By Terry Gardner, Special to Tribune Newspapers
November 13, 2013
Name: Dropcam HD
What it is: A Wi-Fi HD video and audio monitor featuring a two-way microphone, a digital zoom and high-definition video resolution. The camera settings can be adjusted for night vision, to zoom in, to rotate the image or to turn the microphone on via Dropcam's website or the free Dropcam app for iOS and Android devices. After deciding where to locate the camera, the setup is easy. All you need is to connect the camera to your home Internet via your computer using the supplied micro-USB cable, and you need a wall outlet to plug in the camera. Users can use the app to watch a live feed and adjust the camera's digital zoom. Night vision is provided by automatic infrared LEDs. Viewing the camera's live feed is free. Dropcam offers Cloud Video Recording ($9.95 per month for seven-day recording, $29.95 for 30 days or $299 for a year) for users who want to record events.
The good: This Dropcam costs less and does more than the Dropcam Echo I reviewed in 2011. The two-way microphone would be handy for a parent checking on children or for someone checking on an elderly person. Though the cloud recording does cost something, it's comforting to have a record of events — or if you need visual evidence of something. I tested the seven-day CVR subscription. With the cloud-recording programs, events can be watched for the previous seven days or the previous 30, depending on the subscription.
The bad: I wish the app also could let me pivot the camera up or down and left or right.
Available from: dropcam.com, bestbuy.com, brookstone.com and others.
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