Swann DVR8-4550 8-Channel Full HD Security Kit Review

/ 7 years ago

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A Closer Look

Such a comprehensive pack requires a closer look and why not start with the connection cables. Seen here are the two ends of the extension cable that will connect the camera to the DVR box and power to the camera.


The camera itself has the matching connectors on its short cable.


The included mouse is nothing special, but I love that Swann included it. The USB mouse features a scroll wheel and two buttons and it will allow you to set your new DVR system up without the need for any other hardware – okay, you’ll need a monitor too, but that’s a given.


We got two things more to take a look at, starting with the digital video recorder box. Swann kept the box as small as it is possible with the sheer amount of connectors it has.


The front itself is kept simple with just a logo and two LEDs for power and video.


Both sides of the DVR are fitted with vent holes, allowing the unit to draw plenty of fresh air.


The rear side is the most interesting here as that’s where we have all the connectors. To the left are the eight camera connectors followed by the two channel audio and dual monitor output. To the right, we have the RJ45 LAN port on top of two USB 2.0 ports before we get to the power connectors and additional grounding option.


The bottom of the unit has four small rubber feet, but it also supports wall mounting with the ports facing up or down. We also see additional ventilation holes here and the hard disk mounting screws.


It is time to take a closer look at the included cameras and then we can get onto the installation of everything.


The cameras are easily adjusted to the right angle with the included tool, allowing you to point it in just the direction you want it to.


The camera feet are padded for a secure and wobble free mounting and they can each be secured to the wall or ceiling with three screws.


The lens is packed with IR LEDs which gives these cameras such a great night vision, which we’ll see on the following pages.


In case you want to upgrade the hard drive then that’s an easy job too. Remove four screws from the bottom and it opens up. Inside we find a classic 3.5-inch hard drive and a small PCB for the system itself.


The included hard drive is a Seagate surveillance drive which is perfect for a DVR system. Officially the DVR supports up to 4TB drives, but there shouldn’t be anything preventing you from installing let’s say a 10TB Skyhawk drive in the unit.

It’s also noteworthy that there are two SATA ports, but only one SATA power connector. However, with a power adapter and a bit of ingenuity you should be able to fit two SSDs in the system too. But if you do, pick the drives with care as a lot of writes will be performed on a system like this.


A little negative surprise was the use of capacitors. I had hoped to see solid caps in a system designed for 24/7 usage, but you can’t get everything for the asking price.


There are a couple extra chips around the board too that control the various features, but nothing spectacular.



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