THE LOGITECH ALERT 750E
A COMPLETE VIDEO SURVEILLANCE SYSTEM
written October 2010 with updates January, 2013, June 2013, September 2013, November 2013, July 2014, August 2014, September, 2014, December 2014, and June 2015
Well, as of February 11, 2015 at 7AM, I guess it is official. Logitech has dumped us [again].
On February 11, this was posted on the Logitech Alert Forum by "Moderator Team:"
Re: [Announcement] Logitech Alert update
You can read the post yourself at http://forums.logitech.com/t5/Alert-Security-Systems/Announcement-Logitech-Alert-update/m-p/1365460
First we bought the WiLife series and then they said we had to upgrade to Logitech Alert. Unfortunately I bought a bunch of Logitech Alert cameras. Worse, I persuaded my friends and relatives to buy a bunch of Logitech Alert cameras - and through this webpage, I have persuaded a bunch of you to buy Logitech Alert cameras. I apologize. I should have seen it coming. I didn't.
At this point it is painfully apparent why Logitech wanted out of the CCTV business. It has a huge installed base of unreliable cameras. Of the eleven I had at my house, none are still working. Of the three I had installed at my mother's house, none are still working. My friends, who unfortunately bought based on my recommendation, are experiencing similar results.
They are going for stupidly high prices on eBay. Please resist the urge to buy one because they most likely won't last either. I also suggest you not sell yours on eBay because you will eventually have a mad purchaser.
So that is pretty much it. For what it is worth, the Blue Iris Software is quite a bargain at $59 and it works perfectly with Logitech Alert cameras. And you can add other types of cameras to your system as well. My suggestion is you simply move on. We basically have no choice. I've moved on to Blue Iris and am having good experience with it. I suggest you do the same. It is solid and regularly updated and supported. It works perfectly with my lone remaining Logitech Alert camera.
To everyone who purchased a Logitech Alert system based on my review - again, I apologize.
I am leaving the review itself up as several have indicated an interest in it. Here it is:
This is a review of the now defunct Logitech Alert 750E series Closed Circuit Television (CCTV) surveillance system. A CCTV system is an integral part of any home security system. Systems like this one can also function as an alarm system. After using the system I felt compelled to post a review. I hope you will take the time to read the full review but if you can't or won't, here is the short version - The Logitech Alert system has some drawbacks but was the best system for homeowners and small business owners to install provided they already had a computer on site.
A bit of personal background is probably in order. I am not affiliated with the Logitech Corporation in any way other than as a customer. Over the past 20 years I have used several models of the Logitech mouse, a Logitech webcam, a Logitech WiLife CCTV system, and the current "Logitech Alert" CCTV system. I have been generally happy with all of their products except I had a complaint about a version of the WiLife system that I will detail shortly.
I have spent a significant portion of my life dealing with surveillance video systems. As a result of my previous employment I was involved in CCTV full time for two years and part time for another 20 years. I have supervised the installation of about 30 CCTV systems. I have done troubleshooting on about 50 CCTV systems. I have personally installed about 20 CCTV systems. Additionally I have participated in the installation of about 20 covert video installations.
The Logitech Alert system is a full featured CCTV system that is particularly well suited for small surveillance systems. It sells for $350.00. It solves five longstanding problems with CCTV systems and corrects one minor annoyance from their previous CCTV system. First, lets talk about the longstanding problems.
PROBLEM 1. CCTV systems are hard to install because of the cable(s) that must be run between the cameras and the recording/viewing unit.
In analog CCTV sytems coax cable must typically be run between each camera and the recording/viewing locatioin. This becomes a significant project when you take into account almost all cables have to be run through walls and either attic or crawl space. Each camera must also have a power cable that runs from the camera to source of power, typically located at the recording/viewing location. Sometimes this is accomplished by special "Siamese" cable that carries both the signal and the power and sometimes it is done through two separate cables. The recording/viewing unit typically consists of a multiplexor, a recorder, and monitor(s). The multiplexer is connected to both the recorder and the monitor and although I can't for the life of me understand why, this connection tends to be challenging, even for many CCTV technians. All this cabling is a time consuming enough in a new construction installation. It is much more difficult in an existing facility or home where cables must be run through multiple walls. They same problem exists for IP CCTV systems except for WiFi cameras. WiFi cameras are OK but not a reliable as wired IP cameras. So, even with an IP based system you are going to run a lot of Cat5 wire, although it is a bit easier since the Cat5 wire is smaller and more flexible than coax.
