Brickcom WOB-130Np Review

Moved to www.NetworkCameraCritic.com

Brickcom has entered the U.S. market with cameras that have unique features that many have been asking for from the established players for years. The WOB-130Np is a megapixel bullet camera similar in shape to what ACTi, Vivotek, Messoa, Sony have done for years but that’s where the similarities end. What sets this camera apart is a combination of features including their wireless capabilities (WiFi & 4G), their ability to record to an SD card or a NAS, the ability to adjust focus and focal length from a browser and good low light performance.

Brickcom WOB-130Np

Main features
• N-Series Sony Exmor 1.3M Outdoor Bullet Camera
• SmartFocus® to Ease the Zoom and Focus Adjustment Remotely
• Focal Length: 2.8mm~10mm
• Brickcom WDR Enhancement® Technology inside
• Intelligent Multi-Profile Sensor Management® for Different Environments
• HDTV Quality ( 720p @ 30fps)
• Removable IR-cut Filter /Auto Light Sensor for Day and Night
• Built-in 3G/4G module and SIM slot for Wireless Connectivity
• Two-way Audio/Built-in
• Micro SD/SDHC Memory Card Slot for Local Storage
• 1 DI/DO for External Alarm and Sensor Device
• IP67 Outdoor Enclosure Built-in Fan (-40°C ~ 60°C) and Heater
• Power over Ethernet

Overall this camera impresses with it’s slick menus, image quality and low light performance. You can set the camera up in various aspect ratios, the popular HDTV 16:9 format for 720P or the traditional PC format that gives you 1280 by 1024 pixels. Although they provide a free IOS app for your iPhone/iPad, you can access this camera using the Safari browser via an iPad just as well. If you have more than one camera, the IOS app allows you to look at multiple cameras and chose a single camera.

This is what the web interface looks like when you first log in

Brickcom WOB-130Np

From this screen you can adjust the focus and focal length, tweak the brightness and adjust mic and speaker volume. There are buttons to allow full screen, mute the mic, take a snapshot, pause/play, manually record, flip/mirror image, start/stop motion detection and more.

Click on Configuration takes you to the setup options. In this screen you can configure the two available streams.

Brickcom WOB-130Np

This is where you setup the camera options, for example WDR, auto iris, denoise levels, IR cut filter, IR leds, color or b&W. You do this for different profiles, for example a day profile, a night profile and dusk profile. For example, if you want the image in color at night but want the IR cut filter on, you can set this up, not very common for IP cameras. Most either let you chose between color during the day or b&W at night. There’s plenty of flexibility here to adjust the picture to your tastes.

Brickcom WOB-130Np

Some of you like the idea of having a surveillance system devoid of PC’s or NVRs. You want the camera to write directly to either internal storage like an SD card or to networked storage (NAS). This camera delivers on both fronts. Here’s the window where you specify the SAMBA settings to write to a Windows mount on your NAS. Worked very well with my Western Digital MyBook Live 1TB ($149). The video motion detection was spot on. Using Windows 7, I was able to open the network share folder, view snapshots of each video, double click on the snapshot and it played on Windows Media Player without any conversions as many cameras require you to do to share on other computers. This is definately a good way to go if you have a small number of cameras.

Brickcom WOB-130Np

Speaking of motion detection, this is where you setup as many as 3 zones for motion detection. I was surprised how well it handle motion detection, very on target, no surpises.

Brickcom WOB-130Np

The last thing I want to show you is the WiFi setup. I plugged in the antenna, about 10″ long (shown below) and it picked up every WiFi router within a one block radius. I normally see 2-3 of my neighbor’s routers when I search on my laptop at home, this picked up about 30 routers.

Brickcom WOB-130Np

Here’s a picture of the antenna. If you need wireless, this is the camera to get, seriously, nothing else even comes close. Also you can set this camera up with a cellular SIM for 3G/4G connectivity. If you have a remote location, like a construction site where there’s no internet access, this is the camera to get.

Brickcom WOB-130Np

Now onto the images, how well does this camera peform. I mounted the camera at the front of my garage, under the eave. With the varifocal lens starting at 2.8mm, it was perfect for viewing the entire front of my home. While at that wide of an angle, you can not ID someone across the street, it was very effective as people approached my front gate or driveway. As with my other reviews, click on the images below to see the full size image, straight from the camera.

