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Thread: Question about upcoming Virtual PTZ feature

  1. #1
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    Question about upcoming Virtual PTZ feature

    Hi,

    we have a customer already using TC-1 , and who is looking for a way to get HD windows extraction from a 4K wide-angle camera.

    I think the Virtual PTZ upcoming feature might be helpful for him. I just wonder about the possibility to use a 4K signal as a source. any suggestion there ? Should we use a NC-IO to get a 4K NDI signal coming in the tricaster ? Is it supposed to work that way ?

    Best,

    jerome

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    Hi Jerome,

    You can simulate the 4K to HD "Virtual PTZ" on a TC1 already. Just bring 4K source into an HD session, and use COMPS in an M/E to scale and position as desired. Then you can either CUT between the different comps, like wide shot to close shot, and use animated zooms between any of the comp presets. I was doing that a year ago already and posted instructions on this forum - will see if I can find a link to share later. I guess the new software they are coming out with might just provide a more convenient interface and tools to accommodate that activity? But it can certainly already be accomplished.

    You can use the Studio I/O model to input a 4K source, or a computer equipped with a 4K capture card and convert to NDI that way for use in TC1. For my testing, I was playing 4K (UHD) footage in Adobe Premiere CC and using the NDI Adobe app to make that into an NDI source.

    Thanks

    Jeff
    Jeff Pulera
    Streaming Broadcast Solutions - Newtek Elite

    TriCasters: Mini with AE, TC1
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    Thanks Jeff, very interesting. I have to give it a try.

    My client would like to get preview of several HD windows from the same 4K source, and be able to switch between them. I'll see if it should be done with several different ME's.

    In the meantime, if you find the detailed information, Id be very happy to have a look on it.

    Thank you again,

    Jerome

    - - - Updated - - -

    Also, I think the new Spark Pro might be useful for that use, to get directly NDI 4K source in the TC-1 HD project....

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPulera View Post
    Hi Jerome,

    You can simulate the 4K to HD "Virtual PTZ" on a TC1 already. Just bring 4K source into an HD session, and use COMPS in an M/E to scale and position as desired.
    Jeff, at what point in the signal flow does the Tricaster scale the camera input? While I know the MEs maintain full resolution of their windowed content, I thought the Tricaster matched incoming sources to session resolution at the input, which would have detrimental effects on the workflow you've outlined. If Tricaster maintains the full resolution of the source through the positioning-in-the-ME process, that's pretty cool.
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    "I think the new Spark Pro might be useful for that use, to get directly NDI 4K source in the TC-1 HD project...."

    Of course, shame on me for not thinking of this new, cost-effective option!!! Too new I guess, hasn't sunk into my brain yet.

    If the M/Es are not needed for other things, you could definitely set up 4 unique shots in the 4 M/Es and then just switch between those M/Es, certainly a good idea there. And if you had more desired COMP presets than M/Es, you could maybe just copy ALL the comp presets to 2 or more M/Es, then while one M/E is on PROGRAM, put the other on PREVIEW and be able to select the desired COMP shot and see it "live" in Preview before taking it. One can easily set up Macros on the Control Panel to switch Comp presets, or better yet use a dedicated panel like Xkeys for that, or maybe even LIVE PANEL software on a tablet or something. I think a great workflow could be developed for this in many ways. And of course the new Virtual PTZ software may be the ultimate solution, but for now you do have options to work with.

    I've been searching and cannot locate the post I'd made, nearly a year ago I guess. But in thorough testing at that time, I was able to confirm that using a 4K source in an HD session did indeed utilize all the original pixels when scaling (zooming in) and therefore NO quality loss (to a point of course, don't zoom in too far!).

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	4K Quad HD.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	3.12 MB 
ID:	141350

    As one of the tests, I took 4 of the sample HD clips that come with every TriCaster, and I took them into a UHD sequence in Premiere and made a quad-image from them and exported as a SpeedHQ .mov file and put that clip in the DDR. I then zoomed each quadrant to full size in HD window in an M/E, and then did a split-screen to compare the "4K zoomed" image to the original HD video clip and wiping across to compare sources, they were pixel for pixel identical. The image above is a still grab from the video, but you can use it in an M/E to play with to practice setting up zoomed comps. Each of the 4 images is 1920x1080 pixels inside the larger 3840x2160 UHD 4K image.

