Samsung SmartCam HD Plus

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Introduction

 

Meet the Samsung SmartCam HD Plus (SNH-V6414BN). It’s a full HD SmartThings-compatible camera with just enough features sure to satisfy most homeowners’ security camera needs. If you’re looking for an indoor wireless camera with hassle-free setup and local recording features, then this might be the camera for you.

It sports a 130° wide-angle lens, which is pretty much the de facto standard with higher-end home security cameras (like Nest DropCam and Netgear Arlo Q).  This allows you to get more in the picture and cover a wider area of your home without distorting the picture too much. The true day/night IR cut filter gives you 32 feet of night vision and it can automatically switch to a black & white picture for crisp images in total darkness. The 2 megapixel imaging processor results in a full HD experience, so it’s easy to make out details in a recording.

There isn’t an RJ-45 Ethernet port on the camera. It’s WiFi only, and it’s only compatible with the 2.4 Ghz band.

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The back of the SHN-V6414BN.


The Samsung SmartCam HD Plus features two-way audio, which makes it useful as a baby monitor or to monitor play areas for older children. The audio capabilities also make this an ideal camera to keep an eye on and communicate with pets when you’re away from home.

The camera supports motion and audio event-based recording. You can choose which type of detection will start a recording, or you can use both! You can also select whether or not you want to receive instant notifications from the SmartCam app!

Unlike the Nest Dropcam, Samsung SmartCams don’t rely on just cloud storage. The Samsung SmartCam HD Plus (SNH-V6414BN) ships with a 16GB microSD card. The SmartCam app gives you flexibility as to how to use the microSD card. You can choose from various options, such as recording resolution (720p or 1080p), whether or not you want to continuously record, and overwriting the microSD card when it’s full. You can also deactivate the microSD card altogether.

  • Features
  • Reliability
  • Ease-of-use
  • Price
  • Documentation

Summary

Even though it doesn't have as many features as its big brother, the (also awesome) SmartCam HD Pro, the Samsung SmartCam HD Plus still packs enough to make it worth it. For one, the image quality is the same between the two cameras. They both have two-way audio. Both cameras have the same motion- and audio-based event triggers. The SmartCam HD Pro is more flexible due to its wired networking option and 5 Ghz wireless radio, but other than that, both cameras seem very similar. Setup is a breeze, the SmartCam app is good enough, and the price is 30% cheaper than a Nest Dropcam or Netgear Arlo Q!

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Samsung SmartCam HD Plus vs. Samsung SmartCam HD Pro

 

Samsung has a terribly confusing naming convention for their entire line of home security cameras. They have a broad range of products that are sold under the SmartCam name. Within the SmartCam brand, there are HD Pro, HD Plus, HD, and Wisenet models. To make matters more confusing, many cameras have similar model numbers but differ significantly in what they have to offer. Oftentimes, it’s best to discuss each camera in terms of model numbers for accuracy, just make sure you have the correct model number!

Here, we’re going to compare the differences between the SmartCam HD Plus (SNH-V6414BN) and the SmartCam HD Pro (SNH-P6410BN).

The biggest difference is the Pro model has extra network features not included in the Plus. It has an RJ-45 Ethernet port, which gives you the ability connect the camera to a wired network. You can use the Pro version over WiFi too, but you also have the option to connect it to the 5 Ghz band, in addition to the 2.4 Ghz band. Furthermore, the Pro has a WPS button that simplifies wireless setup.

You get a marginally wider viewing angle with the Plus, but the image quality is virtually identical. The Pro has an audio out connection that the Plus doesn’t have.

Both work with SmartThings and Blue Iris. Optionally, Samsung also offers it’s own PC recording solution, Net-i Ware, which is free for up to 32 channels.

Although both cameras are selling at roughly the same price on Amazon ($114 for the Plus model vs. $119 for the Pro model), the Pro model doesn’t come with a microSD card.

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Comparison of HD Plus vs. HD Pro SmartCam models.





Installation

 

The included instruction pamphlet is actually decent, but more than likely you’ll simply be able to follow the on-screen instructions in the SmartCam app.

If you don’t have the Samsung SmartCam app, you’ll need to download it from the Apple App Store or the Google Play Store. If you don’t have a Samsung account, you will need to create one before you begin.

Follow the slideshow below to setup your Samsung SmartCam HD Plus camera:


Tap or click to start slideshow.

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Tap Wireless Setup.

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Press the WiFi button on the back of the camera until the LED turns yellow. Then tap Next.

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Be patient while the app finds the camera.

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You’ll see a camera ID pop up here. Match the last 4 alphanumeric digits to the serial number on the sticker attached to the bottom of the camera.

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If the app properly identified your camera, highlight the camera ID by tapping on it and then tap Next.

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Choose your WiFi network and enter the password when prompted. Then tap OK.

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Keep an eye on the camera’s LED. It should turn green in less than a minute, but could take up to 3 minutes.

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Give your camera a name and create a password.

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Once everything is filled in, tap OK.

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If you reach this screen, your camera is set up. Tap Yes to continue to the camera’s initial settings.

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Choose your timezone. Tap Next.

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Choose how you want to receive app notifications, if at all. If your camera is in a high-traffic area, leave these options turned off or you’ll be flooded with notifications. Tap Next.

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You’ll get confirmation that you have finished setting up the camera. Tap OK.



Adding the Samsung SmartCam HD Plus to SmartThings

 

The SNH-V6414BN is compatible with SmartThings, which means you can pull the video feed up right from the SmartThings app. This is a feature that I find is nice to have while I’m away on vacation (it’s handy to view all motion and contact sensors, as well as cameras in one app), but I don’t really use it that much on a day-to-day basis.

