Catapulted to new prominence by a pandemic, a global remote work movement, and houses of worship turning to the internet for survival, streaming technologies have become a killer, or anti-killer, app. AV hardware manufacturers answered the call by introducing a wide range of capture systems, streaming codecs and remotely operated cameras. These powerful market forces are here to stay and the tech tools shown here illustrate the direction of this trend.
High quality video and sound can go online using AJA Video Systems BRIDGE LIVE that translates between uncompressed baseband SDI and a complete assortment of streaming codecs including H.265, H.264, MPEG-2 and JPEG 2000. This single rack space unit supports SRT, RTMP/S, RTP, UDP, MPEG-TS protocols and more. The processing handles SDI encode or decode for one channel of UltraHD up to 60p, or up to four channels of 1080 60p HD simultaneously, via four 12G-SDI connections. Full features can be used through Comprimato’s powerful encoding/decoding/transcoding software.
Integrating NDI (Network Device Interface) to allow bi-directional transport of live professional video over existing IP infrastructure, the Apantac AP-1080P-PTZ-20x can capture video up to 1080P and it provides 3G SDI, HDMI, USB 3.0, and HD video over IP. These capabilities allow the camera to be used in a wide range of applications including churches, conference rooms, and classrooms. Operating under Standard IP VISCA, Serial and TCP/IP, Pelco-P/D control protocol, this model features a 20x optical zoom plus 2x digital zoom.
The Atlona AT-CAP-FC110 Captivate 4K ePTZ auto-framing camera works well for conferencing where it automatically detects and re-frames images for up to 6 participants. The 4x digital zoom and 110-degree wide horizontal field of view gets everyone in and the 2-microphone array has a 5-meter audio pickup range. The auto-framing continuously adapts whenever someone enters or leaves the camera’s field of view. The USB-C interface carries sound and video as well as camera power.
Users can quickly convert an ordinary mid-size conference room to a multimedia showcase with the AVer VB342 Pro Video Bar. This all-in-one solution has features including Smart Gallery, SmartSpeaker, Gesture Control and Audio Fencing. The integral PTZ camera has a 3x optical zoom and with the digital zoom combined it goes to a 15x total zoom. All the way out at 92 degrees the camera takes in the whole room. Auto-tracking is easily turned on/off with gestures. The 10-element beamforming microphone array has a pickup range of 27ft. and the output power of the stereo speakers is 12W. It earned Zoom certification in December.
In the world of encoders the AVPro Edge AC-MXNET-1G-E has a prominent place with its ability to handle a 1G maximum data rate, SFP fiber connection, USB/KVM Host support, and bandwidth management via the MXNet Mentor setup and control tool. Once set in place, the unit can have all exterior lights and indicators turned off to prevent causing any viewer distractions. For operators however, the built-in mini-OLED screen displays vital information including IP and MAC addresses.
An IP audio decoder with USB and 8GB microSD storage interfaces, the tiny Barix Exstreamer Store&Play receives networked audio files and playlists of which it schedules the playback as mp3 and AAC+ audio files through a stereo line level output. This can be used for in-store background music and ad insertion in addition to other applications without requiring a live network connection for play. When a live stream is available, the device and decode live HTTP or RTP streams.
The Biamp Vidi 250 video conferencing camera uses electronic pan, tilt and zoom (ePTZ) along with its 5x digital zoom to auto-frame participants, identify them and keep them in view. The housing includes a multi-microphone array for clear sound pickup and it can be either display or wall mounted. LEDs indicate camera activity and the whole group of attendees are shown in a 4K 120-degree wide field of view. The video extends to 2160p resolution at 30 frames per second.
Presenters and show hosts can live stream from any 12G-SDI video source with the Blackmagic Design Web Presenter HD. This unit can take live video to YouTube, Facebook, Twitter and other platforms at 1080p. Users can also stream to the internet via Ethernet or connect a 5G or 4G phone to use mobile data. Technical data monitoring includes video, audio meters, trend graphs, and the operation of the SDI input signal itself.
For streamers and video production people who need simultaneous outputs with IP and HD SDI or IP and HDMI in one camera, the Bolin Technology VCC-7HD30S-3SMN camera has the answer for conferences, houses of worship, broadcast and surveillance environments. The 1/2.8-type Exmor R sensor captures high quality images in low light and its true dual output that supports up to 1080i59.94 SDI and IP video up to 1080p60. The two outputs can be separately set up and adjusted for use by separate and independent video systems.
