by Alex Schuchter

WD ReadyView Surveillance System Review

WD ReadyView is a comprehensive NVR surveillance solution that offers easy setup, system expandability, on-site WD Purple storage, external backup, mobile access, and affordability. Two unique models of the security system are offered. All system bundles include four durable weatherproof HD cameras with night vision and motion detection, an NVR with WD Purple drive storage, and necessary cables. Looking at the differences between the two models, the 2MP camera bundle includes 2MP camera resolution, 2TB of storage, and can capture 90+ days of continuous 27/7 recording. The 4MP camera bundle includes 4MP camera resolution, 4 TB of storage, and can capture 120+ days of continuous 24/7 recording. In addition to the upgrades to camera resolution and storage capacity, the 4MP camera bundle also offers Intelligent Video Surveillance (IVS) which includes intrusion, trip line, and intelligent identification features. For those interested in redundancy, external backup is as easy as plugging in an external USB storage device with NTFS formatting. The system is also expandable beyond the included four cameras up to eight.

The mobile app is a key feature of the WD ReadyView system offering ease of use and convenience many people look for in modern products. With the app customers are given hand-held control of their surveillance system. Setup of the complete system can be done using just a smartphone. With an internet connection, the app allows you to view live camera footage and previously saved footage anywhere. Also, you can receive notifications for motion detection and other intelligent features.

WD Purple on-site storage is another key feature. WD Purple is purpose-built specifically for use with 24/7 always-on high-definition surveillance systems. Keeping footage on-site and out of the cloud allows customers secure access with complete control over their footage as well as no additional monthly fees. 

Lastly, I want to touch on how truly easy it is to set up the WD ReadyView system. Setup for surveillance systems can be complicated and painful. But, this system is neither of those things and is essentially plug and play. All you have to do is unbox everything, download the app, and scan the QR code to pair the app with the specific surveillance system. After just a few minutes the camera feed shows up in the app. For those that want local control, the NVR also provides that in two ways. First there are VGA and HDMI outputs on the back of the unit, with USB ports. This provides you with connectivity to hook it up to an HDTV or other viewing station locally. Users are also able to access the NVR over the LAN, giving more advanced features and setup capabilities.

The WD ReadyView system can be picked up from the Western Digital store online and the prices for the 2MP and 4MP bundles are $499.99 and $699.99 respectively. The cost for additional individual cameras start at $69.99 for 2MP and $99.99 for 4MP. 

WD ReadyView Specifications:

Models

4TB-4MP WDBELL0040HWT-HESN
2TB-2MP WDBULT0020HWT-HESN

Max Number of Channels (NVR) 8
Recording Resolution

4MP: 2593 x 1520
2MP: 1920 x 1080
Aspect Ratio: 16:9 

Viewing Angle

Viewing Angle (H): 4MP 86.4° 2MP 86.5°
Viewing Angle (V): 4MP 43.6° 2MP 44.1°
Viewing Angle (O): 4MP 112.3° 2MP 106.4° 

System Compatibility

Router and internet connection
H.265, H.264, MJPEG
ONVIF -compliant
Mobile device with iOS 9+ or Android 4.4+ 

Interfaces

1x HDMI
1x VGA
1x RJ-45 10M/100M
8x 100Mbps PoE
2x USB 2.0
1-ch RCA Audio In
1-ch RCA Audio Out 

Dimensions

NVR:
Length: 270 mm (10.63 in)
Width: 205 mm (8.07 in)
Height: 42 mm (1.65 in)
Weight: 2.89 kg (6.37 lb)

4MP, 2MP Camera:
Length: 167.90 mm (6.61 in)
Width: 66.20 mm (2.61 in)
Height: 62.40 mm (2.46 in)
Weight: 0.40 kg (0.88 lb)

Operating Specifications

NVR:
Operating Temperature: 0° C to 55° C
Non-op Temperature:-30° C to 70° C
Operating Relative Humidity: 5%-95%
Non-op Relative Humidity: 5%-95% 

4MP, 2MP CAMERA:
Operating Temperature: -30° C to 60° C
Non-op Temperature:-30° C to 70° C
Operating Relative Humidity: 10%-90%
Non-op Relative Humidity: 10%-90%

Night Vision Range 98 ft (29.8 m)
Motion Sensor Yes
Power over Ethernet (PoE) Yes
Drive Bays 1
Weatherproof Rating IP67
Warranty 1 year limited


Management

System management for the WD ReadyView surveillance system is run through the mobile app. The navigation menu has tabs for live view, system recordings, my snapshots, alert manager, camera manager, config manager, NVR manager, firmware, and help. The purpose of each tab is pretty straightforward. 


