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PTZ Auto-Focus and Camera Control in DW Spectrum

PTZ Auto-Focus and Camera Control in DW Spectrum


Affected Roles:  All Users

Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps:  DW Spectrum

Complexity:  Low to Medium

Software Version:  DW Spectrum v4.0.0.29990 or higher

Last Edit:  May 13, 2020


PTZ & Auto-Focus

While supported ONVIF cameras with motorized varifocal lenses can only zoom in and out (Simple PTZ), DW Spectrum also allows users to easily point PTZ cameras through the DW Spectrum Client, rather than having to connect an external joystick.

This article will outline the available PTZ controls of DW Spectrum.

Note:  Auto-focus and zoom are enabled for supported non-PTZ cameras by default.

Supported/Affected Devices

  • DW Blackjack Series

PTZ Cameras and DW Spectrum

When PTZ requirements are met for a compatible PTZ camera, the PTZ icon will display in the camera’s viewing window.

Standard PTZ is an included function of DW Spectrum.  By default, PTZ control will automatically be enabled for supported cameras by the camera’s native presets (manufacturer configured) and how DW Spectrum determines if it will use the camera’s presets or use its preferred presets instead.

You can find this setting under the PTZ section by right-clicking on the camera, opening Camera Settings, then selecting the Expert tab.

By default, the Preferred PTZ preset type will be set to Auto, allowing users to simply add the camera and begin using the PTZ function.  If needed, you can change the setting to Native to only use the camera’s PTZ setting presets or change the setting to System to ignore the camera manufacturer settings in favor of using DW Spectrum settings only.  Otherwise, it is recommended to leave the setting as Auto.

Available PTZ Controls

By clicking the PTZ icon in the camera’s viewing window, users can activate DW Spectrum’s PTZ controls.  Click the PTZ icon again to hide the PTZ controls.

Depending on the camera model, one of the following modes will be made available.

Simple (Zoom only) – 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.  This option does not allow users to pan or tilt the camera as it is typically associated with cameras with zoom functionality only.

Regular PTZ (zoom and point) – this feature is represented with the same zoom controls as the Simple (Zoom only) PTZ feature, but it is also accompanied by a “center circle” that can be used to click-and-drag to point the PTZ camera to a desired position.

Extended (zoom, point, and additional features) – this feature requires ONVIF Absolute Move support by the camera and custom product integration with DW Spectrum.  It includes the same features as the Regular PTZ (zoom and point) feature as well as:

  • Box Targeting – users can click-and-drag anywhere in the camera viewing window to draw a box around a target area to zoom and position the camera to that area.
  • Single Mouse Click Pan/Tilt – users can click once anywhere in the camera viewing window to have the PTZ camera move the center focus to that point.
  • Double-click Zoom Out – users can double-click anywhere in the camera viewing window to zoom the camera back out to its telescopic base.

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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  • 13-May-2020