[ANSWERED] PTZ Cam and Isadora
I have a PTZOptics PT20X-SDI-GY-G2. I upgraded it with the NDI / HX option to be able to have an NDI stream. With a single cable you can power the camera, get an image and control movement. The PTZ control is done through various protocols (UDP, TCP, HTTP, VISCA ...). I use the TCP / IP protocol to control it from Isadora. Not only do you have control over the pan, tilt, zoom, focus ... you can save all the parameters as presets and recall them whenever you want.
The price is more than € 1,500. I guess other cameras will have these control options.
I hope this helps.
Thank you for your precious answer. Had a look to both of your links. The PTZOptics is a bit out of budget here in France but may be... Need to call the french resellers to know how much is the NDI update. Bird Dog seems also an interesting option, even if only the low range model ( Birdog Eyes P100 ) is in my budget but seems perfectly able for the job. I don't know if I should consider the fact that this model is NDI only rather than NDI-HX for the PTZOptics...
I'm still not sure to understand how to deal with the PTZ control via TCP/IP protocol in Isadora... DustX, do I have to understand that I could be helped enough around here, with my very basic knowledge in coding, to write an user actor that could deal with that?
The difference between NDI and NDI / HX is that the signal is compressed. Therefore, it needs less bandwidth for transmission. If you are only going to use one camera this is not very important because with a cat5e or cat6 UTP cable it is enough for both. As the signal is compressed there are also differences in the color space. And as I understand it, the NDI signal has less latency and less impact on the CPU because there doesn't have to be such a powerful decoding process.
Finally the BirdDog P100 has control by VISCA protocol over IP. In this case the transport protocol is UDP. You could use other protocols like RS-232, RS-485 with adapters.
I have done some user actors to control the PTZOptics. I upload them here for you to take a look. I use a HID joystick to control the camera, so you will see that you have to configure ports.
Thank you very much for sharing these actors, Javi.
It is really helpfull to undestand the process. If I understand well, it should work more or less the same way with a different camera brand, "just" putting the adapted code in every TCP send data actor?
About NDI, HX or not, and bandwidth limitation, I should actually use on this project a second fixed camera with NDI converter, and an Iphone via wifi thru NDI Cam software.
So I am also wondering how powerful should be my router to manage all of it!
In fact, my (positive) experience with NDI is limited to an Iphone cam and a computer to computer link via a router TP-Link AC 1350... But I fell like it could be a great way to get 3 separated flow to manipulate in Isadora.
Then the question is also: how Isadora and the CPU of a simple Macbook Pro (without decent graphic card) will manage all of that, with a bunch of additionnal effects on the top! :-)
These user actors are based on the VISCA command format, so they will work for those devices that listen to the protocol. On the other hand, keep in mind that communication is established through TCP; If the camera does not have this protocol, but for example it has RS-232, you can substitute "TCP send data" actors for "Send Serial Data" actors within user actors; the commands would be the same.
The use of CPU is a test that I also have to do; In an upcoming project I want to use three NDI / HX streams: the PTZOptics camera, a Kiloview HDMI-NDI decoder / encoder and a KIloview NDI / HX wireless. My idea is to bring a single cable (cat5e or cat6) to the stage and connect an ac wifi router and a network switch there.
Well, about the work of decoding NDI compression, when I read on Newtek website, it seems that the job is done by the CPU. So the graphic card ( or the lack of it...) does not change anything ? My basics comparison tests on my old MacPro with good graphic card and my more recent Macbook 13' with just Intel 6100, seemed to be in favor of the old guy... But may be I am missing something.
Anyway, I am may be going too far from the original topic with that subject... And I have the feeling that the use of multiple NDI streams in Isadora could deserve a dedicated thread to collect users experiences...
I have the feeling that the use of multiple NDI streams in Isadora could deserve a dedicated thread to collect users experiences
Feel free to start said thread, I'd love to read it :D
laurentR last edited by laurentR
Back with my PTZ Cam story...
First about my previous post, for different reasons but mainly the lack of rehersal time, I decide not to take the risk of trying the full NDI set on this project... The other reason been the lack of money ! So I finally bought a much cheaper PTZ camera, the Marshall CV610-U3, wich should be good enough for our use. But now I am trying to control it from Isadora, wich is another story!
I am using a USB to RS232 converter that I already own, plugged to a RS232/RS485 converter I just bought, plugged 2 wire to the bottom of the camera not really knowing what I was doing, and surprisingly a little software call " HuddleCamHD Control " is perfectly mannaging the camera without any complicate settings !
But in Isadora, I am not that succesfull. As I said before I have used long time ago a nice User actor for Canon VC-C4, but it does not seems to work, and Javi puted here his own but for Visca control.
I am thinking, if this HuddleCamHD software is managing it, means my connection is good, and there should be a way to do it with Isadora.
