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How to Set up Auto Tracking on a PTZ

How to Set up Auto Tracking on a PTZ
Hey everyone; Joe from SCK here- and today we’re going to cover a topic we get asked about quite a bit, and that is “How to set up Auto Tracking on a PTZ”. This is a topic we get many questions about, and there are a few different questions we get asked about it. Before we even touch on how to set up auto tracking on PTZ, for the uninitiated, what is auto tracking anyway, and what is a PTZ? Before we dive into that, know that you’re going to need to know how to set up IVS rules on your PTZ camera. We’re going to cover that, and how to get your auto tracking setup as well.

Well firstly know that a PTZ is a security camera with multiple ranges of motion and magnification. Specifically, this means Pan, or moving left and right; Tilt, or moving up and down; and Zoom, or the ability to magnify and see further away.  That last part, regarding zoom, is important because PTZ cameras can actually zoom in, rather than relying on a digital “faux-zoom” which is really just a cropped image. Though this does allow the user to see slightly further away, the digital zoom comes at the cost of drastic pixelization resulting in serious image quality loss. The true optical zoom found in PTZs does not suffer this loss. 

Now that we have described what a PTZ is, let’s talk about auto-tracking. Auto tracking is the ability of a PTZ camera to react to a target crossing an Intelligent Video surveillance rules (aka IVS), and attempt to follow that target to the best of its ability within parameters or settings. It can not do this forever, and won’t be able to just ‘know’ someone has walked into view and follow them- it requires specific situations.

Auto tracking isn’t perfect, and while Crime Investigation TV shows and spy movies have given us some really cool imaginary tech (-Enhance!-) real-life auto tracking is far more subtle, sensitive, and requires certain trigger rules to be in play namely IVs trigger rules. 

With that said, it’s still an amazing, and incredibly useful technology that if used correctly and with the proper expectations, can help you track targets entering crucial areas and determine if their activity is malicious or a non-threat.

The following guide can be followed pretty much the same if you are using the recorder direct, or its web interface. There may be subtle differences between these interfaces, but nothing that should throw you off from using this guide. In our video, we will be using the web interface. Ok, now it’s time to show you How to Set up Auto Tracking on a PTZ.

How to Set up Auto Tracking on a PTZ Video Guide:

How to Set up Auto Tracking on a PTZ Text Guide:

Log in to your recorder if you haven’t done so. We’re going to have to give this camera a PTZ preset before we can set IVS rules- and thus tracking. A preset is a memorized and numbered setting for a specific viewpoint for the camera. For example, you can move the camera to a specific location, and choose to zoom as well if you like. You can then mark that location and zoom point as a preset, and are then able to recall the camera to this exact point later by using this preset. The preset determines how the camera associates its IVS rules, and so you should make a preset in the main view you’re going to be using for rules and tracking. Do this now for preset 1.

Next, we need to make sure that this camera’s IVS smart plan is enabled. So from here go back to the main menu and then into AI. From AI, drop-down parameters and select Smart Plan. From here, make sure your camera’s channel is selected, and the correct preset. Also, make sure IVS is selected, and then save.

Next, enter the IVS menu, and create a rule using the + Sign on the far right. Decide if you want tripwire or intrusion by selecting the type. Then, proceed to use the left click to draw lines in the viewfinder on the left. Once you’ve drawn your box or tripwire, turn your attention to the settings on the right. Make sure your rules for crossing the lines are set according to your needs, make sure AI is enabled if you have it and people and vehicles are selected unless you want one of the two ignored.

Make sure Track Time is checked, and, make sure you set how long (up to a max of 300 seconds) you want the tracking to attempt to follow the target. Make sure no PTZ rules are set to interfere with your tracking and click OK to save the rule!

Now if you’re watching our video guide, check out our example at the end!

Thanks for joining us today as we showed you How to Set up Auto Tracking on a PTZ. For any questions on product compatibility, availability or any other information don’t hesitate to give our Sales Pro’s a call at 561-288-5258. Don’t forget to subscribe to our YouTube Channel for more Tutorials and CCTV info. Until Next time, Stay Safe!

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