Panasonic BB-HCM371A Outdoor Wireless Network Camera
 
List Price: $849.00

Our Price: Too low to display

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Product Description

This camera can be viewed and controlled from a standard Web browser, video display, or even a compatible cell phone or PDA. Place it in your home, office, vacation home or almost anywhere else that you'd like to keep an eye on things, with no PC required on location! It is easy to install and operate and require no additional software for the PC that you're viewing them on. The camera also comes with a free Web address, which can track the camera automatically. All you need is a regular Web browser to view it on your PC, as all of the other required software, including control software (TCP/UDP) and e-mail software (SMTP), is already inside the camera. This camera can communicate wirelessly with standard 802.11b/g wireless devices, allowing the flexibility to install and operate the camera without running network wires, and utilizing SSID filtering and powerful 64/128/152 bit WEP encryption helps to protect your wireless network from illegal intrusion. Since the camera is attached through an Ethernet connection (or router) and power source, you don't need a computer at each location you want

Features:
  • Two-Way Voice Communication
  • CCD Sensor for Enhanced Image Expression
  • SD Memory Card Recording
  • Simple Ethernet Connection - No PC Required
  • One Year Warranty
Customer Reviews:
  • See everything when you can't be there
    This Panasonic outdoor camera is a great little product. It is used outside our condo and it has operated in temperatures of -5 without any issues. An attached SD card allows many photos to be saved on a chip and the zoom lens allows us to see things pretty close. The only issue is finding a powered outdoor speaker for use with two-way communications. Panasonic wasn't able to provide a vendor and we haven't been able to find one on our own. Except for this issue the camera works as advertised....more info
  • Software Has Problems
    I purchased this camera because I didn't want to run Ethernet cable to my router. If this is not a problem for you, I would recommend you check out the BB-HCM311A. Note that with the BB-HCM371A, you still have to run wire for power, which sort of defeats the wireless concept.

    Be warned that you still need an ethernet cable to plug into your router for set up.

    Speaking of setup, if you don't know your network settings, this camera will be a pain to setup. For example, if you don't know the IP to your DNS, you're in trouble. Fortunately for me, I managed to configure it successfully and I'm no system administrator.

    Physical installation was straight forward. I mounted my camera high and I was afraid I was going to drop it while threading it to the mount. Panasonic really should have come up with a safety system where you can tether the camera while you screw it in place.

    My biggest gripe is the web-based software. It's feature-rich, but I cannot capture images the way I like. For example, I cannot acquire a time lapse movie of an overnight shot. I either get the first few seconds or the last few seconds. If a prowler saunters into camera shot at 2:00AM, I wouldn't see him. There's also a bug when you play the time-lapse motion image. Once you play it once, you cannot play it again. :-(

    Also, downloaded images are in PCN form. What the heck kind of image format is that?

    Another gripe is that night vision isn't great. In this day and age, a camera like this should perform better in terms of night vision.


    ...more info
  • Excellent webcam
    The BB-HCM371A is easy to setup if your router supports Universal Plug'n'Play (I'm using a late model Linksys 54G). If you're using several other cameras in addition to this one, you may have do some manual configuration of the router ports. Panasonic's setup instructions are adequate but clearly they've been translated from Japanese. Picture quality is good for a camera in this price range. Camera is best mounted out of direct sunlight... underneath a roof overhang is ideal....more info
  • Worth it
    I've used this camera for the better part of a year now. I've used it in a variety of locations and conditions. It's presently mounted outdoors and transmitting wirelessly to a router sitting indoors 340' away. I use dynamic DNS to access the camera remotely via DSL. The framerate is decent, but still-picture quality (clarity) could definitely be better -- especially when the subject is moving. The motion detection is good and triggers reliably to upload images to an FTP site. The camera is very configurable, but best-suited for the tech-savvy. Plus, it's evident that a lot of the instructions written into the camera firmware were done by a non-native English-speaking individual. I've successfully viewed the camera remotely via my Motorola Q. Sound quality from the camera is very good. I can hear the frogs chirping in a nearby riverbed right now.
    For what it's worth, I also own a very expensive Axis camera. The bottom line is that, although this camera has room for improvement, it still comes pretty close to justifying its cost....more info
  • Too PC-dependent and lacks WPA for wireless security
    I just received this unit and have to state that I'm rather disappointed. First, we are an all-Mac household with a SonicWall firewall but this unit is so heavily PC-dependent that it would not work out the box with either.

    Another reviewer said it would work with the Macintosh but I couldn't even see the unit in the ARP cache or the DHCP leases of the firewall. The only way I could initially talk to the unit was to dig out an old PC and use the enclosed CD. It would be nice if there was a switch that could be flipped manually to tell the camera to use DHCP instead of UPnP (which I don't find "that universal").