I guess I should send the right Serial Data to get an action from the cam, but don't know where I can find the " List" of commands needed...
laurentR last edited by laurentR
I update as I progress ! :
After searching for the magic " list of command lines" I quickly realize it was a kind of " dynamics commands" needed, and found a good tutorial about Pelco protocols, and understand now more or less the meaning of this mysterious lines like "A0 00 00 04 20 00 AF 2B" !!!
I am now able to move up and down an zoom my camera! Champagne!
I believe I should soon be able to create a patch and also record and call Presets...
Hello, I am back with my story...
I finally managed to control PTZ moves and presets records and call in Pelco-P, wich is really cool, but I can't find why I am failing with Focus and Iris control.
For focus far, I believe I should use A0 00 00 80 00 00 AF 2B and for focus near A0 00 01 00 00 00 AF 2B . But as a result, I get nothing with focus far command, and focus near command do just the contrary, focusing the infinite...
And about Iris control, I can't find any information about command lines.
However, the physical joystick is controling perfectly both of these functions, connected the same way with same protocol, so there must be a clue... If anyone has an idea?
I was in a similar situation: I wanted to control the OSD menu of a CCTV camera with Isadora and the camera had the option of two protocols (Pelco-D and Pelco-P). The information I found on both protocols was not very detailed and finally I bought a remote control compatible with the Pelco D protocol. For the control of the camera I had acquired an IP to RS232 adapter and what I did was connect the remote control through the adapter to Isadora and use the TCP actor. In this way, through the monitor I could see the message sent by the remote. Maybe you can connect the joystick to Isadora through the serial port and see what messages it sends.
Also in zoom and focus you have to take into account the speed byte.
In case it helps you, I leave you a file about Pelco-P
Thank you Jandraka. It's funny, the morning before your post, I had this idea of plug my joystick directly on the serial port and use the Isadora monitor window to watch wich message was sent. As usual, I feel very stupid not thinking about that sooner! So I am now able to control all the function thru Isadora! I still need to study about speed and other subtleties, but the main function I need are there! I also realize that Pelco-P and Pelco-D can actually both working and cohabit, and I think in my case, with only one cam, it does not change that much to use one or the other...
You're both brilliant :)
Maybe we could use a Knowledgebase Article on this topic, eh? I'll add it to our list.
Thank you Woland ;-)
If my PTZ control actor seems good enough to share in the end, may be I can put it here if it can help someone, cause it can work with any cam able to deal with Pelco protocol...
I contacted Marshall hotline to try to find some more informations about Pelco protocol, Iris and shutter speed control, they nicely answered by sending me the user manual of the camera... Wich I already examine of course! I answered explaining again and more precisely, I'm waiting for a answer...
I don't know what you mean by "iris and shutter speed control" but for iris control I have the commands. I think the speed parameter is for pan and tilt basically. I hope this helps.
A0 00 08 00 00 00 AF 07
A0 00 04 00 00 00 AF 0B
Thank you Jandraka. Yes, that's the command I was using for iris, but the reaction of the camera Iris is quite strange... Anyway that's also the same information that Marshall hotline finally answer me, and they also told me " Pelco doesn't have commands for shutter speed control " . I think I red somewhere that Visca protocol was controlling it... But I will do without for this project, what I got is good enough!
I have to find a PTZ camera that can be used by the actors (with no technical knowledge) so I would like to program it into Isadora so they just have to press spacebar and that's it.
I see a lot of options of PTZ camera's.
In your experience what was the most stable one and the easiest to debug if there is a problem. (I won't be able to tour with it)
Are there camera's you would never use again? And why?
With kind regards
liminal_andy last edited by
@gertjanb one of the things we are looking at right now (quite literally, the controller is in my lap) is the transmission of VISCA over StreamWeaver (specifically StreamWeaver Lite, which is about to launch). This would allow you to forward your control commands to remote systems. Even if we decide this isn't the way to go, you could potentially have the remote patches controlled by a master Isadora sending OSC to progress the scenes, for example, versus having your actors do the progression. I've been trying to verify the VISCA-IP transmission, can keep you posted on how that goes. We know it can work on some higher end controller camera pairs, but I'm looking into full compatibility in the general case. Because StreamWeaver does not require a port forward, it can be nice to do this versus running PTZ gateways through the public internet.
I would prefer a system as described above where you send serial messages to the camera. With OSC I would need an other software so that is one extra step where it can go wrong.
This is a show where the actors stream from home. and there is no technician around. (it will be a show for schools and will be streamed multiple times a day but there is no budget to pay for a touring technician. So I have to make it as simple as possible)
So I want them to just connect everything and open Isadora. The settings and position of the camera will be programmed for every scene so they just have to worry about pressing space bar to go to the next scene.
so that's why I'm looking for a camera that is reliable and easy to use for them. (= Isadora does the work)