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DW VMAX IP Plus Video Latency

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DW VMAX IP® Plus Video Latency Troubleshooting

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Affected Roles:  Administrator

Complexity:  Medium

Last Edit:  March 3, 2021

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Live Stream Latency

If you are encountering considerable video latency with an IP camera that is connected directly to the integrated PoE switch of the VMAX® IP Plus, the issue might be caused by:

  • Outdated firmware
  • High CPU activity (affects NVR system performance)
  • Network configuration/communication issues
  • Video Encoding

This article will outline some investigative steps that you can use to identify the source of the latency issue, as well as troubleshooting that you can perform before contacting DW Technical Support.

**NOTE:  The use of “NVR” in this article refers to the VMAX® IP Plus recording unit.

Supported/Affected Devices:

  • DW VMAX® IP Plus
  • MEGApix® IP Camera Series

Live Buffering

Video streams are transmitted in different sizes for each frame (I-frame) and can be the cause of video latency.  One thing that you can try is to enable the Live Buffering feature of the VMAX® IP Plus.  Enabling this setting will cause the NVR to compile the transmission of video frames in a way that will result in a smoother live image.

**NOTE:  This can only be performed at the recording unit.  There is no web client availability for this setting.

To enable Live Buffering:

  1. At the NVR, right-click on the camera that is experiencing video latency and select Camera Setup.

The Camera Setup menu will display.  Click on the Maintenance button.

  1. The Maintenance window will display.

Enable the Live Buffering setting.

  1. Click the Close button to close the Maintenance window, then click the Apply button to close the IP Camera Setup window.

If the latency issues persist, please continue with this article to troubleshoot your unit.

Investigating Latency

When encountering video latency issues on the VMAX® IP Plus:

  1. Confirm that the IP camera firmware and VMAX® IP Plus firmware are up-to-date
  1. Check the System Performance of the VMAX® IP Plus.

A high level of CPU usage can be caused by record settings such as a high camera bitrate or high resolutions (single-stream).

  1. To check CPU usage, at the VMAX® IP Plus right-click in Live Mode and select “System Status”.

  1. Ping the camera’s IP address.

A camera within the local network should ideally reply in 5ms or less.

  1. Option 1 – ping the camera through the NVR’s web client (Setup > Record > Camera management)
  2. Option 2 – connect a PC directly to the same PoE switch as the camera and use the ping command through the Command Prompt (Windows) or Terminal (Linux)

**NOTE:  To learn more about connecting with cameras through virtual ports or IP address assignment through the VMAX® IP Plus, check out Connecting With Cameras Through Virtual Ports (VMAX IP Plus)

High CPU Usage Troubleshooting

If your investigation of the latency issue reveals a high amount of CPU usage, below are a few troubleshooting methods that you may try.

How to Reset the PoE Ports at the VMAX® IP Plus

If the camera is connected directly to the integrated PoE switch of the VMAX® IP Plus, resetting the ports may resolve the issue. To do so:

  1. From the Live View, right-click and select “Menu
  1. Select “Network”, then click on the “Status” button under “PoE Setting
  1. Click the “Reset All PoE Port” button

How to Reset the PoE Ports with Web Viewer

If you are using the NVR’s Web Viewer to reset the PoE ports:

  1. Click on the Setup tab, then click on “Network
  1. Next, select “Network” again, then click the “Reset PoE Port” button.

Check Camera Stream Profiles at the VMAX® IP Plus

All IP cameras must have a first (1st) and second (2nd) video streaming profile.  The absence of either streaming profile is likely to cause considerable video issues with the camera and the NVR.

To check that the camera is presenting both video streaming profiles:

  1. From the Live View, right-click on the camera, then click on “Camera Setup”.
  1. The IP Camera Setup menu will display.

Click the Get Stream button.  As a result, stream information should display in the Rec. Stream and 2nd Stream fields.

If no information displays, further troubleshooting of that camera may be necessary.

Check Camera Stream Profiles with Web Viewer

If you are using the NVR’s Web Viewer to check for the camera stream profiles:

  1. Click on the Setup tab, then select “Record”.
  1. Click on “Camera Management”, then click the Setup button for the desired camera.

Stream information should display.  If no information displays, further troubleshooting of that camera may be necessary.

How to Lower the Camera Bitrate at the VMAX® IP Plus

The VMAX IP® Plus has a maximum bandwidth limitation of 80 Mbps throughput with all of its cameras overall.  An exceedingly high bitrate can often cause performance issues for the system.

To lower the bitrate of a camera:

  1. From the Live View, right-click on the camera and select “Camera Setup”.
  1. Adjust the bitrate of the Rec. Stream.

Click the Get Stream button, then click Setup button for the Rec. Stream (primary).

The IP Camera Stream Setup window for the primary stream will display.  It is recommended to keep the Bitrate to 5 Mbps or lower per channel.

  • Adjust the Bitrate of the Rec. Stream (primary) so that it falls between 4000 ~ 5000 Kbps, then click the Apply button.
  1. Adjust the bitrate of the 2nd Stream.

Next, click the Setup button for the 2nd Stream (secondary).

The IP Camera Stream Setup window for the secondary stream will display.  It is recommended to keep the Bitrate to 1 Mbps or lower per channel.

  • Adjust the Bitrate of the 2nd Stream (secondary) to 1000 Kbps or lower, then click the Apply button.

**NOTE:  Repeat this process for all cameras that are experiencing latency issues.

How to Lower the Camera Bitrate with Web Viewer

If you are using the NVR’s Web Viewer to adjust the camera bitrate:

  1. Click on the Setup tab, then select “Record”.
  1. Click on “Camera Management”, then click on the Setup button for the desired camera.
  • Adjust the Bitrate of the primary stream so that it falls between 4000 ~ 5000 Kbps.
  • Adjust the Bitrate of the secondary stream to 1000 Kbps or lower.

High Ping Response Troubleshooting

If your investigation of the latency issue reveals a high ping response time, try the following:

  1. Move the camera connection to a different PoE port in the integrated PoE switch of the NVR.  If the issue persists, continue to the next step.
  1. Reset the PoE ports (for steps in how to perform this, see the Reset PoE Ports section above).
  1. Hard reset the camera.
    1. From the Live View, right-click on the camera and select “Camera Setup”.
    2. From the IP Camera Setup window, click on the Maintenance button.  Next, click the Hard Reset button.
  1. Re-flash/reapply the camera firmware.

Similar to reinstalling software on a computer, reapplying the camera firmware can often resolve performance issues.

**NOTE:  For more information regarding how to update/apply IP camera firmware, check out Updating MEGApix Camera Firmware.

  1. If the issue persists following the steps above, it is recommended to isolate the camera by connecting it to a different PoE switch and to bench test using a new patch cable, checking the ping response speed again. 

If the camera replies in less than 5ms, then there may be an issue with the integrated PoE switch of the NVR.

**NOTE:  If the issue persists after performing all troubleshooting steps that are listed above, please proceed with running recovery firmware on the VMAX® IP Plus

Any issues after this should be reported to Digital Watchdog Technical Support for further assistance.

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  • 04-Mar-2021
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