One of the most frequent requests I received while employed by Sling Media came from small businesses and higher-end home owners looking for more enterprise-esque video monitoring with placeshifting features, but at reasonable prices. While Sling hasn’t yet acted on this demand, video analytics firm Cernium answers the call next week with the release of Archerfish. And I recently swung by Cernium’s Virginia headquarters for a personal briefing from CEO Craig Chambers.
Archerfish is a relatively small and solid black box which houses a TI DaVinci chip and starts at $1000. Each unit supports up to four video cameras. While the 352×240 (CIF) resolution isn’t great, Archerfish is powerful enough to simultaneously encode, analyze, and broadcast H.264 video from each input. Like the Slingbox, video must punch through the router using a TCP connection. The default port is 4444, but this can be manually adjusted to something more ISP friendly if needed.
Unlike Sling’s solutions, desktop software is not required or even offered. Each Archerfish owner is provided access to the MyArcherfish web Dashboard ($20/mo). Which is where just about all interaction happens. The power of the Archerfish solution is not solely live broadcasts of remote locations, but also automatic event recording. Typical motion detection schemes may not be able to isolate meaningful action, whereas Archerfish specializes in identifying both people and vehicles. Rather than moving shadows, cats, or trees rustling in the wind. Via MyArcherfish, owners can configure these hot zones (ActiveX/IE) and minimum duration of activity. So, at any time, both live video and and recorded events can be evaluated on the Internet portal. Additionally, email and text message alerts are supported – with the option of multiple recipients.
Archerfish will be available for sale direct from their site in a few days, plus Cernium appears to have reseller and broadband distribution intentions. For those without cameras, they’re also offering a 2-camera + Archerfish bundle running $1500 at launch.
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