21 - 01 - 2018
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TP-Link NC450 HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera Review

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   Doing everything in our power to protect/safeguard our loved ones should be a priority for all of us and although there aren't really any guarantees in life we must always try our best (better to do something than do nothing). Unfortunately some of us come to realize this when it's too late and since i happen to be one such person this is probably the main reason as to why i always like testing things that can help with that such as surveillance devices including IP cameras and complete security systems. One such device is the NC450 HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera (2.0 version) by our friends over at TP-Link which I’ve been using both at the lab and at home for the past 12 days.

   Founded in 1996, TP-Link is a global provider of reliable networking devices and accessories, involved in all aspects of everyday life. The company is consistently ranked by analyst firm IDC as the No. 1 provider of WLAN and broadband CPE devices, according to latest published IDC Worldwide Quarterly WLAN Tracker Report, Q32016 Final Release, supplying distribution to more than 120 countries and serving hundreds of millions of people worldwide. With a proven heritage of stability, performance and value, TP-Link has curated a portfolio of products that meet the networking needs of all individuals. Now, as the connected lifestyle continues to evolve, the company is expanding today to exceed the demands of tomorrow.

   The NC450 HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera wears a 1 Megapixel CMOS sensor (F:2.0 / f:3.6mm) which can record HD video (1280x720 pixels / H.264 video compression) at up to 30fps and with a field of view of 75 degrees. However its strongest "pitch" is not really it's video quality but rather its extra features so aside the Pan (360 degrees) / Tilt (150 degrees) functionality thanks to its motorized dome, its 802.11 b/g/n Wi-Fi connectivity, PoE (Power Over Ethernet) support, Night vision mode via 850nm IR LEDs (illuminate up to 26 feet) and its microSD card slot which can be used to store both videos and pictures the NC450 also offers two-way audio so not only can you hear what's happening on the other end via a built-in microphone but you can also speak through an intergrated speaker. If these weren't enough however TP-Link has also made it possible for the NC450 to send you both motion and sound alerts two features we don't really see with similar models. The NC450 also supports remote cloud access via TP-Link's tpCamera Android and iOS app.
























tp link nc450 v2 1tA large product picture is placed at the front of the box and is surrounded by the main product features and the company logo.



The product specifications are printed on the left side of the box.



TP-Link mentions their tpCamera app on the right side.



At the rear of the box we find in-depth descriptions of the main product features.



All pieces of the bundle are wrapped inside plastic bags and placed inside a piece of cardboard with several compartments.



Along with the NC450 HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera you will also get a wall base with its mounting screws, detachable antenna, PoE adapter, AC power adapter, power extension cable, RJ45 Ethernet cable, warranty information papers and a quick start guide.












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The NC450 is a dome type camera that measures 104mm in height, 109mm in depth and 104mm in width.



As expected from one such model the lens of the NC450 don't feature optical zoom (the NC450 does feature digital zoom).



Two small perforated sections are placed on both sides of the camera (probably for the speaker/s).



The company logo is placed at the lower front right beneath the microphone and the activity LED.



At the rear we find the antenna port, microSD card slot, RJ45 Ethernet port, DC in and the WPS/reset button.



With the antenna mounted the NC450 now measures 144mm in depth.



The model version (V2.0 in our case), user name and password, serial number, barcode and MAC address are all printed on a sticker placed at the base of the camera.



TP-Link has placed a total of 8 IR LEDs around the lens (850nm).













First we decided to check on the tpCamera Android app which as you can see supports all 7 camera models released by TP-Link to date.



The application will also show you how to connect the camera to your network and will ask you if you want to use it wired or wirelessly (we chose wired for our tests).



After that you will be asked to name your camera and select your time zone.



From the main application screen you can access all your cameras and the video and picture archives.



You can pan and tilt the camera by swapping your finger onto the feed and as you can see here we got up to 106KB/s in bitrate.



From within the settings tab you can turn on/off the activity LED, change the speaker volume levels (or mute it entirely), change the time zone and upgrade the current firmware.



Worth pointing out is that although in the official TP-Link support page we saw no new firmware updates the app did detect one which we installed.



Here you can see both day and night quality when recording in my living room.



You can also zoom in by tapping your finger twice on a location on the screen.












If you want to use the NC450 with your PC you should head over to the official TP-Link support page to download the latest version of their control software.



Once you install the software you will be asked to create an account as seen above.



After you are finished with account creation the software will detect any TP-Link cameras attached to the local network.



Entering the user name and password allows the software to detect the current settings of the camera as seen above.



You can change the default view scale, save path, recording length, on-screen details and the password from the settings tab.



You can access the live feed of the camera as seen above but unfortunately it takes just a few seconds to see that the bitrate used is way too low (14.41Kb/s in our sample).













You can also access the NC450 via its web interface and from the main tab you can pan / tilt, select the desired speed for this function and you can also adjust some basic picture settings.



From the basic menu you can access information about the camera, adjust network and wireless settings, check its cloud status and turn off its activity LED.



The advanced tab offers pretty much the same settings as the basic one but through here you can also adjust video settings, enable / disable motion and sound detection, format the microSD card and enable notifications.



Finally via the system tab you can add/remove accounts, change the time and date, reboot the device, backup and restore its settings, perform firmware updates and check the system logs.












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   When TP-Link gave us the NC450 my eyes almost immediately fell onto its pan/tilt capability since it’s not something we see very often. This feature can be very handy if you’re away from home and you have to watch over a large room or your pets for example. During our tests we did experience a slight lag between the time we gave the “order” to pan/tilt and when it actually happened but not serious enough for us to consider it a significant drawback (still it’s there). Video quality is nothing special as you can certainly tell just by looking at our pictures and although for use via smartphone it will be “ok” for the majority of people we were expecting more. I don’t know why TP-Link is using such a low bitrate even via wired connection so I truly hope they will make it possible for people to increase it with a future firmware update. The 2 way communication feature works very well although I have to admit that I’d like to see a slightly higher output speaker than the one used. As for the wireless feature we didn’t spend much time testing it but from when we did I can’t say that we were impressed with signal quality even when just 2 rooms away (pretty much the same results as most Wi-Fi capable IP cameras in the market today).

   With a price tag currently set at USD89.99 inside the USA (Amazon.com) and 90.89Euros inside the EU (Amazon.de) the NC450 HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera is certainly not what we’d call expensive. The only question is whether or not it lives up to its price tag and we feel that it does. True it’s not aimed towards people looking for impressive video clarity but we really doubt that anyone looking for a 720p model would also be looking for that. Overall the NC450 offers more than one would expect from one such camera and that’s why it gets our Golden Award.


- Pan/Tilt (360/150 Degrees)
- Night Vision (26 Feet / 8 IR LEDs)
- 2 Way Audio
- Cloud Access
- Control Via Smartphone App / PC Software / Web Interface
- Wired And Wireless Use
- PoE Compatible
- Motion And Sound Detection


- Video Quality (Limited Bitrate)
- Pan/Tilt Command Lag