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Tech Roundup: PTZ Cameras and Streaming Devices

Developments in the past two years have catapulted conferencing to the killer Internet app while at the same time making live streaming a matter of survival in the house of worship arena. AV manufacturers have responded with cameras, streaming hardware and capture devices that integrate sophisticated capability with ease of use. The items surveyed here illustrate those current trends and highlight that innovative industry response to what have been the most challenging of times.

The conferencing solution for small to medium sized rooms is the 1 Beyond Hawk with its dual PTZ cameras that switch between wide angle and close-ups on the participants. Each camera has a 12x optical zoom that can bring in small detail while using the unit’s built-in audio-locating microphones to find the featured presenter from one moment to the next. A variety of room microphone systems can be used to route the far end audio to the device for echo cancellation.

The AJA Helo is an H.264 streaming and recording stand-alone appliance that can record H.264 files to either SD, SDHC or SDXC cards, USB storage and NFS/CIFS mounted network based storage simultaneously. It takes signals on its 3G-SDI and HDMI source inputs and encodes 2-channel stereo audio up to 24-bit 48kHz. It also has error logging for quick analysis of streaming issues and a web based GUI preview window. The device is small enough to travel easily and fit just about anywhere.

Designed to capture video up to 1080P and provide 3G SDI, HDMI, USB 3.0, and HD video over IP, the Apantac AP-1080P-PTZ-20x has also incorporated the NDI protocol into its capabilities. This technology allows video and audio sources to be shared bi-directionally across a network and it gives the camera a wide range of applications. The camera supports NDI|HX, USB, IP, HDMI and SDI outputs. Control options include standard IP VISCA, serial, TCP/ IP, and Pelco-P/D control protocol.

The Atlona AT-HDVS-CAM-HDMI can be used in conferencing, capture and online learning while its video signal is sent out on HDMI and USB ports simultaneously. It integrates with the Omega Series and AT-OME-MS42-KIT for a complete, automated conferencing system. The HDMI output can be used with a video conferencing codec, lecture capture appliance, or PC equipped for video capture. Its auto-focused video can go up to resolutions of 1080p/60 over HDMI and 1080p/30 for USB 2.0. The system is capable of H.264 or H.265 streaming over IP with support for RTMP and RTSP protocols.

When connected to any HDMI video source, the AVPro Edge AC-MXNET-1G-E encodes the audio/video signal to a multicast data format capable of being routed to any decoder endpoint within the installation project. The unit connects via category cable (CAT 6 recommended) to the MXNet Switch (AC-MXNET-SW48) or any other compatible multicast-capable managed L3 network switch. It then transmits a full 4K 4:4:4 60Hz HDMI video signal along with audio, control, power, and HDR metadata signals.

The Aurora VPX-TC1 uses Aurora’s new Mimix CODEC technology to stream video and graphic images at resolutions up to 4K60 4:4:4 over 1G networks. It can be configured as a transmitter or receiver and with no fan, it uses as little as 8W power producing only a single frame of latency at the output. When the unit is used as a transmitter and connected to an off-the-shelf 1G RJ-45 Ethernet switch audio, video, data, and control can be sent securely to one or many receivers. When set up as a receiver, a user can select the local HDMI inputs or an IP source.

Whether in a permanent installation or out on the road, the Barix MA400 provides a link between devices using standard SIP protocol in peer-to-peer mode or through a SIP server. It is the perfect device for audio distribution or contribution and intercom in a SIP based environment using its Opus encoded bi-directional mono link with microphone or line input and line and speaker output. The amplified 8-ohm output is 5W. The unit is PoE powered and has USB soundcard support.

For those large conferences where it’s a challenge to get all the participants included in the video image, the BenQ DVY23 has fast movement and a 20x zoom to get fine detail and close-ups while still getting the whole group in the wide shot. Setup is facilitated by the camera’s built-in gravity sensor which automatically adjusts the video image depending on the camera orientation. The system supports streaming formats such as YouTube and Facebook Live. The variety of output and control connections allow it to be easily interfaced with a range of streaming platforms.

