Review - TOP-201 Super Mini 720P HD IP-Cam (The Cheapest IP Cam So Far !!)

Discussion in 'IP Cameras' started by lojix, Dec 13, 2014.

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  1. Jargo

    Jargo n3wb

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    How will you be getting power to the Camera if outside? Do you have a power outlet nearby?
    If so, have you considered Ethernet Over Power technology? Like this http://www.amazon.com/TP-LINK-TL-PA...421546666&sr=8-1&keywords=ethernet+over+power

    As lojix mentioned cable is a more stable connection than wireless...... just something to possibly consider.
     
  2. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

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    Interesting, I seem to have a slightly different version. Mine is as follows:
    System Version: V4.02.R12.00006510.10010.1407
    Build Date: 2014-09-26 13:09:46

    -> CMS Version: CMS_V3.0.9.21.T.20140303.exe

    In the 'Update' folder from the included software, there is a file named:
    HZXM_IPC_HI3518E_50H10L_S38_V4.02.R12.20140926_ALL 升.bin

    - By the naming structure, I assume it's the camera firmware. Although I would only try flashing it to the cameras ROM as a final option if something seriously went wrong:

    V4.02.R12.20140926 <- The same system version, succeeded by the same build date as currently installed.
    -- .bin <- A standard binary file type used for firmware.


    If there were any significant changes between versions, the could be a difference in the RSTP stream. Although I would be surprised if that were the case. I am interested to know if others have the same or different?
     
  3. msantic

    msantic n3wb

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    My camera Setting -> Info -> Version

    System: V4.02.R.12.00006510.10010.1407
    Build date: 2014-09-15 19:22:36
    System status: 113
     
  4. reddragon912

    reddragon912 n3wb

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    Hello,

    my name is Philipp and i am from germany.First of all sorry for my English.
    I found this Thread because i was interessted in a cheap ip cam. Now i got the Top-201 and have a few Problems. I got it working on my Synology
    NAS with Onvif on Port 8899 but the stream is stuttering. In the mobile view on my Ipad it is nearly freezing. If i use the VLC Player and the rtps stream instead it is a smooth and good stream.
    Has anybody the same problem or any idea?

    Nice regards
    Philipp:)
     
  5. NetWorker

    NetWorker BIT Beta Team

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  6. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

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    Thanks msantic :encouragement:

    Hi Philipp, welcome to the forum. I don't have any experience with Synology devices, so I can't say if that has anything to do with it. It sounds like data transfer rate/bandwidth issues though, or others devices on the port, or maybe QoS configuration on your router, or AV/Firewall monitoring port 8899?.

    Why don't you use RSTP if it doesn't have the problem? ...and are you using the mobile stream through the port set in the CMS or some other way? If you have both streams running together, that may struggle depending on your setup/system.

    Yes, I believe so. Looks to be the same product from what I can tell.
     
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  7. phebous

    phebous n3wb

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    Hmm... I have two different build dates. I have 8 camera from two different batches of four. Here are both versions:

    2nd batch
    System Version: V4.02.R12.00006510.10010.1303
    Build Date: 2014-08-04 15:34:07

    1st batch
    System Version: V4.02.R12.00006510.10012.1407
    Build Date: 2014-07-06 09:31:42

    I will have to check my disks for a Util directory to see if there is a firmware in there. Since I have my cameras working well, I doubt I would want to introduce another variable into my system.
     
  8. phebous

    phebous n3wb

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    Philipp,

    Try using the secondary stream. This is lower resolution and bandwidth. I am thinking that you may have a bandwidth issue. This test will either prove or deny this hypnosis.

    (i.e. RTSP://IPaddress/user=username&password=password&channel=1&stream=1.sdp?temp.mp4)

    Regards,

    Phebous...
     
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  9. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

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    Don't fix what isn't broken :encouragement:
     
  10. DaveP

    DaveP Getting the hang of it

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    Hi Don

    Well done and thanks for all your work on finding out all about the camera.

    Do you know if Foscam will be rebadging it :rolleyes:
     
  11. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

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    Don, Thank you for your contribution to the thread !

    You've provided us all (owners of this device), with some valuable info and I'm looking forward to going through all that you have uncovered. Having access to the manufacturer doco is everything we need to make the most of this cam, to better understand how it works and use it to it's full capability.

    Any enhanced usability or functionality sounds good to me !! :encouragement: Thanks heaps mate, well done.
     
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  12. colmcille

    colmcille Getting the hang of it

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    I had the same, and more, issues with my Synology 212+. It worked "well" with my Sony SNC DH160, but gave no end of problems with my Lilin, Hikvision/s, and UCam247. It all looked like bandwidth issues. I changed cable, switches, inline PoE units, thought my skill at terminating my own cable was at fault...etc. When I say it worked well with the Sony I mean that it didn't drop connection and could record 5fps at 720p. On my Android phone and tablet I would get about 1fps for playback. In the end I tried Milestone on a dedicated Intel NUC and have not looked back. Try the free version first. Best wishes with it.
     
