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IP Camera Streaming Troubleshooting Guide

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IP Camera Streaming Troubleshooting Guide

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Affected Roles:  Owner, Administrator

Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps:  DW Spectrum

Complexity:  Medium to High

Last Edit:  April 22, 2020

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ONVIF Camera Issues

DW Spectrum Servers operate with standard ONVIF Profile S API, which is commonly used by most IP cameras.  This encourages an easier setup process when adding cameras to a Server.

Cameras, unless added by RTSP, will typically communicate with the DW Spectrum Server through ONVIF streams.  If there is an interruption in this stream for reasons related to camera issues, network issues, or software issues, the video stream may experience video loss, duplicated streams, or various video issues.

In most cases, video issues can be resolved by rebooting the camera itself.  However, it is otherwise recommended to troubleshoot these types of issues directly at the Server or from a workstation on the same network as the camera.  This article will outline some troubleshooting that can be performed to resolve most camera display issues.

Note:  If you are using a third-party camera and are experiencing video issues, please use the following articles if this is related to a first-time setup or consult with the camera manufacturer for assistance.

Enabling ONVIF On HikVision Cameras

Enabling ONVIF On AXIS Cameras

Assigning A Static Address To New Or Defaulted Cameras

Supported/Affected Devices

  • DW MEGApix Camera Series
  • DW Blackjack Series

ONVIF Device Manager

It is recommended to download and install ONVIF Device Manager (ODM) to the computer that your DW Spectrum Server is installed on, or on a computer that shares the same LAN as the Server. 

The application is compatible for Windows OS only, but is a great tool for troubleshooting camera issues.  ODM scans the network for ONVIF compliant devices, similar to DW IP Finder, but it will also detect devices produced by other manufacturers and can be used to test ONVIF video streams.

Streaming Issues

If your camera is not streaming video, and this is a first-time setup, check the physical camera connections and that any assigned IP addresses are configured for the correct network.

If the camera is experiencing streaming issues, but was working previously, possible issues may include:

  • Network Issue – camera is on a different network, IP address conflict, failing network hardware, etc.
  • Device Issue – the camera is not processing ONVIF requests, camera firmware is outdated, camera is not powering, etc.

To troubleshooting common streaming issues:

Testing the ONVIF Stream

  1. Launch ONVIF Device Manager (ODM) on the computer that is hosting your DW Spectrum Server or on a Windows computer that shares the same LAN as the Server.

Enter the User ID and Password of the camera’s ONVIF profile.

  1. Select the camera from the Device List, then click on Live Video.

Live camera video should begin to display in ODM.  If video does not display, the camera is likely experiencing an ONVIF communication issue.

  1. If the camera displays video in ODM successfully, but you are experiencing streaming issues in DW Spectrum, stop/start your DW Spectrum Media Server.  Additionally, you may try to delete, then add the camera back to the Server and ensure that the DW Spectrum Server firmware is up-to-date.

Otherwise, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

  1. Reboot the camera.

The camera can be rebooted through the Maintenance section of ODM.

Alternatively, the camera can be rebooted from its web client or by disconnecting and reconnecting the camera power.

Test the camera stream again after completing the reboot.  If the issue persists, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

Testing the Web Client

  1. Open a browser (Chrome or Internet Explorer is recommended) and connect with the camera’s web client.

Enter the camera’s IP address into the browser’s address bar.  If the camera has been assigned to a port value of anything other than 80, you will need to specify the port value in the address bar.

Example:

Camera IP:  192.168.1.90

Port:  8245

Example URL:  http://192.168.1.90:8245

  1. You will be prompted to log into the camera.

If you have not yet set up a new Username and Password for the camera, use:

Default Username:  admin

Default Password:  admin

Note:  DW cameras now require a password assignment when initially connecting.  Please read Assigning Passwords to IP Cameras for more information.

  1. Use the Live function of the camera’s web client to view video from the camera.

If the camera displays video in the web client, but not in DW Spectrum or ODM, check the camera’s streaming settings and test the camera using H.264 instead of H.265.

If the camera does not display its HTML5 video stream in the web client, there is likely an issue occurring locally within the camera.

Troubleshooting the Camera

  1. Update the camera firmware.

To obtain the latest firmware for your DW camera, open a browser and visit http://digital-watchdog.com.

Enter the camera model into the search bar and download the latest firmware version from the camera’s product page.  The file can be located under the Software tab of the camera’s product page.

Note:  Flashing or re-applying the same camera firmware, if the camera is up-to-date, is acceptable.

  1. To upload the camera firmware, use the camera’s web client.

Log in as the admin (Administrator), then select the camera’s Settings menu.

Locate the camera’s Firmware Update section of the web client (location varies depending on camera model) and upload the firmware to the camera.

  1. The camera will reboot after completing the firmware update.

If the issue persists, proceed to the next troubleshooting step.

  1. Soft-default the camera.

If the camera is not streaming video, is up to date with its firmware, and is not experiencing an IP address conflict or other network issue, resetting the camera settings will likely resolve the issue.

Note:  Most camera models will feature an option for Soft-Default or to exclude the camera’s network settings from being defaulted as well.  Some camera models will have a specific toggle for this, while others may require you to select specific areas to be defaulted.

  1. If issues persist after soft-defaulting the camera, factory default the camera.  You may either default the camera using the web client or the manual reset button that is located within the camera itself (some models vary).

Completely resetting the camera will revert it back to the factory default settings and will require setting up the camera again, including the network settings.  Use the following resources if needed:

Further troubleshooting may require that you uninstall the camera and bench test the camera to remove the cable-run (or PoE switch setup) as a possible cause of the issue.

Use of a PoE injector during the bench test will remove power consumption issues from the PoE switch as an element as well.

Please contact Digital Watchdog Technical Support for further assistance.

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  • 24-Apr-2020
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