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Review: WebcamXP Mobile Client IP Camera Viewer


Most home automation enthusiasts incorporate home video (security) cameras as a vital accessory to their overall system.  Being able to view live images of their cameras via their cellular phone is a much desired feature.

The creators of WebCamXP have provided a client solution for viewing IP cameras and servers via a Windows Mobile version 5.0 or 6.0 device.  This client, named webcamXP Mobile HD v2.1.3 uses the .NET compact Framework 3.5 platform and is a FREE download (scroll towards the bottom of that webpage).  This product can now "directly" view the IP appliance (i.e. no computer is needed).

This client application as well as the .NET compact Framework 3.5 (downloaded from Microsoft's site) were installed and tested on an AT&T "Tilt" (HTC Model 8925) device running Windows Mobile Platform version 6.0.

The client application was started and configured via the easy and intuitive interface menu (shown below).

WebCamXP Setup 1

This package supports a very wide variety of IP cameras and video servers. For this test two Axis 241Q video servers were used that were connected to eight different analog video cameras.

The menu for the "multi camera 241q (mjpeg)" was selected.  The destination designation can use a URL address name (instead of just an IP address).  Members of CocoonTech can use their "CTip" dynamic name so they will always be able to connect to their devices in case of DHCP address changes via their Internet host.  Remember to port forward your router with the port used for the IP appliance.

WebCamXP Setup 2

The software supports user name and password credentials established on your IP device as well as pan & tilt and zoom features (unfortunately no pan & tilt and zoom capabilities were available during this test).

The client was then started, a camera number was selected in the top left drop down menu, and the check-box was marked beside that menu.  A live image was then displayed on the phone!

WebCamXP View 1

Double clicking this image provided a full screen view, which looked fantastic in the Tilt's landscape mode!

WebCamXP View 2

Below is another camera's landscape view:

WebCamXP View 3

Different camera's were easily selected by just clicking on the camera number, then clicking on the square beside the selection box.  The viewing performance was excellent (running on an AT&T "H" cellular phone network) and the camera switching was very quick.

After further testing it was noted that the client software is a little slow in loading (approximately 30 seconds elapsed between stating the software and viewing an image) plus the camera "number" could not be associated with a name (you had to remember what camera numbers corresponded to particular cameras in your system in lieu of naming them "Front Door", etc...).

This is a first run version of the client and improvements may be made in the future.  After further testing though it was noted  that during long views periods the image would occasionally freeze.  More testing is needed to determine the exact cause of this problem (client software, network, etc...).  There is also an I-Phone version of this client available.  Hopefully look for a review of that in the near future. ;)

So if one is in the need for a decent Windows Mobile IP camera/video server viewing product, give this client a whirl!  You certainly can't beat its price. Cool

 




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