Event Tech Knowledgebase
Our guide for event organisers and production managers to simplify terminology, detail the pros and cons of different services and provide some example setups for different types of events. Click on the headings for a list of questions and answers or use the search box below.
The PTZ camera is a key component in many CCTV installations as it provides a flexible approach to covering large areas because of its ability to move around and zoom in. There is a wide range of PTZ cameras all offering different levels of specification and quality. Key factors include the level of optical zoom (18x – 24x tend to be the most useful), motion detection & tracking, resolution, framerate and what is known as ‘guard tour’ – the ability for the camera to automatically pan between a number of locations.
PTZ cameras also include features such as a heater to ‘defog’ their dome in the event of condensation build in and low-light/infra-red support.
CCTV has evolved rapidly over the last few years leaving quite a complex environment. Most analogue systems were classed as SD (Standard Definition) based on a comparison to the old broadcast television standard. Early digital systems used the same basic premise and operated at a resolution of 720 x 576 pixels. Next came HD (High Definition) running at 1280 x 720 pixels (known as 720p), followed by Full-HD with a resolution of 1920 x 1080 pixels (1080p). Some of the latest generation of cameras are now moving to QHD (Quad HD) with resolutions of 2560×1920.
Typically a good CCTV system will operate at least at HD and ideally Full-HD to provide the level of detail expected. There are many other factors though, such as the frame rate, compression and bit rate which all impact the overall image quality.
Static CCTV cameras are fixed position cameras with a single field of view. Being mechanically less complex than their PTZ counterparts they often provide higher resolution images, built-in infra-red support (for night vision) and increasingly features such as digital PTZ. More advanced static CCTV cameras offer auto-focus and an adjustable Field of View (FoV).
Most often they are used to monitor to specific areas such as entrances, bars, roads, box offices, etc. where having a continuous view is important. With additional software static CCTV cameras are also used for ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) and also for aspects of crowd density analysis.