I’ve mentioned to a few people on Facebook and Twitter that I am a huge fan of Alarm.com and the features it provides. When we built our house we decided to use one of their local dealers to handle the installation and monitoring. They then tied the system into the Alarm.com system for management. We integrated our Liftmaster Garage Doors into the app, ZWave switches will be coming soon, and we also used some of the native Alarm.com Cameras inside and out. Recently they released their Stream Video Recorder (SVR) and I got hold of one to test out and found some interesting things.
Alarm.com Stream Video Recorder (SVR) Models and Capacity
This is the very first thing you want to be aware of. They seem to have two models called the SVR-1001 and SVR-1002. The first is marketed as a 1TB version and the latter a 2TB version. They also claim there is the ability to use 2TB drives in either one, so it led me to ask myself….does one have 1TB and the other 2Tb drives? Also how many are pre-installed since there is 2 available bays and mirroring.
Well the answer is simple. I have the SVR-10012 and it arrived with dual 1TB drives pre-installed. They are marketing the SVR-1002 as 2TB TOTAL capacity. As best I can figure out there is no version with pre-installed 2TB drives. Therefore my guess is the SVR-1001 just has the one drive installed. The price difference is $525 vs $650 and what really burned me up was these use the Western Digital Purple Surveillance Drives. You can get a 1TB one off Amazon.com for about $62 and they are charging $125 for the additional drive.
My conclusion is that they need to fix and clarify their marketing so just be aware if you pick one up! That being said you may also want to just get the 1TB version and pickup the second drive from Amazon.com or even just order a couple 2TB ones for that matter.
Alarm.com Stream Video Recorder (SVR) Features
Okay, now that the specifics of the drives and capacity is out of the way, I also found out that each unit is 4 channels, so it can record four cameras only to each unit. I also set the recording quality to the maximum to test the amount of days the 1TB will hold. I only have 1TB capacity because I always mirror drives no matter the claims by Western Digital about 24×7 reliability.
At the settings I have I can get about 15 days of continuous recording then it starts to overwrite. You can configure each of the channels individually and I can tell you the traffic between the camera’s and the SVR is local between the two
You also get access to all the recordings through the SVR Timeline view where you can reply any of the streams and even download the video. You can also access this same timeline from a mobile device which is cool. I got a delivery notification of a package and I was able to confirm it’s delivery by accessing the timeline around the time the notification said it was dropped off. Then I was able to call a friend to grab it and tell them exactly where it was. So that’s pretty cool!
The only thing I don’t like is even though the device is 100% local you can only access the recordings via your account web portal login. So if that is down, you don’t have direct access to your videos on the device. This needs to change ASAP in the firmware in my opinion. Alarm.com needs to work in a simple local apache web browser to access and download the files locally in the event of lost internet access. Also, frankly 4 channels is not enough and the desktop form factor is not great for everyone. They need an 8 or 16 channel rack mount version for this to really take off in larger homes. All in all I love the fact it just works, it’s easy to setup and configure. Being that it’s brand new, it’s not a bad 1.0 version, but could use some work to enhance it for larger customers. I hope they read this and take some of my opinions to development and marketing for that matter. The 1TB/2TB confusion is something most dealers I’ve chatted online with cannot even explain!