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BC500 and TC500 IP Cameras: Synology Gets Serious About Home Surveillance

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Synology today announced the official release of its BC500 and TC500 IP surveillance cameras.

The company teased these new devices — its first IP cameras — in October 2022 when announcing its second Wi-Fi 6 router, the WRX560.

This is major news for fans of DIY home surveillance systems. Synology’s Surveillance Station has been an excellent option on this front, so much so that many buy its NAS servers for this function alone.

Since the BC500 and TC500 are made specifically for the Surveillance Station, they’re slated to work well out of the box, eliminating the once-required process of picking and choosing among a sea of supported third-party models.

But that’s the least interesting thing about these new IP cams.

Synology TC500 vs BC500
While having different designs, the Synology TC500 and BC500 (bottom) cameras are essentially the same on the inside.

Synology 500 Series: Flexible IP cameras with built-in licenses

The first and most significant thing about the BC500 and TC500 IP cams, per Synology, is that they don’t require a device license.

Each Synology NAS server has two IP cam licenses applicable to third-party cameras. Additional licenses cost around $60 each and require activation to use or deactivation to be moved to another server.

That saves users a lot of hassles. All you have to do is buy the cameras, as many as you want, within the total support of the server, and hook them to the system.

And secondly, the Synology BC500 and TC500 feature “advanced artificial intelligence (AI) capabilities, exceptional video quality, and seamless integration with the Surveillance Station video management system.”

All that remains to be seen, but it’s safe to say the new cams will have most, if not all, of what the Surveillance Station can do regarding features and customizability.

On top of that, it’ll likely be much easier to control the camera’s settings and function via the interface of the Surveillance Station or the DS Cam mobile app.

Synology BC500 and TC500: Hardware specifications

The BC500 adn TC500 are essentially the same cameras. They differ slightly in physical designs. The former is a standard bullet cam (BC), and the latter is a turret cam (TC) with a tougher chassis to resist impact.

On the inside, they share the same hardware capability and characteristics. Both are outdoor IP67-rated PoE cameras powered via a network cable or a power adapter.

One important thing to note: neither supports Wi-Fi. So, to use them, you need to run network cables, which is not necessarily a bad thing.

Synology BC500Synology TC500
Synology BC500Synology TC500
General Specifications
DimensionsØ4.33 x 6.34 in
(Ø110 x 161 mm)
Ø3.82 x 3.46 in
(Ø97 Γ— 88 mm)
Weight0.78 lbs (353 g)0.85 lbs (387 g)
Weather ResistanceIP67IP67
Impact ResistanceNoneIK10
Power SourcePoE (802.3af)
or 12V DC
PoE (802.3af)
or 12V DC
Power Consumption4.8 W4.8 W
Network Port1 x Fast Ethernet (100Mbps) PoE1 x Fast Ethernet (100Mbps) PoE
Built-in StorageMicroSD
(up to 128GB)
MicroSD
(up to 128 GB)
Operating Environmentβ€’ Temperature (IR off): -30Β°C to 50Β°C (-22Β°F to 122Β°F)
β€’ Temperature (IR on): -30Β°C to 40Β°C (-22Β°F to 104Β°F)
β€’ Relative humidity: 5% to 95% RH (non-condensing)
β€’ Temperature (IR off): -30Β°C to 50Β°C (-22Β°F to 122Β°F)
β€’ Temperature (IR on): -30Β°C to 40Β°C (-22Β°F to 104Β°F)
β€’ Relative humidity: 5% to 95% RH (non-condensing
CertificationIP67, FCC, IC, CE, BSMI, VCCI, RCM, UKCA, KC, JATEIP67, FCC, IC, CE, BSMI, VCCI, RCM, UKCA, KC, JATE
Environmental SafetyRoHS compliant, WEEE, REACHRoHS compliant, WEEE, REACH
NDAA / TAA ComplianceYesYes
Package Contents1 x BC500 main unit
1 x Installation guide
1 x RJ-45 connector cap cover
1 x Screw pack
1 x TC500 main unit
1 x Installation guide
1 x RJ-45 connector cap cover
1 x Screw pack
Warranty3 years3 years
US AvailabilityMay 10, 2023May 10, 2023
US Price$219$219
Optical
Lens2.8 mm
(110Β° H, 56Β° V, 132Β° D LDC ON)
2.8 mm
(110Β° H, 56Β° V, 132Β° D LDC ON)
ApertureF1.8F1.8
Night vision30 meters30 meters
Shutter speed1/16000s~1/30s1/16000s~1/30s
DORID: 60m, O: 24m, R: 12m, I: 6mD: 60m, O: 24m, R: 12m, I: 6m
Video
Max. Streaming Resolution5 MP (2880Γ—1620) @ 30 FPS5 MP (2880Γ—1620) @ 30 FPS
Sub Streaming Capability1920Γ—1080 @ 15 FPS or 1280Γ—720 @ 30 FPS1920Γ—1080 @ 15 FPS or 1280Γ—720 @ 30 FPS
Video CompressionH.264, H.265H.264, H.265
Image SettingsBrightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, white balance, High Dynamic Range (HDR),
3D/2D noise reduction, exposure control, 50/60 Hz flicker reduction, day/night mode,
overlay, privacy mask
Brightness, contrast, saturation, sharpness, white balance, High Dynamic Range (HDR),
3D/2D noise reduction, exposure control, 50/60 Hz flicker reduction, day/night mode,
overlay, privacy mask
Video OrientationRotation (0Β°, 90Β°, 180Β°, 270Β°)
Flip
Mirror
Rotation (0Β°, 90Β°, 180Β°, 270Β°)
Flip
Mirror
Event Analytics
(available with Synology DVA Series video recorders)
People & Vehicle Detection (including Crowd Detection and Loitering Detection), Intrusion
Detection, Motion Detection, Tampering Detection, Audio Detection
People & Vehicle Detection (including Crowd Detection and Loitering Detection), Intrusion
Detection, Motion Detection, Tampering Detection, Audio Detection
Instant SearchPeople, Vehicle, MotionPeople, Vehicle, Motion
SD Card Event RecordingDisconnection from NAS
People & Vehicle Detection
Intrusion Detection
Motion Detection
Audio Detection
Tampering Detection
Disconnection from NAS
People & Vehicle Detection
Intrusion Detection
Motion Detection
Audio Detection
Tampering Detection
Hardware specifications: Synology BC500 vs TC500

A reliable and secure surveillance solution

Synology says the two new BC500 and TC500 cameras feature “failover edge storage.” Specifically, they can automatically record to their built-in storage and the NVR (NAS server) simultaneously.

That ensures continuous recording in case of disconnections. On top of that, they also sport automatic firmware updates and support HTTPS and SRTP protocols for better security and privacy via the encryption of video and data streams.

Synology BC500Synology TC500
The close-up photos of the Synology BC500 and TC500

Availability and pricing

Synology says the new BC500 and TC500 outdoor PoE cameras require Surveillance Station 9.1 (DSM 7.1 implied) or later and will be available worldwide later this year.

In the US, you can buy them on May 10 for $219 each, slightly higher than similarly-specced third-party cams but still reasonable considering the included camera licenses. It’s unclear if a PoE injector is included with each cam.

As usual, I’ll update this post when I learn more and possibly do a hands-on, in-depth review. Check back for more. In the meantime, if you’re new to Synology’s Surveillance Station, here’s my take on the app when hosting third-party cams.

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