Clarion University Implements IP Video Solution

Clarion University depends on Panasonic i-PRO systems to provide IP-based video surveillance throughout its campus in the Appalachian Mountain region of northwestern Pennsylvania. The university's systems integrator is The Protection Bureau.

“The proof is in the picture, bottom line; the other specs don’t matter,” said Bob Burket, senior security consultant from The Protection Bureau. “For megapixel cameras, Panasonic has the best picture out there, particularly in low-light situations.”

The system at Clarion University is built around Panasonic’s i-PRO WJ-ND400 network video recorder, with the i-PRO WV-NW502S camera, a 3 megapixel, vandal-resistant IP camera that offers multiple stream formats: H.264, MPEG-4 and JPEG compression.
The camera incorporates Panasonic’s MEGA Super Dynamic camera technology with 128x dynamic range, Adaptive Black Stretch technology to make dark areas more visible and face-detection technology to better identify subjects. The WV-NW502S provides images at 30 frames per second in H.264 format (in 1.3 megapixel mode).

“This camera does a great job with severe backlighting situations. In low light, it doesn't get any better,” Burket said.

The camera’s  MEGA Super Dynamic image technology gives it greater sensitivity in lower light levels (1.0 lux color and 0.08 lux black-and-white at F1.4 in 1.3 megapixel mode). This provides clear images, even when light is dim, which is ideal for 24-hour surveillance. Burket notes that Clarion University uses the camera throughout its parking lots and pedestrian walkways, where lighting is inconsistent -- it could be low or high intensity.

‟The cameras compensate for all of it,” Burket said.

Panasonic cameras provide surveillance of the exterior of two campuses and the interiors of new buildings as they are built or retrofitted. The Protection Bureau has been installing cameras at Clarion University for about a year and will continue with the installations for the next three to five years.

The integrator also expects to be maintaining and servicing the system for many years, which makes the dependability of Panasonic's products particularly appealing to an integrator.

“Panasonic is always the best-of-breed as time goes on. They are bulletproof -- everything about the system just works and keeps on working,” Burket said.

Panasonic’s i-PRO WJ-ND400 NVR can accommodate 64 cameras, and each channel is fully licensed. There is no need to deal with per-camera licensing, which can complicate the process of switching out cameras.

“A new camera takes the same IP address, so it's plug-and-play,” Burket said.

Panasonic is one of the few major manufacturers that takes this approach. The WJ-ND400 offers multi-format recording in MPEG-4 and JPEG, 2x and 4x digital zoom on live or recorded video, and Panasonic camera control for pan/tilt, zoom, focus, brightness, preset position and auto mode. Up to nine hot-plug hard disk drives can be installed for maximum on-board storage capabilities, and up to 16 clients can monitor and control the WJ-ND400 simultaneously.

“Panasonic security products are so dependable that the long-term cost is very affordable,” Burket said.

The university also uses Panasonic's WV-ASM100 software, which ties together multiple recorders and enables users to view the system as a whole on a computer workstation from a central location. Which camera is assigned to which recorder is invisible to the user, who operates the various recorders as a unified system.

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