One of the things we do as a service to our customers here at Protective Resources is product reviews. We even have manufacturers request that we test and review their product for bugs or suitability to a given mission profile. Mostly this is fun for us. We get to see new toys and try to break them, often learning something ourselves along the way. In this case we were testing Network Video Recorder (NVR) platforms and I needed several IP cameras to serve as video feeds for the NVRs.
For the first product review of this particular blog, I thought I’d do a simple one for a really cheap, but powerful IP camera that I’ve used for testing and demonstrations. This camera is a Chinese import product that is most likely NOT on the approved manufacturer’s list for most commercial grade NVRs. That’s where this product comes in.
The Wansview NCM-623W Wireless IP Camera is not, in my opinion, a robust commercial grade IP camera that I would recommend to a client for use in an administration or R&D type facility. The product looks like it is more suited for home or retail use, as it’s on the lower end for resolution (1MP) for an IP camera. It is however, a very solid built and reliable camera with some pretty nice features for the price. For a camera that I paid $138.00 each for, I really can’t be upset about any of the the “cons” that I’ve discovered with this camera. It’s been over a year or so now, and there may be other products on the market that are comparable, but for the price and ease of configuration, I’m satisfied with my purchase of these cameras for demonstrations and evaluations.
Wansview NCM-623W Wireless IP Camera
- 1280 x 720 Max Resolution (1 Megapixel) at up to 30fps and 4mbps bitrate.
- Lens f=3.6mm, F=2.0
- VGA/QVGA/QQVGA three video resolutions optional.
- RTSP and ONVIF compatible
- Motion detection can detect environmental situation.
- Built-in Microphone, supports two-way intercom function. (G.711/G.726 Codecs)
- 10/100 10baseT, or 802.11b/g/n wireless protocol.
- Supports UPNP, Motion detection, Infrared LED for night vision (up to 5M)
- Support for mobile phone
- Supports TF Card for on camera recording (event or continuous)
We successfully connected this camera to several NVR software platforms using RTSP at full resolution and bitrate. It performs well, but it is definitely strained. It has a built in webserver, and connecting to it while it’s streaming at that rate is, well, sluggish. The default user “admin” and password “123456” are used to login (and connect via the RTSP stream if you don’t change it, which you did, right?). There are actually three users by default, “admin”, “user” and “guest”, all with default passwords that should be changed. As far as I know, these can only be changed by the web interface, and there is no enterprise type remote configuration tool.
Once connected as admin you can configure the camera settings, users, recording features, alarm features, wireless features, and network settings like FTP, DDNS, and email upon alarm events. It has a pretty rich feature set for the price. The audio worked well using either codec to an Internet Explorer browser (not Firefox or Chrome), but only when connected via hardwire ethernet. When using wireless ethernet the audio is choppy, and changing codecs, bit rates, or wireless network protocols did not solve the problem. The camera supports G.711 and G.726 audio encoding format. The sound of the G.711 is better, but it takes up more bandwidth. Using the G.726 codec didn’t make any difference over WiFi. An email to Wansview tech support has never been answered.
Since it supports both MJPEG and RTSP streams, you can connect to it with most any IP Camera NVR software or even a desktop media player like VLC. The syntax for the RTSP stream is a little cryptic, but the high resolution stream I found best was something like this: “rtsp://admin:firstname.lastname@example.org/11”, but each of the streams may be connected to as follows:
- rtsp://user:pass@ip:port/11 （View the first video stream – 1280×720）
- rtsp://user:pass@ip:port/12 (View the second video stream – 640×360）
- rtsp://user:pass@ip:port/13 (View the third video stream – 320×180）
Video quality and picture resolution was quite good, as you can see from the test image. The video is 1280X720 @ 512kbps data rate and 15 fps.
Overall we are pleased with this camera. If you have sufficient experience with network IP cameras and NVR software, and understand the jargon and technical issues, this camera is worth the money and will do the job. It’s not going to replace a $500 Axis IP camera, but then it only costs 1/4 the price too. For our purposes, this camera performs well, is cheap enough we can buy enough to fully test an evaluation NVR, and supports enough modern features that we can put a demo through its paces and see how it performs without having to worry about the field hardware.
- 1.3 Megapixel @ 30 FPS and 4mbps Data Rate
- IR LED Illuminator
- Two way Audio Hardwire
- Ethernet or 802.11 G/N Wifi
- RTSP or MJPEG Streams
- Web Interface or Smartphone Client
- Email / FTP / Local Recording
- Audio Over WiFi Unreliable
- Some Software Features a Little Buggy
- “Shutter” click sound audible when ambient light changes
- Web Interface Slow
- Documentation Lacking