PTZ To Automatically Track Sporting Events?

A local high school is requesting a system to record their basketball games. I will be displaying the live view in the lobby so guests will see the game while at the concession stand. Has anyone had any success with an IP PTZ auto-tracking the action of a group of people running from one area to another? I would not really zoom-in real close but would want to zoom somewhat and track up and down the court.

Automatically? Without an operator?

I am not sure any PTZ would work well in that scenario as there are too many potential objects to track. People would probably be confused when the PTZ regularly looked the 'wrong' way.

Yes they want it to automatically track. They said that they saw it working at another school. I will find out which school and go have a look. I would be surprised too if it will worked like this.

If money is not too big a concern you might consider the new Axis PTZ panoramic.

I used to have an Axis 233D that I would use to auto track bands playing live at bars. It kinda worked. It did ok with the pan and tilt but if it was set to auto zoom as well, it loses too much of the FOV and can't detect much of anything at that point.

I don't know if the new Axis can use the panoramic FOV for the trigger, but if it did that would work better. Also you could also show bot the overview and the PTZ split screen or carousel.

Another trick I used was by having it default to a guard tour when there was no motion, that way it would unstick itself and try to find the action again if it got stuck looking at nothing.

Thanks Chris, I will look into the Axis. I may use it as a trial but I bet that I recommend just using a single high res view. It's only purpose is for guests to watch the game while in line at the concession stand so I don't think people will be using it to actually watch the games.

It's only purpose is for guests to watch the game while in line at the concession stand so I don't think people will be using it to actually watch the games...

Gotcha, so they don't miss a basket. In that case maybe you would be better off with two fixed cameras pointed toward each end; with the FOV's being approx. the three point perimeter.

Then use a split screen to show both ends on the display. Maybe you could ceiling mount them back to back at center court depending on the height?

Hikvision probably had this use case* in mind when they designed the MonoVu camera. For bonus points tie the scoreboard into the POS port of the NVR and do a text overlay of game time and score.**

*Mostly kidding, but it could work.

**Totally kidding.

That is probably what I will do for now... two cameras at center court facing each other and aligned so that they meet at half court. May do a small video wall with both cameras in view to appear (as close as possible) to being a single camera. And maybe one PTZ to play around with. Maybe I could spark the interest of a student to operate the PTZ during games. Thanks for the suggestion!

Instead two cameras, what about a multi-imager looking at the whole court?

Axis shows a hockey arena in their marketing for the Q3709-PVE, which is what made me think of it:

After reading the IPVM review of the Q3709, I don't think I like the distortion towards the edges for this purpose. It might work out as a good overview shot though. I just wonder if I could get the same results with a 2.8mm dome mounted off to the side at center court? Maybe an 8MP.

So, providing that the scoreboard equipment has a lan connection, how difficult is the POS integration with a Hik NVR?

I did say I was **Totally kidding about that. But if you get the model # of the scoreboard I'll take a look at to see what triggers it can send.

I know you kid but it is a good thought. This project is going to be kind of "donation" for the most part in exchange for promotions. I will begin with just a wide angle dome to get the video they want. But then I will be playing around with the scoreboard idea as well as involving some students on video production of the games which will be streamed for those who can't attend. I can see some advertising opps in this.

I'll let you know the scoreboard model numbers. and now get the ball to box with the electronic module attached.