I have written in my previous post how I was awaiting for the Arlo cameras to support Home Secure Video, but as this seems not go to happen, I have bought instead the Eufy Indoor Cam 2K Pan and Tilt.
I will review it here in this post, together with my comments on Apple Home Secure Video.
Eufy Indoor Cam 2K Pan and Tilt
This camera is not very expensive (I have paid 50€ in Amazon) but it offers a lot for its price. I list here the main features that come to my mind:
- clearly, 2K resolutions, that is not bad at all;
- pan & tilt functionalities; I think I will never used them, apart from testing, but they work well and they are nice to have;
- night vision with infrared sensor;
- microphone and speaker, to be able to speak back when you are remote;
- recording light (can be turned off);
- very good build quality;
- accessories include a micro-USB cable used for charging and a support to hook the camera to walls or other surfaces.
The setup of the camera is pretty standard: download the Eufy Security app, pair the camera, do the usual firmware update, and voilà, you can use access and manage your camera very quickly and easily.
The camera can record to micro-SD card, can use the Eufy cloud recording service, or more important for us, it can be configured to use HomeKit Secure Video.
HomeKit Secure Video in iOS 14
HomeKit Secure Video is one step beyound the basic HomeKit accessories: once enabled, it redirects all video streams to Apple servers. In this way, you are guaranteed not to have the many video security flaws of other even famous manufacturers, like Ring, but so common for many other producers as well.
No, with HomeKit Secure Video all videos are streamed to Apple servers and will never reach your producer storage, so you will not risk that videos of you, your family and above all your children, will be visible by strangers.
While HomeKit Secure Video puts security on first place, and so it is a MUST for me, still it has many other drawbacks, that I am going to highlight here, hoping that they will be fixed in the future:
- resolution is limited to 1K; this means that I can't benefit from the additional 2K resolution of my Eufy cam; worse would be for example with the 4K resolution of the Arlo cameras (if they would support Home Secure Video instead of pushing their own cloud service);
- the max number of cameras that you can support is limited by your iCloud subscription (even if they don't impact the your used storage space): 1 camera for the 200Gb subscription, and 3 cameras for the 2Tb subscription.
Ok... but what, if I want to have more cameras?!? Currently this is not possible, and the only workaround would be to have more iCloud subscriptions. Not nice at all!
- Face recognition, introduced in iOS 14, is really not good. When I am at home and on the side of the camera, HSV recognizes a face, but it's distorted, so it's not able to match it to me. This impacts all following automatism, making them almost useless.
As well, for an indoor camera, we have a TV (sorry but it's pretty common in an indoor environment); well, HSV tries to recognize all the faces for Netflix shows... not clever at all!
You can go and train the model, tagging all the relevant people, but every day you would find a huge list of family members with distorted faces, and almost all characters in Netflix shows :-) Really not practical at all.
- If the previous automatism would work, I could enable automatism based if I am at home, or my family members are at home, or some other tagged person. All nice, but with the so shaky face recognition feature, all dependent ones are totally useless.
I really like this camera, I do really like it.
I would buy more of these, but I already plan to buy a couple of EufyCam 2K Pro, once they will be released in Europe.
As HomeKit Secure Video currently doesn't more than 3 camera, I can't have other indoor cameras.
That is the current issue: HomeKit Secure Video maintains the promise to guarantee privacy and security to its users, but other than that, I see only drawbacks. I hope that it will improve in the future, because now it's really compromising the features of cameras with higher quality it was designed to support.