Generally speaking, I’m a pretty strong believer in equality between the sexes. And by that I mean that, except for childbirth and a few other obvious things, anything a woman can do, a man can–with enough determination and patience– accomplish with something at least resembling competence. But, as Thomas Henry Huxley so beautifully put it, there are few things in life quite so tragic as “the slaying of a beautiful hypothesis by an ugly fact.” And so, I have to admit, I simply could not install Channel Vision’s 6564 2 megapixel vandal proof IP dome camera with IR and POE without some feminine assistance.
With nothing but a browser, you can customize all sorts of settings, including assigning Channel Vision’s 6564 2 megapixel vandal proof IP dome camera a static IP address (absolutely essential), make all of the sorts of image adjustments you would to a display, set the resolution (up to 1080p), choose color daytime mode, black and white nighttime mode, infrared nighttime mode, or even put the camera on a schedule to use natural light during the daytime and infrared illumination at night.That fact hinges entirely upon the size of my massive front paws, and the lack of space inside the Channel Vision 6564. Within its modestly sized dome, the camera packs not only an Ethernet connection (the one I fumbled at trying to connect to for the better part of half an hour before giving up), but also breakout connections for 12-volt power, IO, video output, and microphone input and output. With only one PoE-capable Cat- 5e cable handling all of those jobs, though setup was pretty easy in my case–once I procured the assistance of more human-sized hands.
You wouldn’t think there would be a lot to review other than that, but in fact, the Channel Vision 6564 is pretty packed with features, including most of the tools and hardware you’ll need for outdoor installation, a CD packed with utilities and instructions manuals, mobile app support, and of course, integration capabilities with home automation systems (in my case, Control4).
Before you dig into any of that, though, there’s actually quite a bit of tweak-ability built into the 6564, accessible via Internet Explorer on the local network. With nothing but a browser, you can customize all sorts of settings, including assigning the camera a static IP address (absolutely essential), make all of the sorts of image adjustments you would to a display, set the resolution (up to 1080p), choose color daytime mode, black & white nighttime mode, infrared nighttime mode, or even put the camera on a schedule to use natural light during the daytime and infrared illumination at night. You can set up schedules, events, alerts, and user settings, all without cracking open any of the other software included with the camera.
The tweaks extend down to the level of things like shutter-speed adjustments, but even without digging that deep–merely selecting automatic settings and letting it do its thing–I was instantly impressed by the quality of the image. The screen capture image on p. 43 was taken in a room with only a tiny bit of sunlight leaking in. So little, in fact, that I wouldn’t have been able to walk around the room without breaking a toe, and I’m known for surviving on as little light as humanly possible.
The CD also includes recording software with all manner of variables, most of which are pretty intuitive once you get the software connected to the camera and running–which, again, will have you running for the manual your first time around for some assistance with the network setting. Other than that, though, navigation of the recording software is pretty straightforward and includes all of the features you could want, including the ability to overwrite old data when your hard drive fills up. And given that you’ll need about a gigabyte for the highest quality video settings (or about half that for the standard setting, which was the lowest I found acceptable), you can run out of disc space quickly, depending on the size of your hard drive.
The Channel Vision’s 6564 2 Megapixel Vandal Proof IP Dome Camera image quality was impressive even with only a tiny bit of sunlight leaking in.Ultimately, though, what I was most interested in was integrating the camera into my Control4 system, so I can keep an eye on Bruno, my rescue pitbull, when I’m not at home. Control4 doesn’t have native driver support for Channel Vision cameras, but Extra Vegetables does offer a free driver that I was able to quickly install and bring the 6564 into my home control ecosystem in a matter of minutes. At first, I ran into some issues with remote connect via MyHome, which Control4 and I originally chalked up to the driver. It turns out, though, to have been a problem with the way my installer registered my Control4 system. Once that was patched up, I was able to easily stream video from the camera to my 7-inch touchscreen remote, TVs, the PC-based MyHome software, and my iOS devices, I’m able to instantaneously access the feed from the 6564, albeit with a somewhat choppier frame rate than I get from direct browser access.
Channel Vision’s new iPhone app, just released in April (and a replacement, apparently, for the problematic third-party IProSecu M. V2 recommended in the instruction manual) also delivers a somewhat choppy video feed, so this isn’t a knock against the Control4 system or Extra Vegetables’ driver. At any rate, the ability to tap into my camera from anywhere I have a wireless or cellular signal and keep an eye on Bruno is super handy.
All in all, the Channel Vision 6564 offered way more functionality than I expected for an IP camera, even one as nicely put together as this. It’s built like a tank, loaded with features and functionality, and I have no doubt it could withstand the rigors of outside installation easily.
Just be sure to bring an extra set of hands (tiny, nimble hands) along with you when it comes time to install one.
A feature-packed and (mostly) easy-to-configure IP camera perfect for outside use, with excellent image quality in both daylight and pitch blackness.
You’re gonna need some itty bitty fingers to access the connections inside the camera.
• Image sensor: 2.7-inch CMOS (2 Megapixel)
• Lens: 3-9mm Varifocal F1.8
• Sensitivity: Color: 0.1 lux (AGC on); B/W: 0 lux (IR on)
• IR distance: 18 LEDs, max distance 15 meters
• Angle of view: 35.5 degrees-126.8 degrees (h) x 21.6 degrees – 69.4 degrees (v)
• Video compression: H.264, MJPEG, MPEG-4 (3GPP only for MPEG-4)
• Max resolution: 1920×1080
• Supported resolutions: 1920×1080, 1280×720, 640×480, 320×240, 176×144
• Video output: Composite, BNC