Sunday, April 17, 2011

Foscam FI8918W wireless IP camera review

I am looking for a video camera as baby monitor for a while. Currently all the baby video cameras in the market are too expensive, over $200 - $300, even that the features are quite limited. So I start looking for the replacement: the IP camera, and finally in Amazon I found FOSCAM FI8918W, it has almost all the features I need: pan/tilt remote control, wireless-IP, info-red, built-in micro phone and speaker. The most feature attract me is the wireless-IP, you can watch your camera anywhere over the internet through your browser or iPhone!

Yesterday I finally got my Foscam wireless IP camera from amazon.ca. I can't wait to unpack it start setting up. I just followed the manual step by step, it did not take me any longer to watch the video over the IE browser; but the hard part is making it work from the internet:
 - At first I choose UPnP, but it did not work, this took me a while;
 - Then I choose forward port as the manual suggested, configure the camera address and port number in my router, tried several times, finally get it working;
 - Last I went to dyndns.org to create an free domain, then configure the parameters in the camera. finally I got it working.

There is another issue: as the manual mentioned, the camera only support IE to get the audio working, but there is no audio on my windows 7, after I followed this article, finally I got it working. Since the camera relies on ActiveX to make audio working, so currently audio does not support on other browsers: Firefox, Chrome, Safari.

Overall the camera does exactly what it mentioned. I like this camera:
Pros:
- info-red feature is awesome, I can see the picture clearly at night when I turned on the info-red;
- remote control is very handy, you can control the camera in 8 direction via browser or iPhone application.
- I just found the motion detection feature, when it detects the motion, the computer will beep and automatically record the video.

Cons:
- No audio output on non IE browser or iPhone application, I heard it due to the video output is Microsoft ASF format.
- No Zoom support
- Only support Wireless b/g, not support wireless-N network
- Picture quality is OK, you can see the pause, quite similar to the web cam

Comparing its feature and the price $100 in amazon.ca, less than the half of the regular video monitor, I think it is a good choice for a baby monitor.

The iPhone application
I downloaded the foscam surveillance pro application in my iPhone, iPod touch and iPad, it costs me $5, the app is really good, except no audio output. And at first I found the left/right control is reversed, after searching the support forum, the solution is choose FI8918W-reversed, then every thing is perfect.

Other resources
watch video with audio (works in vlc player):
 http://[your ip]/videostream.asf?user=[your_user]d&pwd=[your_pass]

watch video without audio(works in the browser):
 http://[your ip]/videostream.cgi?user=[your_user]&pwd=[your_pass]

watch video with camera in vertical stroll mode:
 http://[your ip]/decoder_control.cgi?user=[your_user]&pwd=[your_pass]&command=25

Foscam surveillance application support forum:
  Faq
  forum

foscam in gadget victims

9 comments:

  1. Great article. Thank you. I'm looking for a baby monitor system as well. What's important to me is to get audio at the bedside using an iPod touch. I think there might be other iPhone apps that support audio - I'm currently looking into that.

    ReplyDelete
  2. thanks for the heads up re: no Zoom and no WiFi N.

    ReplyDelete
  3. There's a new firmware version that supports audio with Firefox and Chrome. Haven't installed it yet, so not sure how well it works. Additionally, there are two apps that support audio for ipad/iphone app. Search the Apple store.

    ReplyDelete
  4. so it wont work if i'm using a Wireless N Broadband Router?

    ReplyDelete
  5. I found a download link for the latest Foscam Firmware at http://www.ipcam-central.com/Foscam-Download-Area-s/36.htm

    Now looking at their http://www.ipcam-central.com/dealoftheday.asp

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. www.security360cameras.com provides affordable surveillance equipment for business and homes that can be remotely monitored with any PC, smart phones, i-pad, i-phone,mac or laptop. Clients do not have to pay a monthly fee. The apps are free and easy to use. The Stand Alone DVR's are easy to use . One can add as much Hard drive as they wish, We provide special AV( Audio Video) specially made by western digital for this purpose wireless camera.

      Delete
  6. most of us possesses read your blog in relation to completely new technological know-how intended for cctv video camera it is quite pleasant in addition to conducted.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Thanks for review, it was excellent and very informative.
    thank you :)

    ReplyDelete