your expectations. And if you’d like to use your favorite non-PTZ production camera on a pan/tilt head, there are now high-quality, low- cost options. One of the new- est entries with this capabil- ity is available in two sizes; one for the current generation of smaller production camer- as and ‘box’ cameras, and the other for larger, cinema-style video cameras. And here’s another significant development: these pan/tilt heads can be controlled by RS-422 VISCA connections, as well as by DMX hard- ware and software. This means you can integrate video cameras into your DMX lighting universe, which opens the doors of opportu- nity for enhancing your cov- erage and IMAG routing from camera shots designed into your lighting dynamics. Additional available software supports (1) Dynamic Auto Zoom (user-defined rules for preset and/or continuous slow zooms in and out), (2) motion pre- sets where you set a start and end position and speed for the move, and (3) a touch screen ‘switcherless’ interface that lets you touch-and-take your shots based on a gray-scale rend- ing of your production stage, populated with picture icons of people, musical instruments and singers. If you want or need more sophisticated production capa- bility for video tracking of mul- tiple individuals and objects, there are systems available with more robust configurations. These systems utilize tiny infra- red (IR) “tags” with LEDs that are detected by two or three sensor cameras on the perim- eter of your production stage. Each tag generates a unique digital signature, so you can track a virtually unlimited n um- ber of targets, locked on with high precision in three-dimen- sional space. These systems receive pinpoint data precision for each tracked object, so you can track objects not only with PTZ cameras, but also with robotic light fixtures. Just assign one or more cameras, and one or more lights to any person or object and everything tracks automatically when Auto Tracking is activated. You can use this kind of system with any production switch- er, taking the video output of the cameras to the switcher inputs. Since you always have 112 • Broadcast Beat Magazine • www.broadcastbeat.com good ISO shots of the tracked objects, you just monitor all the cameras in a multi-viewer and take shots at your discretion. Some systems further support ISO recording of all the cam- eras, so you can easily load the synchronized files in your NLE for post-production editing. And finally, there are some interesting available software utilities that are worth consid- ering. These are workflow tools that can reduce your pre-pro- duction prep time and increase your efficiency. For example, there is a text editing and for- matting utility that converts meeting agendas into PNG files for use with many video pro- duction systems. There are also inexpensive but powerful file transcoding soft- ware solutions that recognize over a dozen differ- ent video file types and can convert them into H.264 or MPEG-2 files. During the conver- sion the software will optimize the audio levels for consis- tent output, making your job a lot easier if you’re using file playback in your video pro- duction or automation systems. Since technology evolves so quickly, it’s always good to be aware of what’s available. Only if you’re educated and informed can you make budgetary and operational decisions that keep you “on track”, enhancing your production and playback capa- bility, and increasing your work- flow efficiency.