Samsung SmartCam HD Pro

 

Introduction

 

The Samsung SmartCam HD Pro (SNH-P6410BN) was interestingly designed as a dual-purpose camera- it can be used either as a security camera or as a baby monitor. As such, it packs some useful features like 2-way audio and the ability to play personalized audio clips. It also comes prepackaged with a few classical music songs for putting the little ones to sleep. It’s not the most feature-packed security camera on the market, but it’s a reliable camera that will meet most homeowners’ needs.  It provides a good, crisp picture in 1080p HD. For flexibility, it can be used on either a wireless or wired network. It does, however, lack power-over-Ethernet (POE), so you’ll need to use the included AC adapter to power it.

The SmartCam HD Pro’s lens gives you a wide 128-degree field of view utilizing a 1/2.8″ CMOS sensor. The 1920 X 1080 resolution results in a clear and detailed picture. The camera also supports wide dynamic range (WDR) for better contrast. It has an IR filter that provides night vision for up to 16 feet, with an option to turn it off. You can also turn off the camera’s LED to make it less conspicuous in the dark.

You can manually record or take pictures through the app. Using this method, you can either store the footage on your phone or on the SD card. Events that trigger automatic recordings can only be stored on the SD card. The SmartCam HD Pro supports motion and audio detection. You can use either to trigger a recording. You can also set up individual motion detection zones (up to 4 zones) if you have specific areas where you want to pay attention to motion, such as a door or window, but ignore the surrounding area.

The camera itself is lightweight and can be mounted (hardware included) or just set on a flat surface.

Setup is easily performed through the SmartCam app (I use the Android version). It’s a little clunky, but gets the job done. Since I use Blue Iris to record and view my security cameras, I only use the SmartCam app for setup. You also have the option of accessing the camera online through Samsung’s servers while away from home.

Additionally, this camera works with the SmartThings platform, providing a level of automation for your home security system.

There are some negative reviews on Amazon that complain about the realtime streaming protocol (RTSP) being disabled by Samsung. In two years of use, I have never encountered this situation. All cameras have always worked fine using 3rd party security camera software, such as Blue Iris. I’ve also tested these cameras in QNAP’s Surveillance Station without a problem.

I have 3 of these cameras, and they have been in use 24-7 for the past 2 years. I’ve never had much of a problem with these. They’ve been solid performers and work well with Blue Iris .

I paid $187 for these back in 2015. Amazon has the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro listed for $140 for Prime members at the time of this writing.

Back of the Samsung SmartCam HD Pro.

 

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

Summary

The SmartCam HD Pro is a great solution for a home security camera, if you're okay with the price tag. Full HD resolution results in stunning picture quality. It's compatible with SmartThings. It can also double as a baby monitor, with features such as 2-way audio, the ability to play music through the camera, and personalized audio clips. It's a simple, easy-to-use camera, and as such, it lacks features you'll find in other security cameras (profiles, exposure/gain/noise adjustments, etc.). If you are the market for a high quality camera that you plug in and works with minimal configuration, then this may be the camera for you.

4.2

 

 

Setup

 

Setting up and configuring the camera is a breeze. I’d recommend using an Ethernet cable to set it up, and then enabling the WiFi (as shown in the tutorial below). You’ll need to sign up for a Samsung account if you don’t have one.


Tap or click to start slideshow.

You can choose the type of setup. It’s easier to connect the camera to your network using an Ethernet cable then enabling WiFi later in the setup.

Since we’re setting up the SNH-P6410BN, choose “Other Models”.

Make sure your camera is plugged into a power source and the Ethernet cable is connected. Check to make sure the camera has a green LED and tap “Next”.

The app will scan for cameras on the network that haven’t been added to the app yet. If your camera don’t show up, you can enter the serial number to do a manual search. Tap “Next”.

For an initial setup, you’ll need to create a password. Since this camera has been set up once before, it already has one. Notice that you are limited to an 8-character password, so make it as strong as possible.

Give the camera a few seconds to update.

You’ll see this screen next. Tap “Yes” to continue.

Set up your time zone and DST preference. Tap “Next”.

If you want to use the camera’s WiFi feature, you can set that up now. Tap on your WiFi network and enter the password. If you don’t want to use WiFi, uncheck the WiFi box. Tap “Next”.

You’ll get confirmation that your camera is ready to use. There are some other setup features worth looking at in the app walkthrough slideshow.

You’ll now be connected to your camera. One downside to the Android SmartCam app is that you’ll see this screen (a lot).





SmartCam app walkthrough

 

Follow the slideshow below to explore the SmartCam app. You’ll also find settings that weren’t available during setup, like enabling WDR or turning off the night vision.


Tap or click to start slideshow.

Tap “Event”.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

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.

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

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

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

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

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

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

The global settings menu.

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”.

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

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

 




Final thoughts on the SmartCam HD Pro

 

The SmartCam HD Pro is a nice security camera, but a bit pricey. It’s designed to be simple and easy-to-use. It lacks granular picture adjustment options in favor of automatic hardware (you can adjust the brightness and reorient the picture, but that’s about it). Notwithstanding, it’s hard to argue with the superb picture quality this camera delivers.

The option to use Ethernet or WiFi is nice, but the addition of POE would have made this camera so much more competitive. You’re probably not going to want to mount this camera to your ceiling or wall with no way to hide the power cable.

It integrates well with Blue Iris, but the native software is good enough for everyday use. Event triggering on motion and audio, as well as SD card support, provide a decent means of archiving video clips for playback later.

I’d wouldn’t say these cameras are worth the price for the picture quality alone, but if you want a hassle-free setup and cameras that just work then I’d definitely recommend taking a look at the SmartCam HD Pro.

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