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Arecont Vision 20 megapixel panoramic camera

Arecont Vision, the industry leader in IP-based megapixel camera technology, introduces the world’s first 20 megapixel day/night panoramic cameras to the market. The new SurroundVideo® 20 megapixel H.264 cameras provide higher-resolution 180-degree or 360-degree panoramic views and can replace up to 65 conventional cameras. The new all-in-one models are cost-effective solutions for applications where mechanical pan-tilt-zoom (PTZ) devices might otherwise be used or where multiple cameras would be needed to view expansive coverage areas.

The new 20 megapixel day/night panoramic camera represents Arecont Vision’s third generation of panoramic megapixel cameras. Arecont Vision first introduced multi-sensor SurroundVideo® panoramic megapixel cameras in 2006, and continues to lead the industry in megapixel panoramic cameras and megapixel solutions overall.

Arecont Vision panoramic cameras enable users to view and record extremely wide fields of view while simultaneously digitally zooming in to multiple regions of interest, which is something a PTZ cannot do,” said Raul Calderon, Senior Vice President of Marketing, Arecont Vision. “These innovative 20-megapixel cameras set a new benchmark in panoramic video resolution and extend the functionality and ROI benefits of the technology even further. The image definition is something you really have to see to believe.”

The first 20-megapixel panoramic cameras on the market provide a 180-degree or a 360-degree panoramic view using four high-sensitivity 5-megapixel sensors, each offering a 2592×1944-pixel view at 11.5fps, for a total image area of 10,368×1944 pixels at 2.8fps. The cameras use dual H.264 and MJPEG encoders. These panoramic cameras also can be binned to 1.25 megapixels per sensor, increasing light sensitivity.

The new SurroundVideo® cameras offer hard ceiling mount or surface-mount configurations standard, and wall and pendant mount using optional accessories. Models are available with day/night functionality and an integrated heater and blower. The IP66-rated environmental chassis and polycarbonate dome are vandal-resistant and eliminate the need for external housing.

An easily adjustable 2-axis gimbal provides 360-degree pan and 90-degree tilt adjustment. The 360-degree panoramic model also provides plus-or-minus 10-degree (20-degree total) individual mechanical adjustment for each sensor.

On-camera privacy mask enables video to be blocked in multiple regions in any arbitrary shape. Extended motion detection provides a higher-granularity grid of 1,024 distinct motion detection zones per channel.


MOBOTIX S14 FlexMount

The S14 FlexMount from MOBOTIX, the world’s first flexible double hemispheric camera, is now available. The camera, which is available in both mono (S14M) and dual (S14D) versions, features miniature lens units and offers a wide range of application opportunities. For instance, the S14D can be equipped with two hemispheric lens units with integrated microphone that are connected to the main housing via cables.

This makes it possible to fully secure two rooms located next to or on top of one another with just one single S14. The slim design of the module units, which are available in white and black, permit an extremely discreet installation.

Two rooms secured with one single camera

The S14 FlexMount offers the option to set up two hemispheric lens units simultaneously in order to completely cover two adjacent rooms with just one single S14D. When installed in a certain way, the S14D can also see around corners or secure indoor and outdoor areas at the same time. The two sensors allow the S14 to generate two distortion-corrected, high-resolution 180° panorama images, each with a resolution of 3.1 megapixels. All other MOBOTIX lenses, from super-wide angle to tele lens, will be available in the near future as day or night versions.

The S14 is the world’s first hemispheric day-and-night camera. When both modules with black-and-white and color sensors are mounted directly next to each other and cover the same area, the camera automatically chooses the best available mode depending on the lighting conditions. This provides for excellent colours in daylight as well as superb light sensitivity in dark environments. Panning and zooming into the image is done purely electronically. The user is provided with detailed views and other image sections without any mechanical movement, meaning that there is no wear-and-tear to the camera and no maintenance is required.

