Dahua DH-SD22204T Security Camera

I recently decided to install an outdoor PTZ security camera at our beach house to keep an eye on the premises, not to mention the threatening tide line during storms. After installing a “Sumpple WiFi Wireless PTZ” outdoors, it lasted about two weeks before becoming completely non-responsive. Total Crap.

For my second try, I ordered a Dahua SD22204T-GN, which is actually about $15 cheaper, supports PoE, but doesn’t have WiFi. This is fine with me (actually preferable) in this case – it turned out the WiFi signal was so weak where I want to mount the camera, I had to run 10BaseT to it anyway. PoE gives me a more convenient way to run power to it and replace the power supply, if it goes out. This time I paid an extra $5 for the insurance, so if it dies, it’s going straight back for a full refund and I’ll move on to another one 🙂

So far, this seems like a very good camera for the price. I have not installed it outdoors yet, but checking it out on my desk, it seems solid. The image quality is quite good, even at night. Although the camera has no IR LED’s, the light sensitivity is very good and I get a good image with only a small amount of ambient lighting. The web interface is robust, although live video doesn’t display natively in Google Chrome – you will have to install the “NACL” plugin. Also, although the camera does support built-in motion detection, it doesn’t have a nice feature that the Sumpple had to run a remote (ssh) command, which let me send a text via Twilio from my home server. It does support typical options to record to SD card, FTP a captured recording, or email. The email option works for me, since I can email my phone’s SMS address, but is a little annoying because it sends three  event emails; “Start”, “Recording” and “End”. I wound up setting up a “go-between” email account with a filter to only forward the “Recording” event to my phone. This onb of the three also includes a thumbnail (although occasionally the thumbnail is not present for some reason).

To install an SD card or mount the camera to a surface, you will need a T10 torx bit, as the enclosure is fastened with “tamper-proof” torx screws and the surface mount holes and SD slot are internal – not necessarily a bad thing.

Some useful information for anyone trying to use the camera with ContaCam:
I wanted to use the camera with ContaCam and it took some trial and error to get a connection to work. I finally used the following connection string with my user credentials in the “Camera login” section:
rtsp://<your_IP_address>/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0&unicast=true
Use subtype 0 for the main stream or 1 for the secondary stream.

A more “generic” url that works with VLC is:
rtsp://<username>:<password>@<your_IP_address>/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0&unicast=true

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