Brickman WOB-130Np

This is the camera at it’s longest focal length at 10mm (about a 4X zoom controlled from the browser)

Brickman WOB-130Np

At night you have a choice of color or b&w with the IR filter off. I did not see any difference in noise or image quality between color and b&w, it’s purely a preference. I prefer color if it doesn’t degrade the image. I have noise reduction set to auto. The IR illuminators do a very good job of lighting up the area. There is some noise, but compared to other camera I’ve tried in the same location, it’s actually quite low but not perfect.

Brickman WOB-130Np

As a new feature of my reviews, he’s actual video captured by the camera. Use the max resolution youtube allows and go full screen to get the best effect.

Daytime Video
Nightime Video

The street price on this camera is in the $800-900 range which may seem high, but considering it’s unique features, it represents a good value. Those that don’t need wireless capabilities, you can save some money by buying the none wireless version (remove the W in the model number). But if you need wireless, for example you have large property and you want to put a camera where running ethernet is not practical, either because it exceeds the ethernet 100m length or it’s just physically not possible, this is your camera.

The pluses for this camera are;

• 1.3M and 720P HD quality at up to 30fps in an outdoor bullet camera
• SmartFocus® takes the drudgery out of focusing manually at the camera
• Nice wide practical varifocal range of 2.8mm to 10mm
• Excellent IR illuminators, good for the advertised range
• Wifi and built-in 3G/4G module and SIM slot for Wireless Connectivity
• Two-way audio built-in
• Micro SD/SDHC memory card slot for local storage
• 1 DI/DO for an external alarm sensor
• Power over Ethernet (PoE)

Recomended for those needing to protect their homes or business that need a high quality professional camera with low light capabilities. Highly recomended for those that need wireless connectivity, be it a simple WiFi or put in a remote construction site or vacation home for example where there may be no internet connectivity and cellular service can be quickly deployed.

The only shortfall of the camera is that I was expecting the autofocus and varifocal to act more like a zoom. This is not the case. The autofocus gets you fairly close, but you have to tweak it to get an optimal focus. While this is done at the comfort of your browser, it doesn’t have the accuracy or quickness of a typical PTZ speed dome but it’s not advertised as such and is certainly much better than standing on a ladder with a laptop in hand trying to manually focus the camera.

Spec sheets, manuals, overview are available here

This review is sponsored by Ray Cortes of Global Surveillance Systems. Good guy to buy cameras from. His email address is raymond@gssdvr.com and phone number is (703) 222-4666 x106

Global Surveillance Systems


21 Responses to “Brickcom WOB-130Np Review”

  1. 1 Wendy
    April 12, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    How does it perform in total darkness? I live in the country, no street lights (I love having total darkness).

    • April 12, 2012 at 9:06 pm

      The built in illuminators are actually quite bright and cast a wide enough pattern. I would say it’s pretty good up to about 40′ away easy. Even though the illuminators are rated for 15m, I actually found them to be brighter and wider than the ACTi illuminators in the TCM-1231 rated for 25m.

  2. April 12, 2012 at 8:18 pm

    Another great review–thanks! I have to ask my obligatory Mac question. You said you were able to use Safari, which is terrific. Did you test the two-way audio in Safari and their iOS app? If so, did it work?


    • April 12, 2012 at 8:43 pm

      Safari on my iPad to be specific. Did not test 2-way audio.

      • April 12, 2012 at 8:58 pm

        I see…. I’m sure audio didn’t work there, but did you try the iOS app by chance?

      • April 12, 2012 at 9:07 pm

        Yes, I tried the app, but the app is optimized for multiple cameras and didn’t fill the screen with a single camera like the browser did.

      • April 12, 2012 at 10:43 pm

        If you want to try it, I can give you remote access to the camera. Just email me your email address so I can send you the connect information at ipcamnetwork@buellwinkle.com.

      • April 14, 2012 at 9:53 pm

        Cheers to Buellwinkle for letting me test this out with a variety of Apple-related technologies.

        It appears the free Brickcom iOS app doesn’t support audio, but the ever-updated and versatile IP Cam Viewer (http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/ip-cam-viewer-pro/id402656416?mt=8) does support two way audio to this Brickcom camera.

        I didn’t have as much luck on the Mac side of things. Safari & Chrome don’t support audio in the browser and, after countless attempts to get streaming to Quicktime or VLC to work, I gave up. There’s a part of me that thinks it *might* work in Quicktime with some assistance with tech support from Brickcom, but certainly no guarantee.

        As a final note, the audio *does* work on the Mac when using the Surveillance Station software built into Synology NAS devices, although like all cameras in my testing, the audio via Surveillance Station was choppy and fairly annoying and certainly nothing you’d want to leave running in the background unless you enjoy water torture.

