ONVIF Camera Troubleshooting Guide

Spectrum Servers can operate with standard ONVIF profile S API which is commonly used with most cameras. If you're facing issues with the camera and it's not a device with the natively integrated API list, here are some simple ways to troubleshoot:

First Step - Install ONVIF Device Manager(further -- ODM for Windows)

  • Download and install the ONVIF Device Manager on the same computer your Spectrum Server is installed. If you cannot install the ONVIF Device Manager because you are using an Ubuntu Linux machine then install the ONVIF Device Manager on a Windows PC on the same LAN as your troubled ONVIF camera.

Device Discovery Issues

Your camera - if it adheres to the ONVIF standard - it should be automatically discovered by Spectrum as long as it is on the same LAN as your Server.

  • Spectrum does not discover your camera automatically:
    • Network Issue: Multicast is disabled for your LAN
    • Device Issue: Your device's firmware incorrectly processes ONVIF requests
    • Run the ONVIF Device Manager.
    • Enter camera ONVIF-Administrator credentials at the top-left corner of ODM main dialog.
    • If the device is still not detected and you're 100% sure that the device is online and credentials are correct then one of the following issues most likely exists:
  • Spectrum does not find your device even when using manual camera addition (e.g. entering RTSP or IP address of the device):
    • Network Issue: Your camera device is unreachable on the current network (try to check its web-page and fix the connection if necessary)
    • Device Issue: Your device cannot process standard ONVIF request for manual discovery (device issue).
    • Try to find the camera using the ONVIF Device Manager. Click "Add" at bottom-left corner of GUI and enter the IP address or domain name of your device, specifying TCP port if necessary, then click apply.
    • If you're sure that all the information has been entered correctly and you cannot find the device using the ONVIF Device Manager then one of the following exists:

Streaming Issues

  • Spectrum Client discovers the device but shows "No Signal":
    • Try to login to device using the ONVIF Device Manager and click the "Live Video" button. If you can't reach the device, contact your system administrator. If you can't find this button, contact camera vendor tech support. If you see "No signal" in the ODM, firstly try to reboot the device, at this point the camera will most likely appear and display a LIVE video. If not, causes could be: RTSP port is closed, try to check the device and port forwarding configuration(LAN issue), device can't handle too many RTSP connections(try to turn off any additional streaming clients like VLC, web-pages, other VMS or Media Servers and reboot the device) or there's just a great flaw within the firmware(device issue).
  • The camera should be able to stream H.264 with some certain resolution but it doesn't, streaming MJPEG instead in Spectrum Software. Go to ODM, log in using device credentials and click "Video streaming" in the interface. Find "Encoder and resolution" drop-down list and check it. If you won't see there h.264 with the necessary(highest) resolution, it's the camera issue.
  • The camera should be able to provide secondary low-resolution H.264 stream but you can't see it in the GUI both for live and an archive or see a heavy MJPEG stream. In ODM click "Profiles" in the interface. You'll get a list of profiles. Try to check them, you'll see some drop-down buttons with information about different encoders configuration including frame rate, resolution, and codec. If you see there only high-res Profile(s), it's most likely because the camera doesn't allow configuration of streaming profiles or can't do that(device issue). If low-res stream has the MJPEG codec, the reasons may most likely be the same(device issue).

PTZ issues.

  • You're sure that your device has PTZ capabilities but there's no "PTZ" icon in Spectrum GUI, check if ODM has point called "PTZ controls". If not, most probably device issue.
  • You're facing issues with the camera moving after dragging arrows or clicking zoom buttons in Spectrum GUI, just check ODM PTZ controls, continuous move section. There will be several arrow buttons and "+/-" zoom controls, click them to check if the camera moves as expected.
  • PTZ preset issues. If you see the capability to assign presets in the camera context menu but they're not working go to ODM, check PTZ controls --> absolute move. Just try to set different values for absolute move coordinates.

Advanced options issues.

  • You see that camera doesn't change its state when you try to control it using advanced settings tab in Spectrum GUI, try to run the same commands using corresponding ODM section.

Motion detection issues.

  • Using Spectrum Client you can't see available Motion Recording option in the Recording Schedule for camera, check if there is indeed necessarily configured secondary stream. To do that right-click free space at the scene, select Change Resolution option and click Low. Hover camera item with mouse and if "Hi-Res" isn't replaced with "Low-Res" there are some issues for sure. 
  • There is a secondary stream but you still can't see Motion Mask appearing at the Motion tab of camera settings, there is a chance that the issue may be with the secondary stream. The Spectrum Media Server provides motion detection for cameras with secondary stream resolution(HxW) less than 720x576. Spectrum Media Server tries to configure streams according to this requirement or use existing pre-configured profiles. Using ODM select the device, click Profiles point and check every profile in the list. There will be a Video Encoder Configuration drop-down information box. Check this box for every profile and find their information regarding the profile resolution. If there are profiles with matching resolutions but the server doesn't use them – it is most likely camera related issues. If there are no such profiles, it's likely device doesn't allow to create them – it's non-standard behavior.

Signal Input issues.

  • You trigger the single input(DI) on the camera, but it does not have actions on Spectrum, check there is any state changed log in ODM. You can navigate to the section of Event in ODM by adding the camera into ODM and switch to the event tab. If the camera is doing good on its ONVIF implementation, you should always see the state changed log (Input token relay changed, state: true, state: false....etc).
  • 134
  • 06-Jun-2019