17
Oct
12

Monitoring Cameras on your TV – UG802 Mini PC Review

The amount of surveillance cameras being used in homes is rapidly growing. One feature that people have asked me about is how do I watch my cameras from a TV. The scenario is that it’s late at night, you are in bed,  you hear a noise in the house or outside, you want to quickly see what’s going on. You turn the TV on, change the input to where the cameras are and you now have a view of all the cameras without having to leave your bed.

People have solved this in many ways by using a small PC, by using an XBOX running media center, but those are large boxes, cost several hundreds of dollars, and running a browser may be too complex. Basically, all I want to do is turn a TV on and change inputs and have my cameras take up the entire screen and I want to do it for the lowest possible cost.

Recently announced is the UG802 Mini PC. This device is very small, plugs directly into the HMDI port on the back of your TV and is power via USB. It’s also very fast with its Dual Core processor, comparable to modern-day Android tablets like a Kindle Fire. It runs the popular Android 4.0 Ice Cream Sandwich operating system and costs about $60.

This is what comes in the box. The UG802 Mini PC, a short HDMI cable, a USB cable and a power supply.

UG802 Mini PC

Basically you plug it into a HDMI port on the back of your TV using the short cable. You then plug a mouse into the USB port (you can use a hardwire or wireless mouse) and you plug the USB cable to a USB port on your TV if you have one. I did not so I plug it into the included power supply.

When you first power it on, you’ll see this screen with some large buttons

UG802 Mini PC

The first thing you’ll want to do is go into “Setting” and configure you WiFi. Then after that, go into Apps. Here you will see that you can go into the Google Playstore just like most Android devices. Think of this as a giant tablet but instead of a touch screen, you have a mouse. The mouse works by clicking on objects just like you would tap on a phone or tablet. Right click takes you back a level and scrolling is done via the mouse scroll wheel. You can get wireless keyboard/mouse, but I find just the mouse works great. When you need to type, click in a text box and it will bring up a keyboard where you click on the letter/numbers. Worked pretty well for the few times you need to type.

I installed two apps, Netflix and IP Cam Viewer. I could not find IP Cam Viewer, so I downloaded the APK file from the internet, put it on an SD card and put in the UG802 (it has a micro SD card slot on the side). Then I ran the ApkInstaller to install it from the SD card. Netflix was easier as it found it in the Google Play Store (formerly Google Market). I chose the free version of IP Cam Viewer, so you’ll see advertising links. The “Pro” version is $3.99.

UG802 Mini PC Review

I like IP Cam Viewer because it supports just about any camera imaginable including Axis, AVTech, Dahua, ACTi cameras I’ve tested it with. The first thing is you click on lower part of the screen to bring up the Android menu and then click on the vertical three dots to bring up the application menu. This is what it looks like and along the bottom are button for settings and more importantly, “Manage Cameras”

UG802 Mini PC Review

Clicking on “Manage Cameras” brings up a screen showing all the cameras you have. Clicking on the large + sign button brings you to this screen where you can add a camera. You give it a name, select the make from a drop down that provide an endless choice, then the model if there’s model specific drivers. Then the usual ip address, rtsp port, username and password. You can click the “Test” button to show a snapshot to make sure your setting are correct and then click “Save” to save the camera configuration.

UG802 Mini PC Review

Overall, pretty simple to use and has been reliable over a few days, no software or hardware issues. WiFI reception is good (the router is one room one wall away from the TV). The device is tiny, tucks in behind the TV without any problems. You can leave the app running 24/7 and use your TV remote to quickly change HDMI inputs to view the camera on the TV. I would recommend a wireless mouse so you can control the app remotely. There are remote control looking devices that work like mice and use arrows or gyro controlled to give it a more familiar feel.

This is how the screen typically looks when watching 4 of my cameras. This represents cameras from AVTech, ACTi and Dahua.

UG802 Mini PC Review

The other advantage of this device is you can run just about any Android app, including a web browser (I recommend Dolphin), Angry Birds, Netflix and others. I installed Netflix as I want to be able to watch movies on this TV. It worked really well. When I logged in to Netflix, it instantly came up and when I say instantly, faster than a Roku, faster than a Tivo, and even faster than the Netflix app on one of my TVs. Scrolling is done with the scroll wheel on the mouse. Click on a movie and it starts playing. Doesn’t get much simpler.

