YHDO Security Camera Review


The good folk at THZY-UK have sent me a gadget to review - the YHDO Security Camera with Night Vision.

NetCam Camera

I'm comparing this to other cameras I've reviewed in the past - including Y-Cam and Sercomm models.

The first thing to note is that this is one of the cheaper cameras on the market. At around £40, it's a third of the price of the Y-Cam models. But does that low price means it compromises on features?

What's In The Box

NetCam Unboxing

As well as the camera and power supply (output of 5V, 2A) you get a wall-mounting kit and instruction leaflet.

NetCam leaflet
The leaflet is poorly translated - but there's not really a great deal of complexity here. Plug in the camera to the network, then plug it into the power.

There's an Android app and iOS app for you to configure the device. Or you can connect via your web browser - by default, the camera is available on port 81.

All the apps - including desktop apps - are available at http://www.netcam360.com/en.html

NetCam Android App-fs8

With the app you're able to fully control the camera - including receiving audio from it. If you want to access it from outside your network, you'll need to set up the necessary port forwarding.

Hardware

This is a fully featured IP Cam.
NetCam Rear Ports

  • This is a Pan / Tilt camera. It can rotate ~350° and can tilt ~150° from pointing straight up.
  • 10 Infrared LEDs around the camera give it night vision
  • Microphone on the base allows you to hear what's going on in a room.
  • Speaker on the side to generate alarms - or you can use the microphone on your phone to talk to people near the camera..
  • 2.4GHz WiFi, LAN port, 3.5mm audio jack.
  • Micro SD card support for local file saving

Really, the only let-down is the comparatively poor resolution of the camera itself. Although the unit claims to deliver 720p, the maximum resolution is 640*360!

Software

The software is basic, but functional.

  • Android App.
  • iOS App.
  • Built in web browser (port 81 by default).
  • MJPEG support for streaming.
  • RTSP support (although I couldn't get it working).
  • ONVIF support (untested).

Usage

The Web UI is basic - but good enough.
Camera Web UI

There's a full suite of settings for you to fiddle with. Everything is reasonably sensibly laid out.
Camera Settings-fs8

The same can be said for the Android app - everything works without much fuss.
NetCam Android Settings-fs8

With the Android app, you can use the touchscreen to control the camera's movement. You can also hold down the microphone button and use your phone's mic to broadcast your voice out to the camera! Nifty 🙂

The camera also works perfectly with 3rd party webcam apps.
NetCam TinyCam App-fs8

Digging around in the web UI, it seems that users of Internet Explorer are able to force the camera into 720p mode.
Camera Web IE OCX 720p-fs8
However, if you don't want to install an OCX file, or can't use IE - it doesn't look like there's a way to get 720p out of the camera.

Alarms

Every IP camera is tricky to set up. This is no worse than any of the others. It will allow you to send photos via email, upload them to FTP, or save them on the Micro SD card.

Alarm Settings-fs8

The alarm sensitivity took a little bit of practice to get right, but once it has been configured you never have to touch it again. It might have been nice to support SMB or SFTP - but for a budget camera, it'll do.

Conclusions

You get quite a lot of camera for your money. The only real drawback is the limited resolution if you don't use Internet Explorer.

The Pan/Tilt motor is virtually silent. Even if you sit next to it, you'll hear it only as a whisper.

Infrared capabilities are good - you'll be able to see in even the darkest room.
Infrared Camera View

This is a re-badged WansCam JW0004. It's a cheap-and-cheerful model. The basic functionality is great, the camera's sensor is adequate for domestic use, and the software is of the usual quality.

You can buy THZY's YHDO Security Camera with Night Vision on Amazon for around £40.


API

So, you want to integrate this into your other systems, eh? Ok!

I found this information via Lud's blogpost on the JW0004.

WansCam offer API documentation in Chinese - this is my attempt to translate the more useful parts of it!

This is not a complete list - but should be enough to get you started.

All of these will require authorisation. Sometimes the API parameters are user=&pass= and sometimes they are loginuse=&loginpas==

Get Still Image

http://--:81/snapshot.cgi?user=&pwd=

Get a streaming video

MJPEG

http://--:81/videostream.cgi?loginuse=&loginpas=

See various configuration settings

http://--:81/get_status.cgi
http://--:81/get_params.cgi
http://--:81/get_misc.cgi
http://--:81/get_factory_param.cgi
http://--:81/get_camera_params.cgi
http://--:81/get_record.cgi

Network Stuff

Initiate a WiFi scan:

http://--:81/wifi_scan.cgi

What WiFi networks can the camera see?

http://--:81/get_wifi_scan_result.cgi

Reboot and reset

http://--:81/reboot.cgi
http://--:81/restore_factory.cgi

Logs

Alarm Logs

http://--:81/get_alarmlog.cgi

Infrared Controls

IR Off

http://--:81/camera_control.cgi?loginuse=&loginpas=¶m=14&value=0

IR On

http://--:81/camera_control.cgi?loginuse=&loginpas=¶m=14&value=1

Resolution

Set resolution to 320*180

http://--:81/camera_control.cgi?loginuse=&loginpas=¶m=15&value=1

Set resolution to 640*360

http://--:81/camera_control.cgi?loginuse=&loginpas=¶m=15&value=0

Motion

Motion control is slightly tricky.

The &command= controls the direction of movement.

  • &command=0 Up
  • &command=2 Down
  • &command=4 Left
  • &command=6 Right
  • &command=90 Up + Left
  • &command=92 Down + Left
  • &command=91 Up + Right
  • &command=93 Down + Right

The &onestep= controls how far it will move in that direction.

  • &onestep=0 - move as far as possible (i.e. all the way up, down, left, right).
  • &onestep=1 - move a short distance in the direction of travel.

So, to move all the way up:

http://--:81/decoder_control.cgi?loginuse=&loginpas=&command=0&onestep=0

To stop all motion.

http://--:81/decoder_control.cgi?loginuse=&loginpas=&command=3&onestep=0

To Calibrate and return to centre:

http://192.168.0.40:81/decoder_control.cgi?loginuse=&loginpas=&command=25&onestep=0

PTZ Speed

Bit of a complex one this. The patrol_X_rates take one of three values.

  • 1 Slow
  • 5 Medium
  • 10 Fast

Chained together, they look like

http://--:81/set_misc.cgi?loginuse=&loginpas=
   &ptz_patrol_rate=1
   &ptz_patrol_up_rate=1
   &ptz_patrol_down_rate=1
   &ptz_patrol_left_rate=1
   &ptz_patrol_right_rate=1

Picture

Horizontal Flip

http://--:81/camera_control.cgi?loginuse=&loginpas=¶m=5&value=2

Vertical Flip

http://--:81/camera_control.cgi?loginuse=&loginpas=¶m=5&value=1

Restore Normal

http://--:81/camera_control.cgi?loginuse=&loginpas=¶m=5&value=0

LED

By default there is a flashing green LED on the front of the camera.

Switch off

http://--:81/set_misc.cgi?loginuse=&loginpas=&led_mode=0

Switch on

http://--:81/set_misc.cgi?loginuse=&loginpas=&led_mode=1

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2 thoughts on “YHDO Security Camera Review

  1. Hi,
    Looking for a bit of help if you don't mind! Once I have set this camera up on my network would it be possible to reposition the unit in a house that doesn't have the internet having previously set it up to record direct onto an SD card. I need to record some activity at my 90 year old relative's and they dont have the web. I believe it can record about 24 hrs on a SD card and then replay it back on my laptop?
    Thanks

    1. Yes, once configured these sort of cameras will record to micro SD even if they've got no Internet access.

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