June 19, 2006 Cisco subsidiary Linksys has announced a wireless Pan/Tilt/Zoom (PTZ) internet camera that can send live video and audio via the Internet to a web browser anywhere in the world. The WVC200 contains its own IP address, so it doesn’t require an attached PC and easily connects to an existing Ethernet or Wireless network. Up to ten simultaneous users can have remote control of the camera's Pan/Tilt and 2X digital zoom and focus and it comes with the software to enable up to nine cameras to be monitored. The camera can be set up to record to a schedule or if it detects any movement or manually, and it can record to a networked hard drive and there’s even advanced search by time and date and playback on Windows Media Player. You can even set it to email alerts to up to four email addresses with attached video clips if the camera detects any motion. Now none of those capabilities are new, but when they are all bundled for US$299, we’re obviously reaching the point where a whole host of applications that were previously unthinkably cost-prohibitive are now viable.
"We've designed a camera that provides small businesses the tool they need to monitor their office during businesses hours or while they are away," said David Tucker, Linksys senior director of product marketing for the small business solutions business unit. "The camera can be accessed over the internet, enabling the office to be remotely monitored. Users can be alerted by email or phone when unexpected movement has occurred after hours, eliminating the need to actively monitor the camera. It's an ideal solution for providing peace of mind at the price small business budgets can afford."
The WVC200 images can be password protected or can be left open for the world to see. Support for Dynamic DNS enables access to the camera by using an easy-to-remember URL "name", even if the business is using a dynamic IP address.
The WVC200 comes equipped with a LCD screen on the front of the camera that displays the IP address so multiple cameras can be easily managed.
The advanced MPEG-4 video compression produces a high-quality, high-frame rate, 640x480 video stream. MPEG-4 encoding facilitates good video quality in varying bandwidth environments. The WVC200 also supports MJPEG compression for video, providing good video quality at high bandwidth rates.
The comprehensive video features include an Infrared (IR) cut filter which allows you to see the images in low or no light environments when an external IR lamp is used. Snapshots (in JPEG format) of the image can be taken and saved. Snapshots can also be scheduled and sent to an FTP server.
Advanced features of the PTZ Internet Camera include a Security mode. When the camera detects motion, it begins to record the video and audio feed and simultaneously sends an e-mail alert to the office, a pager or a cell phone. Up to three e-mail alerts can be sent, including a short video clip in an email attachment. Users can then log onto the live video stream if the situation warrants. Wireless Local Area Network (LAN) security features include WEP and WPA encryption.
- CMOS Sensor with Glass Lens - Dual -- Codec MPEG-4 or MJPEG Selectable Compression - Built-In Web Server for Remote Access with On-Screen Users Connected Information - Supports UPnP for Easy Discovery on the Network - DDNS support Linksys SoloLink and other available free DDNS services - Included Software for Monitoring and Recording Up to 9 Cameras Simultaneously - Email Alerts to up to 4 Email addresses with Video Clips upon Motion Detection - LCD Screen on Camera Displays Full IP Address
SoloLink Dynamic Domain Name System (DDNS) Service
Linksys is also offering an optional service that makes the use and access of its wireless products easier and friendlier. Many Internet providers assign a new IP address to a connection from time to time or anytime an Internet connection is restarted. The SoloLink service is a DDNS service that keeps track of the IP address of the camera, even when it changes, with an easy to remember web address the customer selects so the camera's video stream can be found quickly and easily. All customers receive a free 90-day trial of the SoloLink service with the purchase of the WVC200. The price of the SoloLink service starts at US$19.99 for a one year subscription.
Pricing and Availability
The Linksys Wireless-G PTZ Internet Camera with Audio (WVC200) is available immediately for an estimated street price of US$299 (AUD$549 in Australia).