A useful, but often overlooked feature on Axis model network cameras P1311/P1343/P1344/P1346/P1347 is the Focus Assistant. Focusing security cameras via the lens levers can be a tricky business and any installer welcomes a neat trick or device that makes this vital step of the installation process easier and more accurate.
Using this tool it is possible to focus the camera accurately without looking at the video image output from the camera, but to adjust the focus and get visual feedback from the camera itself when the view is nearing and has hit that focus sweet spot.
A useful and unique feature on Sony’s keenly priced HD PTZ dome the SNC-EP550 is its azimuth, or ‘compass point’ setting. This howto also applies to other PTZ cameras in Sony’s latest range.
Calibrating the camera’s azimuth allows you to display the camera’s compass point orientation on the on-screen display (OSD) via the camera’s ‘superimpose’ setting. This can be especially handy for anyone orienting the view against a map or a set of site drawings.
The process to set azimuth is very simple:
IPv6 (Internet Protocol version 6) is the latest version of the Internet Protocol – the method by which devices (including those which are available publicly as websites) link together and communicate with each other. It also enables Smartphones, laptops, tablets and other mobile devices to connect to Wi-Fi hotspots and use mobile data. That little router blinking in the corner of your living room supplied by your Internet Service Provider (ISP) wouldn’t connect to the ISP exchange circuits without using the Internet Protocol.
2013 is likely to be the biggest year yet in the switch to IPv6 for homes, business and internet providers alike.
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!
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.
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.
In this HOWTO, I’ll walk you through each step when installing Milestone XProtect Essential; from the initial email provided by our sales team which contains your Software Licence Code (SLC) and .lic license files, applying the license file, through to the point where you have your first camera installed, licensed, online and ready to go.
The process of installation is a bit long-winded (which I’m guessing is the reason you’re reading this in the first place), but you end up with a robust and feature-packed software installation. Put aside half an hour, grab a cuppa, settle in and let’s get started.
Sony SNC-CH160 infrared image
One of the most common reasons for installing an IP security camera system is to have an effective surveillance presence on your premises at all times. In many scenarios, that means having an IP camera that copes well in poor lighting conditions. Almost every IP camera on the market now has some form of day/night feature, from basic image optimisation technologies such as those featured in the Panasonic BL-C101 and the Sony SNC-CH110, to advanced, ‘true’ day/night functionality in mid- to high-end models like the Axis P1347 and Sony SNC-CH280. Later in this post we’ll give you our recommendations for the best day/night cameras currently available, but first we’ll take you through what true day/night means and why it should be an important consideration for any IP CCTV installation.
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.
It’s official; the invasion of the iPads has begun.
Actually, who are we kidding? The invasion is already over and Apple have moved on to their well deserved victory lap, their latest innovation having taken the world by storm in what seems like the blink of an eye.
But what impact will it have on the IP Camera industry? How well do products from the likes of Axis, Panasonic and Y-cam interact with the world’s latest ‘must-have’ gadget?
To find out, we looked at cameras from these companies using our own shiny new iPad (any excuse!) Here is what we found:
We began with the Axis M3011 and found that we immediately lost our snapshot and full screen options, the latter of which could have been particularly useful on a screen as small as the iPad’s, though admittedly, turning the iPad to landscape provided a perfectly adequate viewing window.
This exodus of functions wasn’t entirely surprising as the iPad doesn’t support the camera’s ActiveX, or Java requirement for its advanced features, leaving it without the software necessary to perform most of them, but knowing this was scant consolation, as we were left with only the live image itself and had to open a separate window and make adjustments without being able to see the image, which made things a little trickier.
The Y-cam Knight we tested next was no improvement; once again all features were lost and, once again, we found ourselves having to make adjustments in a separate window. The camera’s specialised ‘mobile’ site didn’t fare much better, offering only a static image updated every few seconds.
Eventually however, we found a user interface which did translate well onto the iPad; the Panasonic BB-HCM511CE (and, it follows, all other BB- and BL- range cameras) allowed for extensive control of the camera, allowing us to toggle backlighting, resolution, compression rate, and image quality. Of course some features were still lost, such as the digital zoom, but overall the camera was far easier to interact with and offered far more comprehensive control.
Admittedly some of the controls, particularly the ‘scan’ controls, having been designed for a mouse, can be a bit fiddly on the iPad’s small touch-screen but in most cases there are drop down menus available to get you around this problem, though the iPad’s MultiTouch pinch-to-zoom capability makes zooming in to areas on the screen easy.
Unfortunately, this generally user-friendly interface was let down slightly by the display itself. The image was penned into one corner at the top of the screen and we had to adjust the resolution manually to 640×480 pixels and turn the iPad landscape again before we could really make out detail. Hardly a burden but it’s still work that the other cameras don’t ask you to do. It’s also worth noting that, while the full screen option is retained, it doesn’t really add a great deal. This ‘feature’ behaves in the same way on the iPad as it does on any desktop browser, so no loss there.
On the whole though the signs here are encouraging; the iPad’s barely been with us ten minutes and already Axis and Panasonic have shown that it is possible to transfer both image quality and a user-friendly interface over to it. All we need now is someone to put it all together, and that, surely, is only a matter of time.
In fact, we’re aiming to be that someone. Our Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) product already works on the iPhone and iPad and we’re building an iPad-specific interface as well.