Canon Australia has just released its brand spanking new Network Video Recorder VK-64, a Network Video Recording (NVR) software package developed by Canon Information Systems Research Australia (CISRA). The release is part of what’s clearly a significant push by the $US33 billion Canon Group into the Australian video surveillance. While the electronic security industry has not heard much from Canon before, the local operation is significant. Established in 1990, Canon Information Systems Research Australia – CISRA is the Australian R&D centre for Canon Inc, one of the world’s leading provider of cameras, business machines and imaging and information technologies. Due to CISRA’s expertise in digital imaging technologies and the company’s advanced facilities, the centre has grown from a small R&D group to Canon’s largest R&D centre outside Japan. This is no small operation. With more than 300 engineering and support staff in this country CISRA has an annual turnover of more than AU$45 million. Network video solution Canon’s new Network Video Recorder VK-64 provides the ability to view and record high-quality video from multiple cameras on a single PC storage server. This video is recorded onto hard drives in the usual way, meaning archiving, search and remote back-up functions are greatly enhanced. With its new range of high-quality network cameras, network video servers, professional services and Network Video Recorder VK-64 software, Canon is looking to deliver its customisable video monitoring and recording over IP solutions. The company is targeting the surveillance of anything from chain stores, apartment complexes, factories, building sites and ATMs through to Australia’s critical national infrastructure, including power stations and airports. Network Video Recorder VK-64 can accommodate up to 64 live Canon network cameras on one storage server, and can monitor and record up to three storage servers simultaneously, yielding a total of 192 cameras. An otherwise identical version, Network Video Recorder VK-16, can monitor up to 16 cameras and one server. Canon believes that Network Video Recorder VK-64 offers a number of features that are unique in the NVR market, including a timeline interface that simplifies the interactive reviewing of events even while recording continues, a customisable interface that allows users to arrange up to 24 camera windows on screen as they wish, and exceptionally customisable recording modes, including continuous, scheduled, sensor-triggered, motion-detection triggered, and pre/post-alarm recording. “Flexible and responsive security monitoring has long been a priority for retailers, wholesalers and building and site managers, but the $50.2m allocated to critical infrastructure protection by the Federal Government in the 2004-5 budget shows that security is now more important for Australia than ever,” said Peter Matthews, Market Segment Manager, Software & Solutions, Canon Australia. “Video monitoring via IP rather than CCTV is the way of the future — and with Network Video Recorder VK-64 and our first-class network video cameras and servers, we are confident that we will lead this trend.” “At CISRA, we believe in capturing Australian innovation to develop global products, which is why we have more than 450 patents worldwide to our name,” said Phil Robertson, Director and General Manager Solutions Division, CISRA. “So when Canon Australia’s network video camera customers began asking for features not provided by any of the third-party NVR software packages, we decided to build our own. Network Video Recorder VK-64 is now a global Canon product, which is already selling strongly in the US and Japan.” Important features of Canon’s system include: * E-mail Function. Recorded video clips can be exported into a separate QuickTime video file for emailing or viewing on another computer. * Event Notification. Sent to user via email. * Layout Sequence. For programming monitor display templates to automatically switch according to a pre-set schedule. * Full-Screen Function. For single-camera monitor display. * Hide/Show Task Area. To maximise the display area by removing timeline and camera-selector portions from the screen. * Event Type. For prioritising system functions and reviewing video by event or time. * Camera Operation Control. Enabling operators to work camera pan, tilt and zoom controls. * Shade Correction. For balancing light and dark portion of the video image. * Night Mode. To activate an infrared filter on selected Canon network video cameras. * Backlight Compensation. To heighten foreground picture detail in heavily backlit situations on selected Canon network video cameras. * Multi-Size. For recording at different resolutions when using different recording methods such as motion detection or sensor trigger. VK-64 and VK-16 retail for $3850 and $1650 inc-GST respectively, comparing favourable to NVR systems that charge a per-camera fee. All sales and distribution enquiries can be directed to Canon Australia on 02 8873 8720. Fixed cameras too Along with the NVR solution, Canon is serving up a digital camera solutions. With its long range zoom, low light performance and built-in network server, the VB-C50Fi is a powerful, low-cost solution for remote monitoring. Featuring the same advanced optical technology as Canon’s VB-C50i Pan/Tilt/Zoom Network Video Camera, the VB-C50Fi fixed network camera provides a low-cost, compact remote-monitoring solution with versatile options to suit a broad range of user requirements. A genuine Canon 26x optical zoom lens and a 12x digital zoom enables the VB-C50Fi model to capture fine detail from far distances. The camera’s quarter-inch, 340,000-pixel CCD further ensures high-quality image capture combined with powerful low-light (1 Lux) capabilities. In addition, a motorised infrared (IR) cut filter can be turned off to significantly brighten the viewing area. The VB-C50Fi fixed network camera’s built-in network server provides viewing for up to 50 clients simultaneously. An easy set-up feature enables it to be connected to a LAN or the internet within minutes. With the video camera’s distinctive built-in motion detection it can monitor and send out an alert if motion is suspected in any of four designated areas. For added convenience, the VB-C50Fi camera offers ten preset zoom positions for easier monitoring. To enhance visibility in dark areas of the image due to backlight or shade, the camera is equipped with a three-step backlight control function. Also, the supplied Admin Viewer 3.6 software conducts shade correction, which increases the brightness of dark areas without affecting other parts of the image. Weighing just 480g, the camera offers simultaneous video distribution in various frame sizes, including 768 by 576, 384 by 288, and 192 by 144. The VB-C50Fi model also includes an internal storage capacity of approximately 15MB of RAM for still-image recording. Additional monitoring versatility is provided by Canon’s optional VK-64 or VK-16 Network Video Recording Software, which provides the ability to view and record high-quality, full-motion video over IP from up to 64 or 16 Canon Network Cameras respectively on a single PC storage server. And because this video is non-linear, archiving and search functions are fast and efficient. Canon’s VK-64 Network Video Recording Software also provides a wide variety of recording and playback options. The optional VB-EX50 Multi-Terminal Module provides a multiple-connector interface for secure wire connections. These include: BNC-video in for an external video camera; BNC-video out for reliable video signal transmission by users who don’t require IP-based video; and external sensor in/out for interfacing with external lighting or alarms. To further enhance the new VB-C50Fi camera, Canon will offer a software developer’s kit (SDK) later in 2005. This SDK will permit developers to expand the functionality and performance of the VB-C50Fi camera. These customised software applications may then be shared or sold independently amongst the community of users.