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D-Link Omna 180 Cam HD review

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Wi-Fi security cameras are becoming more of a fixture in smart homes thanks to integrations with Amazon Alexa, SmartThings, and even IFTTT. But D-Link’s Omna 180 Cam HD ($150) is the first camera certified to work with Apple’s HomeKit platform. That makes this camera a slam-dunk purchase for some users, but a more difficult sell for others.

Given its alliance with Apple, it’s not surprising the Omna is long on looks. Its silver body recalls the anodized aluminum finish of many Apple products, and its sleek, cylindrical form evokes that company’s attention to design. That it’s too big to hide in plain sight probably won’t bother you because this camera has enough style to blend seamlessly with most modern decor.

The “180” in the name denotes the camera’s 180-degree wide-angle lens, which captures video in full HD (1080p) resolution. It features motion detection with alerts, two-way communication, and night vision. All recorded video is saved locally to a microSD card—up to 128GB, not included—that slots in on the bottom of the camera. That means you don’t have to worry about the security of storing video clips on a cloud server, but also that an intruder could cover their tracks by just taking the card or your camera.

dsh c310 side left D-Link

The HomeKit-enabled Omna’s silver finish evokes many Apple products.

Setup and usage

The Omna supports both iOS and Android platforms, but given that its unique selling point is its HomeKit integration, I used the latter.

The HomeKit capability greatly simplifies its setup. There are no stubborn QR codes to scan or passwords to enter. There’s not even a registration requirement if you have an Apple Home Hub set up, such as an Apple TV or a Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Bridge Pro if you don’t, though, you’ll need to create an Omna account to view the camera’s feed remotely). I just had to select “Add Accessory”  in the app. Within seconds it recognized the camera and prompted me to scan the HomeKit code and assign the Omna to a room. Once the process was completed, the Omna was added both to the Omna app and the Apple Home app, where it shows up as two separate accessories—the camera and the motion sensor.

There are no hinges on the Omna to pan or tilt the camera for different viewing angles, but it doesn’t need any. The 180-degree field-of-view was enough to take in the entirety of my living room without me fussing with its positioning at all. The image was exceptionally sharp with even lighting and rich, accurate colors. There was slight bit of bending at the sides of the frame but that’s to be expected with such a wide-angle lens.

img 0118 Michael Ansaldo/IDG

The Omna appears in Apple’s Home app as two separate accessories—the camera and the motion sensor.

Although you can access the camera’s live feed from either the Apple Home app or the Omna companion app, you can only view recorded video and access the camera’s controls and settings through the latter. The Omna app displays all your active Omna cameras on its home screen. Tapping on a camera’s image takes you to its feed and controls for the camera’s mic and speaker, on-demand video recording, and taking screenshots.

Tapping an up-arrow on the home screen opens a radial display of all your connected HomeKit appliances, including the Omna. When the camera is selected, it displays buttons for accessing recorded video clips on the microSD card, opening the camera’s settings, or returning to the live feed.





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