The Logitech Alert system solves this problem by using existing house wiring for the transmission of video data. You simply plug the camera in and it sends video to the computer over the power wires you already have. It just doesn't get much easier than this from an installation standpoint. Problem solved.
PROBLEM 2. Most CCTV systems other than the newest Internet Protocol (IP) Megapixel systems have lousy recording resolution.
Resolution is critical so you can see the detail you need when you play back video. There are a few high end CCTV systems that have adequate resolution but most have 320 X 240 resolution. Even the best typically have 640 X 480 resolution. All too often the viewing resolution is OK but the video playback resolution is lousy.
The resolution on the Logitech Alert system is 960 X 720 at 1240 kbps. This is a high resolution at a relatively high bit rate. I'm not suggesting this is the absolute best that can currently be found but for the money, it is fabulous. It is not as good as high definition television but it is much better than anything you can find for $350.00. Problem solved.
PROBLEM 3. Most digital video systems do not have on-camera storage.
This doesn't seem like a big problem until you start adding a bunch of IP cameras. IP cameras stream video data to a computer or a DVR that stores the video data. Video uses a LOT of data. When you stack up several video cameras firing video data to a computer or DVR it starts to tie up the bandwidth on your network. It is like trying to browse the internet during peak periods and suddenly your speedy nimble browser is slower than molasses.
A company called Mobotix fixed this problem by including on board SD card storage on all their cameras. Their cameras stored video on an SD card in the camera and then, when the computer called for the video (such as when the operator wanted to replay some video), it transmitted the video across the network to the computer. This was obviously a much more efficient use of bandwidth. The constant streaming was eliminated and when a file was transferred it utilized a faster protocol. This seemed like a game chager to me. The only problem with Mobotix cameras is they run from $1,000 to $1,500 each. That's crazy.
Anyway, the local storage thing sounded like such a good protocol to me so I started ragging my favorite CCTV company, Supercircuits, encouraging them to adopt this new protocol with their IP cameras. They told me they were well aware of the Mobotix techniques and were very happy with their existing offerings. Oh well...
Logitech Alert cameras come with a two gigabite micro SD card that the camera uses for temporary local storage. It can utilize micro SD cards in sizes up to 32 gigabytes. The camera is recording whether the computer is on or off. When it senses the computer is on and a good connection available, it automatically transfers the recorded video from the camera to the computer for longer term storage and/or viewing. Problem solved.
PROBLEM 4. CCTV systems typically include a proprietary recorder that is hard or impossible to get serviced. When they break you have to buy a whole new recorder.
Analog video recording systems consist of a multiplexer and a time lapse VCR. There is no place I can find that services multiplexers and the places that previously serviced time-lapse VCRs have quit because they can no longer get parts. Many of the newer digital recorders are similarly impossible to get serviced. I purchased a $900 DVR five years ago and it worked great. Then lightning struck behind my house. I lost my sprinkler controller, several cameras, and the DVR. All the televisions, radios, clocks, and computers survived without any problems. The DVR wasn't dead, it just acted weird. It switched pictures when it wasn't supposed to and the video replay was squirrely. I opened it up and nothing was obviously fried. I contacted the vendor where I purchased it and was shocked to find that no repair facility would fix my DVR. My only solution was to buy another $900 DVR. That seemed unreasonable so I solved the problem by switching to a Avermedia PC based video recording. I simply added an Avermedia NV5000 card to a computer and it became my DVR. It worked out well. Recently the switch paid off as the video card in that computer failed. I replaced the $50 card and was up and running again. If I'd bought that stupid $900 proprietary DVR and its video display circuitry quit working my remedy would have been to buy another stupid $900 proprietary DVR.
