According to research data, consumers spent more than $28 million last year on home security, a number expected to balloon to nearly $47.6 million by 2020. Electronics manufacturers appear to be enjoying a veritable gold rush of internet-connected locks, motion sensors, and cameras.
One of the latest is Uniden’s WDVR4-2 HDD, an affordable home or small business security system that wirelessly connects up to four cameras. The WDVR has a DVR-equipped base station that plugs directly into an HDMI-equipped television or can be controlled remotely from mobile apps.
Uniden’s WDVR is designed for effortless installation: Aside from a drill and screwdriver, everything you need is in the box, including Ethernet and HDMI cables, camera stands, and mounting screws. I installed cameras near the front and rear entrances of my home, which only required drilling three holes at each location with a 3/32-inch bit, using the stand as a guide.
Because the front installation required the use of a ladder, this was the most laborious part of the otherwise stress-free process. Although the cameras are wireless, they still need to be plugged into AC power; this is the only real weakness, since not everyone will be able to properly conceal cables, leaving them exposed to potential intruders.
Uniden includes two convenient 17-foot cords with breakaway sections for those who need shorter runs. Otherwise, that’s the extent of outdoor cabling—a small antenna screwed onto the back of each camera creates a wireless 2.4GHz link with the receiver within a maximum range of 650 feet.
Making the connection
Uniden includes two identical indoor/outdoor cameras in the core package, housed in handsome gunmetal grey with a weatherproof durability rating of IP66. (Additional cameras can be purchased for $150 each.) Surrounding the lens are a PIR motion sensor and six infrared LEDs capable of recording up to 40 feet away in near total darkness.
The plastic WDVR receiver measures 7 inches square by 2.5 inches tall, with three green status lights on the front for power, link, and disk activity. Inside is a 1TB hard drive capable of recording up to 120 days straight from a single camera, or half that time when using both cameras.
Around the back are ports for HDMI, USB, Ethernet, and power, along with optional micro-SD card slot, antenna connector, and on/off switch. Uniden recommends plugging the Ethernet cable directly into your router for best results, but I had no problems using it with an inexpensive hub connected to an Apple AirPort Extreme.
The bundled cameras come already paired to the receiver, which powers up in about 15 seconds. There’s a large fan inside the unit which kicks up the noise level by a few decibels, so you’ll want to invest in a longer HDMI cable to keep things quiet.
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