17 October 2008 @ 9:28Linksys Wireless-G Home Monitoring Camera WVC54GCA
Once the WVC54GCA arrived, I powered it on and turned off the wireless security on my network. Hopefully your wireless network is the only one within range, otherwise, I’m not sure which network it would connect to. There is also an ethernet port that you can use to setup the camera. Back to what I was saying, I turned off the wireless security on my network, and the WVC54GCA connected. From my router’s DHCP client table, I could get the camera’s IP address. Using this IP address, I used a browser to connect to and setup the WVC54GCA. I wanted to re-enable the wireless security on my network, so I had to enter the wireless security settings in the WVC54GCA, click Apply, then go back to my wireless router and turn the security back on.
As with pretty much any “wireless” device, the device still requires one wire — power. The power cord that comes with the WVC54GCA is only about 6 feet long. This isn’t an uncommon length for a power cord, but it is unfortunate as video cameras often mounted at 8ft or higher. Because, I wanted to mount the WVC54GCA in the corner at the ceiling, I added an outlet box near the ceiling so the WVC54GCA could get its power without a wire running the entire height of the wall. Once this step was complete, the rest of the project was simple — two screws into the ceiling, and mount the camera.
The Linksys WVC54GCA has what is called Security Mode, which tells the camera to send a message with a short video attached to up to three email addresses whenever it detects motion in its field of view. There is a Viewer & Recorder utility lets you record the audio/video stream to your local hard drive, “live” or on a predetermined schedule. Also in icluded is a one-year trial of TZO domain service, which allows you to get to your camera using an easy to remember domain name. I am not currently using these features.
My setup involves using a beta of SecuritySpy that supports the Linksys WVC54GCA. SecuritySpy then handles the recording, the motion notifications, and the serving of live and pre-recorded video. I access my SecuritySpy server from anywhere using a domain name provided by DynDNS.
So far, I am well pleased with the Linksys WVC54GCA. It makes for an economical solution for video surveillance. An analog camera would require extra hardware to interface with a computer, and the WVC54GCA needs only your existing wired or wireless network. At this point, my only complaints are that the WVC54GCA (and practically all other network cameras) is missing infrared capabilities for recording in low-light to dark areas, and that the lens of the WVC54GCA should be slightly wider to cover more of the room.
Update: Reader eldin asked how I was able to flip the video of the upside-down mounted camera. The answer is that SecuritySpy is rotating the video. I understand this solution might not be for everyone though as SecuritySpy is an expensive (but worth it) piece of software for the Mac only.
However, I found in the WVC54GCA user guide, that if you use the Camera Utility for Windows, there is an option to flip the video. At this point, I am not sure if that changes only the orientation of the video in the playback window, or if it also changes the way the video is recorded. Note: the Camera Utility is Windows-only as it requires Active-X 8.0 or higher.
Update 2: Commenter El Cuco mentioned as a Mac OS X application that supports the Linksys WVC54GCA.