Tenvis JPT3815W vs JPT3815W-HD vs TH661- Spot The Difference…

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In this post I compare three different models of Tenvis camera which are all very similar.

There are two fundamental differences. Firstly, resolution. The Tenvis JPT3815W-HD and the TH661 can record footage at 720p whereas the JPT3815W only has 640p.

Secondly, is design. The Tenvis TH661 has a sleek shape and smooth curves of a modern robot. In contrast, the JPT3815W and JPT3815W-HD are box- like, and very outdated in their looks.

The JPT3815W is very difficult to get hold but if you do prefer it’s design better than the TH661, then the newer JPT3815W-HD is the ip camera for you.

So let’s compare the two cameras across some of the most important features.

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Design

Both models are almost exactly the same in terms of their weight and their overall dimensions as the photo highlights.

 

And apart from the colors these cameras look very different. Or almost.
Both cameras have the WiFi antenna placed on the base of the camera behind the lens.

Perhaps you could say that they are both products of their time?

Front View

The JP3815 looks more box like and bulky. It was designed to function, not too look pretty!

The lens is sticking out from the main body of the camera and the IR LEDs around the lens stick out like a sore thumb.

The unit that house the lens is separate from the main body of the camera and either side of the lens are two very big sections that house the speakers.

The TH661 is sleeker and more subtle. It is much prettier than its older sister.

The camera has one body with no separate parts.

The speakers are still either side of the lens but are built in and not sticking out like they are in the JP3815.

The IR LEDs are hidden on the inside of the camera body and they are almost invisible.

The camera lens does not stick out as much. The look is all together much more pleasant.

Rear View

From the rear each of these cameras has the same features.

I have included a comparison photo for you to take a look at.

I have already mentioned the WiFi antenna.

But both cameras also have an;  audio out port, Ethernet port, reset button, micro SD slot and a power input.


Set Up & Installation

These instructions are taken from the user manual, which you can download from here.

The setup and installation process is the same for both of these cameras.

What is interesting is that the app you should be using with these cameras is the iMegaCam app and not the New Tenvis App. This is the official policy from Tenvis.

The iMegaCam app is not made by Tenvis.

This is causing a lot of discussions on the forums because users are mistakenly trying to set up their cameras using the Tenvis app.

Then when the app doesn’t work, individual users get very frustrated.

Step 1 Before you start, make sure that your phone is attached to a Wifi network

Step 2: Download the “iMegaCam app”.

You can either do this directly from the Google Play store or App Store.

Or you can scan the QR code (which you will find in the user manual) with your phone and the app will install automatically.

Step 3: Now plug the camera in and wait until you hear the camera beeping.

If after 30 seconds you do not hear the camera beep, press and hold the reset button at the back of the camera for about 10 seconds until you hear a beep.

Step 4 Connecting to the Internet

You can either connect your camera to the Internet via WiFi or via an Ethernet cable.

WiFi Instructions

Wifi 1 Open the iMegaCam app.

WiFi 2: Tap on Add Camera

WiFi 2 Click on Add Camera

WiFi 3 Scan the QR Code on the bottom of the camera.

WiFi 4 Enter your WiFi password

WiFi 5 Wait

WiFi 6 You see your new camera in the camera menu.

Ethernet Instructions

Ether 1 Attach an Ethernet cable to your router and your Tenvis camera.

Ether 2 Open the iMegaCam app.

Ether 3 Click on Add Camera

Ether 4 Scan the QR Code on the bottom of the camera.

Ether 5 Wait

Ether 6: You new camera appears and is “online”.

Ether 6 You see your new camera in the camera menu.

Step 5 Change the Password

It is also recommended at this stage that in order to maintain security, you change the password on your camera.

All cameras have the same default password (admin) and username (admin)

To do this, in the camera menu, tap on “edit” (in the top right hand corner).

Now, tap on Edit password.

Change the user name and password for your camera.

Make a note of it to make sure that you don’t forget it!

If after following these instructions your camera doesn’t connect and appear in the app, press and hold the reset button (on the back of the camera) for 10 seconds until you hear the camera beep.

And then continue from step 4.

Or take a look at this ste by step video that guides you through the set up using iMegaCam

I will do a much more in depth look at the app later.

Verdict- What Do Users Think?  

Pros Most people who have bought these two cameras and set them up, found the process to generally be quick and easy.

Cons A few people struggled with the fairly basic instructions in the user manual and the fact that their QR code was not recognised

Resolution/ Image Quality

Both of these cameras are capable of recording in 720p.