The Logitech Alert system uses your computer to store and view recorded video. When it breaks, it can be fixed. If you can't fix it yourself there are repair shops readily available. Problem solved.
PROBLEM 5. Setting up your CCTV system so you can watch it remotely over the Internet is usually hard.
Setting a CCTV system up so you can watch your cameras over the internet is usually a bit of a hassle for folks who are not knowlegable about networks and IP addresses. If you have a static IP address (one that is permanently assigned to you - it never changes) it is easier, but most people don't have one. There are a limited amount of IP addresses and you have to pay extra if you want one that never changes. Accordingly most of us have what is known as "Dynamic IP addresses." This means each time you log into your Internet Service Provider you are assigned of the available IP addresses. It is a very efficient system and saves money for both the ISP and the subscriber. Problem is, when you want to look at your cameras from an Internet connection off in the world somewhere you have to have some way to connect to the IP address your home computer is using at that time.
There are several services that will accomplish this for you. DynDNS is a very popular one and I use it on my old home CCTV system. It costs $10 per year and if you meet certain parameters, they will even give you one IP address updating service for free. I had problems with the free service getting cancelled so I signed up for the $10 per year service. Hmmm....
The Logitech Alert system includes firmware built into the cameras that regularly reports to Mother Logitech where it is. When you want to watch your camera(s) all that Dynamic IP mess is taken care of for you by the Logitech program. You just go to alert.logitech.com, put in your email and password and you are looking at your home camera system. From anywhere! Problem solved.
MY PROBLEM WITH PREVIOUS VERSION FROM LOGITECH
I admit I am a little obsessed with noise reduction. OK, a lot. I am especially particular about unnecessary noise. I like quiet cars. I built a very quiet electric bike with components from www.ampedbikes.com I like quiet PCs. My favorite website is www.silentpcreview.com I cherry picked components so my computer is inaudible if you are over three inches from it. So, take what I'm about to whine about with a grain of salt. Many perfectly sane people will simply not care about the issue I had with WiLife security systems, the predecessor to Logitech Alert CCTV systems.
Logitech's WiLife was a good system. It had plug in cameras that utilized house wiring to send video data to a computer where it was recorded and could be viewed. It was low resolution and did not have on-camera storage but it was generally a good system. I gave the camera systems to a bunch of my family members for Christmas two years ago. This past Christmas I was going to give everybody a second camera for their system. I ordered two for my Mom's house early because of a specific application. I was very dissapointed when they arrived and I found Logitech had put a fan on the power supply. It was not a terribly loud fan but it was a very unnecessary fan. I complained to Logitech and they told me they had to add the fan as some units were used in countries that utilized higher voltage than the 110VAC we use in the United States. I knew that with a little bigger heatsinks the fans would not have been necessary. I pointed that out to Logitech. I asked them if there was any way I could get some of old power supplies as I wanted to give my relatives their camera as gifts but I wan't willing to make all of their houses a little noiser. Logitech support told me the new power supplies were here to stay. So, I forgot about WiLife and I forgot about Logitech. I managed to stash the power supplies for my mother's cameras in a room that can't be heard from the rest of the house. I gave my relatives something else for Christmas. I posted derogatory reviews of WiLife on several sites alerting people to the fans. I might have posted a couple of derogatory comments about Logitech too...
Then, I recently heard that Logitech had upgraded their CCTV systems to a higher resolution so I emailed Logitech support and asked if the new cameras had power supplies with those dreaded noisy fans. I was pleasantly surprised when Logitech wrote back and said the fans "were not necessary" in the power supplies for their new Logitech Alert systems. I seriously doubt I had much to do with it but I was very happy they dropped those fans. Problem solved.
A month or so went by and a friend needed a system for her business. I ordered her a Logitech Alert 750E CCTV system. It was $350.00 from www.amazon.com Logitech also offers an inside camera sytem that only provides color only video for $80 less. Additional cameras are available for $230 or $277 each for the Color or Color/B&W, respectively. The 750E system I got has an outside camera that is a Color/B&W camera. It is weatherproof. It shows color images during the day and in low light reverts to black and white. This is a common feature in the CCTV industry and a very popular one. You get the best of both worlds. In the day you get a color picture and at night you are not stuck with the disasterous picture that a color camera normally provides in low light. I tested the camera and the system and was simply amazed at the features and the functionality for the price. Based on this, and also based at least partially on the fact I trashed Logitech so publicly and thoroughly before, I am writing this review.
