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Hive View security camera customers left in the dark as some gear gives up the ghost

Customers of Centrica-owned Hive are reporting problems with their cameras, with many complaining the devices have packed up, some after a few years of operation and others after mere days.

The company’s forums are filled with complaints from customers finding their cameras have unexpectedly headed towards the light (or flashing white light in this case) while the vendor appears unable to rectify the issue.

Although complaints have been rumbling for a while now, things appear to have picked up steam from last month. Customers have reported (assuming they were able to get through to support) being advised to reset or delete and reinstall the devices without a tremendous amount of success.

In a few instances, Hive has replaced the units only for those units to also fail. One user told us: “The new one lasted 2 days before experiencing the same issues and now my emails are being ignored.”

The Hive brand has its origins in British Gas’s tinkering with home automation. One can pick up smart thermostats, radiator valves, light bulbs, security sensors and smart plugs. And, of course, the Hive View camera, which is where the problems seem to lie.

The View is an upgrade from Hive’s original security camera – and both outdoor and indoor versions are available. However, you’ll need a subscription (or a quick finger on the download button) if you want to keep recordings past 24 hours. The warranty on the device is for one year.

Extending that warranty means joining Hive Live for £2.99 a month.

Another customer told The Register he’d paid for the installation of the outdoor version as well as the annual fee to store data only to find the device managed to work for just a single day before problems started. Hive suggested a broadband upgrade, which was done but to no avail.

Still, a nice bit of exterior decoration, no? Some people put up fairy lights in December. It seems like others found themselves with unhappy camera kit screwed to the walls.

Both indoor and outdoor models appear to suffer the same problem. One customer planned to use his as a baby monitor, but after a couple of failures elected to go with an alternative brand instead (and there are certainly no end of alternatives out there).

While occasional failures are to be expected with any kind of device, the flurry that has turned up on Hive’s forums indicates that something is perhaps amiss with the devices or the infrastructure lurking behind the scenes.

A Hive mouthpiece told The Register: “We have had reports that a small number of Hive Indoor Cameras have failed to boot up correctly. We are in the process of releasing an update that looks to improve the experience for our customers and we’re helping customers who are having issues on a case by case basis. Anyone that has seen this issue should get in touch with us via webchat through our app or and one of our specialists will be happy to support them.” ®