As regular readers know, Daddy P works long and unsociable hours, meaning that Monkey and I are often home alone. I don’t mind being on my own overnight really, and it hadn’t really bothered me at all until the back-end of last year. In November, my neighbour a few doors down had an attempted burglary in the early hours. The only reason it was successful was because her husband had fallen asleep downstairs and the intruder disturbed him. It’s made me feel slightly less secure. So we’ve been setting up our 02 Home View package to give me a little peace of mind.
Daddy P comes home at all hours and I never hear him. He’s even had a shower in our en-suite at 3am before and I was totally oblivious. We’ve both been a little concerned that I wouldn’t have a clue if an unwanted visitor was entering the house whilst Daddy P was working.
O2 Home was launched recently with 3 different packages to help homes become smarter in the 21st century. You can decide between View, Comfort or Connect depending on your needs, and you can find out more about what’s included on the O2 Home website. The O2 Home View package fits our needs perfectly as it comes with a Smart Hub, Samsung wide view Camera, Panoramic view Camera, 1 x Contact Sensor and 1 x Motion Sensor.
I didn’t need to worry about setting up our 02 Home View package either as an engineer comes out to install and talk you through the package. Great for technophobes like myself.
We’d been given a 9-1 time slot and our engineer rang ahead of our appointment to make sure all was ok for his arrival. He arrived promptly at 9am and advised me that the whole process should be completed within 2 hours. As he synched the Smart Hub and devices, we talked about what I wanted from the O2 Home View package, and my ideas for placement of each of the devices. 20 minutes later and he was ready to place all of the equipment.
Our living room is at the back of our house, with access to the garden through patio doors. The room also has a side window facing out onto our driveway. The engineer suggested that the Panoramic View Camera would be ideal to place in the living room. It spans over an 86º angle of the room. Placing it by our TV, gave us coverage from the patio doors, and we’d also pick up anyone entering through the side door and coming into the living room from the hallway. Perfect.
The camera needs to be near a power socket but connects through wifi to the Smart Hub. It captures an image 10 metres away in a straight line and to 40 metres on the angle. The PIR (motion sensor) was mounted in the corner of the room, the engineer advised that as we have as cat, the sensitivity of the sensor could be changed if needed. The contact sensor was placed on the front door and door frame. Both this and the motion sensor were fixed with 3M double-sided tape, so no drilling required at all. The wide view camera has been placed on a table in our hallway upstairs (again this needs to be plugged in), giving us a view of the landing, and anyone coming up the stairs or entering the house from the back bedrooms or landing window. Both cameras have an integral motion sensor too.
The installation was complete and painless. Now to learn how to use the O2 Home View package. My account was created on my laptop and there is also a free app for phones. Looking at the dashboard, it’s possible to rename each device to personalise them, I just decided to use their locations.
You can decide how long you would want each camera to record for and on which area of their focus.
You can create your own programmes within the dashboard for different scenarios. How easy would it be to do myself? The engineer talked me through a few ideas and we tested them out until we both felt confident that I knew what I was doing.
For example, I’ve set up a programme to text Daddy P if anyone opens our front door, or triggers the PIR between midnight and 4am every day. Not only will he receive a text, but you can also set it to send emails. I’ve set this programme up to also record camera footage in the living room and the landing upstairs. You can also programme snapshots to be taken. All the video/snapshot footage can be viewed on the laptop or phone, and we will be setting Daddy P up as a user so he can also view the dashboard from his desk at work.
We’re away in a couple of weeks and setting up our 02 Home View package, means we can keep an eye on the house when we’re away. By accessing the dashboard we can also retrieve live feed from the cameras how cool is that! This techno dinosaur has been rather amazed so far by the system’s ability and how easy it is to use.
Over the next month I’ll be trying out a few different programme ideas, and tweaking them so we can get the most out of the system. I’ll be reporting back to you after our holiday with my thoughts and experiences.
It costs £30 a month for the O2 Home View package we have, with no upfront payments. This included the kit I’ve shown in the post, and installation. You also receive an annual health check on the equipment, for added assurance. If there’s an issue which can’t be resolved remotely through the UK-based customer service team, then a free engineers visit will be arranged. The package also includes 30 days of video storage with all cameras (250Mb of free, secure cloud storage – enough to capture ten 15-second video clips and 250 snapshots per day for a month) and 24 month device warranty. It’s possible to have ten free account profiles so family members can all have access to the system.
To find out more about the O2 Home View package as well as the Comfort and Connect packages, pop over to the O2 Home website.
I have to say that my first impressions have been good ones. Even Daddy P has been impressed with the clarity of the pictures, day and night on our tests. If I can use the system easily, then anyone can really.
disclosure: we have been given the O2 Home View package for a 12 month period in exchange for our thoughts over the next month. My comments will always remain my own honest opinions.