Pros picture quality, sound, ease of use, and ease of setup, WIFI
Cons unit is a little long, stand is a lil flimsy, no answer button on the actual unit itself.
Summary I recently received this item and couldnt wait to try this out. Setup was a breeze, and once the unit powered on, it guided you through step by step. On initial setup, the unit froze up on me when trying to update. I powered off and on the unit and didnt have any more issues on configuration. At first glance i thought i had to plug it in via ethernet cord, but to my suprise, the TV Cam came with a built in adaptor. Definitely a plus.
Once i signed into my Skype account and tested the unit by having a video chat with one of my friends. He stated that he could see me much more clear due to the 720P camera. He was also able to hear me clearly with the built in microphones. I wanted to see what would happen if i had my tv on a different input and had my same friend call me, So when i switched the input i noticed that i wasnt getting any sound on my dish tv thats connected to a Logitech Revue. Easy fix was to reboot the Revue and everything started working fine again. I had my friend call me now when the input was changed and the ringer on the unit was great, My only gripe was that if it rings, you have to click the ok on the remote in order to answer it or set it as auto answer calls, which i did not want to do. So basically if you momentarily dont have the remote with you, you wouldnt be able to answer. Wish they implemented an answer button on the unit itself.
All in all i would definitely recommend this to anyone who uses Skype quite a bit. Picture quality is great, audio quality was great. Unit is a little on the long size but not a deal breaker. Great product Logitech, now i dont have to be on my computer or cell phone in order to Skype with people.
Pros Really easy to use
Even easier to set up
Some nice convenient features like a missed call indicator
Works on both wired and wireless networks
Works as a room monitor, without a display
Cons Skype software is not full featured
No on/off switch
Some limitations to using the camera when compared to the C910.
Too many limitations to managing the missed calls list.
Summary In full disclosure, I got the Logitech TV cam HD free as a review unit so some may see my review as biased but I'll try to be as impartial as possible in my review.
I really liked this unit as an easy one-stop device for Skype video and audio calling. It's really user friendly with easy set up so that a nontechy can put it together and get started. The camera image is pretty good and the built in microphone is acceptable. I compared the image quality to my HD Pro webcam C910 and found it comparable. The C910 though is used with software driver on a computer so it has a larger set of options than the TV Cam. Because of it's ease of use and utility, I gave a rating of 8 on a scale of 10.
Ease of set up and ease of use. The ability to use it without a computer is awesome. Just hook it up to an HDMI device that has a speaker, a router or switch, and a power source and you're set to go. The set up of the Skype application was very easy and got online within 10 minutes of opening the box.
This unit works on both wired and wireless networks which is really nice. It automatically detects he network and selects it. An interesting feature/bug is that you can't have a wireless connection when you've got the camera plugged in to an active wired network. The user interface won't attempt to detect the wireless network if attached to a wired connection.
Since it works wirelessly, this camera is very easily used as a security/baby monitor. It doesn't have to be connected to a display to work so you can set the Skype account to automatically accept calls and you can call it using a mobile phone, tablet, computer, etc.. to see what the camera sees and hears: Very cool.
The camera has a built in speaker for a ringer which is really convenient if you want to turn off the display or if it goes to sleep. You're alerted to the incoming call and all you have to do is hit the select button on the remote and you answer the call. You just won't know who the caller is though since the display is off. The ring tone is that of an old fashioned metal phone ringer. If you don't like it, you're sort of out of luck since there isn't the option to select a different ring tone.
The device has a really cool feature in that when you miss a call, a mail icon is lit on it so that even though the display or tv is sleeping or is off, you can see that you missed a call. Very cool idea.
As is often the case, making things easy to use often results in limits to features.
I'll categorize my negative findings as those that I find critical, significant, and annoyances that I can live with.
There's no on/off switch. The unit stays on or you have to unplug it from the power source. In these days of going "green", one would think you could turn the device off as you wish. I really don't understand the movement for not being able to switch off powered devices. My Roku device has the same issue, and maybe I'm old fashioned but this drives me crazy.
