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Panasonic BL-C230A Wireless Internet Security Camera
 


Panasonic BL-C230A Wireless Internet Security Camera

Panasonic Pan/tilt network camera- Wireless- 2 Input external connectors- Sends H.264 or MPEG-4 and JPEG images simultaneously- Image transfer by timer, alarm, motion, sound or human presence- HTTPS Data encryption deters electronic eavesdropping.

  • Image Sensor: 1/4″ CMOS, 320,000 pixel
  • 3x Digital Zoom
  • Wireless Network
  • Max. Video Resolution: 640 x 480 (VGA)
  • 82pan, 42tilt F2.8 Lens brightness

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What customers say about Panasonic BL-C230A Wireless Internet Security Camera?

  1. 296 of 307 people found the following review helpful
    5.0 out of 5 stars
    Great picture quality and works on my Apple iPhone!, February 23, 2010
    By 
    E. Kim
    (TOP 1000 REVIEWER)
      
    (VINE VOICE)
      
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Panasonic BL-C230A Wireless Internet Security Camera (Electronics)

    I wanted a “nanny cam” to monitor a new nanny, but felt a little uncomfortable about having one of the hidden ones. I felt that having a visible camera known to the nanny was a more respectful approach, although I would need several of them to monitor multiple areas since the locations would be known (and could potentially be avoided).

    The Panasonic BL-C230A seemed like a great choice as it is from a major international brand and the reviews of its other wired and wireless cameras indicated that they were well received.

    PROS
    1. It’s cute – It could star as a character in a Japanese cartoon. The nanny cam is a cube about 3″ x 3″ x 3 1/4″ (approximately) and actually looks cute with its single eye and single antenna that looks like an ear. It has a high quality look to it with its high gloss white finish and reminds me of a smaller version of an old Sony Dream Machine alarm clock. It actually looks like it belongs on a nightstand in the bedroom or in a kitchen. It does not look out of place in a home and does not have a “tech” feel to it. I think this is a major plus as I really don’t want the nanny to feel like I’m trying to determine if she is a terrorist.
    2. Uses Wi-Fi 802.11 b only, g only, b/g both
    3. Free lifetime use of Panasonic’s “dynamic DNS server” – (more on this later)
    4. Easy setup (maybe) – Easy to use paper instructions limited to 3 sheets of paper (of which only 2 are necessary). Sheet 1 shows step-by-step instruction on how to plug the camera into your router with a cable (not supplied and necessary even for wireless in the setup phase) and to connect the power cable. Sheet 2 is the sheet on how to configure the camera using your computer. This is the part that has the potential to be alarming or at least uncomfortable if you’re not lucky enough to have UPnP (universal plug and play) on your router. (More on this later.)
    5. Great interface with web browsers – Once your device is set up for internet access (more on this later) it has a fairly intuitive interface using Internet Explorer with an Active X control (and also on my Apple Safari although I used my PC with Vista for the camera setup with my Apple Mac for the router changes). There is a viewing screen that allows for 3 resolutions (192×144, 320×240, 640×480). There is a graphical control on the left of the viewing screen with arrows up/down and left/right for tilt and pans. What’s nice is there is an auto tilt and auto pan button that will cause the camera to sweep back and forth quickly to give a quick overview of the room. Clicking on a part of the viewing screen will redirect the camera to focus on that spot. There is also multi-camera support for what appears to be up to 16 separate cameras.
    6. Fantastic image quality! (It is definitely grainy in low-light, but that’s to be expected.)
    7. Infrared body heat detection system – does not work if using only browsers but works well using the optional record software install
    8. Sound detection – Camera can be set to record not just with body movement triggers but sound triggers.
    9. Zoom ability – Only with the optional recording software installed. Does not zoom using browsers only.
    10. Audio – (Not on iPhone browser or Google Chrome, however)
    11. Mountable – Comes with mounting screws and a safety wire in case it falls from your wall
    12. Seems to be Apple compatible (except the initial setup and for video recording which appears to require installation of software different from using just a web browser, although I have not yet tested the video recording feature yet) – Works on my Apple Safari web browser as well as Internet Explorer (with Active X).

    The system requirements written on the outside of the Panasonic box seem to indicate only Windows XP SP2 and Vista with Internet Explorer 6, 7, 8 are compatible, but this may be true only for the additional software to set up video recording and the initial camera setup. The browsers seem adequate so far for just watching streaming video and taking still photos as well as maneuvering the camera. I cannot get sound, however, using my Apple iPhone Safari browser or Google Chrome on my PC. Sounds works well on Internet Explorer with Active-X.

    CONS
    1. Setting the camera up for internet access outside of your home can either be very easy or can be scary for technophobes. Your router must support something called UPnP, Universal Plug and Play for this to work smoothly (I imagine). When I say smoothly, I mean, being able to follow the step-by-step instruction on sheet #2. If you do NOT have a router that supports UPnP then the step-by-step instructions basically tell you to go to the manual on the CD which gives a great introduction on private IP addresses, WAN addresses, static IP addresses, and the usefulness of something called a “dynamic DNS server”.

    If you are now thinking that you will be over your…

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  2. 73 of 76 people found the following review helpful
    3.0 out of 5 stars
    Replaces the BL-C131, but not everything improved, June 15, 2010
    By 
    George Robbins (Sierra Vista, AZ) –
    (REAL NAME)
      

    Amazon Verified Purchase(What’s this?)
    This review is from: Panasonic BL-C230A Wireless Internet Security Camera (Electronics)

    This is my eighth Panasonic camera of this type. I started with the BL-C30, then the BL-C131a, and now this BL-C230a. Some things have been improved, others have not:

    Improvements:
    – Clear cover over rotating lens assembly should help keep dust and dirt off lens and out of internal gears.
    – Audio alarm options (although my last C-131 had a similar capability).
    – External connection for NC or NO relays.
    – The buffer memory has been increased substantially. The camera can store 3 to 4 times as many still shots before filling memory and/or overwriting the earliest captured images.

    Disappointments:
    – Tripod threads were non-existant on my BL-C230a. The insert where the threads were supposed to be was a plastic insert (similar to my last C-131 – the earlier C-131s had a tapped metal insert), but the threads were not cut into the plastic insert. I tried using various bolts and self tapping screws to no avail. Don’t know if this is a defect in the C-230a I received, or is representative of the majority coming off the assembly line.
    – Night vision in low light is much worse than the C-131. Even with the option set for color low light, the picture is terribly grainy when compared to my last C-131 sitting side by side under the same lighting conditions.

    In general the 230 is similar to the 131. Setup and connectivity are the same, the daylight images are good. The 230 now offers H.264 video, but I don’t see that as a major draw. For my viewing I use predominantly JPEG and rarely JPEG4. The focal length of the lens has been changed – it provides a wider angle view. Also the panning and tilting limits are reduced, but coupled with the wider angle view, the total pan and tilt viewing limits are the same as the C-131 – at least as cited in the specification. In reality, the total pan viewing range (left to right limits) is slightly less than the C-131. I’m not too thrilled about this.

    I do use my cameras for low light and night time monitoring, and the quality of the low light images of the 230 is much worse than its predecessors. By low light I mean viewing an outdoor scene illuminated by flood lights. In reality, it’s a well lit area. The C-131 provided pretty good video and captured still images well, and I was expecting the same from the C-230. I was sorely disappointed to see the very grainy images. I hope Panasonic will improve this aspect of the camera.

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