Defender Sentinel 4CH H.264 500GB Smart Security DVR Including 4 Ultra Hi-Res Indoor/Outdoor Cameras with 100ft Night Vision,21027 specifications, exciting information along with costumer opinions who already purchased and also best price along with very good discount.
Placing a surveillance DVR in your house is simple since it comes with instructions about how to set it up. Thus, you will be guided step by step about how to set it up and how to use it. These DVRs come in most forms and all sizes. As well as surveillance DVRs that come in the form of pens and flashlights. Do not be surprised if you discovered for yourself being recorded at a friend’s home. You can even convert your laptop or your desktop computer as a monitoring system. The USB port of your laptop can be converted into a DVR. How’s that for a surveillance machine and you do not have to buy a complete new system. Just get a DVR card that can fit in the slot of your existing laptop. The most common types of card are the PCI card. These cards can accommodate up to 16 channel variations and each channel needs one camera. Thus, you decide how many cameras you will need for your home.
This product produced by Defender become one of the top recomended Surveillance DVR Kits since a lot of customers happy after using this item. In addition to its features, the best price also becomes a factor. This article is a description of Defender Sentinel 4CH H.264 500GB Smart Security DVR Including 4 Ultra Hi-Res Indoor/Outdoor Cameras with 100ft Night Vision,21027, an item loved by peoples and have a much of cool reviews. We will present to you customer reviews, product features, descriptions, and a variety of other interesting things. Happy reading.
Defender Sentinel 4CH H.264 500GB Smart Security DVR Including 4 Ultra Hi-Res Indoor/Outdoor Cameras with 100ft Night Vision,21027 Details and Reviews
418 of 428 people found the following review helpful.
Solid 4 stars, with 5-star potential
By R. Precourt
I’ve been on the fence about buying one of these systems for a little over a year now and finally decided on this one.
My needs were:
* 4 outdoor cameras
* Good resolution
* Good night vision
* DVR with network capability
* Ability to view cameras from multiple computers and smartphone
* Price range of $300-$350
This system appeared to meet all my needs and I had noticed over the past year that the Defender systems seemed to have the best overall ratings. I further researched the on-line manual for this system (as I frequently do for things that I’m serious about purchasing) and it also gave me comfort that the system would meet my needs.
I’ve had the system installed for about a week now and I am quite pleased with it. That being said, I would like to share my overall experience with everyone, as it may be helpful for those considering this system and installing it themselves, as I did.
I did a few things backwards, but found it helpful in adjusting the cameras once I had everything wired.
First off, the entire system was packaged very nicely – great presentation and well organized. All of the camera cables were rolled up nicely on plastic spools. All parts were neatly arranged and well labeled.
Next, I took everything out of the box and hooked up to my 40″ Samsung LCD via VGA cable to test it out. Note: the manual indicates that if you hook the DVR up using VGA to an LCD TV or monitor that the mouse and remote will not function. I called Defender to inquire about this prior to purchasing and they informed me that the unit WILL work fine via VGA and they were correct. I have no problem with the mouse or remote working using the VGA port and this gives great resolution (much better than using the composite video cable.) The VGA cable is not included with the system, but all other cables you need are. I would recommend using VGA if you can.
After hooking everything up for a test run, I found that everything worked fine. I did notice that the video connections on the back of the DVR seemed to be a bit loose, causing the video to flicker and go in and out if I moved to cables, however, once I had everything hooked up and running I have not experienced this again.
I then proceeded to configure the system and do the network setup, firstly, to verify that it would actually work and do all the things I wanted, and second, so that I could view the cameras from my Android phone while adjusting them, which is very helpful and allows for an easy, one-person installation.
I had no problems at all with the network setup and port forwarding on my AT&T U-Verse router/gateway. I simply set the DVR to DHCP and let it acquire an address. I wrote all the acquired information down, then changed it to Static and input the same information (so that I don’t have to worry about the IP changing. I forwarded the three ports needed for network and mobile viewing and was viewing on my phone within minutes. Defender’s network guide was great and made the whole process very easy. I added the IP address to the trusted sites zone as directed and set security for trusted sites to low and had no trouble with the ActiveX install.
