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Thread: Skaarhoj PTZ Pro and Panasonic PTZ cams with NDI

  1. #1
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    Unhappy Skaarhoj PTZ Pro and Panasonic PTZ cams with NDI

    Hi,

    I don't know, where else I could post that. I own three Panasonic AW HE130 and a AW UE70. All four cameras have an activated NewTek NDI license. Recently I bought a Skaarhoj PTZ Pro because I tried it at IBC and found it much more convenient than my old Panasonic remote panel. Now I'm into trouble with the Skaarhoj unit and Skaahoj claims it's an NDI problem. In the last page of the manual it states:

    "Lately we have discovered connection stability issues if you use our controllers on a network with multicast data and propper network guidelines have not been followed. If appropriate network precautions have not been taken NDI data is multicast to our controller and network packages gets lost because the Ethernet interface on the controller receives megabytes of data which it has to discard to find control data."

    I only became aware of this after I bought the PTZ Pro and of course I had trouble. When the cams were connected to vMix I lost camera connection in "round robin", sometimes in the middle of a movement and the selected camera kept moving and zooming without any possibility to correct anything. I found that Skaarhoj also linked a guide from PTZOptics for setting up Ubiquiti networking equipment for NDI. So I followed all steps and even bought a Ubiquiti Secure Gateway to be able to setup mDNS. Didn't help. After I read that Ubiquiti's Unifi series doesn't fullfill IGMP Snooping v3, I tried several other managed and smart managed switches. Nothing worked. Skaarhoj tried to help me out by raising the timeouts before losing camera connection. Didn't help either. Setting up Storm control and controlling the amount of Broadcast and Multicast to an absolute minimum on the Ethernet port of the PTZ Pro also didn't work.

    So, I have some questions:

    First of did anyone have the same problems with Skaarhoj equipment in an NDI setup and found a solution?
    I would really like to turn off NDI totally in the cameras, just to test if this helps. Seriously who designed that NDI integration into the Panasonic cameras? There is no possibility to configure or switch on / off NDI at all.
    Why should my Panasonic cams Multicast spam the Skaarhoj unit? I use everything in Unicast (I don't think it's even possible to use the Panasonics with NDI and Multicast).
    And did Skaarhoj maybe contact NewTek to find out how to resolve those issues? I mean this is the ultimate PTZ solution: cameras and controller connected via one cable to a switch and using NDI or NDI|HX. There will be more frustrated customers in the future...

    Any help is appreciated!

    Thanks
    Seb

    Link to PTZ Pro manual: https://github.com/kasperskaarhoj/SK...TZ_Control.pdf
    PTZOptics "Unifi guide": https://www.skaarhoj.com/fileadmin/p..._PTZOptics.pdf

  2. #2
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seb666 View Post
    Why should my Panasonic cams Multicast spam the Skaarhoj unit? I use everything in Unicast (I don't think it's even possible to use the Panasonics with NDI and Multicast
    Multicast can pose issues (not really an NDI issue, rather a network config problem), but you're correct it's hard to see why you would encounter this is your cameras are set to unicast.

    I think our QA dept. has both 130's and 70's here; I can see a 130 on the network right now (just to mention it, it's been online for many months I've not seen any particular issues with it). Can you tell if the issue is related to one or the other model, or does it not seem to matter?

    Anyway, my suggestion would be to open check with Panasonic support, and perhaps also open a bug case with us, supplying full details: https://forums.newtek.com/showthread...Reporting-Bugs
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBowie View Post
    Multicast can pose issues (not really an NDI issue, rather a network config problem), but you're correct it's hard to see why you would encounter this is your cameras are set to unicast.

    I think our QA dept. has both 130's and 70's here; I can see a 130 on the network right now (just to mention it, it's been online for many months I've not seen any particular issues with it). Can you tell if the issue is related to one or the other model, or does it not seem to matter?

