Swann DVR4-950 Security System
Ideal security technology for 24/7 peace of mind for your business and home
* Monitor, record and view 4 cameras simultaneously without any security "blind spots"
* Motion detection mode only records activity, saving hard drive space
* Ultra-compact design size with small footprint that easily fits any desk, work space or retail counter
* Everything you need is included with 4 day/night cameras and crystal clear 7" LCD monitor
* Easily connect with the ability to easily transfer video to flash drive (not included)
* Professional security solution at a fraction of the price with no ongoing monthly fees
As previously stated, News And Reviews are always looking to expand the type of products we write up reviews on, and with security being such a main focal point of late, today we are bringing yet another security system review. Specially designed dual construction for either home or commercial use, sitting on our review bench today is the DVR4-950 4-channel security monitoring kit from Swann.
Taken directly from the Swann website – here’s the product description for you to ponder over:
When it comes to your security, knowledge truly is power. While a quality alarm system may help ward off intruders, it won’t give you the vital information you need to prevent future break-ins. For true night-and-day protection every day of the year, you need to capture the evidence at the source.
With the DVR4-950 Monitoring & Recording LCD Kit from Swann, peace of mind has never been easier – or more affordable. With the ability to monitor, record and view day or night, the DVR4-950 kit protects your home or business with total coverage, without any security “blind spots.” For complete peace of mind and to ensure you see every detail, the pack includes 4 all-weather PNP150 cameras & a crystal clear 7″ LCD monitor. By switching to the state-of-the-art motion detection mode, the DVR4-950 only records activity so there’s no ‘dead’ footage to wade through, saving hard drive space in the process. With its ultra-compact design and small footprint, it won’t clutter up your home or work environment. It even comes with a built-in remote so you’ll never get stuck searching for the control. Best of all, it’s incredibly easy to connect with everything you need in the pack. It’s also easy to backup incidents by transferring video footage to a flash drive, making it an ideal solution for even the least technical of users. The DVR4-950 Digital Video Recorder. Arm yourself with true knowledge.
A Closer Look
The 4 Channel DVR4-950 system from Swann is your all singing – all dancing security system that includes everything you need to be running your own top quality security system. One of the best features is the included 7″ LCD screen that means there’s absolutely no need to interfere with your current TV system in a ‘home’ environment and no need for an external output set in a business environment.
The included 7″ LCD comes equipped with a swivel base that can be wall mounted should the consumer wish to do so. The menu and navigation controls are easily accessed either via the included remote control unit or via the bottom right side of the screen panel. No frills here – everything is pretty much self explanatory and very easy to navigate through when in use.
A second identical remote control unit comes attached to the front panel of the DVR system. This is a nifty idea that works really well and appears as if part of the unit – it can either be used sitting in it’s ‘base’ or taken out and used like a regular remote control unit. The DVR system unit comes pre-installed with a massive 320GB hard drive. Compatible with up to 1TB of hard drive goodness, the included 320GB of space is capable of providing the end user with 2 months worth of continuous recording. At only 8.9″ x 8.2″ x 2.1″ measurement wise, it’s also very compact and can be stored easily.
At the rear of the unit are a number of ports/connectors. A great feature here is the the USB flash drive support allowing the end user to easily transfer/backup data stored on the harddrive. From left to right you have the TV output port (Video Output) alongside the 4 x Video camera input connectors. Next are the Audio In/Out ports, USB connection and your power input to the far right.
An abundance of wires are included to aid in installation, with no less than 60 meters of BNC cable wrapped up in 4 bundles (15meters per PNP 150 camera) , Swann have ensured cable length isn’t an issue when it comes to positioning your camera’s. In terms of camera’s, as already stated the DVR4-950 system comes pre-packed with 4 x PNP 150 security camera’s.
Each of the 4 camera’s are made up of two parts: the main unit and pedestal base. Each base can either be wall mounted or can be stood upright on it’s pedestal. Each base features swivel head and fully adjustable viewing angles.
In a sleek black colour coating with striking Swann name branding, each PNP camera comes equipped with a fully weather resistant anti-corrosive ABS plastic sunshield and body. As well as their dual viewing modes (Day=colour, Night=b&w) each camera has a viewing range of up to 30ft night vision made possible by the array of Infared LEDs sitting behind each lens.
Apart from looking every bit the business, the DV4-950 security system comes with an assortment of other features, one that certainly sticks out for me is the Auto Recovery feature. After a spate of power cuts in recent weeks (very annoying) one thing the DV4-950 offers is it’s ability to resume recording once power is restored.
Another feature that will be of use to most users is the customizable motion detection options. The option to change the motion detection sensitivity is an excellent idea – nothing worse than a moving leaf trigger the camera sensors and vital recording space lost. Being able to edit the alarm duration when the motion detection is activated along with motion area selection (allows you to select the area of the Camera to detect motion) options make the DVR4-950 a user friendly option and allow the consumer to tailor the system to their liking.
Ease Of Use/Setup?
The DVR4-950 system arrives in a large box and with everything un-packed (to the beginner DIYer) the amount of wires/parts can be quite daunting. In my experience knowing how easy a product use/setup really is, the best testing method is to get someone who lacks technical knowledge and ask them to ‘help’ set the system up and carry out basic usage of the item (in this case switching on and making a simple 30 second recording) Cue my older sister 🙂 (older but most definitely not wiser)
A quick flick through the included User manual and she was assembling wires and connecting stands within minutes. She had the whole system up and working with 40mins (obviously referring to the user manual from time to time)
Ease Of Setting Change/Customization/Menu Navigation?
Navigation through the menu options and making any necessary changes was very simple as pretty much everything is self-explanatory – no brain surgeon or rocket scientist needed here. Anything Audio related can be found within the Audio menu, Visual attributes are edited through the camera menu, and so on….
Initially for the non-technically minded, the steps needed to backup your video footage can be slightly confusing – 8 steps to be precise!! User’s must first search for the video files using the Time Search feature, followed by designating the backup start and end times. You then and have to access the backup menu and confirm the copying process. Once carried out a few times, this process does become easier (in other words i only referred to the user’s manual on two occasions).
Included in the DVR4-950 package is a piece of software called VVFPlayer that allows for video playback via your computer/laptop. The software itself is about as basic as it comes and is nothing more than a playback program – no editing features here!!!! You can however extract certain footage from a larger video clip particularly useful if only certain snippets are important and needed for backup. There is also the ability to view video footage on another computer that does not have the VVFPlayer software installed by exporting the footage to a AVI file.