I feel strongly this system is currently the optimal choice for anyone who wants an inexpensive small CCTV system for their home or business.
By now, you are probably wishing I'd get on with it so...
The Logitech Alert System comes in attractive box.
In the picture above, please note the two infrared lights on each side of lens. This is the only picture I could find or make that adequately shows the IR lights. These automatically come on at night and provide illumination up to about 12 to 15 feet.
The Logitech Alert 750E system consists of:
1. The software contained on a CD.
2. The camera that connects to its power supply with what appears to be an ethernet cable.
3. The Network Adapter that has a power supply that plugs into 110VAC wall current (US) with what appears to be an ethernet cable that plugs into your router.
I just don't know how they could make it any easier to install. Install the software. Plug in the camera and the network adapter, boot the software and the system is functional.
Logitech CD, Manual, and Quick Start Guide
I found the Logitech Software to be quite functional and easy to use. You can watch a live picture in any of several formats depending on the number of cameras connected (up to sixteen). It can review previously recorded video while current recordings continue uninterrupted. Playback is available at various speeds from 1/8 to 8X normal speed. You can save snapshots as .jpg files from the recorded video. Segements of recorded video can be saved as .mp4 files. Brightness, contrast, and digital zoom can be adjusted for each camera.
Remote viewing is easy. Assuming you have an "always on" Internet connection such as cable or DSL you can set your system up for very easy remote viewing. The remote view connection worked the first time I tried it on multiple computers. The free included system can easily be set up to email you a still image when motion is detected in a particular camera. The quality of the image transmitted over the 'net is extremely high compared to others I have seen. Remote viewing and email alerts will function even when the computer is off!
I did have a temporary problem develop with remote viewing. I took a three day trip and for the first day and a half I was able to check in on what was happening back home very easily. Then, it quit working and I was never able to connect to the system again. When I logged in I got a message that an error had occurred with not additional information. Upon my return I found I could not get the Internet view working again until I rebooted the camera. Based on the status of several other devices at home there was not a power outage.
There were two subsequent times when the system seemed to hang up and it resolved when I unplugged the camera and plugged it back in.
If you want to access previously recorded files from a remote Internet connection Web Commander is required. This costs an annual subscription fee of $79.99.
According to the materials included, a free smartphone viewer is also available. When I tried to download it, I got a message it wasn't ready yet so this feature was untested.
Each camera has its own microphone which can be monitored as well as recorded. The feature works well. The software requires you to acknowledge you are aware of the legal implications involved. Monitoring of audio in private areas where people have an expectation of privacy is illegal.
I measured the current draw with a Kill-A-Watt meter at 7 watts. The meter showed the monthly cost for electricity to power the camera to be $0.45 per month. This was at my home rate and could obviously vary somewhat depending on your electrical rate.
The system is advertized as "High Defintion." Well, it is and is isn't. At its resolution of 960 X 720 it is certainly higher resolution than 99% of other CCTV systems. It certainly sets a new standard in resolution for CCTV systems and I suspect other CCTV vendors will absolutely be scrambling to match it. Having said that, it is not "High Definition" like you have been enjoying recently on your home HD television. Widescreen broadcast HD is at 1280 X 720, 1280 X 1080 or 1920 X 1080. The picture on Logitech Alert, at 960 X 720, is similar to HD but it isn't widescreen. Don't let this dissuade you. It is a great picture compared to the last generation of CCTV cameras.
The camera has a native 130 degree view. Take a look at the screenshot below. This shows the camera in the 130 degree mode.
Notice the bottom right portion of the screen. It contains an adjustable digtal zoom. The screenshot below shows the same camera shot zoomed in to give a better view of the street.
