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There are two fundamental issues with the Netatmo CCTV system. The first is a common one amongst similar products, the cameras are very wide angle. At first glance wide angle cameras seem like a good idea because they cover a large area. The problem is wide angle cameras spread the pixels apart rapidly as you move away meaning you soon end up as a small blob in the middle of the screen and no detail is captured.

In the case of Netatmo the camera has a 100º angle of view lens and they claim a “range” of 20m. Given the recording resolution of “up to” HD 1080P this is farcical.

At 1080P resolution you can identify someone filming a width of up to about 8m. This gives around 1,300 pixels in a 20cm by 20cm area, roughly the size of someones head. At 20 metres from the Netatmo camera you would only have around 30 pixels within that area. To achieve the same 1,300 pixel density you would would need to be standing just 3 metres away not 20m.

If you are going to fit CCTV it is critical that you can identify people otherwise what’s the point? Netatmo do talk about a zoom function but that is merely electronic zoom not optical zoom, you are zooming in on pixels to create a more grainy image rather than getting extra detail. Our optical zoom cameras allow you to concentrate pixels on your chosen area increasing detail capture.

The second issue with Netatmo’s system is that it only records on motion. Again at first glance that sounds like a pretty sensible idea but sometimes the gaps are just as important as the “activity”. Imagine you are expecting a delivery of something ordered off the internet. You arrive home only to find it’s not sitting in your porch as instructed so call the delivery company who claim it was delivered at 1.30pm. You protest that your motion only CCTV system didn’t record anything, they say should have a better system because they definitely delivered it and there isn’t much you can do. With a system recording 24/7 you know the item was never delivered because you have footage covering the entire time with no sign of a delivery driver. The ball is then firmly in the delivery company’s court to resolve things.

Hard drive technology has evolved to the point where 2-3 weeks rolling footage of all cameras on your CCTV system should be the norm and isn’t unduly expensive. The problem is Netatmo don’t use hard drives, they use small SD cards in the cameras which have a very limited capacity. This means 24/7 recording is not an option whereas it is the norm with our CCCTV systems.

The Netatmo Presence camera system is designed to replace an existing light fitting and involves dealing with mains 240 volts which is potentially lethal. All our systems are based around safe low 12 volt power which is not dangerous and compatible with DIY installation.

The Netatmo CCTV system is designed to record audio as well as video. The UK has very strict guidelines for recording audio. The Information Commissioner’s Office states that Surveillance systems should not normally be used to record conversations between members of the public as this is highly intrusive and unlikely to be justified. GDPR regulations are similarly worded. Failure to comply with the relevant regulations can end up with a significant fine being levied.

There is an option to use cloud based storage on the Netatmo systems but realistically you couldn’t record multiple cameras 24/7 and there are going to be ongoing monthly storage costs for any sensible amount of footage. To replicate a 2TB hard drive in cloud based storage is likely to cost around £35-45 per month, circa £500 per year every year for as long as you want to keep using your system. There are no monthly costs when using our hard drive based CCTV systems. You also won’t lose footage when the internet goes down, a phone line is cut or your network decides it’s going to throw a temper tantrum.

Anything that has wireless and high definition video in the same sentence is generally trouble. We are limited to extremely low power unlicensed transmission in the UK. Throwing in a couple of walls, some interference and a bit of distance means you might find yourself struggling. Then you suffer general network connectivity issues. An IP conflict, a router re-set or firmware update, even. dare we say it, user error. The fact is that while it may be a bit of a pain to set up initially cable connection is simple, reliable and future proof. Do it once and it’s there for ever.

As a credible CCTV solution we think Netatmo has too many shortcomings particularly if detail capture over 3m is required.

Feel free to give us a call or email to discuss your particular needs. Our advice is free and we can email over a suggestion for best equipment and camera locations.