The on-line software is very nice and allows you not only to view your cameras on any computer, but also you can manage every setting on the DVR, just as if you are right there. And, it’s actually easier (in my opinion) to do this via the software, than on the DVR itself, although the DVR’s interface is also easy to use.
Now, on to the installation; here are the things that I experienced that I hope will help future buyers install this system with less pain than I had.
I dropped all of my cables from the attic down into the wall behind my flat screen TV and routed them through an AV wall plate, along with the other cables that were already there (HDMI, VGA, power, etc.) Here is one important thing to note; the cables are neatly spooled up, so naturally I unrolled them all in the direction that they were spooled. While the BNC video connectors are the same on both ends, the power connectors are NOT; they are male on one end and female on the other. AND, two out of four of mine were spooled backwards. This caused me to spend an extra day re-running one cable completely, which I had run all the way to where one of the cameras would be on the other side of the house, down through another very difficult wall to the first floor. I did not notice the problem until I went to plug the camera into the cable and ended up with two female plugs together. So, long story short – pay careful attention to the orientation of the power connectors and make sure you run the cables in the correct direction (the female end should start at the DVR and the male end should be at the camera where it will plug into the female jack on the camera.
After getting over that, I got the cameras all mounted and hooked up. Another thing to note is that these cameras can only be wall or table-top mounted, but not ceiling mounted, so if your application requires this, you will need different cameras. I think some of their other cameras can be ceiling mounted, but not these.
The wiring goes through the mounting bracket, which is very nice and there are slots in the top and bottom if you have to run the wire differently, as I did with three of mine (up into the eves and into the attic.) If the cameras could have been mounted directly to the eves, this wouldn’t have been necessary, but it all worked out.
The next thing I’ve experienced that may be helpful to know before you mount the cameras is that the screws provided are NOT weather-resistant by any means. While the cameras themselves appear to be made very well, my screws have already began to rust after only two brief rain showers and less than one week of being outside. Easy solution – buy some exterior grade screws from a hardware store. I did this, but again, I had to climb back up to each camera and remove and re-install each one. I hope this saves someone a little time.
Also, while setting up your cameras, here’s another thing to look for. The first night I had my system working, I noticed halos in the lower part of the screen when the night vision was active. It was more noticeable on one of my cameras, especially when it was very dark outside (like when the street light across from my house would go out due to the bulb dying.) At first, I thought that this problem was being caused by another street light further down shining into that camera. I made adjustments the next day and checked the following night – same problem. After doing some research on-line, I found people mentioning that halos can be caused by the IR being reflected back to the camera from a nearly object, like a window for example. Since there were no objects anywhere near my cameras, my only other thought was that maybe the IR was reflecting off the sun shades of the cameras themselves. I slid each one back about an inch and checked – SUCCESS! No more halos, so this is another thing to check when installing your cameras. Instead of having the back edge of the sun shade flush with the back of the camera, try sliding it back about an inch and you should be good. Now I have crisp, clear night vision.
Each camera has a horizontal and vertical adjustment screw, which can be loosened or tightened with the included allen wrench. While the horizontal adjustment has definitive `notches’ or `stops’, the vertical one does not. This requires you to have to tighten the screw quite tight in order to keep the camera stable. I wish that both were notched, as I had trouble with one of mine. The screw seemed to start slipping and I ended up using a little crazy glue between the joint to keep it stable, once I had it positioned the way I wanted. Then I simply tightened the screw as much as I could and it seems solid now.
So, I’ve been using the system for about a week now and really like it. I had played with all the settings, and have it set to record all channels 24/7, with motion recording between 6:00 am and 8:00 pm. It has the capability to e-mail you whenever motion is detected, along with a snapshot of the event. It took some playing with it to get the motion settings more accurate and now it’s pretty good. You can select specific areas of the picture to look for motion, like just the front porch steps, for example. I found that even the shadow of sunlight through the leaves of a tree moving in the breeze will cause a motion alarm, so it’s important to only select the areas that you need.
With recording 24/7 on all channels, at 15 FPS and 1280 bit rate, I can store a little over a week of footage on the hard drive. I elected for better quality over being able to store more hours of recordings. For my needs, this will be fine, as I’ll likely know of any events that occur that I need to download, which you can do through the on-line software or from the DVR itself. The manual mentions being able to connect an external hard drive, but I have been unsuccessful at getting one to work. I’ve heard that you can upgrade the internal drive to 1.5TB, but apparently doing so will void the warranty, so I guess the 500GB drive will have to do.
