New Sony MPEG-4 Network Video Camera Expands Market for IP Surveillnace
Offering highly sensitive IP monitoring capabilities on smaller bandwidth, Sony Electronics Inc. today introduced the SNC-RZ25N, a pan-tilt-zoom camera that enables remote viewing and high-quality video capture over existing IP networks through MPEG-4 compression in addition to JPEG modes. Equipped with a built-in web server, the SNC-RZ25N's capabilities maximize bandwidth resources to create an effective and economical platform for IP surveillance systems to operate on a broad base of existing academic, corporate, and institutional networks.

Employing the latest ? type Exwave HAD? technology, the SNC-RZ25N delivers exceptional picture quality, even in low-light conditions. Additionally, the camera includes audio monitoring via a built-in microphone as well as an external microphone jack, active speaker output, and a new "Day/Night" function, which provides optimized sensitivity in both daylight and dark environments. During normal/daylight hours, the camera provides image output in color. As the surveillance scene darkens, the infrared cut-filter is automatically replaced with a clear filter and switches to black-and-white. The switches can be set through manual, automatic or timer settings.

"The SNC-RZ25N marks a new generation in network cameras that delivers advanced features and functionality with the exceptional efficiency that MPEG-4 affords," said Bill Lee, general manager of the security products group for Sony Electronics' Broadband Communications Products Division. "It provides an exceptional value proposition for both those who have been considering when to make the shift from legacy closed circuit to IP-based security systems, as well as for those interested in an initial installation."

Lee says that the reduced bandwidth requirements of the SNC-RZ25N make IP-based security possible and practical for a much wider market. As such, it leverages additional returns on existing IP infrastructure investments made by academic, corporate and private institutions.

"IP video surveillance is a value-add that realizes the promise of IP communications," said Lee. "Our MPEG-4 camera makes this application feasible to many more IT managers and is an eye-opener for those who think they are already getting the most from their bandwidth with just e-mail and Internet access."

High Quality Over Minimal Bandwidth

The SNC-RZ25N produces high-quality MPEG-4 images with 640 x 480 maximum resolution at up to 18 frames per second (fps), and up to 30 fps at 320 x 240 resolution. Images can also be compressed into JPEG motion or still files. The camera also features a CCD, SteadyShot? functionality and an integral 18x auto-focus zoom lens.

The camera provides support for various networking protocols, including TCP/IP, DHCP, File Transfer Protocol (FTP), Simple Network Management Protocol (SNMP), Simple Messaging Transport Protocol (SMTP) and an RS-232C port. It also has a compact flash slot for wireless networking or for the storage of additional images.

Network features include Adaptive Rate Control to control Quality of Service (QoS) over IP. This function automatically varies the audio and bit rate transfer rate to meet changing network conditions, and selects the most appropriate frame rates, helping to prevent audio and video breakup. Also included are Simultaneous Access, which allows up to 20 (JPEG mode) and 10 (MPEG-4 mode) users to simultaneously access the camera, and a multicasting capability, which, when configured with a multicasting router, can efficiently stream video and audio to numerous users.

A built-in motion detector enables the camera to sense alarm events and can be programmed to trigger alerts. The camera can attach and send the image captured during the alarm as an email to a specified address. Additionally, the SNC-RZ25N provides an analog video output.

The SNC-RZ25N is part of Sony's comprehensive line of IP-addressable network cameras and takes its place alongside the highly successful JPEG-only SNC-RZ30N. In addition to serving as integral elements of a tightly integrated Sony IP Surveillance system, both cameras incorporate open industry standards for interoperability with third-party hardware and software.

Sony's SNC-RZ25N network video camera is planned to be available in December for a suggested list price of $1,600.

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