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Setup

The basic setup of the PVC2300 is quite simple. By default, the PVC2300 acquires its address via DHCP. If you have a network monitoring tool like Network Magic that will detect a new device coming onto your network, or if your router shows you DHCP leases, you can go directly to the web browser interface on the camera's IP address.

Most people will want to use the included discovery wizard. When the wizard starts up, it searches for cameras on your local network. For those of you who are interested, the wizard "arps" on port 916 at 255.255.255.255. Here's a screen shot of the found camera:

Setup Wizard
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Figure 5: PVC2300 Setup Wizard finds the camera on my network

The wizard also lets you assign a static address, set the time and date, and name the camera. After this initial, basic configuration, you configure the balance of the PVC2300's through the browser interface.

When you first log into the camera's web management interface, you are prompted for a user name/password (admin/admin). Next, you are prompted to download and install an ActiveX control from the camera that lets you view the camera's image. Here's what the home page looks like:

Home Page
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Figure 6: PVC2300 Home Page

As administrator, you have full privileges including configuration, toggling output ports, changing resolution, taking a snapshot, changing between day and night modes, and using the digital zoom (2X or 4X). Note that the zoom option, implemented with an ActiveX control, is not available when using Safari on a Mac.

In this photo, I set the camera to monitor the parking lot outside my condo. I also used one of the customizing features to put the SmallNetBuilder logo in the upper left corner.

The setup menu is also fairly straightforward. I'll comment briefly on each of the five menu categories separately.

Settings menu
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Figure 7: PVC2300 Settings menu

Setup—First, a generic comment. I found the user interface to be slightly annoying, because many of the screens required you to scroll down in the window in order to save options. In addition, some scroll boxes required left/right scrolling. There was plenty of screen real estate on my screen to allow viewing complete pages without scrolling. The frame could have been sizeable.

The basic setup provides access to standard networking configuration parameters, such as IP address, mask, NTP server, etc. The advanced page lets you enable secure HTTPS access, as well as change RTSP (real time streaming protocol), RTP (real time protocol) and RTP packet size. For those in the Mac world, you can enable Bonjour discovery.

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