UG802 Mini PC Review

Here’s what it looks like when it first starts playing a movie, in this case, my favorite, Family Guy. The Netflix controls disappear after a few seconds.

UG802 Mini PC Review

I would recommend this for anyone that wants to watch their cameras on any TV in their house. I would imagine that like any WiFI device, if the TV is far from your router, you may have WiFi issues. The simplest solution is get a WiFi repeater. Some have gone through great lengths to try to improve the reception but reality is that shoving this behind your TV and having a router that’s 2-3 rooms away is not going to give you the best reception. So you use common sense when using WiFi. Earlier versions did have WiFi issue, the one I have works great.

So now you want one and you want it now. The best place to buy it is in China. I’ve seen an occasional eBay auction but people want too much money for this. The place I bought it from and has the best price is In4Dealz in China. It’s currently $60 and shipping took about 2 weeks, part of that was because I ordered it during a Chinese holiday. Click HERE to go to their website. I’m not promoting their site, just offering it as one place you can buy it from. I got a black one as my goal is to hide it but it does come in a few different colors.

The IP Cam Viewer APK file can be found by Googling for it. There are ways to hack this device and make the Play Store show every single app, but I wanted to keep this review simple and use this device as it comes out of the box. If you are interested in rooting the device, click HERE to find out how.

Lastly, for those that use BlueIris software. You can setup IP Cam Viewer to show a cameras setup in BlueIris but I find that it works best directly configuring each camera. You can always use a browser to view your cameras directly from BlueIris. It’s not IE, so some NVR software will not work this way, but BlueIris will.

 

 

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69 Comments on "Monitoring Cameras on your TV – UG802 Mini PC Review"

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elizabeth lopez
elizabeth lopez
3 months 25 days ago

I have an Ap Camera and i use my phone to view my camera but i dont want to use my phone each time I want to be able to view it all the time on a tv or computer monitor what can I use or do to be able to see the camera all the time beside my phone.

Stuart
Stuart
5 months 27 days ago

I know on my phone for the ip cam viewer or the Qt Qsee app to work when I’m at home I have to turn the phone’s wifi off. So will the ug802 work if it’s within the same network as the camera system ? Thanks

Gjohal
Gjohal
11 months 29 days ago

Is this still the best option? Sorry the post is quite dated and not sure if an even better setup is available?

Gjohal
Gjohal
11 months 29 days ago

Is this still the best option to achieve this? Sorry noticed the post is dated and not sure if an even better solution exists?

short url
1 year 7 months ago

Stunning quest there. What happened after? Good luck!

my weblog short url

Tim
Tim
1 year 9 months ago
I have a question / situation that is close to what is being discussed here and would like some advice… In my basement, I have the ability to watch my 16 security cameras on multiple Displays/Projectors. I do this using the HDMI output of my security system through a multi-channel repeater. But, what I want to do next is have one dedicated camera on the ground level of the house that is looking at fixed view, which is directly above the location of my 125″ projector screen in the basement, and the intent is to make the basement screen look like a “window” with real time video being projected. I don’t want to have this traffic on my network (I have my security system on separate switches from my main system), so I’d just like to have an HD PoE camera connected to a Raspberry Pi or other small PC via the ethernet directly (not on my network at all) and see the video in full resolution, no text printed on it etc. I do have Raspberry Pi laying around, but any pointers on how to do the point to point ethernet and what software to try to load on… Read more »
big screen touch screen cheap laptop

Oh my goodness! Amazing article dude! Many thanks, However I am going through problems with your RSS.
I don’t know the reason why I cannot subscribe to it.
Is there anybody else having similar RSS problems?
Anybody who knows the solution will you kindly respond? Thanx!!

deejaa
deejaa
1 year 11 months ago

Thanks for the tip!