Adding the Samsung SmartCam HD Plus to SmartThings is simple:


Tap or click to start slideshow.

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Next, tap on Add Device Manually.

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Tap on the Cameras category.

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Choose Samsung SmartCam 6414.

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Select + Connect Now.

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In order to add the camera to SmartThings, you need to have it set up in the SmartCam app first.

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Scroll down and tap on Connect to Existing Camera.

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After a minute or so, you’ll see this section change. Tap on it.

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Select your camera.

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Now is a good time to change the name to something more meaningful, especially if you have several cameras.

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Then tap Next.

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After a few seconds, this screen will pop up. The password field should be automatically populated. Tap on Next.

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Once the password is verified, tap on Next to continue.

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Finally, tap Save to finish the SmartThings setup.

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You’ll see a confirmation message pop up notifying you that setup was successful.

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Now, when you tap on your camera in the list of Things, you’ll see your camera feed!



Blue Iris Settings

 

The Samsung SmartCam HD Plus works well with Blue Iris. If you’re already familiar with Blue Iris, you can set your camera up based on the screenshot below. If you’re just getting started with the software, or you just want to learn more about it, visit the Blue Iris page here.

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Resolution

 

After you set up your Samsung SmartCam HD Plus and open the stream in the SmartCam app, you might notice it looks a little grainy. That’s because the SmartCam app always defaults to low resolution when you’re viewing the video. You can change the camera’s playback resolution in the app, but you’ll have to do it every time you use it.

Luckily, you can easily change this behavior as shown below:

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You’ll find the resolution settings under Setup.


Here is a comparison of the different resolutions:

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Low Resolution. Use the checkered icon to change resolutions.


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Medium Resolution.


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High Resolution.



Night Vision

 

The Samsung SmartCam HD Plus is equipped with decent night vision. The maximum range for this camera is 32 feet, and it performs quite well in total darkness. Like most other cameras, night vision is achieved through the use of infrared LEDs.

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Daytime shot, late afternoon.


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Night time shot, midnight, no lights on.



SmartCam App Walkthrough

 

The SmartCam app isn’t the best app out there, but it’s definitely usable. The screenshots in the slide below are from the Android app, but the iPhone app should be similar.


Tap or click to start slideshow.

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Tap “Event”.

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Here you’ll find a list of triggered events (either motion or audio). You can play triggered events by tapping on the list item.

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Go back to the settings menu. Tap the first “Playback” icon.

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You can manually record to the app. Here you’ll find your files for playback.

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Go back to the settings menu. Click the second “Playback” icon.

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You’ll see a calendar view screen. Tap the date. You’ll see the triggered event type show up below. Tap it.

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Next you’ll get a popup screen. You can choose the type if more than one shows up. Tap on it.

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Next you’ll see this screen. You can move the dot around the clock to select the footage from that time period. Alternatively, you can use the buttons at the bottom of the screen to navigate. Tap the play button when you’re ready to see the camera footage.

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Go back to the settings menu. Tap “Setup”.

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You can change individual camera settings from this menu. Tap on “General”.

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Here are most of your camera’s options. You can enable WDR (wide dynamic range) and night vision here. If you want to use personalized audio clips, you can set them up by tapping “Audio REC”. You can save up to 10 audio clips.

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General settings continued. Tap “Apply” when you’re done.

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Go back to the previous screen. Tap on “Network”.

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You can see your current WiFi network highlighted in blue. To change your WiFi settings, tap on the WiFi network you want to use and enter the password. To connect to a hidden network, tap on “Other WiFi Networks” and manually input the name.

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Go back to the previous screen and tap on “Time”.

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You can set or update your time zone and DST. Tap on “Apply” when you’re done.

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Go back to the previous screen. Tap on “Event”.

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Select what triggers your camera to record. If your camera is in a high traffic area, I recommend disabling the “Event alert”.

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Event triggers continued. You can also set up the camera to send still photos to the cloud. Tap “Apply” when you’re done.

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Go back to the previous screen and select “SD Card”.

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Enable the SD card here. You’ll need to format it before you can use it. You also have the option for continuous recording, but the files will be overwritten quickly.

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Go back to the settings menu. Tap on “Live”.

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Tap on the screen to show the popup menu. Tap on 1 to manually record to the app. Tap on 2 to manually record to the SD card. Tapping 3 will take a photo. Tap on 4 to speak through the camera. You can choose your video resolution by tapping 5. Tap the arrow for more options.

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The camera has built-in music files. Useful if you plan on using the camera as a baby monitor.

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Adjust the brightness level by tapping the icon then moving the slider.

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You can flip or mirror the image using this popup menu.

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Tap this icon to select your motion zones (areas of motion you want to trigger recordings). You can set up to 4 motion zones.

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You can also set up your personalized audio clips from this screen.

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Go back to the main app screen. Tap on “Setup” for app-wide settings.

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The global settings menu.

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Global settings menu continued. You can choose your resolution for all of your cameras instead of individually through the camera settings. You can also delete old recordings by tapping “Manage saved video clips”.

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Go back to the main app screen. Tap on “About”.

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You can view the app version and legal info here. You can also easily download the User Manual from this screen.







Conclusion

 

The Samsung SmartCam HD Plus (SNH-V6414BN) is a great wireless camera at a bargain price. It boasts more features than its main competitors, Nest Dropcam and Netgear Arlo…and it does it at a far cheaper price point ($114 vs. $160+). Much like its big brother, the SmartCam HD Pro, it’s a reliable camera that puts out a good, quality image. Two-way audio is a nice perk.

Event triggering based on both motion and audio, combined with realtime app notifications, as well as microSD card support for local recording, and Blue Iris support…what’s not to like?

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