Security professionals can tune in to one of many web casts hosted by Steve Surfaro, group manager and strategic technical liaison at Panasonic System Solutions Company. Participants may gain from Surfaro’s tremendous experience and expertise, as he brings it to bear on a wide range of topics relating to all aspects of video surveillance.

The schedule of web casts, which is updated regularly and available at, covers numerous topics of interest to the security industry in general and also specific vertical markets. The topics for the first several web casts, which are provided free of charge, are:
  • April 16 – Learn about Biometrics — a Look into the Iris Reader

  • May 14 – Emerging Trends 2008

  • June 18 – Analog Security Systems

  • July 16 – Network Switches and Protocols

  • Sept. 10 – Network Design for the Security Professional

  • October 8 – Business Strategies and Best Practices for Video
For more information about Panasonic Security Systems call (866) PAN-CCTV or

George DeRosa

Industry Mourns a Loss

In February 2008, George DeRosa, a long-time electronic security industry sales representative, passed away from cancer. George was well-known and respected by many people in our business as he crossed paths, did deals and told jokes to hundreds of us over the years.

George was a live wire — he was brash and forward, but knew his stuff and our business intimately. He stood up and fought back — unfortunately for George, it didn’t work out.

George’s family, friends and associates are missing him today and will for years to come. A memorial service will be held May 31 in Lake Placid, Fla. Contact Lynn DeRosa atgderosa1@aol.comor (863) 465-3231 for information.

What’s Better Than Free?

In my never-ending quest to stay abreast with the electronic security industry’s development of products and services, lately I’ve been pondering the dollars and cents of IP video installations. In this process, I’ve been comparing equipment costs of IP cameras, video encoders and video management software packages.

Many major vendors are producing state-of-the-art IP devices, and it can be hard to put together an “apples to apples” type of comparison. Different vendors use different compression codecs, some have PoE, some do multicasting, etc. So saying one product is “better” than another is like saying a four-door sedan is better than a pickup truck — each have their own uses and best applications.

From a value perspective, JVC's VN-RS800U video management software should win an award, in my opinion.This program provides for the viewing and recording of up to 16 JVC IP video cameras and individual video streams from their four-input VN-E4 network encoders. It’s easy to use, can be quickly installed on most any desktop PC, and provides an easy-to-use video display similar to a typical DVR’s. Fire up a download see for yourself.

Book of the Month

A Brief History of Time
by Stephen Hawking, Bantam Books

I know, physics was a killer in high school and college, and who needs to know this stuff? But the universe is where we all come from, and electrons moving from molecule to molecule can make the electricity that powers all of the devices we install. So drink a cup of strong coffee and dive into this newly updated version of the best seller, which provides very clear descriptions of the theories of the universe and matter. Although the facts and theories may be a bit dry, I find it fascinating to learn how the world’s best thinkers developed theories about things both too small to see (quantum mechanics) and too far away to witness, like black holes in the universe.