The Left/Right and Up/Down panning didn't work using the remote control. When I try to pan the camera in any of the four directions within the video settings so that I can set the video field for Skype, the camera won't pan in these directions. Zoom In and Zoom Out work fine but on my unit, L/R and U/D don't work most of the time. I did get it to work once or twice but pointing the remote at the device differently didn't change the camera's response. I'm not sure what I did the one time it did work. I can see the light coming out of the remote on the video image though so I know it's not the remote. I would suggest that in a future version of the software, that there be an indicator on the screen that shows when the zoom and panning is occurring. Right now, all you see is the image changing, so when you don't see the image changing, you don't know if it's the remote, or if it's the device, or something else. At least with some sort of indicator, one would see that the device is detecting the remote but is not responding for some reason.
After talking to Logitech, I learned that since the camera doesn't have a way to mechanically pan in different directions, if you're not zoomed into an image, you can't pan left or right. The panning is only available within the image range of the lens.
Using the device with Wifi seemed to degrade the video performance. I'm using an 802.11AC router so throughput from the device to the router shouldn't be the cause of the stuttering I saw in the video calls. I didn't see any way to determine the connection speed of the device so I couldn't troubleshoot why the video quality was worse. Furthermore, when I used the wired connection on the camera, it was a wired connection to a wireless bridge. This connection produced a much better video performance.
I'm not sure whether it's for ease of use or if it's due to memory constraints but the Skype software that is integrated into the camera unit does not have all the features found on the desktop software. The significant omissions are the ability to send and receive SMS, and picture messages. There's no way t even know that someone has sent one to you with the current software so that you can get on a computer and see it later. I found that kind of a problem since I often get texts while I'm away from Skype within Skype; usually from those out of the US.
The C910 software comes with some features that are controlled by driver software installed on the computer like auto focus, auto gain, etc. Since the software on the device is limited, many of these features are missing.
The integrated speaker on the device is for the ringer only. It won't transmit the audio of the connection. This is significant because if the display or speakers connected to the display is off, there's no way to answer the call and determine who is calling, or to tell the caller to wait a minute until the video comes up. You can answer the call by hitting the select button on the remote before the display fully comes up so that you don't lose the caller but you won't know who it is until it does come up. It would be nice to answer the call when I hear the ringer and to be able to at least have a voice conversation with the person so that I can tell them to wait a minute for the display to come up.
The Skype software retains a list of missed calls and lights up an indicator on the physical unit when they come in. This is kind of nice as I noted above. The management of the call list however is kind of clumsy. You can't remove individual calls from the list, you can only remove the entire list. In addition, if that list is long, the only way to clear them is to scroll all the way through the bottom of the list to the "clear list" selection below. Kind of a pain if you've let that list get kind of long before you delete it.
Furthermore, the software indicates how many calls you missed at a glance with a small dot with the number of missed calls on a tab on the left of the screen but the individual calls are not marked in any way. It's kind of like the indicator Apple uses on the iPhone that shows how many emails you have unread, except on the iPhone, each individual email is marked as unread too. The way you remove this indicator is to review the caller profile of one of the missed callers from this page. The problem is that the total number of missed calls disappears when you select any one of the unanswered calls. So let's say you left several missed calls on the list and you've cleared the missed calls number during your last session. Then say you missed 7 calls while away from the tv. When you get back to the tv, you notice that you've missed 7 calls, and you scroll down the list to see who called. First, you have to count down the list to see which 7 call you actually missed since the last session since the individual calls are not marked. In addition, If you happen to look at the profile of one of the callers to call them back, you lose the number of calls that went unanswered. Again not a back breaker but really annoying and possibly a significant issue if you rely on Skype for important calls.
Can live with:
When I ran the Skype video test call, I have trouble with the system detecting my voice. It ran fine with the audio test call but while running the video test call When I used the video calling on Skype, the audio quality was just as good as when I used my C910 camera so it was acceptable. I'm not sure why the Skype test call didn't work well.
So overall I like this device and would suggest it t anyone that is not technically oriented. Several issues might need to be resolved however before it becomes a huge success.
Pros Easy to set up. Easy to use. Picture & sound quality were great.
Cons Have not experienced any. Maybe having to sign up for a Skype account if you do not already have one.
Summary This TV cam is great. Set up only took 15 minutes. It enables everybody to see and be seen when done on the big screen TV. Picture, sound, ease of use, and overall quality are great! Would recommend to anyone looking to stay connected to friends & family visually in addition to just hearing their voices. Will be great for holidays for when we are not with the entire family.