However, just because a security camera can record at a certain resolution does not mean that it is guaranteed to all the time.

The camera firstly needs to have a very good connection to your WiFi router and secondly the speed of the Internet coming into your home needs to be sufficient!

You can change the resolution that the camera’s record footage in, by connecting to your camera via your browser.

Watch this video to find out more.

I explain a lot more about the different types of software in a later section…

Verdict- What Do Users Think?

Pros

For both cameras, users are generally very impressed by the picture quality produced by this cameras. They are particularly impressed by the how good the colors are.


Pan Tilt and Zoom

Both of these cameras have the same motorised Pan and Tilt function although there are small differences.

The cameras only have a digital not optical zoom.

Both cameras have the capability of panning (or physically spinning through 340°) provide a 360° view.

The JPT3815W can tilt vertically 110°, whereas the TH661 can only tilt vertically 90°.

The PTZ functions are only accessed via the app or with the browser.

In the “monitor” tab or the live view, on the left hand side is a menu with four direction arrows (and a spot in the middle.)

You can use these direction arrows to move the pan and tilt the camera lens.

The spot in the middle of these buttons will take a snapshot.

Left and Right Up and Down

This in app feature allows you to set the camera to automatically pan (left and right) the camera or to tilt (up and down) the camera.

Left and Right Clicking on this feature, causes the camera to start panning automatically.

The camera lens will move to preset positions, stay in that position for a few seconds and then move on.

The number of cycles that the camera makes and the speed with which it moves, can be adjusted in the “Terminal” menu.

Up and Down – Clicking on this feature does the same thing, but the lens starts to tilt automatically, resting in preset positions for a few seconds before tilting some more.

Again, the number of cycles that the camera makes and the speed with which it moves, can be adjusted in the “Terminal” menu.

The camera cannot move horizontally and vertically at the same time as part of this function, it can do one or the other.

Also, these functions only work if you have your browser  open.

You cannot configure this movement  to happen automatically at another time of day.

Presets

Both the JP3815W-HD and the TH661 allow a user to create 8 presets.

A preset is a “memorised” position that you can put the lens in.

This present could be any combination of a horizontal and vertical position for the camera.

These presets only work via the app or browser.

As with the Up and Down and Left and Right Moves described above, presets cannot be set up to work automatically at another time or on another day.

The only way that a Tenvis camera moves to a preset position is by it being selected on the app or in the browser!

Tracking

Neither of these cameras is capable of tracking.

Tracking is the ability of a smart security camera keeping a moving object within its field of view.

Other, much higher priced smart security cameras do have this feature.

Zoom

The zoom function in both of these cameras is digital.

You can zoom into any image in the app on your smartphone by pinching and flicking the screen.

Verdict- What Do Users Think?

For both of these Tenvis cameras the PTZ function frustrates users rather than impressing them- particularly on the JPT model.

This is not surprising given the price of the cameras and how sophisticated a function like PTZ can be.

Cons

Users complaints included;

  • the lens moved too fast and
  • that the lens was hard to control,
  • that it sometimes just locked into position and wouldn’t move and
  • that the movement was too noisy.

Pros

A few users really liked the PTZ functions and thought that the range that this gives the camera is incredible.

Night Vision

Both of these cameras have night vision capabilities but according to the specifications they are slightly different.

They both use 10 infrared LEDs which are positioned around the outside of the camera lens.

On the JP3815W HD the infrared LEDs are clearly visible around the camera lens.

On the JPT model, these LEDs are clearly visible but on the 661TH they are not- they are hidden behind the dark cover on the face of the camera.

The 661 model has a range of 26 feet or 8 meters whereas the JPT has a range of 32 feet or 10 meters.

Both Tenvis cameras will automatically switch between the color footage produced in daylight to the black and white images produced by the infrared in low light and dark conditions.

However, there is a setting within the app that allows you to stop this “switch” from happening automatically and instead select the manual option, which will require you to turn on the infrared from the app.

Verdict- What Do Users Think?

Users of both cameras are “blown away” and seriously impressed by the quality of the night vision on these cameras.

The overwhelming response from most users is how clear the images are.

Motion Alerts

Motion alerts are the different types of information that a security camera can send a user about any motion that has been detected.

Motion alerts are controlled by the app (or by the browser) and for that reason both JPT model and the WH TH model have exactly the same motion alert capabilities.

