Testing TRENDnet's IP Camera (TV-IP110)

By: Benros Emata, Published on Dec 20, 2010

TRENDnet offers one of the most well known and least expensive IP cameras in the budget/home market. In this report, we test the TRENDnet's TV-IP110, a cube camera that we purchased from Amazon.

We tested the TRENDnet with its own SecureView VMS as well as a number of 3rd party VMS systems.

We found a number of serious problems with the camera and would not recommend it. Its main virtue is that it is $20-$30 cheaper than other low cost IP cameras but with significant deficiencies that more than offset the slightly lower price.

Contrast to our test results of the Cisco-Linksys WVC80N and the D-Link DCS-920 for cameras with similar functionality and price point.

Recommendations

We do not recommend the TV-IP110 for the home user because of the camera's underwhelming video quality in both natural light and low light conditions.  The lack of a setup wizard on the CD and the manual configuration for remote access will present a challenging installation for the non-technical home user.

The same consideration of the camera's video quality is made for a small business (with less than 8 cameras) where the useful placement is limited. TRENDnet's SecurView video software, aside from the limitations on playback, may be adequate for a small business deployment like a convenience store or small office.

For a larger deployment (of over 8 cameras), again, the camera's video quality would be inefficient in many environments, so the usefulness in the placement of the camera is affected.  

Key Findings

Setup: No setup wizard is available in the packaged CD, nor is there any automatic setup for remote access functionality. The IP camera finder utility was unable to find the camera on the network when executed on some PC systems.

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Monitoring Software: The playback functions in the monitoring software do not support searching, so manual retrieval of clips is necessary.  In addition, the software does not record video by default; either a user will have to manually press the record button or establish a recording schedule within the setup button.

Bandwidth: The bandwidth consumption of the camera was 3.2Mbps during the day, and 1.6Mbps at night.  The stream settings were at 640x480, 30fps, MJPEG codec.

Indoor Daytime Performance: The combination of the fixed lens and the soft quality of the image makes it difficult to discern facial details, although human identification is possible.

General Daytime Performance: Placing the camera to view a scene in natural outdoor daylight caused the image to be severely washed out to the point that very little details of the scene could be observed.

Nighttime Performance: In an indoor scene, with a measured light level of 1 lux, the video quality was severely muddy and dark, where only a silhouette of the moving subject could be observed. In addition, details in the background either could not be seen or was outlined as a silhouette as well.

Third Party VMS Support: The TV-IP110 was able to associate to the Luxriot's VMS. No association was achieved for Milestone Enterprise and ExacqVision VMS.

For budget VMS support, the camera was able to associate to Blue Iris and Argus Surveillance DVR. Although support is listed on the driver list, we could not connect the camera to WebcamXP and iCatcher.

Remote Access & Monitoring: Remote access functions are set up manually via the Network tab, and enabling/associating a third party DDNS hosting service.  TRENDnet does not provide their own service, so registering to a provider like dyndns.org and manual port forwarding of your network router may be necessary.

Product Overview

Through testing the TRENDnet TV-IP110, we were able to verify the following key product points:

  • Camera only supports MJPEG codec
  • 4.6mm fixed lens
  • 1/4" CMOS Sensor
  • Maximum resolution at 640x480 is set as default , but max frame rate of 30fps, default is set at 25fps
  • 6 foot long AC power adapter
  • Not setup wizard on CD, but basic setup wizard on web interface
  • Supports 2 motion sensor windows that can be associated to event triggers
  • SecurView monitoring software included with package; supports up to 16 cameras

Note: The TRENDnet TV-IP110 camera's network connectivity dropped repeatedly, requiring a reboot.

Price

The TV-IP110 is available through direct retail channels at an MSRP of $107.99 USD, or online for approximately $73 USD.  The online price has a cost savings of approximately $22 to $97 USD, compared to similar home network cameras (refer to our reports on the D-Link and Panasonic home IP cams). 

Physical Overview

In this screencast, we examine the physical features of the TRENDnet TV-IP110.

Key points include:

  • Report is the for the wired version; the wireless model is TV-IP110W
  • Form factor features an adjustable focus ring
  • Reset button on back

Setup & Configuration

We cover the setup and configuration of the TRENDnet TV-IP110 in this screencast.  We start from the process of inserting the setup cd to navigating the camera's web interface.

Key points include:

  • CD dies not have a setup wizard
  • The IP Setup button installs an IP camera finder utility on your local PC
  • On different PC setups, the IPsSetup utility did not find the camera on every occasion
  • Click the Change IP button to assign a static address to the camera
  • The SecurView button installs TRENDnet's video monitoring software to your local PC
  • Double click the camera entry to access it's web interface
  • Manual Record will record a video to a local PC's hard drive
  • A basic setup wizard is included in the web interface
  • The Smart Wizard does not cover Dynamic DNS configuration settings
  • IP filter can restrict access to the camera by entering an IP address range
  • Brightness, contrast, and saturation is manually configured
  • The motion detection functionality may be associated to event triggers in the Event Config tab, click on Motion Detect Trigger
  • Upon a motion trigger, an action of sending an email or uploading to an FTP may be setup
  • Email and FTP settings are configured in the Event Server tab

Image Quality Analysis

The TRENDnet TV-IP110 was tested in various environments in daylight, low lux, and wide dynamic range conditions.  We also simultaneously tested the camera with five other home network cameras and compare the visual quality of the exported video.

Download our sample clips [link no longer available] (39.9MB download)

Key points include:

  • In a daytime indoor scene, although picture is slightly soft and muddy, image quality is fair
  • In a daytime outdoor scene, image is severely washed out from natural light
  • Low lux indoor scene (1 lux), subject in scene shows up as a silhouette
  • In a wide dynamic range scene, although outdoors is washed out, details of subject can be made out in dark areas

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