With these settings, my recorded video quality is very good. When you download a video file, the quality is also excellent. What I have found lacking is that when you take a still image snapshot from a video, the image quality is not as good, as it saves the image as 704×480 pixels. When you try to zoom in on a still image it gets distorted, whereas zooming a video is not as bad. What I have found to work better is to play the video and resize the window to the desired size, then take a screen shot from there and save it. This works much better and retains better resolution.
All and all, this is a solid system at a great price. The 600 TVL cameras are very nice, with great night vision and the DVR is feature-rich, very small, and very quiet (I have it in my master bedroom in my media cabinet and can’t hear it running at all.)
Below are my final thoughts:
* Good quality outdoor cameras with great night vision and 600 TVL
* Feature-rich DVR with network capabilities
* Ability to view and set all functions from any computer
* Ability to view cameras live on smartphone
* Compact size and quiet operation
* Good build quality (except camera mounting screws, noted below)
* Easy connection of cameras, with power and video in one cable
* Long cable length provided (65 feet) allows for flexibility of installation locations.
* Everything needed is included in the package
* Excellent price point
* Camera mounting screws are not weather-resistant and will rust immediately
* Cameras cannot be ceiling (or under-eve) mounted
* Position of timestamp cannot be selected – only displays at top of screen, or off
* E-mail alerts for motion evens do not adhere to motion recording schedule
Note: I have written to Defender regarding all of the above and they advised that they had forwarded these concerns to their R&D people. Not sure if any of these issues will be addressed, but we can hope.
I give the system a solid 4 stars, easily with a 5 star potential with these few minor issues resolved.
I would highly recommend this system to anyone looking for a quality, feature-rich surveillance system at an affordable price.
374 of 391 people found the following review helpful.
One solid outdoor video surveillance system
A few years ago I installed a PC-based security system similar to this from Q-See in our old house. It was quite a bit more complicated than this all-in-one setup as it involved setting up PC-based Hardware, buggy software, and 13 different types of indoor and outdoor cameras.
At the moment, I haven’t permanently installed the camera’s yet, as they are temporarily placed inside and outside of the house in various locations as I evaluate the system and determine the best placement. So let’s walk through the system so you hopefully have a better idea of what you’re getting into, and how it performs.
There are 3 separate boxes, in a bigger box. One has the DVR itself and associated material. And the other 2 larger boxes include all of the camera hardware and wires. The wires for the cameras are 65′ and combine both the BNC (for video) and DC power connector into one cable. This should make running wires much easier.
The end of the cable that goes to your DVR will connect the BNC cable to the DVR, and then the DC power cable connects to a 4-way DC->AC adapter. This is much prefered to the older designs where each camera had it’s own bulky transformer to plug into.
There is mounting hardware for the cameras, which is rather basic. You’ll want to check this out and make sure it’s suitable for what and where you are going to mount these cameras into. You definitely don’t want them falling down. I’ll get more into Installation later.
They’ve also included an RJ45 network cable, RCA cable, Quick Start Guide, and a small USB mouse. The USB mouse is small and cheap, but you can use any USB mouse you have laying around. If you want more instructions, you can use the included mini-CD which has a full PDF users guide. Or just download them directly from Defender’s website. I do recommend the latter as I already noticed a few changes between the two. The on-line materials are more up-to-date.
While I do have an extensive background in computers, drilling holes and running wires is not my strong suite. I neither have the expertise, equipment, or time to correctly install these cameras in the new house. At least not to my satisfaction. We just built a house that’s 1 year old and has no attic, just limited crawl space. The last house had a huge attic making installation relatively simple. So I’m going to leave this to professional’s once I’m ready for installation.
If you want to do this yourself, it’s important that you’re comfortable drilling holes and running cables in your house. The Quick Start guide handily includes a drilling template for the mounting brackets. They also instruct you to use a 3/16″ drill bit, not included of course. The only tool included is an allen wrench to adjust the position of the camera on the included mounting bracket.
Running the wires and mounting the cameras is generally considered the “hard part.” You’ll want to make sure the compact DVR is in a location where it has network connectivity (for remote viewing) and of course, power. Sorry, no WiFi here.
