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Logitech Indoor Video Security System

Tom's Holiday Buyer's Guide 2008, Part 1
By , Chris Angelini
$230 for Master system (camera and receiver) $188 for indoor add-on camera $202 for indoor digital clock-spy camera $189 for outdoor add-on camera By: Ed Tittel

As far as I can tell, this Logitech video security offering is like the old advertisement for Lay’s potato chips: once you start down this road, there’s no way you can buy just one! The Master (MSTR) system includes one wireless camera plus a wireless USB-attached receiver for your PC, along with software that lets you set up and configure your cameras. If you visit the Logitech Web site at, you can use the MyCameras link there to log into your cameras remotely and see what they’re seeing any time you like.

But the basic master system just gets you started. You can purchase additional indoor and outdoor cameras for under $200 each. There’s even a "spy" version that looks and acts just like a digital clock available for just over $200 that’s perfect for observing what your babysitter is up to while you’re away from the house. All of these cameras feed into the Logitech WiLife Command Center software, which can display live, streaming video from up to six cameras—more than enough to keep a close watch on a house or a small business.

Happy holidays, big brother!

The real beauty of the Logitech WiLife products is that they make all the capability and coverage of a CCTV (closed-circuit TV system) surveillance system available at a very affordable price, with no requirements to run cable or manage complex wireless network configurations. All of the networking gear you need is included as part of each camera and the WiLife USB receiver that’s sold as part of each master system. It’s based on the HomePlug powerline technology that uses home electrical wiring for network connections and transport (devices must be plugged in anyway to get AC power). As soon as you plug a Logitech camera into any wall outlet, UPnP technology enables it to transmit video to a Windows PC through the WiLife receiver. In turn, this makes the video available to Windows and the Logitech Command Center software, which can stream that video to the Internet on demand through the Logitech MyCameras Web page. Cameras also pick up images in color and offer 15 frames per second (FPS) at 640x480 or 320x240 resolution.

As soon a Logitech camera detects motion in its field of view, the camera signals the Command Center to start a digital recording of the event. It stores the video on your PC so you can access it at your convenience. Command Center can even create an alert by sending a message to your e-mail or cell phone when recording begins. Command Center can specify motion zones within the video frame, so you can define up to 16 areas of a frame (a driveway, doorway or hallway) but exclude outside street traffic visible through a window. Because Command Center records only when motion is detected, you can store weeks to months of video on a typical PC hard disk.

We can’t guarantee that Santa will show up after you install your video surveillance system, but he probably won’t mind bringing one to friends or family this Christmas.

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  • 2 Hide
    ravenware , November 5, 2008 5:28 AM
    Dell 3008WFP Ultrasharp 30"

    , we can’t think of any computer user who wouldn’t be thrilled to get one.

    Gamers. The 8ms response time is a little on the slow side.
  • 0 Hide
    Portall , November 5, 2008 6:42 AM
    Nope. You won't see difference between 8 and 4ms :) 
  • 1 Hide
    V3NOM , November 5, 2008 8:30 AM
    well you can... CRT vs LCD is quite clear.
  • 3 Hide
    cangelini , November 5, 2008 8:41 AM
    I play on the prior year's model (3007) all the time without any problems. Don't pass up gaming on a 30" display without at least trying it for yourself!
  • 2 Hide
    Anonymous , November 5, 2008 9:13 AM
    Dual-link DVI does NOT need two seperate cables. HDMI's video component IS DVI. I'm amazed this slipped through and into the article:
  • 0 Hide
    radnor , November 5, 2008 9:22 AM
    Well, you will actually. If you ever seen them side by side you will notice the difference. 5ms seems to be the sweet spot.
  • 4 Hide
    Anonymous , November 5, 2008 10:36 AM
    Just a word of warning to anyone purchasing this monitor and wanting to watch Blu-Ray titles on it. If you use DVI as your input it can not display Blu-Ray titles above 1920 x 1080. Now I know this is the native res on the monitor. But HDCP will fail if the monitor's resolution is set any higher than this. This is due to a design flaw in the monitor's chipset. This wouldn't be a problem if all it meant was you had to reset the resolution when you want to watch a movie, but the problem is, 1920 x 1080 is not the same aspect ratio as 2560 x 1600. So your picture is vertically stretched. I know this because I bought one and spent hours in forums and on the phone with Dell before finding this out. I returned the monitor, because at $2000, there's no excuse for buggy HDCP support over DVI.
  • 0 Hide
    Anonymous , November 5, 2008 11:01 AM
    what happened to the really cute girl you guys had last year ?
  • 1 Hide
    xsamitt , November 5, 2008 12:04 PM
    I think I'd take the 30 inch dell if it was free......Guess I won't be having one now for
    8 mills is just to slow.And Leigon thanks for the heads up.