The Biamp Systems Tesira LUX IDH-1 can encode and transmit video signals up to 4K60, fully integrating digital audio and video on a single network. Set up through the Tesira configuration software, it simplifies lip sync management and exhibits end-to-end network transit latencies of less than 1.5 frames. Control signals are managed via a separate 1 GB Ethernet port. The IDH-1 accepts 8 channels of PCM audio for embedding/de-embedding, and includes 2 mic/ line level analog inputs. This model can be used alone or in combination with many additional Tesira devices.

There is live 12G-SDI signal streaming to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms with the Blackmagic Design Web Presenter 4K complete streaming solution. The unit’s built-in USB connections enable a computer to be connected with any streaming software along with Skype or Zoom. The user can stream to the internet via Ethernet or connect a 5G or 4G phone to use mobile data. The technical monitoring output includes video, audio meters, trend graphs and SDI technical data.

The Bolin Technology D Series Dante AV PTZ cameras include the D412 and the D220. These bring Dante AV network technology to the PTZ camera world over a standard 1Gbps network. They feature the capability to output a high quality color image up to 4K60/ Full HD with control via the Dante Controller Software. The D412 PTZ provides up to 4K60 3860x2160p: 60/59.94 image resolution with 12x optical zoom while the D220 PTZ provides image resolution up to Full HD 1920x1080p: 60/59.94 with a 20x optical zoom.

The security arena is very active and the Bosch AUTODOME inteox 7000i is at the forefront of technology here with auto tracking, machine learning, and deep neural networkbased video analytics. Running on a new open camera platform called INTEOX, the system can add third-party software apps for customized applications. Built-in Intelligent Video Analytics uses metadata to add sense and structure to video footage, enabling the camera to understand and make sense of what it sees and its low light capability also broadens its application range.

An unobtrusive and capable conferencing camera is available in the ClearOne Unite 200 Pro professional PTZ system. It combines a 20x optical zoom with a 16x digital zoom to enable a very wide array of applications. With 1080p60 resolution, the imaging system can produce fine detail within large meeting spaces. It can be controlled through USB network, RS-485 and RS-232 interfaces while the signal-to-noise ratio of the CMOS sensor combined with 2D and 3D noise reduction algorithms gets clear images in low light.

Using standard Gigabit Ethernet for 4K60 4:4:4 video, the Crestron DM-NVX-351 encoder/ decoder supports HDR10 and HDCP 2.2 with builtin scaling and video wall processing, adaptive bit rate, surround sound to stereo downmixing, USB and KVM routing along with optional fiber connectivity. Other features include secure webbased control and management, autoswitching HDMI inputs, a scaling HDMI output, video wall processing, surround sound to stereo downmixing and native AES67 transmit and receive capability.

The Hanwha Techwin QNP-6320R, as part of the company’s Q Series PTZ products, has reduced weight and enhanced its pan and tilt speed. This enables it to exhibit improved subject tracking capability especially in the tilt range, going from 20 degrees up from level to 110 degrees below. Its 1/2.8in. CMOS imaging produces video resolution up to 1920×1080 and color picture in lighting levels down to 0.05Lux (F1.6, 1/30sec). The 30x optical zoom ranges from 4.44mm to 142.6mm.

The ability to stitch together the video from three cameras for an undistorted 180-degree view is just one new feature of the Jabra PanaCast 50 video bar. High power Edge-AI processing enables it to focus on the active speaker in a conference setting. Video data in Jabra Xpress allows users to analyze their previous meeting history. Intelligent algorithms automatically capture and live-stream whiteboard content in real time. The PanaCast 50 is UC-optimized and plug-and-play but there is also a remote control for manual operation without the user leaving his or her chair.

Equipped with NDI|HX and SRT streaming, H.265/H.264/MJPEG encoding, and VITC (Vertical Interval Timecode) multi-camera synchronization technologies, the JVC KYPZ400N provides high quality, low latency IP video. The camera adds automatic repeat request (ARQ) and forward error correction (FEC) to prevent packet loss. There is also stream encryption for content protection. The multicamera synchronization aids its use in live event streaming coverage. The 4K 1.25in. progressive scanning CMOS image sensor sees through a lens with 24.5mm wide angle view and a 12x optical zoom. HD versions of the PTZs, the KYPZ200NW/NB and the more economical HD KY-PZ200W/B, began shipping in November.