If you want to have this professionally installed, this can get rather pricey. From shopping around my area, you’re looking at anywhere from $100-$200 per camera depending on how much labor is involved and how many you have. This is assuming you want it done “right,” and not just have a wires and holes all over the place. The good news is that the more you have, the less they normally charge per camera.
Before talking about the DVR’s, we should spend some time on the camera’s themselves. I’ve used equipment ranging from cheap (and useless) $40 cameras to some very nice setups getting past $300+ a piece. As is often the case, you certainly do get what you pay for.
These are surprisingly fairly decent outdoor day/night cameras. I’d expect to pay around $100 a piece with cables for the quality I’m seeing here, so it’s a pretty good value with the DVR. There are 36 IR (Infrared) LED’s that will glow red at night, which provide the night vision. These are going to be quite visible from the street and should provide a nice deterrent on their own. Not to mention they just look cool. 🙂
They are advertised at 100ft night vision, but realistically, you’re looking at roughly half that. Mostly because any further than this, and you really aren’t going to have any idea what you’re looking at. However, if there is some ambient light such as a street light, your range will naturally extend quite a bit. But in 0 lux (complete darkness), it is more limited. Of course for home surveillance, that is really more than enough.
I did most of the testing in my backyard as it gets completely dark out there at night. I watched as it went from light to dark, then again in the morning, when it got bright again. And the transition from night vision (B&W) to day mode (Color) was seamless. And then tested to see if we could identify somebody (such as myself) approaching from a distance at night.
For realistic identification, the subject will really need to be within about 20-40 ft in complete darkness, depending on conditions. In the daytime, this is much further of course. This is further limited by recording quality. More on that in the DVR section.
One last important note for the camera is how it switches from Day/Night mode as the camera itself makes a surprisingly loud clicking noise when it makes this change. Not a big deal if they are outside. But inside, we can hear it clicking a few rooms away. Not to mention being inside, where it’s darker, it switches between day/night mode much more frequently. Think partly cloudy skies where it becomes light and darker throughout the day.
The DVR is what makes this package much easier to manage and setup as it handles everything for you. I have all of the cameras plugged into the box, a keyboard, mouse, a monitor via its VGA port, and a network cable. The USB mouse/keyboard are optional, but are recommended for initial setup. You can switch to the IR remote afterwards.
If you’re comfortable playing with the setup menu’s for your TV or other similar electronics, you should be able to figure most of this out on your own. The interface is primitive to say the least, but very functional. Otherwise, I do suggest browsing the user’s guide before even plugging it in as there are quite a few options you may not be familiar with.
It would take a while to go through every option, so if you don’t have one yet, you can check out the owners manual. The important features are adjusting the display, setting up record schedules, motion detection, file sizes, search for recorded video, user accounts, and network (LAN only) setup.
The “live view” of all the cameras is what I’d expect from this setup. You can switch cameras, change grids, pause the video, rewind, etc. The image looks pretty darn good and are certainly right about “DVD Quality.” However, what you see on the monitor isn’t exactly what you get when you playback video, which is slightly lower quality. But still very useful for seeing what went on when you were out.
The claim is that you can get 2 years worth of footage on a 500GB HD. Even if you’re adding up each camera’s footage together and lower the quality and FPS (Frames Per Second), that’s a bit of stretch (and not all that relevant.) I suspect if you got it to last that long, the quality would be pretty bad. Normally you’re looking at 2 weeks, not 2 years. At the default rate of 30fps and 768 Bit Rate, which is the highest, the drive is already half-full. By default it will auto-overwrite old content.
That’s certainly not a negative, I just want everybody have realistic expectations as I thought the description was a bit misleading as they were referring to “total footage.” Although you can connect an external USB hard drive to extend recording and even copy videos from the internal drive. You can even setup recording schedules or “motion activated” recording to stretch things out quite a bit. That’s very handy, of course.
You will need to go through network setup and create at least one user account with a password. This is important to note. Out of the box, if you just setup your network only, you can remotely view the cameras from your browser. For PC users, you are limited to Internet Explorer only. I used IE9 as IE8 never would install the plug-in. FireFox and Chrome are detected as incompatible browsers and won’t work. And you will have to make a temporary change to your IE security settings to allow the plugin to install.
