D-Link DCS-2136L

HWM (Malaysia) - - TEST - by Az­izul Rah­man Is­mail

Dis­guised as an unas­sum­ing wire­less cam­era, the D-Link DCS-2136L packs a laun­dry list of fea­tures that most other cam­eras of its kind would envy, the best of which is its image qual­ity, con­nec­tiv­ity op­tions, and speedy setup.

Get­ting the cam­era up and run­ning was a quick and sim­ple en­deavor. The in­cluded in­stal­la­tion disc makes the in­stal­la­tion process one of the fastest we've had ex­pe­ri­enced with a wire­less IP cam­era, as the in­struc­tions were clear and pre­cise.

The in­stal­la­tion re­quires the cam­era to be con­nected via LAN ca­ble to a router and a free my­dlink ac­count will be cre­ated to let you re­motely ac­cess your cam­era over the In­ter­net how­ever wire­less in­stal­la­tion could be made eas­ier if the router is WPS com­pat­i­ble.

Once we got it up and run­ning, the first thing that we no­ticed about the cam­era is its image qual­ity. Rated at 720 HD res­o­lu­tion, we man­age to get clear and sharp footage with very lit­tle lag. This is a very im­por­tant fea­ture on a sur­veil­lance cam­era as image qual­ity de­ter­mines its ef­fec­tive­ness. It also helps that the cam­era sup­ports the lat­est wire­less stan­dard, 802.11n.

Be­cause the cam­era uses the my­dlink ser­vice, it is also com­pat­i­ble with the my­dlink Lite mo­bile app. The app not only lets you view a live stream from the cam­era, but also ac­ti­vate some of the cam­era's fea­tures, such as speak­ers, mi­cro­phone and light.

We found the An­droid and iOS app sim­ple, easy to use and works very well. The pho­tos were as clear as it was on a desk­top PC, but you are lim­ited to lower res­o­lu­tions of 320 x 176 and 640 x 360 pix­els. Nev­er­the­less, we could not get the two-way com­mu­ni­ca­tion fea­ture to work well. Our voice came through as rather soft and spo­radic.

For view­ing at night, the cam­era comes with a high­pow­ered white LED with an ef­fec­tive range of up to 15m, fill­ing most rooms with light. Although pow­er­ful, this gives away the lo­ca­tion of the cam­era, mak­ing it a prime tar­get in an ac­tual se­cu­rity breach sit­u­a­tion.

For­tu­nately, the night vi­sion is a great sub­sti­tute. The cam­era boasts Color Night Vi­sion tech­nol­ogy, which works sur­pris­ingly well as it man­ages to re­tain and dis­play col­ors well in a dark­ened room, ac­cu­rately dis­tin­guish­ing the greens, reds, blues, and yel­lows.

We'd pre­fer if the cam­era was to be more in­con­spic­u­ous, but most of the wire­less IP cam­eras to­day aren't. An aut­o­fo­cus fea­ture would have been very wel­comed as well.

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