I picked up 2 of these for $99 each last time they were on Woot. I had a few spare Sata2 hard drives that I put in them.
Woot does not state this clearly enought... hard drive is NOT Included. I knew this when I ordered them, but I don't believe it's posted clearly enough this time.
The main thing I found is that there is, at best, a 2 second lag between the time it detects motion, and when it actually starts recording the 'alarm' motion. Doesn't mater if it records continuisly with motion, or not. We keep missing the person thats been ringing our doorbell in the middle of the night! Got to be a neighbor kid. If i set all the settings to lowest resolutions, the lag actually gets worse... to about 5 seconds. The shortest lag is with D1 and highest resolution.
I would reccomend running the cables to were you want the cameras before you start drilling, to see if there is interference - these are NOT shielded cables. The one system i drilled and ran cables has a slight grainyness to it due to interference. I'll be rerunning the cables when it gets warmer.
I set the unit to record continuisly, and turned motion off. This way I get 24/7 recording,a dn if anything does happen, I will have to review the recordings. I also have these cameras setup on my pc with 'Active Webcam' with the motion enables - so I can get motion recordings, then use them to get the entire video without it being broken into segments... Recoding/Alarm/Recording/Alarm...
Another great webcam software that is free, is ContaCam. Wotrks great, but I havn;t found a way to add these cameras yet. I use two Logitech Orbit/AF's.
For my Android phone & tablet, i use 'IP Cam Veiwer' to view the cameras - works great.
The lenses are 6mm, wich is narrow. For covering a front door area, you'll find it's difficult to get everything. You may want cameras with a 3.5mm lens. 2.5mm would be ideal. A camera on teh front of the garage pointing at the driveway cannot get the entire driveway!
Also, the connecters are too close to the cameras. You don't want these exposed. the will collect mosture due to condensation eve if you wrap them. I'm planning on splicing the connectors to get a lead of about 20'. This will allow me to run the cable into the house, adn connect them inside - not outside.
The cameras will NOT work well looking thru a window at night due to the reflection of the IR. This is not the fault of Zmodo - all IR cameras will do this. If you want to have a camera inside looking out a window, disable the IR on these cameras by unscrewing the front of the camera, and unpluging the IR lead to disable the IR. I think you may have to unscrew the IR mount to get at it (I can't remember). Then, use an IR eluminator outside to wash the area in IR.
The unit works well, but with the lag, I'm unsure about purchasing a better unit. I'm plannig on removing the hard drives and formatting them again on the pc, tehn reinstalling them. Maybe somethings up with the way there formatted to begin with.