Based on some comments I have received from a surprising number of manufacturers, I'm going to write a "CCTV 101" type blog. It will be short and sweet, and if this is too basic for you, check back in a few days for a new entry. But when a question comes up as often as this one, it should be addressed; particularly one that brings the old analog world many of us grew up in together with the new IP world we're moving to now.
The fact is many manufacturers of infrastructure products are baffled about the questions about pan/tilt/zoom (p/t/z) control for IP cameras. When installing an IP camera, folks understand that the Ethernet cable is carrying video information. They even get the concept of power over Ethernet (PoE), whereby an intermediate device (such as a network switch or power injector) provides power for the camera down the same cable. But what about p/t/z? How do we remotely position the camera? Is it RS-422? RS-485? Pelco P? Coaxitron? SensorNet? Bi-Phase? The questions and examples are like a walk down memory lane for many of us.
No, you don't need to run a separate wire for p/t/z control any more, and with IP cameras, the protocol no longer matters. Why? Because the commands to control the camera are built into the IP command set. If your software can "talk" to the camera and get a usable picture from it, it can control any p/t/z functions as well - provided it is a p/t/z camera.
It gets a little more complicated if we are talking about an analog camera connected to an IP encoder. In those cases, the software can still control the camera but you'll need to tell the encoder what protocol the camera speaks (a software setting) and run the appropriate control data cable from the encoder to the camera. Most IP encoders have a wide range of protocols built in, can be wired several different ways to accommodate a range of camera manufacturers, and are pretty reliable once you figure out the quirks of the software.
Software quirks? Now there's a topic for another day!
Other Security Blog Posts
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Under Surveillance | December 7, 2013
SSI Editor-in-Chief speaks with Camtronics President Mark Wellman discusses installing a unique video surveillance and lockdown solution at Canton, Mich.-based All Saints Catholic School, as well as security funding challenges for schools.
Under Surveillance | December 5, 2013
Canton Police Department Deputy Chief Scott Hilden discusses electronic security helps law enforcement accomplish its public safety mission in this exclusive Q&A.
Under Surveillance | November 18, 2013
Three members of the Custom Electronic Design & Installation Association (CEDIA) Board of Directors address recurring revenue, competition, technology and more in the latest Under Surveillance blog.
Under Surveillance | November 15, 2013
For years Honeywell has hosted annual conferences for each of its three largest authorized dealer programs. The individual format changed this year with Connect 2013, which brought together installing security contractors from the First Alert Professional (FAP), Commercial Security Systems (CSS) and Honeywell Integrated Security (HIS) networks.