Weatherproof, discreet and energy efficient

Both module units and the separate housing with the latest dual camera board are weatherproof in accordance with IP65 and operate in a temperature range of -30°C to +60°C (-22°F to +140°F). The flat housing, including flash memory with up to 64 GB and all external connectors (Ethernet, MiniUSB, MxBus), can be installed discreetly and with optimal protection behind a wall or ceiling panel so that only the lens units in their ultra-compact protective housing are visible. Power is supplied very cost effective via a network cable (PoE). At less than five watt-hours, the energy consumption is extremely low.

Wide range of application opportunities

The camera’s technical features and very discreet mounting open up a whole range of application opportunities. In L-shaped rooms, for example, the two sensor modules can be positioned at the corner in correct angles to each other, therefore capturing the entire room without any blind spots. Therefore, the S14 is particularly well-suited for use in hotels, banks and retail stores where the highest levels of security and discretion are required. The S14 can also demonstrate its strengths at security gates and in offices. MOBOTIX also offers the appropriate installation accessories for mounting the sensor module on thicker walls. Using several extension pieces (each approx. 40 mm), longer “tunnel holes” through a wall can also be bridged.

MOBOTIX software included free of charge

As usual with all MOBOTIX products, the complete software for configuration and operation of the camera is integrated directly into the camera. Additionally, professional video management software can be downloaded from the website free of charge.


AMS Launches 8x8 Enova DGX Digital Media Switchover

AMX has announced an 8×8 enclosure for its Enova DGX Digital Media Switcher line. The new DGX 8 features up to 8 inputs and 8 outputs and is intended for smaller commercial or residential installations, where there’s a need for upwards of eight AV sources (local or remote) to be distributed.

Although the 8×8 enclosure has a smaller form factor than its DGX 16 and DGX 32 stablemates, there’s no reduction in functionality. InstaGate Pro allows integrated HDCP for hassle-free matrix switching, while SmartScale matches disparate video sources to the most suitable resolution of any given display, based on communicated EDID info. Naturally, all analogue video signals are automatically converted to digital and there’s support for 3D and multi-channel surround sound.

The DGX 8 also includes an integrated NetLinx Controller and redundant power supplies. Input and output boards are compatible across all three Enova DGX models, which should make designing and deploying systems both efficient and straightforward.

AMX has also announced that the Enova DGX 16 and 32 enclosures have been upgraded with enhanced redundant power supplies, 850w and 1,200w respectively. This on-demand upgrade allows a greater number of DXLink devices to be remotely powered using AMX Power over DXLink, removing the need for additional power supplies or connections, thereby reducing installation time; the incoming Enova DGX 8 includes the new 850w redundant power supply as standard.

To emphasise the Enova DGX’s ease of use, AMX recently staged the Enova DGX Challenge: Unpowered to Perfectly Scaled HDMI/HDCP Video in Under 60 Seconds.


Loewe Connect ID 55 DR+ TV Review


German TV manufacturer Loewe is rapidly becoming the go-to brand for high-end TV displays. Immaculately turned out and adventurously specified, they’re the kind of screen that warrants a second glance in even the most premium of pads. The Connect ID line featured here is its most versatile range yet, available in 32-, 40-, 46- and 55-inch screens sizes; they retail for £1,395, £1,595, £1,995 and £2,495 respectively. Our featured sample is the most recently introduced 55-inch model.

ID, incidentally, stands for Individual Design, a moniker more than justified by the wide range of finishes available. You can opt to partner the Connect ID’s thin piano black bezel with white or black back panels, and then mix and match with one of six colour wraparounds (silver, orange, green, beige, black or white). No TV offers interior designers more to play with. Additionally, the set can also be specified with an integrated 500GB recorder, which earns it the DR+ suffix. This typically adds another £300 to the retail price, but greatly adds to the overall functionality of the screen.