        In this test, IP Camera Viewer was the clear winner for users of Apple products.


  3. 9 Jon
    April 17, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Is it safe to assume the VD-130N (Vandal Proof Dome Camera) Would operate in a similar manner? Also, I noticed they have camera models which list PoE 802.3af and then they have models which say “High Power PoE”. Do you know if the high powered models require more than the standard PoE switch can supply?

    • April 17, 2012 at 4:02 pm

      They appear to have the same features and sensor, so the probability is high but I only had the bullet camera to review. Domes in general are exposed more and don’t have the insulation that bullets do so they have a fan/heater to function in the colder climates, even the Brickcom bullet I reviewed has has a heater/fan. If you are in So Cal, Hawaii, So Florida, you can use regular, 15W PoE, but if you are colder climates, you will need a seperate high power injector and they make various kinds. For example, we are reviewing an Axis Q60 and that requires a 72W injector. Some domes use 12V instead for the heater, so read the specs if you are in a cold climate. Their spec sheet shows that if you are using the camera above 32F, regular PoE is fine. If it’s lower, then you’ll need a 30W injector and they offer one, the POE30U but you can probably find a lower cost injector.

  4. 11 Giorgos
    April 20, 2012 at 7:02 am

    Hi I was looking for an ip camera to cover a pretty large area (outdors). I have at the moment an analog, that outputs h264@352×288 . I have a sample video with motion captured (a bird flying) at http://goo.gl/2GIe7. I am looking for a better resolution camera, preferrably PTZ, day/nught, not very expensive. 🙂 I know I am asking too much, but is there any recommendation as to where to look and what for? Thanks.

    • April 20, 2012 at 2:28 pm

      The best bargain in a HD PTZ is the Panasonic I reviewed recently. I’m close to wrapping a review on a really nice PTZ camera from Axis, the Q6035-E, lists for just under $5,000 with bracket. So it depends on your budget, but outdoor HD PTZ’s start in the Panasonic price range and go up from there. If you just need 180 degree coverage, consider at 180 hemispherical camera like the ACTi KCM-3911, it’s 4MP (double 1080P) and reasonably priced at about half the Pansonic PTZ. It’s indoor only at the moment, but day/night and they will be coming out with an outdoor version in a few months. 4MP is about 40X the resolution you have now.

  5. April 25, 2012 at 8:17 pm

    We have Below Camera On Stock and many Of Client In Middle East Use it .It is Perfect camera . Info tech middle East Provide Brickcom Products on Middle east . You can test it now !!! info@mecom.ws

  6. 14 clint
    June 18, 2012 at 10:56 pm

    What would be the deciding factor between this and the acti tcm 1231. I have no need for wireless or 3g. My reading led me to both.

    Ideally the camera will be mounted on a garage eve about 16ft up looking down a driveway.

    Is it a bad idea to mount the cameras right above or below a motion halogen flood light? It would be Convenient to use the existing mount plate.


    • June 18, 2012 at 11:04 pm

      Probably price. Brickcom does make a model without WiFi/3G that’s about $100 less expensive (just remove the W from the model number), albeit still several hundred more than the TCM-1231. I like the Brickcom camera, just not sure I like it enough to pay a few hundred dollars more than the competiting ACTi.

  7. July 26, 2012 at 3:19 am

    Just purchased the VD-130Np and, so far as I can tell, it doesn’t have built-in audio. Can you please confirm the WOB-130N had built-in audio or were you using an external mic and speaker?

    • July 26, 2012 at 3:44 pm

      I did test audio on the WOB-130Np and it worked fine. Having 2 way audio on cameras means the ability is there. Unless the spec’s say that there’s a mic and speaker it’s not going to have it built in. Also, check the specs to see if there’s a mic in or audio in. Mic in means there’s typically a jack where you can plug in a mic. If it’s audio in, you’ll need to wire in an amplified mic to the terminal block. These are available on eBay or online places that sell CCTV accessories. The cameras usually provide 12v to power the mic, check the manual. The amplified mic’s are fairly small, so in a dome, you may be able to put it all inside the some with a small hole to have the mic head go through or you can mount the mic closer to where the sound source is. Speakers for audio out are the same, there’s typically an audio out terminal block on most cameras, you attach the speaker wires to that and use an outdoor ready amplified speaker or attach to a PA system.

      The Brickcom is a little unusual in that it doesn’t use a terminal block, but an RJ45 connector, so you create a RJ45 plug with the wires going to the various external component like mic, speaker, external motion detector, alarm out.

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