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The NW blog
Archive for 2012

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Milestone users – Be aware of PMA amnesty expiry on 2nd January

December 20th, 2012 by Kevin Bowyer

We’d like to inform our customers that the Milestone XProtect PMA/SUP amnesty is due to end on 2nd January 2013.

Milestone recently replaced their PMA (Product Maintenance Agreement) with an SUP (Software Upgrade Plan) and with this change introduced a beneficial amnesty meaning that if you were running Milestone without a valid PMA, you could buy an SUP without having to pay for backdating the agreement. This meant great savings for Milestone XProtect users who bought XProtect without a PMA or whose PMA had expired.

That amnesty ends on 2nd January 2013.

If you are running Milestone XProtect without a valid PMA/SUP then you have until 2nd January to pick one up. After that Milestone’s official line is that SUPs cannot be backdated. i.e. If you do not have a valid SUP after this date you will not be able to purchase one and your Milestone system is at risk of quickly becoming outdated.

Importantly, customers not purchasing an SUP will NO LONGER automatically receive Device Pack updates (newly supported cameras, firmware updates, bug fixes etc) with their Milestone license. For this reason we recommend that any customer currently without a valid SUP purchases one within the amnesty period (before 2nd January) in order to get future software upgrades.

Call us now on +44(0)151 633 2111 to make use of this offer before the amnesty runs out.

Top 5 most frequently asked technical questions about network cameras

December 17th, 2012 by Raymond Crawford

Our technical team get asked the same questions a lot and so we’ve let one of them loose on this blog to tell us which ones. Over to Raymond…

We receive many queries on the technical support line here at NW, and of course they do vary widely, from customers looking for advice or technical help, right through to providing support for full security systems installations and integrations.

We do, however, answer certain questions more often than others. In fact, I would say that the majority of technical support questions would fall into a handful of issues.

In this blog I will outline five of the issues we most commonly see and provide a link or a brief guide on each so we here on technical support can spend more time discussing Star Trek!

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First look – Sony SNC-EP521 PTZ IP camera

December 12th, 2012 by James Drinkwater

Sony SNC-EP521The Sony SNC-EP521 is a feature-packed pan-tilt-zoom IP camera at an attractice price point. With 340° pan, 105° tilt and impressive 36x optical zoom, the camera is suited to surveillance of large, open areas.

With the current price of £588 / €735, the camera is one of the least expensive professional PTZ cameras on the market. Hundreds of pounds less than its nearest competitor, the new Sony SNC-EP521 offers incredible value with high-performance including 36x optical zoom. How well does the SNC-EP521 stand up to scrutiny?

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Product Focus: Mobotix S14

December 11th, 2012 by James Drinkwater

Mobotix S14D IP camera with FlexMount

In the IP video market there has been a recent influx of 360° hemispheric cameras from manufacturers like Axis, Panasonic and Vivotek. When ceiling-mounted, these cameras can capture an entire room at once and feature integrated distortion correction software to eliminate the distortion associated with extreme wide-angle lenses.

Mobotix, who released the first 360° IP camera back in 2008, have upped their game with the release of the S14 range. Read on for more and a demonstration video…

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What local Councils can teach us about IP camera procurement

December 5th, 2012 by Frank Crouwel

Pole with security cameraA recent report in a Scottish newspaper described how a local Council had refused planning permission for CCTV cameras at the local prison.

On the surface, it seems quite incredible that a council should refuse funding for a prison – of all places. If there’s any place more in need of effective video surveillance, surely it must be a prison!

However, although this may appear strange at first, the devil is always to be found in the detail.

What is perhaps even more surprising is that at NW Systems, we agree with the Council for refusing to support this project.

Read on for a full description of our rationale, and feel free to jump in with your views and comments at the end.

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First-look: Axis M3007-PV panoramic network IP camera (with sample videos)

November 24th, 2012 by James Drinkwater

Axis M3007-PV

In mid-2008 Mobotix released the Q22-SEC hemispheric IP camera, featuring a full 360° lens, followed closely by the upgraded Q24-SEC model. These cameras were unique in the marketplace and added further to the discussion about whether megapixel cameras with wider angles of coverage can be used to replace multiple narrower field of view IP cameras.

These models brought in state-of-the-art image de-warping, 4-from-1 video feeds and panoramic overviews and saw VMS suppliers rushing to provide support for these new products.

Cut to 2012 where since this release, Mobotix have almost dominated the market for hemispheric cameras, with little serious competition from mainstream manufacturers. However, this is about to change with the release of the Axis M3007-P series.

We’ve had an exclusive chance to look at the Axis M3007-PV (part number 0515-001) before its launch, and we compare it in part to the Mobotix Q24M-SEC.

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HOWTO: Install Axis Media Control / ActiveX in Internet Explorer

November 14th, 2012 by Kevin Bowyer

As development in IP camera technology progresses most camera manufacturers look to support both a wide range of integration and recording platforms and, in most cases, a wide range of web browsers in order that their cameras can be set up, configured and viewed over the network.

In the case of browsers, inherent limitations still mean that certain functions must be accessible or controlled through a browser add-on – a small plugin, usually downloaded from the camera itself, which extends the capabilities of the browser. Some manufacturers have done away with this in order that their products are supported similarly in all browsers. Some have no full cross-browser support of any kind (products from Taiwanese manufacturer ACTi for instance) and require the use of Internet Explorer and an ActiveX plugin.

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Evaluation: Axis P3384-V with Wide Dynamic Range and Lightfinder

November 13th, 2012 by James Drinkwater

Axis P3384-V

Until recently, Axis Lightfinder technology was available in the Axis top end Q series of cameras only. Now this technology has made its way into the more affordable P range of Axis cameras. Here we take a look at the Axis P3384 IP camera, which is currently the only camera in the Axis P series that features both Lightfinder technology and Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) with Dynamic Capture. As this looks interesting on paper, we were interested to see how it performs in real life. We placed the P3384 in various lighting conditions to find out.

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Evaluation: Panasonic i-Pro WV-SW175

October 24th, 2012 by James Drinkwater

Panasonic i-Pro WV-SW175

Panasonic’s now end-of-line BB-HCM735 was one of the best-selling network cameras in their home/office range, offering very decent VGA resolution footage in an outdoor-ready casing with pan/tilt movement and 2-way audio, while still being very cost-effective. Now that this camera has been discontinued, we’ve taken a look at its replacement; the Panasonic i-Pro WV-SW175. Does this camera still offer the same good value as its predecessor?

First things first, let’s see some sample footage from the camera.

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HOWTO: Offline licensing of cameras in Milestone XProtect

October 18th, 2012 by Kevin Bowyer

In another of our Milestone XProtect series of HOWTO blogs, I’ll take you through how to license new cameras whilst not connected to the Internet.

Why might you want to licence a camera offline?

Any manager of a security system needs to make decisions about how that system is connected to the network. We encounter XProtect-based security systems of all sizes and configurations. Some are connected to the Internet and some are not. XProtect’s mobile server capability would require an online connection, but if you have no need for this feature or tie your network down tightly your XProtect server may be operating offline, and in this case you’ll be licensing cameras offline.

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