Loewe Connect ID 55 DR+: Build and features
Build quality is excellent. There’s nothing insubstantial about the chassis, and the overall appearance is very upmarket. Connectivity includes three HDMIs (one of which is side facing), an AV mini socket (adaptor provided), PC VGA input, Ethernet LAN, two side facing USBs, coaxial digital audio, CI slot and some legacy connectors. Wi-Fi is onboard. The set sports a Freeview HD tuner along with two DVB-S satellite aerial inputs. These can be configured for a single LNB feed, two separate feeds from two different satellites or as many as four satellites inputs via a DiSEqC controller. This versatility makes it a prime candidate for a pro aerial dealer install.

Loewe has optimised the Connect ID TV for life in a networked environment. A dedicated Media button on the substantial remote control offers instant access to networked UPnP devices, local USB, timeshifted recordings and streaming IPTV options. Free services on tap include BBC iPlayer, Daily Motion and Vimeo, but curiously there’s no YouTube client. Subscription offerings include Box Office 365 and Cartoon Network. The TV also boasts a built-in web browser, but it’s not particularly easy to navigate with a standard TV zapper.

File support is top notch. Whether from local USB or networked NAS, we had no problems playing all popular codecs and containers, including AVI, WMV, MKV, MOV, MP3, FLAC, Vorbis, AAC/M4a and WAV.

The integrated PVR module is a seamless and recommended upgrade which allows users to record one channel while watching another. Timeshifted image quality is transparent to the source channel.When multiple Loewe Connect ID screens are installed on the same network, recordings can travel from one to another using the set’s Follow Me feature, a welcome nicety.

Loewe Connect ID 55 DR+: performance
While this TV doesn’t offer a great deal in the way of calibration, it arrives out of the box looking pretty peachy. Colour fidelity is naturalistic rather than candy store and there’s a real punch to its picture. To avoid unwanted edge-enhancement ensure that the Sharpness setting never strays above the minimum setting. Static contrast is rated at 6,000:1, with dynamic contrast pegged at 6,000,000:1. The important thing to note is that while blacks look suitably deep, there’s enough shadow detail and nuance to add extra depth. The LED edge-lighting is not consistent though, sometimes drawing attention to itself in darker scenes.

Curiously the screen’s default 16:9 setting applies overscan; given that most users will presumably be viewing HD content this is unnecessary. The 16:9 PC setting doesn’t overscan.

During our audition, we ran the screen with a wide variety of content from a selection of sources, including satellite and Blu-ray. For the most part it acquitted itself well, however motion clarity was not deemed a particular strength. With a moving test pattern traveling at 6.5ppf, the TV struggles to offer more than 850 lines of horizontal resolution. That said, images are artifact free and look suitably cinematic.

There are two DNC Digital Noise Control Settings, Medium and High, but these tend to rob the image of detail when engaged; for best clarity, keep DNC switched Off. Loewe also provides a DMM Film Quality Improvement processor to smooth out minor horizontal judder, which it does quite successfully, but this also adds motion artefacts to certain moving objects, so it’s also probably best left Off. While this is not a great screen for sports fans, cinephiles will find plenty to relish here. Naturally, the TV is stereoscopic, offering Active Shutter Full HD 3D. USB rechargeable glasses are an optional extra.

Audio quality is considerably better than its main competitors. The forward facing stereo speakers create a crisp, stereophonic soundstage, powered by a 2 x 10w amplifier with additional 20w mid-woofer back-up. A handful of filters (Speech, Classical, Pop, Custom music and Custom film sound) make it relatively easy to optimise.

Loewe Connect ID 55 DR+: Verdict
Loewe’s flagship Connect ID screen is triumphantly upmarket in design and execution. It also lends itself well to custom installation, particularly if you’re looking to use it in conjunction with a satellite dish feed. Image quality is generally high, although there are caveats as noted. Overall, Loewe has nailed a look that’s somewhere between Apple and Bang & Olufsen, and the choice of finishes on offer make this Connect ID model a very unique proposition.



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