Product Reviews

Clearfix
Tue
03
Sep
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catchClip Cloud Video Verification

Bens catchClip video verification solution
Bens catchClip video verification solution

BEN Security’s Grade A1 monitoring centre in Sydney is dedicated to supporting the bureau clients of 220 installers. Now its monitoring services have expanded with the development of the catchClip cloud facility, a system developed using a range of 1080p HD and 720p HD cameras from Vivotek. 

This is an important release that reflects a significant new development in alarm monitoring – the integration of HD video verification with new and existing alarm panels. A key feature of catchClip is that it uses push technology to transmit a video clip of an alarm event to a secure server where it is then made available for access by authorised users. 
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Mon
26
Aug
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MicroPoint: Radar Inside A Cable

PERIMETER security solutions are a site's first line of defence and properly implemented they can have a huge impact on security. Pushing detection out to the fence line increases the potential time responders have to reach a site before a breach in higher value areas. 
What's so sweet about South West Microwave’s Intrepid MicroPoint II solution is that it offers this vital early warning and it does so in a package that ticks every box. Cost, ease of installation, performance, reliability – MicroPointII hits them all. 
Supporting the technology locally is Charlie Michael's Perimeter Systems Australia and I meet him on his stand at Security 2013 in Sydney. Michael, formerly of Alarmcom, is passionate about his product as the best distributors always are. According to Michael, MicroPoint technology is 15 years old and this latest MicroPoint II version serves to bring the solution into networked environments.
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Tue
20
Aug
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Road Test: Flir Systems FC-Series S Thermal

Flir FC-Series S Thermal Camera - Building at 250m Full Sun
Flir FC-Series S Thermal Camera - Building at 250m Full Sun

WE’VE mentioned the Flir FC-Series S camera before in SEN but we’ve not test driven it and I’m very keen to see the camera in action when Peter De Ieso knocks on the office door. Flir products have an enviable reputation and holding the camera in my hands I can feel why. 

In the past I’ve only rubbed shoulders with Flir's big mounted units and they’re too big to hold in 2 hands. Touch gives a good sense of build quality, I think, and this aluminium bodied camera with its close fitting cable boot really is at an elevated level. 
Before we get into testing the camera, let’s look at the specifications. For a start, this unit is 282 x 129 x 115mm in size with its sunshade on and it weighs around 2kg. Flir makes thermal gear for defence and law enforcement agencies and this quality spills over into the FC-Series S. 
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Sat
27
Jul
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Field Tested: Panasonic WV-SW598 HD PTZ With Rainwash

Panasonic Rainwash on the right
Panasonic Rainwash on the right

PTZ cameras are all the same, you think? Think again. Panasonic’s new baby, the WV-SW598, lifts the bar with a solution that offers powerful new features, along with an outstanding range of core capabilities.

This 1080p HD camera has a 1/2.8-inch progressive scan sensor (2.4MP) and features PoE+, digital noise reduction, video motion detection in 4 areas, 120-degree/ps manual panning, 300 degree/ps panning to 256 presets and a 360-degree map shot. 
There’s a browser GUI, audio input/output, 3 alarm source inputs including VMD, command alarm and sound detection. There are also selectable transmission modes including constant bitrate, frame rate priority and best effort advanced VBR. Operating temperature is wide between -50C and +55C. 
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Mon
22
Jul
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Bosch Starlight HD 720p60 Test Driven

NEW from Bosch is the Starlight HD 720p60 camera family. These cameras are built around a progressive scan CMOS sensor offering 720p resolution (1.4MP or 1312 x 1069 pixels) and a frame rate of 60ips. Bosch is the second manufacturer to head to 60ips (Sony was first), which gives superior performance in fast action scenes. 
These cameras are all beautifully built, just as you’d expect from Bosch, and the options in the range are also on the money. Users can select a full-body camera, a vandal dome and a tough IP66-rated outdoor dome. There’s a range of Super Resolution HD lenses letting you select from 1.8mm ultra wide angle through to 40mm telephoto. All of these units are PoE and have a bunch of remote features making programming and maintenance easier for all you installers.  
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Sun
21
Jul
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FSH EcoLine Electric Locks Slash Power Draw 5x

POWER draw in access control systems isn’t something installers and end users think about but it’s something that needs to be taken into account. A large access control solution has a considerable collective power draw, 24 hours a day and 365 days a year. This is because electric strikes and mag locks must be constantly powered to retain a seal.  
In developing its EcoLine, FSH directly targets sleeping power draw, slashing it by up to 5 times. When extrapolated across several hundred or several thousand access controlled doors, the ongoing savings provided by these locks over their long lifetimes are likely to pay for their purchase.   
“We’ve put a lot of effort into developing this range and it really does make a difference to the power draw of an entire access control system,” says FSH MD, Trevor Mackle. 
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Sat
20
Jul
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Tiny Axis M2014-E IP66 Bullet

NEW from AXIS is the M2014-E bullet camera, a distinctive unit that decouples the camera processing unit from the tiny 3.2 x 7.6cm camera head to create a solution suited to a wide range of applications. The camera in the Axis lineup to which the M2014-E owes most its heritage is the covert P1214, which is designed for installing in ATMs and behind walls. The M2014-E brings that form factor to the wider market.  
 
Typically a camera like this would seem best suited for work in retail but the Axis engineers have seen fit to give their take on the popular bullet format an IP66-rating for outdoors which really opens up options. Then there are the M2014-E’s specifications which are solid Axis 720p HD - that’s a great deal of capability from a camera head that’s almost exactly the size of your thumb. 
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Tue
16
Jul
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Global Bionic Optics S1080 HD Camera

GBO is top right in 8 lux
GBO is top right in 8 lux

WE know GBO produces cracking lens technology but what’s not so well known is that the company is now manufacturing CCTV cameras. In true GBO style these units aren’t clones of the competition but leverage GBO’s inherent strengths in optical science to offer users what the company is calling an ultra low light camera.

Just for the record, I didn’t test the camera in ultra low light – I assume this means sub 1 lux – but I did see demo images comparing it to quality competition in very low light. The results suggested GBO has made a fine camera that deserves serious attention from those needing strong performance in very tough lighting conditions. 
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Tue
18
Jun
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Hemispheric HD Camera Options

Axis M3007-PV
Axis M3007-PV
IT was inevitable that a camera with a 180-degree wide angle lens be developed. The combination of PoE, compact size, robust construction and a quality fish eye lens makes for an extremely capable camera that is perfect for applications demanding 180-degree views out to a distance of about 15-20m. 
Their lens characteristics really are the key feature of hemispheric cameras. Among the first practical uses for fish eye lenses after their invention in 1906 was in meteorology where they were known as ‘whole-sky lenses’ and were used to study cloud formation. If you take the visual image in your mind of a whole-sky lens and turn it upside down over a scene then you get a very good impression of what these cameras offer.
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Fri
14
Jun
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Bosch Video Management System BVMS Version 4.5.1

I got a look at the new BVMS 4.5.1 at Bosch’s Huntingwood HQ with test pilots Stevan Malesevic and Phil Brewer. This is an evolutionary solution – Bosch has been developing its BVMS for many years and the result is an intuitive layout with excellent performance specifications. 
The key thing with BVMS is that Bosch now has an enterprise level solution that really lets integrators and security managers pull together multiple new and legacy Bosch sites into a single video wall. It’s an important step for Bosch and the boys are justifiably excited about it. 
“Having come from tech support and lived through the evolution of BVMS, where we are right now, everyone has a grin on their face, everyone has 2 thumbs up,” says Malesevic. 
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