Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio DVR By SleuthGear Review
The Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio DVR is a complete redesign of their popular hidden surveillance camera with a better design and invisible Infrared sensors. This Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio is the perfect solution for secretly monitoring your nanny, housekeeper, or workers.
I received the Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio DVR SC8000 By SleuthGear so I will be reviewing that model. A remote/wireless version should be coming out this September for people who wants that feature.
- Motion activated recording
- Invisible Infrared Sensors (IRs) – Theses IRs are able to capture action up to 20 feet away in almost total darkness.
- 30 frames per second – This can be adjusted in the setup menu
- Multiple recording options – low, standard, high, and super
- Four recording modes: motion (default), panic, continuous, and alarm
- 32GB card capacity
- Great looking clock radio DVR that is light weight
- Recording modes scheduling
Setting up the Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio DVR is a simple process. Just plug in the power supply to an outlet, connect the video cable to a TV (to enter the setup menu), change the time/date, and insert the SD into the SD card slot to get started. By default, this device will record 24×7 using motion detection.
You can setup the date/time, SD card settings, recording modes & scheduling, frame rate, video quality, peripheral, and system settings using the main menu.
You can play around with the settings and if you mess something up, you can always restore the factory settings.
The clock radio is light and the design is very stylish which makes it great to look at. It feels and weight similar to my real alarm clock, so there is no way to tell that it’s a hidden camera unless you open it up and look inside.
The size of the clock is a decent size, but I would’ve liked it more if it was smaller in size. Here’s an image of the Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio by SleuthGear being compared to the size of an iPhone 4s:
As you can see, it’s a bit taller than the iPhone 4s. I would prefer it a bit shorter in size, but that’s just my preference.
The top of the Clock Radio DVR features all the features similar to a regular alarm radio clock. You can set the time, alarm clock, and listen to AM/FM radio. There were no instructions on how to set the time/alarm, so I had to figure it out myself but it was simple. Basically, you just hold the time/alarm button until you see the numbers flashing. Once you see it flashing, you can change the hours or minutes by pressing the HRS or MIN button.
The SD slot is normally hidden by a rubber cover which can easily be removed by just pulling it. The image above shows the clock radio without the rubber cover hiding the SD slot.
The Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio DVR with Infrared Sensors comes with a simple IR remote control.
Overall, the design is very nice and will blend into the background. No one will even imagine that there’s a hidden camera hidden within the clock radio.
The Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio comes in four recording quality: standard, normal, high, and super. These levels are adjustable through the setup menu. The recording resolution is 720×240 (NTSC)/720×288 (PAL) with frame rates at 6/8, 13/15 and 25/30.
Here are two screenshots showing one in a well lit room and the other in complete darkness to test the Invisible IR (Night Vision) feature. The settings were set to the highest recording quality.
I was pleasantly surprised by the quality of the video in complete darkness. You can even read some of the text on the box shown in the image above.
There are two ways to play the recordings from the Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio DVR :
- You can remove the Micro SD card from the Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio and connect it to your computer using the USB card reader. You can then use the software to play the DVR format file. You can also export the footage into AVI and WMV format videos.
- Use the video cable to connect it to a TV then using your remote control to navigate your footage.
Everything you need is included in the box.
Recording Modes & Scheduling
- Motion – The Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio will only record when motion is detected.
- Panic – This is manual recording. Press the record button on the remote to start manual recording
- Continuous – When in continuous mode, the device will continue to record until you stop it.
- Alarm Record
By default, motion detection is selected which I also recommend as it will only record when motion is detected to save space on your SD card.
You can also set the type of recording modes on a schedule using the Schedule Setup. You will be able to create a customized 7 day recording schedule using the recording modes: motion, panic, continuous and alarm.
This version of the Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio By SleuthGear has no remote/wireless viewing option which is disappointing. Don’t worry though! Wireless versions featuring remote monitoring on mobile devices, QUAD, and QUAD LCD viewing should be released this September. If you need remote/wireless viewing, then I would recommend waiting for it.
The Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio DVR By SleuthGear comes with a basic software to playback the DVR files, export to DVR/WMV/AVI/JPG formats, and search footage.
I had a bit of trouble exporting/converting my footage to WMV/AVI formats as the footage in AVI format showed lagging during playback where playing the DVR format files had no lag. When converting the DVR format to WMV, the quality was lower than the original and was very noticeable.
Additional Zone Shield by SleuthGear Products
If you are a fan of Zone Shield, you may want to check their additional products:
Images from: KJBSecurity.com
- The motion detection works great
- The Invisible Infrared Sensors was a pleasant surprise. It worked better than I thought it would.
- The design is very nice and stylish
- It looks and functions like a real alarm clock. It’s impossible to tell that it’s a hidden camera unless you open it up and take a peek inside
- Everything is included in the box to get the Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio DVR up and running
- No remote access/wireless viewing. New versions of this model will come out with remote/wireless feature so I would recommend waiting if you want those features
- The user guide is lacking as it doesn’t explain every feature in details such as recording modes or using the clock radio DVR as a normal clock. No instructions were found on how to use the clock radio DVR as an alarm clock/radio so I had to figured it out myself, but it wasn’t that difficult.
This Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio DVR comes with a 4GB SD card, but it won’t cut it for some people as you will only get 2.2 hours on continuous recording at super quality recording. I would recommend getting a 32GB microSDHC memory card which will cost you $20-$25 for a SanDisk Ultra 32 GB MicroSDHC at Amazon.
The 32GB microSDHC memory card will let you record continuous for an estimated 17.6 hours at the highest video recording quality. That is more than enough for every situation but I would still recommend you using motion detection recording rather than continuous recording.
The motion detection was excellent as it would detect and record right away if I moved at all. It would stop recording a few seconds after I stopped moving. This is great for saving space on the Micro SD card.
One of my favorite features is the invisible Infrared sensors (night vision). This means no glowing LED as the IR is invisible. The IR-sensitive camera will record up to 20 feet in almost total darkness so if you plan on recording in the dark, make sure the device is within that range for the best results.
Overall, the Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio DVR is a great product as it was easy to setup, easy to use, very stylish design, and comes with a lot of features. If you are shopping for a nanny camera or hidden camera that is built into a working household appliances, then the Zone Shield Night Vision Clock Radio DVR SC8000 is definitely recommended. This device was assembled in America using high quality video surveillance components which makes it even more reliable as a hidden camera.