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PTZ Auto-Focus and Camera Control in DW Spectrum

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PTZ Auto-Focus and Camera Control in DW Spectrum

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Affected Roles:  All Users

Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps:  DW Spectrum® IPVMS

Complexity:  Low to Medium

Software Version:  DW Spectrum v4.2 or higher

Last Edit:  February 10, 2022

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PTZ & Auto-Focus

While supported ONVIF cameras with motorized varifocal lenses can only zoom in and out, DW Spectrum also allows users to easily control connected PTZ cameras through the DW Spectrum Client without having to use an external joystick.

This article will show where you can manage the local PTZ settings in the DW Spectrum Client and outline the PTZ controls that are available.

**NOTE:  The Extended PTZ features require that the camera supports ONVIF Absolute Move and custom product integration to work with the DW Spectrum IPVMS software controls.

Supported/Affected Devices

  • DW Blackjack® Series

Local DW Spectrum Settings

When using a PTZ camera, the local client settings can be configured to affect how the user’s PTZ control interface will display and PTZ configuration presets will be used by the system.

Preferred PTZ Preset Setting

By default, PTZ control will automatically be available for supported PTZ cameras in the DW Spectrum Client and will use the camera’s Native PTZ setting presets (manufacturer configured). Considering this, DW Spectrum will determine if the system should use the camera’s presets or if it will use the DW Spectrum System’s preferred presets, depending on its assigned settings. These presets can be used to tell the PTZ camera to perform specific maneuvers, tours, etc.

You can find this setting in the DW Spectrum Client under the PTZ section. To get there, right-click on the camera and select “Camera Settings”. In the resulting Camera Settings window, select the “Expert tab.

In the PTZ section of the menu, select one of the following:

  • Auto (default) – use a mix between the Native and System PTZ presets to easily begin using the PTZ preset controls in the DW Spectrum Client.
  • System – ignore the camera manufacturer settings in favor of using DW Spectrum PTZ preset settings only.
  • Native – have DW Spectrum only use the PTZ camera’s preset settings.

PTZ Aim Overlay Setting

By default, the DW Spectrum Client will utilize a user interface (UI) that follows simple click-and-drag controls, which minimizes the need to display controls for the PTZ camera, which some users feel can take up a fair portion of the screen. However, other users may prefer to have an overlay display as it offers clear and simple controls by which to control the camera.

To show an aim overlay (HUD), navigate to Main Menu > Local Settings > Look and Feel menu in the desktop client.

Locate the “Show aim overlay for PTZ cameras” setting.

Enabling this setting will affect how the PTZ control interface will display in the client by directly overlaying the camera’s FOV and how the user interacts with the PTZ features.

Using PTZ Controls

When DW Spectrum detects that a compatible PTZ camera has been added to the system, the PTZ icon will display in the camera’s viewing window.

To activate the DW Spectrum’s PTZ controls, click the PTZ icon that appears at the top of the camera’s window. Click the PTZ icon again to hide the PTZ controls.

How the PTZ controls interface displays will vary, depending on whether or not the “Show aim overlay for PTZ cameras” setting has been enabled.

Simple-Zoom (non-PTZ cameras)

If a camera uses a motorized, varifocal lens to zoom (T/W), but does not feature the ability to pan or tilt the camera, only the zoom controls (+ and –) will be available regardless of enabling/disabling the aim overlay setting.

This feature is represented by a set of plus (+) and minus (-) buttons that allow users to zoom the camera lens in or out through the DW Spectrum interface.  Alternatively, users may use the mouse-wheel to zoom-in or zoom-out.

Extended PTZ (Disabled PTZ Aim Overlay)

When the Aim Overlay setting is DISABLED, the PTZ control features are represented in the following ways:

  • Zoom In/Outclick on the Zoom-in (+) or Zoom-out (-) buttons to use the camera’s motorized zoom; alternatively, users may use the mouse-wheel to zoom-in or zoom-out
  • Pan-and Tiltclick-and-drag the mouse within the viewing window to pan and tilt the camera

While holding the Shift key:

  • Box Targeting – to zoom and position the camera into a specific FOV-framing, Shift + click-and-drag anywhere within the camera viewing window and draw a box around the target area.
  • Single Mouse Click Pan/Tilt – users can Shift + click (once) anywhere within the camera viewing window to have the PTZ camera move and center to that point
  • Double-click Zoom Out – users can Shift + double-click anywhere within the camera viewing window to zoom the camera back out to its telescopic base.

Regular PTZ (Enabled PTZ Aim Overlay)

When the Aim Overlay setting is ENABLED, the PTZ control features are represented in the following ways:

  • Zoom In/Out to use the camera’s motorized zoom, click on the Zoom-in (+) or Zoom-out (-) buttons; alternatively, users may use the mouse-wheel to zoom-in or zoom-out.
  • Virtual Joystick – displaying in the center of the overlay, click-and-drag the virtual joystick to pan and tilt the camera.

**NOTE:  The user does not need to hold the Shift key down when using the Extended PTZ features, so long as the “Show aim overlay for PTZ cameras” setting is enabled.

  • Box Targeting – to zoom and position the camera into a specific FOV-framing, click-and-drag anywhere within the camera viewing window and draw a box around the target area.
  • Single Mouse Click Pan/Tilt – to have the PTZ camera quickly move and center to a single point, users can click (once) anywhere within the camera viewing window to have the PTZ camera move and center to that point
  • Double-click Zoom Out – users can double-click anywhere within the camera viewing window to have the camera zoom-out to its widest magnification.

PTZ Issue Troubleshooting

Camera models that support the advanced PTZ features (Regular PTZ and Extended PTZ) can be found using the DW Spectrum Supported Device List.

When troubleshooting ONVIF camera issues, such as PTZ control problems, it is recommended to download and install ONVIF Device Manager on the same computer as your DW Spectrum Server.  If you cannot install the ONVIF Device Manager (ODM), because you are using an Ubuntu/Linux or Macintosh operating system, install ODM on a Windows PC that shares the same LAN as your troubled camera.

Common PTZ Issues

  • If PTZ camera does not display the PTZ icon in DW Spectrum, ensure that the DW Spectrum firmware version is up-to-date, use ODM to connect with the camera and confirm if there is a PTZ Controls option available. If not, it may be an issue with the camera. Confirm that the camera’s firmware is also up-to-date.
  • If PTZ controls do not respond in DW Spectrum, in addition to ensuring that the camera firmware and DW Spectrum firmware are up-to-date, use the PTZ Controls in ODM to see if the camera responds.  If not, it may be an issue with the camera.
  • If PTZ position presets assignment is not working, use ODM and use PTZ Controls, then select Absolute Move.  Try a different set of values for the Absolute Move coordinates.
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  • 11-Feb-2022
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