When it comes to modern security surveillance systems, PTZ (pan-tilt-zoom) cameras are arguably the most flexible components. Whether it’s an IP-PTZ—generating digital video output, streamed wirelessly, or an analog PTZ camera, which streams images in analog format to a nearby recording device (DVR)—PTZs provide the best possible coverage of a given area. That’s because, by definition, PTZs are capable of panning, tilting, and zooming. “Pan” is photography-speak for moving the camera from side-to-side. Imagine you’re standing on the front porch of your home, staring straight ahead. You can probably see the house across the street clearly, but little else. This is similar to what a fixed-focus (“bullet”) camera can see. Now move your head from side-to-side. By “panning” you can see both ends of your street, and much of what’s in-between. This is similar to what a PTZ camera can view. “Tilt” is self-explanatory. It refers to the ability to “look” up or down. Standing at your front door, you can probably only see your shoes if you look down. The same is true of a PTZ camera. But a PTZ can do something else that you can’t. If there’s a suspicious vehicle parked down the street, and it’s too far away for you to read the license plate, you’d need to approach the car to read its plate. But a PTZ camera can zoom in—telescopically—and read those numbers for you, from the convenience of your front porch. Zoom back out, and your PTZ camera will be able to take in much of what’s happening on that end of the street. That’s the flexibility and functionality of a PTZ camera. Some can be pre-programmed to follow prescribed patterns of surveillance, leaving no area of your home or business unprotected.