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Cisco C60 (TC6.2.1) - Camera follows speaker


     We have a Cisco C60 in our company auditorium which we use mainly to record to our TCS server, I would like to know if there is a feature or any additional hardware I can buy so the camera would follow the speaker on the podium when she/he walks on the podium?




Cisco C60 (TC6.2.1) - Camera follows speaker

There's the new Cisco Speakertrack 60 camera which follows the active speaker.  It seems to be designed more around conference rooms so I'm not sure if it would work in this instance, but it's probably worth a look.  It would also require you to upgrade to TC7.X.

Here's a link:

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Cisco C60 (TC6.2.1) - Camera follows speaker

These things usually work by changing the camera preset to a specified one depending on which Mic is picking up the audio (ie, if Mic 1 is active, Camera Preset 1 is activated - as Mic 2 becomes the active one, the camera will switch to Preset 2 - or with the new multi-head cameras, they can just switch between different cameras.  I don't believe there is anything available in the Cisco range that will actively move traking a person and keeping them in the centre of the screen if that is what you're after.

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Cisco C60 (TC6.2.1) - Camera follows speaker

The best way to do this is in hardware using a control system like AMX/Crestron, matrix switch, multiple cameras and an active mic mixer. Solutions based on software always have an amount of delay that at best is acceptable or at worst is disruptive. And the problems directly increase witht the size of the space or with the number of participants.

For this application I would use multiple ceiling mics creating "active speaker zones"  across the stage and trigger at the podium (pressure mat, button or touch panel).

Multiple cameras would allow faster transition from one camera to another without PTZ, which can be disputive to farend participants.

Cisco Employee

Cisco C60 (TC6.2.1) - Camera follows speaker

There are two types of thinking for speaker tracking...

1) Switching between predefined camera views

2) Panning and Zooming the camera full time to track the speaker

#1 can be done via audio detection through the mics, physical triggers (like floor mats), or via an operator.  This usually uses an external control system.

#2 can be done via video and audio analysis, or by having the speaker wear something that is tracked by the camera

The problem with #2 is, if overdone, is difficult to watch and also introduces full camera movement which impacts video compression.  There is also the chance of 'losing the camera' which is when it gets confused and goes off tracking something you didn't intend. 

#1 is done all the time through control systems and producers.  The producer is the least error prone, but of course the most manual.  Simple camera preset switching with physical contacts is something most integrators can do with a low-end control system. 

#2 used to have a popular 3rd party camera whose name escapes me at the moment... and many vendors have software solutions to do this.  Most audio based ones tho are intended for use in a fixed space like a conference room.  For use over an open area, you would probably need one that follows a specific tracking device the speaker wears.

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