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  13. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

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    Thanks again Don for taking the time to provide your analysis and testing results. This has saved me a heap of time analyzing the cameras traffic in order to find out what you have shared here!

    I agree that users should not use the provided cloud service bundled with the camera unless they have no other option (I just didn't want to give that advice to other owners without having the information to back it up). I got as far as investigating the front end of the cloud service and decided there was to many "unknowns" to use it myself, or to advise other owners either way on using the service/feature. I am glad you have put more light on this aspect of the cameras functionality and inner-workings for everyone to explore further for themselves.

    > By using other applications or service solutions, there are a range of ways owners can achieve the same functionality (or better) without using the provided cloud service. What I have done and would advise others, is to use the included utilities to alter the cameras initial configuration so it can be then used in conjunction with another application such as Blue Iris, VLC, iSpy, Xeoma or any of the various free and licensed universal alternatives available ...but I will still mention that for any beginners exploring with this camera, the included utilities are still a great place to start and learn what the camera has to offer (and it does have quite a bit to offer). Just be aware that any potentially sensitive use of the camera needing to be broadcast over the internet, is potentially vulnerable unless the configuration is hardened a bit first.

    > I understand that for some owners of the camera, this information might be too much and they don't necessarily want to go deep into the cameras inner workings, they just want to use it for their own purpose... and that's fine.
    - So for anyone this applies to, wanting a quick and easy way to work around any potential vulnerability while using the camera connected to the internet... by simply blocking/closing the default service port (9527) from within the connected router/firewall's configuration will eliminate any possibility of connection to it.
    - Another fairly simply method of enhancing the security of the camera when connected to the Internet, is by changing the ports (and IP address) from their default allocation. This significantly increases the security of a connection in many situations. For any potential vulnerability to be exploited, far more effort, time and skill is then required.
    The list of transport protocol ports and their service names is here.

    NOTE: This information applies to many IP devices and for many situations as ALL Layer 3 devices connected to the Internet are vulnerable to exploitation in some way. The more we understand and share information about the weaknesses in the devices and systems we use, the stronger we can make and improve on them :idea:
    (...but probably not for $20 though folks! :laugh:)

    Excellent write up Don!
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Jan 28, 2015
  14. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

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    As much as people must hear the advice about good password practices, it cannot be said enough!

    @TheUberOverLord - With regards to your warnings to others, I couldn't agree more and would only be paraphrasing your advice. :rolleyes:

    Other IP cam owners would do themselves a service by taking note of the points Don has raised. Some simple thought in general account usage and maintaining good password practices cannot be emphasized enough.
     
  15. harrijs

    harrijs Young grasshopper

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    Is anyone else getting horrible color out of this camera? I haven't had any issue with getting it to stream via RTSP to zoneminder, but I can't find any color correction settings for the camera itself. I noticed that certain types of clothing in plain light seem to show up as a grayscale color, almost like it has something to do with the IR filter.

    Really, for what it I gave for it, it is a nice camera that will probably be installed in a garage area to provide a covert image in case someone breaks in through that area.

    Has anyone had success using these in a low light situation?
     
  16. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

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    This is probably a setting in the camera parameters. The settings will dramatically alter image quality/color, so play around with them. Although I did mess around with mine, all the image/colour settings were optimal out of the box.

    You could check your against mine below, and you can see the quality in both daytime and low-level indoor lighting in the clip here:


    [​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

  17. gordo

    gordo Getting the hang of it

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    There is a similar one, with the varifocal lens, that doesn't have an IR filter. http://www.aliexpress.com/item/Onvi...mm-Zoom-Lens-Manual-Varifocal/2045987817.html
    Without IR-CUT,(Small space, it can not install IR-CUT),please do not apply to the grass, it becomes pink.
     
  18. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

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    I don't think any of these have IR Cut. There is another model, with IR illuminators and IR Cut

    [​IMG]
     

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    • ir.jpg
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  19. tony14

    tony14 n3wb

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    Hello, Could you please inform me of the settings to use in Zoneminder to stream from the Top-201 camera.

    Thanks.
     
  20. JoeS

    JoeS n3wb

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    Hello together,
    i have the same Cam an found your thread with the serial number of my cam. Your work is very great!
    I think you can give me a little help for my question. In want to embed the stream in my own html page, but the dokumentation of the cam is very bad.
    Thx a lot.
    JoeS
     
  21. lojix

    lojix Getting the hang of it

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    HiJoeS,
    Welcome to IPCT! There is a very informative thread that may be able to help you along your way.
    Have a look at the thread: Embedding Your IP Camera On and In Web Pages Securely

    I hope that will help :)
     
  22. harrijs

    harrijs Young grasshopper

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    Here is the RTSP Source Path I am using.

    rtsp://192.168.1.10:554/user=admin&password=&channel=1&stream=0.sdp?

    I have the device restricted from external internet access inbound and outbound via my firewall so I didn't change any of the settings on the camera for security purposes.

    Here are a couple of screenshots of the camera configuration in zoneminder.

