Posts Tagged ‘ ONVIF ’

Understanding IP Cameras and ONVIF Compatibility

Written By:
Monday, September 21st, 2015

When choosing to use IP network cameras for your residential or commercial security camera system there are a few things to take into account. This article will focus on clearing up some common questions regarding Network IP Cameras and NVRs (Network Video Recorders). In order to clarify some of the topics covered, I will often refer to “Techpro Security Products” brand of NVRs and cameras.

A square peg forced into a round hole. 3D render with HDRI lighting and raytraced textures.

Analog Cameras & DVRs
First, it is important to understand some differences between IP cameras and analog cameras. In most cases, an analog camera simply sends the video signal back to the DVR over a coax cable. The DVR is where the encoding and recording is done. It also contains the software for managing the camera settings and camera options. You can access and modify each camera’s settings through the DVR itself. The DVR also provides the ability to view the cameras in real-time and review recorded footage. Without a DVR you would not be able to record or view recorded video.  Essentially the DVR is the brains of an analog security system. Usually, analog cameras are powered with a 12 or 24 volt power source.

IP Cameras
Network IP cameras, on the other hand, are standalone units that can be accessed via the camera IP address. All of the software and settings (the brains) are embedded in the camera itself. Many IP cameras also have an SD card for storing recorded video. IP cameras are just like any other computer or smart device that is accessible on your network. IP cameras use CAT5 or CAT6 to transfer the video, and in most cases can be powered over the same cable when use in conjunction with a POE (Power Over Ethernet) switch.

Essentially this means that you can have 1 IP camera on your network or several if you choose. Each IP camera would have its own user interface and specific settings that can be viewed or managed individually by going to the IP address of each camera and logging in to it.


Viewing Multiple IP Cameras Simultaneously
As you might guess, if you have multiple IP cameras, it quickly becomes a hassle to have to go to different IP addresses and log into each camera individually in order to view in real-time or re-view recorded video.

So, what do you need to view all of your IP cameras in one place? The answer is an NVR (Network Video Recorder). You can think of an NVR as a hub with a single IP where you can view all of your cameras simultaneously. The NVR can also house a hard drive(s) to store the recordings of all your IP cameras and dramatically increase your storage capacity.

IP camera compatibility
Because each IP camera has its own user interface and camera options built into the camera itself, not all IP cameras are completely compatible with all NVRs. Next I will talk about the various IP camera compatibility options.

Compatible Network IP cameras and NVRs
Your best option is to buy network IP cameras that have a compatible NVR. This means that the manufacturer of the cameras specifically designed the NVR to be compatible with the user interface, software, and options that are embedded in the camera itself.

For purposes of this example we will talk about the “ELITE” line and “PRIME network IP lines by Techpro Security Products. If you were to buy Elite IP cameras along with an Elite NVR, you can expect that the cameras will work seamlessly with the NVR. This means that all of the camera options and functionality are directly accessible and configurable through the NVR itself. There is no need to log into each camera individually for the initial setup or to access the camera’s functionality thereafter.

The same can be said for the PRIME IP line. If you were to buy Prime IP cameras with a Prime NVR you are guaranteed to have full functionality directly through the NVR.  Buying IP cameras that are fully compatible with the NVR can make for a fast and convenient setup as well as streamline the maintenance and usability of your new security camera system.


The ONVIF Protocol
What if you already have IP cameras and just want to replace your NVR or vice versa, you have an NVR but you want to add new IP cameras?

All cameras use a specific protocol for communication between the NVR and the camera itself. One of the most common protocols is ONVIF. In most cases, if the camera is ONVIF compatible it will be able to communicate with an NVR that is also ONVIF compatible. This means that you are guaranteed to get video output from each camera to the NVR. But in many cases, not all of the cameras functionality will be available directly through the NVR.

TechPro Security Products also has a TP line of IP network cameras. The TP line uses the ONVIF protocol and can be used in conjunction with the Elite NVRs, Prime NVRs or any ONVIF compatible recorder.

