TP-Link TL-SC4171G wireless IP camera

Networked surveillance cameras continue to gain more features at a given price point, and TP-Link's latest model is no exception. For £166, you get a motorised pan/tilt indoor colour camera with zero-lux night vision and both 100Mbps wired and 802.

Networked surveillance cameras continue to gain more features at a given price point, and TP-Link's latest model is no exception. For £166, you get a motorised pan/tilt indoor colour camera with zero-lux night vision and both 100Mbps wired and 802.11g wireless connectivity. It also has two-way audio functions and a mechanical infra-red (IR) cut filter — the latter kicks in for daytime operation to eliminate the colour distortion typically found on night-vision cameras.

The turret-like design is compact, with a 114mm diameter base and a height of 112mm. There are 12 infrared LEDs around the f/2.0 lens that automatically illuminate in low light conditions, giving it a night vision range of up to 10m. Video is captured by a 0.3-megapixel 1/4in. progressive scan CMOS sensor, and the camera supports simultaneous dual-stream MPEG-4 and Motion-JPEG (MJPEG) output. The native resolution is 640 by 480 pixels, and it can capture MPEG-4 video at 30fps and MJPEG video at 15fps.

TP-Link's well-featured TL-SC4171G wireless IP camera costs £166

The camera has a 354? pan and a 125? tilt, with a pan rate of 60?/second and a tilt rate of 80?/second. Four automatic 'patrol' modes are available, each of which scans eight preset positions in a different pattern. The lens itself has a horizontal field of view of 49? and includes a 10x digital zoom mode.

A built-in microphone and connector for an external speaker allow full-duplex audio communication, and there's a digital I/O connector to allow the camera to be linked to external alarms and sensors. Event triggering can be done by motion detection, schedule or external alarm, and snapshot notifications can be sent via HTTP, email or FTP.

The bundled management software can control and record the output from up to 16 cameras, and up to five users can view unicast streams simultaneously (unlimited viewers can see the multicast stream). Power is provided via an external adapter — there's no Power-over-Ethernet support.

The camera goes on sale in February 2011, and a list of resellers can be found on TP-Link's website.

Kelvyn Taylor

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