RemoteSight

User Manual

Author: Ben Bird
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Contents

Introduction

Feature list

Getting Started

Preferences

SecuritySpy Integration

Appendix: Built-in web server HTTP interface


Introduction

RemoteSight is an application for video and audio transmission over a network. It captures video from any attached video input device (for example the built-in iSight camera included in many Macintosh computers), which can then be viewed on another computer over a network or the internet.

The primary use of RemoteSight is as part of a Mac-based video surveillance system, sending video and audio feeds over a network to a central recording computer. To this end it integrates seamlessly with SecuritySpy, our flagship video surveillance software product.

RemoteSight can also be used as a standalone application for remotely monitoring anything happening on or around a particular computer, effectively turning the computer's camera into a network camera.

RemoteSight is designed to run in the background, so it won't show up in the Dock and it doesn't have a normal user interface. Remote viewing as well as setting preferences is done using a web browser such as Safari or FireFox.


Feature List

• Streams video and audio from the built-in web server
• Supports most Macintosh-compatible cameras and audio input devices
• Screen capture
• Runs in the background with low CPU usage
• Integrates seamlessly with SecuritySpy
• Supports both JPEG and MPEG-4 video streaming formats
• Preferences can be set locally or remotely via the web interface


Getting Started

The first time you open RemoteSight, it automatically opens its web interface in your web browser. As RemoteSight is designed as a background-only application, this web interface is how you interact with the software. The main web interface page looks like this (as viewed in Safari):

Click either the camera or the screen button to view streaming video in the web browser. Other options in the menu below allow you to set the preferences, view the user manual, and quit the software.

RemoteSight places a small menu on the right hand side of the menu bar whenever it is running. As well as an indication that RemoteSight is active, this menu contains an option to open the web interface in your browser for convenient access at any time:

It is possible to access RemoteSight from any other computer on the network using a web browser such as Safari. To find RemoteSight from a different computer on the network, open Safari and select Show All Bookmarks from the Bookmarks menu. Click the Bonjour link on the left had side of the window, and it should find the RemoteSight web server automatically (as well as all other Bonjour-enabled devices) such as in the below screenshot:


Preferences

To open the Preferences page, select "Preferences" from the menu on the main page. The Preferences look like this:

If you hold the mouse cursor over any of the settings, a "tooltip" box will appear with more information about that setting. Each option is described in turn below:

General Settings - Basic login
Specify a username and password that will be required to access the video and audio streams. If you leave these blank, access to the video and audio streams will not require login. If you specify login details here, you must also specify admin login details.

General Settings - Admin login
Specify a username and password that will be required to access preferences and quit the software (as well as access the video and audio streams).

General Settings - Web server "realm" text
This is the text that is displayed in the web browser when it asks for login details. It is also used for the Bonjour name (see below). Specifying some recognisable text here will allow you to identify the web server easily from another computer on the network.

General Settings - Web server port number
This defines the TCP/IP port number used by the web server. A port number represents an endpoint or "channel" for network communications and allows different applications on the same computer to use the network without interfering with each other. The default port number is 8065 (chosen because it is unlikely to conflict with other applications). Note that it is not possible to use ports below 1024 unless you are logged in as root.

General Settings - Enable Bonjour registration
Bonjour is a method of "zero configuration" network setup, which makes it easy to attach and find devices on a network. Enable this option to have the web server easily found by other computers on the network. To discover Bonjour-advertised network devices in Safari, you need to go to Bookmarks and click on the Bonjour section.

General Settings - Open automatically upon login
If you enable this setting, RemoteSight will be added to the current user's login items, so that it will open automatically upon login. This will ensure that RemoteSight is running all the time that the user is logged in. Note that RemoteSight cannot run when the user is not logged in.

General Settings - Date format
Specify the date format that you want to use for the text overlays.

Video Input - Enable video
This allows you to enable or disable video capture.

Video Input - Device
This menu lists all usable video input devices attached to the computer.

Video Input - Text overlay
Enter some text to overlay in the top left corner of the streamed video. Use +d for the current date and time (as shown in the screenshot above).

