Angelcam Cloud Video Tested

By Ethan Ace, Published Oct 13, 2015, 12:00am EDT

With the cloud getting more and more hype plus with early market leader Dropcam stumbling after being acquired by Google / Nest, there is increased interest in emerging VSaaS / cloud video options.

Cloud camera startup Angelcam claims to make security cameras smart, with an "app store" including free cloud storage and live viewing and advanced apps like heatmaps, anonymization, and more.

We tested Angelcam to see how well it performed and how it compared to other cloud camera platforms like Dropcam/Nest. We tested advanced apps like heatmaps, counting, and the anonymizer, which blurs people in the FOV, shown in this demo:

Angelcam offers a polished interface for single camera use, with simple live and archive viewing and free archiving for three days. This may be attractive to more technically skilled users who want to choose their own cameras and are comfortable with the manual port forwarding and setup generally required.

Angelcam supports numerous camera manufacturers via RTSP, but users must manually open ports on their router and may need to use the full RTSP URL. Using Axis cameras simplifies this process using 1-Click, which requires the serial number and owner authentication key (OAK), though no manual port forwarding. 

Angelcam's app store is novel, though most apps are still in beta. In our tests, the Cloud Recording, Timelapse, Live Streaming (public broadcasting), heatmap, and anonymizer apps worked well. 

Pricing/Availability

Angelcam's basic service is free, including live viewing, 3 days of cloud recording (no exports), and basic live streaming.

Their 7 day cloud storage plan costs $5, lower than many competitor's plans, such as Nest ($10/month for 10 days) or Canary ($9.99/month for 7 days). 

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The Live Streaming app (for broadcasting) is free for basic use (no embedding, banner ads displayed, Angelcam logo). Paid plans removing ads and allowing embedding are available, $30/month and up.

Pricing for many apps is unavailable, as most are still in beta.

Angelcam Interface

Basic live and playback functions are found in the Cloud Recording interface. Here, users may view live video, click back in the timeline to start playback, and highlight sections of video to create clips (.mp4) for a single camera, similar to Dropcam/Nest's web interface. No multi-camera live or archive viewing is available.

In the video below, we review the basics of the Angelcam interface for live and archive use, as well as clip creation and location of other functions. 

Adding Cameras

Angelcam supports Axis cameras via 1-Click without any manual port forwarding. However, users must supply the serial number and owner authentication key (OAK), supplied on paper with each camera, which many users may not keep. OAKs may be retrieved from Axis support if lost.

After entering this information, the camera is automatically connected to Angelcam without further setup.

Other manufacturers' cameras may be used (any camera supporting RTSP streaming), though require manual port forwarding. For some manufacturers, users do not need to supply the full RTSP address, only the external IP/DNS name and port, and Angelcam fills in the RTSP stream URL. For others, the full RTSP URL must be supplied.

We look at this process in this video:

Angelcam Apps 

Angelcam's app store allows users to add additional functionality to their cameras, with functions such as time lapse, live streaming, anonymization, heatmaps, car counting, and more available. Apps are developed by Angelcam as well as third party developers.

However, most apps are currently in beta and not readily available for installation. Users must contact Angelcam and apply for beta access.

We looked at some beta apps, such as their anonymization app and heatmaps, shown in the video below. 

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