Reviewed by Jenny Seymour
Home security is getting a more and more important issue these days so I delighted when I received the Hive View Security Camera to review.
The camera comes in a hard protective and stylish box, clearly labelled and well- packaged. There was a slight dent in the box when it arrived, but it was so protected that the camera was in spotless condition.
The box makes it clear what is included in the box, so that you know there is nothing else you need to buy to be able to set up this camera.
The camera comes with 3 different adaptor plugs, so that the camera could be used internationally as well.
The camera can be wall-mounted (which I haven’t done yet, as I’m trying to determine where the camera is best-situated before I decide where to mount it). However, it even comes with the fixings required for the wall mounting which I thought was great. It really does include everything you need to be up and running. If you’re not confident to install it properly or just want peace of mind that it has been done correctly, then you can contact the helpline and they will talk you through it. If you have the Hive View Outdoor, you may also book a Hive installer to come and install the camera either indoors or outdoors (go to hivehome.com/install), but there is a cost to this.
I have had indoor security cameras before provided with my house insurance and they can be quite cumbersome or ugly looking. However, the design of this indoor security camera is so stylish that you won’t mind having it on display in your hallway. I have the black and brushed chrome colour, which as I say looks very stylish. The camera and the base are magnetic and so it is extremely easy to initially connect the pieces together and then to move the camera to the point you want to view.
I placed this camera on my entrance table and the range is phenomenal – you can see to the top of my stairs and through the whole hall. There is a 130-degree angle lens. The quality of the video playback I think is amazing. The pictures are really clear (although this is lost a bit in the night-time view).
In order to be notified about movements and sounds within range of the camera, you need to download the Hive App and to have Wi-Fi for the wireless connection. This is easy to do in minutes from the App store for apple products and you can then set up what you want to be notified about. [You can do the same for Android devices, but I am an iPhone user.]
It is really to set up this device and when you have set it up, you receive an email from Hive with suggestions of how to use your device. You can choose the hours of monitoring (i.e. for when you are away from home or asleep) and you will need to do this, otherwise you risk receiving 100s of emails and app notifications. I’ve actually had a little blip with my camera notifications in that I seem to be getting notified even outside of the monitoring hours. However, you can speak to the help team at Hive and resolve any issues you have with your device and in actual fact you can power off the device any time you want. Once on the app, there is a hive community where other users have shared their experiences and responses to many FAQs.
You can set the motion to “all motion” or just “people”. You can also monitor up to 4 monitoring areas with different devices and receive notifications all in the same place.
In order to get the time and date stamp on the videos, I believe you currently need to download them. So, you need to download any that you want to keep or need to review for insurance purposes etc. However, there is only a 24 hour video playback as standard. If you want the extra 30 day rolling history, you need to pay for a membership subscription, which I haven’t done.
The Hive Actions element of the app is so clever and means that the Hive system will work with other devices around your house. You can boost your heating, turn on a fan, switch on a lamp when it gets dark or you can set the hive view so that all of the connected products turn off when you go out. However, in order to get your devices working together and for all of these “smart” actions, you need a Hive Hub.
It actually feels a bit “big brother” to have the ability to see into your home when other people are in there not knowing they can be seen (e.g. babysitters etc). However, I can get over this for the peace of mind that I get when I am away from home.
When we go away, we don’t actually use a cattery and we have people who come in to feed the cat at various times of the day. It was great to be notified when this had happened and to see the cat arrive in and out of the cat flap. You can even talk to your animals whilst you are away!!! The Hive View lets you talk to family, friends and even your pets! You have to go to the App and tap on the camera icon within your dashboard. You have to tap “go live” and the mic icon and then simply talk! When you’re finished you do need to remember to tap the mic icon again – you wouldn’t want anyone to hear more than you want them to!!!
Again, I had a slight blip in that whilst we were away our internet connection went down and the camera went offline. However, I was notified of this via the app and email notification and so was aware when this had happened. NB. You do need an internet connection for the “view” to work and it is recommended that there is an upload/download speed of 1.5MBps or more. If this isn’t the case in the location of your camera, you may want to move it nearer your router or move the internet router so that the “view” is easily within range. If your internet goes down or the “View” goes offline, then you will need to turn it off and on again to restart the camera, as you would with a computer or other device. I’m not quite sure how this would work whilst you are away, as I didn’t “fix” this until I got home. I have had to change the Wi-Fi connection on my camera. You may want to double check this before you go away (again for peace of mind). However, all in all the help guides on the Hive App and the customer service I have experienced have been great to assist with any issues I have had.
The RRP of this camera is £179 and a hub would be another £99, so it is a big investment, but you can also buy a Hive Home Security start up pack to enable the connectivity between areas in your home.
Great new technology with amazing picture quality on this security camera. Fabulous for peace of mind whilst you are away from home.
For more information or to buy visit www.hivehome.com.