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Thread: Control for PTZ

  1. #16
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    Hi Fritz,

    I have the XK-12 and unlike the keys on Xkeys units, the joystick itself is not "programmable" - it appears to Windows as a regular Windows gaming joystick. Therefore, not possible to tie stick movements to any Macros in TriCaster. I have in the past installed the PTZJoy software from Rocosoft on a TriCaster, and that software then does all the PTZ control bypassing the TriCaster PTZ options altogether. PTZJoy can use a gaming joystick for input, so camera movement does work with XK-12 stick in that case, however the twist on that stick sends a non-standard signal so does NOT work for zoom control. I was able to program the IN and OUT zoom functions to keys on the XK-12 instead.

    I read that there will be a remote app for Newtek NDI/HX camera that does accept input from joysticks, so sounds like the XK-12 could be used in that case...but then you might as well just use a $30 gaming stick at that point and get more control. This app will run on separate PC by the way, not TriCaster.

    The joystick on the larger Control Surfaces controls the PTZ cameras very nicely! However, for Mini owners or other users without the CS joystick, what to do? Just last week I was playing with Macros and Xkeys for PTZ control in TriCaster and was finally successful. I had in the past tried and failed, but finally got it right! Was able to program PTZ movement to buttons on an Xkeys (up, down, left, right, zoom in, zoom out), with TWO speeds for each (second, faster speed accessed with modifier key and same control buttons). Could easily add diagonal motion as well, but ran out of time that day and am currently without a PTZ demo camera - sold it and ordered the Newtek version.

    I was happy when Newtek added the "virtual joystick" in the PTZ control panel, however I'm not very good at running it and the camera goes everywhere except where intended...takes me forever just to get camera framed up to snapshot a preset, and I wouldn't dream of adjusting while "live" using that method. Often, you might go to a preset such as a podium close up and find that the subject is much taller than the person you created the preset with, so you might need to add a little bit of headroom for instance. Don't try with the virtual joystick! This is where the Xkeys shines, for small, precise movements. Yes, one can do the same thing with the standard keyboard, however - the macro that starts the camera in motion keeps the motion going until you stop it with another macro. With Xkeys, I can fire one macro when key is pressed, and another when same key is released. So hold or tap key to move camera, and it stops when key is released, great for small tweaks! I made it work on the numeric keypad, but having to press a second key to stop the motion is not good for fine control.

    So on ANY Xkeys unit, one could program a bunch of PTZ presets to keys, then have other keys control motion and zoom, and even snapshot the presets after making adjustments. Here's the catch - PTZJoy software allows you to select which camera to control by pressing 1 thru 8 on keyboard (or via Xkeys), then any controller keys move that camera. With TriCaster Macros, the camera number must be part of the macro itself, so you'd need an entire set of move and zoom macros for EACH camera. I suppose one could use SHIFT, ALT, and CTRL modifiers for instance to get one set of controls on Xkeys to move 4 different cameras...but that becomes a two-handed or nimble-finger process then.

    For anyone wanting to use Xkeys on TriCaster - the TC1 and any model with AE now offers native Xkeys support, which is great for "basic" plug-and-play needs, however if you prefer using MacroWorks to program Xkeys yourself to take advantage of advanced features, then you need to disable native Xkeys support in TriCaster, and that is another story!

    Anyway, when I get my Newtek NDI camera, will continue experimenting with it all. Maybe I can reverse-engineer commands from the TC1 CS joystick and figure out some better macros?

    Thanks
    Jeff Pulera
    Streaming Broadcast Solutions - Newtek Elite

    TriCasters: Mini with AE, TC1
    Camera: Sony PMW-X70 4K
    Controllers: All variety of XKeys
    PTZ: PTZ Optics 20x SDI

  2. #17
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    Thanks for the info, Jeff. I had assumed that the X-Keys joystick wasn't usable before but thought that maybe it could be in future releases.

    I, too, have used the Rocosoft software and although it works, I really wasn't too happy with the way their customer support worked in getting it running (and that said, I got stuck with the license on the computer where I had first installed ... they wouldn't even consider allowing it to be relicensed to a new platform).

    SO, just hoping that sometime the X-Keys joystick will be compatible with the system.

    Next time I'm getting an X-Keys, I'll get in touch with you regarding how to disable the native mode in TriCaster. I'm quite familiar with Macroworks as I've been using X-Keys for years, for many applications.

    Cheers!

    Fritz Golman
    Museum of Broadcast Communications

  3. #18
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    Jeff, this is great info. Seems that every time you post something I learn something new even after having owned my unit for over a year now.

