Swann Home Safe View for Windows

Whilst I personally use iSpy for viewing on my Windows machine – there are other alternatives. Swann Security Systems have a Windows application: Home Safe View for Windows (opens Swann Support).

The software itself is pretty good. It even allows you to download the video files to your remote machine from the Swann DVR. After you have installed the software, you may be prompted with a wizard for your configuration to add your first DVR. If not, don’t worry, i’ll quickly go over some of the software.

Obviously, you have the basic security – when you open the software, you will be presented with a login dialog. This isn’t the username/password for your box. This is set from within the HomeSafe settings (The default user is admin without a password: Change the password immediately).
This is the main screen that you will see when you login to the software. From here you can do most of the functions that you can from your Swann DVR menu.
From the “Group Device” menu option you can create different groups, and add multiple devices. Click Add Device. Enter the details (above is an example – the subdomain is inactive after this demo) then click add. Take note of any errors you’re presented with and correct them. Once added – either create a new group (IE: XYZ Shop / XYZ Home) and add the device and cameras by selecting the camera and the group and clicking import.
So, this is the “Account Manager” screen. You can add a user, and they can be limited to certain cameras, and certain boxes. You can also limit what functions they have.
The Alarm settings are useful if you work in a back room and want to be alerted to somebody at your front door. You can configure it to pop up the actual camera feed, or just sound an alarm (although an alarm without the image isn’t very useful unless you have live view open all of the time). This record option makes the software record the video to your local hard drive also. This is the area where you can disable automatic recording, just simply untick the “trigger record” options. The “trigger capture” takes a snapshot of the area.
One of the most useful parts of the software is your ability to download the recordings for a camera straight from the box. Before downloading, I do recommend altering your recording type to MP4 so the recordings are easier to view in other software (the default is RF). See above settings dialog to do this.
To download files, simply select the cameras, select which stream. Select all file types and then right click each camera you wish to download, and click download – This only downloads the selected camera – not all camera. right click each camera after downloading each of them. The main stream is best quality, although the sub stream may have recordings that the main stream has already over written.
The files will download from the box, and encoded to the correct format. This may take a long time. It’s a lot faster if you’re physically on the local network than if you do this from a remote network over the internet.

There’s a lot on this software. In my opinion its a great software if you only have one DVR brand (it can be used with multiple Swann DVRs at the same time). If you need to use multiple brands then alternatives may be a better option for you.