Swann has created a solid business out of DIY security solutions, and over the years, we have had a number of their platforms in for review. The latest is an 8-channel platform with support for 4K Ultra HD resolution and True Detect Motion sensing.
The solution we were provided for review goes by the model number SWNVK-885804B2FB. This is an 8-channel platform, as indicated above, but supplied with six cameras. Two of the six cameras in question are their new spotlight series, while the other four are the standard IR LED 4K.
Features include a wired connection to each camera using PoE technology. All six cameras offer both heat and motion sensing, and as mentioned, two of the six cameras have LED spotlights that turn when they sense heat. Also, the spotlight cameras support two-way audio along with a security siren to scare off would-be intruders. This unit is supplied with a 2TB HDD, which Swann says can record over 300 days.
The MSRP of the Swann SWNVK-885804B2FB comes in at $899.99 with a one-year warranty. You can extend the warranty to 18 months by registering online.
The packaging is colorful, with features listed along the right side of the box.
The back goes into more detail about the features and what's included.
Included in the box, we have the NVR, power cable, and mouse.
The NVR has a relatively small footprint a touch smaller than an Xbox One S. One the front, we have LEDs for power and HDD activity with dual USB 2.0 ports.
The backside offers a 48V power connection to the left, followed by the switch up top and audio out port. These are followed by VGA and HDMI outputs, and another USB 2.0 and WAN for connecting the NVR to your network. The last eight ports on the NVR are all PoE supplies for the cameras.
The camera seen above is the "upgraded" spotlight model. Two LEDs are mounted on either side of the lens with the motion-sensing ball below. Screws are included along with a 110ft Cat5 cable.
The other four cameras are the standard solution we have used in the past. These, too, include the motion-sensing ball at the bottom, lens centered. Ethernet cable and screws included as well.
Setup of the Swann NVR system can be accomplished either with the new Swann Security app on iOS and Android or by using HomeSafe View on PC. For this review, I used HomeSafe View on the test system below. Upon setting up the system, you will need a VGA or HDMI monitor to go through a quick onscreen setup creating the admin account.
To begin setup, we first installed HomeSafe View and started the wizard to add the NVR.
We then moved to add an online device and let the application search our local network for the Swann.
Above the app has detected the Swann on our network, so we simply click on it to bring that info in and enter the admin account credentials to complete this step.
Once we are in, the Swann platform gives you a control panel to set up and manage your cameras.
In the control panel group menu, all we need to do here is select import all. This will allow us to view all attached cameras.
A few test images here from the NVR. We first have the standard cameras on the left and spotlight cameras on the right in an outdoor situation.
Moving indoors with LED lighting, we once again have spotlight on the right and standard on the left.
Playback allows you to select a date using the calendar to the left and time window along the bottom. You can then reference the window 1-4 to the four above.
Finishing this up, the Swann 8-channel kit seen here today is a rather solid solution for small businesses looking for something simple they can DIY and manage themselves. With the inclusion of six cameras, a solution like this can offer more flexibility by giving you two with a spotlight feature to install above entryways and four standard night vision solution the cover all the corners inside your business.
The spotlight cameras offered the better image quality of the two provided in the kit with just an overall sharper image. Color between the two-models seemed about the same, and both handled low light situations with ease.
One area I would like to see improvement with next-generation solutions is the FPS. While these are 4K capable, the cameras can only record at 15FPS giving no time for anything moving fast to be caught by the cameras - it's a slide show at best. That said, you can run this solution at 1080p and at 30 FPS, which is better, but still not great.
The pricing of the Swann 8-channel 4K Ultra HD Professional kit does come in a bit higher than expected. WD has just launched its ReadyView platform offering a 4TB HDD and four cameras for $349.99 with add-on cameras available for $79 and $99, respectively. Adding to this, Reolink has its 8-channel platform available for $349.99, with four-cameras included as well.
Tyler's Test System Specifications
- Motherboard: ASUS Crosshair VIII Formula X570 (buy from Amazon)
- CPU: AMD Ryzen 5 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- RAM: Corsair Vengeance 16GB 2x8GB DDR4 3600 (buy from Amazon)
- Cooler: Corsair Hydro H60 (buy from Amazon)
- Case: Corsair Carbide 275R (buy from Amazon)
- OS Storage: Corsair MP600 1TB (buy from Amazon)
- Power Supply: Corsair RM850x (buy from Amazon)
- OS: Microsoft Windows 10 (buy from Amazon)
The Bottom Line
The Swann Professional 4K Ultra HD NVR kit will cost you, but it does offer some features not available on any other platform right now.