TiVo meets surveillance

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Panasonic WJ-RT208 Series

Last April, former Homeland Security secretary Tom Ridge was the keynote speaker at ISC West in Las Vegas. The International Security Conference and Exposition draws thousands of security professionals, vendors and integrators, largely in the area of physical security (a new program on IP-based integrated security was reportedly a big success this year). ISC East is scheduled for October in New York City.

The same month, Panasonic Security Systems of Secaucus, N.J., previewed an eight-channel digital video recorder that garnered some attention. The company started shipping the product last month. The Panasonic WJ-RT208 Series uses MPEG4 to record 30-frames-per-second, real-time video and audio across the eight channels. Company officials said each channel could be configured independently to adjust recording rate and mode, as well as image quality. Security teams can fine-tune resolutions from certain cameras to boost image accuracy and help in identification.

Of course, the better the images, the more storage space it eats up and the more frequently you'll have to back up the device. A base unit has a 250GB storage capacity, which you can expand to 2TB. According to Panasonic's estimates, a 250GB device should yield about three days of round-the-clock recording at the highest image quality setting. As you throttle down the image quality, you can record more uninterrupted video.

Bundled network software allows security teams to link several WJ-RT208 devices. In a busy control room, the system can support video recording, monitoring, search and playback simultaneously. Plus, each unit maintains its own event and operational logs.

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