Les Litwin on the key issues faced when integrating ONVIF streams

21 September 2018

The owner of Antrica returns to our blog to help tackle more issues regarding encoding and decoding. He discusses the key issues that you can face when integrating ONVIF streams, as well as how to resolve them.

So, ONVIF is a universal standard that allows any camera, any VMS to talk to each other using a common set of commands and protocols. The first thing that customers tend to do is when they set up an ONVIF camera or ONVIF encoder, they may find it doesn’t work with their VMS.

So here’s a few things that they can do: the first thing is they need to check what port ONVIF is using because ONVIF generally uses port 80, and some cameras from overseas manufacturers, some encoders, -not ours but generally- they will use different port numbers.

Once you’ve established what the port is, you have to identify what the username and password is because all of these issues have to be correct. And then finally, the actual product has to be set up for ONVIF in the first place because a number of products on the market do not come out the box ready with ONVIF. So the way ONVIF works is the video management software interrogates the whole network and all the ONVIF products report back and say, ‘Here I am’, so it’s a sort of Hello World type environment. Once they’ve said, ‘Here I am’, the video management software can interrogate a specific product, so a specific encoder, for example. If the encoder’s username and password and port are correct and known, then the VMS will be able to then interrogate that encoder and find out what profiles it’s got.

Now, a profile is basically a set of characteristics regarding the video, so it’s the frame-rate, resolution and so on, and the bit rate. So then you interrogate the camera or the encoder, it tells you what its profile is, you register that profile, and hopefully once you register that profile you can actually start to receive video. Now assuming you don’t get video, what we suggest is that you download a piece of software from the internet called ‘ONVIF Device Manager’ and this allows you to interrogate and test the ONVIF product first of all, to make sure that it is actually working. So those are the sort of typical problems we come across.

Now the other issue is, that once the ONVIF product is working, there are commands sent to the ONVIF device from the VMS and the product in question may not be fully ONVIF compliant. If it’s not fully ONVIF compliant, it may not recognise these commands. So you know, these are all the sort of typical problems that we see with ONVIF and setting it up and testing it.

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