PTZOptics Bitfocus Companion Integration

Control your camera with an Elgato StreamDeck


PTZOptics camera controls have been integrated into the Bitfocus Companion project. This allows users to control their PTZOptics cameras using an Elgato StreamDeck.

Download BallastMedia's Config Files

Programming an Elgato Stream Deck with Bitfocus Companion Software to Control Your PTZOptics Cameras

Initially marketed toward gamers to control their live streams, the Elgato Stream Deck has become a popular and powerful tool for live video production. It is especially useful when you pair it with available an open-source software called BitFocus Companion. This gives the Stream Deck the ability to control several different types of production equipment, including PTZOptics cameras, Blackmagic video switchers, projectors and much more. With proper programming of the Stream Deck, you can have near-complete control of your PTZOptics cameras, including pan, tilt, zoom, focus, and exposure controls. You can also set up and store camera presets for up to three different cameras. No computer programming is necessary to set up advanced control of your PTZOptics cameras with the Elgato StreamDeck but if you are interested you can look at the open-source code here: https://github.com/bitfocus/companion.

Here are just some of the audiovisual devices you can control with Bitfocus Companion:

  1. PTZOptics PTZ cameras with VISCA over IP
  2. Barco Encore
  3. Barco Matrix Pro
  4. Blackmagic Video Switchers
  5. Brightsign Digital Signage Players
  6. Christie Projectors
  7. Epiphan Pearl
  8. Extron Equipment (DXP, in1604, PIL-T-PCS4, SMX)
  9. Global Cache Equipment
  10. Hyperdeck
  11. ImagePro
  12. Kramer (Matrix, VP727, VP734)
  13. Matrox Monarch
  14. New Blue Title FX
  15. OBS (Open Broadcaster Software)
  16. Touch OSC (OSC Messaging)
  17. Roland VR50HD
  18. Roland XS42
  19. Sharp TV
  20. Shure Wireless
  21. TechMinistry
  22. Vizio Smartcast
  23. Yamaha SCP
  24. ZenVideo NDIRouter
  25. And Much more!

Below are the steps to set up an Elgato Stream Deck to control your PTZOptics camera:

1. Install the Stream Deck Driver

Go to the Elgato website, download, and install the driver for the Stream Deck. However, keep in mind that we will not be using the Elgato software to configure the Stream Deck.

2. Download and Install Bitfoucs Companion

Companion is open-source software that has been designed to increase the functionality of the Stream Deck. Members of the Companion community are continuously creating new modules to control even more types of video production equipment.

3. Connect Stream Deck and Launch Companion

Once the software is running, click on the “Launch GUI” button. This is where you will configure the graphical user interface (GUI), allowing customization of the buttons on the Stream Deck. This will launch with your default web-browser and connect via IP to your all of your devices.

4. Create an Instance for Each Device

Click “Add by Manufacturer,” find PTZOptics, and then click on “PTZOptics VISCA.” Under ”Label”, give the camera a name and then enter the camera’s IP address. Leave the VISCA TCP port at its default setting. Then, click “Apply Changes.” Now, you will be able to see that camera and the camera’s status under “Instances.” If the camera was connected correctly and is communicating with the Stream Deck, you will see a green “OK” under status.

5. Program Buttons

Click on the “Buttons” tab. Click any button to open the buttons programming page. You can either load a PNG graphic file to display on the button or make it a text button and set the colors for the text and backgrounds. Under “Key down/on actions,” you can program what will happen when the button is pressed.

Under the drop-down menu, you can see all of the possible commands available to control this camera instance. After you select a command, you can select any available options. For example, if you choose “Recall Preset,” you will be able to select which preset number you wish to recall.

With PTZOptics cameras, you can program pan, tilt, zoom, focus, exposure modes, iris, and saving and recalling presets. Keep in mind, when programming buttons for movements like zoom or focus, the camera will begin moving when the button is pressed and continue moving until it receives a “stop” command. To do this, you will need to program a “stop command” to occur when the key is released. Let’s say that you have selected “Tilt Up” as the key down action. Now, move down the page to “Key up/off actions,” and select “P/T Stop.” Now, the tilt will stop when the key is released. As long as we hold the button down, the camera will move, and when we release the button, the camera will stop moving.

Now, simply repeat this step for each key you wish to program. Remember, you can create a new instance for every camera you want to add. When you are done, keep the Companion software running, and you can continue controlling your PTZOptics cameras via the Stream Deck.