Canon Europe expands PTZ video streaming functionality with Webcam Driver update and two new protocols – SRT and FreeD

by Ahmed Zaky

MENA Newswire: Canon Europe today announces a new downloadable driver for its PTZ cameras, making video conferencing and streaming via the CR-N300, CR-N500 and CR-X300 – three of Canon’s PTZ cameras with incredible 4K image quality and versatile IP compatibility – seamless for higher education, House of Worship and workplace environments. The pandemic has been a catalyst for video conferencing and streaming requirements, with more institutions demanding access to high-quality video streaming solutions that are easy to implement than ever before. Additionally, Canon launches support for two new protocols on the CR-N300 and CR-N500 – SRT[i] and FreeD[ii] – providing seamless integration into simple and cost-effective solutions for VR and AR productions, as well as high-quality streaming with minimal downtime.

Seamless integration and streamlined workflows

The Webcam Driver efficiently connects Canon’s remote PTZ cameras to Windows OS compatible PCs, enabling them to have webcam functionality for high-quality live streaming. The PTZ cameras can then be integrated with applications such as Microsoft Teams, Skype and Zoom – great for hybrid meetings. Also suitable for educational institutes, the cameras can be used for live streaming lectures on Panopto coupled with Lecture Capture applications for recording and streaming video.

The software simplifies live streaming workflows, automatically recognising any Canon PTZ camera on the same network as the user’s PC, which allows for an easy set-up process meaning streaming can take place instantly. Additionally, up to five cameras can be registered and used at the same time for a multiple camera set-up – ideal for situations where multiple angles or cameras in different rooms are required, such as in House of Worship or lectures with demonstrations.

The Webcam Driver achieves impressive image-quality with flexibility. When using a LAN connection users can do video conferencing in up to 4K 30p – realising the cameras’ full output resolution, without distance restrictions often found with USB cables, providing flexibility of locating the cameras in the intended positions. With cable length up to 100m and more, the LAN connection makes it suitable for larger venues where the PTZ camera needs to be further away from the paired computer.

Two new protocols: SRT and FreeD

Both the CR-N500 and CR-N300 will have two new protocols[iii], enabling users to improve workflow, content and quality. Once downloaded, the FreeD Protocol allows information of the camera’s positional data – such as zoom, focus, iris and pan-tilt – to be sent to a processing engine without the need for additional tracking equipment. This allows broadcasters and events companies to easily integrate PTZ cameras into AR and VR workflows, providing high-quality ‘virtual’ content. When working with green screen, across news, weather, sports and live events, it allows real imagery to be combined with computer graphics, with ease.

The Secure Reliable Transport (SRT) protocol is a video transmission protocol that has a high reputation in the remote production market. It features high-security encrypting for video data and reliable video transmission. The protocol ensures reliability and stability by the retransmission / recovery mechanism of packet loss and stable delivery of high-quality video with low latency – even in environments with unstable bit rates, by monitoring the network conditions and highly adaptable buffer management system. Along with the NDI® | HX[iv], it is widely used for remote production in the broadcast market.

Webcam Driver Key Features:

  • Automatic camera detection
  • Up to five cameras can be registered
  • 4K output – up to 4K 30p
  • Long cable runs thank to LAN connectivity

[i] SRT is a video transmission protocol originally developed and open-sourced by Haivision and supported through the SRT Alliance.

[ii] A protocol which is widely used primarily in virtual studio systems to transmit camera tracking information.

[iii] Protocols will be available for download August 2022.

[iv] NDI is a trademark or registered trademark of NewTek, Inc. in the United States and other countries.

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