Practical Setup Examples to Build Your PTZ Camera Network

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If you’ve got your mind set on building your PTZ network but you’re not sure what that will—or should—look like, we’ve got a few diagram examples of how different components work together on a PTZ network. Starting with a single-camera setup, then working forward with multi-camera, then adding components such as encoders, video switches, controllers, and software, we’ll walk through a few basic configurations to help take the complexity out of your setup.

Single PTZ Camera to IP Network

The single-camera setup is the simplest to start building your PTZ network. This example shows a PTZ camera with HDMI, SDI, and RJ45 outputs. The HDMI is used to monitor your video, while the SDI sends the video simultaneously to a converter/audio injector to the Internet from a digital audio mixer, so that both video and audio streams are joined into a single stream.

The camera can also send video to the Internet directly as a backup stream or for recording with a computer. The PTZ camera can be controlled using an IR remote to configure its start/stop streaming, as well as its pan, tilt, and zoom operation.

Example components in this setup:

  • PTZ Camera with SDI, HDMI, and RJ45 LAN output with IR remote, such as the Sony SRG-X120
  • Monitor with HDMI input
  • Audio Mixer with RCA stereo outputs
  • SDI to RJ45/NDI Video Converter with Analog Audio Input such as Magewell’s Pro Convert

Multi-Camera with All SDI PTZ Cameras to Software

In this setup, we have four of the same PTZ camera. They are connected to a video switcher using coaxial cable, and they are sending video using the SDI protocol. The video switcher has four BNC inputs for the cameras, and it also inputs the audio from a sound board using 2RCA audio connectors to mix the audio into the output signal.

The cameras are also controlled using a camera controller using serial control, and the cameras are daisy-chained over a serial connection so the controller has full control over all four cameras with only one cable run.

Because the destination in this diagram is a computer-based software switch to send the transmission to the Internet or a LAN-based device, the video switcher then outputs the combined video and audio signal out a BNC SDI coaxial cable to a converter that captures the SDI video signal and converts it to a USB signal so the computer, in this case using Telestream’s Wirecast broadcast software, can process it.

Example components in this setup:

  • SDI video switcher, such as the Roland V-60HD
  • Multiple daisy-chained PTZ cameras with SDI output
  • Serial control with a control panel such as the HuddleCamHD JOY-G3
  • HDMI output from switcher to display/multiview
  • SDI output to USB converter such as a Magewell 32070
  • Telestream Wirecast Pro software for broadcast on computer
  • Sound mixing board with stereo RCA outputs

Multi-Camera with Multiple Camera and Video Source Types

This setup features three PTZ cameras with different video connectors: HDBaseT and SDI. It also adds another video source to the mix in the form of a laptop with a PowerPoint presentation. The camera controller connects to the cameras using HDBaseT, and there are also two HDBaseT receivers between the two PTZ cameras and the video switcher, so it can translate their HDBaseT signals to HDMI.

The third camera connects directly to the video switcher via BNC SDI, and the laptop with the presentation connects to the switcher using SDI through an HDMI to SDI converter box. The reason for this setup is that the box only has two HDMI inputs that handle higher resolutions, so the SDI conversion is being used because of the lack of remaining HDMI ports.

A hardware control panel connects to the video switcher to control transitions and switch to the primary output, and an HDMI multiport output from the video switcher sends your image to a monitor. The other HDMI output from the switcher is sent to an IP encoder so the signal can be sent to the Internet.

Example components in this setup:

  • PTZ cameras with HDMI, HDBaseT, and SDI outputs such as the Datavideo PTC-150
  • HDMI to SDI cross converter to switcher such as the DAC-70
  • Monitor with HDMI input
  • HDBase-T Controller with RS-422 serial control such as the RMC-180
  • HDBaseT extender/receivers such as the HBT-11
  • Video switcher such as the Datavideo SE-1200MU with SDI and HDMI inputs and outputs
  • IP Encoder for Internet broadcast HDMI from switcher such as the NVS-33
  • Serial RS-232 control panel such as the RMC-260

Multi-Camera with PoE and Switcher

In this setup, we have 7 cameras of two different types that are all powered using PoE connected to a PoE switch. The cameras transmit video to a LAN-based video switcher. The setup also includes a computer that can be used to control the switcher, as well as send its own content, such as a PowerPoint presentation or video playback, via HDMI to the video switcher.

The switcher can also be controlled directly by a keyboard and mouse using its USB inputs, and it can output its program information to a multi-view HDMI monitor. The switcher can input audio using analog inputs or even directly from a microphone to mix it together with the video from the camera, and then the switcher can stream directly to the Internet or to another destination on the LAN.

Example components in this setup:

  • Multiple models of PTZ cameras that support LAN-based video and PoE
  • Livestreaming video controller / switcher such as Panasonic AV-HLC100
  • Network switch with PoE support
  • Audio input including direct microphone
  • Mouse and keyboard input
  • Computer for additional video source via HDMI

Browse the B&H Photo website for more PTZ camera solutions, and let us know how your PTZ environment setup is progressing in the Comments section, below.

2 Comments

How about the "Multicam NDI switched in software (OBS, etc.)" version?  Can you sketch that one out?  I'm sure I'm not the only one trying to put that one together presently!  :-)

Currently we've got a basics of NDI article, will think on a diagram that can suit these needs as well https://www.bhphotovideo.com/explora/video/buying-guide/what-you-need-to-know-about-ptz-camera-networking-with-ndi

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