Below is a snapshot of the same view as the first, but at night with the IR illumination. As information, this porch is dark - not pitch black, but very dark. The effect of the IR is dramatic.
This camera has a particularly solid feel too it. It is heavier than you would expect. Only time will tell but you get the impression from handling it that it is going to be a durable camera.
Bottom of Camera
Microphone on bottom of Camera
The Camera and its Power Supply
Power Supply for Camera with cover removed
Removing a cover from the back of the camera reveals the ethernet port and the micro SD card port.
Closer view with the SD card removed from its slot
The camera comes equipped with an adapter for the supplied 2GB Micro SD Card
A bit of clarification is probably in order regarding the Micro SD card. The Logitech advertisement states:
PC-free recording with microSD™
Record up to a week of video* on the included 2 GB card—even when your PC is turned off. Upgrade to a larger card for months of recording time.
* One week of storage on 2 GB card is based on the amount of motion and audio captured/recorded for typical home location (front door, back door, etc.). Upgrade to larger microSD (not included) for additional recording capacity.
I found their estimate of one week of storage for the suppled 2 GB card to be a bit optimistic. I typically was able to store closer to six hours with a busy camera scene on the Micro SD card. Nonetheless, the inclusion of SD storage is a MUCH appreciated feature. Plan on coughing up another thirty bucks for a 32 GB card if you need this feature.
I don't understand why Logitech chose the tiny, more expensive Micro SD card for internal storage over a standard SD card. The Micro SD cards cost more and are harder to handle. The additional room it would take inside the camera for a standard size SD card is negligible.
A word of caution is in order regarding the installation of the camera. It is important to plug the camera in somewhere where a bad guy can't just walk up and unplug it. For example, if you are mounting it under the eave of your house, don't plug it into an outlet at pedestrian level. Or, at least if you do, be aware of the ease with which your camera can be disabled. The best thing to do, in that instance, is probably to run the Ethernet cable from camera into your attic and plug it into an outlet there. That is still one heck of a lot easier than snaking it through your walls!
The network adapter, shown below, receives the video data signals from the camera over the existing home wiring. It plugs into a 110VAC outlet and has an ethernet cable that connects to your router. The connections are color coded!
The instructions indicate the Network Adapter should be pluged into a wireless router but I plugged it into a switch and it worked just fine. I tried to get it to work plugging it directly into the ethernet port on the back of my computer with very limited success.
Network Adapter - top
Network Adapter - bottom
HOME SECURITY ALARM SYSTEM
As I mentioned earlier the system can be set to email you when motion is detected in the selected area. Assuming your cell phone can receive emailed photographs the system can function as an alarm system. Using the CCTV system to function as an alarm system, saves you the expense of a home security monitoring contract. I have always found it frustrating to pay a home security company $25 per month to "monitor" my alarm when, in fact, all they did was call me and the police when the alarm went off. Actually, this system is better in some ways than a home security alarm system because when it emails you a picture you can evaluate whether or not you need to summon law enforcement. If the initial image doesn't resolve the issue, you can remotely log in and look at what is happening at your home live to make a more informed decision.
MORE SAMPLE PICTURES AND VIDEO
As you can see from the day and night photos of cars passing on the street, the night video leaves a little to be desired. The exposure has been electronically adjusted by the camera in the night picture but the camera is unable to get a good image of the moving vehicle. This is one of the few bad points I found with the camera.
Daytime Picture of Moviing Vehicle
Nightime Picture of Moviing Vehicle
Video Samples from the Logitech Alert 750E System
Ready to use video surveillance system with nothing else to purchase
Easy installation with no video cables to run between components
At $350 for a video camera and a complete recording/viewing system, it is a steal
Good Image Quality & Resolution - 960 X 720 at 1240 kbps
Full featured, easy to use software
On camera video storage so the camera records even when the computer is off
Built in infrared lighting for illumination in dark areas
Exceptional image quality when remote viewing of video
Poor Imaging of objects in motion, particularly in low light
I wish they had used an SD card for internal camera storage instead of a Micro SD Card
Unless you are going to leave your computer on perpetually, the 2GB card that comes with the camera is too small. Amazon sells 32GB cards for $30. Get one. You'll be glad you did.