The most important features are;

(1) Separate motion zones with sensitivity levels

(2) Scheduling Motion Detection

(3) Push notifications

(4) Email Snapshots

(5) Length of video clips

(6) Sound Alerts

Motion Zones

Up to 4 Motion Zones can be created. Each zone has its own level of sensitivity.

With the Tenvis cameras four different motion zones can be created.

Motion zones improve a smart security camera’s ability to detect motion accurately because it enables a user to really focus on specific areas with a camera’s field of view.

The zones can be different sizes.

Each zone has its own level of sensitivity.

This is a scale from 0 to 100 that you can set.

Schedule Motion Detection

The second important feature is the ability to turn motion detection on and off at various points during the day or week.

This is great for users who want to turn motion detection off when they are at home.

Within the browser, in the Alarm menu is the scheduling feature.

This gives you a 7 day, 24 hour view.

It is a matrix of squares.

Select the times and the days that you want motion detection active and then click on apply.

Motion detection will only work at those times and days.

Push Notifications

When your camera detects motion, the IMegaCam app will notify you.

Email Snapshots

You can set up the software to email you a photo or a series of photos when your camera detects motion.

To do this, you need to set up an email account within the camera software and also decide how many photos you would like attached to each email.

To set up your email, navigate to Settings, Alarm, Alarm, Email Settings.

You need to use an email that has simple SMTP settings such as Gmail.

To choose how many snapshots you want sent, navigate to Settings, Media, Image.

Length of Video Clips

You can decide the duration of the video that the camera takes after it has detected motion.

This can be changed in Settings, Advanced, Timer Record.

The maximum length is 10 minutes or 600 seconds.

Sound Alerts

Both of these Tenvis cameras are capable of sending sound alerts as well as sending photos and storing videos.

Sound alerts can be switched on or off via the Settings, then Media then Audio menu.

Verdict- What Do Users Think?

Overall, most users are very impressed with the Tenvis camera’s motion alert features

Pros The photos sent as email attachments were very popular and that the alerts were sent very qickly after an event.

Cons Some users complained that not all motion was detected.

Storage

These Tenvis cameras offer two storage options- micro SD card or FTP storage.

Micro SD Card

Advantage of SD card

Cheap to buy, relatively easy to use.

Disadvantage

Card could be stolen, amount of space is limited.

FTP Storage

This is for an advanced user because FTP storage is a more complicated but much cheaper form of cloud storage.

Advantages of FTP

Footage is stored off site- less likely to be deleted or lost.

More storage space than a micro SD card

Disadvantages of FTP

Complicated to set up

You need monthly or annual subscription to a storage plan

Unlike other smart security camera manufacturers, Tenvis don’t offer cloud storage.

Saving a photo or video to micro SD card

Well, to state the obvious, first you need to have bought a micro SD card and placed in in the slot in the rear of your ip camera!

Using the Tenvis software in your browser, navigate to Settings, then Alarm, then Alarm.

Tick the boxes for;
Save Picture on the SD card
Save video on the SD card.

Underneath the boxes, click on Apply.

Viewing stored photos and videos

Any stored photos and videos can be accessed from your browser or from your app.

App

In the app, you just need to tap on the photo or video section.

Browser

It is slightly more complicated to view these files in the browser but not once you understand how it is organised.

With your IP camera software loaded in your browser, in your address bar you the IP address of your camera – this is a group of four different numbers separated by periods.

In order to see your photos and videos go up to the address bar and after the last number of your camera’s IP address typed in “/sd” (without the quotes) and then hit enter.

So my address would be “79.216.83.56” and these numbers would be in my address bar- without the quotes obviously.

In order to see my photos and videos in my browser, I would type 79.216.83.56/sd in my address bar.

You should see lots of files on your screen

Saving a photo or video to FTP

Using the Tenvis software in your browser, Go into Settings, then Alarm, then Alarm.

This is the same menu as the SD card.

From the options on screen, tick:

the menu on the left hand side, click on Alarm/ Action with Alarm

Now in the middle of your screen you need to enable two options
Save picture on the FTP server
Save video on the FTP server.

Underneath the boxes, click on Apply.

Next to the “Save picture on the FTP server” option is a link to edit the FTP Server settings.

Click on it. Now from the alarm menu on the left, choose FTP Settings

In the menu that appears enter your FTP;
Server
User name
Password

And click on Apply.

Verdict- What Do Users Think?

