2008 Product Focus: Surveillance

The 2008 Product Focus feature spotlights the most representative technology available. For 2008, instead of selecting a single product to cover, we invited security providers to submit their most innovative products, along with their best-selling ones.

The 2008 Product Focus feature spotlights the most representative technology available. For 2008, instead of selecting a product focus to cover, we invited security providers to submit their most innovative products, along with their best selling ones.

Products were sorted into nine categories for ease of comparison. They were judged according to three categories: Technology, Functionality and Design. Each product could receive up to five points per category, for a total of 15 points maximum.

Megapixel and networking were among the criteria for the leading cameras. The trend for IP continued in access control, with edge devices receiving high marks. Smart security responses were again seen in the number of management software solutions recognized by the judge panel. With integration on the rise, this trend has clearly spilled over into this year's products.

ASMAG.com appreciated all the security providers who kindly sent us their products for review. A special thank you goes out to our judges, who took time out of their busy schedules to assist us. We hope that this year's feature provides useful and interesting information to you, our readers!

The Grandeye Halocam Compact IP Minidome Camera received the most points overall from the judges, boasting five megapixels of resolution. Power over Ethernet (PoE) also made the camera ideal for integrated solutions, complete with embedded video analytics, garnering the sole perfect score from Cynthia Freschi, President of North American Video.

The judges did not necessarily give their highest scores to the overall top scorer, though. Steve Thompson, Director of Global Security Product Engineering and Development at Johnson Controls, selected the M3011 Fixed Dome Network Camera from Axis Communications, another network camera supporting M-JPEG and H.264 compression. Features he liked were the camera's "H.264 encoding for improved bandwidth usage and a pleasing ceiling-mount package."

The preference for networking continued with Alun John, Chief Executive of Norbain. For his highest scoring camera, John selected the WV-NF302 Metal Body Fixed Megapixel Dome Network Camera from Panasonic System Solutions. It sports 1.3-megapixel resolution and deploys a CCD for higher light sensitivity at night. Clearly, megapixel and networking are the features to have for the cameras of 2008.

For the storage category consisting of DVRs, NVRs and video servers the judges were divided on their favorites. Thompson gave his top marks to the iCatch H.264 series DVRs, along with the Nice Systems Smart NVR - NVR 9600CA series (NVR 9610CA and NVR 9620CA). More efficient compression algorithms, such as H.264, were a prominent trend for making the most of storage. While the Nice NVRs record in MPEG-4, they deploy analytics to edge devices and reduce storage space.

John of Norbain gave his highest scores to Nuuo's NVRmini Standalone - NV2040, NV4080. The diminutive NVR comes with a host of video analytics, reducing data flow from edge devices by processing images on the NVR.

Finally, the AV Tech 3G Active Call-Out/AVD718 was Freschi's highest scorer. The 3G DVR system enables secure remote monitoring for users, who can access DVR images by 3G phones.

The surveillance category consists of products for cameras and related accessories. The top-scorer was Samsung Electronics for its Professional Large Format LCD Displays, garnering a perfect score from Miroslav Tallo, Business Development Director EMEA for Intrusion and Fire, ADI-Gardiner. Flat-screen displays like Samsung's are space-saving and useful for control rooms, along with being designed for punishing 24-hour operations.

Norbain's highest score went to the Observision G3-MOD with VideoMiner System, an intelligent processor with performance equivalent to a 30-GHz computer. The processor module can be placed behind a camera source, turning cameras into edge devices capable of processing-intensive analytics.

Thompson of Johnson Controls gave top marks to the Extreme CCTV Megapixel-IP Infrared Imager, capable of seeing in the dark for up to 128 meters (420 feet). The imager boasts 3.1-megapixel resolution in color and 1.3-megapixel for monochrome.

MEL Secure Systems dominated this category with its COFDM Digital Video Link. The 5.8-GHz radio system had a range of more than 30 kilometers (about 20 miles) on five watts of power, which can come from wind or solar power sources.

Thompson lauded the system for using "technology innovation to solve an unmet market need for low cost, efficient wireless long distance video transmission."

The Guardian-Lite Series from AMG Systems was also recognized. It integrates Ethernet, low speed data, audio and high quality uncompressed video into a fiber optic transmission system.

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