On Tuesday I had the pleasure of setting up two PTZ cameras with a new all-in-one switching, recording and streaming system from Lumens. I say pleasure because the only time I had to read the manual was for a default login. Really, just once.
That’s the beauty of Lumens. We sell a lot of encoding, recording and streaming equipment, but I’m not sure anything is as straight-forward as the LC200 multi-channel recorder and streaming device. That’s great news for schools, universities, charities, business, conference and theatres – or any organisation that doesn’t have a dedicated technical crew available for every event.
I used two Lumens VC-A50P HD PTZ cameras units, both controlled over IP and powered over Ethernet (PoE). This allows users to connect them anywhere on the network and with just one Cat5 cable to our 1 Gigabit LAN. There was no need to worry about IP addresses as DHCP gives the cameras their place on the network and the Lumens LC-200 can find these cameras anywhere on the LAN.
The Lumens LC200 unit is an all in one switching, streaming and recording solution. The rear panel is for connecting a presentation laptop using one of the four HDMI inputs. Just like the cameras the LC-200 joined the office network by DHCP when powered on. A typical set-up uses two HDMI computer or video monitors. One monitor hosts the user interface and the other the main video output image with audio. Looking at the user interface monitor it confirms the IP address and shows configuration, director and file management options. Once configured, the front panel buttons on the LC-200 can be used to trigger recording, pause, streaming and other actions.
Logos, overlay graphics and still background images are loaded to the unit from an attached USB stick using a simple web browser interface. These can then be selected from within the director section creating a branded feel to any video layout used.
Director also allows control of those IP based PTZ cameras using a clever virtual PTZ controller. Up to nine preset camera positions can be stored and recalled for each camera connected. Presets can be triggered with a simple mouse click, moving the selected camera remotely to a saved position.
Even when setting up the streaming side, it was just a case of copying and pasting YouTube or Facebook details from one browser window into another. Dead simple. Anyone can do it, with Lumens.