With Vision Catcher's VC+ PC -based CCTV systems are here to stay.

October 99 Surveillance

With the trend towards PC-based digital recording systems gaining momentum, Vision Catcher's VC+ is garnering attention due to its focus on 'quality at an affordable price'. According to Vision Catcher's Managing Director, Mr Beazley, "Now is the time to really start looking for PC-based recording systems, but look carefully, as there is a real mix of quality available."

Are we ready to throw out our VTRs?

Says Beazley, "There are many of us who use a PC on a day to day basis. We run our till-point software to check our stock situations, we use Word for correspondence or Excel for our basic accounting, we collect our e-mail and dabble on the Internet. The PC is very much part of our daily lifestyle and we are progressively getting a little better at understanding what it can do."

"Is it time to throw out your video time-Lapse recorders (VTR)? We think so. If you are recording in 12 h, 24 h or longer mode on your VTR, it is time you looked at something different, but what is available in the market place at the present?"

"Vision Catcher has been marketing the Wavelet technology-based VC+ at with a recommended retail price of only R9900. The VC+ which can be plugged into your current PC (assuming a minimum PC spec) is extraordinarily simple to use," he said.

Excellent compression

Says Beazley, "The VC+, being Wavelet based, offers image compression ratios of up to 1:100, an order of magnitude better than JPEG-based systems, allowing users to record significantly more data to disk. With the capability of recording continuously, all inputs for more than a week, at a frame speed of up to 15 frames per second, users of VC+ based CCTV systems, now have the flexibility of being able to use their current PC as a real visual imaging management tool, whilst being able to continue most of their normal daily functions."

The number of cameras can range from four, up to a total of 16, using switchers or video processors. The more cameras attached to the system, the more PC resources needed, and the more likely the system must revert to a stand-alone setup.

Adds Beazley, "The added beauty of any hard-drive based recording system is that when the drive is full it overwrites data automatically. This is far easier than using a VTR and worrying about videotape changes or the deterioration of tapes with each new recording. Some of the casinos are purchasing more than 15 000 new tapes each month."

Let software control the response

"With the advent of PC-based systems we are now better able to control key functions through the software rather than the hardware of any system. Some systems can be highly complicated and scare away users with their difficulty of operation; the VC+ gives users an easy solution with its simple to use plug-and-play ability."

"The VC+ allows alarm triggers to be changed by toggle control at a software level between normally open or closed, motion detection no longer needs grid set-ups at discrete cameras, but now is related to pixel variation within any single frame through the software," he says.

"Additionally, the can be configured to store pre-alarm detail for up to 99 frames prior to the event. One can use the VC+ through the PC as a video transmission system, to provide notification of alarms or to operate purely as a management tool, to dial into from home and see what is going on at work. Having confirmed an alarm status, the PC, through the VC+ software, can dial a control room for an immediate response, dialling until the alarm notification gets through."

Is a PC-based system viable?

"The answer to this question must now be a resounding yes. Depending upon your key requirements a PC-based system will give you solutions in line with, if not better than, most other dedicated systems. PCs are developing at a significant rate. If you are looking to upgrade and give more diversity to your current system, or if you are looking for a new system to provide you with realistic solutions, then look no further than a PC-based option," suggests Beazley.

"The PC is the way of the future; as one garage owner commented recently 'after our third armed robbery we installed the VC+ PC-based system, for the first time we captured decent pictures of the next armed robbery, we then decided to give away the VTR.' The police comment was 'If every business had a simple PC-based system like VC+, it would make our job so much easier.' The days of the VTR may well be numbered and the days of PC-based security and management surveillance are here to stay," concludes Beazley.

For details contact Vision Catcher on tel: (011) 465 6396, fax: (011) 465 7257, or e-mail: caromp@iafrica.com





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