I also suggest setting up a “Static IP” with the DVR versus “Dynamic IP,” which is the default setting. As the names implies, a static IP will ensure the IP address doesn’t change occasionally when you have to reboot the device or router. Just check your router documentation to see what IP would work for you.
To access the web portal, I entered the static IP I configured earlier, into IE9, […] installed the plug-in, and then login with the default login/pass, (admin/admin). You should change this later. In addition to accessing the cameras in near-real time, you can access most settings here as you would on the DVR directly. If you want to do this outside of your home network, you’ll need to make a few changes to your router to open some ports.
However, the DVR does support UPNP (Universal Plug-n-Play). If your router also supports this, and it’s enabled, it will open the ports for you. My network setup is a bit more complicated and doesn’t support this as it’s often considered a security risk. I won’t go into too much detail otherwise I’ll never get this review finished. So, Google it. 🙂
Otherwise they do have some fairly decent instructions to walk you through most of this stuff. Since the way you do this does vary between routers, they’ll refer you to the documentation that came with your router. Also once you open the ports, you’ll definitely want to make sure passwords have been changed and set.
You can even use your SmartPhone to remotely connect to the DVR and check out the cameras. You will need to go into the Users accounts screen and either create a new account or enable the password for one of the existing accounts. This is important as the default credentials wouldn’t work for the app, only web. Although once you have user accounts setup with passwords, you can specify who has permissions to access various features, and they will work for both web and phone access.
So how does it really work? For the most part, it works very well. At least once you have everything installed, configured, and setup. 🙂 This is certainly much easier to setup than it was years ago with the older PC-based setup I used quite some time ago. My wife and I really do enjoy being able to glance at a second computer with the cameras running. Is somebody at the door? Noise in the backyard in the middle of the night? Want to check on the house while you’re out? Not a problem.
The remote viewing quality isn’t as good as it is on the DVR itself, especially on the phone app, but still good enough for it’s intended purpose.
All of this combined with a monitored security system and few guns laying around, and you’ve got a one secure and protected house! Of course nothing is 100% secure, and you should always use some common sense; but having 8 red glowing cameras around the house serves as one heck of a deterrent. 🙂
I did run into an issue where the DVR decided to ignore any type of input from the mouse or remote control. There aren’t any buttons on the device itself, so a power cable pull was needed for it to reboot and start responding again. At least the timer was still going and it was still recording.
So that’s not a big deal for now. Otherwise it’s been running smooth and quiet, providing what is essentially real-time monitoring and recording of the premises.
Let’s wrap this one up.
+ Great value with DVR & Cameras
+ Good quality day/night cameras
+ 500GB DVR
+ Remote browser and phone viewing
+ Relatively “easy” setup process
+ Generous cable length and basic HW included
+ Fast DVR for near real-time viewing
+ Universal Plug-n-Play Supported
+ USB Storage Capability
– Limited browser compatibility
– Recorded video quality could be a bit better
– Noisy Day/Night “Clicking” from Cameras
– No WiFi
– Cheap mouse?
So this review ended up being a bit longer than expected, but there is a lot going on here with a video surveillance system. And there’s a lot of smaller details that would take a User’s Guide to cover. So I’ll leave that to the one Defender already wrote, which is better than most I’ve skimmed in the past. 🙂
Overall, it’s not perfect, but if you’re looking for a good mid-range outdoor day/night DVR system for your home or small business, I consider this highly recommended and give it a solid 4.5 stars.
759 of 851 people found the following review helpful.
Very INSECURE! Great product, but ANYONE can log into your DVR and watch you…
By Joe Goldade
The system and cameras work very well (except the screws for the camera mounts rust almost instantly upon contact with water, as noted in other reviews.)
I’m an I.T. professional, and I’d like to expose a HUGE security flaw with this system. This defender system (along with other models this company makes: Q-See, NightOwl, SVAT, etc.) has two major problems:
1) It has an open telnet port with a root username. For my own security, I’m not going to list the password here, but it took me less than 4 days to crack it brute force. This is inexcusable. I even wrote the company asking them to close this port for me, and they refused, and treated me with disrespect. (Read the response I received below.)
