Lifeshield Camera – Good But Limited

LifeShield Outdoor CameraOverview
LifeShield offers home security systems with video as an optional feature. The two top tier packages from DIRECTV come with one or two cameras. Homeowners can purchase cameras to add to an existing system if desired. Three types of camera models available are indoor, outdoor and home monitoring. LifeShield wireless cameras are proprietary and manufactured by the company exclusively for use in the LifeShield systems.  Learn how the camera works with the full system in our LifeShield system review.

Lifeshield Camera Advantages

  • Quality SystemThe Lifestyle home security systems have received good customer ratings for over a decade now. The over-all systems are simple to install, with easy console functionality and the video component integrates seamlessly with the rest of the unit.
  • Camera Design – The cameras are small, compact and are ready-to-use straight out of the box. They come with stands that make them easy to place and aim. Since they are wireless, you can easily change the location or area monitored based on changing needs or desires without buying another camera or wiring another area. Just unplug from one spot and plug in at the next spot.
  • Indoor/Outdoor Camera Options – Unlike many home security companies, Lifeshield has an outdoor model specially manufactured for use outdoors. The features and clarity are exactly the same as the indoor models.
  • Infrared – The cameras come with a solid-performing infrared feature. The picture clarity in low light areas or at night is crisp and allows for easy distinguishing of facial features or objects within camera range.
  • Installation and Setup – The cameras are plug-and-use types. Once synchronized with the console, the system will recognize the camera even when relocated to various locations on the premises. The setup directions give the owner specific instructions that are easy enough for just about any home or business owner to do by himself or herself.
  • App-Friendly – The free app available for IOS or Android operating systems allow easy viewing and access. Additional cameras will be automatically available once they are added to the console. The functionality of the app and quality is excellent and allows the user to personalize settings to a reasonable degree.

Camera Limitations

  • Resolution – The resolution is lower than many of the competition’s models. Only 640 x 480 is available. Many other companies offer 1280 x 800.
  • Requires A/C Power – The cameras require A/C power though there is a system battery backup. You are limited in where you can place the units by the length of the cord and location of the plug. This elevates the profile of the camera position too, which can be a security risk.
  • No Pan and Tilt or Zoom – The field of vision for the units is fixed. You also cannot zoom in or out, which is a nice function to have if an alarm is activated or suspicious activity noted during monitoring.
  • DVR Hard Drive Storage – The Advantage package only allows 250 MB or storage, and the Professional 1 GB of storage is provided. If you want to review something that happened several weeks or months ago, you cannot do so with the current Lifeshield offerings.
  • Pricing – If you opt for the Basics or Essentials package, you only get sensors and no camera. Only one camera comes with the third-tier Advantage package and only two with the top-of-the-line Professional package. You are almost certainly going to require several more if you want to have full perimeter or interior views.

Camera Packages

Two of Lifeshield’s four available packages come with cameras included:

Equipment #2 SecurityAdvantage #3 Security Professional
Wireless HD Camera 1 2
Video Storage 250 MB 1 GB
Door and Window Sensors 6 8
Security Touchpad
Base, Keypad, Keychain Remote
Motion Sensor
Fire-Safety Sensor
Whole-Home Fire Protection
24/7 Monitoring Services
Mobile App (IOS and Android
Price $39.99/month $49.99/month

The service package prices are based on a three-year commitment.

You have a choice of one, or two with the Professional package, types of cameras to choose from when signing up for the service.

Camera Overview

Lifeshield holds several patents for its technology including on the cameras. Each of the three types of cameras is compatible with all Lifeshield systems. They are wireless and use your home internet or cellular system to transmit the images. If you do not have a wireless system in your home or business, you can connect the cameras to the Internet using an Ethernet cable.

Lifeshield has the unique claim to using four rather than one or two like most competitors, systems for backup:

  • Broadband
  • Cellular
  • Landline Phone
  • Battery

This makes the system difficult to defeat.

The images are transmitted wirelessly to the console to the 24/7 monitoring center as well as to your PC, smartphone or laptop. The user can control the cameras through the console, app or the Security Touchpad. You can arm, disarm, change access codes, and view the current or past images using any of these devices.

Once you plug the cameras into an outlet and connect them through the console to the system, they will begin transmitting.

Privacy Button

Each camera has a privacy button that lets you temporarily suspend the video transmission if you are within the viewing angle of the lens and do not wish to be seen. There is a small button on the front of the camera by the lens. If you press it once, the green light on the button will light up. Pressing the button a second time will turn off the light and transmission will resume.

