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Introduction

Updated 21 March 2007: Minor clarifications
At a Glance
Product Smartvue S4 Video Surveillance System
Summary High price, high quality video surveillance system using draft 11n wireless technology.
Pros • Easy Setup
• High Quality Video
• Superior wireless range with good frame rate
• Attractive Case
Cons • Very expensive
• No audio
• Noisy (fans)
• More bugs than there should be for the price

Smartvue Basestation

Last summer we had a serious problem with an arsonist in our neighborhood. Within a couple of months, three houses, all within view of our bedroom window were torched. During this period, I started evaluating networked security cameras with the thought that maybe a surveillance system would act as some level of deterrent.

The first system I checked out was a low-end system from Hawking Technologies. This $120, single-camera system suffered from numerous problems including buggy software and low quality video. For my next review, I stepped up a notch and checked out a system from Lukwerks. This surveillance system was much more capable, being able to control up to six independent cameras with a well-done user interface. But these capabilities came at a much higher price than the Hawking unit. Depending on the options selected, you could easily spend $1500 or more. And on top of the base-price, the system required a dedicated high-end Windows computer for recording and playback.

About the time I was doing the second review, the arsonist was caught, so my need was lessened, but I'm still interested in seeing what's available on the market. In this review, I'll take one more step up, checking out an even higher-end, stand-alone, wireless surveillance system from Smartvue.

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