    The second thing that really surprised me was that this unit only supports WEP wireless security instead of WPA. For all the talk about security in the documentation and in the setup tools, WEP is a very poor choice. To use this unit wirelessly in my network, which is why I bought it, I will have to gut the security of the rest of my network. This is a serious shortcoming, in my opinion, especially for such an expensive camera.

    Finally, I'm finding the Panasonic support site clumsy and limited in scope and utility. This product has potential but it its shortcomings get in the way of its utility. Until they add WPA, I can't recommend this unit. If you're a Mac user, make sure you have access to a Windows machine to get it out of UPnP. I think it defaults a 192.168.x.x. address....more info
  • Not very impressive!!!
    Purchased this Camera expecting it to operate as good or better the the much less expencive BL-C20A did. The picture quality was sub-par for a camera that was 400 dollars more, I expected more. The wireless set up was a ritual in frustration, reset the camera multiple times, repowered, downloaded the updates, packaged it up and am sending it back.
    I think for a camera that is 650 dollars, it should preform considerably better.
    The Weather Proofing and WiFi was why I purchased it, so I will look elsewhere for another product....more info
  • Excellent high-quality outdoor web cam
    I had first purchased a couple of Panasonic BL-30C wireless web cams to keep an eye on a vacation house that is far away from us. I wanted to put one outside too and decided to give this one a try against the weather. It was a bit harder to set up than the BL-30c, but after a few trial and errors and some persistence, I managed to get this one going too. The picture quality is very impressive and the audio is a nice optional feature! Very clear viewing in the daytime, and good night mode too. It has been reliable, and I am very pleased I bought it....more info
  • Bad Quality Camera
    I am extremely unhappy with this camera. On the surface, the camera looks great--it offers SD recording, wireless connectivity, and remote management. But this is a really poorly made camera with poor supporting software. Firstly, it took me 3 nights trying to set this up--and I'm a long time techie. I followed the directions EXACTLY... got wired connection working fine... but the wireless was terrible. The camera kept telling me it wouldn't connect, even though I had all the settings correct. I even reset my wireless router to setup the most basic wireless LAN, and it still didn't work. Then all of a sudden, for no apparent reason it worked. Garbage. I still don't know why it worked.

    The remote management was interesting and I like the fact that it let me control and move the camera remotely. It also lets you setup specific times to allow "triggers"... but the trigger software is spotty. The sensitivity controls for when the triggers set off didn't work well at all and it basically capture everything or nothing. Axis has much better event management software.

    Finally, the picture quality is TERRIBLE. It claims that it can record up to VGA at 12 frames/sec, but it doesn't even COME close to that... at VGA it records maybe 1 or 2 frames/sec at best. Even at that quality there are noticeable artifacts and blurriness. I researched all the other cameras at this price level and amazingly this seemed that it had the best specs, but I suppose there's no subsitution for first hand experience. This is a terrible camera... I ended up buying the Axis 207w. It doesn't have movement capabilities, but for half the price, it's picture quality is 2x better and setup was a breeze. ...more info
  • Defective camera, lousy service
    I already have two Panasonic BL-C30A cameras that work ok, though not perfectly (see below). I purchased the BB-HCM371A for use outside the house. However, when I connected it to my router I got a blinking red light. According to the installation manual that indicates an internal malfunction. Although it appeared that I got a defective product I decided to contact Panasonic service to see if I was missing something. First, I sent an email and quickly got a typical reply, probably automated. The reply was simply to connect the camera to the router exactly as described in the manual, which of course I had already done. So then I called the 800 number. The automated answering service was one of the worst I have ever encountered - asking me to describe the problem in normal language but then unable to understand what I was saying. It was almost a parody of an automated answering service and I finally gave up in disgust without ever getting through to a real person. I am returning the camera to Amazon for a refund. I will definitely not purchanse this camera again and cannot recommend it.

    I have had better luck with my two BL-C30A cameras but it does have some annoying bugs. For example, when accessing the camera over the internet it automatically recenters which can be quite aggravating if you want it pointing to the side. ...more info
  • Excellent video webcam
    I looked for a long time for a remote camera to keep an eye on a vacation residence. Reviews of other similar cameras like the Toshiba IK-WB11A were spotty at best especially when using in wireless mode. Panasonic cameras seemed to get good reliability reviews, so when an outdoor wireless-G came out I decided to give it a try. I had some difficulty getting the ports forwarded through my router. The directions are pretty sparse when it comes to setting up your router. I guess there is a fair variability in how each different router is set up. Once that problem was solved it has been rock solid. In the 4 months I have had it running, I only had to reset it once, after a 3 day power failure. Actually, I think it was the router, not the camera that needed to be reset, but I reset everything. It does everything it is advertised to do although I don't use the audio feature. The motion detection feature works better than other webcam security software that I have tried....more info