    I do hope the new items to come are more interesting than this first round.
  • -2 Hide
    Anonymous , November 5, 2008 12:19 PM
    What happened to the great girl from last year? The blond on here looks strung out and or too gothy for a Christmas ad.
  • 7 Hide
    zak_mckraken , November 5, 2008 12:48 PM
    Ugly girls...

    Oh really? Come on pal, let's see some pictures of your wife/girlfriend so we can compare. Well, assuming you have one of course.
  • 2 Hide
    jameshan2k , November 5, 2008 12:56 PM
    I usually don't go for blondes, but the blonde is quite nice....
  • 0 Hide
    zak_mckraken , November 5, 2008 1:13 PM
    About the response time, 8ms does seem a tad high but we have to be careful here. Most manufacturers will advertise their monitors as having a 2ms or 5ms response time. However, when you look at the charts, most of the time this response time is the maximum the monitor can reach during a dark scene or a low action gaming sequence. This is often not representative of an average use and the so-called 5ms monitor will most likely be around 6ms-7ms in everyday situations. Same thing applies for contrast since every manufacturer uses their own chart for measuring it. The best way to know how your monitor will perform in real life is to look at comparative charts made by neutral parties, like Tom's, who uses the same methods to compare response time, contrast and color fidelity with all monitors.

    As for this particular Dell 3008WFP Ultrasharp 30", I have really no idea if it's suitable for movies and gaming or not. However, is Chris says it is, it's usually enough for me! Unfortunately, I just bought a Samsung T220 and it pleases me enough. Anyway, I do not have 2 grand to put on a monitor... yet.
  • 3 Hide
    crockdaddy , November 5, 2008 1:39 PM
    Both ladies are quite lovely. If I recall correctly wasn't it Tamara whom graced the last two years as the xmas model?
  • -1 Hide
    xsamitt , November 5, 2008 1:46 PM
    How do you find The Samsung T220 picture wise and lag?
  • 0 Hide
    zak_mckraken , November 5, 2008 2:08 PM
    How do you find The Samsung T220 picture wise and lag?

    While not the "perfect" monitor, it's definitely one of the best (if not the best) 22 inches monitor around. The colors are rich and true, the contrast is sharp and I haven't notice any lag at all, although I only play World of Warcraft and watch some Divx. Still, the difference was amazing when I switched my old Philips 19" with it! I'm pretty sure the same quality would apply on a fast-paced FPS or a Blu-Ray HD movie. However, I would recommend the T240 if you intend to use your monitor to watch full HD content. Samsung also offer the same models with HD at the end (T220HD) which has a integrated tuner, if you're into that stuff.
  • 0 Hide
    cruiseoveride , November 5, 2008 3:47 PM

    Santa Baby, a 30" Samsung TFT too, dark grey with a blond elf. I've been an awfully good girl.
  • 0 Hide
    KITH , November 5, 2008 3:52 PM
    I recently purchased the samsung t260hd it along with the t240hd are a couple of the only ways to get an hdtv with that small of a screen still with 1080p support.
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