QNAP delivers instant video surveillance system

Let's face it, video surveillance is a necessity for many small businesses, especially retailers. Until recently, most video surveillance solutions were beyond the reach of the channel and were relegated to security specialists, but the power of IP has changed all of that. Simply put, IP technology and surveillance technology go together like bread and butter.

QNAP gives solution providers a taste of security surveillance profits with its NVR series of surveillance systems. Surprisingly, it's a pretty simple recipe to combine networking technology with video technology--it just takes a splash of storage, topped with IP cameras and then mixed with the firmware to make it all work.

QNAP takes the recipe a little further by adding Web access, Gigabit Ethernet and live two-way audio to create an easily deployed and used security system that has a wide range of applications, from a retail establishment to an apartment building complex.

Billed as an instant surveillance system, the NVR-1012 consists of a QNAP storage server, a pair of wireless MPEG-4 network IP cameras and QNAP's surveillance management software. As packaged, the system uses wired connections, but installers can incorporate a wireless access point or router to deploy the IP cameras wirelessly.

One of the most impressive capabilities of the system is the ease of setup. The initial setup can be accomplished in six simple steps that consist of basically plugging everything in and running a wizard application to handle the basic programming of the system. But don't let the easy setup fool you--the product is chock full of features that make it a good solution for most any surveillance situation.

Solution providers will find that the system can be set up to record based upon schedules, events, motion detection or other triggers. That recording can be stored as streamed video or in time lapse format. The included cameras offer resolutions ranging from 320 by 240 to 640 by 480 and support frame rates as high as 40 fps.

The included cameras also sport a very interesting feature--infrared for recording at night. Each camera has six infrared LEDs that are used to illuminate subjects at night, and the cameras can switch from day to night mode automatically. A 3x digital zoom rounds out the capabilities of the cameras.

The server portion of the kit is basically an intelligent NAS unit that features a Web portal for access. All setup is done via a browser-based interface, and storage can be added via the unit's USB and eSATA ports. Solution providers can bundle in as much as 2TB of storage via the expansion ports and can even offer removable storage for archival purposes.

The system features a nifty monitoring application that is run via Internet Explorer. Users can view in real time a grid of the cameras (as many as four at a time) on a single screen and can even use two-way audio to interact with those on the other side of the camera--an ideal feature for those who want to combine the system with a locked door that can be "buzzed" open, such as in a shipping department or delivery bay. The NVR-1012 retails for $999, and interested solution providers should contact QNAP directly for information on partner opportunities and current distributors.