The Kramer Electronics KDS-8 high−performance, zero latency, [email protected] (4:4:4) video streaming transceiver can be configured as either an encoder or decoder. This model is a standard and compliant SDVoE codec with compatibility on a variety of streaming systems. A separate KDS–8–MNGR device can provide a central point of management for creating multiple virtual matrices, video walls and multi-view configurations. Features include bidirectional IR control, analog audio embedding and LED indicators for complete function and error monitoring.

For transmitting HDMI video and audio over 1GB network infrastructure the Liberty AV DigitalinxIP IPEX2101 uses H.264 AVC encoding with a data rate up to 30 Mbps and it supports video signals up to [email protected] Hz. The device also has an analog output with de-embedded 2-channel stereo audio from the HDMI signal. It can run on PoE and operate 3rd party devices via RS-232 while producing that [email protected] video resolution. The RS-232 port operates in a pass-through capacity to control a third party device such as an A/V switcher or other device.

A central part of their new Encode family of live media encoders is the Magewell Encode HDMI with support for H.264, H.265, and NDI|HX encoding. These devices can use streaming protocols including SRT, RTMP, RTMPS, RTSP, and HLS. This model as well as the Encode SDI can be teamed with Magewell’s Pro Convert decoders for a complete streaming solution. It is capable of accepting and looping through video formats up to 4096×2160 4:4:4/4:2:2 30fps or 4096×2160 4:2:0 60fps. On the sound side, it can support 48KHz, 16-bit 8-channel audio streams.

In January the Marshall CV605-U3 USB-C Zoom-certified PTZ camera with IP debuted. The CV605-U3 PTZ Camera offers flexible output options with USB-C and IP and HDMI. The CV605-U3 with 5X utilizes a 2 Megapixel sensor to deliver up to 1920x1080p resolution at 60fps. The wide-angle optical zoom lens offers 85-degree horizontal AOV (wide open) with minimal distortion and ability to reach out to 15mm with additional 12x digital zoom.

Real time decoding of four 4K live MPEG2-TS, RTSP, and SRT streams at low latency is no problem for the Matrox 6152 Quad 4K Decoder. This H.264 decoder integrates seamlessly into existing 1GbE networks and exhibits latency down to 50ms at low network bitrate consumption when paired with the Maevex 6100 Series encoders. The unit achieves secure connections through encrypted transmission over internet. PowerStream Plus software allows configuration of multiple screens including Picture-in-Picture (PiP).

In February, the MAXHUB UC P20 4K 60fps PTZ with 12x optical zoom (16x digital zoom) was announced. This premium 4K UHD camera carries a 8.51 megapixel CMOS image sensor for UHD video quality of up to 4K at 60fps. The UC P20 can zoom up to 192 times, extending capture reach to as far as 656 feet. The camera’s HFoV (Horizontal Field of View) is 71 degrees; tilt functionality equals ± 30 degrees and pan measures ± 170 degrees, with 255 presets. Gravity sensors support ease of installation as does an an RJ45 connector, support for PoE (power over Ethernet), an HDMI 2.0 port, and a USB 3.0 connector.

The demands of high-end video production are easy to handle for the Panasonic AW-UE150 PTZ camera with its 20x optical zoom, optical image stabilizer, High Dynamic Range and Night Mode support. Up to 100 still images can be captured and saved as JPEG files to the builtin camera memory and there is even a large tally light on the lens front. IP image output, settings and control can be performed using a web browser. IP connection from the Remote Camera Controller AW-RP150GJ through a HUB (switching hub) enables control of up to 200 AW-UE150W/K units.