When using ONVIF, it is recommended that you log into each camera individually to configure the settings at the camera level prior to installing or mounting it.  Once all of your cameras are configured the way you like, you are ready to install them and video will be transferred back to the ONVIF compatible NVR.

Some common things you will want to set up on your ONVIF cameras include but are not limited to the following:

The Camera IP address – If the cameras you are using do not have a DHCP option you will want to manually assign each camera a unique IP address to avoid IP conflicts on your network.

Main Stream Resolution
Extra Stream Resolution
Date & Time Format
Camera Label
Motion Detection
Motion Masking
Color and Contrast settings
IR Configurations

It is also recommended that you update the camera firmware at the time of setup as it may not be able to be updated through the NVR.


Benefits of an NVR with a Built-in POE Switch

Written By:
Monday, August 17th, 2015

Many of our customers call us to ask why they cannot change the camera’s position when using a built-in POE NVR. The short answer to that is that it is not possible after the cameras are connected for the first time on the NVR. See, the NVR’s POE built-in switch is a separate entity. The idea behind this technology is to offer security, avoid broadcast storm, and in theory separate the traffic from the IP cameras and NVR completely. Also, the most obvious reason to use a built-in POE on these NVRs is to power the cameras from one unit, without using an external POE switch. This will reduce the cost of equipment in theory.

So, why can I not move the cameras to a different position after I plug them in the NVR? Well, the reason is that the MAC Address of the cameras “Sticks” to the port the camera is connected to, and the NVR will not release that unless the NVR gets defaulted completely.

What can I do if I want to change the position of my cameras then?

Ahh, that’s why I’m writing this article, to show you an idea I have that I think could help many customers that are frustrated with this type of setup.

NOTE: Although this article is solely to show a temporary fix to the way the POE works, it is intended to be used ONLY on those NVRs with POE built in. In the near future, a firmware will “fix” or add a different way to accomplish the following task. Any camera added to the built-in POE switch will not be accessible over the LAN interface. Instead, if you would like to access the settings of the cameras, you will then use the NVR’s web interface (EL SERIES IPC ONLY). For ONVIF cameras, you will need to be connected with a computer to one of the ports of the built-in POE Switch and either assign a static IP on your PC Ethernet card or simply get an IP address from the POE switch IP pool. You will then be able to change any settings on the camera.

The Following list will show you the NVR models numbers with Built-in POE:




Lets begin by understand the settings on the NVR. The POE switch, like I said before, is a separate entity from the regular single LAN port. Normally the single Ethernet port of the DVR IP address is The POE side is by default You can change this by going to the network settings. For this article I will be using the web service interface of the NVR. Click on Setup, from the left options, click on Network then all the way to the bottom click on Switch.

POE Switch

Notice that the IP address and default gateway are in the same range, in fact they are the same number. If you planned to change this then you must have the same number on both the IP address and gateway. Also, the IP address here and for the NVR cannot be on the same range. An example is if the LAN port is configured 192.168.1.X where X is a random number from 1-255 then the IP address from the switch side cannot be on that range. You can leave the defaults as is and you will not have any conflict, or if you want to change it to something similar then you can use something like 192.168.x.x where the (x.x) can be any number different from your LAN IP Address.

The next step is to make sure you configure the essential settings for your NVR. Time, Date and DST are essential settings to keep your cameras in sync with the NVR time and to make sure the recordings have the accurate date and time in case an event happens.

Go to Setup>Setting>General and Date&Time. Adjust the date format and time format based on your liking.

Time Format

System Time

Go ahead now and connect the cameras to the POE switch of the NVR. For this demonstration I have 2 cameras connected with a short CAT5e cable. Allow about a minute for the cameras to show up on the screen of the NVR. NOTE: If for some reason the cameras do not come up on the screen, there is a chance that the IP cameras’ IP addresses are set to static and the NVR does not know how to change it to dynamic. Simply disconnect the camera and put it on a external POE switch and change the address using the config tool. You can download the tool here: CONFIG TOOL 2.0.

Assuming that all the cameras are set to dynamic, you should start to see the video streaming in the NVR. Also notice that you can tell when a camera is added automatically to the NVR by checking the LAN Icon displayed in the top left corner. This indicates that the camera is detected for that channel.