    I've not yet used a 4K source into TC1 at a live event. However, I have filmed many stage events with a single 4K camera, then in Premiere edited as either 1080p or 720p (more zoom!) and yes indeed it does offer a tremendous amount of creative flexibility after the fact. I do look forward to using the 4K to HD workflow on a LIVE event with TC1 sometime, definitely.

    Thanks

    Jeff
    Jeff Pulera
    Streaming Broadcast Solutions - Newtek Elite

    TriCasters: Mini with AE, TC1
    Camera: Sony PMW-X70 4K
    Controllers: All variety of XKeys
    PTZ: Newtek NDIHX-PTZ1

  6. #6
    The virtual PTZ feature is part of Premium Access on TC1 and VMC1. With this feature enabled, each input will either have PTZ control (if it is a real PTZ camera) or Virtual PTZ (aka Pan and Scan) control on that input, with controls that work just like a PTZ camera. This would allow you to take in the same sources connected multiple times and create different extractions to create multiple cameras to switch in between. It also leaves all of your M/E's available for other users.

    https://www.newtek.com/npa/
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  7. #7
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    The vPTZ feature works at the input level, pre-M/E (and Comps), and works on Media Players too. It really feels quite a lot like the source is a real PTZ cam.
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    Thanks Kane and Steve. Quick question by the way, why does the Spark connect Pro webpage mention virtual PTz feasture ? Is it embedded in the box, which means it could be used without Premium Access and with any Tricaster AE ?

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    Quote Originally Posted by JPulera View Post
    "I think the new Spark Pro might be useful for that use, to get directly NDI 4K source in the TC-1 HD project...."

    Of course, shame on me for not thinking of this new, cost-effective option!!! Too new I guess, hasn't sunk into my brain yet.

    If the M/Es are not needed for other things, you could definitely set up 4 unique shots in the 4 M/Es and then just switch between those M/Es, certainly a good idea there. And if you had more desired COMP presets than M/Es, you could maybe just copy ALL the comp presets to 2 or more M/Es, then while one M/E is on PROGRAM, put the other on PREVIEW and be able to select the desired COMP shot and see it "live" in Preview before taking it. One can easily set up Macros on the Control Panel to switch Comp presets, or better yet use a dedicated panel like Xkeys for that, or maybe even LIVE PANEL software on a tablet or something. I think a great workflow could be developed for this in many ways. And of course the new Virtual PTZ software may be the ultimate solution, but for now you do have options to work with.

    I've been searching and cannot locate the post I'd made, nearly a year ago I guess. But in thorough testing at that time, I was able to confirm that using a 4K source in an HD session did indeed utilize all the original pixels when scaling (zooming in) and therefore NO quality loss (to a point of course, don't zoom in too far!).

    Click image for larger version. 

Name:	4K Quad HD.jpg 
Views:	16 
Size:	3.12 MB 
ID:	141350

    As one of the tests, I took 4 of the sample HD clips that come with every TriCaster, and I took them into a UHD sequence in Premiere and made a quad-image from them and exported as a SpeedHQ .mov file and put that clip in the DDR. I then zoomed each quadrant to full size in HD window in an M/E, and then did a split-screen to compare the "4K zoomed" image to the original HD video clip and wiping across to compare sources, they were pixel for pixel identical. The image above is a still grab from the video, but you can use it in an M/E to play with to practice setting up zoomed comps. Each of the 4 images is 1920x1080 pixels inside the larger 3840x2160 UHD 4K image.

    I've not yet used a 4K source into TC1 at a live event. However, I have filmed many stage events with a single 4K camera, then in Premiere edited as either 1080p or 720p (more zoom!) and yes indeed it does offer a tremendous amount of creative flexibility after the fact. I do look forward to using the 4K to HD workflow on a LIVE event with TC1 sometime, definitely.

