This is a consumer grade 8 Channel DVR. The difference is this system accepts up to 8 cameras and supports D1 recording on all 8 channels.
Today I’m reviewing the Q-See QS558-885-1, it’s a midrange home Security Camera System. The unit is small in size and light weight. This is a consumer grade 8 Channel DVR. The difference with this one is the resolution it captures at. The camera system accepts up to 8 cameras and supports D1 recording on all 8 channels. This is nice for this price point I personally have a Q-See 16 channel DVR, and it only does D1 with 4 sources, not 8 or 16.
The built-in software on the QS558 is really good; it’s one of the most user friendly and easily navigatable interfaces I’ve used in a home DVR. The usability is really simple and straight forward. It’s nice that you can use a wireless mouse if you want to navigate the menus and setup the system. You can also use the included infrared remote. Playing back a recording is really easy and shows you when there was movement. It uses a slide bar you just drag to the highlighted red areas on the timeline bar. It has all the features you’d expect from a higher end DVR like PTZ support and motion detection with movement alarms. You can even block out a private area from view on the screen. This unit would be fairly easy for a beginner to setup, there’s a setup wizard in the beginning to help walk you through some of the initial settings.
The Capture quality of the unit is on point within its price range. The cameras that are included in this kit are above average for this price range. The camera’s output resolution is 704×480 which is called (D1). This used to be the highest quality image you’d find in a home DVR solution, with a playback resolution greater than most home DVRs out there. The DVR itself supports 8 D1 feeds at full 30fps. Most units within this price will be less than half that frame rate, and depreciate with the more cameras you add, but not this one. The playback was smooth with no jitters or lag. The color quality of the cameras is excellent. Grass was green, sky was blue, and everything looked great. Light sensitivity was rather good, and the quality of night recording was average.
The unit has 8 BNC video inputs on the back along with 8 RCA audio inputs (The cameras included with this unit do not support audio, but the DVR does.) It also has 1 HDMI, 1 VGA, 1 coaxial Out, alarm in/out and PTZ. It also has USB and eSATA for external hard drives or a mouse. The fact that it has eSATA it really nice and most units will not come with this feature. eSATA is key for good backups or transfer or large videos without the horrible wait times you’d normally get with USB. It has 1 Ethernet port for network connection; you plug it in and it will get a DHCP assigned IP and get a connection if you have a router, or you can manually setup your network configuration. It took me no time at all to have it connected to the internet. I found this odd; I didn’t even have to setup port forwarding. I’m not sure if this is a common thing with these DVR’s or I had some kind of fluke. I’m using a Netgear N600 WNDR3700, and with my other system, and I had to configure port forwarding for it to work.
We tested with the iPhone 4s, and downloaded the software right from the app store, it was cake. The setup was easy if you knew your IP address. The iPhone software was slick it did have a few bugs though, for instance if you have two devices viewing the video at once over a LAN connection it seems to have lag or make one of the connections reset to regain a video feed. This only happened when we had both an iPhone and an Android device remotely connected at the same time. Overall though the quality of the video feed whether being a local connection or a remote connection was good and useable.
On Android, we used the Samsung Note running jelly bean. The resolution on the Note is massive and the low resolution that the software outputs made the video clarity lacking. The software though worked better on Android then it did on the iPhone, and had seemed to have more available options. On a smaller phone like the Galaxy S III, I could see the resolution being less of a problem. The overall experience was useable and within reason for this type of feature.
I tested this with Internet Explorer. I don’t normally use internet explorer, but I had issues getting the web browser viewer working in Chrome. With internet explorer, the video quality was good, and the speed was great. Had better usability then the phones we tested. The viewer looks clean and well thought out; they’ve definitely came along way in the past few years when it comes to home Security DVR solutions.
If you are looking for a Home Security Camera system, then this unit is for you. It’s a good setup with enough quality and clarity to do you justice. It has better specs and its rated better than most units you’ll find on sale at your local Costco, Sam’s Club or even Fry’s. I’ve setup many unit’s over the years and for the price of $499 you just can’t beat the QS558. I give it 4 out of 5.