I have a total of 4 cameras connected on this NVR. Two of these are connected directly to the unit and two are brought from the network. The next thing to do will be creating a tour that will basically rearrange the cameras the way you want it. Ideally it will be easy for you to make a note of the IP cameras’ channel and what channel you want them to appear. For example, if camera 1 and 3 are not on the channels you want, then all you need to do is create the tour and select the cameras in the order you want them in the tour screen. If you want camera 3 on channel 1 then click on channel 3 first, that indicates the tour that the fist camera in the group will be #3. For this example I will choose camera 3 to go on window 1, camera 4 on window 2, camera 1 on window 4, and lastly camera 2 on window 3.

Below is a picture what it looks like before enabling the tour:


To configure the tour, login to the NVR and click on setup>settings>Display>Tour.


Notice that the NVR has different views (Window Split). On this NVR (4CH NVR ELT) I only have View 1 or View 4. For this trick to work, you will need to uncheck all of the channels on the View 1 channel group. This will ensure that the tour will only display a 4 View Split. From the window split drop down select View 4.


Now in this window, delete the current view of cameras then click on the Green + button to add your own. Like I said before I will click on cameras 3, 4, 2 and 1 to add the view on my screen.


Click on Enable and click on Save. Now this is how my cameras are arranged at this point. NOTE: Due to the nature of the Tour, the screen will refresh every 5 seconds. You will see that the screen goes dark and comes back for a second. I will recommend you to set it to 120 sec so you don’t see the refresh of the screen often.


DISCLAIMER: The purpose of the tour is to arrange the cameras on the main screen. The arrangement of the cameras will not be displayed when viewing the cameras over the web service. Also, in the event of searching for footage, the camera arrangement will not be paired to the channel in the footage. An example of this is if camera #4 was showing originally on channel 1 prior to enabling the tour, then when searching footage for that camera you will need to select channel 1 since that is the original window of the camera in question.


How to Set Up Remote Access for a Standalone ONVIF IP Security Camera

Written By:
Wednesday, June 17th, 2015

A few of our customers showed interest of connecting a standalone IP camera without using an NVR. There are a few reasons to do so. Mainly customers don’t want an over-sophisticated surveillance system, but would prefer a solution using one or two cameras. It is not hard to do since all the cameras that we sell support a standalone operation. Each camera can operate individually as a CCTV system. The downside is that some cameras do not have all the features that the NVR has, and some cameras are just designed to work with an NVR and not as a standalone. For example, some of our EL series cameras can work as standalone but do not have storage to record the video footage. But, now I want to talk about our ONVIF IP cameras that have multiple features which makes them a perfect candidate for a standalone CCTV camera. The ONVIF IP cameras are a little tricky to set up when working with an NVR since ONVIF is a standard that is not fully supported by surveillance systems manufacturers. But, it makes that camera a great choice when a standalone setup is desired. Our ONVIF cameras can hold an SD card which will store your recorded footage, and our TP series ONVIF IP cameras have a pigtail with multiple inputs that will open a lot of options of a standalone security camera.

ONVIP IP Camera pigtail

The most desired feature of any CCTV system is to remote access your system from a distant location so you can view your cameras. I am going to teach you how to do it with 2 of our camera types: TP series cameras and eLine series cameras. Remember, that this type of connection is very limited and I will always recommend having an NVR with cameras connected to it rather than having a standalone camera.

TP series ONVIF IP camera remote access setup

When you connect the TP camera to a network, the camera’s default IP address is You need to use our TP tool to find the camera on the network (the TP Series IP Camera Search tool can be downloaded for free from our website here) and then give it a static IP address.


Use Internet Explorer and type the IP address of the camera into the address bar. Make sure that all of the ActiveX controls are installed correctly so you can view the web-interface properly. If you are having issues with fonts, language display, or any type of display errors, you will have to reinstall the ActiveX controls. The next step is to forward or open 2 ports on your gateway so your camera will be accessible from outside your network. We have to go to your gateway to the Internet which can be your router or modem and login into the interface of that device. Go into the advanced settings of the router and find ‘Port Forwarding’. You need to forward 2 ports, an HTTP port and Server Port. The default HTTP port is 80 and it is not recommended for use since some internet providers block port 80. Use the TP tool and change the HTTP port from 80 to any other port, for example we will use port 82. Forward the port 82 for the IP of your NVR and forward a port range from 3000-3005 for the server port.

