Several companies have tried to launch DIY video security systems that promise no-hassle setup for average consumers. But most have failed.
Now Logitech is giving it a shot with its new Alert digital video security system, which it says, "Takes just a few minutes to set-up through a three-step process." The base 750i Master System ($299.99) includes a "smart" HD camera that captures 720p video, both PC and Web software, and free remote viewing on a PC or Mac computer or smartphone (app required).
Anyone looking for an outdoor monitoring solution can start with the 750e Master Outdoor System ($349.99), which includes the weatherproof camera pictured above. By comparison, if a traditional security company installs a camera or cameras at your house, it can run into the thousands of dollars, depending on how many cameras or monitoring services you add.
After you buy a base system, you can then choose to add additional 700i (indoor) or 700e (outdoor) cameras to the system for $229.99 and $279.99, respectively. Up to six cameras can be added to each base system.
Though Logitech says you get free basic remote viewing it also sells a premium version of its Alert Web and Mobile Commander packages for $79.99 a year. We're not sure what that gets you, but we'll update the post as soon as we find out.
Couple of other tidbits worth mentioning: the cameras are linked to your home network via HomePlug, which uses the existing wires in your home for networking (some homes with older wiring will not support HomePlug). Logitech says the cameras also feature a built-in DVR, with 2GB of microSD storage, and automatically record video when motion is detected. The Logitech Alert Commander software "lets you define up to 16 motion zones, allowing you to easily pay attention to critical areas of your home while ignoring others--reducing false recordings." The 2GB microSD gives you enough space for up to about a week of video, so long as you don't have someone walking in front of the camera every five minutes.
Later this year, Logitech says it plans to bring Logitech Alert to the TV by enabling Logitech Revue with Google TV customers. That means you'll be able to check who's at the front door or monitor the baby's crib without leaving your couch.
We look forward to testing the system when it ships later this month. As always, feel free to comment.