After a recent break in at my family’s vacation home, I set out to look for some sort of surveillance equipment to keep an eye on things while no one is around. I took in to consideration that I wanted some sort of DVR device that would hopefully catch the thieves again in the act, in case they should try to come back. I called the folks over at Brickhouse Security and they worked with me to figure out what would be the best surveillance system to use in my situation.
Understanding my concern that having something flashy, might get the actual surveillance system stolen, they chose a DVR camera that is disguised as an Air Ionizer that plugs in to the wall. This smart little device is motion activated, so that it starts recording on to an SD card once motion is detected. The device is so well concealed as a DVR, that in even the plate on the back where the SD card is removed and inserted can only be opened if you use a magnet (which is included in the package). In order to set up the device, and configure its settings, you have to connect it to a TV/Display using the included composite cables. However, if you want to playback recorded files, you have to connect the SD card to a computer.
Once hooked up to a display, the menu system for the device is pretty self explanatory. It lets you format the card, set the time and date stamp, adjust the sensitivity, and it gives you the option to set up a manual or timed record. On my plasma, the color video feed for the DVR looked great and very clear. The device gives you the option to set the quality settings to 640×480 at 12fps, at high, medium, or low quality, or 320×240 at 30fps at high, medium, or low quality. High quality allows for about 150 minutes of recording time on a 1GB SD card, while medium quality provides you with 300 minutes. The device has a Sony Ex-View camera that uses infrared illuminators to record up to 20 feet in total darkness. I went ahead and set it up on medium quality. From there, I packed it in to my luggage and brought it with me to the apartment to leave it there as our little spy while no one is around. I’m confident that because the DVR disguises itself as an ordinary household object, no one will be the wiser. Now I need to wait and see if the “air ionizer” can dig up some dirt for us to bring to the police – should the thief reappear again. It will be a while before we go back there and are able to pull out the SD card to see what is on it, so until then – this story is to be continued.
The Air Ionizer Color Hidden Camera And Recorder can be purchased at Brickhouse for $599, and there is a black and white version available for $499. Each package comes with two 1GB cards and a remote which can be uses for configuring system settings, as well as arming and disarming the device. The Air Ionizer Color Hidden Camera and Recorder can support SD cards as big as 16GB SDHC, so you’ll be able to capture hours and hours of footage. Overall, the device is very well suited for keeping and eye on a vacation home, but it certainly can have plenty of other useful purposes – like keeping an eye on a babysitter or unruly teens when you’re not home.