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Next stage is to go to a the website and see what your external IP is. You are done! To access your camera remotely you will type the following address in any computer running Internet Explorer: (the x represent your external IP address).

eLine ONVIF IP camera remote access setup

The process for setting up the remote access for the eLine cameras is very similar to the previous setup. Instead of the TP tool, you will need to download an eLine IP search tool that is also available for a free download from our website. The ports that you need to forward on your router are also different. The 2 ports will be the HTTP port (that is also recommended for change from 80) and the server port which is 30001. The big advantage of the eLine cameras over the TP series cameras is that the mobile app is available for download from a Google Play store or Apple App store. The name of the app is eLine SIP Viewer, and you can use it to access your camera from any Smart phone or tablet.

Additional great features of the standalone ONVIF IP cams

Audio: Another great advantage of the TP series ONVIF IP cameras is that they have an audio input at the camera pigtail. With this option you have the possibility to attach a microphone and record an audio that comes in from a scene that you are viewing.

Storage: As I mentioned before, all of our ONVIF IP cameras have some kind of storage option such as a USB flash drive in or SD card slot. That way all the video can be viewed as well as recorded.

Alarm input/outputs: An option to integrate your alarm system into your camera and use it as a recording device when the alarm is triggered.

Motion: The cameras are capable of detecting motion and trigger a recording when that motion happens. There is an option to mask any undesired area for motion and create a few zones for motion.

Multiple standalone cameras

There is also an option to connect multiple standalone cameras which will work as individual units independently and this is also possible but you have to remember a few details. Remember to power one camera at a time and change the default IP address, so the default IPs of the cameras won’t conflict. Also the HTTP and the Server ports have to be different between the cameras. This is a necessity so you can remotely access a certain camera.



The standalone ONVIF IP camera might be a good solution for you but you have to remember all the disadvantages of not having an NVR unit. My opinion is that if you want to run more than one camera, go ahead and purchase an NVR that will manage your multiple cameras, it makes your life so much easier.


Getting Started With Your TP Series ONVIF IP Camera

Written By:
Tuesday, June 9th, 2015

ONVIF TP IP CameraYou bought a TP series ONVIF IP security camera for the excellent picture quality at an excellent price point, but now realize that they are not as plug and play as the EL series IP cameras.  This article will help you make sense of it all, and give you a baseline to get started.  If you have not done so yet, read my article on networking IP cameras by clicking here.

The TP series IP camera is first and foremost an IP camera, so there has to be a network in place in order to have the camera work.  If you do not know much about networking, then definitely read my other article above to get familiar with what will need to be done involving IP addresses and networking schemes.

The TP series cameras will need to be set up completely manually, so I want to set your expectations to be ready for static IPs and image adjustments.  You first need to find your TP series camera with the TP Finder Tool available on our website here.


It is essential that you are on the same network of the camera or you will not find it.  If the camera is plugged into a built in POE switch port in the back of the NVR, then you will need to plug your computer in an open POE port in the NVR in order to be on the same network. The computer will receive an IP address from that POE port on the NVR.  Change the IP address to your network scheme, the Gateway, and the DNS and hit the ChangIP button.  The DNS can be the same address as your Gateway.  If you have a POE built into your NVR, you likely need to put this camera on the network of, which is the default.  Once all of that is done, you can attach the camera to the NVR by going into the remote section and clicking the Manual Add button.  In this section, you will choose the channel number you want, the static IP address that you assigned, and you will set the Manufacturer to ONVIF, and set the HTTP port to 8080.  Please note that you do not change the HTTP port in the camera settings or using the NetAdmin tool.  Once all of this is done, your camera should be attached to your NVR and ready to view and record.