I would recomend the ” MINIX NEO X8-H Plus ”

http://www.minix.com.hk/News/14112518052339.html

Bryan
Bryan
3 years 1 month ago

I can’t seem to get any camera running smoothly on my android stick or on the ip cam viewer app on my phone (Galaxy s4). I’ve got a 1080p dahua, and 2 costco swann bullet cams along with a 3mp hikvision but all of them are choppy and dropping frames when viewed on mobile devices, tried it on ipad, android smartphone and android TV stick using the rtsp stream path.

I think I even tried a substream on one of the cameras at a lower resolution and frame rate but that didn’t help. Maybe I’ll give that a try again. They are also all plugged into a Netgear ProSafe GS110TP switch

I have 2 different mac computers that they run fine on (using securityspy) but I don’t know what is going wrong on the other devices. Is it not possible to get fluid video on a less powerful devices?

Scott Walker
Scott Walker
3 years 2 months ago

Wow! I never knew such a thing existed. THANKS for sharing this with us!! Just placed my order and it was on sale for the next 3 hours for $47+Change!! Now I can’t wait to receive this thing.

Chris
Chris
3 years 3 months ago

Hi,

I have heed your advice to go ahead and purchase a mini pc. However, I would like to check with you that with IP cam viewer, are we able to view DVR and CAMERA from CHINA with unknown brands?

Cause I have downloaded IP cam viewer and it works with my AVTECH DVR and Cameras. However, the new set up I am about to establish uses china made dvr and cams which I would be hooking up with newly purchased mini pc.

Thank in advance!!

ChrisM
ChrisM
3 years 8 months ago

I do this with a “Raspberry Pi”. It has an HDMI output and is incredibly cheap. It has just enough horsepower for my needs – I basically have it leaving an browser connection open to my NVR in full screen mode, this is replicated throughout the house via my HDMI matrix/distribution system. I have it modulating a TV signal too for a few old TV sets we have that don’t have HDMI. They are so cheap I have several doing different tasks like this.

Luis R. Fitch
Luis R. Fitch
3 years 8 months ago

I’m sorry, I was still on the subject of the DropCam!

Luis R. Fitch
Luis R. Fitch
3 years 9 months ago

Actually, as you stated in your first reply, their website says that it has 720 resolution, but the video they show doesn’t look like 720 and several reviews mention that the video is decent, but not 720 quality!

Dexterash
3 years 10 months ago

You could also try the Axxon Software

Norbert
Norbert
3 years 10 months ago

What NVR software do you use/recommend?

Dirkdaring
3 years 10 months ago

A poster above was looking for one with ethernet, here you go:

http://www.amazon.com/Computer-Dual-core-Android-RK3066-ownshop/dp/B009PJ3AZ4/ref=pd_cp_e_1

Mini Computer,1080P Dual-core Android 4.1 TV Box MK808 Mini PC RK3066 1GB DRR3+8GB Nand Flash Black By ownshop

– Networking:WiFi 802.11b/g/n 10/100Mbps With internal Antenna
– Graphics Type:Quad Core Mali400, Supports 1080P video (1920*1080)
– Gaming:Built-in 3D Accelerator. Supports 3D gaming with it’s powerful Mali400 GPU
– Includes Android Market Google Play

Bryan
Bryan
3 years 11 months ago

Are you noticing a delay when viewing through IP cam viewer? I’ve got my Dahua mini dome showing on it but there is like a 2-5 second delay. If I view the same camera with iDmss lite on my ipad there is substantially less delay.

I haven’t really messed with any of the camera settings yet, not sure if that will help.

David Gu
David Gu
3 years 11 months ago

I really enjoy reading your reviews. I have a question on how to monitor an IP camera when you install/mount it and you are high on a ladder? I suppose that I may use WiFi stuff with a tablet. But is there any easier ways? Thanks!

Dexterash
3 years 11 months ago

Haven’t checked the price when i gave the link – was as a reference.

Anyway, from the MAC shown on youtube, it’s a realtek

kouroubel
kouroubel
3 years 11 months ago

Any recommendations with an ethernet port?

Ray
Ray
3 years 9 months ago

For those looking for this device, but with a wired ethernet port, I found the model UG008 for about $60 or so. Here’s a link to a site that describes it: http://liliputing.com/2013/03/ug008-dual-core-android-mini-pc-with-ethernet-wifi.html

This is what I want for my setup, since I have a 2nd dedicated wired ethernet port in each room with tv’s. This will allow me to monitor cameras at any time without having to go through the main network.

