|D-Link DCS-2136L Wireless AC Day/Night Camera with Color Night Vision Review|
The D-Link DCS-2136L Wireless AC Day/Night Camera with Color Night Vision is a versatile network internet protocol camera or IP camera for short.
It belongs to the decentralized category, which means it does not need any central network to handle video recording. It is a stand alone system with built-in CPU to capture photos and video which in turn can be stored in a local media, network attached storage or on your computer. It also has a server of its own that transmits signal/information over the web, which you can view elsewhere in the world.
The contents of the retail package include the camera, base/stand, power adapter, CAT5 Ethernet cable, quick installation guide and CD-ROM containing user manual and software.
The front has the camera lens, followed by the power/link LED directly below it. You can also find the white LED in the lower left corner, it can be activated at night to illuminate the camera's field of view. Above it is the WPS LED notification.
Directly above the D-Link logo is the passive infrared sensor which is used for motion detection. Lastly, you have the microphone on the lower right, it records the audio of the surroundings and can be used to communicate to the other person that monitors/view the camera.
The back is pretty busy with all sorts of things, you have the Ethernet port on the upper right portion while the power connector is located at the opposite side. There is also an input/output ports below the power port, theses I/O are used to connect external devices for more advance configuration.
At the center you have the mounting hole for connecting the supplied base/stand of the camera, On its left is the speaker for audio output. Below the speaker you have the WPS button followed by the reset button.
On the left side of the DCS-2136L you will find the micro SD slot, you can use it to store all recordings if you opt to choose not to use your computer.
PERFORMANCE and VERDICT:
If you have a D-Link router, there is no configuration needed, just hook up the wireless AC camera to the router and it will be automatically added to your mydlink account (if you do not have an account yet, just go to www.mydlink.com to create one).
However, if you are using a different router, you need to configure the system either via web browser or using the supplied set-up wizard disc. Whatever method you use, there will be a comprehensive step-by-step procedure in setting up your camera.
Take note that the camera and the computer must be on the same network first for the initial configuration. You can use the camera either via wired connection through the Ethernet port or via wireless connection (802.11 b/g/n/ac).
In my case, I used the disc to set up the DCS2136L plus I also install the D-ViewCam in my computer. The D-ViewCam is a software you can use to configure, view, and monitor your camera from any computer across the world.
For mobile monitoring you can use either of the following: Internet Explorer 7, Firefox 12, Safari 4 or Chrome 20. You can also download the mydlink Lite or mydlink + application on Google Play Store, Apple App Store or Windows Phone Store.
The camera recording can be set-up in several ways, (1) continuous, (2) scheduled, (3) motion-detection or (4) combination of 1 and 3, lastly (5) combination of 2 and 3. Continuous means that the camera is working 24/7, scheduled means you set a specific time when the camera will be activated and the motion-detection means the camera will only trigger to record an event once a motion is detected.
In motion detection mode, you can set an area of coverage before the camera will trigger, you can select the whole area or just a small portion of it. Once a motion is detected, it will start to record the event, plus you can also configure the system to capture a photo or video clip and send it over your email.
The camera output is clear even at night or on low-light conditions. There is also a built-in white LED to illuminate the place up to 5 meter distance.
Sample video recording
The videos can be recorded in different aspect ratios (16:9 or 4:3), frame rate (up to 30fps) and resolution/frame size up to 1280x720. You can also set the video codec to JPEG, MPEG-4 or H.264. The camera also has a microphone and a speaker, which you can use for a two-way communication. The recording can be stored using the micro SD card, network attached storage or on your computer.
|Specs (click to enlarge)|
Overall, the D-Link DCS-2136L Wireless AC Day/Night Camera is a solid performer, it produces clear and crisp images and videos in different situations and conditions. The motion detection and two-way audio features added a great value to this device. The usage or purpose of this camera may vary from one person to the next, but one thing is certain, it is a well-rounded IP camera.