Live View displays the live feed from one or more cameras and is the default view when opening the app.

    
System Recordings is used to review data recorded from the cameras. You can load data to review by selecting a date and time. Once a date and start time are selected you can scrub through the data while watching the video. There are various vertical lines and controls available on the System Recordings screen. A red line is the viewing reference point. Purple lines are motion events. Functions provided by icons on the screen include select camera, snapshot, start/stop, video mode, full screen, speed, frame rate, and pause. 

  
The snapshot function captures video or still images for additional review. From snapshots you can share with others via another selected app (mail, etc.) and export snapshots to the photo gallery on your mobile device. The alert manager screen allows users to review and configure motion events. Users can view motion events and set search criteria for all cameras or a specific camera. So, as seen in the screenshot above alerts are logged with links to the associated video with the timestamp and type of detection listed. The alert system is an integral feature of this system. Every time a motion detection trips, the ReadyView’s alert system pings your smartphone with a push notification. Which for other apps can be annoying but in this case you’ll immediately be aware of any potential break-in or that delivery you’ve been waiting for.

    
Camera Manager allows users to rename cameras and set motion detection parameters. Motion detection is available in all kits. Trip line and area detection are only available in 4MP kits. Of all the features of this system, the motion detection is the coolest. You can set motion detection sensitivity, assign specific times of day for the motion detection feature to be on, and you can designate which cameras specifically you want to run it on.  


The trip line is set by simply drawing a line on the screen and setting the points. 

    
The config manager settings are used to set various system parameters. The time and date function is used to set the system time and date specific to your location. Total storage shows the amount of storage available to the WD ReadyView system. The password manager allows users to change the system password. 

    
The NVR manager allows multiple NVRs to be viewed using a single app. The firmware feature displays the firmware status of the NVR and individual cameras. Tapping a device displays the status and full firmware version number. From here you can upgrade the NVR and camera firmware. “Current” is defined as the version on your mobile device and will be displayed if different from the latest available version; “Latest” is the most recent version available. 

Design and Build

The WD ReadyView system is ONVIF compliant and designed for durability. The cameras are designed with metal mounts and bodies and feature the IP67 weatherproof rating offering dust- and water-resistance. The camera also includes a water-resistant coupler that helps protect the Ethernet cable connection to the camera. All cameras feature HD resolution. The recording resolution for 4MP cameras is 2593 x 1520 and recording resolution for 2MP cameras is 1920 x 1080. 

The WD ReadyView system is wired which offers a few benefits over wireless. The wired connection allows for PoE which circumvents issues like battery failure and restricted placement due to power outlet availability seen in wireless systems. This system is also unique in that the components including cameras, cabling, and backend storage can be used universally and interchangeably. The system uses standard Cat 5 ethernet cables for connection. Also, WD Purple storage is compatible with many other surveillance and security manufacturers. So, should you change to a different system you aren’t left with worthless specialized products. Additionally, when expanding your system you can add on 2MP or 4MP cameras regardless of the initial bundle you purchased.

Image quality from the 4MP cameras is really good and coming from wireless battery-operated camera, it’s incredible the amount of detail that has been gained. In both day time the colors are nice and vibrant and it’s very easy to identify people that come into view of the cameras. Night time as it switches into IR mode you lose some of that detail color video provides, but it is still very sharp and clear. IR illumination is fantastic from these cameras, which is a downside of many wireless battery operated cameras. For battery life most are unable to really provide much help 15-20 feet from the camera, leaving you guessing at what is moving in the background of your video if motion is detected. This is not the case with these cameras, where the IR illumination is cast very far, and the cameras are able to work well with residual light from lamps and street lights in the general vicinity.

Conclusion

The WD ReadyView surveillance system is a good value system easy to use even for non-technical consumers. The product includes a complete system with everything you need in a starter kit. All system bundles include four durable weatherproof HD cameras with night vision and motion detection, an NVR with WD Purple drive storage, and necessary cables. With the initial system in place, the system can be scaled and expanded to support up to 8 cameras. The management through the app is intuitive with plenty of easy access menus that offer comprehensive control over basic and advanced system functions. There’s a lot to love about this system but the best features are definitely the motion detection, tripped alarm notification system which immediately pings your smartphone, and the overall mobile access with live view from anywhere in the world. While the 4MP system is superior offering double the resolution and extra Intelligent Video Surveillance features, the 2MP system is a great option for the budget-minded individual. 

Overall, the benefits of this system include easy setup, system expandability, on-site storage, external backup, mobile access, affordability, HD recording resolution, and motion detection. Whether you want to protect your home against break-ins or make sure nobody swipes your Amazon deliveries we recommend checking this surveillance system out. 

WD ReadyView on Amazon

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