2) Anyone can login to the web portal using ANY username you choose with the pwd 519070. Isn’t scary to know that you could essentially find the login page for anyone’s DVR, enter foobar for the username, and 519070 as the password and, viola! You’re in! Be forewarned, I had to write software to restrict access to this DVR login page (rerouting DNS entry lookups, a custom ACL list, and restricted MAC address access on my router.)
I was also interested in writing a custom piece of software to use on my android phone (just like the software aSee), so I wrote the company the following letter requesting information – their response not only didn’t help, it pissed me off. Here’s the complete email trail.
**MY EMAIL TO SVAT/DEFENDER**
I’m hoping to be able to get some information from you about the Defender DVR system Model 21031 I purchased.
I noticed that aSee is a supported application that allows streaming from this DVR on port 18004. But how does this work? I am currently trying to develop software to stream but don’t know how to go about doing so. I can’t find any information for developers anywhere.
Does this DVR support rtsp? Is there a URL query to access live streaming per channel?
Also, I noticed that my DVR system comes with an open telnet port. I’d like to close this for security reasons. Can I do this? (Can you provide telnet username/password?) …or could I have you log in and close it for me?
Thanks in advance for your help!
**THEIR RESPONSE TO ME**
Thank you for your inquiry, I am sorry for the delay in response but here are the answers i received from R & D. I hope this helps. If you require any further assistance please do not hesitate to contact us.
CWD Customer Support
How does a mobile app work?
The DVR acts as a server streaming data over the port to the network and then to the app, IE or PC client. We would be unable to help explain the complexities of creating an app such as this.
Does the DVR support RTSP?
No, the DVRs do not support RTSP.
Is there a URL query to access live streaming per channel?
No, there is no URL to access individual channels. This has been tested and does not support this functionality.
Noticed DVR system comes with an open telnet port, He would like to close for security reasons, can this be done?
At this time we cannot comment on how to close the telnet port.
Can you provide telnet username/password? Or could I have you log in and close it for me?
Unfortunately we are unable to do so due to security concerns.
**MY REPLY TO THEIR UNHELPFUL EMAIL**
Please relay this to your R&D department, specifically: the person responsible for the answers to my questions.
What a waste of an email, my time and your time. I have been a software engineer for 15+ years, and if a helpful explanation is “too complex” for you to explain to me, then you’re obviously not cut out for your position. Additionally, it looks like most of the code for the Defender GUI and console was written by a team in China in Chinese, then translated to English – so perhaps that’s why you have no idea how to give a helpful, detailed reply.
Concerning the open telnet port: It took me 6 hours to find the root user password using a quad-core i7 intel processor and extra help from my graphics card processor. I’ve since closed the telnet port for security, and you and your team are lucky that I’m not the kind of person to post this online. Furthermore, I’m half way done reverse engineering (decompiling) your clunky activeX controller and will be writing my own. Don’t be surprised in the next 3 months to find a paid application for iPhone, Android that works much better and is much cheaper than aSee. (You must not have helped the developer for aSee software develop their mobile application because, after all, the explanation is just far too complex to explain.)
I am deeply disappointed in your response, lack of help, and quite honestly, I’m offended by your laziness/willingness to help a loyal customer. Please know this: YOUR response alone has just lost you and your company some big money. My business will no longer be looking to DEFENDER/SVAT (and all associated products) for our large business operations.
So: Learn from this experience and know that you have a gaping security flaw with the open telnet port on your linux box (DVR). Isn’t it sad that I’ve provided you with more useful, thoughtful advice than you were willing to provide me?
So – BEWARE! This company will not help you, but will insult you if you ask for any help beyond turning the system on. I have since uninstalled this terrible product and bought a much more secure system.
I hope this helps someone else truly worried about the security of their system.
Features of this product
- Monitor up to 100 feet away in complete darkness with automatic night vision
- Record over 2 years’ worth of footage on the included 500 GB hard drive
- Easily connect to DVR with 65-foot cables to allow greater flexibility in camera situating
- Choose motion-activated recording or H.264 compression to maximize storage space
A whole lot of crimes are occurring in the home. This kind of has increased the necessity to have a security system in your own home. Parents and homeowners aren’t always at home. Thus, important things and people are left at home unprotected and unsafe from people who are out to do them harm. Since parents are gone for long periods of time everyday, a monitoring DVR is the only thing that can manage this as compared to VCRs that can easily control small amounts of time.