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LenovoEMC is helping to rid the world of grainy crime videos. In June, the company started shipping the LenovoEMC Network Video Recorders with Milestone Arcus, a family of video surveillance systems that are as easy for a small company to afford as they are to set up and control. For testing, LenovoEMC sent the CRN Test Center the NVR px2-300D, the lower-end model targeted at small and medium businesses offering a capacity for up to 20 surveillance cameras.
Built into one of LenovoEMC's sturdy Iomega NAS boxes is Arcus from Milestone Systems, a leading video management system that was engineered from the ground up to be embedded. The box boots directly to the Arcus software. Once the licensing process was cleared and cameras individually set up and configured, testers had an easy time configuring the box for recording, despite having limited prior experience with the system.
Milestone Systems offers one of the leading video surveillance solutions for the enterprise, and it's easy to see why. Not only is the software powerful and feature-rich, it's also among the easiest-to-use NVR packages that we've seen. To begin, a simple Settings screen (shown on next page) presents icons representing cameras discovered automatically along with their status. A search box allows cameras not found by the software to be added manually. A panel at right presents a concise report of available storage space with a pie chart illustrating how it's used. Below that are a system performance graph and licensing info.
Pressing the Configure button for individual cameras presents several pages for controlling each camera's name, codec (H.264, MPEG-4, M-JPEG), frame rate, resolution, recording mode (constant or motion-based), retention period and disk usage with alerts. A separate page presents sliders for setting motion sensitivity and impact on CPU performance. When playing back recorded videos, a linear calendar and time clock appear below the video thumbnail, simplifying export of content to just the relevant portions.