Town Hall June 2021 Q&A: PTZ Optics and HuddleCamHD

Q: Will PTZ Optics be expanding their product offerings to include NDI Converters (i.e. HDMI to NDI or NDI to HDMI)?

A: Not at the moment. But, we are always looking to bolster our offerings and get line items that make sense.

Q: I am hearing about Dante video. Will NDI just be another camera in that GUI or does it have its own routing/GUI? Maybe the question should be what is the relation between NDI and Dante?

A: Dante is a competitor to NDI and comes at an extreme cost to add to the products, we do not currently have intent to add DANTE Video to our offerings as we feel NDI is for Video and Dante is for audio and they each serve those roles very well as their platforms were not built with the other audio vs video in mind.

Q: How does NDI get recognized in UC platforms, and will it work on all soft codec solutions?

A: Yes, it will work on all softcodec solutions that are NDI enabled. It recognizes it as a NDI video source, like a virtual webcam, and pulls the video feed from the static IP of the camera to be recognized as a "video capture device".

Q: Will NDI integrate into AVB network setups?

A: If the AVB system is NDI enabled, it should work just fine. Of note, we have not tried any such solutions ourselves.

Q: Any plans to get products into The Department of Defense Information Network (DoDIN) Approved Products List (APL)?

A: Yes, but that is a long process and we are in the infancy of that process.

Q: Since you mention that PTZOptics is a small, family company, where are the cameras manufactured?  Made in the US or overseas?  Are you being impacted by the chip shortage?

A: 90% of our products are manufactured overseas. Our mounts and accessories are manufactured in-house and/or in PA.


Q: Can you point to a couple of hardware video switchers that ingest NDI? Looking to use in H.O.W. live streaming?

A: The point of NDI is to virtualize the switchers. So, we recommend that you stick to software switching with NDI. But there are some great units out there from BirdDog and the like.

Q: Any plans to integrate camera preset positions on control panel surfaces in Zoom?

A: Yes. We are working with Zoom on added functionality.

Q: Is NDI routable between networks? Any firewall port considerations?  Also, can it be moved over wireless?

A: Yes, to both questions in short. But, that is a matter of your network's construction. So, no short answer as to how. For wireless, we recommend our Wireless Cable product from PTZOptics.

Q: I'm doing mostly HOW live-streaming, with hardware video switcher/streamers like Blackmagic ATEM which has HDMI inputs for cameras. NDI is really interesting, but it seems like SDI cabling converted to HDMI at the end would be my best bet. I'd also need Cat5 for PoE, but even with running two cables, it seems more cost-effective than NDI, if NDI would even be possible in this situation. Does that solution sound right?

A: Just depends on preference and infrastructure. If you have a network that can support NDI and you want to go that route, it is as functional as SDI or HDMI. But if you want an ATEM in the mix and like SDI to HDMI, that works as well. It's why we offer both of them.

Q: Can you use them with OBS using the NDI driver?

A: Yes.

Q: Are your cameras TAA compliant for Government applications?

A: Not as of yet. But we are always looking to add certifications that make sense to our lines. So we are looking into it.

Q: Does it still cost 600 to upgrade a 20X PTZ SDI camera to NDI?

A: At the moment, yes.

Q: Not wise to move NDI over Wireless?

A: Yes. We have the Wireless Cable product in the line that can send NDI wirelessly.

Q: When focus lock is on for setting presets, it does not seem there is the ability to zoom out without it affecting the focus.  Camera operators ask me about this as the ability to slowly zoom out and maintain focus is a nice element for live production without using auto-focus?

A: In theory with the new SuperJoy, you have a nob for focus. So, you could pull focus and Zoom out at the same time. But unlike a cinema camera, our focus is stepped, so it will likely not have a full cinematic look to it. But, you can definitely get close.

Q: Any support coming for Far-side control with MS Teams?
​​​​​​​A: We have made recommendations to MS Teams for added functions. We will update you if we see them coming.

Q: I read all the time that these cameras can remain on 24/7; however, I get asked about the ability to put the cameras into standby mode.  While this can be done from the remote, is there a more elegant option to do this EASILY using the new Super-Joy - OR - through a simple script that can run on a computer?

A: Yes this can be accomplished using the CUSTOM buttons on the SUPERJOY and leveraging the STANDBY VISCA over IP command or in the form of a Python, VBA, etc... script with examples available on our knowledge base.

Q: Are all of the outputs on the camera active at the same time?

A: Yes.

Q: Any plans to offer cameras in different colors to better match walls/backdrops that are used in live environments?

A: Not at the moment.

Q: Any new models due to come out with an enhanced image chip? such as a 1/2.5" CMOS?

A: Not at the moment.

Q: Is HuddleCamHD NDI camera firmware to support discovery server coming like newer PTZ Optics firmware?

A: Yes and has been live for a couple of months now.

Q: This may be for an OBS group.  We have a house of worship using OBS and 3 NDI cameras that will not move until that scene is in the presentation’s windows.   Is there a way for the cameras to move to a preset when the scene is chosen for the Preview window?

A: I believe so, but yes that would be an OBS question.


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