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QNAP NVR-1012 Wireless Network Surveillance Kit E-mail
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Written by Larry Fraser - Edited by Olin Coles   
Wednesday, 04 June 2008
Table of Contents: Page Index
QNAP NVR-1012 Wireless Network Surveillance Kit
Features and Specifications
Closer Look: Product Name
Detailed Features
Testing
NVR-101 Test Results
Testing Results Continued
QNAP NVR-1012 Performance
Final Thoughts and Conclusion

Surveillance Kit Final Thoughts

I ended up with very mixed feeling about the QNAP NVR-1012 surveillance kit. The main NVR-101 unit seems to be a very nice product with some useful features, it is well constructed and simple to use. The cameras supplied were very easy to setup and also offered some nice features. However, there were numerous problems. While the NVR-101 has some very nice features as a surveillance server, I feel let down that QNAP decided to leave out almost all of their standard NAS utilities. Given that this is marketed towards the home user, it would be nice if the NVR-101 could pull double duty as not only a surveillance server but also as a standard NAS server. Sure you could add some extra folders in the default shared directories, but given how nice the standard QNAP NAS software is this is a huge letdown. A standard QNAP TS-109 Pro II NAS box runs around $330, the NVR-101 runs around $600. There should be no reason that the NVR-101 doesn't have at least the standard NAS features built in.Qnap_NVR_1012_1.jpg

Then we get to the problems with the cameras. While they may have some cool features, at the end of the day I was very let down by not only the incompatibility of the motion activated recording features, but also by the recording quality. I realize that the cameras are only rated as 5 meter focus cameras and to knock them down because they don't offer a clear image of subjects further away may be unfair, but, it defeats the purpose of having a security system if the recordings can't be used as evidence to adequately identify the subject. Bottom line is that these cameras are fine for baby monitors, or monitoring your pets, or to some extent might be fine as a nanny cam, but for overall security monitoring I would highly recommend purchasing better cameras.

One of the main reasons of buying a bundled package is that the consumer is relying on the manufacturer's expertise in choosing the cameras. To put this in perspective, if a corporate customer hired a professional to install a security system, and it was that professional's responsibility to not only install the system but to choose the best products for the job, what do you think the customer's reaction would be when they were informed that the main unit chosen had some really advanced motion activated recording features, and the cameras chosen had some really advanced motion activated recording features, but unfortunately, they would not be able to use these features due to an incompatibility? Something tells me that this wouldn't go over very well.

QNAP NVR-1012 Conclusion

Our rating of the overall packaging and presentation is somewhat high, as QNAP has done an excellent job of educating consumers with plenty of box-top information so they can make an informed purchase. It might result in a little information overload but I would rather have to many specifications listed than not enough.

Rating the appearance of the NVR-1012 kit is a little difficult in that there is essentially two products involved. The main NVR-101 unit rates very high in appearance. It is a sleek looking little box with a nice finish. I could do without the flashing lights blinding me, but in all other respects very nice. The cameras failed to impress me. They are extremely light weight and basically look cheap to me.

Construction of the NVR-1012 kit is similar to the appearance rating. The main NVR-101 unit seems to be a solid little unit. The hard drive mounts securely, a fan keeps the drive cool, no complaints at all. The cameras are very lightweight and without using the mounting attachments, they are virtually impossible to position without them moving around on you.

The functionality rating is where the NVR-1012 kit falls a little short. Both the NVR-101 unit and the cameras offer some really nice features individually, but the incompatibilities between the two are inexcusable given that QNAP chose to put these two products together. I also feel a little let down that the NVR-101 unit lacks the great QNAP's NAS features. And if that weren't bad enough, we still have to consider the short focus distance of the cameras.

While the NVR-101 by itself is not a bad value, it could be a much better value if QNAP would unlock the standard NAS features. However, the product being reviewed here is not just the NVR-101 but the NVR-1012 kit. Adding an extra $300 to $400 to the price of the NVR-101 gets you two lightweight, not fully compatible, extremely short focus ranged cameras. Presently you can find a few online retailers listing the QNAP NVR-1012 for around $949. Not the best buy in my book.

I commend QNAP on realizing the need for a complete security kit. There is a growing demand for home security systems, and with the overload of products on the market it is quite a daunting task for the typical consumer try to piece together a security system from individual parts, install them, and hope everything works well together. I do feel that QNAP may not quite be there yet with this current kit. I would much rather a kit be a little overpriced but include the "best" choice for the consumer rather than package a nice server with a couple of budget cameras and still charge almost $1,000. The typical home, SOHO consumer doesn't have the budget the larger corporate customer does. I would imagine that while a $1,000 security system for a large business of course would be a joke, the typical home consumer sees this as a fairly large expenditure. I personally would be very disappointed with the quality of the cameras if I dropped close to $1,000 on this kit.

Pros:

+ Qnap quality NVR-101 main unit.
+ Easy to configure both the cameras and the main unit individually.
+ Easy to configure the wireless and it works well over short ranges.
+ NVR-101 software is easy to use and allows for some pretty advanced monitoring.
+ Remote streaming works well.
+ Ability to have the unit email you in the event of a motion recording event.

Cons:

- Incompatibilities between the camera and the main unit prevent the use of motion activated recordings.
- Severely crippled NAS features.
- Documentation does not address conflicts between cameras and main unit, can be difficult to configure main unit to handle cameras.
- Recording quality is poor in all but the best case scenario.
- Wireless range is very limited.

Ratings:

  • Presentation: 9.25
  • Appearance: 8.50
  • Construction: 8.50
  • Functionality: 7.50
  • Value: 7.50

Final Score: 8.25 out of 10.


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