Success with new Swan SWNHD-820CAM
  • When I initially bought my cameras, I chose the Q-See QCN7001B from Costco. These cameras are re-branded Dahua IPC-HFW2100. The camera's worked well and setup in SecuritySpy was easy. I just selected "Dahua" as the camera type.

    Unfortunately, these cameras have a narrow focal angle and I was never happy with the coverage. These cameras are better suited for alleys, side yards, or something like that.

    The next camera's I tried were the Swan SWNHD-820CAM, also purchased from Costco. These worked well and have the coverage I was hoping for. I'm going to keep these. There isn't a device option for these cameras, however the configuration is simple:

    Set the device type to manual
    Enter the hostname or IP address
    Enter the camera username and password
    Change the format to RTSP
    Click Ok.

    Easy.

    You can read details about the cameras here:

    http://www.networkcameracritic.com/?p=882
    http://www.networkcameracritic.com/?p=1444
  • Great, thanks for posting this information. The Swann camera has great specs at a very competitive price so it's good to have confirmation that it works with SecuritySpy.
  • Can you tell us though: were you able to configure the camera completely with a Mac web browser to set its settings (IP address, video config etc.)? Or did you need to use a Windows web browser to achieve this? We have tested Hikvision cameras in the past and they didn't work so well on Mac web browsers, but maybe this has changed.
  • Oh, I meant to include this information. There were two problems I ran into:

    1. The camera defaults to a static IP address of 192.0.0.64. You need change your IP so that you can login and change the IP or set to DHCP (I use DHCP and setup DHCP reservations).

    2. You CAN almost completely configure the camera with a non IE browser.

    What doesn't work:
    * Basic Configuration > Video/Audio
    * Advanced Configuration > Video/Audio

    All other configuration pages work fine with Firefox 22 on OS X 10.8.4.

    The problem with these two pages (which are exactly the same), are that the drop down boxes are missing both the text labels and the text contents.

    When you view the camera's setup page with IE on Windows, you are prompted to install webcomponents.exe. After doing this, you can see the contents of the Video/Audio configuration page.

    For completeness sake, those fields (and their defaults) are:

    * Stream Type: Main Stream (Normal)
    * Video Type: Video Stream
    * Resolution: 1920*1080P
    * Bitrate Type: Constant
    * Video Quality: (greyed out)
    * Frame Rate: 30
    * Max Bitrate: 4096
    * Video Encoding: H.264
    * I Frame Interval: 100

    The only one I needed to change was the Frame Rate. I changed it from 30 to 10.

    I wasn't thrilled with this, but I have a Windows VM, and I only needed to do this one time, so I'm ok with it. If you have no access to Windows, you are stuck with the defaults above, which may not be so bad.
  • Thanks for the information. It's annoying when companies clearly don't test their products on Macs!

    It's often very useful to reduce the frame rate, this avoids using unnecessary network bandwidth and computer CPU. Also, the default I-Frame interval appears to be set quite high (this makes the video more difficult for SecuritySpy to deal with). Also, generally you will want to use a variable bitrate so that the rate of the video stream can adjust according to what's actually in the video image, resulting in a lower bit rate overall.
  • What do you recommend setting the I-Frame to?
  • Each video capture has to start with an I-frame, which is an entirely self-contained image (other frames encode only changes since the previous frame). So with an I-frame interval of 100, SecuritySpy has to keep up to 100 frames in memory, so that if motion is detected it has an I-frame from which to start the capture. So the higher this value, the more CPU and RAM SecuritySpy will need. Continuous/timelapse captures are not affected in this way (in this case SecuritySpy will simply start the capture from the next I-frame that comes in).

    In addition, a high I-frame interval is bad because if there is a lost/corrupt frame at any point, all subsequent frames until the next I-frame will be corrupt, which in the above case could lead to 3 seconds of corrupt video.

    So I would suggest using an I-frame interval not more than around a second of video (30 in this case), but not less than 10 or so (to maintain a nice low data rate).
  • Just to add to this, I have just received the Hikvision branded version of this camera and had set it up using the Hikvision automatic settings within SecuritySpy but the video was only showing at 1fps. Using the manual settings I can get full quality pictures!
  • As nathanlomas has discovered, the current release version of SecuritySpy (3.0.4) only has the slower JPEG mode enabled for the Hikvision profile, however the new version (out soon) will have the full H.264 mode enabled, which will give the full quality and frame rate. For now it can be set up manually in SecuritySpy using RTSP as the Format and nothing entered as the Request.

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