Interesting article – 10 reasons to switch to IP-based video – Axis Communications


Posted by admin | Posted in Zenien Content | Posted on 04-10-2012

Axis Communications, one of our primary manufacturers of IP CCTV cameras recently released the attached article entitled “10 reasons to switch to IP-based video”

The article gives a good overview of the differences between IP and Analogue CCTV cameras and some of the differences that both Axis and other IP CCTV manufacturers offer.

10 reasons to switch to IP-based video

If you cannot download from our website, the direct link from Axis’ website is : http://www.axis.com/files/feature_articles/ar_10reasons_for_ip_47769_en_1205_lo.pdf


Axis new mini-camera announced – P12 series


Posted by admin | Posted in Zenien Content | Posted on 28-09-2012

In an exciting development (at least for us) Axis Communications have announced a new miniture range of IP Cameras. The P12 series of cameras consist of the P1204, the P1214 and the P1214-E. The P1214-E is the IP65 outdoor version. With 720p resolution, these mini cameras will be a much better choice than many of the existing analogue micro cameras.

These devices are designed to be used in covert operations or where a small/embedded form factor is required. The cameras themselves are very small and have an external controller unit which to us is a brilliant idea and puts these cameras in direct competion to the newly released Mobotix S14 range.

Axis P12 series mini camera - sample/size image

We will be trialing these units when they are formally released and will be looking at using them for various mobile, covert, battery/solar powered and vehicle applications.

LG LW130W IP Camera – Closing the gap between IP and analogue on cost


Posted by admin | Posted in Zenien Content | Posted on 31-03-2012

We were lucky enough to review the new LG LW130W IP based CCTV camera recently. LG LW130W Wireless IP cameraTo us it looked like just another copy of the Axis Communications M1031-W but with the 720p resolution of the Axis M1054.  The unit looked sturdy, we liked the round corners as opposed to the more sharp lines of the Axis offerings but it wasn’t until we plugged it in that we got a good feel of this camera’s worth.

The 720p image is stretched across a huge horizontal angle whilst whilst it was affected by some fish-eye effects, it was only a problem in the part of the image say 15% in from the edge. Compared to the Axis offerings, it had much wider angle and image clarity was impressive with beautiful colour reproduction, good contrast and sharp lines.

The interface into the LG camera was not as polished as that of the Axis communications offering, but for a company really only just getting good at IP cameras and comparing it to some of the interfaces from companies such as Acti, it wasnt bad at all.  We used the LW130W’s ONVIF compliance to plug the camera into both Milestone XProtect Essential and Milestone XProtect Corporate and the stream came in easily. The image quality, frame rate and usability of the image was even better than what we saw in the web browser. The unit also has a PIR sensor to detecting movement in any light, we did not attempt to get events from this PIR into Milestone, but I’m sure it would not be a problem.

The other thing we were very impressed by was the brightness of the LED light built into the unit. Blindly bright and capable of easily lighting a small room it hurts your eyes to look at it.

The unit has support for a Micro-SD card, allowing for internal recording.  This is a great feature, meaning you’re not having to put this camera into a Video Management System to record, you can setup your motion detection and other events within the camera to record to the internal camera.  Once recorded, you can recall and playback, even export as desired.  LG have released a new firmware now to further improve the internal recording, highlighting this as a key focus for this particular unit.  In practice, the internal recording worked fine and recalling video was no problem.  Not as nice to use as a VMS, but perfectly functional and operated as intended.

All in all, we will probably sell this camera around the $320 ex GST mark, which is really getting into competition with the analogue market. Really you are getting a WHOLE lot more camera and image quality than you would with a comparably priced analogue camera.  Especially considering the unit can be set up as a self-contained security system with internal recording.  The wider viewing angle and increased image quality can also lead to a reduction in camera count required to cover a particular area.

In summary, it was a very impressive offering from LG, we have seen some of their IP offerings a few years ago and were not very impressed.. If LG keep producing cameras of this value for money, we can imagine they will start making some significant inroads into the IP CCTV market. This camera is perfect for the small business and home markets and we may even find a place for it in some of our larger projects if they are price sensitive. Our only complaint was that the unit did not support Power over Ethernet (PoE) however when you think about it, its a perfectly logical step, this is a wireless camera, designed to be deployed using wireless, why would you need PoE support?  That said, we would most likely cable the camera up and the lack of PoE may lessen the chance of its wide-spread usage due to the fact that we will need to find power close by. However, if LG made a 48v PoE to 5V splitter for the device (or we found another one suitable) then it would be great.


Wide Dynamic Range – Panasonic i-Pro WV-SW155


Posted by admin | Posted in Zenien Content | Posted on 28-02-2012

I stumbled across some marketing of the newly released Panasonic i-Pro WV-SW155.