There is no date/time stamping on the video. You can see the date/time information when playing back but exported video should also be date/time stamped.
Logitech does not repair the Alert cameras. When they break, if they are out of warranty, they are gone.
The indoor cameras do not last.
Overall this system represented superb value. Its functionality rivals systems costing much more. It is a very cheap way to have a CCTV system provided you already have a computer. The viewing works well. The recording works well. It has a great picture. It has a couple of minor drawbacks that are perfectly understandable given the low price of the system. I highly recommend this system.
Update - November 2013: For a while, Logitech was trying to sell its surveillance camera business and their support of the system seemed to be diminishing. Recently however, they have come out with a new version of Logitech Commander and it appears they may have re-established their long term committment. Only time will tell but based on this, I again think Logitech Alert is currently the best choice for homeowners. It's easy to install, the total installed cost is low, and it has free easy to use software.
Update - July 2014: I've now had three out four of the indoor cameras fail. Each time, Logitech has been great about replacing them, even when they were out of warranty. Nonetheless they keep failing, most after about a year. I just had another one go down. I turned down the free replacement under warranty because I have decided to simply avoid the indoor cameras. If they only last a year, I can't use them. I tried to get Logitech to let me pay the difference to get an outdoor camera to replace it. They refused. Avoid the indoor cameras.
Update, September 2014: Logitech has discontinued the production of the Logitech Alert line of security systems. They say they will support existing users. This is a really big kick in the teeth to folks needing a security system. Very disappointing.
Don't throw your Logitech Alert cameras away!! The cameras can still be part of an IP based CCTV system. For example, I no longer use the Logitech Alert Commander software. I use Blue Iris because it allows me to add other, non Logitech, cameras to my system. It works fine.
Here is an excellent review of the system that I think you may find helpful http://www.blakeman.net/_VA/CA/JT/2010/Cams/Cameras.htm
UPDATES re my systems:
February, 2011 - The SD card that came with the camera failed. I replaced it with a 16 GB card that is much more functional. The 2GB card that comes with the camera is way too small. I should have replaced it anyway.
September 2011 - The power supply for a camera failed. I called Logitech and, even though the camera was was over a year old, they sent me a replacement power supply. Wow. I'm starting to warm up to these guys.
November 2011 - I used a Kill-a-Watt meter to measure the electricity usage for a camera. This camera ran the infrared light about 12 hours per day. The monthly expense at 10.6 cents per kilowatt was 45 cents. In other words, 45 cents is what it costs to run one camera day and night for a month.
January 2013 - I added a camera to my mother's system and I had a horrible time trying to get the software to recognize the new camera. The problem turned out to be I had not run the Commander software as "Administrator." You have to boot the software as Administrator to add cameras. You do not need to run as Administrator for viewing live video and playing back recordings.
June, 2013 - added a camera. It was defective. Easy exchange with amazon but it was aggravation taking it off the house and shipping back.
August 2013 - another camera failed. This one was out of warranty by a few months. I was horrified to find out that Logitech does not repair the Alert cameras. If they break while in warranty, they replace them. If they break while out of warranty, they don't replace them, they don't fix them, and they don't offer to sell refurbished units. After half a dozen back and forth messages with Logitech I was pleasantly surprised when Logitech replaced it for free. It arrived early September. Unfortunately, it didn't work. For the time being, I'm switching to Blue Iris for recording the Logitech cameras that still work. That way, I can mix in other brands of IP cameras.
October, 2013 - I'm using Blue Iris to record both my Logitech Alert cameras and standard IP cameras. It works perfectly but the software is not as intuitive as Logitech Commander. Logitech, to their credit has released a new version of Commander that allows up to 16 cameras. I've tried it and it works well. Bravo Logitech. For me, I'm sticking with Blue Iris so I can mix and match IP cameras. The downside is the computer has to be on 24/7 to record.
November, 2013 - Logitech is out of the outdoor cameras. They say they will have them in December.
January, 2014 - Logitech still has no outdoor cameras for sale. They say they will have them in February.
