Tutorial - House of Worship Live-Switched Video with PTZOptics Cameras and Wirecast 9 Software

We asked Paul Schmutzler to demo the new Camera Control interface in Wirecast 9 in conjunction with PTZOptics remote cameras in live-switched worship streaming production.

By In this tutorial, I’ll show you how the new PTZOptics camera control features and Telestream Wirecast 9 allow you to easily add multiple cameras to your production. PTZ cameras are ideal for churches. Churches often have to rely on volunteers to help produce their live streams. PTZ cameras integrated with Wirecast allow volunteers to simply click a picture where they want the cameras to go (Figure 1, below)

Figure 1. Accessing cameras in Wirecast 9

This intuitive setup has been designed in response to numerous end-user requests, and reduces the learning curve for new users dramatically. Now churches and business organizations alike can easily connect their next live event with the world without the need for multiple camera operators. One of the top suppliers to US churches is PTZ Optics (Figure 2, below). Their range of zoom and fixed focal length remote cameras perform reliably, and are simple to set up and operate. It also helps that they make some of the most affordable cameras on the market.

Figure 2. PTZOptics cameras

Integrated Camera Control Telestream's Wirecast software and Wirecast Gear turnkey systems (Figure 3, below) are also used in churches across country, and they just released their version 9 upgrade with integrated PTZ camera control (Figure 4, below Figure 3).

Figure 3. Telestream Wirecast Gear

Figure 4. Integrated PTZ camera control in Wirecast 9. Click the image to see it at full size.

Today we're going to take a look at that new feature that show how it can help with the speed and efficiency in live productions of all sizes. The system I’m working with includes three PTZOptics cameras and the Wirecast Gear 230 Live Production system, with the newly updated Wirecast Pro 9 software. This new version of Wirecast software can utilize the NDI functionality of the PTZOptics cameras to control all their operations.


Setting this up is easy. Connect each of the PTZ Optics cameras to your network with networking cables (Figure 5, below).

Figure 5. Connecting cameras to the network

Assign a static IP address to each camera so that they can all be found in the same range (Figure 6, below). You'll then be able to locate each of the cameras in the Wirecast 9 software and add them as sources (Figure 7, below Figure 6).

Figure 6. Assigning a static IP address to each camera

Figure 7. Adding cameras as sources in Wirecast 9

Now you can control each camera individually directly inside of the software. There's no need for a hardware controller. And since most churches have the same few points of interest during every service, you can set up visual presets for each camera.

PTZ Control Options

Wirecast offers three unique PTZ camera control options. Once connected over IP, users can choose from the D-pad, the Analog Map and a 2D Map. The D-pad (Figure 8, below) features simplistic controls for up, down, left and right, which is also available on any connected keyboard with D-pad keys.

Figure 8. The D-pad

The Analog Map (Figure 9, below) allows users to click and drag for 360° camera controls like a physical joystick.

Figure 9. The Analog Map

Finally, the 2D Map (Figure 10, below) allows users to see the entire PTZOptics camera spectrum of control and click exactly where they want the camera to go at any given point. Now you can simply click on the picture where you want the camera to go directly in Wirecast.

Figure 10. The 2D Map

PTZOptics Camera Options

PTZOptics cameras are available in HDMI, SDI, and new NDI versions, like the ones used in this video. The cameras start at just $1,599, and special bundles are available with the controller and streaming solution of your choice. You can use any Mac or PC with Wirecast 9 software or a complete turnkey system like the Wirecast Gear 230.

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