Operating on an open camera platform called INTEOX and using built-in Artificial Intelligence (AI), the Bosch Communications AUTODOME inteox 7000i can detect moving objects and follow preset instructions. All camera models in this line follow the Open Security & Safety Alliance (OSSA) open architecture specifications for video security devices and they have the ability to add third-party software apps and starlight technology. This unit can capture detailed color images in ambient light down to 0.0077 lux.
The new Canon CR-N700 4K PTZ carries 4:2:2 10-bit video, deep learning auto focus, 12G-SDI connectivity, multiple streaming and control protocols, and region of interest cropping capability. The 15x optical zoom is boosted by the 30x advanced zoom when shooting in Full HD. Optical image stabilization allows a steady shot while Canon’s proprietary Dual Pixel CMOS AF technology with advanced EOS iTR AF X produces ultra-clear video. Other professional features include time code and GEN-LOCK capability.
Conferencing has gotten substantially easier over the past two years due to PTZ cameras such as the ClearOne Unite 200 Pro PTZ HD camera. Wide shots and detailed close-ups are no problem with a 20x optical zoom and 16x digital zoom. This camera produces images of 1080p60 quality at 60 fps with full pan and tilt. Using control through USB network, RS485 and RS232, the system is capable of H.264/H.265 streaming and it adds a line-in interface to stream audio and video over IP.
The Crestron IV‑CAMHK‑12‑SLVR‑1B is a two-camera system for small to medium sized rooms that, uses voice and facial recognition to track and cut to individual presenters, providing unprecedented visual detail. It can operate with a range of different microphones and audio speakers, and it provides an echo-cancelling audio input. The Sony Exmor CMOS sensor enables a video output up to 1080p60 resolution video on its 3G-SDI or HDMI ports. The system can be used with Microsoft Teams, Zoom Rooms, Cisco WebEx, MediaSite, or Panopto conferencing.
The Extron SMP 351 is a high-performance recording and streaming processor for capturing and distributing AV sources and presentations as recorded media or live streaming. It incorporates Extron’s FlexOS, a flexible platform for automating system operation. Accepting HDMI, component, composite, and optional 3G-SDI signals, it applies two-window processing to the selected sources. The SMP 351 can record and stream simultaneously and can stream at two different resolutions and bit rates concurrently using a range of transport protocols and session management options. Comprehensive control and configuration features make the SMP 351 integration-friendly, and easy to control and operate. Requiring no licensing fees, the SMP 351 has a low cost of ownership, making it a cost-effective solution for delivering presentations to a larger audience.
In the arena of network security cameras, the Hanwha Techwin XNP-9250 is one of the more versatile contenders, generating up to 4K video resolution and teaming a 25x optical zoom with a 32x digital zoom. To this it adds Intelligent analytics, object auto tracking of people or vehicles, and target lock tracking. The operator right-clicks an object on a screen and the camera locks and tracks the targeted object. For safety and environmental durability, it also carries IP66, IK10, NEMA4X, NEMA-TS 2 (2.2.8, 2.2.9) ratings.
Providing a 180-degree conference room view, the Jabra PanaCast 50 contains a multi-camera array of three 13-megapixel cameras and uses patented real-time video stitching technology to combine their outputs into a panoramic 4K video signal. The Panacast 50 counts all of the meeting participants and remembers where they are. As an option, there is also a small desktop remote controller for manual operation. The camera housing can be wall, table or screen mounted.
Combining a powerful set of features, the new JVC KY-PZ510N line of PTZ cameras have NDI 5 support, enhanced SMART auto-tracking, and vertical interval time code with Network Time Protocol (NTP). The KY-PTZ510NWU is the white finish model producing images in 4K60p and supporting H.264 encoding. The NDI 5 feature lets users extend the distance between the PC and the camera. Zoomed out to a focal length of 21.8mm, the camera has an 80-degree field of view and it can zoom to 261.8mm for detailed closeups.
The Kramer Electronics K-Cam4K Ultra HD camera has a 12x optical zoom and 16x digital zoom to focus clear images on its CMOS image sensor with 2D and 3D digital noise reduction (DNR). Controlled from any Kramer control interface and/or compact remote control, the camera operates seamlessly with all meeting apps. Its ports include RS–232, RJ–45, HDMI 1.4, and USB 3.0. The system allows a vast choice of 255 pre–set camera positions and works quite well in challenging low-light conditions.
A compact and versatile streaming solution that can be set up anywhere is the Magewell Ultra Stream HDMI, a dedicated streaming encoder with loop through. This model supports video input signals up to 4096×2160 4:4:4/4:2:2 30fps or 4096×2160 4:2:0 60fps and on the sound side, it features an analog mic input for adding narration. The audio can be monitored through the analog headphone output. The unit provides H.264 or HEVC video encoding and AAC high quality audio encoding along with video bitrates up to 8Mbps. Users can record to 32GB internal storage, USB flash drive, or the associated smartphone.