    Thanks

    Jeff
    That's very very interesting ,thank you.

    I had time to play a bit with it, and control using mouse, TC Panel , and macros could make a very useful feature. I'll spend a bit more time next week, and try with a Xkeys controller.

    A very useful feature would be to keep the list of COMP presets open somewhere, or even better through LivePanel, so an operator could quickly see which position of the vPTZ matches a COMP number. ( not sure if I'm very clear there...)

  10. #10
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    I missed your earlier post about when video gets scaled, due to overlapping posts. As noted from my tests, if a 4K source is simply brought into an HD session, say on Input 1, it does appear as HD video would, filling the HD frame. So TC1 is scaling the input to HD automatically for you.

    If I then take Input 1 as a source in an M/E, it again shows full frame as if an HD source. BUT - if I use Scale to zoom in on a portion of 4K source, it does NOT pixelate or blur, as TC1 does utilize the additional resolution available from the original 4K source when doing so.

    Of note is that one can use the CS joystick control to do LIVE zoom and pan of the M/E source, although precise control is not easy, therefore I do recommend setting up COMP presets for perfect results with no surprises/blown moves.

    IF you have time during pre-production, perhaps set up the COMP presets as desired, and while the COMP preset panel is open and showing the preset thumbnails, do a PRINT SCREEN (on keyboard), then exit to Windows and crop that image (in Paint app) to be just the COMP thumbnails window, then Save, and Import that image into a TriCaster media player, and use that image as a visual reference? Or maybe print on paper?

    Thanks

    Jeff
    Jeff Pulera
    Streaming Broadcast Solutions - Newtek Elite

    TriCasters: Mini with AE, TC1
    Camera: Sony PMW-X70 4K
    Controllers: All variety of XKeys
    PTZ: Newtek NDIHX-PTZ1

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    Quote Originally Posted by kanep View Post
    The virtual PTZ feature is part of Premium Access on TC1 and VMC1. With this feature enabled, each input will either have PTZ control (if it is a real PTZ camera) or Virtual PTZ (aka Pan and Scan) control on that input, with controls that work just like a PTZ camera. This would allow you to take in the same sources connected multiple times and create different extractions to create multiple cameras to switch in between. It also leaves all of your M/E's available for other users.

    https://www.newtek.com/npa/
    Wait a minute... This is a feature we have enjoyed and relied on for quite a while (by bringing in 4K sources via NDI Connect Pro) on our TC 8000 AE. Does this mean that the feature will be disabled on our system, or will it only be available if we subscribe to Premium Access?

  12. #12
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctorsunshine View Post
    Thanks Kane and Steve. Quick question by the way, why does the Spark connect Pro webpage mention virtual PTz feasture ? Is it embedded in the box, which means it could be used without Premium Access and with any Tricaster AE ?
    I think this is correct.
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  13. #13
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by doctorsunshine View Post
    A very useful feature would be to keep the list of COMP presets open somewhere, or even better through LivePanel, so an operator could quickly see which position of the vPTZ matches a COMP number. ( not sure if I'm very clear there...)
    This is starting to get a little murky. Note that Comps and PTZ/vPTZ are not really the same, though they can do similar things. Comps manage various the video layers of an M/E, where PTZ/vPTZ is applied at the invidivual input level.
    --
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  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by Johan Folke View Post
    Wait a minute... This is a feature we have enjoyed and relied on for quite a while (by bringing in 4K sources via NDI Connect Pro) on our TC 8000 AE. Does this mean that the feature will be disabled on our system, or will it only be available if we subscribe to Premium Access?
    This will not be disabled, it will work the same as it has. The 4K source will still be scaled to a full screen HD input on your TC8000AE system.

    The new feature is that with TC1/VMC1 and PA you can connect the 4K source into multiple inputs and perform a resize/re-position of the source on the input and not have to use an M/E.
    Kane Peterson
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    NewTek, Inc.

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