether you're looking to secure your home office or you just want to keep an eye on the nanny, having a reliable IP camera can be a very sound investment for many people. To this end, you might want to take a look at the COMPRO Technology's IP70 network camera.
We had a brief encounter with the COMPRO folks during Computex 2010 in Taiwan, but now we've had a better opportunity to toy with this IP camera. Let's see what it has to offer.
Features at a Glance
While it doesn't offer the motorized movement of something like the COMPRO IP540P, the COMPRO IP70 is still a very suitable camera that'll work over your home network. This is a fair bit more powerful than a simple webcam, to say the least.
Taking a trip down the feature list, we discover a 1/3" CMOS megapixel sensor, built-in IR lamp with light sensor, real-time video compression (H.264, MPEG-4, MJPEG), dual stream support, up to 30 frames per second, two way audio, UPnP support, local storage via microSD slot, and snapshot functionality.
It also comes bundled with the complimentary ComproView software to help you manage all the different features and functions in real time. We'll get into the software side in just a moment.
What's in the Box?
Looking inside the box, you are provided with just about everything that you need to get started. You'll naturally need to supply your own Internet connection, computer, and router though.
Along with the COMPRO IP70 itself, you get the necessary wall adapter for power and a network cable for connecting to your router. There is a USB port in the back of the IP70 for the optional Wi-Fi adapter and, given the relatively short length of the provided network cable, you may need it.
Rounding out the box contents are some mounting screws if you choose to place the camera on a wall or ceiling, the installation CD with all the necessary software, and a basic startup guide with instructions. The product retails for about $160US Online, but it's availability is spotty.
The COMPRO IP70 is larger than you would normally expect from an ordinary webcam and the assumption there is that it contains some widgetry that isn't involved with regular webcams. This does make it harder to conceal in rooms you want to monitor though.
The "soft touch" finish is definitely a nice touch and I'm digging the inclusion of two-way audio connectivity. The sound from the microphone is pumped through the stream, just as you can send audio out through the embedded speaker.
It's also good that the ball-and-socket mounting bracket lets you put this just about anywhere... aside from the cable management issues. But a wireless setup is significantly more costly.