Honeywell’s Total Connect service provides First Alert Professional remote management operations. This includes video management. You can install and access up to six cameras per system through Total Connect. The cameras are compatible with VISTA and LYNX panels.
First Alert Pro has three camera offerings, two indoor and one outdoor. Honeywell also has a video extender that will help ensure quality video stream even at a distance.
Users configure the cameras in virtually identical ways through the Total Connect Internet portal. Once configured, the homeowner can operate and direct each camera through the portal or the free Total Connect app for smartphones.
Total Connect Camera Setup
When you purchase a First Alert Professional system, you will be provided with online portal access. Once your cameras are installed and working through your keypad, you will need to go through a few steps to allow Total Connect access.
Total Connect requires QuickTime and Flash on your PC or laptop in order to configure your cameras. Once you have downloaded these free services, login to your account and click on “video.”
You will see thumbnail still photos from each camera that is part of your system. You will also see a signal strength indicator. You can then select, by merely checking or unchecking the box in the corner of each thumbnail, which camera will by your default home screen camera.
There is a default home setting for pan and tilt cameras that you change through the camera configuration window button. If you move the pan and tilt remotely, the camera will return to the default setting after 15 minutes of inactivity.
You can define times or motion events that will engage the camera on the configuration window.
Detection Area Feature
The camera configuration section has a unique feature call the detection area. This allows you to outline a defined area within the camera’s capture range. Once you do so, you can program the system to take a video clip or snapshot whenever motion is detected only in that particular field.
For example, you may have a camera installed in your home office. You want to know whenever anyone approaches your filing cabinet. You can set the system to activate just whenever someone approaches the cabinet.
Overview of Camera Types
Honeywell produces a large variety of wireless and wired cameras. You can connect any of their cameras to a security system. However, the company has designed three specifically for the First Alert Professional home security systems with Total Connect remote control.
The two indoor units are:
- iP Cam PT
- iP Cam WL
The iP PT Indoor has pan and tilt capability. The iP WL has a fixed, low light, lens.
The outdoor unit, iP Cam WL, only comes in fixed lens. You can extend the range of any of the cameras by purchasing a Honeywell WREX repeater-extender.
All the cameras allow you to customize the configurations through the online portal. This customization includes email and video notification settings that will send alerts or regular video capture to your smartphone or another mobile device such as a tablet. You can always active and view the cameras in real-time whenever you desire. Video archive footage is also viewable through remote means.
Each camera encrypts the wireless signal.
iPCAM-PT – Wired/Wireless Indoor IP Camera Pan/Tilt Ability
This compact pan and tilt is less than six inches long and less than four inches wide and weighs 1 ½ pounds. You can set it on a shelf, desk or any flat surface. The resolution is 640 x 480, with MPEG-4/M-JPEG dual-stream compression.
The pan range gives you 300° left and right viewing (100° in each direction). The tilt range is 90° up and 30° down.
The built-in motion sensor detects movement out to 15 feet with a 100° coverage area.
The camera plugs into any home AC outlet. There is a pushbutton privacy feature that turns off the video transmission and covers the lens.
iPCAM-WO – Wired/Wireless Color Outdoor IP Camera
This camera weighs 1.98 pounds and is slightly over four inches high and less than four inches long. The fixed lens has a focal view of 62° diagonally. The resolution supports 160 x 120, 320 x 240 and 640 x 480. The frame rate is 30 frames per second at all resolutions.
The image control functions allow you to adjust brightness, sharpness and put a time/date stamp and text overlay on pictures.
The motion sensor for this unit has a 60° coverage from 9.84 to 16.4 feet. All connections are waterproof. The operating temperature range is -10°F up to 113°F.
The infrared or IR lens has an IR LED to enhance viewing in low light conditions. There is also an automatic IR low-light sensor that will turn off or cut out the IR lens feature depending on the time of day and conditions. The IR viewing quality remains constant up to 25 feet.
iPCAM-WL – Wired/Wireless Indoor Low-Light IP Camera
Honeywell makes this camera for indoor areas where the lighting is poor. Its dimensions are 3-inches x 3-inches.
The IR LED provides a clear image in 0 lux conditions.
Image settings include flip, mirror, auto white balance, auto gain control as well as contrast, sharpness, and brightness.
Diagonal viewing angle is 61° with a 50° horizontal and 39° vertical.
The AC power supply plugs into any electrical socket.
WREX – Wi-Fi® Repeater Extender and WAP Plus Wireless Access Point
The best images and video transmission for the cameras may require a repeater extender and wireless access point.
The WAP Plus access point provides encrypted communication from the cameras to your home wireless server. It connects directly to a port on the router by Ethernet cable.
The Wi-Fi Repeater Extender ensures that no matter where you place the camera in your home it will seamlessly connect to your home Wi-Fi. The first time you set up your Total Connect service, check the signal strength indicator beneath the thumbnail images from the cameras. If there are fewer than two bars, the WREX likely will help improve the quality and prevent dropped image transmissions.
The WREX is compatible with 802.11n, 802.11g, and 802.11b wireless standards.
Honeywell has manufactured their video products with remote Total Connect service in mind. Using products from the same manufacturer, Honeywell, lets First Alert Professionals provide users with a higher level of quality in most cases.
The user-friendly interface on the Total Connect online portal makes it extremely easy to have video remote control functioning within minutes of activating the service. The intuitive settings on the configuration page allow users to customize the way in which they will use the cameras and view or receive the video.