Configuration Of The 205, Continued
As you can now surmise, the 205 relies on password security to restrict access to the 205. If you have the camera configured to be accessible from the Internet, you will want to keep this fact in mind, as your security will only be as strong as the password that you select and the frequency in which you change the password. Depending on your application, this may or may not be important to you, as in many situations users will elect to configure the camera for Anonymous Viewer Mode and this will require no login or password.
The IP settings for the 205 are very flexible and provide settings for just about every option that we could think of. The user is able to change the HTTP port that the 205 listens on, as well the type of network connection used to serve up the images. You can lock the camera down to as little as 10mbit half duplex, if you so desire, to use less bandwidth; most users will just elect to leave the camera in Auto Negotiate Mode.
The IP settings do not support packet priority, so if you wish to control the bandwidth even more by packet priority, you will need to plug the 205 into a switch that supports the configuration of packet priority on a per port basis. Depending on your application and the way that you have the camera configured, during our testing we found that it is possible to saturate your Internet connection using the 205 if you have a lot of users at once and don't have a lot of bandwidth on your broadband connection, or your network for that matter. While we don't expect the 205 to offer packet priority configuration for a home user, it could prove useful to a business that wishes to use this product in that type of environment.
The 205 offers the ability to time stamp the video that you are receiving from the camera. The camera is able to sync with an NTP server that you can specify by IP address. Time keeping is pretty important for security applications and we found the 205 was able to keep accurate time with no problems that we encountered during our testing.
The 205 Image Settings Menu offers a lot settings to tweak and reaching an acceptable performance level will depending on your ability to tweak these settings. Don't look for the manual to provide you with any help.
The Image Settings Menu allows you to adjust the resolution, compression level, color level, brightness level and rotate the image. Rotation of the image is important, as depending on how you mount the camera, you might need this option to get the image back to the proper orientation. This is a nice feature that is often overlooked in other models. Compression of the video stream does result in smaller sizes, which are distributed more quickly, thus you have to sacrifice some of the quality. We did notice a difference when we played with this setting. Depending on the resolution and application and the amount of movement, this will dictate one of the four levels that you will select. We found in most of our testing that the medium setting seemed to provide the best balance of compression and performance for our purposes. We were never happy with the image quality of the High setting, but medium was acceptable.
The 205 allows you to add an overlay to the image. This can include the text, date, time, or a combination of all three if you like. The 205 allows you to configure the placement of overlay fields on either the top or the bottom the image. No additional option for the placement of the overlay fields within the image is possible, however.
Another interesting configuration option is the ability to limit how the video stream is accessed. The 205 allows you to limit access to the video access session for a specific numbers of hours, minutes, or seconds per access. This is handy if you are using this in an environment where you want to give everyone a chance to look. In addition, you can cap the frame rate, as well. We experimented with this option with mixed results. While it did work fine, it sill didn't provide the level of restriction that we might have liked for managing the level of bandwidth that the camera consumes. Let's face it: it is an intensive high bandwidth device, but Axis does make a good effort and allows better control and management of the bandwidth, which the 205 consumes.
The 205 is able to E-mail "snap shot" images to you. This can be configured in several ways, based on time of day and the number of pictures you want to send. We did encounter some problems getting this to work correctly, as our mail server required authorization prior to sending. This can be an issue, so unless you are running your own mail server or mail forwarding server, you may or may not have to jump through more than a few hoops to configure this and get it to work. It should be made clear that this is no fault of the 205, but getting it to work is contingent on the configuration of your mail server. Still, Axis might want to consider a few revisions to widen the range of the 205's out of the box compatibility. Axis does offer a test button for the E-mail configuration so it is easy to see if you have it working or not.