The External Monitor Receiver (EMR)

The External Monitor Receiver is an optional accessory to the ZistosHD Pole Camera Systems. It allows users to utilize an off-the-shelf external monitor as a display option to view images generated by a ZistosHD system. The External Monitor Receiver (or EMR for short) is a physically small device that is slightly larger than a thumb drive. It plugs into a standard HDMI input on a TV, Monitor, or other display device and is powered by a USB input that can be sourced externally, or directly from the monitor.

The EMR is preloaded with the ZistosHD imaging application that the user controls with an included remote control. Real-time video that is generated by the ZistosHD system can now be seen on a screen that is large enough to allow numerous individuals to view simultaneously. The EMR receives wireless video and allows the external monitor to be positioned anywhere within the transmission range of the ZistosHD system. The External Monitor Receiver is another one of the optional accessories available in the ZistosHD line of products that expands the capabilities and the usefulness of our video systems.

Call us for more information or to schedule a virtual product demonstration at your convenience. 

ZistosHD Optical Zoom Cameras

A valuable feature of any remote video inspection system is the ability to zoom in and get a close-up of a point of interest without having the operator be in close physically proximity. In some instances, getting close to the point of interest is not possible because it is either impossible to access, or getting into a close inspection position is dangerous to the inspector.

The ZistosHD systems offer a true optical zoom feature that can magnify the image to many times its true size. Optical zoom uses a series of adjustable lenses that are controlled by the operator to magnify an image. Digital zoom cameras magnify an image by artificially increasing the number of pixels to make an object appear larger. Digital zoom cameras reduce the resolution of an image when they magnify its size. Optical cameras maintain the highest image resolution, even when they are at maximum magnification. The ZistosHD zoom cameras utilize optical zoom and maintain full resolution at maximum zoom settings.

Zistos’ zoom cameras are available in 10X (WPC-2.5Z-HD) and 30X (WPC-3.5Z-HD) optical magnification options. These cameras are housed in rugged, waterproof housings. Both have audio listening capabilities, self-illuminating LEDs, and provide high definition 1080p images and video. Our 10X camera has both white light and IR (WPC-2.5ZIR-HD) illumination options. The cameras can be fixed with additional side illuminators.  The systems can also be equipped with a talkback speaker box for full duplex audio. This allows the operator to listen and communicate back with others who may be in the inspection location. These zoom cameras are compatible with all ZistosHD systems.

The ZistosHD wireless bridge accessory allows the system to interface to a standard cell-modem, (a product that is offered by most major cellular carriers). This allows transmission of real-time video from anywhere that has cell coverage – to anywhere that has internet access!

We would welcome the opportunity to set up a virtual product demonstration so you and your team can see the ZistosHD Portable Pole Camera System with our optical zoom camera in operation. These sessions can take as little as 15 minutes and can be scheduled at your convenience.

Google Cloud Integration with ZistosHD Pole Camera Systems

One of the design objectives for the new ZistosHD Pole Camera System was to provide a simple way to remotely share recorded images and videos. Traditionally this was accomplished by offloading images and videos onto a computer by either removing the system’s SD memory card or using a USB cable to transfer files. While the files reside on the computer, they can be emailed to the specific individuals for review. This process works, but we were hoping to come up with a mechanism that would provide faster access to the files for those who may be situated in remote locations.

To achieve this desired result, we utilized Google Cloud services along with the ZistosHD Pole Camera System’s dedicated imaging application. A Google Cloud account needs to be set up in advance. The ZistosHD tablet normally connects to a dedicated network created by the system’s handle. Following the Google account creation, the ZistosHD tablet can be configured to access a secondary network with internet access. This network can be a local WiFi network used in an office, facility, or even a WiFi based cell modem. Once setup is complete, all that needs to be done to upload images and videos to your Google account is simply turning off the ZistosHD pole camera with the tablet still powered on.

When the pole camera is turned off, the tablet will automatically connect to the local secondary network. It will then begin syncing the images and videos to your Google account. Once the sync is complete, just turn the handle back on and you are instantaneously ready to continue using the system to inspect, surveil, or search. The time for this process to complete will vary and depends on the amount of data, along with the bandwidth of the network connection.

With this process, anyone with access – and only those with access – to your secure Google account can access your photos and videos anywhere with an internet connection. This Google Cloud account can also act as an archive for your collection of videos and images that can be accessed from anywhere.

The ZistosHD products can now share and archive images and videos anywhere in the world where there is an internet connection by just connecting a Google account to our system tablet. This solution facilitates image sharing with anyone/anywhere, and it is accomplished with a single push of a button.

