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Learn the Ins and Outs of the Pan/Tilt/Zoom Revival

Dahua Technology USA has installing security contractors covered when it comes to p/t/z systems that leverage the latest in video analytics, high-definition imaging, IP video network connectivity and more.

As IP video networks have evolved, so have pan/tilt/zoom (p/t/z) systems. The p/t/z systems of today are smaller, lighter and smarter than their predecessors. By reducing system weight through the use of more deeply integrated mechanical components, higher-resolution imagers and overall miniaturization, p/t/z systems are now able to be deployed on networks, and take advantage of IP connectivity benefits. These advantages include VMS system control integration, shared network resources, simple single-network-cable installation, and in many cases even power over Ethernet (PoE) connectivity.

Auto-tracking Analytics Breakthrough

One particular area of integration that has bolstered the popularity of p/t/z systems is video analytics. By utilizing video analytic behaviors with positionable camera systems, operators can greatly extend the usefulness of the p/t/z system. With analytics, the system is able to autonomously track objects that the operator may not have noticed, or when the operator is away from the controls.

This integration with video analytic behaviors perfectly enhances the effectiveness of p/t/z systems. Auto tracking is one of the most valuable behaviors. An auto-tracking behavior controls the p/t/z actions of a camera to automatically track an object in motion and to keep it in the scene. The tracking action can be triggered manually or automatically by defined rules. Once a rule is triggered, the camera can zoom in and track the defined target. This analytic behavior takes advantage of the unique capabilities of a p/t/z system, and becomes a force multiplier for the operator.

Another good example of this level of integration is with camera systems that incorporate both a 360°, panoramic, multi-imager camera with an optical p/t/z camera. In this application, the imaging systems work in concert together with the panoramic camera watching everything at once. The system is looking for moving objects, and when an exception is detected the p/t/z camera is activated to track the movement or exception in question. 

Easy Upgrade to HD Over Coax

Another connectivity option available for p/t/z systems is that of transporting high definition video over coax. This option allows existing legacy coax systems to be easy upgraded to HD video using existing analog infrastructure for clear, high-resolution images. With HD video over coax, there is no latency in system responsiveness, and no video compression, so the images maintain a very high level of detail and aren’t stretched or distorted. Because the coaxial cable allows for bidirectional data transfer, a separate cable is not needed to control the p/t/z mechanism. 

Environmental Challenges Tackled

Most leading manufacturers such as Dahua Technology offer a range of p/t/z camera systems for outdoor and environmental use. The model types include sealed, pressurized systems that protect the optics from water, marine salts, smoke, dust and the finest of particulates. There are also hyper-sealed, stainless-steel “explosion-proof” systems designed to assure the camera itself is never the cause of an explosion within explosive and gaseous environments, such as within the petroleum industry and many industrial applications. 

IR Illumination a Strongpoint

An advancing feature of leading p/t/z camera systems is the integration of infrared (IR) illumination into the p/t/z itself. This new approach to IR illumination allows the infrared light to be applied only where needed. Some p/t/z camera systems have an array of three distinct areas of infrared illuminators, each with a different angle of dispersion for the IR light: wide angle, telephoto and an interim angle.

As the operator optically zooms in from wide angle to telephoto, IR illuminator LEDs will turn on and off appropriately to provide effective illumination. Additionally, when the camera is zoomed all the way into a scene, the system is not flooding an entire 120⁰ view with infrared illumination. The system simply adjusts to illuminate just the area in view, reducing the amount of power load required.

P/T/Z camera systems that utilize an IR zoom priority feature are particularly effective in applications where vast outdoor scenes must to be monitored.

Vast Uses Abound

The preferred choice for monitoring and securing large areas — both indoors and outdoors — high-quality p/t/z camera positioning systems can be found within an almost limitless variety of situations where clear, accurate, and responsive video surveillance is needed. From casinos, malls, airports and stadiums to traffic monitoring, border patrol, city surveillance, critical infrastructure and homeland security operations, p/t/z systems allow operators to efficiently and effectively cover large areas with a single camera.

And now with the integration of video analytic capabilities, IR illumination, WDR and, low-light imagers and digital networks, p/t/z systems have found a new surge in popularity during the past few years. These new technologies have greatly improved the effectiveness and usability of p/t/z systems, earning them a new position of favor among video security and surveillance professionals.

Installing security contractors can learn more about Dahua p/t/z cameras and other products at dahuasecurity.com.

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