    I am at a bit of a crossroads needing to make a decision on how I want to control my PTZ to my MINI.

    I was leaning toward the Rocosoft software and a gaming joystick. I watched a couple videos on it but have not seen one to explain how to setup the controller. Is it difficult to setup? My idea at this point is to have a dedicated PTZ operator sit beside me and gather mostly pre set shots. Off the ball stuff for football. Mascot, cheer leaders, fans, etc. The PTZ will likely be setup near the field and signal sent to and from a junction box nearby.

    I would like to setup one of my outputs and place a monitor just for the PTZ camera op. In your opinion, does all of this seem possible?
    Last edited by Radio_TVPat1982; 08-03-2017 at 09:24 AM.

  4. #19
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    Hi Pat,

    When you say "set up the controller" are you referring to the joystick? You quite simply do the standard joystick calibration procedure in Windows and that's it.

    If interested in a custom interface solution for PTZ cameras, using PTZJoy and Xkeys hardware, please PM me

    Thanks
    Jeff Pulera
    Streaming Broadcast Solutions - Newtek Elite

    TriCasters: Mini with AE, TC1
    Camera: Sony PMW-X70 4K
    Controllers: All variety of XKeys
    PTZ: PTZ Optics 20x SDI

  5. #20
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    Yeah, I was just thinking of doing a very simple gaming Logitech joystick setup. I really want this process to be as simple as possible. I just basically need a smooth way for an operator to control the camera when not using pre sets and also a way for them to ISO view it.

    If all goes well for high school football I may add this to our ESPN3 productions we do. Even if you use it for presets only. I am thinking of using it for a slash cam for basketball.

    I did use the web interface through a browser and just felt that trying to control it that way was not very smooth at all. I have hear the Rocosoft software was the way to go other than buying a full controller which is of course more than double the price.

  6. #21
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    Do you have the PTZ camera model selected yet? NDI is really exciting with new NDI-ready cameras from Newtek, Panasonic, and PTZ Optics. I don't know if Rocosoft has any plans to work with NDI though (for control).

    How did you plan to control cameras - network or RS-232? Rocosoft has cable kits the simplify connection of multiple PTZ cameras to TriCaster. A small adapter at each camera converts RS-232 serial to Cat-5, then Cat-5 from each camera to main controller box at TriCaster, which converts all cameras to a single USB into TriCaster. No daisy chaining or serial cable needed. Of course NDI control would negate the purchase of the extra hardware and software.

    The joystick on a TriCaster control surface works great for PTZ control, however with a Mini you would not have one. And even if you did, if you want a separate camera operator, then that joystick would not help.

    My understanding is that if you go with NDI control, you can then use a gaming joystick from another PC like a laptop to control the camera, so maybe that's an option?

    Or go with something like the HC-JOY-G2 controller from PTZ Optics, under $400. Of course then the camera control is completely removed from TriCaster, so no tying any PTZ stuff to macros, it is independent. I like macros...

    Lots to consider. I'll know more once I get the Newtek camera in here to test.

    Thanks
    Jeff Pulera
    Streaming Broadcast Solutions - Newtek Elite

    TriCasters: Mini with AE, TC1
    Camera: Sony PMW-X70 4K
    Controllers: All variety of XKeys
    PTZ: PTZ Optics 20x SDI

  7. #22
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    I ended up purchasing a used PTZ Optics Gen 2 camera. I really like it so far. I wanted the Gen 2 because it has IP control. There are a number of ways to control over IP but most are very limited and not smooth. I can use the free browser, free app on my phone or one of the free software options they offer on the PTZ site. There is also the Tricaster itself that has control over it.

    All those above great for selecting a preset but dont really give you full range of motion like an actual controller. Most of those control are strictly just left right up and down which wont work too well for sports. I have heard that and seen in the videos online that the Rocosoft software gives a full range of motion and can also just be setup to run smoothly with a simple joystick or even a video game controller. I understand the Rocosoft software will also allow you to move multiple cameras if I chose to get another one.

    I thought about getting the JOY controller from PTZ Optics but the IP controller is much more expensive but may be worth it in the end. If I planned to use the camera close by I would consider just using the RS-232 option. I think IP is going to be the best solution for now.

    My next PTZ will likely be the all in one cable NDI solution but just outside my budget this upcoming sports season.

    My hope is eventually I can get this to the point to where I fell comfortable having my ops control the camera for on the ball action. These will be inexperienced operators for high school season so I will be learning as I train them myself.

  8. #23
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    PTZ Optics will be offering NDI as a paid firmware upgrade on the Gen 2 camera in the fall for $600 list, but if pre-ordered prior to official release, it is just $300.