The ZistosHD Handle

The HD Handle is the common modular component of the ZistosHD family of pole camera inspection products. It houses all of the controls, power, and WiFi transmitters for the system to function. The HD handle attaches to any ZistosHD camera pole or cable on one end, and the battery module is seated in the handle on the opposite end. The ZistosHD handle is designed with an ergonomic hand grip and offers easily accessible and intuitive keypad controls. These features allow the system to be operated by a single individual, with a minimal amount of training on system use and function.

The 9-button keypad on the ZistosHD handle module is designed to be actuated by the operator’s thumb. The 9 buttons include; Illumination Up & Down, Zoom In & Out, Motorized Pan Up & Down, Special Function, Snapshot and Record Video Start/Stop (see above image for button locations). The special function button’s purpose will vary with system configuration. The ZistosHD systems also offer full control redundancy. All of the keypad control functions are also available for the operator to select using touch screen menu overlays on the display module.

The rechargeable batteries that power the system reside in ZistosHD handle. The rechargeable L-ion batteries offer extended run-times. They also feature an integral LCD display that can alert the operator on the battery charge levels – even when the system is powered off (Learn more about our batteries here). The handle also contains the system’s WiFi radio that is configured with dual antennas. This design feature optimizes wireless performance and maximizes transmission and reception range.

Other communication accessories are available, such as a hardwired connection adapter cables and our optional WiFi bridge module. The WiFi bridge allows our system to connect with other external wireless networks. The various wireless and wired communication system options increase the overall system capability. They allow the video images to be viewed and shared by individuals who are both local and remotely situated.

All in all, the ZistosHD Handle is the module that allows full-control of our systems. It houses the control actuator buttons, power and transmitters needed for system function. Its impact resistant, lightweight and ergonomical design make all of the ZistosHD systems highly effective and easy to operate.

Selecting the Proper Telescoping Pole Camera Design

An integral part of all ZistosHD portable video systems is the telescoping pole on which our cameras are fastened.  Our poles are offered in two styles  – manual positioning and motorized positioning:

Manual Positioning:

Our “Friction Hinge” design provides for the end of the pole to be positioned manually at an angle of +/- 120 degrees. While easily bent, the hinge maintains the desired angle with a holding force that is strong enough to maintain the camera position, but it still allows the position of the camera to be adjusted by “nudging” the assembly against a stationary object or structure. The entire pole can be rotated to allow the camera to pan 360 degrees around an area. The friction hinge is protected with a rubber boot that prevents dirt and debris from entering the assembly. This design is best suited for an open environment, or when the access / entry point of the area to be inspected is large enough to accommodate the size of the camera assembly. It is also best used where the camera tilt position does not need to be continually adjusted. The advantages of this pole design are that it is usually lower in cost, uses less battery power, and is lighter in weight than the motorized poles.

Motorized Positioning:

The camera angle of our motorized pole is controlled remotely using the keypad on the pole handle or using the touchscreen display on the included tablet. The camera can be positioned at an angle of +/- 120 degrees at a speed of articulation controlled by the user.  The gearhead motor is designed with a special slip-clutch that protects the motor against mechanical shock, if the motor is back driven by a camera head being pushed back when mounted to the motorized assembly. Like the above friction hinge pole, the motorized pole can be rotated to allow the camera to pan 360 degrees. The advantages of this design are that it allows inspection of areas with narrow openings that only allow the camera to be inserted in its smallest footprint orientation (usually 0 degrees, positioned straight); or when the application requires inspection of a broad area and constant adjustments to the camera position are required.

Problems with 360 Degree Video Pole Cameras:

There are some systems that are available from other manufacturers, which use poles that offer no articulation. The reason for this is that they use cameras that provide 360-degree imaging and claim that no panning of the camera is required. This in practice is problematic because of several issues that impact image quality to a significant extent. One of the main problems is that generating even illumination in a dark area is not easily achieved. This creates dark areas in the inspection location and limits the image details that can be observed by the inspector. The ZistosHD product line uses traditional camera optics on their cameras. The traditional video cameras used in the ZistosHD system produce a bright beam of light that is bore-sighted with the field of view of the camera and will always produce a usable image regardless of orientation. The other issue has to do with image resolution and zoom capabilities. The 360-degree cameras are limited to using only digital zoom using software processing. Digital zoom reduces the resolution of an image when you zoom in. This means that the bigger the image gets on your screen; the less detail is observable. The ZistosHD systems have optical zoom cameras available that allow the user to zoom into image details without losing any image resolution. In addition, ZistosHD offers thermal imaging options, which are not available with 360 degree systems.

ZistosHD poles are lightweight, carbon fiber and are available in lengths from 2’ to 30’. The sections that telescope in and out can be locked into position with collars that are turned by hand. All ZistosHD camera heads and pole are interchangeable, so a system can be equipped with different add-ons and attachments to address varied application needs.

Whatever your application – tactical surveillance, urban search and rescue, vehicle/cargo search, or industrial inspection – please call us for more information or to set up a no-obligation in-person or virtual product demonstration.