    [​IMG][​IMG]
     

    Attached Files:

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  23. Adam86

    Adam86 n3wb

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    Is it possible someone can host the HZXM_IPC_HI3518E_50H10L_S38_V4.02.R12.20140926_ALL 升.bin firmware somewhere? I am trying the camera on different firmware levels as I have the following issue:

    I have a couple of these cameras in mini bullet style and have them connected Wirelessly and have no end of issues with RTSP streaming when the cameras are connected over WiFi. Doing some digging it appears to be that the cameras are enabled for multicast and reading upon that, multicast can cause no end of issues on WiFi and basically cause your wireless network to bomb out.

    ifconfig shows:

    Code:
    Welcome to Monitor Tech.
    # ifconfig
    eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:12:12:75:59:CA
              inet addr:192.168.0.33  Bcast:192.168.0.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
              UP BROADCAST MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
              RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
              RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)
              Interrupt:12
    
    eth2      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 7C:DD:90:7B:24:42
              inet addr:192.168.0.33  Bcast:192.168.0.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
              UP BROADCAST RUNNING MULTICAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
              RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:25 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
              RX bytes:154133 (150.5 KiB)  TX bytes:10735 (10.4 KiB)
    
    lo        Link encap:Local Loopback
              inet addr:127.0.0.1  Mask:255.0.0.0
              UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
              RX packets:5 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:5 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
              RX bytes:3772 (3.6 KiB)  TX bytes:3772 (3.6 KiB)
    running the following commands disables multicast on the interfaces, and can be verified by running ifconfig again:

    Code:
    # ifconfig eth0 -multicast
    # ifconfig eth2 -multicast
    # ifconfig
    eth0      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 00:12:12:75:59:CA
              inet addr:192.168.0.33  Bcast:192.168.0.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
              UP BROADCAST  MTU:1500  Metric:1
              RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
              RX bytes:0 (0.0 B)  TX bytes:0 (0.0 B)
              Interrupt:12
    
    eth2      Link encap:Ethernet  HWaddr 7C:DD:90:7B:24:42
              inet addr:192.168.0.33  Bcast:192.168.0.255  Mask:255.255.255.0
              UP BROADCAST RUNNING  MTU:1500  Metric:1
              RX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:91 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:0 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:1000
              RX bytes:257383 (251.3 KiB)  TX bytes:18764 (18.3 KiB)
    
    lo        Link encap:Local Loopback
              inet addr:127.0.0.1  Mask:255.0.0.0
              UP LOOPBACK RUNNING  MTU:16436  Metric:1
              RX packets:5 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 frame:0
              TX packets:5 errors:0 dropped:0 overruns:0 carrier:0
              collisions:0 txqueuelen:0
              RX bytes:3772 (3.6 KiB)  TX bytes:3772 (3.6 KiB)
    
    Things then considerably improve and the cameras then do appear to work fine. I'm not a professional with Linux though and these commands arent persistant so have to be entered every time the camera reboots. It appears the file system is read only too by the root user so I dont even know if I can edit one of the config files somewhere and save it back so multicasting is turned off permamently.

    The seller even sent me another camera to test with and I have got that plugged in over ethernet and I am going to setup iSpy to record that today during the day and see if that remains stable as I haven't tested that yet.

    I may then have to use some PowerLine over Ethernet adapters to connect these to my network instead.

    Some other posters have commented about RTSP streams being choppy on their mobiles but working fine on VLC, I have exactly the same experience, the low quality stream works fine but the high quality one isn't - even if setting the bitrate really low - which is dissapointing really.
     
  24. eliafino

    eliafino n3wb

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    Hi,
    thanks for this post!

    Can I grab a snapshot via link address?

    BR,
    Elia
     
  25. tony14

    tony14 n3wb

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    Hello and thank you for the RTSP code. I now have the Top-201 working. It also works using the second stream (stream=1) at a resolution of 352x288. I'm sure your code will be of immense interest to the Zoneminder comunity as it is to me. Thanks again.
     
  26. JoeS

    JoeS n3wb

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    Hello lojix, thanks for your answer!
    At next weekend i will test it.
    JoeS
     
  27. sprucecams

    sprucecams Getting the hang of it

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    "... but menu text was just lots of ??? with no language choices in the drop-down on the login page - but more of that later."

    I got one of these yesterday and connected/powered it. I can access the web server at 192.168.1.10 and log in but all text is in Chinese. How can I get English menus enabled/installed? Many thanks!
     
  28. alastairstevenson

    alastairstevenson Known around here

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    When I got mine and accessed with IE11 / Win7-64 I also just got ??? in the menus.
    I found that setting compatibility mode in IE11 for the camera IP address brought the menus to normal.
    IE11 Settings | Compatibility View Settings | Add this website
     
  29. sprucecams

    sprucecams Getting the hang of it

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    I tried that and Windows blocks installation of a web.cab file since it cannot verify the publisher. I also get a window asking to download/install newactive.exe from xmsecu.com. Seems fishy. ?
     
  30. sprucecams

    sprucecams Getting the hang of it

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    Any way to access this using Firefox?