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ADT I-View Now VMAX A1 & IP Plus Integration

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ADT I-View Now VMAX® A1 & IP Plus™ Integration

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Affected Roles:  Administrator

Complexity:  Medium

Last Edit:  November 19, 2021

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ADT I-View Now & VMAX

ADT’s I-View Now software is intended to be used as a cloud-based service that allows their users to remotely manage and respond to security alerts from their ADT security setup. When integrated with a VMAX IP Plus or VMAX A1 Plus recording unit, ADT customers can experience the convenience of the I-View Now software with the reliable ease of using a VMAX standalone recording unit.

This article will outline how to set up the I-View Now Portal to connect with a VMAX IP Plus or VMAX A1 Plus recording unit for email notifications (SMTP) to alert in the event of an alarm sensor triggering at the recording site.

**NOTE:  The user interface of the VMAX IP Plus NVR and VMAX A1 Plus DVR are nearly identical. The primary differences between the units are in regards to the different formats (IP/analog) that the recorders use.

Supported/Affected Devices:

  • VMAX® IP Plus™
  • VMAX® A1 Plus™

I-View Now – Alarm Path Example

Once the VMAX IP Plus (NVR) or VMAX A1 Plus (analog DVR) has been installed and set up to communicate with the I-View Now proxy service, the alarm path will follow the example below.

The following illustration shows the path of two message flows that comprise a typical “video verification” scenario.

  • Steps 1~3: an onsite alarm event triggers a notification message (SMTP) that is forwarded to the I-View Now proxy server. The alarm event triggering is usually the result of a simple contact sensor that can be wired to either an alarm panel or directly to the I/O contact closure at the back of the VMAX unit.
  • Steps 4~5: the I-View Now system then sends a pre-alarm and post-alarm video clip that was recorded as a result of the alarm triggering. The duration of this video clip varies depending on the length of the event, but is typically between 3~10 seconds.

The I-View Now user can then view one or more consecutive alarm event video clips as they arrive from the I-View Now Portal on the mobile application or in the web portal itself by a web browser on a PC or tablet device.

Before You Begin…

I-View Now Portal Installation Worksheet

The I-View Now Portal Installation Worksheet is a document that can be created after adding the server device to the I-View Now Portal.

**NOTE TO THE INSTALLER:  It is recommended that Installers generate this sheet from the system before attempting to set up the I-View Now site for integration with I-View Now as it will help to keep track of the VMAX unit’s login information, as well as the means that will be used to send SMTP messages back to the I-View Now server. There is a place on the form for documenting the public/external IP Address (Location IP Address) that will be used by the onsite Internet-facing router to identify over the Internet/WAN.

In addition, the VMAX recorder’s network ports and the I-View Now SMTP port will need to be port forwarded on the router and should be documented on this form. This address information must be entered into the I-viewnow.com system to allow I-View Now to identify the external IP address and ports that are used to communicate from the recording site, through the router, and to the I-View Now platform.

A portion of an example worksheet is displayed below:

You can retrieve the public/external IP address of the network that is hosting the VMAX NVR or DVR hardware by asking the customer’s IT department for the public IP address of the main, Internet-facing router. Alternatively, you may visit http://whatismyip.org while onsite, from a computer that is connected to the local network in order to obtain the public IP address of the router.

Be sure to verify with the IT department that the external IP address you are using is valid as a target for the I-View Now servers. The IT Site Administration must enable port forwarding from their router/firewalls with the IP and port information of the VMAX recorder(s). This will allow the VMAX recorder to be accessible from outside of the site’s local network (LAN) for incoming and outgoing messages. The external IP address can then be used by the I-View Now Portal to identify the router and ports that are used to communicate with the VMAX unit.

VMAX Standalone Recorder Preparation

Before you can begin to configure the VMAX IP Plus or VMAX A1 Plus for the I-View Now integration, be sure to complete the network setup for the recorder. To achieve this, a display monitor and USB mouse must be connected to the VMAX unit, then the local device settings of the VMAX must be configured for use on the local network. Once the VMAX has been set up and configured for its local network (LAN), the recording unit can then be accessed and managed through the VMAX Web Viewer’s user interface.

