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PTZ Cameras

A PTZ camera is one of the most popular surveillance camera types on the security market. No other security camera gives you complete control of your camera’s movement and view. Once installed, you have the flexibility to pan and tilt the camera, while zooming in the lens to better view any area within its viewing distance. PTZ cameras are ideal for both residential and commercial, mission critical surveillance applications.

Use a PTZ Camera to secure your home or business!

In the surveillance world PTZ stands for “Pan”, “Tilt” and “Zoom”. These are the basic control functions offered by a PTZ camera type. A PTZ camera has a built in motor that allows you to control the positioning of the camera at all time. It also has a lens control system that allows you to zoom the camera lens inwards or outwards to better view an area or an object. PTZ cameras are available for both indoor and outdoor surveillance applications. An outdoor PTZ camera features a vandalproof and weatherproof housing that protects the camera from not only the weather, but also from possible vandalism. In order to control the PTZ functions of a PTZ camera, you must control the camera from either the security DVR (Digital Video Recorder) software or from a joystick controller. A PTZ camera gives you full control of the camera at any given time, so you can move the cameras viewing position while using the zoom function to get a more close up view.

A PTZ camera is simple to install and will usually attach to any standard security DVR. There are numerous different features available with different PTZ cameras types. So it is important to choose the PTZ camera that best supports your needs. Depending on your requirements, there are PTZ cameras that have different zooming capabilities, lens options, power requirements, and mounting options to fit your needs. There are also PTZ cameras that include heaters and blowers in them to support extreme environmental conditions. If you have an application where you will only use the PTZ functions occasionally, you have the option to set the camera on a fixed location, or have it just tour or roam a particular area. Either way, most PTZ cameras are very feature rich and provide you with multiple options that allow you to configure your cameras in any way you choose.

Let us provide you with the PTZ camera you need to secure your home or business. We offer the PTZ cameras that give you complete control of your cameras viewing and position. We also have the PTZ camera mounts designed to support any wall, ceiling, or roof top mounting requirements. Use our PTZ cameras to support your most simple and most advanced surveillance requirements.

Frequently Asked Questions About PTZ Cameras - FAQ’s

What is a PTZ camera?

A PTZ camera can either be a traditional closed-circuit television camera or an IP (internet protocol) camera. The acronym PTZ stands for pan, tilt, and zoom. The pan feature allows the user to control the camera by panning it left or right when watching specific areas or objects. The tilt feature allows the user to move the camera up or down, while the zoom feature lets you zoom in and out to get a closer or wider view. A PTZ camera gives you full control to move the camera in any direction when monitoring areas and recording surveillance video.

What is the purpose of installing a PTZ camera?

A PTZ camera can be installed at any home or business. There is no limitation to their use. Although they are more expensive than traditional security cameras, both homeowners and business owners can benefit from them. Many large business turn to PTZ cameras because they allow their security guard to completely monitor their property right from their desk. A security professional can use the pan, tilt, and zoom features to efficiently monitor large areas, watch events, or follow possible security threats. A PTZ camera is also much cheaper than hiring more security guards. The return on investment for a PTZ camera can really be immediate.

What cables do I need to install a PTZ camera?

The standard wiring requirements for a PTZ camera includes a cable for video, a cable for power, and a cable for to control (RS485) the motor. The power cable will be run from the power supply to each camera, where the video cable (RG59 coaxial cable) will be ran from the CCTV DVR to the camera. The RS485 cable is most commonly a Cat5e cable which is run from the RS485 interface on the security DVR, to the interface on the camera. So you will need to run three separate cables in order to properly wire a PTZ camera.

Can I install a PTZ camera outdoors?

Yes. PTZ cameras are available to support both indoor and outdoor surveillance applications. The outdoor PTZ camera will provide both a weatherproof and vandal proof housing to protect the camera from the outside elements. Most PTZ cameras do not include the mounts, so it is important to evaluate the location you will mount your camera and choose the mount you need for a successful installation. Most outdoor PTZ cameras offer wall, corner, pendent, pole, and parapet mount brackets and accessories for you to choose from.

How do I mount a PTZ camera?

Most PTZ cameras are designed with numerous mounting accessories designed to support most indoor and outdoor installations. For indoor applications it is most common to wall, pendent, flush, or surface mount a PTZ camera. For outdoor applications you can wall, pole, corner, parapet, or corner mount a PTZ camera. Since every building infrastructure is different, manufacturers have various mounts available to support almost any mounting requirements.

How can I control a PTZ camera?

A PTZ camera can be controlled a few different ways. First, you can buy an external controller that has a joystick that makes it easy to move the camera in any position. Secondly, you can use the buttons on the front of the DVR or the remote control that comes with the system. Lastly, you can attach a mouse to the DVR and use the software interface to click on arrows which would make the PTZ camera move in the directions you want. The external joystick method is very common in large surveillance applications where a security guard is present and constantly monitoring areas. PTZ controllers are not cheap, so if you do not want to invest in one you can always use a mouse, buttons on the DVR, or a remote control to manage the PTZ cameras movement.

What does the touring feature do on a PTZ camera?

The touring feature of a PTZ camera allows you to set the camera so it just roams back and forth while monitoring a particular area. You have the ability to set the area parameters and have the camera tour back and forth while covering large areas. A PTZ camera offers numerous setting that will allow you to control how it moves, and how it secures an area.

How do I power a PTZ camera?

Powering your PTZ camera may be the most crucial and most over-looked aspect of an installation. A PTZ camera requires much more power than a traditional security camera. This is because you need adequate power to run the camera and the PTZ motor. Plus most PTZ cameras have heaters and blowers installed in them, which means more power is required. Most PTZ cameras require 12VDC power, 24VAC power, or both. So it is important to evaluate the power type, and the amount of power your camera needs. In many cases you will need a power supply that offers higher amperage in order to properly power a PTZ camera. Not only do you have to account for the power requirement, but also account for the voltage drop that takes place as the current travels out to the cameras location. If the distance that the power has to travel to get to the camera is too great, you may have to think about powering the camera locally out where the camera is located. This would mean tapping into the nearest power source available to where the camera will be installed.

Can I control a PTZ camera remotely from my home?

Most professional grade PTZ camera manufactures provide remote software that allows you to log directly onto the security DVR in order to control it remotely. This allows you to use the remote software to control the PTZ camera from any location in the world. This is done over the internet so as long as you are on a computer with high speed internet, this is possible.

How does the security DVR communicate with the PTZ camera?

Both security DVR’s and PTZ cameras have built in protocols that allow the two to communicate properly. The most popular protocols used in the industry are Pelco-D, Pelco-C, and Samsung. Once the protocols are set on the DVR and PTZ camera they will then communicate. Most PTZ cameras have small dip-switches that allow you to easily set the protocol prior to installation.

Do you recommend PTZ cameras for the home?

Although they are used for residential surveillance applications we usually do not recommend them. Many homeowners do utilize their PTZ features but most lose interest after a short time. But they always think they are cool! Since a homeowner is not usually siting at a desk monitoring their homes, often the PTZ cameras end up just being used as expensive fixed cameras. This means they are usually just locked in a direction, and fixed on a particular area. If you do not feel that you will use the PTZ features it is best to just buy more standard cameras. PTZ cameras usually cost about 3 times as much as a high quality fixed camera. So you can essentially install more cameras and ensure that every area of your property is secured. So you will have to evaluate if the PTZ features are important to you and worth the extra cost.