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Product focus: Lumens – VC-A50P

A leading integrator and end user provide insights on how Lumens IP PTZ camera range makes their jobs easier


Dan Saville, system designer at Pure AV and Gary Swift, The University of Liverpool’s AV and VC manager, highlight various aspects of Lumen’s IP PTZ camera range – principally the VC-A50P.

What environments do you typically install Lumens VC-A50P cameras?
DS: We regularly specify the Lumens VC-A50P as part of installed solutions for lecture halls and in large teaching spaces within colleges and universities. The dual HDMI and IP output make them a great option to support lecture capture and room monitoring.

GS: We have installed Lumens cameras across The University of Liverpool estate, most recently throughout all our new large rooms in Building 502. The Lumens camera has become our standard for all seminar and lecture spaces with around 40 of them due for installation this year.

Why do you specify it over competitor offerings?
GS: We have used Lumens for some years and have always found them to be reliable with excellent image quality. The DC motor servo control has always been ultra-quiet and precise. The cameras are robust and are used frequently and seem to take everything we throw at them.

DS: We have found the cameras to be reliable. Over the time that we have been using them, we have rarely had any fail on us, our teams are confident that we can install them, and they just work. We also see regular demand for lecture capture and remote room monitoring within the lecture theatres and large teaching rooms that we install. The dual outputs, HDMI for lecture capture and IP for room monitoring simplify the delivery of that requirement.

What are the most impressive elements of its feature set?
DS: The cameras are DC motor, servo control driven not a belt motor. This allows a wide shooting area (pan angle: from -170° to +170°; tilt angle from -30° to +90°), as well as quiet, fast and precise positioning movements. The audio input support AAC encoding with 44.1/48 K sampling frequency is also a great feature enabling audio to be embedded directly onto a webcast stream/HDMI straight out of the camera.

GS: We have recently been looking into the option of remote monitoring of our rooms so we can offer better first-line support. We were going to install a separate IP camera, but this product enables us to put a single camera into the room, which we can use for lecture capture and remote support. The fact it also offers live broadcasting is a bonus as we start to look at the introduction of web/social streaming into our lecture spaces.

‘Our teams are confident that we can install them, and they just work’
Dan Saville, Pure AV

What elements of the feature set make your job easier?
GS: I need solutions that I can rely on, and the Lumens have proven to be just that, they rarely fail. We can put them in and forget about them knowing they will perform every time we need them.

DS: The ability to take PoE means we don’t need power installed in the camera location, simplifying the installation process and increasing the range of potential environments where the camera can be mounted. This is particularly helpful when not working in new build spaces. The use of Ethernet control also means we can simplify the central control processor as fewer RS232 ports are required, helping to reduce cost within the system.

If an updated version of this product was to be released, what upgrades would you like to see?
DS: It would be great to see an auto tracking feature added to enable the camera to dynamically zoom in and out as the speaker moves within the camera’s field of view. This feature would create a steady viewable depth, allowing audiences to comfortably identify and engage with the speaker displayed on the screen.

GS: It would be good to see USB connectivity in any future versions of the product. This would enable us to connect directly into the PC for lecture capture applications.