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Smart Home

Kodak's latest live-streaming camera offers HD video for less

Kodak's $150 Video Monitor CFH-V20 can stream up to 720p video, for a reasonably priced entrant into the HD camera market.

Kodak

Kodak isn't new to the world of live-streaming cameras, but its $150 Video Monitor CFH-V20, announced this week, boasts the most impressive specs in the brand's expanding lineup.

With live video streaming up to 720p quality (you can adjust the resolution down as needed), a 180-degree horizontal field of view, night vision, motion detection and two-way talk via a built-in speaker and microphone, the V20 is poised to compete with the $150 Arcsoft Simplicam as well as to pricier HD models, like the $200 Flir FX .

Kodak also upgraded its image sensor tech for the V20 (specifically, it has a 3.15-megapixel 1/3-inch sensor -- that's similar to the sensor in Google's impressive Nest Cam ) and made it USB-compatible, so you can attach it to a USB battery pack for a security camera that's designed to travel (wherever there's an obliging Wi-Fi network).

The related iSecurity+ app for both Android and iOS users is supposed to act as your main point of interaction with the camera and its many features, including free 24-hour cloud storage so you can view recorded video clips on-the-go. And, if one day of saved footage isn't enough, you can pay an optional monthly fee -- either $3, $10 or $20 -- for Smart Detection, a premium option that claims to "eliminate up to 98 percent of false alarms with ART human presence detection" and longer cloud storage periods.

Given that Arcsoft's Simplicam charges $5 for any sort of cloud services and can't be disconnected from its power adapter, Kodak's portable V20 with free, 24-hour clip storage sounds pretty appealing. It also has its own IFTTT channel (iSecurity+) that makes it possible to add an extra dose of features to its standard offerings.

1080p HD cameras like Nest Cam, Piper , Piper NV , Netatmo Welcome and Samsung SmartCam HD Pro -- all of which cost roughly $50 more than Kodak's V20 -- are currently the "gold standard" for live streaming resolutions. So, it will be interesting to see if the 720p V20 offers enough in terms of features to make its reduced price truly worthwhile. We're tracking down a review unit now, so check back soon for hands-on video, photos and more.

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