For more information on the Network settings of a VMAX unit:

Part 1: Setting Up I-View Now Portal

Section 1-1:  I-View Now Portal – Creating a New Site

For the VMAX IP Plus or VMAX A1 Plus to be able to send SMTP email notifications, an end-point must be created for the notification to be sent to. This portion of the guide will focus primarily on the use of a web browser (Chrome, Firefox, etc.).

To create a new site in the I-View Now Portal:

  1. Using a web browser, visit the I-View Now Portal and log into your I-View Now account.

  1. Once logged in to the I-View Now account, locate the Sites section and click on the “Create A Site” button.

  1. In the Add a Site window, complete the site registration form with the information regarding the VMAX IP Plus or VMAX A1 Plus site and customer. Click the “Create Site” button at the bottom of the registration form to save the site information, when finished.

  1. The Add Device(s) page will then display. To add the VMAX IP Plus or VMAX A1 Plus to the device list, add a signaling device and select the alarm panel type or “Relay/Standalone”.

  1. Next add a new video device and select “DigitalWatchdog” and “VMAX A1” to denote the use of the VMAX hardware. Click the “Confirm button and continue.

  1. Once the VMAX recorder has bene added to the site in the I-View Now Portal, click the “Edit” button that displays beside the VMAX unit in the device list.

In the resulting Edit Device page, the Device Identifier (SMTP/E-Mail Address) will display. Copy the Device Identifier (SMTP/E-Mail Address) information as it will be needed when setting up the users and SMTP server setting for the VMAX unit.

Part 2: Setting up the VMAX IP Plus or VMAX A1 Plus

This next portion of the setup will focus primarily on working with the VMAX IP Plus NVR or VMAX A1 Plus DVR recording systems. Be sure to have the Device Identifier (SMTP/E-Mail Address) on-hand for the SMTP notification setup for the VMAX unit (Section 2-5 below).

Section 2-1:  VMAX – Obtain the VMAX Network Settings

To configure the VMAX IP Plus or VMAX A1 Plus recording unit(s) for integration with I-View Now:

  1. Log in to the VMAX IP Plus or VMAX A1 Plus recording unit’s interface.
    1. If you are connecting with the VMAX recorder through the VMAX Web Viewer, open a web browser and either use the local IP address (if you are using the onsite LAN with the VMAX unit) or use the external IP (if connecting from a different network) of the VMAX unit’s network.
      1. VMAX Web Viewer URL:  http://<IP_Address>:<Web_Port>
      2. For example: http://192.168.1.160:80
      3. The VMAX Web Viewer login page will display. Enter the Administrator login credentials for the VMAX recorder. This will be the same credentials that are used locally when logging in at the recording unit itself.

    1. If you are performing this setup directly at the VMAX IP Plus or VMAX A1 Plus recording unit, enter the Administrator login credentials for the VMAX recorder.
  • Default User ID:  admin
  • Default Password:  <blank>
  1. Once you have logged in to the VMAX unit, access the recorder’s Network settings.
    1. VMAX Web Viewer – click on the “Network” tab in the menu panel.

    1. VMAX Local User – right-click with the mouse and select “Menu”. Next, select the “Network” menu, then select the “Network” sub-menu.