Audio Input - Enable audio
This allows you to enable or disable audio capture.

Audio Input - Device
This menu lists all usable audio input devices attached to the computer.

Screen Capture - Enable screen capture
This allows you to enable or disable screen capture.

Screen Capture - Text overlay
Enter some text to overlay in the top left corner of the streamed video of the screen. Use +d for the current date and time (as shown in the screenshot above).

Registration
After purchase you will immediately receive an automated email with your license name and code. Enter these here, exactly as they appear in the email. Before purchase, all features are available to test but there will be a demo message overlayed on the video streams. Entering valid registration details here will remove these demo messages.


SecuritySpy Integration

A Macintosh-based video surveillance system typically uses a main server computer running SecuritySpy, recording input from multiple cameras. RemoteSight is ideal for adding extra video and audio feeds from computers with built-in iSight cameras to such a server. Here's how you set this up:

Firstly, install RemoteSight on the computer in question by copying the RemoteSight application into the Applications folder. Double-click the RemoteSight application from the Applications folder to load it. It will open its web interface to allow you to adjust settings upon initial installation (this won't happen when it is loaded subsequently). Select Preferences from the drop-down menu and enable the "Open automatically upon login" item, to ensure that RemoteSight activates automatically when the computer is restarted. You could also give a recognisable name for the computer in the "realm" text to make it easy to identify it from another computer on the network.

Next, on the computer running SecuritySpy, open the Video Device Setup window and add a new network device. The RemoteSight web server you have just activated should be listed in the Bonjour menu to the right of the Address field (it will be shown with the custom name you entered in the previous step) - select it. Note that if you are using an older version of SecuritySpy that doesn't have this Bonjour feature, you will need to enter the Bonjour name or IP address manually - for this reason we recommend that you use SecuritySpy 2.0 or later. Enter any login information you set up in RemoteSight. If you are using a recent version of SecuritySpy, there will be a "RemoteSight" option in the Device menu, otherwise you can select the "SecuritySpy" option in this menu, and enter 8065 as the port number. Choose the input number: 0 for the camera or 1 for screen capture. Click OK in this window and SecuritySpy should connect to RemoteSight and displaly the video.

Other options in the Video Device Setup window allow you to set the compression quality and codec. The two main codec options are JPEG and MPEG-4: JPEG is faster to compress and decompress, which will put less load on both computers' processors, however MPEG-4 data streams have much lower data rates, so will put much less load on the network. If you are connecting over a wireless network or the internet then you should use MPEG-4, however a fast wired ethernet network should be able to cope with many JPEG streams.

To add audio, open the Camera Setup window in SecuritySpy and choose the new camera you have just added from the menu at the top of the window. Click the Audio tab and select "Network audio" as the audio input source.


Appendix: Built-in web server HTTP interface

This section describes the HTTP requests that the built-in web server understands. You can use this information to include images and video in your own web pages, or to use the streams in third-party remote viewing software.

Still JPEG image

http://<servername>/image?cameraNum=<camera>[&width=<width>][&height=<height>][&quality=<quality>]

<camera> 0 for the video input; 1 for screen capture
<width> is the width of the image in pixels (this parameter is optional)
<height> is the height of the image in pixels (this parameter is optional)
<quality> is the compression quality in the range 0 to 100 (this parameter is optional)

For example:

http://192.168.1.1/image?cameraNum=0&width=640&height=480&quality=50

Multipart-JPEG "server push" video stream

http://<servername>/video?cameraNum=<camera>[&width=<width>][&height=<height>][&quality=<quality>][&req_fps=<fps>]

<camera> 0 for the video input; 1 for screen capture
<width> is the width of the image in pixels (this parameter is optional)
<height> is the height of the image in pixels (this parameter is optional)
<quality> is the compression quality in the range 0 to 100 (this parameter is optional)
<fps> is the FPS of video that SecuritySpy will attempt to send (this parameter is optional)

For example:

http://192.168.1.1/video?cameraNum=1&width=640&height=480&quality=50&req_fps=10

Audio (G.711 µ-law)

http://<servername>/audio

There are no parameters for this request. For example:

http://192.168.1.1/audio