Some of this camera’s main claims to fame are:
a) 128 x broader dynamic range
b) facial recognition technology
c) 720p resolution

That is all well and good.. but they do not tell you the full picture.. For a 720p camera to get really good facial shots, sufficient for facial recognition to a standard admissible in court you really need to position the camera in an ideal location (Low and close to the subject). Panasonic are touting this camera as ideal for transit applications and in those scenarios then its not difficult to get low and close and the wide dynamic range abilities will come in handy (eg: bus with low light interior and bright sunlight outside).

The thing with all the implementations of Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) that we have seen is that in order to get that dynamic range, you must sacrifice either frame rates, image quality or both (generally image quality suffers). It is disappointing that Panasonic have not really tried to go higher resolutions to deal with this. They also do not state anything about having image stabilisation technology which is really required when you are in a vehicle or transport scenario.

In summary, I think it interesting that Panasonic are pushing IP cameras into this market, however compared to the competition of the Axis P3114-R (or P3114-VE) cameras they are nothing new. Even Vivotek and Etrovision are doing similar cameras of very similar specification to the Panasonic WV-SW155. I am yet to actually get my hands on one of these cameras, but my first thoughts are “Too little, too late” for this particular camera. It is exciting to have more players in this area of the market though, only good things can come from the competition and innovation it creates.

Zenien receive the LAN1 WA Axis Outstanding Channel Partner of the year award


Posted by admin | Posted in Zenien Content | Posted on 24-11-2011

For the second year running Zenien has been honoured to receive the Outstanding channel Partner of the year award from Axis Communications and LAN1 at a function held recently.

Zenien is pleased that our ongoing commitment to the best quality and innovative IP CCTV cameras, accessories and systems have been recognised in this way.


IP CCTV – The real difference


Posted by admin | Posted in Zenien Content | Posted on 05-11-2011

There is a lot of hype at the moment in the security market about IP CCTV. Some people see it as the future, some that have been in the industry a long time see it as a fad. Really what is the difference and what does going IP for your CCTV system mean to you?

IP CCTV has been around for around 15 years, when Axis Communications released the first IP camera. Back then the camera struggled to impress due to most of its specifications being worse than analogue, but it was a start and it lay the benchmark for some impressive developments. An IP camera is basically a camera that rather than delivering footage over analogue video streams (using coax cable) it delivers the footage and other data using the Internet Protocols (TCP/IP Packets). In short, the camera is a little computer system and it processes the footage into packets of binary information and sends it across a standard computer network to a Server computer that then stores the footage and allows access to it.

Whilst IP CCTV has been developing for 15 years, Analogue CCTV systems have been around for over 50 years in one form or another and at the moment they are still very widely used. They are generally cheaper than IP CCTV due to their simplicity and existing mass produced components. If you after a cheap and simple CCTV system and you are not entirely worried about fantastic image quality, expandability or flexibility, really you cannot go past an analogue CCTV system… That however is slowly changing.

An analogue camera unfortunately, is limited by how the data must be transferred over coaxial cable. Many years ago, computer networks also ran over coax cables and we can tell you from experience that they were a nightmare to support and very slow. The IT world moved on to ethernet cables over 15 years ago yet the analogue CCTV world kept running with coax. It is the limitations in the amount of data and restrictions on how the can be transferred over this cable that is the primary limiting factor of analogue CCTV. You can buy an analogue camera and an analogue video recording solution from two different manufacturers and be pretty sure that they are going to work together. This standardisation and the limiting bandwidth on the cable, plus the way the information is transmitted is what is holding analogue cameras back. IP CCTV cameras on the other hand kept with the significantly more advanced computer networking standards and as such face very few limitations on bandwidth, the type of data that can be transmitted and the different transmission mechanisms (eg: fibre optic, wireless, across the internet etc).

So what does IP CCTV give me that Analogue does not?
Because IP CCTV has far fewer limitations and because they have significantly more processing power inside each camera, they have many advantages over analogue. Below is a list with an explanation of each feature.

Resolution – IP CCTV cameras can scale up to amazingly high resolutions (number of pixels/coloured dots per image area). Analogue cameras are typically limited to around 720 x 575 pixels whilst the average 3 megapixel IP camera provides 2048×1536 pixels. If you look at the number of pixels in total of each image, analogue gives you approximately 414,000 pixels whilst a 3 megapixel IP camera delivers 3,145,778 pixels in each full image. Thats 7.5 times the number of pixels, which directly relates to (but is not the only factor) image quality. IP cameras now can go right up to 16 Megapixel and whilst we see this is as mostly unnecessary, it still makes for amazingly detailed images should the particular circumstances require it.