The PTZOptics SuperJoy, is a PTZ camera joystick controller. The controller features on-screen-display controls, quick camera select buttons, and Power over Ethernet support, plus an enhanced ergonomic experience with rubberized buttons. The SuperJoy supports both serial and IP camera connections making it a flexible 2-in-1 production solution; NDIv4 is also supported. Operators can save cameras into unique groups, enabling the SuperJoy to be used in multiple locations and even control multiple cameras at once for scene changes. The SuperJoy also includes four custom buttons to take control of other IP-connected devices. Live video preview is supported via HDMI port.

The new QSC NC Series includes three models. The Q-SYS NC-110 is the first fixed-lens, ePTZ camera available for Q-SYS, featuring a 110° horizontal field-of-view (hFOV) with digital zoom capabilities for smaller, wider rooms. The new Q-SYS NC-12×80 (12x optical zoom, 80° horizontal FOV) and Q-SYS NC-20×60 (20x optical zoom, 60° horizontal FOV) both offer motorized pan, tilt, and zoom (PTZ) functionality to enable a broader range of room layouts, sizes and purpose. In addition, all NC Series cameras include hardware to allow mounting above or below displays. As native Q-SYS devices, options open up for routing and delivery including simplifying streaming to standard IT videoconferencing platforms; also users can scale down by combining with Q-SYS Core Nano or Q-SYS Core 8 Flex to expand software-based audio, video & control into smaller collaboration spaces.

The versatile Sony SRG-X400 remotely controlled PTZ camera brings a 1/2.5-type Exmor R sensor complemented by the integrated high-resolution lens that offers zoom capability up to 40x in Full HD (30x in 4K), with an expansive wide-angle coverage of approx. 70°. High-speed movement during preset recall captures the speaker’s every movement; Picture Freeze during transitions ensures that rapid camera movements don’t disturb the audience. The PTZ Motion Sync function allows smooth blending of separate pan, tilt, and zoom movements. IP-based live production is augmented with support for NDI|HX (via optional license), allowing flexible configuration with other networked NDI-enabled devices. Images can also be reviewed remotely via a web browser, with support for RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol) ensuring smooth, stable streaming of video plus audio (from an optional microphone, available separately) over an IP network. The Version 3.0 update for the BRC-X400, SRG-X400, and SRG-X120 cameras, will support the SRT (Secure Reliable Transport) protocol.

The Speco Technologies O4P25X can quickly zero in on anything within its wide range while running on AC or PoE+ and using its 25x optical zoom. In low light its IR range is up to 328ft. and it features 2-way audio. The IP66 compliant, weather-resistant enclosure protects the system while its Micro SD card slot captures up to 256GB. The imaging is based on a progressive scan 1/2.5in. 4MP CMOS for maximum resolution of 2560×1440. Network connection is on RJ45 and there is an alarm input and output. Zoom speed has three settings.

For indoor production applications where silent pan/tilt and versatile controllability are high-ranking features, the Tekvox 79068-4K-12 is a first-rate contender. The 12x optical zoom and HDMI/USB video output formats work especially well for conferencing, lecture capture and house of worship production. Among the control features are RS-232 In/ Out, RS-422/485, rotary DIP switch and LAN on RJ45. There is also a stereo audio line input and the camera has 255 configurable preset positions along with advanced auto-focusing and noise reduction.

Conference rooms are kept clutter-free with the Vaddio RoboSHOT 20 UHD OneLINK Bridge System. This is an Ultra HD (4K) PTZ camera and bridge unit that has simultaneous HDMI, USB 3.0, IP Streaming, and HD-SDI outputs along with a configurable audio matrix featuring automatic echo cancellation. Power, video and control can be conveyed over a single CAT-5e cable up to 230 ft. The camera has a 12x optical zoom lens that seamlessly transitions to a 1.67x digital zoom.

The Vitec MGW Diamond 4K and multichannel HD SDI encoder is built road-tough capturing up to 4x 3G/HD/SD-SDI or composite inputs and streaming live up to 8 channels. This unit can produce time-synchronized multiple independent IP streams in a wide range of production environments. The MGW Diamond also supports KLV/STANAG metadata ingest from various sources (SDI, IP or Serial), real-time image cropping and video scaling, Forward Error Correction (FEC) streaming and JITC compliant output streams.

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