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Pan-Tilt-Zoom Cameras

Chapter Video Surveillance Made Easy e-book

Plug & Play Pan-Tilt-Zoom Cameras!

HD-CVI PTZ Cameras

Our new line of CVI pan, tilt, zoom cameras eliminates all the complicated setup required by CCTV and SDI cameras. The video cable provides the data communication to the camera providing complete control. No extra data cable or confusing dip switch settings; simply plug the camera in and instantly control the camera(s) with the DVR, a joy stick or remotely with smart phones. If you're looking for simple and reliable; our HD-CVI line of cameras are the right choice.The maximum distance for the video-control cable is 1500 feet.

Elite-IP & Ultra-HD Series PTZ Cameras

Both series of pan, tilt, zoom cameras use network cabling (cat5 or cat6) to transmit video and PTZ control. Due to the limitations of network devices the maximum distance is 220 feet from the camera to the NVR. The cameras are shipped with their own power supply. PoE is not functional with PTZ cameras simply because of the power requirements. The power supply can be located up to 200 feet from the camera.

Pan Tilt Zoom Cameras Explained

Types of PTZ cameras

There are several types of pan, tilt, zoom cameras as shown below. While they are each designed for specific applications, they all function in the same basic way. They all provide an optical zoom lens that can be controlled remotely, the ability to pan the camera 360 degrees and the ability to tilt the camera 180 degrees; hence the term “PTZ camera”.

Types of PTZ cameras

Main Features
  • User Controlled – PTZ cameras can be directly controlled by a user using a desktop joystick. We offer two types of joysticks: Part # PTZ-JOYSTICK & 3D-PTZ-JOYSTICK.
  • Types of PTZ cameras
  • Software Controlled: All the DVRs we offer have PTZ control built into the software allowing you to setup and control each camera individually.
  • Remote Controlled – PTZ cameras can be remotely controlled through the internet or a smart phone using the remote access feature of the DVR.
  • Automatic Tours – The cameras can be set to run automatic tours, panning, tilting and zooming to preset viewing locations for a preset duration; then moving to the next preset view.
  • Preset Alarm Positions – The cameras have the ability to pan, tilt and zoom to a preset location if a specific alarm is received, such as a motion detector, door alarm or other sensor conditions. This is accomplished by connecting the sensors to the alarm inputs on the DVR and programming the cameras response to an alarm condition.
  • Low Light & Night Vision – Low light cameras can provide extremely clear pictures in almost no light. The light level can be as low as .002 LUX. If there will be periods of zero light, a long range night vision PTZ camera maybe the right choice. Night vision cameras cast out infrared light which allows them to generate clear black and white video in complete darkness.

PTZ Camera Installation

There are a few aspects of a PTZ camera that should be considered prior to installation. First, they all require power and a video cable from the camera to the DVR or NVR. HD-CVI uses coax cable and can transmit the video signal up to 1500 feet. The HD-IP and Elite-IP technologies use network Cat5/6 cable and has a distance limit of 220 feet. None of our HD technologies require a separate communication-data cable (for controlling the camera). These technologies send the control data integrated with the video signal; true plug and play.


PTZ cameras have multiple motors built-in which draw a considerable amount of power compared to a regular surveillance camera. Power can be supplied locally at the camera location or a cable can be pulled from a power source to the camera. The size of the wire dictates the maximum distance the cable can extend from the camera to the power source. See the chart below.

  • 12 Gauge Wire – Maximum Distance 320 Feet
  • 14 Gauge Wire – Maximum Distance 225 Feet
  • 16 Gauge Wire – Maximum Distance 150 Feet
  • 18 Gauge Wire – Maximum Distance 100 Feet

Each PTZ camera is shipped with its own power supply. Some cameras operate on 12v DC and some on 24v AC. Make sure you note the type of power the camera uses and that the power supply matches the camera. The HD-CVI series offers two different options to power a camera. You can use the power supply included with the camera or use a multi-camera power supply which can power multiple cameras from one central location. We offer multi-camera power supplies in both 12v DC and 24v AC versions.

The HD-IP and the Elite-IP series offer the ability to power the camera near its location with the power supply included with the camera, or you can use PoE (Power over Ethernet) which powers the camera using the network cable that is ran from the NVR/DVR to the camera. This is possible because the NVR/DVR has a built-in power supply and can induce power for the camera onto the network cable. The one exception is our long range night vision PTZ cameras. They draw so much power (for the night vision to work properly) that they must be powered locally near the camera with the power supply included with the camera.

Long Distance Video Transmission (HD-CVI Series Only)

Using CAT5 & Video Baluns on Long Runs

Instead of pulling a Siamese video-power cable to the camera, you could consider pulling a CAT5 network cable to the camera and use a pair of our Video-Baluns to send the video signal back to the DVR. Video Balun allows the video signal to be sent up to 3000 feet using only two conductors in the CAT5 cable (the maximum distance is a function of the type of Video Balun used). Using one of the other pair of wires in the CAT5 cable the communication-data can be transmitted back to the DVR.

PTZ communication star config
Associated Part Numbers
  • Balun-2: One pair of long distance video transmission Baluns
  • CAT5E-1000: 1000 Foot box of CAT5E data cable (eight conductors-four pair)

Twisted Two Conductors & Phone Cable

A twisted two conductor shielded cable can also be used as the communication-data cable and ran independently from one camera to the next. If physical phone cables exist connecting one building to another, one pair can be used as the communication-data cable and another pair can be used to transmit video signal using a pair of our Video Baluns

Additional Support

For further information about PTZ system design please feel free to contact one of our support representatives. We’ll be glad to help. Toll Free 1-800-431-3056

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