NetMedia iViewHD 2M POE Camera Review with ZoneMinder

Small silver camera
I have recently purchased a NetMedia iViewHD 2M power over Ethernet (POE) camera (retail price $105) for use with ZoneMinder.

This small camera must be hard-wired into a switch that provides power over Ethernet (which will cost another $80-100, but allows you to power up to 4 POE devices). I bought mine used, and don’t plan on buying more. The one I bought would reset to factory defaults (requiring you to upload a new “website”) every few months, and after a year of use it died completely (won’t respond to DHCP address assignments). At used prices the NetMedia iViewHD 2M could be a good deal for daytime shots, despite my nighttime image quality complaints below, if the one you buy lives longer than mine, but I can’t recommend it.

Image Quality
Note that the fancy looking lens in the image is actually a sticker around a small (almost pinhole really) plastic lens that would not look out of place on a cheap cell phone. That being said, I have been mostly happy with the image quality for the price. The camera has a 2 Mega-Pixel sensor which provides images up to 1600×1200 in size. The large images look good, but are unsuitable for security systems due to the relatively long exposure time the small aperture requires. This leads to motion blur on important things such as people walking by. This motion blur happens even in full daylight with the camera set to “best for day” frame rate and exposure settings. If you want to make a time lapse movie of a construction site or flower bed growing at 1600×1200 the iView HD 2M will work great, but don’t expect to get usable images of things in motion at the highest supported resolution. I have found that by using it set to 1024×768 resolution the exposure time is small enough to capture good pictures of moving people. (I have not yet tried it on cars.) This is still 2.5 times the resolution of a typical 640×480 network camera, and looks very clear when displayed full-screen on a 720p TV monitor.

Randomly loses firmware
On at least three occasions over the last year this camera has spontaneously reverted to a “factory fresh” state with absolutely no firmware/website on it. (Not working). The only thing that it has is a bootloader that allows you to upload a firmware and website to the camera over the network (so keep those files handy!). After updating the camera with the firmware/website, you have to re-configure it, and then it works fine for another few months until doing the same thing. These random resets are not quite frequent enough to make the camera useless, but are very annoying if you want the camera to “just work”. Be sure to have a VPN or some other way to access the local network if you need to do this maintenance remotely!

Using it with ZoneMinder.
As this is a megapixel camera, you are likely going to need to increase your maximum amount of shared memory that can be allocated at a single time (/proc/sys/kernel/shmmax) before you can use it. The camera works well with ZoneMinder using the “single image” grab url:


When I tried turning on MJPEG (STREAM=1) the connection would “glitch” several times a day leading to phantom events. Not a show stopper, but things appear to just work better for ZoneMinder when dealing with single image capture. I have not measured which (stream or single images) setting uses more CPU time on the ZoneMinder server.



If you for some reason have one of these units and are looking for the software/manuals, I’ve been informed that NetMedia is no longer hosting them, so here is a zip file of everything I have: iViewHD

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