Review Snapshot

Good value, features all work, remote access and motion detection highly valued


Poor instructions, some issues with set up and customer support. Camera range and sensitivity limited.


A good choice for basic home/small business surveillance.

Reviewed by:
Jackie Gay : A published novelist, editor and university teacher, Jackie has recently moved t...Member Reputation 177 • 198 active Krits
Zmodo PKD DK4216 Security Cameras with DVR and remote access from Zmodo
Zmodo PKD DK4216 Security Cameras
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Zmodo PKD DK4216 Security Cameras with DVR and remote access detailed information
Product Details at Amazon ™

REVIEW: Zmodo PKD-DK4216 Night Vision Cameras (4 Pack)

Need CCTV for your home or small business?

But they're all so expensive, aren't they? And difficult to set up? And it's not as if I can sit there watching it all day anyway is it?

You can solve at least some of these problems with the Zmodo PKD-DK4216-500GB H.264 Internet & 3G Phone Accessible 4-Channel DVR with 4 Night Vision Cameras and 500 GB HD.

(Wow, that's a mouthful. What does it actually mean?)

Well basically the security system consists of four night vision cameras, with motion detection recording, routed through a digital video camera (DVR) which you can then access remotely from the internet or your smartphone.

Neat, huh?

The Zmodo system costs $236.98 which makes it very affordable for the average customer.

So what do you get for your money?

The cameras can be set up indoors or out (so you can set them up to view pets - or children - at home, for example, or to view small aisles in shops) and are compatible with select 3G smart cell phones including Blackberry, Android, iPhone and iPad. The system has  60ft of cable per camera, a pre-installed 500GB hard drive and a, 'simple point and click interface.'

Now the remote access makes sense - if you could watch over your property or goods 24 hours a day then you wouldn't need CCTV... And the movement sensitivity is a great feature. You can track activity inside or outside your property unobtrusively via a laptop or phone, and of course record activity for later viewing.

And how well do these features work.

Well from the start it's clear that this isn't a 'hi-end' system (but neither is it priced like one).

'If you're looking for hi tech crystal clear images and detailed images, move on,' said one customer. However he added, 'if you just want a basic, easy to install CCTV system this is great... easier than the average surround sound system to install.'

And the basic features work:

'The night vision is OK, works well in darkness up to about 10 feet...' reports another user. 'The overall image quality is OK, if someone is within about 15 feet the image is clear enough to recognize a stranger by the photo. Past 30 feet you'd have a hard time.'

And the consensus is that 'you can't expect the best' but 'if you're a small business or a homeowner, its fine.'

So do your research and think about what you want the system to do. For example this system won't be able to 'see' a license plate, the camera range is limited and there's a 'narrow' view when set up inside.

Having said that, 'out of the box the Zmodo systems work very well and without hassle.'

'If you are looking for a basic surveillance system, this one will do just fine,' said one buyer. ' The picture is OK... I love the motion detection, night vision, and snap shots via email that you can set to receive in 1-10 min intervals.'

There were some warnings about installation issues. 'If you have no IT background, you can probably get through the basic installation fine,' said one customer. 'However, if you are going to try to set up the remote viewing feature, be warned that the instructions are not clear, and the pictures included with the instructions are not readable at all. Yes, you can call the tech support, but prepare for a long hold.'

So perhaps recruit your tech-savvy nephew or niece to come and help set up the remote facility - the (poor) quality of the instructions was commented upon frequently.

'The only complaint I have is the manual is bad engrish (sic),' said one reviewer.

'This is an economical CCTV system,' said one review. 'You can pay more and get color images of intruders at up to 20 or 30 feet away, but not everyone needs that kind of resolution. This does the job and acts as a deterrent to would-be criminals.'

'For the money, this is a pretty solid camera system,' another agreed.

You can improve the system by buying better cameras (the DVR is solid and 'worth the price minus cameras'), and also improve image quality by buying better cables. 

And if you need support the advice is to make sure you use US support. 'Don't email or use web chat, it goes to China,' said one customer.

'Overall I'm happy with my purchase,' said one buyer. 'It serves my purposes.'

So the advice is to work out exactly what you want the system for before buying. This may well be a very economical and practical solution to your security needs.
Date Reviewed: April 17, 2012, 11:10 am
Reviewed by Jackie Gay
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