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Entry-level IP

The network video product company Axis Communications announces AXIS Camera Companion. The manufacturers call it an entry-level IP video solution for small installations. Consisting of a free software client and Axis network cameras or video encoders with SD-card support, the solution is designed for systems from one to 16 cameras. It is aimed at retail stores, offices, hotels or other small businesses.

Phil Doyle, regional director, Northern Europe, Axis Communications, says: “While network video is increasingly replacing analogue technology in larger installations, smaller video systems still rely heavily on analogue cameras and DVRs. With our new solution, we address a segment of the market that has previously not had easy access to IP video. Since AXIS Camera Companion records all video in the cameras or encoders, the solution becomes very simple, reliable and cost-effective. Now even small business owners can enjoy the benefits of network video, such as excellent HDTV image quality, remote access to video and scalability.”  

The software allows small business owners to use HDTV network cameras to help them identify intruders, shoplifters and other incidents. Video can be viewed live and recordings played back from anywhere – on-site or remotely over the internet. The system supports motion detection and pan/tilt/zoom control. Video clips and snapshots can be exported to colleagues and authorities, and the system supports third-party apps for viewing live and recorded video on smartphones and tablets, such as iPhone, iPad and Android.

Unlike analogue surveillance installations, the Camera Companion does not require a central recording device – a digital video recorder (DVR), network video recorder (NVR), or even a computer. The cameras are powered over the network, eliminating the need for separate power
cables. All images are recorded onto a standard SD memory card in each camera, and even if a network fails, the cameras keep recording. The makers say that this reduces cost, simplifies installation, and makes the system more robust as there is no single point of failure.

The Camera Companion consists of three parts: Standard Axis network cameras or video encoders with edge storage support for recording onto SD-cards; a free software client and third-party mobile apps used for viewing live and recorded video; and standard third-party network equipment such as routers, switches, SD cards and NAS devices. Existing analogue cameras can be integrated via video encoders.

A majority of Axis network cameras and video encoders with firmware 5.40 or later support AXIS Camera Companion. For a list of supported products click here.

The Camera Companion software will be available for free download from from March 21, 2012. The cameras are available through Axis’ security installation and system integration partners. 


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