New IP video security tools from March Networks, Cisco

As video surveillance turns increasingly to IP-based systems, a number of companies are rolling out new products to embrace the technology.

The latest end-to-end solutions come from Ottawa’s March Networks and Verint Systems of Melville, N.Y. In addition, Cisco Systems said it its stepping into physical access control while Aimetis Corp. of Waterloo, Ont. launched new video management software. Until recently, video surveillance systems were built around digital video recorders that converted analogue feed from videocams around buildings. The DVRs, from companies like March, also included video management capabilities in the appliance.

However, according to Peter Wilenius, March’s vice-president of corporate development, the industry is switching to completely IP-based systems where video management software runs on x86-based servers, with images stored on SANs, NAS or RAID arrays. March’s upcoming VideoSphere system, to be available April 30, follows that trend with a solution that includes the company’s first IP cameras, as well as encoders and networked video recorders.

What differentiates VideoSphere from competitors is that it will work with their existing cameras and DVR systems, Wilenius said.

“VideoSphere is for the customer who may have a networked DVR deployment to make that migration to newer technologies over time without having to replace legacy hardware, without having to support three or four different types of video management tools, without having to support different device management infrastructures,” he said.

While IP-based systems will increasingly be in demand, Wilenius said, there will still be room for DVR systems in remote or branch offices because they are less expensive. The IP cameras are the first video capture instruments March has sold. Until now its partners, who assemble complete solutions, have been using cameras from manufacturers such as Sony and Panasonic.

But Wilenius said IP cameras can now include compression and intelligent video management software that March used to put in its DVRs.

The March video management application runs on Windows Server 2003.

VideoSphere includes unifying management and reporting tools for centralized administration, as well as vide and data analytics.

Because VideoSphere is sold through channel partners Wilenius would not give system pricing.

Verint said the latest turnkey offerings called Nextiva Packaged IP Video solutions. Each contains all the required hardware, software, cables and instructions which the company says will simplify installation.

The Nextiva EZ is a 36-channel kit for retail, branch offices education and small campus environments, the Nextiva Basic is a 64-channel IP video solution for mid-size retail stores and campuses and the Nextiva Foundation is an enterprise-class system for up to 100 channels of IP video.

Cisco announced new high-definition and standard-definition IP cameras for security. The Video Surveillance 4500 IP high definition camera uses H2.64 Main Profile video compression and a high-speed imager. It also has an optional high-speed DSP dedicated for intelligent video functions such as video analytics.

The Video Surveillance 2500 IP standard definition camera is available either as a wireless, wired Power-over-Ethernet or DC-powered unit. Both cameras will be available next month.

Cisco also announced a new IP-based physical access control solution for linking door readers, locks and biometric devices. It’s built around the Cisco Access Gateway, a hardware component, and Cisco Physical Access Manager, the software piece which manages the gateway and integrates with other IT systems including video cameras.

Available in June, Pricing depends on the number of doors it links to.

Aimetis launched its Windows-based Symphony Video Management software, which supports analogue and IP cameras. It includes analytics for auto-alarming based on user-defined policies.

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