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A new evolution of UVC Control: Camera Presets!

A new evolution of UVC Control: Camera Presets!

 

UVC Control InterfaceThe Interface:

In a nutshell, the PTZOptics UVC Controller is a remote control for your camera that you can access from any computer or device on your internal network. Under the hood you will find access to advanced features such as: a camera manager, web server and preset visualizer which we will talk about in the “advanced features” section below. The top portion of the GUI interface includes a “Home” button along with 8 direction keys, which you can use to control your camera with a mouse, keyboard or USB joystick.  Below the control section you have access to zoom and focus controls along with a camera selection bar. Yes, this software can control up to 8 cameras with one computer! Next, we have control of the presets which include the ability to name presets.

I can’t stress enough how important it is to name presets. Once your presets are named you have a easy to use solution that is easy for others to pick up where you left off. Below the presets is where we have the “PresetVisuallizer” which open the PresetVisualizer and includes the ability to have live video preview and take a room snapshot to use for setting up visual presets. Below the PresetVisualizer we have “Web Control” which allows you to turn on/off your webhosting which allows other computers and smart phones to take camera control. Finally we have SkyPTZ which is a service that allows you to provide far end camera control outside your network. 

The PresetVisualizer:

UVC Camera PTZ Control Visual App

            The best way to grasp how people are using this technology is to look at a few examples of the PresetVisualizer in action. In essence the PresetVisualizer can be used with any photo (ideally the room you are using your camera in) to overlay your preset positions visually. For use in a conference room or distance learning/classroom setting the ability to add headshots with name tags is also available. Once you have your room photo in place and your presets lined up you only have to align your camera presets with the actual corresponding locations and your done.

            Let’s look at the above classroom example. Actual student photos can be used and placed as preset or we can simply mark out the important areas for a distance learning video call. Since we are using a USB camera with UVC control we can assume that we are using a cloud based video conferencing software like Adobe Connect. The PresetVisualizer is our visual layout of the cameras views we will want to use during our video call. One preset is on a SmartBoard, another is on the teachers podium and another is on the classroom full of students. If we have multiple cameras in use we can use select between them in the main panel and use the visualizer to easily select between presets.

            Let’s take the conference room example where we have 8 people sitting around a table on both sides of a video call. The PresetVisualizer can be used to allow users from both sides of the video call to easily select who they want to see on the main screen. This set up works well for telepresence and video conferencing applications.

Advanced Features: 

PresetVisualizer from PTZOptics using UVC Control

            The PTZOptics UVC Control software offers many advanced features that are hidden from view to simplify the interface.  One of the advanced features is WebPTZ Remote Control. This feature allows for Far-end IP control of the PTZOptics cameras from the web browser of any mobile device or computer over any LAN, Wi-Fi, and WAN IP Network. If you would like to provide access to a far-end outside your network we have two options. The first option is free and it allows you to open up your firewall to a outside IP address which will serve up the WebRemote to a far side. The second option is called SkyPTZ which is a service that sets up everything for you without any configuration. Simply give the far end computer (outside your network) the camera name and SkyPTZ will take care of everything else.

Top features:

  • ·      Video Preview
  • ·      Call Camera Presets (This is the world’s first UVC camera that can call presets)
  • ·      Provide Remote PTZ Web Server (Host a IP Address on your network and server a optimized “Web Remote” to users)
  • ·      Provide Far End Camera Control outside your network (Additional Service called SkyPTZ)
  • ·      Name Presets (Handy for complex scenarios and ease of use)
  • ·      Preset-Visualizer (Patented technology for laying out visual previews of camera presets)
  • ·      Pan Tilt Zoom (I know it’s been done before, but worth noting)
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Part 7- Summary

Part 7- Summary

 Summary: Any new camera purchased for a meeting room should provide native 1080p-30 resolution. 720p looks fine on the desktop but in meeting rooms, it simply doesn’t meet expectations. Select a camera with true optical zoom and with an optical zoom range that best meets your specific application. Take room measurements and check them against the graphics above to be sure. Digital zoom is not a useful feature for most applications. Presets are great for all cameras but after about Qty 6 you will likely see no additional benefit for most applications. USB 3.0 is the new standard for USB HD cameras. You must maintain USB 3.0 compliance throughout the connection including any extensions from camera port to and including PC port. Serial control is only necessary for certain applications. When you do need it, a miniDin8 connector or DB9 connector and VISCA protocol compliance is all you typically need to confirm for the camera and controller.

 

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USB Camera Shootout

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Part 4 - Camera Presets

Part 4 - Camera Presets

Presets allow a user to automatically return to a set position (pan and tilt) and set zoom level, without manually driving the camera. This is desirable as it is faster, smoother, more reliable and easier than steering a camera during a meeting. Are presets important for everyone? That depends upon how many different shots you will use during meetings. In a huddle room with 3 seats, where everyone is always large and in frame, you would likely leave the camera in one location and presets are not necessary or important. In a large room where you might often only use a portion of the table or when the table is full, you might desire chairman head shot, left side seats, right side seats and wide “all” shots, presets would be critical. Some cameras have no presets, some have 64 presets. If you will only ever use a handful of them, 6 presets is as good as 64 and either is better than none.

 

Part 5- USB2.0 vs USB3.0

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