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Hands On

First, let's cover some things that may help anyone having problems. When you first install and view just about any IP camera, you'll probably be installing three or four ActiveX controls, which can send you down a rabbit hole if you have any problems. Many of the camera interfaces you'll find are also Java-based, which can often throw security warnings.

Starting with Java 7 Update 51, the Java security model has been enhanced to minimize external exploits, which you can read about here. I had to follow the workaround provided in the link above to get any functionality for the NVR and the mydlink cameras. Once the workaround was in place, they worked fine.

You can see the error I first received below; a black video screen was my other symptom. D-Link mentioned a firmware update is scheduled for February to fix the issue. For now, the workaround is adequate.

Java error due to Java 7 Update 51 security changes

Java error due to Java 7 Update 51 security changes

In order to complicate matters while troubleshooting, I also was using IE11, which has an advisory posting on mydlink that also contains a workaround. The text of the advisory says a solution will be in place "mid-to-late December", so D-Link may already have the fix for IE11 in place. My problems seemed to be 100% related to the new Java security enhancements.

I found working with mydlink on the DNR-202L a little confusing at times, mostly because there are multiple ways (and places) to do the same thing. The more simple mydlink.com interface for the DNR-202L has all the basic Live Video, Playback and Status features that you might expect. But the meat of the DNR-202L was under "Advanced Settings", which was simply the DNR-202L's local interface. The local interface had all of the mydlink.com items plus features such as Motion Detection, audio and video tweaking, drive formatting, camera status and all of the admin functions you would expect such as upgrading firmware, setting time, etc.

The DNR-202L allows for simultaneous recording and playback and that's where the strength of this little device comes in. My testing indicated I could have four browsers/apps viewing the Live Video, but only one device could view recorded Playback at the same time.

Trying more than one gave a message about another device already accessing Playback, which you can see below. I found one Playback view adequate. While multiple family members may want to view Live Video at the same time from different locations, it's reasonable that only one could view recorded playback at a time. The single user can view all four channels at once, however.

Only one user/device can view Playback at a time

Only one user/device can view Playback at a time

The DNR-202L offers a few options for Playback. The mydlink NVR app is available in Android and iOS and there is HDD Viewer desktop software that you download from the mydlink.com Support > Download > Storage page, that lets you simply plug the USB drive from the DNR-202L into a Windows PC to analyze video content. HDD Viewer does appear to be Windows only and there isn't a lot of documentation on Windows versions supported. I've included a couple of screenshots for the Android and iOs apps in the gallery.

Playback works very well once you figure it out. The interface was very consistent between Android and iOS and transferred over to the browser adequately as well. The playback selection screen lets you preview video at a time frame you select and the browser lets you select an end time.

On the Android/iOS apps, you select a video length from 1 to 60 minutes. Event recording, such as motion detection, is shown in a different color for easy differentiation. You can see an image of the browser playback selection below.

Browser playback screen

Browser playback screen

The Playback Selection screen reminded me of Dropcam's comparable screen with its preview and easily discernible event recording, which you can see below. Dropcam differentiates events a little more prominently with the bubble, but otherwise the two methods are very similar.

Dropcam timeline

Browser playback screen
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