PTZ cameras have been at the epicenter of the recent streaming revolution and the Marshall Electronics CV730-NDI has the features to meet that test with simultaneous 12GSDI and HDMI outputs carrying UHD images up to 3840x2160p at 60fps. For use in a professional environment, NDI|HX2 provides video, audio, control, tally and power over one Ethernet cable. Its 30x optical zoom gets plenty of detail from a distance and the camera runs on an included 12V power supply or PoE++ on its Ethernet port. The camera housing is available in black or white finish.
Streaming multiple signals is no problem for the Matrox Maevex 6152 quad decoder, a real-time H.264 video decoder capable of handling four low latency 4K live MPEG2-TS, RTSP, and SRT streams when used with Maevex 6100 Series encoders. The system can produce encrypted transmission over internet with Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) video transport protocol and the Maevex SDK allows users to build new applications or integrate the functionalities of PowerStream Plus to have a choice of multi-screen display configurations.
The Panasonic AW-UE160 4K PTZ camera has a 4K 1in. MOS sensor that enables it to output clear images in the most challenging lighting environments. The camera’s high-speed frame rate can get slow motion shots in HD as it easily integrates with robotic camera control systems. The unit also offers improved Autofocus and it has SMPTE 2110 support with purchase of an additional software key. This versatile tool has HDMI, 3G-SDI, and IP output in addition to 12G-SDI and optical fiber output.
On a Q-SYS network, video conferencing capability is natively provided by the motorized QSC NC Series PTZ conference cameras, the Q-SYS NC-12×80 and Q-SYS NC-20×60. In addition to powered pan, tilt and zoom, they have PoE, user-configurable resolution and quality for IP streams up to 1080p, and image rotation control to allow for inverted mounting. Q-SYS Designer Software and Q-SYS Reflect Enterprise Manager unlock all of the features of the cameras. The NC-20×60 has a 20x optical zoom while the NC-12×80 has a 12x zoom.
The Sony SRG-X40UH has a variety of applications made possible through its 40x zoom in FHD, or 30x in 4K, fast and smoot PTZ movement, and low light performance from its 1/2.5-type Exmor R CMOS image sensor. Desk or ceiling mounted, the SRG-X40UH supports PoE+ and VISCA/VISCA control commands over a single LAN cable. A choice of USB and HDMI connections allow integration of the camera into existing systems.
Nothing gets missed by the Speco Technologies HTPTZ20T 2-megapixel HD-TVI indoor/outdoor PTZ speed dome camera. IP66 compliant and weather resistant, the camera has a 20x optical zoom lens and can be set to 240 preset positions to output full HD 1080p at 30fps. The 16x digital zoom can add more visual detail while the 4 alarm inputs and 2 alarm outputs notify operators of any suspicious condition. The camera can respond quickly with a maximum 380 degrees per second movement. True WDR (wide dynamic range) allows clear images in difficult lighting environments.
Versatility is a main theme with the Tekvox 79068-4K-12B ultra-high definition PTZ camera for conferencing and lecture capture. With its multiple simultaneous video output formats including HDMI, USB3.0, and LAN, the camera is controlled on TCP/IP, RS-232/422/485, or with its own remote controller and set up with as many as 255 configurable presets. Movement is smooth all the way into the subject using the 12x optical zoom and support for video resolution up to [email protected]
Equipped with a 30x zoom with 70.2-degree field of view and Vaddio’s advanced IntelliFrame user adjustable auto-framing system, the Vaddio IntelliSHOT-M ePTZ camera is designed to make lecture capture and conferencing even easier than before. The speed at which the camera follows a moving presenter is configurable but the camera is also preprogrammed with six standard configurations from which to choose quickly. IntelliSHOT-M is PoE+ powered, and users can manage and control the camera remotely on Vaddio’s free, web-based user interface. The camera was certified for Microsoft Teams in November.
The Vitec MGW Ace HEVC encoder supports HEVC/H.265 through its VITEC HEVC GEN2+ codec, reduces bandwidth compared to H.264, and generates ultra-low latency HEVC streaming down to 16ms glass-to-glass. Other features include 16-channel audio encoding, High Definition Range (HDR), close captions, ad signaling and time-synchronized playback. The unit is optimized for portability in field use with its 28VDC power input. It also handles input signals including 3G-SDI, HD-SDI, SD-SDI, DVI, HDMI and composite video.