February 2014 - Still no outdoor cameras available from Logitech. They say when they get them in they will have the same features as the old cameras.
September 2014 - Logitech Alert goes out of business.
Great review. Is there any way to speak with someone over at Logitech to add much needed features to the iPhone app.
1) Audio should be streamed with video.
2) we should be able to pan, tilt and zoom.
3) we should be able to email video clips from within iPhone app.
I have spoken to their tech support but thought you may know of a better medium to reach the people responsible for updating the iPhone app. Thanks.
Thanks! I have no special connections with the Logitech Corporation. I'm happy to post your comments with the hope they might see it though! You make very good points. That would improve the functionality of the remote viewing immensely. It works fine with a PC and it should work with an iPhone!
I really enjoyed your review of the THE LOGITECH ALERT 750E system.
My wife has been after me for some time to get something like this, mainly to monitor our backyard for intrusions by our crazy neighbor. I have resisted, but maybe now I have an idea for a Xmas present.
I have a couple of simple-minded questions:
1. What is the purpose of those 2 ethernet cables? From what you write, I gather they are alternatives to the AC line connection.
2. On a blog, a writer suggested hiding the power cord since, after all, an intruder could easily unplug a visible one. You might address this in your page.
3. I also am super sensitive to audio noise. However, what about the "video noise' that may get produced using the AC line?
4. How robust do you think the camera is?
Thanks for your kind words!
There are two Ethernet cables and both run from what are essentially network devices to home current converters. They carry plain 'ol data like any other network device. The camera is one of the network devices and the network adapter is the other. They act as interface devices to transmit and recieve data through house electrical wiring.
First let's take the camera. An Ethernet cable runs from the camera to the power supply and then the power supply connects to the wall outlet. The power supply also contains a converter that transmits the data signals over the house wiring.
The Network adapter connects to a router with another ethernet cable. It also plugs into the wall. It receives the data from the camera through the home wiring and converts it back into plain 'ol data which is sent on to the computer by through the router.
Most IP cameras connect to routers with Ethernet cables. The Logitech system essentially does the same thing it just has the ability to use house wiring in-between.
Regarding hiding the power cable. Not a bad idea. All video cameras (except battery powered ones) have some kind of cable going to them to supply power. An astute bad guy may cut or otherwise disconnect that cable. Fortunately most bad guys are not that comprehensive in their approach. Anyway, the Logitech Alert system shares this weakness with every other system. I have had these cables enclosed in conduit in high crime areas to try to thwart this activity. Some camera mounts run the wire through the mount into the wall. Hiding it altogether would be even better.
I have absolutely no idea how they did it but the system does not seem to be at all sensitive to the "AC noise" generating "video noise." The picture simply could not be more interference free.
I suspect, based on my experience with the WiLife system,
that the Alert system is very robust.
I'm just guessing, though.
The camera, in particular, has a solid feel to it.
It is obviously way too early to know, but my guess is the system will
last a very long time.
We'll have to
wait to see how it handles the surges and lighting strikes but I'm guessing it
ANOTHER UPDATE September 2013: A couple have failed. No big deal as all CCTV cameras sometimes fail. Problem is, Logitech does not repair their own cameras.
side note - I have added a paragraph to the body of the review pointing out how easily the camera can be disabled by unplugging it in response this this reader's suggestion.
Great review of Logitech Alert 750e
system; very clear and thorough. If you do not mind, I have a question on
the remote viewing feature over a smart phone. Does the Alert Commander
software need to be running in order to get email alerts or get live video feeds
on a smart phone? It would be great if I did not need to have a PC running
Thanks! Good question about remote viewing and alerts. I had not tried either and didn't expect them to work. I just gave 'em a whirl and they both work! I will update the review.
I have not personally tested the Sharx 2606 or 2607 cameras. I have read the reviews and they seem quite impressive. If I had to choose between them and the Logitech Alert cameras, I think I'd go with Logitech. It is a thoroughly established company and less likely to go out of business. It is the nature of CCTV systems to want to add cameras periodically. It would be very frustrating to want to add a camera and find that the company was no longer in business. Logitech Alert is hardly perfect, but it is pretty good. If you are looking for a higher quality system, take a look at the Axis series of cameras, specifically the cameras that utilize an SD card.
