Features / In Use
Maximum resolution of the TV-IP572PI is 1280x800 in H.264 and MPEG4 formats, making it an HD camera. It can supply that at a 30fps framerate, which I verified it can handle beautifully in Blue Iris. Four video profiles are provided for different configuration options. Stream 3 transmits in MJPEG format at a reduced framerate for higher resolutions.
The web interface was functional and practical, especially considering the budget-friendly price tag of the camera. The camera's Live View page has options for configuring the camera, indicating if motion detection is tripped, indicating if recording is on, stream selection, snapshot capture, local recording, Listen and Talk functions, and also Digital Zoom.
The "Setup" configuration pages were much less detailed than other cameras I've reviewed, but still had adequate functionality. Recording could be configured to write to the camera's SD card or to a Samba network share and recording could be triggered based on Motion, Schedule or simply all the time. Video clips and Snapshots could be configued the same way, although the target options in that case were FTP or Email. Recording could not be done on events such as audio detection.
Configuration of motion detection was, uh, "ok", but not nearly as user friendly as I found on Axis' M1054 and M1031-W. Motion area could be drawn in sort of a "window" format as many other cameras have and sensitivity could be set between 0% and 100%,with a default of 90%. This is shown in Figure 4 below.
Figure 4: Motion detection screen of the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI
However, as we've seen with many network cameras, sensitivity is trial and error, with no real indication of current levels on the motion detection screens. If you want to see a great example of motion detection done well, take a look at the AXIS M1054 review.
That said, once I got motion detection dialed in, I didn't receive one false positive from this camera, which is something that doesn't happen often when testing network cameras. I set up Motion Detection, then configured a five second pre-event buffer, 10 second maximum video of the H.264 1280x800 30fps video stream to my email. This resulted in about a 5.5MB AVI file that was spot on with how I had configured it.
The TV-IP572PI also seemed to transition well from day to night mode and vice versa without getting "confused" and clicking back and forth at borderline thresholds like the D-Link DCS-942L. I had the TV-IP551WI sitting right beside the TV-IP572PI for most of the testing and I found the TV-IP551WI would often be in night mode during the day when plenty of light was available. Fortunately it didn't continually click either, it was simply stubborn at times.
The complete screen captures of the TV-IP572PI admin screens can be seen in the gallery below.
Image Quality - Day
I found the image quality of the TV-IP572PI to be pretty good for it's price range. For comparison's sake, we'll look at the control shot of our junkroom, taken with a Nikon D5000 DSLR. We'll then compare it the TV-IP572PI's day shot and the AXIS M1054's day shot.
Figure 5 is the Nikon D5000 DSLR control shot.
Figure 5: Control image from the Nikon D5000 DSLR
Figure 6 is the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI day image
Figure 6: Day image from the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI
Figure 7 is the AXIS M1054 day image
Figure 7: Day image from the Axis M1054
You notice a few things right away. First of all, the 84° field of view from the AXIS M1054 vs the 51.8° of the TV-IP572PI lets you see a lot more of the room. Image clarity is quite a bit sharper on the M1054, but it does cost twice as much. The TV-IP572PI has basically no penetration back in to the furnace room beyond the 20 foot mark, where the control image and the M1054 do provide a view into it.
One thing you might notice though, look at the 15 foot marker. It's readable in the TV-IP572PI image, whereas it isn't really in the M1054 image. The wider field of view also does make things look farther away.