D-Link Omna

PC & Tech Authority - - CONTENTS -

L et’s get one thing straight from the start: this cam­era is only worth con­sid­er­ing if you’re al­ready a ded­i­cated Ap­ple HomeKit user. There’s no An­droid app: it’s de­signed to work within an Ap­ple-based lifestyle, and that’s re­flected in its all-sil­ver de­sign. Not ev­ery­one will love its looks – for ex­am­ple, the Omna is chub­bier than the Ne­tatmo Wel­come – but then again it o‰ers two ex­tra fea­tures com­pared to the Wel­come that some might find vi­tal. First, 180-de­gree video. Sec­ond, two-way au­dio.

Im­age qual­ity is as clear as you’d ex­pect from a 1080p D-Link cam­era, but note you can only record clips to mi­croSD cards – and one isn’t supplied in the box. With­out a card, you’re lim­ited to a live view, which al­most begs the ques­tion of what’s the point? Yes, you can be alerted to mo­tion, but you’d soon get sick and tired of false alarms. There’s also no way to trans­fer recorded footage from the card to a cloud ser­vice, so you’re stuck with the ter­ri­bly Heath-Robin­son method of re­mov­ing it and plac­ing it in a reader. Also note that if you want to view the footage re­motely then you’ll need a HomeKit hub, which es­sen­tially means a fourth­gen­er­a­tion Ap­ple TV (al­though newer iPads will also work).

But there are lots of plus points. The Omna – just like the DCS-960L – al­lows you to se­lect ar­eas of the im­age for mo­tion ac­ti­va­tion. Thanks to its sup­port for HomeKit, that means you could use the cam­era’s mo­tion de­tec­tion so that a door mov­ing will ac­ti­vate a light. Clever. There’s strong night vi­sion too, with D-Link promis­ing vi­sion up to 5m away in to­tal dark­ness (most ven­dors steer clear of mak­ing such prom­ises). Its night vi­sion proved a strength in my test­ing too. I also ap­pre­ci­ated its long 2.9m ca­ble, which gives much greater reach than the nor­mal 1m ca­bles.

You can con­trol the Omna via its own app or the Ap­ple Home app, but the for­mer o‰ers more con­tro. You can also use Siri to check on live footage, should you wish, and any­one who owns an Ap­ple Watch may find them­selves mildly ad­dicted to view­ing what’s go­ing on at home – you can even talk and lis­ten on your watch, should you wish to go all Dick Tracy. So there is much to like here, but be­fore you buy con­sider that it only makes sense to buy this cam­era if you’re wed­ded to HomeKit. But that last weak­ness is also its great­est strength, be­cause if you are then you may fall in love with the Omna.

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