Four solid HD IP cameras, PoE, a 1TB NVR and simple setup -there's not much to get annoyed at, considering the price-point
Sannce CCTV kits represent great vaue for money if you’re in the market for an All-in-One surveillance system. Although popular with many domestic users, the Sannce CCTV systems are particularly good for shops and small businesses – add a monitor and you have a neat little monitoring system.
Best of all, Sannce has started packing some high-end features like full HD recording and PoE into their uber-budget CCTV bundles for 2016.
Sannce (and sister brand Annke) kits come in a number of camera / recorder variants. We’re going to take a look at this 1080P, Power-over-Ethernet version with not one but FOUR cameras bundled with a 1TB recorder. It looks the part, but at less than £250, surely there’s a catch?
Hikvision might want to up their game soon, because these Sannce CCTV kits with four bundled IP cams are starting to look almost indistingushable from their higher end competitor.
Sannce CCTV – 1080P HD goodness
Some of the older Sannce CCTV bundles from 2015 stuck with older camera tech to keep prices down, and very nice they were too. If you could settle for BNC cables, analog recording at a bump down in resolution, Sannce CCTV delivered stonking value.
In 2016, we’re really seeing a dribble-down in the fancier CCTV tech. Manufacturers in the East are churning out low-cost IP-based cameras with PoE usually reserved, until a few years ago, to higher-end units.
The 1080P Sannce CCTV cameras themselves – and there are FOUR – in this package, do a great impression of a Hikvision. The housing is metal, it feels heavy and the adjustable mount does the job. Sannce provide a serviceable waterproof connection too, so an outdoor security system build is straightforward enough.
Remember, if you want to drill a small installation hole for the PoE pig-tail on the cam, get a ethernet cable crimper – otherwise you’re looking at a 20mm+ hole to run it inside.
Each IP camera lens is surrounded by a bank of high-power infra-red LEDs – these automatically trigger in low-light, and give you decent monochrome IR streams at night. Usable range on the night-vision is nowhere near 30m, but at less than 10m in pich darkness you can still trigger a recording event.
These Sannce CCTV IP cams record at 1080P, with a number of caveats. Under perfect conditions direct recording straight from camera to hard drive, a 1080P stream is manageable. Start trying to remote view via the bundled Cloud services, then you have to use the lower resolution, secondary stream.
As with any digital surveillance system, choose a balance between high-definition streams and what you’re trying to achieve.
For direct live monitoring in a shop, perhaps go full 1080P. If you’re looking to use this as a security system watching for motion events, such as someone tampering with your car, consider dropping the resolution and taking a few full 1080p snaps when triggers occur. Unless these cameras are at eye-level in good light, facial recognition from the stream is difficult to do.
Sannce CCTV – soft software
Inside the Sannce 1080P CCTV kit, the network video recorder is essentially a simple computer on a single board stuck in a small metal housing. At the back you have all your ports, internet connection, power etc etc. Sannce have opted for a special type of PoE on this setup, so it is not Plug and Play with existing Power over Ethernet injectors – if you already have a PoE netwrok setup at home, this is a little disappointing.
The Sannce CCTV cameras plug into the recorder, one ethernet cable only – nice and tidy. These cables handle data and power. The hard drive slots into the NVR box and is connected via SATA to the board. Any old computer monitor can connect via VGA to the box. Power up, and the Sannce software formats the drive, detects the cameras, and away you go.
All the usual settings are available via the NVR. If you’ve ever setup up solo IP cams and messed about with ports and IP addresses, the Sannce CCTV setup is a breath of fresh air. The interface is a not exactly slick, but most users are going to set it and forget it.
Motion triggers, resolutions, alarms and email alerts are all buried in the Sannce interface. The instructions are, ahem, slender, although the UK distributors work hard at support. Its suprising how much flexibility the Sannce security system software offers. Settings aplenty mean you can tailor the surveillance to most purposes – and the image quality is great. Personally, on image quality alone, the Sannce 1080P IP cams can match solo cameras from TRENDnet and Hikvision. Start pixel peeping, measuring colour gamuts and swap-out wide angle lenses and the Sannce cameras will stumble.
So so security on the Sannce CCTV
The usability details are where the Sannce CCTV kits are a letdown. These All-in-One kits should have the simplest, easiest to use interface. However the various ‘quirks’ and bugs all need workarounds that might deter those users looking for a zero fuss security camera kit.
NVR and camera firmware obliges users connecting via a browser to install and ActiveX control. So you have to use Microsoft Internet Explorer, and Apple users are stuck using the NVR directly.
Motion detection happens after a trigger, rather than splicing a section from a continuous video stream. Fleet footed criminals can therefore run past your cameras, unless you opt for constant recording (making motion detection a redundant feature).
Remote access feels like a duct tape job, and you’re going to have to register with overseas services to get quick access off-site. If you trust all your personal comings and goings to video stream through foreign servers, as much of our personal data does, then no problem. You can of course open a port on your router and, provided you have a static IP or paid for service, direct connect to your Sannce CCTV system.
However this may be a bit too much work for the average user, who ends up having to rely on flaky remote access app streaming data through unknown overseas servers.
Simple Sannce CCTV winner
For a four cam, DIY installation surveillance camera kit with NVR and 1TB storage, it’s hard to recommend custom-build CCTV systems at 3-4 times the price of this Sannce kit – the daylight images are that good.
The interface and software are of course a compromise. Ropey remote access, faffing with browsers and operating systems to get access from a desktop at home, and quirks with motion detection and email alerts may frustrate power users.
However, Power-over-Ethernet makes for such a clean install, and the cameras do such a good impression of more expensive units, that home and business users should seriously consider a Sannce CCTV 1080P 4Ch 1TB NVR kit over the alternatives.