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|At a Glance|
|Product||TRENDnet TV-IP551WI Wireless N Day /Night network camera [Website]|
|Summary||VGA network camera with entry-level features for under $100|
|Pros||• Budget minded
• Wireless N functionality
• Night vision may be better than the TV-IP572PI
|Cons||• Very short power cord
• Motion detection was spotty
• Transition out of day mode was problematic at times
• Manual focus
Last week I looked at the TRENDnet TV-IP572PI HD network camera. To wrap up this round of TRENDnet camera reviews, I'll be looking at the TRENDnet TV-IP551WI 802.11n wireless day/night camera. The "I" indicates it's a day/night camera and the "W" indicates wireless capabilites.
The TV-IP572PI can be found for about $143 shipped if you do some smart shopping, while the TV-IP551WI can be purchased for $88 shipped. For the most part this will be a comparison review, however the cameras were different enough that they do warrant closer inspection of several items.
Like the TV-IP572PI, the TV-IP551WI box came complete with camera, 5VDC-1.2A wall-wart power adapter with very short power cable, manual, software CD, network cable, and mounting hardware.
The TRENDnet instructions warned not to install or mount the camera until the software installation steps had been followed. For the TV-IP551WI I used software CD and followed the installation steps. The software installation does strongly suggest changing the admin password, which I did. Setup was then completed. When I set up the TV-IP572PI I didn't run the installation software and instead just went directly to the web interface, so either way appears it will work fine.
|Lens||4mm focal length, 38 deg horizontal view, F1.5, manual focus||4mm focal length, 51.8 deg horizontal view, F1.5, manual focus|
|Power over Ethernet||No||Yes (802.3af)|
|Horizontal Field of View||38°||51.8°|
|Video Compression||MJPEG||H.264, MPEG-4, MJPEG|
|Audio||1-way, built-in microphone only||2-way, built-in microphone and audio out jack|
|Record to storage||FTP and email only||FTP, SMB (network share), SD card, Email|
The TV-IP551WI had the same disassembly procedures as the TV-IP572PI, 4 case screws and one board screw. Inside I found a 4MB Winbond flash chip. I couldn't identify the CPU as it was under shielding and I also could not identify the RAM chip without risk of breaking the equipment.
Figure 1: Flash and RAM memory of the TRENDnet TV-IP5551WI
Figure 2: Shielding concealing the processor of the TRENDnet TV-IP551WI
The image sensor is a 1/5" CMOS sensor. The lens has a 4mm focal length with a horizontal field of view of 38 degrees. Like the TV-IP572PI, the lens is manual focus, which really wasn't a big deal. Four LEDs are supplied for night vision, which did very well compared to other cameras with equal IR LEDs as we'll see later. Rounding out the rest of the internals are a built-in microphone, (no audio out). Figure 3 below shows this detail.
Figure 3: The front and rear callouts of the TRENDnet TV-IP551WI
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