Kodak Home Video Monitor CFH-V15 Review

Kodak’s Video Monitor CFH-V15

It’s not paranoia when they’re really out to get ya’.

All kidding aside, though, there are several valid reasons why you’d want an up-close view of the inside of your home when you’re out and about. Maybe you’re on vacation and want to make sure some Beagle Boys wannabes don’t burgle your house. Perhaps you just want to check on the family dog. Then there are the times when you want to make sure your kids are behaving like good children should.

The good news is that the advent of technology such as compact cameras, the Interwebs and smartphones have made checking on your home a lot easier these days. The question, of course, is what camera you should use, given the plethora of options that are out there.

A Familiar Name

One of the purveyors of home security cameras these days is actually a familiar name that once ruled the photo imaging world — Kodak. I still shudder at the thought of all the money I sank into Kodak film and photo paper as a broke college student during my art photography and photojournalism classes. But at least I could get away with frequently wearing a black turtleneck. Anyway, Kodak recently released the latest addition to its line of consumer-friendly security cameras, the Kodak Video Monitor CFH-V15.

Sporting a look that would make Darth Vader proud, the Video Monitor features a black, bell-shaped design that houses a moving ball camera up top. At the bottom is a removable base cover that houses the port for the included adapter. Once plugged in you can cover up that bottom again and plop the camera on your place of choice. For folks who want to mount the camera, it also comes with a set of screws and plastic caps.

Easy Sync with iSecurity+ App

Although the Video Monitor doesn’t come with its own viewing monitor like the SwannSecure WiFi HD Monitoring System, the Kodak camera syncs with your iPhone, iPad or Android device of choice and is a lot easier to set up than the Swann. Just download the iSecurity+ app, push the pairing button, follow the setup instructions via the app to connect it to your home router and you’re good to go. You can also name the camera, which especially comes in handy if you decide to get more than one. Personally, I recommend calling it Sauron.

Video quality during daytime is good for a home security camera, particularly when using the highest resolution setting of 1280x720. There’s a bit of a delay in the real-time footage, especially on older smartphones but works well overall. During nighttime or lowlight situations, the camera automatically switches to black-and-white night vision. It also still works in the dark, though the image gets grainier.

Extra Features

The CFH-V15 also benefits from a lot of extra features via the iSecurity+ app. Swiping on your tablet or smartphone screen, for example, adjusts the direction where the ball camera is facing, allowing you to get a view from various angles. You can basically pan and tilt within 350 degrees. Press the speaker icon and you’ll be able to hear audio from the camera’s location if you want.

Hold the mic icon and you can use the camera as a speakerphone to talk to someone in the house, make baby sounds for your dog or maybe scare intruders away. You can also take a picture via the app and get enough free cloud storage for 24 hours worth of video. There’s even a motion sensor that can be set up to notify you by phone as well as a beta range extender feature for your router.

The Downside

One downside is that it’s not designed for outdoor use, though you can place it by a window for an outside view. If you’re viewing via the camera on your phone, your session will automatically end if another member of the family logs on via a different phone, though I guess that makes sense so you don’t end up with the security camera equivalent of dueling banjos.

Overall, the Kodak Video Monitor CFH-V15 is a solid performer with lots of features for a $130 security camera. If you’re looking for a no-nonsense home camera option that has a lot of features and is easy to use, the CFH-V15 fits the bill.

Rating: 4.5 out of 5

About.com Portable Electronics Expert Jason Hidalgo likes talking to his dog via home cameras such as the Kodak Video Monitor CFH-V15. Witness more of his craziness via Twitter @jasonhidalgo