Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) Cameras
Pan Tilt Zoom, or PTZ Cameras, are Cameras that have the ability to move around and zoom in for better and more versatile image adjustment in a number of scenarios!
Further down the article, we include a link to our video on IPPTZ cameras as well. Don’t forget to check out the video, and subscribe to our channel for everything CCTV!
So before we get into what an IPPTZ is, let’s break down that acronym! There are actually two acronyms mushed together, IP and PTZ. IP as you might have guessed is short for IP address, and in this case, denotes that the camera is an IP-style camera. Without getting into too many details that basically just means that it is not a COAX camera and uses ethernet cable, and an IP address to communicate its video data over a network rather than through a video cable like a COAX BNC.
There are, however, plenty of IP cameras that are not PTZ… So what does PTZ mean then? PTZ is also an acronym, and it’s short for Pan Tilt Zoom. A PTZ Camera can perform those actions in addition to just capturing footage. This is what each of those actions is:
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.
We carry Pan Tilt zoom cameras in both IP/network and Classic Coax camera options! While COAX PTZ options are certainly viable, in today’s market IPPTAZ is the way to go even if you do have a DVR. Most DVRs can handle IP cameras, and IPPTZ setup is significantly simpler than COAX PTZ Setup, lets’s get into that a bit.
One of the most important things about a PTZ is its ability to use true optical zoom. 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 substantially poorer quality image.
So what are the benefits of using IP and PTZ technology together? Consider as said before PTZ has been around on non-IP cameras for some time, in other words, there were and still are many PTZ Coaxile ore Analogue cameras. In fact, it used to be that in order to use PTZ, you’d have to connect your COAX camera’s 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 cameras 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.
Cruizin with PTZ’
Let’s say you have multiple spots you’d like an IP PTZ camera to focus on throughout the day. Did you know that you can tell the camera to automatically move between the presets you create, spending a certain amount of time at each point? This is called a cruise, or a tour
I’m noticing a pattern:
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 together at last!
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.
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!