A single PTZ camera is powerful, but you can increase your production quality by connecting multiple units to your controller. We’re going to explain how to connect multiple PTZ cameras to controller by first selecting the right controller for your desired setup.
Selecting a Suitable PTZ Controller
Your controller is the “hub” of your multi-camera setup and deserves a lot of consideration. A few things to consider are:
- Compatibility: Is the camera compatible with the controller you’re interested in?
- Features: Does the controller have all of the features that you want for your video needs?
If you don’t know where to begin with your search for an adequate controller, our team can help. We’ve designed our PTZ camera controller to fit into the needs of nearly every setup and it includes multi-brand compatibility, including top brands, such as BirdDog, HoneyOptics, NewTek, PTZOptics and Sony.
Our controller includes:
- 255 camera presets
- 7 quick presets
- Pan, shutter, zoom and iris speed options
- Switching for up to 7 cameras
You can also select from multiple setup options to find one that works best for your needs. We have a video later in this article that shows you exactly how to add a camera to your controller to help you get started as quickly and easily as possible.
IP Addressing and Network Configuration
PTZ cameras connect to your network and allow you to set an IP address if you want. Most professional setups will use a manual static IP using software that allows you to configure the camera and include:
- IP address
Set up each of your cameras in a multi-camera setup to have sequential IP addresses that make it easier to switch between them and recognize them by number alone. For example, 192.168.1.1, 192.168.1.2, 192.168.1.3 and so on.
Controller Configuration and Setup
Setting up your controller requires you to have your cameras all connected together before plugging the main one into the RS-232 port. You’ll need to:
- Connect camera 1
- Connect camera 1 to camera 2
- Connect camera 2 to camera 3
- And so on
Your main camera will connect to your controller and a switcher. Subsequent cameras on your network will connect to the switcher but not the controller.
Not sure how to use a PTZ joystick controller or how to add your PTZ to the controller? Be sure to watch our video below, where we show you step-by-step on how to complete this process.
Want to connect your cameras to DVR or NVR? Read our guide: How to Connect Multiple PTZ Cameras To DVR & NVR.
Troubleshooting Common Issues
You’ve read our guide on how to connect multiple PTZ cameras to controller, but your cameras still aren’t working properly. What’s going on?
Some of the most common issues with multi-cam setups are:
The Camera Isn’t Setup Properly
If there’s an issue with your camera setup, there’s a good chance that at least one of the cameras wasn’t setup properly.
If you’re using the Honey Optics controller, make sure that you go through the setup process for each camera and assign it a number. It’s important to go through the entire configuration process to ensure that each camera is setup properly.
The Additional Cameras Aren’t Connected Properly
Connecting multiple cameras will give you more options for your live-streaming setup, but a lot can go wrong during the connection process.
If your additional cameras aren’t connected properly, you won’t be able to incorporate them into your stream.
Remember that your first camera should be connected to your controller and your switcher. But it should also be connected to your second camera. Use an RS-232 extension cable to connect from the RS-232 out port on your first camera to the RS-232 in port on your second camera.
You’ll need to repeat this process for each additional camera you add.
If the in and out connections get mixed up, you won’t be able to use your controller to control your additional cameras.
Take the time to check your connections. Remember that the RS-232 out port should connect to the RS-232 in port on the next camera in the chain.
Conclusion: How To Connect Multiple PTZ Cameras To Controller?
Learning how to connect multiple PTZ cameras to controller is an important step in your live-streaming setup. Being able to control multiple cameras from a single controller will make it easier to produce professional-level streams. Use the guide above and our installation video to setup your PTZ cameras for live-streaming.