Great review on the Logitech Alert System as I am thinking about purchasing a Logitech System as well. If I could trouble you with a couple of questions.
1) Lets say you buy two (2) systems, one indoor and one out door, and extra cameras totaling the max total of six (6) cameras. Does this mean there would be only one home plug (network adapter plug) or would there be two (2) one for the indoor cams and one for the outdoor cams taking up two ports on my router (I obviously want them all on the same system).
2) You mentioned in your rewiew regarding electrical outlets not being convienent.......are the cables supplied for the camera to the electrical outlet and the network adapter to the router simple Cat 5 cable and if so can I simply make my own or buy longer versions to suit my needs.
You would need to specifically check with Logitech about putting two systems in one residence. I suspect the six camera limit is a result of a bandwidth limit using the powerline ethernet technology. UPDATE 2013: New Commander software has raised the camera limit to 16.
As best I can tell it is just plain old Cat 5 cable. I haven't tried it, but I think you could subtitute a longer (or shorter) cable for the one supplied in the kit.
Thanks Mike for useful info. I will appreciate if you can clear my few
uncertain about Logitech 750e outdoor camera.
1. What is the camera (750e) motion range?
height to hang the camera for best results?
Thanks! There is no set range for the motion detection. It is determined by the size of the object in motion. Motion is detected in a change in what appears on the screen. For example, an airplane at 10,000 feet might trip the motion detector if it showed clearly in the picture.
24 feet is fine. Be guided by what you want the camera to see. For example, if you want to see faces, 24 feet is too high to see a face under a ballcap.
This review is an absolute goldmine. Thanks for taking the time to share your opinions and information about the Logitech Alert 750E. (I’ve been swimming in a sea of poorly designed security-system websites trying to educate myself on security cameras—much more complex than I had anticipated.) Your website is truly a great find!
Are there any other systems that you recommend?
I am a big fan of
Axis IP cameras. I'm referring to only those models that have
on-board SD card recording (practically all of the new Axis cameras have this).
They have recently upgraded many of the cameras to accept SDXC cards for
additional recording capacity. They also furnish free software to view all
and play back all of your cameras . It requires running ethernet cables
but the image quality is top notch and both the system and the cameras are
solid, mature, and reliable. Their systems are actually superior to the
Logitech Alert systems but I recommend Logitech for most homeowners and small
business owners because of the ease of wiring. Having the video travel
over existing electrical wiring is huge. If you don't mind running cable, get Axis IP cameras.
I am a big fan of Axis IP cameras. I'm referring to only those models that have on-board SD card recording (practically all of the new Axis cameras have this). They have recently upgraded many of the cameras to accept SDXC cards for additional recording capacity. They also furnish free software to view all and play back all of your cameras . It requires running ethernet cables but the image quality is top notch and both the system and the cameras are solid, mature, and reliable. Their systems are actually superior to the Logitech Alert systems but I recommend Logitech for most homeowners and small business owners because of the ease of wiring. Having the video travel over existing electrical wiring is huge.
If you don't mind running cable, get Axis IP cameras.
I need a longer cable. Can I substitute a standard Cat 5 or
Cat 6 cable for the cable supplied with the camera by Logitech?
I need a longer cable. Can I substitute a standard Cat 5 or Cat 6 cable for the cable supplied with the camera by Logitech?
Yes, absolutely. Cat 5, 5e, and Cat 6 cables are round whereas
the Logitech cable is flat. You may have to carve out a slighly
larger place on the cable cover for the cable to enter the camera,
particularly on the indoor model. As far as performance goes, the
standard cables should work better as they are twisted pairs while the
flat Logitech cable is not.
Yes, absolutely. Cat 5, 5e, and Cat 6 cables are round whereas the Logitech cable is flat. You may have to carve out a slighly larger place on the cable cover for the cable to enter the camera, particularly on the indoor model. As far as performance goes, the standard cables should work better as they are twisted pairs while the flat Logitech cable is not.