Remote functions – Having more of a bi-directional communication channel such as IP networking provides us the ability to do much more with a camera from afar. Often we install cameras, align them and test that they can been seen on the network, then complete most other functions of the camera’s setup remotely either elsewhere on-site or across the Internet. This includes features such as remote zoom, remote focus and allowing us to tell the camera which part of the image is more important and as such adjust its shutter speed, aperture etc to focus on providing the best quality image in that area as its priority. We can also apply privacy masks or block out an annoying spotlight that would ruin an analogue camera’s ability to provide good images. If something changes on the image (eg: a tree is cut down, some shelves are moved, a light is installed) we can easily login remotely from our office and alter the camera, as such providing significant savings in travel time and staff costs.

Remote Input/Output – Most modern day IP cameras have a significant amount of logic ability built into them. For instance most IP cameras have input/output ports on the camera which can be used for the camera to either receive an input (eg: someone walks through a door out of the viewing area, the camera receives an input then instantly pan-tilt-zooms over to the door to see who cam through for 5 seconds, then goes back to what it was covering before) or to create an output (eg: camera senses that a car drives the wrong way up a one-way street, send an SMS to security and automatically shut the security gate to prevent the vehicle leaving). In short the cameras can act as little Programmable logic controllers (PLC’s) and can be integrated with alarm systems, plant shutdown sequences, lighting controls, access control systems or building management systems. We are also seeing these cameras used for much more than security purposes as unlike physical sensors that wear out or get dirty and do not work as well, the cameras “see” and react which is significantly more reliable.

Edge Recording – Apart from the fact that TCP/IP (Internet Protocol) was designed with resilience and the ability to automatically route traffic via alternative routes in the event of a network link failure, TCP/IP and in turn IP cameras can go one step further to weather the storm of a network link outage. Now with many camera manufactures and Video Management Software (VMS) systems, you can place localised storage (eg: SDHC card) and providing the camera still has power (via PoE cable or other power supply) the camera will continue to record, but to the SD card in the event of a network failure. When the network issue is repaired or restored, the VMS software will fetch the CCTV footage from the cameras and slowly ‘stitch’ it back into the main CCTV archive as if no network outage occurred.

Power over Ethernet – Nearly all modern IP cameras are now utilising Power over Ethernet systems of some sort. Power over Ethernet (PoE) is a standard that allows for both computer data and for power to run over the same physical wire bundle (single cable with 8 cores). This is done by using either Cat5e, Cat6 or some of the newer Ethernet standards and utilising spare wires to inject power for the camera down. The result of this is that the camera gets a high speed dedicated networking link (generally 100mbit or Gigabit) as well as a 48v (depending on camera and PoE class) to power the camera itself. The advantage of this in terms of ease of installation, reliability and installation costs are fantastic. Analogue cameras require two cables (in most cases), one 2 core cable for a 24VAC (typically) power feed and another thick and annoying to work with coaxial cable to send its limited amount of analogue data down. I will not dwell on the other benefits of having ethernet cable everywhere and being able to leverage existing ethernet cabling for CCTV as that is out of the scope of this article.

Viewing Angles – Put simply, higher resolutions and computer controlled cameras allow IP cameras to support significantly greater angles of coverage whilst still providing very useful images. The processors in the cameras can do more and the advanced software can almost completely remove effects such as fish-eye stretching issues.

Having rambled on sufficiently, if you have read this far, yet only really touched the surface of the technical differences between IP and analogue, hopefully you will sense our enthusiasm, passion an excitement by the migration of the CCTV and other security systems into the IT/IP world. Yes, perhaps I am somewhat biased towards the IP systems with a career background in computer systems and IT, but once you’ve seen the technology, the differences are astounding.

For more information on IP CCTV, Integrated Security Systems, Corporate IT support or any other technology related query, please to not hesitate to contact Zenien using the details on our contact us page. Thank you for reading this post and I hope the article was useful.

– Cameron Watts


Zenien complete 1st phase of Wagin CCTV Rollout


Posted by admin | Posted in Zenien Content | Posted on 29-05-2011

Recently, Zenien completed the first phase of a IP CCTV system for the small Western Australian country town called Wagin. Famous for this annual “Woolorama” and the “Giant Ram”, Wagin has seen increased levels of anti-social behaviour and minor criminal activity. The local Shire was successful in a grant application to the WA State Government. They then engaged Zenien to design and implement a wirelessly connected IP CCTV system that allowed the Police to control and react to events.

Having had prior experience with small country towns, Zenien Director Cameron Watts believed that an approach to keep as much of the grant funding in the local community would ultimately benefit the town. As such, IT engineers from Zenien worked closely and trained Wagin based electricians during the install phase. The idea is that local expertise will be able to maintain and repair the system for many years to come. This furthered the notion that this project was for the community and with a certain ownership and involvement from the community that we believe will benefit the area in the future.

