Public Sector & Education • Business & Enterprise • Home Security
When considering which security camera to purchase, the minimum illumination level is often one of the most important specifications to keep an eye on. But unlike other important stats such as resolution or compression, minimum illumination cannot be represented by a hard and fast number. Here’s why.
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Above: footage from an AXIS Q6034-E
Recent advances in IP video – HD resolution, H.264 video compression – are changing the way we think about implementing network security solutions. With extremely detailed images now communicable across networks, the monitors we use to view them are becoming more and more important.
A few weeks ago, you might have read this story about James Merrett, a 37-year old tetraplegic man dependent on a ventilator for life support. Concerned about the level of care he was receiving from nursing staff at his home in Wiltshire, he had an IP camera and recording software set up to monitor the activities of the agency nurses looking after him.
QNAP has launched its VMobile app for iPad, iPhone and iPod touch.
With the app, users can monitor a live stream and playback recordings from an unlimited number of servers and channels. “This is a unique feature that no other applications offer currently except VMobile,” said Andrew Yu, QNAP Product Manager. Feeds from multiple cameras and from different brands can be viewed through the app as long as the cameras are connected to a VioStor NVR, making this a flexible solution for installations that have had incremental upgrades, or for users that need to keep track of different installations in multiple locations.
Y-cam has launched a new version of its firmware, 4.21, for its SD and Bullet product ranges. The update brings with it a number of key new features, but the one that really catches the eye is the new NAS-Ready™ system.
Currently, a camera and a Network Attached Storage drive require some kind of go-between, like a computer or third-party software, in order to communicate. With NAS-Ready™, Y-cam cameras can now send video directly to any compatible NAS for capture and storage. This will help to simplify setup and reduce running costs. NAS-Ready™ isn’t shy on the storage side of things either – up to 10,000 video and 10,000 image files can be stored per camera.
Chances are you are already familiar with what thermal camera technology looks like, you just don’t know it yet. But what exactly does it offer as an IP security solution and why should you care?
Not all light is visible to humans. The light that we see is actually part of a much larger spectrum of electromagnetic radiation. Other parts of this spectrum include microwaves, radio waves and x-rays. There is also infrared, which is emitted by any object that is hotter than absolute zero (roughly -273°). As it is not technically possible to achieve absolute zero due to the laws of thermodynamics, everything emits infrared radiation.
Thermal cameras can pick up this infrared signature and translate it into a variety of formatted, viewable images. The most familiar of these is the rainbow effect, where the coldest objects in the image are represented by blacks and blues and the warmest by yellows, reds and whites, but a wide-range of pseudo-colouring methods are available to suit almost any requirements.
Axis announced a new feature last week called Axis Corridor Format™. It’s designed for areas where the traditional landscape-oriented setup of a camera is not ideal. Take, for instance, a staircase or a corridor – in a landscape setup, a sizeable percentage of the image is wasted recording the walls. This results in bandwidth and storage waste too, with a lot of network resources focussed on nothing much.
The Axis Corridor Format™ is designed for these situations. It allows for a vertically-oriented video, maximizing image quality and taking advantage of available resources. It is particularly suited to HD cameras, as the traditional 16:9 landscape ratio switches to a capable 9:16 ratio – ideal for avoiding walls and focussing on the desired area.
There are two ways to achieve this effect: either the camera can be installed sideways and the image rotated 90° utilising the camera’s configuration settings, or on certain cameras (such as the 3-axis lens found in an Axis fixed-dome camera) the lens itself can be turned 90° when mounted.
Most Axis fixed network cameras will support the corridor format, and third-party video management software including Milestone will be capable of achieving this effect. It will also be a feature of the next version of AXIS Camera Station, v3.40.
You can find more information at the Axis website, and we will be following the progress of the technology at Network Webcams.
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By the way, if you’re a SecurityStation user, we have a dedicated Twitter feed to keep you up to speed with the latest new features. If you haven’t yet heard of SecurityStation, our online Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) solution, check it out.