**NOTE:  Be sure to save/apply the VMAX unit’s settings whenever making any changes to the unit’s configuration.

  1. In the Network menu, verify that the VMAX unit’s settings are as follows:
  • Network Type – set to “Static IP”; if you have not performed the initial network setup process as advised at the beginning of these instructions, have the recorder obtain a new IP address from the router before changing to a “Static IP” network type
  • IP Address – use the IP address that was automatically assigned to the VMAX unit during the initial network setup process
  • Subnet Mask – use “255.255.255.0”
  • Gateway – use the local IP (Gateway) address of the router that oversees and manages the local network shared with the VMAX unit
  • DNS Server – use “8.8.8.8”
  • DNS Server2 – [variant models] – use “8.8.4.4”
  • TCP/IP Port – use the default “9010”; if another device is already using Port 9010, reassign this value to use “9150”
  • Web Port – use the default “80”; if another device is already using Port 80, reassign this value to use “9151”
  • Auto IP – leave this setting alone
  • Bandwidth Limit – set to “1 Gbps(bits/sec)
  • UPNP – unless you are the network administrator and are configuring a UPNP setup, leave this setting alone

  1. At this point use the I-View Now Portal Installation Worksheet to document to copy the network information needed to configure a new site in the I-View Now Portal.
    1. VMAX unit’s IP address
    2. VMAX unit’s TCP/IP port (default: 9010) and Web port (default: 80)
    3. VMAX unit’s user login information
    4. Public/external IP address of the VMAX unit’s network

**NOTE:  You can retrieve the public/external IP address of the network that is hosting the VMAX NVR or DVR hardware by asking the customer’s IT department for the public IP address of the main, Internet-facing router. Alternatively, you may visit http://whatismyip.org while onsite, from a computer that is connected to the local network in order to obtain the public IP address of the router.

Section 2-2:  VMAX – Configuring the Camera Quality Settings

To configure the camera quality settings:

  1. Open the camera stream quality settings.
    1. VMAX IP Plus –
      • If you are at the NVR, open the “Record” menu, then select the “Camera Management” tab. Next, click on the “Advanced” button. To adjust the stream settings, click the “Setup” button beside your target camera.

If you are using the VMAX Web Viewer, select the “Setup” menu, click on the “Record” tab, then select the “Camera” menu. To adjust the stream settings, click the “Setup” button beside your target camera.

      • VMAX A1 plus – If you are at the DVR, open the “Record” menu, then select the “Second Stream” sub-menu.

If you are using the VMAX Web Viewer, select the “Setup” menu, click on the “Record” tab, then select the “Camera Management” menu.

This menu will list the local camera settings that correspond with the streaming and recording quality between the cameras and the VMAX unit.

  1. In the Record > Camera menu, configure the Second Stream settings with the recommended video quality settings:
  • Video Stream(s) – focus for SMTP messaging should be on the Second Stream (sub-stream) settings as it is generally more compressed and utilizes a lower framerate with the camera

  • Video Size/Resolution – recommended to set this to the lowest or the second-lowest resolution option; CIF size is 352x288

  • Video Framerate (FPS) – recommended to set framerate between 7~15 frames per second; 12fps is average

  • Quality – set this to be between 128k~256k

  • Audio – set this to “None” or “OFF”

**NOTE:  The Entry Delay settings are configured in the I-View Now Dealer Portal. You must perform this separately from the DVR/NVR.

Section 2-3:  VMAX – Configuring the Camera Recording Schedule

To configure the camera’s recording schedule:

  1. Through the VMAX IP Plus or VMAX A1 Plus unit’s Setup Menu, navigate to the “Record” menu, then select the Schedule” sub-menu.
  1. In the Schedule menu, use the grid to schedule the VMAX IP Plus or VMAX A1 Plus to utilize a “Continuous+Sensor” recording mode.  This will set the VMAX unit to constantly archive video to its local storage drive(s), while also monitoring for external sensor activity.

Section 2-4:  VMAX – Configuring the VMAX Users

To configure a new user profile for the I-View Now user:

  1. Through the VMAX unit’s Setup Menu, navigate to “System” menu, then select the “User” sub-menu.

To create a new user for the I-View Now user:

  1. VMAX Web Viewer – click the “New” button.

  1. VMAX Local User – click the “Add” button.

  1. When creating the new user profile, configure the following:
  • User ID – when creating the username use “iviewnow” for the new I-View Now user
  • Description – [optional] enter a short description about the user profile
  • Password – leave this blank
  • Confirm Password – leave this blank
  • Function – select and enable the function permissions that this user should be able to use; it is recommended to limit setting access for additional users to viewing live video, recorded video, and camera management functions.  Access to the System settings (Information, Network, etc.) should be limited to administrator access only
  • Menu – select and enable the Setup Menus that this user will be able to access
  • Camera – select the specific cameras that the I-View Now user will be able to view live video with; the cameras are numbered by the video channel that the camera is assigned/connected to at the recorder. Otherwise, toggle the “All” setting to select all connected cameras
  • Auto Logon – [optional] enable the “On Boot” setting to have the VMAX unit automatically log this new user in upon the system startup; only one user can be logged in locally (directly) at the recording unit
  • Auto Logoff – [optional] set an automated lease time that the VMAX unit will wait before logging the user out for inactivity
  • After Logoff – leave these settings enabled; disabling either “Live Show” or “Last Scrmode” will only result in changes when the user logs out locally at the recorder itself

Click the “Save” button to finish creating the new user.

Section 2-5:  VMAX – Configuring Email Notifications (SMTP)

The VMAX unit will next need to be configured to send out email notifications through SMTP (simple mail transfer protocol).

**NOTE:  Setting up email notifications with a VMAX IP Plus or VMAX A1 Plus unit for the purpose of communicating with the I-View Now Portal requires the use of the Device Identifier (SMTP/E-Mail Address) that is provided by the I-View Now Portal. If you do not have this address yet, please create an I-View Now Portal site to obtain this information (Section 2-1 of this document).

To set up email notifications on a VMAX IP Plus or VMAX A1 Plus:

  1. To access the recorders notification settings:
    1. VMAX Web Viewer – select the “Network” tab, then navigate to “Notification”.

    1. VMAX Local User – right-click with the mouse and select “Menu”. In the resulting Setup Menu, select “Network”, then select the “Notification” sub-menu.
  1. The Notification menu will display. This menu shows the recorder’s SMTP settings and the assigned end-points for the notification emails. Configure the following SMTP settings:
    1. VMAX Web Viewer –
      • Outgoing Mail SMTP Server – use “ivnview.com”
      • SMTP Port – use port “9116” for the I-View Now Portal proxy to work
      • SSL – enable (check) this setting, this will help to secure the data sent to the proxy server
      • Your Email Account User Name – use the Device Identifier (SMTP/E-Mail Address) provided by the I-View Now Portal for the site. The address should look like “<I-View Device_Identifier>@ivnview.com
      • Password – leave this blank
      • Your Email Address – reenter the Device Identifier (SMTP/E-Mail Address) provided by the I-View Now Portal for the site.

When finished, Save the settings then proceed to add the SMTP email notification recipient.

    1. VMAX Local User –
      • Outgoing Mail SMTP Server – use “ivnview.com”
      • Your Email Account User Name – use “ivnview.com”
      • Your Email Address - use the Device Identifier (SMTP/E-Mail Address) provided by the I-View Now Portal for the site. The address should look like “<I-View Device_Identifier>@ivnview.com
      • Use SSL Authentication - enable (check) this setting, this will help to secure the data sent to the proxy server
      • Port – use port “9116”
      • Password – leave this blank
      • Interval – to prevent spamming the recipient with notifications, set how frequently the VMAX unit will be permitted to send email notifications

When finished, Save the settings then proceed to add the SMTP email notification recipient.

  1. To add the I-View Now Portal as a recipient for the email notification messages.
    1. VMAX Web Viewer – in the Notification menu, click the “New” button and configure the following:
      • Email Address - use the Device Identifier (SMTP/E-Mail Address) provided by the I-View Now Portal for the site. The address should look like “<I-View Device_Identifier>@ivnview.com
      • Event Type – select “All” for all local site events to trigger the notification setup.
      • Video Clip Attachment – enable (check) the event alarm trigger type that the VMAX unit should send video clips from the selected camera channels along with the notification emails; select between sensor and/or motion alarm (you may select both if you wish)
      • Interval – to prevent spamming the recipient with notifications, set how frequently the VMAX unit will be permitted to send notifications
      • Channel – select the specific cameras that the I-View Now user will be notified about; the cameras are numbered by the video channel that the camera is assigned/connected to at the recorder. Otherwise, toggle the “All” setting to select all connected cameras

Click the “Add” button to save the new e-mail recipient. The new recipient will appear in the E-Mail List.