The first phase of the system involved a mixture of Axis and Mobotix cameras all feeding wirelessly to a central location. The main backbone feed relays the CCTV images back to a secure location where the server is stored. We also included a computer and big screen monitor in the local Police station to allow the police to monitor the cameras and as such a large area of town from their offices. A mixture of fixed and HDTV Pan-Tilt-Zoom cameras were used and the system was planned in such a way as to allow for expansion in subsequent phases.

It is still too early to tell if the CCTV system at Wagin has had a measurable impact on crime statistics etc, however we firmly believe that is will make its presence felt and help to make Wagin a safer, happier place to live and work. Zenien received extremely positive feedback both on their work and also the effectiveness of the system.

Zenien awarded the Axis Communications Outstanding Channel Partner of 2010 Award


Posted by admin | Posted in Zenien Content | Posted on 01-12-2010

Yesterday, at an event hosted by LAN1, Zenien Directors were awarded the Axis Communications 2010 Outstanding Channel Partner Award.

Zenien use Axis Communications cameras and related equipment heavily but not exclusively for many of their advanced IP based CCTV Systems. “We love the quality, ease of use and reliability we get from the Axis cameras” said Cameron Watts at the event.

Zenien receiving Axis Communications award

Zenien installed CCTV featured in the West Australian


Posted by Cameron | Posted in Zenien Content | Posted on 26-11-2010

SOURCE: http://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/a/-/breaking/8385416/council-rolls-out-crime-alert-cameras/

A security camera system that can identify when a crime is being committed and then alert security guards, is being expanded across the City of Belmont.

The council’s acting chief executive, Neville Deague, said the technology, which was put in at Kooyong Road in Rivervale late last year, had since been rolled out at the city’s main shopping precincts and the Belmont skateboard park.

Other potential sites were also being identified.

Gary Pennefather, managing director of Icetana, the company that produces the technology, said the system’s software was linked to CCTV cameras.

The software learnt and logged all examples of typical behaviour in a busy environment.

This allowed it to identify behaviour which was abnormal – from violence to graffiti to public urination – and immediately send an alert or footage of the incident to the mobile phones of security guards.

Mr Pennefather said the technology, which has been tested by Belmont since September last year, eliminated the need for councils or organisations to pay someone to monitor the live feeds from its CCTV cameras.

He believed the technology could be used in all major public spaces and on public transport to catch thugs and vandals.

Meanwhile, high-tech covert surveillance cameras are being used by police to catch graffiti vandals around Perth.

Police Commissioner Karl O’Callaghan said the seven mobile security cameras were used to target graffiti hot spots.

The cameras, which produced the same high-quality images as those of the Public Transport Authority, can be used in low light and be activated by motion.

Mr O’Callaghan said officers could hide the cameras and monitor them from a distance.

“The images can be recorded or transmitted wirelessly and viewed remotely,” he said.
The Office of Crime Prevention has grants of up to $25,000 available for CCTV technology for local governments and organisations.

Zenien use Korenix fibre optic power over ethernet devices from MergeIDC for CCTV installations


Posted by Cameron | Posted in Zenien Content | Posted on 06-09-2010

Zenien have had great success using the Korenix 4706 industrial media convertor and PoE Switches in robust CCTV installations. Having installed fibre optic cable to the based of an existing pole, covering the City of Belmont’s widely used skate park, Zenien needed a way of both converting the fibre optic to into a switch and providing PoE power and data to the cameras.

“Dean from MergeIDC was extremely helpful and knowledgeable with the Korenix range” stated Cameron Watts, Technical Director of Zenien “The Korenix 4706 system replaced numerous devices to help with space, power and cost savings. We originally planned a fibre optic media convertor, a PoE Switch and two power supplies. The Korenix 4706 supplied all this in a robust industrial and cost effective solution.”

The Korenix 4706 system intergrated with Zenien’s existing fibre infrastructure easily and simply worked out of the box. “The software is a breeze to use and the system just works and keeps on working” commented Mr Watts.

Zenien has found the Korenix systems to be robust, heat tolerant and reliable. Electricians from Cary’s Electrical Services installed the MergeIDC solution in record time and were impressed by the systems simplicity to install.

Zenien has expressed great interest in working with MergeIDC  to fulfil other networking and power requirements for their advanced CCTV and security solutions.

Zenien are an Information Technology company, coupled with a commercial electrical company that specialise in advanced IP based CCTV and automation solutions. For more information on how Zenien can assist your IT or Security requirements, please visit www.zenien.com.au for more information