Recently I purchased a Tenvis IP391W-HD camera.
I would be unlikely to recommend it. The price is certainly right and the picture quality is quite good. The Android and iPhone apps do work to watch the stream live.
However, the interface is terrible and almost useless without Internet Explorer. There is a RTSP stream (rtsp://admin:password@ip) which VLC can seem to handle, but not mplayer. The recording format (.h264) is not viewable by VLC or mplayer and all I could find is a Windows .exe to convert them to an .avi.
The motion detection gets troubled by the dark. It would really only be useful for something permanently well-lit. It did send me emails via gmail.
I have got it recording to a NFS server, but I don't have a lot of confidence in the reliability of it. I think I have it configured to record in 3600-second blocks (given the interface, it's hard to tell if I've set it up to the network, or to the internal flash, etc), but it seems to intersperse 60 minute recordings with random small recordings. Given the whole idea of a security camera is to record the unexpected, you want a lot of confidence you're actually recording, which you don't get with this. You can see below it recorded 3 hour blocks, then started going a little crazy...
-rw-r--r-- 1 nobody nogroup 69M Mar 11 01:25 0-003035.v264 -rw-r--r-- 1 nobody nogroup 69M Mar 11 02:25 0-013049.v264 -rw-r--r-- 1 nobody nogroup 69M Mar 11 03:26 0-023103.v264 -rw-r--r-- 1 nobody nogroup 5.9M Mar 11 03:31 0-033117.v264 -rw-r--r-- 1 nobody nogroup 1.5M Mar 11 03:40 0-034350.v264 -rw-r--r-- 1 nobody nogroup 17M Mar 11 04:02 0-035259.v264 -rw-r--r-- 1 nobody nogroup 306K Mar 11 04:10 0-041548.v264 -rw-r--r-- 1 nobody nogroup 4.9M Mar 11 04:23 0-042457.v264
There is a support forum, where I found the following files scattered in various posts. From what I can tell, they are the latest as of this writing. I can confirm they work with my IP391W-HD, which the system tells me is GM8126 hardware and came with firmware 22.214.171.124.
- 126.96.36.199.pk2 - firmware (b56f211a569fb03a37d13b706c660dcb)
- web.pk2 - a UI update that includes dropbox support. This is really for the model that has pan and tilt, so those buttons don't work. (0e42e42bd6f8034e87dcd443dcc3594d)
- V264ToAVIen.exe - converts the output to an AVI file that mplayer will play (with some complaints) (9c5a858aa454fed4a0186cf244c0d234)
www.modern.ie offers free limited-time Windows VM's which will work to upload this firmware. Just make sure you use a bridged network in the VM; I'm guessing the firmware ActiveX control tells the camera to TFTP the data from it, which doesn't work via NAT.
Somewhat worryingly, you can telnet to it and get a login prompt (TASTECH login). So it has a built-in backdoor you can't disable.
There have been some efforts to hack the device. email@example.com did an excellent job reverse engineering the .pk2 format and writing tenvis_pack.c (no license, I'm generously assuming public domain). I used this to recreate the firmware above with a telnet daemon listening with a shell on port 2525 (no password, just telnet to it)
- 188.8.131.52-telnet.pk2 (19cf63ca8f0928af8ef5a9eb8326aae6)
It's interesting to poke around, but it seems like the whole thing is really driven by a binary called ipc8126
/ # ipc8126 --help *** TAS-Tech IPCAM/DVS *** Version: 184.108.40.206 *** Release date: 2013-08-05 15:48:32
In general, I'd say hackability is quite low.
Warning : any of the above might turn your camera into a paperweight. It worked for me, but that's all I can say...