Canon expands PTZ video streaming functionality with Webcam Driver update and two new protocols – SRT and FreeD
Pictured left to right: CR-N500, CR-N300 and CR-X300
Sydney, AUSTRALIA – 13 April 2022 – Canon Australia today announces a new downloadable Webcam Driver for its PTZ cameras, making video conferencing and streaming via the CR-N500, CR-N300 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 easier to implement than ever before. Additionally, Canon launches support for two new protocols on the and CR-N300 – Secure Reliable Transport (SRT)i and FreeDii – providing seamless integration into simple and cost-effective solutions1 for VR and AR productions, as well as high-quality streaming with minimal downtime2.
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 meetings3. Also suitable for educational institutions, the cameras can be used for live streaming lectures on Panopto coupled with Lecture Capture applications for recording and streaming video4.
The Web Driver 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 so that users can begin live streaming quickly. Additionally, up to five cameras can be registered and used at the same time for a multiple camera set-up5 – ideal for situations where multiple angles or cameras in different rooms are required, such as in Houses of Worship or lectures with demonstrations6.
The Webcam Driver achieves impressive image-quality with flexibility. When using a LAN connection, users can do video conferencing in up to 4K 30p7 – realising the cameras’ full output resolution, without distance restrictions often found with USB cables8, providing users with the flexibility to place their Canon PTZ cameras in multiple locations. 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 protocolsiii, 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 compatible 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 SRT protocol is a video transmission protocol that is widely used in the remote production market. It features high-security encrypting for video data and reliable video transmission9. 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® | HXiv, it is widely used for remote production in the broadcast market.
The Webcam Driver for PTZ cameras will be available from end June 2022.
The two new protocols will be available from August 2022.
Webcam Driver key features:
• Easy PTZ camera setup for video streaming platforms
• Automatic camera detection
• Up to five cameras can be registered
• 4K output – up to 4K 30p
• Long cable runs thanks to LAN connectivity
• Compatible with Windows OS
1 Users do not need to purchase external sensors and encoders as AR & VR positional data is now built in.
2 Subject to user’s internet quality and speed.
3 Up to 5 cameras can automatically be detected via search tool within the driver.
4 Users may be required to pay a subscription fee to use Panopto and Lecture Capture.
5 Camera models which are compatible with the driver are CR-N500, CR-N300 & CR-X300.
6 Cameras may be in different locations but must be within the same network.
7 Subject to user’s internet quality and speed.
8 Subject to user’s camera settings and resolution.
9 Using 128/256-bit AES encryption trusted by governments and organizations around the world, SRT ensures that valuable content is protected end-to-end from contribution to distribution so that no unauthorized parties can listen.
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 in August 2022.
iv NDI is a trademark or registered trademark of NewTek Inc. in the United States and other countries.