Reset Button

If the camera stops working or connecting to the console, resetting it will often resolve the problem. The reset button is located in a small, recessed hole on the bottom right side of the camera. The user inserts a paperclip, depresses the button, and keeps depressing and after about ten seconds the power LED light blinks three times. Once the LED flashes, this indicates that the reset was successful.

Wait thirty seconds, and then the camera can be reconnected to the system.

Model RC8221 Indoor Camera

The indoor camera is small and very light. The technical specifications are:

  • VGA resolution of 640 x 480 at 30 frames-per-second
  • MPEG-4 and M-JPEG
  • 11g wireless and wired 10/100 base-t Ethernet

Most users will want to attach the camera to the stand that comes with it. It attaches by just snapping it to the stand and locking it in place. The wireless antenna screws into the back of the camera unit.

Model RC811LS HomeView Camera

This model is the same as the RC8221 with just a slightly different look. This model is shaped more like a shield while the RC8221 is rectangular. It is primarily directed toward the home user who can be notified and view their children returning from school while they are at work. The setup and specifications are identical, and it also comes with a stand.

OC8110 Outdoor Security Camera

Lifeshield’s outdoor security camera has a more robust feel and look about it. The unit is about the same size as the indoor ones. It also requires an AC plug to operate, and if you have no wireless router, it will have to be directly connected to your system by Ethernet cable.

The unit is not considered weatherproof, and the user must locate it in a sheltered area outside, such as a porch or under a protected overhang.

Mounting the camera is not necessary. There is a mounting bracket that comes with it should someone wish to attach it to a wall, ceiling or bookcase.

Setup

The setup for each of the camera models is the same. Once you determine where you want to place the camera, you plug it into the nearest AC outlet. The green LED power light will come on indicating the camera is working. You then need to go to the console and add the camera to the system.

Adding to the Console

There are several steps necessary to connect the cameras. You should first go through the connecting steps required for the system to use the wireless network first including enabling the correct network type and password.

Once the wireless network is enabled, the Cameras should be turned on and added separately to preclude any possible confusion when labeling or adding to the console. The green LED light on the camera must be lit before you can add it to the system.

It is easiest to do this with an Ethernet cable connected directly to the camera. Once this is done, you can position the camera and then, if you have a wireless system, add the wireless system to your cameras. You do this by logging into the Lifeshield network website once the console setup is completed.

Once you have turned on the units and connected the Ethernet cable, on the console you must:

  1. Press MENU
  2. Scroll down to Cameras and press SELECT
  3. Enter your Master Code
  4. Scroll down to Add New, and press SELECT
  5. After the screen says, Use Auto Search, navigate to Yes and press SELECT
  6. The screen will say, Connect all Cameras to Power and Ethernet, then SELECT OK

It takes approximately two minutes for the console to find and connect the camera. Once it has, you will be prompted to name it.

This same procedure is used to add either one of the three models

Wireless Connection

Most users will want to use the system in conjunction with a home or office wireless system. To do so, you must login to the Lifeview monitoring site and select camera.

Once this is done the procedures are relatively easy:

  1. Select Edit
  2. Enter
    1. SSID or network name
    2. Type of wireless connection security
    3. Network password

Once the information is saved, wait two minutes and unplug, in order, first the camera power and then the Ethernet cable.

Wait another two minutes and then plug the power to the camera back on. Make sure the antenna is connected to the back of the camera. The systems should now be receiving your camera transmissions wirelessly.

About Lifeshield

Lifeshield began under the name Ingrid Inc. in 2004 by Louis Stilp. The company received several patents for its equipment. It became well known for the simplicity of setup and reliability of the components. In 2009, Mike Hagan, credited with making NutriSystem the successful company that it is today, left and became CEO. The name was changed to Lifeshield and operations expanded.

In 2013, Lifeshield was bought by DIRECTV to provide DIRECTV with an entry into the booming home security market. Lifeshield can no longer be purchased direct and must be purchased through DIRECTV.

Questions, Concerns or Comments

Please let us know if you have any questions or comments related to Lifeshield cameras or the Lifeshield system. If you have experience with using the cameras, please consider telling our readers and us about your experience.  You can also read about the LifeShield console.

Recommendation

The cameras are easy to use and suitable for the average home or small business. The setup only takes a few minutes and can be done by just about anyone. The portability and wireless capability makes the system a good choice for any home security video needs.

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