[REVIEW] KGUARD Security 4 Channel DVR Surveillance Kit
Unlike anything we ever reviewed before, we got hold of a 4-channel surveillance kit from KGUARD Security. This Taiwanese company might not ring an immediate bell for most people, as they are a relatively young company. Founded in 2003 as daughter of the KWorld Computer Group; Kworld manufactures PC peripherals and has another daughter company called KRATOR, which is a high quality HiFi/speaker manufacturer.
KGUARD is solely focusing on the research and production of high-quality security systems both oriented for DIY users as high level CCTV, DVR and mobile DVR solutions. The company’s focus is product stability and compatibility with external modern technology trends such as Android & IOS remote monitoring.
Inside the box
We got hold of a 4-camera surveillance combo kit. Its main sales features:
- Quick do-it-yourself installation
- Remote monitoring via web, smartphones and PC tablets
- H.264 standalone 4-channel DVR
- Operation pentaplex: live display, record, playback, backup and network transmission
- Easily connects to any TV for additional LCD display
- Outdoor CCD video cameras with high-quality weatherproof casing
- Night vision cameras allow you to see in total darkness
- Free surveillance software available
The Combo kit actually includes 2 kits available for purchase separately. One is the DVR kit, including their SHA104.V2 DVR standalone module, power adapter, installation guide, remote controller, USB mouse, BNC to RCA cable and their exclusive and easy to use KView software on CD.
Second part of the combo kit is the H02 CCTV Camera Kit, which includes 4 quality IR Cameras, brackets, slim cables, power split cables, mounting screws, power supply and installation guide.
Installing the H02 Camera Kit is a breeze, really the type of job anybody with basic DIY skills can do. The brackets are very easy and versatile to position; the screws and wall plugs are included (which saves you a trip to the DIY store). The brackets themselves have twist locks, easy to loosen up and reposition your camera angle when necessary.
The cameras are fed by 12V DC power (4 to 1 split cable to power plug adapter) and deliver output over BNC video cable. KGUARD did a good job on creating 1 split cable to insure wiring up doesn’t turn into a hassle. Cable length is 18m (for each camera), we found this to be sufficient for most homes, yet it shouldn’t be an issue for the trained DIY guy to extend these cables’ reach.
This kit also comes in an 8 and 16 camera combo kit. Note that the receiver in the kit can only handle as many camera’s as included in the kit. No possibility to purchase another 4 cameras to hook up to your current setup. If you are unsure about the number of cameras you need, we strongly recommend you buying an 8 or 16 standalone DVR (receiver) and buy as many camera kits/separate cameras until you are happy with your surveillance coverage needs.
So you got over the hardest part of installing the CCTV cameras; good job! From now on you can continue your setup from your desk chair. It is recommended to have a spare monitor ready with VGA input, or you can unplug your current desktop monitor and use it to configure the standalone DVR hardware.
Before hooking up a monitor, you have to open up the DVR to insert a hard disk since every kit ships without disks and you need one if you want to be able to record media. We opted for a 2Tb 5400RPM hard drive, a model both eco-friendly and silent in operation.
This kit includes a USB mouse; it is mandatory to plug in the mouse to configure the DVR’s settings. The DVR itself is particularly easy to set up and does not require specialized knowledge in surveillance systems or advanced technical skills in video processing.
Recording features of the DVR can be triggered both manually and automatically. Manual recording means you can either press the record button on the included remote or go into the DVR’s software and click record. Automatic recording means you have to enable either timed recording (specify date/hours when it should record) or set it to motion detection mode (every time motion is detected it will record until the moving object is out of the camera’s field of sight).
You can backup recorded media via to any USB device (flash, stick, hard drive) if you wish to keep certain parts for further use or investigation. Particularly handy when the camera’s picked up movement from somebody trespassing your premises and you wish to report this to officials.
Play it back
Video playback is a breeze. The DVR allows you to “REC Search” (search recordings) and playback videos. This can be done via the supplied remote control or via the DVR’s front panel. Further ways of viewing and playing video will be discussed in the next part.
The standalone DVR is nice for most people who are looking for a system that’s easy to set up, control, and does not require the extra bells and whistles.
Now, we on the other hand, do like the special feature that KView offers with user-friendly remote monitoring and powerful control on iPhone, iPad and Android devices. KGUARD combo kit pairs up with KView allow easy access to real-time surveillance video anywhere and anytime. To smoothly incorporate surveillance into your everyday life is a main reason why this solution shines.
The software supplied with the DVR is capable of being remotely controlled over the Internet once you plug the DVR’s Ethernet port to your network setup.
When connected to a network switch, the DVR is immediately visible as a network computer. You must install the supplied software on CD to be able to control the cameras remotely via your Windows or Macintosh computer.
Imagine you’re on holiday and wish to check what’s happening at home. If you have a fixed IP at home and can forward the router’s port to give the DVR Internet access, then you’re up for another level of remote monitoring.
KGUARD made the effort to develop some splendid remote control apps (for Android and IOS). These apps allow you to set up the IP address of your home surveillance system and check what’s going on at home over 3G or WiFi at any pub, hotspot or hotel room.
Note: video streaming requires fast 3G speeds and will use more data than regular surfing, please be advised that certain mobile providers might charge you an arm and a leg when you are roaming. Stick to WiFi for remote monitoring if it’s not a matter of life and death.
KGUARD’s 4-camera combo DVR kit did what it said on the box, and that’s doing an excellent job at monitoring and delivering superb surveillance results. All camera models are equipped with IR, so can record at night when they pick up motion. The system works great at night, though you will (most probably) end up with a lot of recorded video as it seems there are a lot of moths out there who are pursuing an acting career.
All of the default cameras are outdoor models that allows for a variety of flexible use. You can choose to place these cameras at indoor and outdoor locations to ensure total surveillance. These combo kits are quality crafts and show excellent value for money.
If you were looking for a sub 300 USD (250 EUR) surveillance kit, this is certainly a product worth giving a look. Check out their website www.kguardsecurity.com to discover their different DVR and cameras for special purpose. Camera-wise, KGUARD offers fixed focal, zoom, HD and all-weather models.