Tutorial: Operating Video Hardware

By Todd BlayoneExperience, Tutorials, , , , , , , , , Comments are off

EILab, UOIT, CanadaThe following represents basic operational instructions camera and video hardware installed at the EILab, Faculty of Education, UOIT. These include four AXIS ceiling-mounted cameras and supporting hardware, and a variety of USB cameras and USB extension cables.

AXIS HD CameraAXIS Ceiling-mounted Camera (click to enlarge image)

Resource Summary

  • Microsoft HD Life Cam
  • 2 ceiling mounted AXIS P3367 HD PTZ cameras (#1 and #2)
  • 2 ceiling mounted AXIS Q6032-E (30x Zoom) PTZ cameras (#3 and #4)
  • Logitech Conference Cam (mounted over big screen display on east wall)
  • Rocket Fish 2MP web cams (mounted on LG display on south wall)
  • Manfrotto adjustable tripod

AXIS Cameras

Basic Configuration

  • AXIS cameras are connected to the network and powered through Ethernet connections. The cabling, which runs through the ceiling and walls is accessible via the wall plate on east wall of the Observation Room M06. A midspan (small beige box) is situated between each camera’s connection to the Cisco switch, providing power to the units. The larger dome cameras (#3 and #4) have larger midspans. Each camera is connected as follows:
    1. Connect one Cat.5 cable from the switch to the midspan’s DATA IN port.
    2. Connect a second Cat.5 cable from the midspan’s DATA AND POWER OUT port to the appropriately labeled wall jack.

Powering On

  • The midspans are plugged into a power bar mounted under the counter to the left of the iMac. To TURN ON all AXIS cameras, simply turn on the power bar.

Viewing the Video Feeds

  • AXIS cameras are numbered from 1-4 and assigned specific IP addresses with which to access their feeds. These IP addresses appear on the cameras themselves and on a chart posted in the Observation Room M06. To view the live video feed or configure a camera:
    1. Enter the corresponding IP address into any web browser (e.g., Chrome) on either the iMac or the PC in the Observation Room (or any other computer in the EILAB)
    2. Enter the appropriate credentials when prompted.* Please note that cameras #1 and #2, and cameras #3 and #4, share separate credentials.
  • Once your user name and password have been entered and accepted, you will see the Live View screen with PTZ operational controls. Note that cameras #1 and #2 have far more limited movement and zoom capability than cameras #3 and #4.

Configuring Cameras and Feeds

  • Available camera configuration options may be accessed by selecting Setup from the top right menu of the Live View screen. Although most settings will not require adjustment, you may wish to make changes to support your particular needs. For example, resolution and aspect ratio settings can be adjusted by clicking on Video Stream in the Basic Setup menu. When you are finished making configuration changes, use the top right menu to return to Live View.

AXIS Cameras and Noldus FaceReader

  • The AXIS cameras are well suited for capturing non-obtrusive, overhead, observational video related to subject activity and interactions with devices or other subjects. They are not well suited for performing facial expression analysis in Noldus FaceReader where a steady frontal view from a camera positioned just below eye level is required to achieve satisfactory results.

Web Cams

  • Several web cams are accessible in the main lab connected to two Mac minis. For the purposes of facial analysis in Noldus FaceReader, the Microsoft HD Life Cam produces high quality results when positioned in front of the subject just below eye level. The Microsoft HD Life Cam can be fixed to the Manfrotto adjustable tripod to achieve this optimal positioning. To attach the cam to the tripod:
    1. Release the small, rectangular (camera-attachment) plate at the top of the tripod (the piece with screws poking through) by loosening the black pressure screw, holding the red release button, and sliding out the plate.
    2. Place the base of the Microsoft HD Life Cam over the appropriate valve/screw in the plate and fix the camera to the plate by hand tightening.
    3. Slide plate (with camera attached) back onto the tripod (it will snap in) and tighten with the black pressure valve/screw.
    4. Camera angles and height can now be controlled manually using the tripod.
    5. The Microsoft HD Life Cam supports limited hardware panning, tilting and zooming (PTZ), which can be accessed using the Life Cam software or via configuration options in some third-party software (e.g., Noldus Media Recorder.)


*Acquiring Access and Login Credentials

To acquire access and login credentials for mobile devices, computers, AXIS cameras and software services, please contact todd.blayone@gmail.com.