    1. VMAX Local User – in the Notification menu, click the “Add” button and configure the following:
      • E-Mail - use the Device Identifier (SMTP/E-Mail Address) provided by the I-View Now Portal for the site. The address should look like “<I-View Device_Identifier>@ivnview.com
      • Event - select “All” for all local site events to trigger the notification setup.
      • Video Clip Attachment - enable (check) the event alarm trigger type that the VMAX unit should send video clips from the selected camera channels along with the notification emails; select between sensor and/or motion alarm (you may select both if you wish)

Click the “OK” button to save the new e-mail recipient. The new recipient will appear in the E-Mail Notify recipient list.

Part 3:  Configuring and Testing the I-View Now Portal

Section 3-1:  I-View Now Portal – Complete the Site Configuration

Now that the VMAX recorder has been configured for notifications, please return to the I-View Now Portal with your web browser.

In the portal, edit the new VMAX site and complete the missing settings with the following information:

IP Address/Hostname

Use the external IP Address of Internet-facing router that oversees the VMAX unit’s network

Username

Use “iviewnow”; the username that was created in the VMAX recorder’s interface must match this exactly

Password

The suggestion in this guide was to leave the Password setting blank; the password that was created in the VMAX recorder’s interface must match this exactly

Port

Use the TCP/IP port of the VMAX unit (default – 9010)

Additional Notes from ADT

  • Make sure that the Username and Password information for the user login at the VMAX unit is correct. It should match the username and password for an account that has been permitted access to the Live, Events, Playback, and image/video Export functions at the minimum.
  • The generated Device Identifier (SMTP/E-Mail Address) needs to be added in the Sender email address on the Server Settings section and in the Recipient(s) field on the Message Setting section.
  • In the Sender email address field please enter the SMTP Account ID value there. For example I would enter [email protected] in the Sender email address field.
  • In Message Settings, please enter the same Device Identifier (SMTP/E-Mail Address) value into the Receipts(s) field.
  • Location IP Address: Please enter in your external IP address.

Save, update device, once you’re done with alarm inputs.

Section 3-2:  I-View Now Portal – Configure Alarm Events

In coordination with the event rules that were created in the VMAX interface, Alarm Events will need to be created.

In the I-View Now Portal:

  1. Navigate to the Alarm Events menu and click the “Add Event” button.
  2. Set the zone to the relative alarm panel zone that will oversee and trigger the event. In this case, select the VMAX unit or any other associated alarm panels.
  3. Select the same camera(s) that were selected for the VMAX unit that are to be associated with the event, select the event type, then add a Zone Description as needed. Save the new event.
  4. Repeat these steps for all relative event rules that have been configured in the VMAX unit for the I-View Now service.

Section 3-3:  I-View Now Portal – Testing

After completing the setup in the I-View Now Portal, you can test the communication between the VMAX recorder and the I-View Now Portal.  You may perform this by using the E-Mail Test function in the VMAX unit’s Notifications menu.

It is recommended to test that the alarm trigger devices at the VMAX unit’s location work locally as intended as well.

If the test fails and notifications are not successfully communicating between the VMAX IP Plus or VMAX A1 Plus and the I-View Now proxy server:

  • Check that the Notification settings in the VMAX menus are correct for the I-View Now service
  • Check that the Site settings in the I-View Now Portal are correct for the VMAX unit
  • Check that the communication ports for I-View Now (9116) and for VMAX (9010/80) are OPEN and can communicate in/out through the Internet-facing router; if the port values were changed for the VMAX unit, make sure that the new ports are forwarded through the router and have been updated in the I-View Now Portal settings