IP PTZ Security Cameras - All There is to Know
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IP PTZ Security Cameras – All There is to Know

IP PTZ Security Cameras – All there is to Know

Hi again, and welcome to our IPPTZ showcase. We have an article, and accompanying video for you as well! As you’ll see in the video’s introduction, PTZ is a powerful tool and we want to help you learn all about PTZ within IP cameras and why this is such a great benefit. Before we get into why these technologies work so well together let’s learn a little bit more about PTZ. First off- PTZ stands for Pan, Tilt, and Zoom. Each of these terms represents an axis of movement or zoom for the camera in some capacity. Follow along with the video to get a 


Pan: The Camera’s ability to move Horizontally (or left and right)
Tilt: The Camera’s ability to move Vertically (or up and down) 
Zoom: the Camera’s ability to look further into the distance for a narrower, but a closer shot of things further away.

It’s important to note when talking about zoom with real PTZ cameras, that this zoom is a true optical zoom that is actually magnifying the image. This is much better and very different from the digital ‘zoom’ found on most cameras which is really just cropping the existing image. This causes the remainder to be stretched beyond the normal resolution resulting in a closer, but a substantially poorer quality image.

Now by itself, PTZ is already a really awesome tool when controlled manually. This technology has been present in Coaxile ore Analogue cameras for a long time. In fact, it used to be that in order to use PTZ, you’d have to connect your COAX cameras serial cables, called RS485 A and B, to the back of a recorder. The cables are thin, and a bit on the finicky side. You’d also often have to run your own wires to extend them as they are not very long.

In addition to properly running the rs485 cables, you’d have to be aware of many parameters in the camera including its PTZ address, and its baud rate- an older measurement for quantifying serial data. You’d then have to properly input this information into the recorder manually, on a channel by channel basis for each camera that would be using PTZ – and you’d have to make sure each camera’s PTZ address was different or they could conflict with each other. This often meant manually opening the camera and adjusting a series of physical dip switches in order to alter the address. If the cables were not installed correctly, or this information was entered incorrectly you would not have functionality.

This is where IP PTZ comes in. IP PTZ is just PTZ functionality present in IP- or network- cameras rather than their COAX counterparts. The first and most important reason that IPPTZ is so great, is that the complexity of getting them up and running has been totally eliminated. Most if not all IP PTZ camera feature some form of POE- or power over ethernet- meaning the cameras can be connected and powered over a single ethernet cable. Not only is the physical connection simpler, but as long as your recorder and cameras are fully compatible- IP PTZ simply ‘works; by default. That’s right! With IPPTZ There are no complicated settings to alter, remember or write down. There are no finicky rs485 serial cables to run. Once the camera and recorder are connected by ethernet and paired, the PTZ communication is already established and you should be able to fully control the IPPTZ camera with ease. There are tons of really useful features in IPPTZ cameras that make them a great choice for a variety of circumstances and situations. Let’s talk a little bit more about what they can do for you.

The Power Of Presets:
So We now know IP PTZ cameras can move and zoom. When using these features you’ll likely find specific positions, or key points in the camera’s view you want to focus on. You can use presets to mark these positions after you have moved, and/or zoom the camera in.

PTZ on Tour:
Let’s say you have multiple spots you’d like an IP PTZ camera to focus on throughout the day. Using a tour, you can tell the camera to automatically move between the presets you create, spending a certain amount of time at each point. 

We’re Seeing a Pattern here:
Rather than using a tour, you can create a pattern to follow a specified path. Instead of presets, you move the camera any way you can within its capabilities. The pattern of movement and zooms is recorded, and then can be repeated.

IVS and IPPTz, a perfect match!
So you may be familiar with IVS rules, also known as intelligent video surveillance. They’re commonly set up as tripwires, or intrusion boxes using on-screen drawn lines.  When an object crosses the intrusion, this triggers the camera and at that point, this can result in a few things. It could be an alarm, tell the camera to start recording, simply log the event for easy searching, or all of the above. Why IVS and PTZ matter together though, is that IVS rules can also detector PTZ commands. 

Additionally, you can combine IVS rules from one camera to another, as you see in the footage in the video- Our friend crosses the ivs detector on one camera, which activates the PTZ functions of a different camera! The second camera then turns its view to catch him as he comes into its new field of vision. 

This brings us to another amazing feature of IVS with PTZ- auto-tracking! One of the most widely requested features prominently available in PTZ cameras is auto-tracking. Using IVS detector rules, a PTZ camera can be set to automatically track an object that crosses the threshold of a tripwire or intrusion box. 

AI Features:
Many of our PTZ cameras now come with advanced AI features including Deep IVS and SMart motion detection. These features allow you to filter out either human or vehicle objects from the detection process. This will lead to far less false alarms and more controlled easy to navigate search results.  Another major reason that IP PTZ cameras are a good choice is the available resolution options. Though coax cameras are now catching up in terms of options, IP cameras simply have more available resolutions to choose from currently. You can find IP PTZ cameras in resolutions as low as 2 Megapixels, up to 4, 5, 6 and even 8 megapixels – aka 4k. Of course, higher resolutions mean more data- even with the newest h265 compression. However, with all the different levels of quality available to choose from This means you have a lot more wiggle room in deciding your personal image quality vs storage requirements.  

Compatibility with existing systems:
Lastly, the vast majority of COAX based DVR.s manufactured in the last few years are hybrid technologies that can accept IP cameras. What this means is that even if you have an existing COAX installation, you can reap the benefits of a high-quality IPPTZ camera without upending the entire system and switching to IP. As long as your system supports it, and you have available channels- IP PTZs are a great add on to any existing system.


Thanks for joining us today as we talked about everything IPPTZ. For any questions on compatibility, availability, or pricing- give our sales pros a call at 561.288.5258. If you enjoyed the video or found it helpful don’t forget to toss us a like and hit subscribe. Until next time, stay safe!

Related: How Can I Stop My Recorder From Beeping
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