Bryan
Bryan
3 years 9 months ago

Nice find. Good idea…. How do you manage to get the cameras over ethernet though? Do you mean by accessing the cameras over the wired internet? I guess there is no way to actually be wired directly to an NVR or switch to view the cameras?

Ray
Ray
3 years 9 months ago

For the model I linked to, it offers a wired ethernet port as well as wifi. If you can run an RJ45 from the NVR/PC to the device, you can avoid using your home network and wifi connection. Since I have an extra port in each room, I am going to connect the Zyxel POE switch directly via RJ45 to the 2 rooms I want to monitor from that are away from the PC in my office. That way, I will have 3 locations to use – the main PC that acts as NVR in my home office, plus the 2 rooms upstairs where I have large TV’s. I can simply switch inputs on the TV to see the Android device showing the cameras via the IP view app which will run all the time. Hope that makes sense. My intention was to be able to monitor and not jam my wifi or normal internet connection with heavy traffic from the cameras.

mini hdmi
4 years 10 days ago

Thank you,
The information you have shared is very informative.

BigDaddyMoe
BigDaddyMoe
4 years 13 days ago
bigb
bigb
4 years 29 days ago

Anyone try this with Apple TV?

Mythed
Mythed
4 years 1 month ago

Dexterash,
I think I used irexec and/or irxevent, and xdotool, lirc. Used both a mceusb dogbome remote and a snapstream. FWIW, the wow factor was way up there to guests – push a remote button, instantly view outside.

Dexterash
4 years 1 month ago

I would recommend getting a version with an IR remote control (or IR receiver), add some software with macros so you can control the software for viewing the cameras too, without using an aditional mouse or a keyboard.

Mythed
Mythed
4 years 2 months ago

Another way is to use a mythtv distro and have firefox or other browser auto-start to homepage set to zoneminder view of monitors. I’ve done this in both knoppmyth and ubuntu. The magic comes when you set up the remote to instantly access the browser and toggle back to mythtv.

Renrock
Renrock
4 years 2 months ago

This may be off topic but are there any 1080P cameras that can transfer over the network at Gigabit speeds or is 100Mbit enough without latency? I’ve noticed all the ones you review have 10/100 for their stats. Usually with HD streaming it is recommended to use gigabit routers and thought this would also apply to HD cameras but their stats say otherwise, maybe I’m missing something.

Thanks,

-Ren

Demo
Demo
4 years 2 months ago

Hi, nice try. I will wait till available Linux versions for dual cores mini pc. Did your cameras is Full HD, how much frames per second can provide or how smooth is it.
What I didn’t like that most IP cameras is poor resolution if is Full HD cost lot of money. There is in china not expensive video cameras with real Full HD 30fps using 2Mpx to real 5Mpx for 1qt cost about $120 but not support Wifi or network, that is disadvantage.

So solution use cheap usb full hd cameras that can use hardware 2Mpx and can render 30fps on 1920×1060 resultion via Linux box.
Some samples did people before with linux using digital cameras like here:
http://www.moreno.marzolla.name/software/linux-webcam-server/
and real samples:
http://www.moreno.marzolla.name/software/time_lapse_movies/

or try to use https://github.com/guardianproject/android-ffmpeg on android.

gabe
gabe
4 years 2 months ago

i was tossing what to purchase for a cctv setup. the price of these units are within reasonable to run android. the more usable linux versions are quite buggy at this time. i was considering a beagle board (http://beagleboard.org) setup but i think for my use the droid version you reviewed is just fine. thank you again for your review.

TGHD
TGHD
4 years 2 months ago

Do the cameras have to be directly on the network or could you view the cameras if you have them recording to dahua nvr that is attached to the network?

Can it view more than 4 cameras?

As always, thanks for the review!

alk
alk
4 years 2 months ago

Great way to monitor your cameras! iconBIT makes similar mini pc’s. I bought one off Amazon that works very well to monitor cameras quickly and easily using IP Cam viewer. It costs a little more but has a nifty little BT keyboard.

http://www.iconbit.com/catalog/minipc/

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