PTZ (Pan/Tilt/Zoom) style security cameras have been a mainstay of business security camera systems since the days of VCR-based analog systems, and have continued in their popularity into the digital age of security. However, the reasons for the PTZ Cameras, and the benefits have changed over the years. Many business owners might expect too much out of these PTZ Cameras, or might expect the wrong benefits. It is important to know what a PTZ Camera can add to you business security camera system before taking these cameras into serious consideration.
Originally, in the days of VCR based Analog recording from business security cameras, the PTZ Camera was used prevalently as a means to offer coverage of more area, without having to add extra expensive equipment. These PTZ Cameras could be set to pan and tilt, as well as zoom along a pre-determined path continuously, providing coverage of an entire area. This type of PTZ Camera was developed with that purpose in mind, and served its purpose very well in business security camera systems with analog recorders. These analog VCR recorders could only accept a finite number of cameras, and would split resolution across the connected cameras through use of a multiplexer. Adding cameras to these systems would involve addition of expensive multiplexers, additional time-lapse VCR recorders and other equipment, so it was often easier to simply install one PTZ Camera to cover the same area that could otherwise be monitored by 3-4 stationary cameras.
However, with the advent of Digital PC-Based or Standalone DVR recorders that can be used for business security camera systems, the role of a PTZ Camera has shifted significantly. These digital recording systems generally utilize a motion detection recording, to help conserve on recording space, allowing for longer recording times on the recorder's hard drive. However, if a PTZ Camera is set to an Auto-Tour on a digital system, this camera will always be triggering a continuous recording, using up precious hard drive space in the process. With Digital PC-Based or Standalone DVR Recorders, adding extra stationary cameras is not difficult at all, as digital systems can generally be upgraded without major expense, so providing adequate coverage with stationary cameras is usually far less expensive even than installing a single PTZ Camera.
So what is the allure to the PTZ Cameras? The original benefit to analog recorders of covering more area with a single camera has been rendered less than necessary on newer digital recorders. So business owners should determine how they will be using the PTZ Camera to ip camera
if a PTZ Camera is the best solution. PTZ Cameras connected to PC-Based or Standalone DVRs provide the ability to move the camera and zoom in on specific activities while they occur. Unlike VCR based systems, you do not necessarily have to be stationed on-location in order to accomplish this. Many systems, like our Alnet Systems PC-Based DVR Cards, will allow you to move the PTZ cameras and zoom in on what is occurring even from a remote location over the internet. The Alnet Systems PC-Based DVR Card/Software combination will even allow you to control the live PTZ camera from a Laptop, PC, Windows Mobile PDA Phone or even Windows Mobile Smartphone. The ability to move the camera live while on-location or off, allows you to get more relevant video footage of what is occurring. This allows you to leave the PTZ Camera at a pre-determined "guard" position with a wide view of the area, but zoom in on something as it is occurring for better footage of the incident.