Posted by Ernesto Vazquez on 1/19/2017
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Using “PTZ Link” functionality for advanced system design
Pan/Tilt/Zoom cameras have been a staple of the surveillance industry for decades. With their ability to zoom in or out, and the ease with which they can be physically re-oriented in real time, these high-tech cameras are used daily by security personnel all over the globe to keep eyes on moving targets, and are the go-to solution for monitoring broad, dynamic scenes. While having live operators on staff is undoubtedly one of the more sure fire ways to maximize system efficacy, today we will discuss how to take advantage of our PTZ Link feature to create a self-directing, intelligent monitoring platform.
The concept of having your PTZ scan an area without the need for human intervention is not new, we have had the ability to perform simple “Point A-to-Point B” scans since their inception, and over time we have seen “Presets” and “Tours” become standard offerings for even the most basic PTZs available in the market. If you’re not sure what “Presets” and “Tours” are, here is a quick refresher: “Presets” are used to define scenes you will want to be able to access quickly. For example, a PTZ located in a Hotel lobby might have presets configured such as “Front Doors”, “Front Desk”, Elevators”, etc., as these are typical locations of interest for that application. “Tours” are usually a set of presets grouped together and executed automatically, once the last preset has been executed, the PTZ will start back at the first preset and go through the list again. To extend our Hotel lobby example, a typical tour configuration for that same hotel setup may include the presets we created for the doors, front desk, and elevators, to create an automated sweep where our PTZ would monitor each of those areas for a predetermined amount of seconds before moving on to the next.
While all of these advancements are welcome and can be very useful, here at Eclipse we are always on the lookout for innovative ways to bring even more value to the table. All of our PLEX Series, as well as our Signature Series DVRs and NVRs, come equipped with our PTZ Link technology. PTZ Link is a way of leveraging traditional fixed-orientation cameras, and taking advantage of intelligent software within our recorders that allows users to create “rules” for PTZs to adhere to. Implementing PTZ Link properly empowers your surveillance system by giving it the capability of adapting to scene dynamics in a way typically reserved for human operated deployments.
Consider a large parking lot in a busy shopping mall. With potentially hundreds of vehicles to monitor, and even more pedestrians, more often than not system designers are forced to choose between two extremes; either cover a few key areas in great detail (narrow, more “zoomed in” fields of view where individuals are more likely to be identifiable), or cover the entire area with great sacrifice of detail (wide, “zoomed out” fields of view where individuals may be nearly impossible to identify). Obstacles like this are among the top reasons why many security systems today are still very much overseen by live staff, let’s see how we can use PTZ Link to improve upon this all-too-common integration puzzle.
Remember those “Presets” we discussed earlier? With PTZ Link, we can use the video from our traditional fixed cameras to create zones of interest, once an object enters one of our zones of interest, we can use PTZ Link to trigger any of the presets we have programmed in our PTZ! Still not sure why this is such a big deal? Let’s go back to our mall parking lot example to demonstrate how can we use PTZ Link to keep watch of our entire space, while still having the ability to identify an individual person if necessary. Picture a fixed camera mounted high pointing towards our lot, with a wide enough view to capture the full scene. Thanks to our PTZ Link feature, you can go into your recorder’s configuration menu, pull up your lot-view camera, and use your mouse cursor to designate one or more zones of interest, for example a mall or parking lot entrance. By configuring one of your PTZ presets to be a zoomed-in view of the mall entrance, another preset to be a zoomed-in view of the parking lot entrance, and linking the appropriate preset number to its respective zone of interest, your system will now be capable of using your fixed camera to identify when there is activity in key areas, and will take advantage of your PTZ camera’s zoom and re-orientation capabilities to provide a more complete view of the action.
It is easy to see why PTZ Link can be a valuable tool to have at your disposal. While the non self-adapting nature of an automated A/B scan, or a pre-configured preset tour can easily be the reason your cameras end up missing an important object or person of interest, Eclipse recorders with PTZ Link functionality ensure that your PTZs are being directed towards the action you specify, in the areas you choose, at the moment that matters. Please contact your account manager for more information.