Most users of these two cameras are very confused about how to store photos and videos using a micro SD card- with lots of people commenting that they haven’t been bothered to set it up.

Also, no one seems to be using or has tried to use the FTP storage option.

Connection

Both the JP3815W and the TH661 models connect directly to your home WiFi- unlike other
Smart security cameras that connect directly to a smart hub (which in turn connects to a home’s WiFi.)

They will only connect to a router that runs at 2.4 Ghz and they will are not compatible with a 5 Ghz router.

Software & Apps

There are two ways of controlling these Tenvis cameras.

Firstly via a free app that you can download onto your Apple or Android powered smartphone.

And secondly, via a browser (such as Firefox or Internet Explorer) on your laptop or desktop Windows or Mac computer.

There is a small and free piece of software (Tenvis Search Tool) that you are on the CD that came with your camera.

Don’t worry if you can’t find your CD as you can download the software as well.

For a Windows PC go here and for Mac software, go here.

If you use the browser, you have access to many more features.

You can setup your camera using either the app (and the process for this was explained earlier) or your browser.

Let’s just have a quick run through of the types of features that are in the app and the camera.

iMegaCam App

It is quite unusual for a smart security camera to use a third party app but this app is not made by Tenvis.

It has three main sections- cameras, photo and video.

In the camera section, when you tap on your camera you get a live view.

If you go to the top of the screen and tap on the edit button, this is where you have access to lots of settings, such as your motion alerts and your SD card or FTP settings.

In the photo section, you can view all of the saved photos and in the video section you can view all of your stored videos.

Browser/ Search Tool

In the browser there are two main menus (named “monitor” and “settings”.)

The monitor menu is the live view.

This page contains live footage from your Tenvis camera as well as direction arrows to control the pan and tilt of your camera.

You can set up your 8 preset positions and then move between them.

The settings menu is very detailed and allows you to control lots of different things, including;

  1. Changing the resolution of the images
  2. Setting up motion alerts and email alerts
  3. And Setting up storage

Below I have added a great video that guides you through setting up a Tenvis camera using the browser software and it walks you through some of the features of the software as well.

Verdict- What Do the Users Think?

Users of the TH661 found using the app and browser much more positive than users of the JP381.

However, more people liked the app and the browser than disliked it.

Some of the complaints about the app included how slow it could be at times.

2 Way Audio

Both of these cameras have two way audio.

You can turn the microphone and speaker off if at times you don’t want to use it.

In the app this is done by tapping on the microphone on the live view screen.

Verdict- What Do Users Think?

Users of the older camera are split equally- some think that the two way audio is great, whilst others think that in terms of quality, it is very poor.

Whereas, the vast majority of users of the TH661 think that the 2 way audio is excellent- they like the idea of it and they are seriously impressed by how it works.

Both of these Tenvis IP cameras have a socket in the back which enables an exterior speaker to be connected to it, which would improve the sound quality considerably.

Home Automation

A huge disadvantage of having a camera as simple as the JP3815W or TH661 is that they are not compatible with other smart home systems or devices.

Who Should Buy These Security Cameras?

One of the most attractive things about either of these two cameras is their price.

Also these cameras can only record footage in 720p which is a bit on the low side for a modern camera and it is a bit on the low side for people who want to buy a security camera for making sure that their home is secure and want to be able to have access to great quality footage in case of a crime being commited.

Instead I think that these cameras are perfect for two other types of buyers. Parents of young children and pet owners.

The JP3815W and the TH661 are a great option at a fantastic price for parents on the look out for a baby monitoring system and for pet owners (particularly dog owners) who want to keep an eye on their beloved pets when they are out of work.

These cameras will be great baby monitors because the 720p doesn’t matter so much when the camera can be set up to be close to the baby- and the baby is unlikely to move! The two way audio and night vision also work in its favour.

These cameras will be great dog cameras because again I think that 720p resolution is high enough and the pan and tilt function can help locate a dog that will move about during the day.

And, the two way audio will be a great comfort.

Final Thoughts- JP3815W vs TH661

I have covered a lot of ground in this comparison review but at the end of it my winner is the TH661.

The differences between these two Tenvis IP cameras is very small and the biggest difference seems to be in the way thast they look.

I would buy the Tenvis TH661 instead of the JP3815W HD because it is a newer model and it looks more stylish.

Let’s just have a quick look at it’s main pros and cons.

Pros

  • Picture Quality
  • Night Vision
  • Price

Cons

  • PTZ
  • Poor Instructions