S.Spy & Axis streams
  • I have a licensed Security Spy (S.Spy) running now on a Mini server. Woot, it's nice so far, but I am wondering about what I can do with my Axis cameras & S.Spy to reduce network traffic.

    Before I get to crazy I want to know if S.Spy is requesting a specific feed from the cameras or is simply capturing the Live View. I _think_ it's requesting the H.264 stream but I haven't found a way to ask the camera to report on connections / connection types. ( you would think there would be one )

    I am also using another security spy to look at the server's 'view' of the world, and am wondering if the S.Spy to S.Spy video broadcast is a nice clean compressed frame buffer at the S.Spy client end. Or if it's doing something heroic.
  • Hi caseyd - the format requested from the camera is determined by the Format setting you have selected in the Video Device Settings window in SecuritySpy. If you are using firmware 5.x Axis cameras then you will have a choice of JPEG or H.264. If you switch between these, and check Activity Monitor for network bandwidth, you should see a big difference which will confirm to you that SecuritySpy is actually receiving the H.264 stream when requested.

    For the SS -> SS connection, the server SS will be re-encoding the video to whatever format is requested by the client SS. So while this uses some server CPU time, you should still be getting nice high-quality video coming through. If you don't want to put additional CPU load on the server, then what you could do is have the second SS instance connect directly to the Axis cameras themselves (if this is over the internet you'll have to set up port forwarding to each camera for this).
  • Hello, and Thanks Ben.

    I would like to drill down a bit more. I am a noob <- there I said it!<br />
    If I have a good understanding of these Axis cameras they can support multiple simultaneous streams. For example I have the Live View set to be a motion JPEG server push dealy so that I don't hear the family groan about activating plugins on their various devices.

    On the Axis ( they are all 5.x ) cameras we find 3 or 4 OOTB H.264 stream definitions. These are intended for different bandwidth profiles.

    What I was pondering in this thread was configuring a H.264 stream specifically for S.Spy and seeing if S.Spy could use it.

    Your kind reply leads me to conclude that you're making the VAPIX ( or something ) request for a specific H.264 stream. In the Video Device Settings it looks like one can set the dimensions, frame rate and pick from a range of quality settings.

    So to clarify if I did dork around on the camera and cook up a really efficient set of settings I would reproduce them on the S.Spy side in the Video Device Settings box.

    Right?

    Have you thought about polling the camera for its already configured streams?
  • The Axis cameras do indeed support multiple simultaneous streams. The way the firmware 5.x requests work (via Axis' own interface, which they call VAPIX) is that the client (SecuritySpy), instead of requesting a particular pre-configured stream/profile, can request particular parameters such as resolution, frame rate, quality etc. This is why these options are available in SecuritySpy when you select the Axis profile.

    If instead you want to use one of the existing pre-configured streams that you have set up in the camera, try using ONVIF. Select the ONVIF profile in the Video Device Settings window in SecuritySpy and click the "Get profile list" button: this should show you the list of pre-configured profiles set up in the camera. Choose the one you want and SecuritySpy will then request that particular profile from the camera.

    With ONVIF, as opposed to VAPIX, the camera makes available some streams/profiles with certain preconfigured parameters and the client chooses which stream to use, rather than choosing particular stream parameters. This sounds more like what you want to use.
  • Thanks for the ONVIF hint. That's a recent update on your part, IIRC.
    It'll only be useful if I can figure out how to set up a monochrome stream from these cameras, while preserving color streams. Onward!

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