    You are correct, PTZJoy can control up to 8 cameras. If using keyboard control, the 1-8 keys select a camera, then the joystick and keys for presets and motion control whatever camera is selected. I've ported all of that over to an Xkeys panel for one customer running 7 cameras off of two TC Mini with AE units (inputs shared via NDI, so one Mini is the MAIN unit, the other is just for camera ingest/backup really).

    Thanks
    Jeff Pulera
    Streaming Broadcast Solutions - Newtek Elite

    TriCasters: Mini with AE, TC1
    Camera: Sony PMW-X70 4K
    Controllers: All variety of XKeys
    PTZ: PTZ Optics 20x SDI

  9. #24
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    That is great info on the PTZ Optics upgrade. I have not heard that mentioned before. Do you know who I would reach out to about that?

  10. #25
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    Quote Originally Posted by Radio_TVPat1982 View Post
    That is great info on the PTZ Optics upgrade. I have not heard that mentioned before. Do you know who I would reach out to about that?
    http://www.sharbor.com/ndi-upgrade-f...2-cameras.html

    Note this is pre-order, to ship in the fall when PTZ Optics releases NDI models. Price doubles after that.

    Thanks
    Jeff Pulera
    Streaming Broadcast Solutions - Newtek Elite

    TriCasters: Mini with AE, TC1
    Camera: Sony PMW-X70 4K
    Controllers: All variety of XKeys
    PTZ: PTZ Optics 20x SDI

  11. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBowie View Post
    Of course NewTek NDI cameras (and Pansonic ones with NDI support too) can be easily controlled in NewTek control surfaces with joysticks on them.
    I Just recieved my order of 5 NewTek PTZ cameras and I have a Tricaster 860 CS. I can't figure out how to control the cameras with the Control Surface that I have. I've seen a few videos with people doing this, but they always had a different control surface than the one I'm using. Is there a tutorial somewhere where I can figure out how to make this work?

    I'm about ready to buy an X-keys ...

  12. #27
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    It is covered on Page 238 of the manual:

    To delegate the joystick to control a PTZ camera assigned to a specific TriCaster input, hold down SHIFT button on the control surface and press a button (1-8) in the M/E Delegate group. (Afterward, the button corresponding to the current PTZ camera selection will light whenever SHIFT is pressed.)
     Pan: With SHIFT depressed, tilt the joystick left-right.
     Tilt: With SHIFT depressed, tilt the joystick backward-forward.
     Zoom: With SHIFT depressed, twist the joystick clockwise or counter-clockwise.
     Focus: When Auto is off, and with SHIFT + CTRL both pressed, twist the joystick clockwise or counterclockwise.
    o Auto Focus toggle: With SHIFT + CTRL held down, press the joystick button.
     Preset selection: Press CTRL + LIVESET SHOT (1-8) to choose a preset for the selected camera.
     Press CTRL + RATE (M/E Transition group) to adjust the camera’s Animation Speed.
    Hold down SHIFT and press the top joystick button to update the current PTZ preset (position, zoom and thumbnail icon).
    Zane Condren
    Senior Video Specialist
    NewTek Inc.
    new.tk/call

  13. #28
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    I've purchased the Newtek PTZ and using it with a Tricaster Mini w/ AE. Preset shots work great but I agree the GUI for control isn't ideal. I tried configuring the XK-12 joystick and it shows up on Windows but doesn't do anything within Tricaster. I'm seeing posts saying you can use any USB joystick for control and some saying only the Newtek CS will work. Has anyone had luck with using a USB joystick over IP for camera control? I'm regretting that I sold the old small CS with the dual joysticks with my old 300 because I bet that would have been perfect. The updated CS for Mini did away with those.

  14. #29
    You can use a Windows USB joystick to control the NewTek PTZ1 using NDI Studio Monitor, not the TriCaster.

    Do be aware that currently it requires a dual axis joystick (like a XBox controller). One axis controls pan and tilt the other axis is zoom and focus. I tired my X-Key's XK-12 but since it is only a single axis, you can only control half the functions (zoom and focus in this case). I did put in a feature request to hold down a joystick button to 'flip' the control axis so that you could make the XK-12 work, so hopefully something like that will be added in the future.

    On the TriCaster itself, the thought is that you would mainly use the presets during a live event, the manual controls are there to get the presets setup. I would recommend that if you want manual control during a live event you should have a control surface with a joystick.
    Kane Peterson
    Key Accounts Sales Engineer
    NewTek, Inc.

  15. #30
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    Is there any trick to getting Iris control in the TC with the PTZ1's?

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