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Multimedia & VoIP Reviews

Introduction

TRENDnet TV-IP572PI

At a Glance
Product TRENDnet TV-IP572PI HD Network camera [Website]
Summary Budget minded HD network camera
Pros • Relatively inexpensive for HD
• 802.3af PoE support
• Motion detection works perfectly
• Basic features work well
Cons • Very short power cord
• May lack features some may deem as important
• Manual focus

TRENDnet recently sent us two of its IP cameras for review. The first we'll be looking at is the TV-IP572PI. I'll be following up in a bit with a shorter comparison review on the TV-IP551WI.

If you take a look at the camera area of TRENDnet's site it can be a little confusing. The TV-IP572 alone has four different models, the TV-IP572P, the TV-IP572PI, the TV-IP572W, and the TV-IP572WI. The decoder ring is: "P" indicates Power over Ethernet (802.3af); "I" indicates a day/night (InfraRed) and "W" indicates wireless.

The TV-IP572PI can be found for about $143 shipped if you do some smart shopping, while the TV-IP551WI can be purchased for $88 shipped. This makes both cameras some of the most economical cameras we have reviewed to date.

Setup

The TV-IP572PI box includes the camera, 5VDC-1.2A wall-wart power adapter with very short power cable, manual, software CD, network cable, and mounting hardware. With the P and PI versions, the short power cable can, of course, be left in the box if you have an 802.3af PoE-capable switch or injector.

TRENDnet's instructions warned not to install or mount the camera until the software installation steps had been followed. I had set up the TV-IP551WI first using the software CD and decided to live dangerously when setting up the TV-IP572PI. I plugged it in to power and network, found it in Overlook Fing, and went to the camera's web interface. I then logged in with the standard admin/admin and was in business. The software installation does strongly suggest changing the admin password, so it may be beneficial for first time users to go through those steps.

Inside

The TV-IP572PI was very easy to take apart, 4 case screws and one board screw. Inside I found 16 MB of Winbond flash and 128 MB of Hynix DDR2 RAM.

Flash and RAM memory of the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI
Figure 1: Flash and RAM memory of the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI

The processor appeared to be a Grain Media variant. However it was hidden under some shielding and not immediately identifiable.

Partially hidden Grain Media processor of the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI
Figure 2: Partially hidden Grain Media processor of the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI

The image sensor is a 1/4" CMOS sensor. The lens has a 4mm focal length with a horizontal field of view of 51.8 degrees. I found out through trial and error that the lens is manual focus, which really wasn't a big deal.

Four IR LEDs are supplied for night vision, which did well compared to other cameras with an equal number of IR LEDs as we'll see later. Rounding out the rest of the internals are a built-in microphone, an audio out jack (no speaker included), and a Micro SD card slot. Figure 3 below shows this detail.

The front panel callouts of the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI
Figure 3: The front panel callouts of the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI

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