You may know Comcast as the cable & Internet company you love to hate, but there’s a fresh side to Comcast - Xfinity Home Security.
Xfinity Home Security uses high-quality equipment, including an indoor/outdoor home security camera. Want to get to know this camera? Let's do it.
- Indoor/Outdoor Camera
- Dust and Water Resistant
- Integrates with all Home Security Plans
- Low Resolution
- Lacks Geo Services
- Cannot Pan, Tilt, or Zoom
The Xfinity Home Camera
The Xfinity Home Camera plays a vital role in protecting homes monitored by Comcast Home Security. The camera is used for video verification during alerts and can also be used by you to verify alarm events or to check things out. But can the camera be trusted?
Sturdy Indoor/Outdoor Camera
Home Camera may not look like it, but it is a sturdy camera. It is compact and waterproof with an IP rating of 54. The first digit, 5, means that it is dust protected. Dust is not entirely prevented from entering the interior parts of the camera, but as long as the amount of dust isn’t crazy serious, the camera can handle it. The second digit, 4, is its resistance to water. This rating means that splashes of water against the case will not harm the camera. It is not resistant to water jets or water coming out of a nozzle nor is it resistant to complete submersion to water; it's simply resistant to splashing.
Even if the camera isn't ready for war, the Xfinity Home Camera can be used indoors or outdoors to protect and monitor any part of your home.
Wireless and Wired Connection
The Home Camera requires an internet connection as it is an IP camera, but it is flexible enough to allow both wired and wireless connection.
Both connections have unique advantages and disadvantages. If you choose to wire the camera, your router must have a 10/100 Base-T Ethernet port. You may want to have it professionally installed as installing wired cameras requires drilling holes and in most cases, Comcast requires professional installation. Their installation cost will vary depending upon the package you choose, but they start at $99.
Comcast sells a powerline device for $59.95 that is relevant to the camera. The powerline device, "creates a high-bandwidth Ethernet connection that utilizes your home's electrical wiring and can be used to connect your touchscreen controller and cameras to your router."
A Camera During The Day, Still A Camera At Night
The camera functions day and night. With the help of its dual image sensors, the Home Camera can provide a clear image for surveillance during the day. At night, it uses infrared illumination to see objects in the dark. This way, it is able to provide protection 24/7.
One major bummer is that its video quality is fairly low. It records at a VGA resolution (640x480) at 30fps. To put that into context, most indoor and outdoor cameras have an average resolution of 720p (HD) at the same frame rate. Most advanced security cameras have up to a 1080p resolution (Full HD) viewable at 30 to 60fps.
However, there’s a small silver lining. A lower resolution is easier on your bandwidth. Lower quality videos are easier to stream without taking up much of your data and if you have Comcast internet, you know they're picky about data.
When streaming, Home Camera uses Triple Streaming. This means that it can stream video using H.264 encryption, MPEG, or M-JPEG.
24/7 Cloud & Motion-Based Recording
Aside from streaming, Comcast has added cloud and motion-based recording to their lineup of features. This feature is available for Xfinity Home Secure customers for a fee of $9.95 per camera every month. For Xfinity Home Automation customers, this feature is already included and can be turned on in the camera settings found in the Xfinity Home app or through the web portal.
Users who sign up for this feature will be able to review ten days of recorded footage. Aside from that, they can also download and share 1-minute motion based clips captured by the camera.
This feature is available now in most of Comcast's major market cities, including Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, and others. Comcast plans to make this feature available nationwide in the months to come.
How Can I Get an Xfinity Home Camera?
Like the Home Camera? Want it? Home Camera is sold by Comcast for $129.95.
Xfinity’s cheapest monitoring package, Xfinity Home Secure 300 doesn’t include a camera, but if you purchase the camera in addition to the plan they will monitor it for you under Home Secure.
You can have 2 Home Cameras free if you sign up for the Xfinity Home Secure 350, which has all the features of Home Security 300 plus home automation, mobile access, and live remote viewing of the camera using a web-connected smartphone. In addition, subscribers get cloud video recording and can make rules using Xfinity’s web portal.
All users also have access to a free mobile app and X1 customers have access to an exclusive voice-controlled option through their televisions. Xfinity has added voice command to their X1 smart home platform. Using the X1 voice remote, you can say “Xfinity Home Cameras”, which will trigger live feeds on your television. You can also arm and disarm your system using your voice by saying “Xfinity Home Arm/Disarm.”
If you want home automation without security, Xfinity Home Control 150 is another option. New users are provided with a hub, a motion sensor, a door/window sensor, a lighting controller, and your choice of either the camera or an automated thermostat. With this package, you get the Enhance Video Monitoring feature, where you can store video clips, receive video alerts, and watch live videos directly to your web-enabled device. All of this for $19.95 per month with a 2-year agreement.
Keep in mind that you can always buy additional Home Cameras from Comcast.
xCam—Xfinity’s Latest Camera
Xfinity recently released xCam. Like the Home Camera, it has a weather-resistant seal so you can use it indoors or outdoors. However, it features a higher resolution (HD 720p). It also has a 109° field of view and can see in the dark using night vision IR LEDs. It doesn’t connect directly to your router’s Wi-Fi. Instead, a Wi-Fi signal is routed through your power source. That way, you can connect the camera to Wi-Fi even outside your router’s normal range.
The highlight of xCam is its ability to integrate with other devices, like sensors and lights. You can create automated response to certain situations. For example, you can set xCam to record when your motion sensor is triggered, or have your lights turn on when xCam detects motion. It integrates with third-party home automation devices as well, like Nest, Lutron, Chamberlain, and August Home.
Arlo, Comcast's Secret Weapon
Later this year, Comcast customers can add their own security camera - Netgear's Arlo. The Arlo is similar to Comcast's camera in that it can work inside or out. However, it's also different. The camera is 100% wireless, powered by battery and working off of your home's WiFi. Also, it includes 7 days of free cloud recording and 1 GB of cloud storage. Exactly how the camera will integrate with Xfinity Home remains to be seen. But one thing is for sure - it's exciting.
Is Xfinity Home Camera Worth It?
When it comes to security cameras, no recipe works for all, and whether it is worth it or not, only you can tell. However, there are factors you should consider outside of what the camera has to offer—who offers it?
Keep in mind that you can only have one Xfinity Home Camera if you are not subscribed to Xfinity Home Secure or Home Control plans.
With that said, almost all who decided to use Home Camera hired Comcast for home security or automation. If you want to go in this direction, I suggest you look up what kind of company Comcast is when it comes to security monitoring. There are both positive and negative reviews online which makes it difficult to wholeheartedly give Comcast a thumbs up.