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Swann DVR4-2600: monitor four live security cams via smartphone

Not everyone is in the market for video surveillance systems, but folks who are know that if the video gear proves to be handle, it’s usually after a break-in or other crime has been committed: most systems are merely passive recorders of what the cameras see, and don’t enable owners to keep tabs on things while they’re away. Not so with the new Swann DVR4-2600 video surveillance system: it not only includes support for up to four cameras and comes with a 500 GB hard drive pre-installed, it can offer live remote monitoring from 3G smartphones, including Symbian, Windows Mobile, Android, BlackBerry, and (yes) iOS devices.

“This is a flagship product for Swann in 2011” said Swann’s VP for global marketing Jeremy Stewart, in a statement. “It brings together video surveillance with phone connectivity and convenience as never before.”

The DVR4-2600 supports viewing and recording by up to four cameras, which record at up to 704 by 480 (NTSC) or 704 by 576 (PAL) and automatically stamp video with the time and date. The 500 GB hard drive should be enough for about 30 days of continuous video, but users can save on hard drive space by using motion detection recording that only records video when the system detects changes in the camera views. Video can be transfered to USB drives for archiving and storage, and the system can be connected to a TV or PC monitor for live viewing: users can set up all four cameras on-screen at once. The system comes with a remote control, and Swann’s PRO-580 cameras sport a 62° viewing angle, infrared LEDs for night vision shooting in dark spaces, and can handle cable lengths up to 60 feet.

However, the breakthrough feature on the DVR4-2600 is smartphone monitoring: users just need to installed the three SwannView app available from Swann directly (or, for iOS users, from the iTunes App Store): once the app is running, users just need to enter their DVR’s IP address, port, and login information, and they’ll be able to view camera feeds in real time.

The DVR4-2600 with four PRO-580 cameras has a suggested price of $449 and will be available in March; a version will also be available without cameras, and folks with more extensive monitoring needs can check out 8- and 16-camera variations.