    Anyway, my suggestion would be to open check with Panasonic support, and perhaps also open a bug case with us, supplying full details: https://forums.newtek.com/showthread...Reporting-Bugs
    It doesn't matter which model. The moment the Skaarhoj PTZ Pro connects to a camera it's ethernet port light is not blinking anymore but constantly turned on. The more cameras there are, the more problems I have. I will open a case at NewTek. I don't know if Panasonic will support me there, because there own controllers do not have issues like that. The controller itself is a very nice piece of hardware and I want to be able to really use it.

    What network equipment are you using at NewTek? Is there a recommendation of brands or products?

    Regards
    Sebastian

  4. #4
    'the write stuff' SBowie's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by seb666 View Post
    What network equipment are you using at NewTek? Is there a recommendation of brands or products?
    I'm sorry I can't really answer this, as our network arrangements are pretty convoluted, really multiple servers and countless switches feeding several buildings and diverse working groups. I expect, inasmuch as it has accumulated over decades, that it's a bit of a hodge podge, but I do recall that when we first allowed our PTZ1 and Spark systems to use multicast there were some problems that eventually led to a recommendation to use only managed switches that support IGMP snooping. I am certainly no expert in these things, but my impression is that this solved the problems.

    None of the above would seem to account for your issue. One would presume that the Panasonic cameras would support unicast/multicast selection, and in a unicast mode you would not have an issue even if your network was not ideally configured. And if they don't have an option, one would presume multicast was not enabled.
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    Quote Originally Posted by SBowie View Post
    I'm sorry I can't really answer this, as our network arrangements are pretty convoluted, really multiple servers and countless switches feeding several buildings and diverse working groups. I expect, inasmuch as it has accumulated over decades, that it's a bit of a hodge podge, but I do recall that when we first allowed our PTZ1 and Spark systems to use multicast there were some problems that eventually led to a recommendation to use only managed switches that support IGMP snooping. I am certainly no expert in these things, but my impression is that this solved the problems.

    None of the above would seem to account for your issue. One would presume that the Panasonic cameras would support unicast/multicast selection, and in a unicast mode you would not have an issue even if your network was not ideally configured. And if they don't have an option, one would presume multicast was not enabled.
    Ok, I think I will need to take the time, install Wireshark or something similar and have a look what this poor controller is dealing with on it's ethernet port. I think that's valid information I can hand over to Skaarhoj, Panasonic and NewTek...

    Thanks! And I'll be back!

  6. #6
    Registered User spaulsen's Avatar
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    Do you have issue with camera control using studio monitor. Eliminate the controller completely from your workflow, setup your network as you intend for production and then test. This may help identify if you have a networking issue or an issue with the ptz controller. If everything is working fine without the controller its possible that there's an issue on the development side of NDI with this controller and they may need to address.

    Multi-cast is not the easiest to configure in networks. It does take some knowledge to get it perfect so consider eliminating that from the workflow as well.
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    Quote Originally Posted by spaulsen View Post
    Do you have issue with camera control using studio monitor. Eliminate the controller completely from your workflow, setup your network as you intend for production and then test. This may help identify if you have a networking issue or an issue with the ptz controller. If everything is working fine without the controller its possible that there's an issue on the development side of NDI with this controller and they may need to address.

    Multi-cast is not the easiest to configure in networks. It does take some knowledge to get it perfect so consider eliminating that from the workflow as well.
    First of all: I have no Multicast configured in my network. All NDI connections to vMix are Unicast and I use NDI in production for over a year now with three Connect Spark and the four Panasonic PTZ cameras. But my network should be prepared for Multicast. Everything works fine with vMix, the original Panasonic remote and NDI Studio Monitor. The weird behavior is only visible with the Skaarhoj controller and the problem exists with three different manageable switches I tested.

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    I checked the network communication on the port with the Skaarhoj PTZ Pro with Wireshark, while having Storm Control turned on: there is no single Multicast package in the communication. This made me speechless. I tried multiple switches because I read that IGMP Snooping in some configurations doesn't work well. But all the effort was worthless, because Multicast was never a problem. So back to start...

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