Security Cameras
and Surveillance

Part 9 - How to Install a PTZ Camera to Your DVR

A 10 Part GeoVision Series by Camera Security Now

How to connect a PTZ camera to a GeoVision DVR using a Merit Lilin PTZ. Installing a Pan Tilt Zoom (PTZ) camera can either be a piece of cake if you are well prepared, or a major source of stress if you are not. If this is your first PTZ install, it is my hope that this article will help reduce that stress and make your PTZ install a success.

Though this video is using a Merit Lilin PIH-7625NL Pan Tilt Zoom Camera and a GeoVision DVR, it should be noted that, in principal, connecting any PTZ to any DVR will involve many of the same steps: Making sure the PTZ has the correct power supply. Making sure your communication cable is properly installed. And of course making sure your DVR software is aware of the new device.

Once connected you should, as in the case of the Geovision DVR, have full software control of the PTZ functions either directly from the DVR or remotely through a web browser viewing the camera video feed. For those of you with a mind toward security don't worry as GeoVision supports a full featured list of security measures to keep strangers at bay. For those interested in a non-software control option there is, of course, a traditional joystick available to control the PTZ. This can either be your sole solution for control or it could work in conjunction with the the above mentioned software control feature.

If you have worked with many PTZ cameras in the past, you will know that they are all not equal when it comes to ease of installation. For example, we have had calls and posts on our Ask A CCTV Expert Discussion Forum from users across the country who have bought low end PTZ cameras from who knows where, but NOT from us, and they are unable to find any documentation on how to install the product or even such critical information as what PTZ control protocol the camera uses. This is not a good situation to be in. When asked why they did not contact their vendor for the support, many answer that the vendor has gone out of business or simple does not reply to their requests for support. Stories like this should remind everyone of the necessity of not only choosing good hardware, but choosing a good hardware vendor as well.

Compared to installing a traditional PTZ camera the only truly unique hardware requirements for a PTZ are the control wire and the GV-NET (RS-485 Converter). The GV-Net is simply the device that installs in the GeoVision DVR that accepts the PTZ control wires and ultimately gets that control signal into the system. The GV-NET allows the signal to be transmitted in an RS-485 format that will enable the control wire signal to be sent out as far as 4000 feet. The wire itself might be described as "Bell Wire" or a "Communications Cable". It's basically just a small shielded cable, not that much unlike a phone or network cable, with either two or four small gauge wires inside. Before purchasing the wire, check out the documentation from your PTZ to make sure you buy cable of the right size and the right number of wires.

Of course, keep in mind that even though this video does not show or discuss PTZ cameras in outdoor or harsh environments, they will require special housings for those situations. Traditionally, in that situation the housing will pass the power through to the PTZ but as always be sure to check your PTZ Housing documentation or consult with your vendor before taking anything for granted.