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Adding 3rd Party Cameras with ONVIF Discovery Issues to a VMAX IP Plus

Adding 3rd Party Cameras with ONVIF Discovery Issues to a VMAX® IP Plus


Affected Roles:  Admin, Owner

Complexity:  Medium

Last Edit:  April 4, 2022


Third Party Registration Issues

In January 2022, it was discovered that cameras manufactured by third party company, Illustra (Gen 4 cams), have an auto-discovery and ONVIF issue with the VMAX IP Plus. This creates difficulty with using the DHCP and UPnP features of the integrated PoE switch that is built-in to the VMAX IP Plus and easily adding cameras to the recorder. Other problems found include video loss issues, poor signal reception, etc.

While the VMAX IP Plus standalone NVR is considered to support most ONVIF-compliant IP cameras, it is not unusual for the recorder to encounter registration issues with cameras manufactured by a third party company. In addition to the typical NVR troubleshooting (power cycle, NVR firmware update, check network equipment and cables, etc.) when encountering network detection or camera management issues, it is worth considering if the issue is being caused by the third party camera itself and its DHCP settings, which may be preventing the camera from linking correctly with the unit.

This article will advise on some simple steps that can be taken to have a camera identify itself with the VMAX IP Plus unit’s PoE switch network.

**NOTE:  For assistance with factory defaulting a third party camera, please contact the third party camera’s manufacturer for support. DW Support provides assistance solely for DW products.

Related Articles

Supported/Affected Devices:

  • VMAX IP Plus (1st, 2nd, and 3rd generation)

Resolving Camera DHCP Addressing Issues Before Adding to a VMAX IP Plus

As the VMAX IP Plus features a UPnP (Universal Plug and Play) function, when an IP camera is connected to the built-in PoE switch of the VMAX IP Plus the NVR will automatically attempt to assign an IP address to the camera that matches the unit’s IP address scheme (10.0.0.x). However, if the camera is already assigned to a static IP address that does not match the IP scheme of the NVR’s PoE switch network, if the camera’s firmware is preventing DHCP compatibility with the recorder, etc., the VMAX IP Plus will be unable to automatically detect and add the camera to the NVR’s device registry.

When encountering this obstacle, here are a few things that you can try for adding the camera:

Assign a Static IP Address to the Camera for PoE Connection

Access the camera’s web interface and manually assign a STATIC IP address to the camera. Set the IP address to match the same IP scheme as the NVR’s integrated PoE switch (default 10.0.0.x) so that it can communicate with the recorder through the PoE switch. If adding multiple cameras, you may want to start the IP addresses for the cameras in the 100’s (ex. Be sure that no two devices/cameras use the same IP address. This would create a networking conflict for those devices and prevent proper detection and communication.

To do this, you may need to disconnect the camera from the integrated PoE switch of the VMAX IP Plus and reconnect it to the regular LAN (router network) if the NVR is unable to see/connect with the camera to begin with due to the addressing issue. For assistance with factory defaulting a third party camera, please contact the camera’s manufacturer for support.

After assigning the camera to a matching IP address, manually add the camera to the VMAX IP Plus.

Use an External PoE Switch and Connect Through LAN

In addition to the UPnP benefits of the integrated PoE switch that is built-in to the VMAX IP Plus, cameras that are connected to the local network (LAN) and stem from a router connection may also be added to the NVR. When using this method, the camera will likely need to be powered and connected through the use of a different PoE switch that is external to the VMAX IP Plus. As long as both the VMAX IP Plus and the external PoE switch are connected over the LAN, use the same IPv4 address scheme (example schemes - 192.168.x.x, 172.16.x.x, etc.), then the devices will be able to communicate.

**NOTE:  When using a PoE switch that is external to the NVR, be aware of whether the switch is a “dummy switch” or a “smart switch”. A smart switch will require additional configuration and setup for proper networking practices, while a dummy switch will default to the router’s DHCP settings.

Additional Recommendations

  • Check with the third party camera’s manufacturer for any firmware updates. Firmware patches and releases typically include security updates, networking updates, bug fixes, compatibility upgrades, etc.
  • Practice good camera management by documenting camera network information and addresses. If cameras are left on a DHCP setting and not set to a static IP address, the IP address may be likely to automatically change if the router deems it to do so. This can create unnecessary difficulty if the camera has been manually added to the VMAX IP Plus through the LAN connection.
  • Be familiar with the third party camera’s capabilities and features. DW Support is trained to troubleshoot and work with DW products specifically. Some third party camera manufacturers (ex. HikVision, AXIS, etc.) have subtle security features that automatically disable ONVIF discovery, preventing auto-discovery by DW Spectrum Servers.