A good baseline of settings to get you started

We have compiled some settings that will get you started and work well in outdoor as well as indoor environments.  The TP series cameras have several templates to choose from, but we recommend the motion template and the settings that go with it as a great starting point.  The setting in this section that can cause problems for people is the WDR Policy, and this template sets it to off or Close.  A helpful use for that WDR is for a camera inside that is pointing at a doorway that is very bright outside. What is WDR?  Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) is an imaging system attribute that can record greater scene shadows and highlights than a normal setting.  If you have a look that is solarized or too bright, make sure this value is closed or off to correct that issue.


Then we will set the HD Schedule to motion as well.  This schedule should also set the Template to motion, but I like to do them all manually to make sure they stick.


And finally, set the Color to Gray to Auto (alarm).


These settings will give you a great place to start, and allow you to tweak custom settings if you are curious.  However, there are other templates to try before you start changing the individual settings.

The audio video settings should be set based on the specifications of your NVR, as well as the bandwidth restrictions of your network.  It is a good idea to start low, and then slowly increase quality over time to see how it performs.  Resolution, frames, and bit rate are the settings that control the quality and bandwidth requirement.


Why is the time out of sync with the NVR?

There is an issue with the time where it is out of sync with the NVR.  To fix this issue, the GMT on the NVR and the TP camera must be set to +8.  You cannot use NTP if you have a TP camera since they are ONVIF and lack the ability to synchronize with NVRs that are not natively ONVIF.  Finally, you can set the DST at the NVR level so that it will adjust the time during daylight savings.



While many NVRs support ONVIF, you will notice that not all features work or synchronize.  Therefore, you will always need to log directly into the IP camera to check the settings.  Our settings have been tested for indoor and outdoor use, but they may not be perfect for all environments.  It is only a place to start and see how they work for you.  The settings that are available in the NetVideo may not all apply to your camera, and may work with other models.  If everything is working perfect, there is no need to make any changes.

I always recommend setting up TP cameras on a networking while labelling everything with masking tape or some other sticker.   For example, if your gateway is, you can network your TP IP cameras in a row starting at,,, and so on.  Of course, you should always make sure the IP addresses are available by pinging the block that you choose to use.  If you need help with networking IP cameras in general, then refer to my other article listed in the introduction so that you can have an idea of the planning involved.

Finally, make sure you plan the placement of your new TP camera to maximize it’s potential.  If you have it angled outdoors pointing in a direction where the sun rises or sets, you can end up with difficult lighting challenges.  The picture could look perfect during the day, but may end up unusable during that sun rise or set process.


Interesting Ways to Utilize Your Video Surveillance Systems

Written By:
Wednesday, April 15th, 2015


You can do that? Or, in other words, a few interesting ways to utilize your video surveillance systems.

OK, we know the basics of a camera system. Record video, see what happened. But, it turns out that there are quite a few unusual ways to implement video surveillance systems.

We have seen time lapse recordings of building construction, plants growing, and flowers blooming. Bet you didn’t know that you can do that with your surveillance system, did you? This was developed by Jose Malave in our sales department. He did a beautiful job with it.

Also, you can check out the whole article How to use an IP camera to create a Time Lapse Video for a Web Page

Another interesting thing is when you have two areas that you need to get video from, but there is no way to run wire. Across streets, across pavement, where you physically cannot trench or hang wires. OK, we have a solution for that. Our TP-LocoM5 wi-fi bridge will transmit video over 9 (NINE!) miles. You can also use these to get Internet to remote locations. Even VOIP phone systems. Your imagination is the only limit. Comparing to the old generation of wireless for analog signals, these are far better performance and far better costs. Oh, I said two areas? You can run many more that just one set. Each set can handle up to 8 two megapixel cameras, lots of bandwidth available here.


Our Wireless access point/bridge will allow you the ultimate flexibility when it comes to IP cameras and DVR wireless transmission. The TP-LocoM5 is very versatile and can be used in several different ways. The most common use is as a wireless IP bridge. You can use 2 of these units to allow you to mount an IP camera or DVR outside in a location that would be either difficult or impossible to wire to. You will connect an Ethernet cable from your network to one of these wireless devices, then mount the device outside (these units are weatherproof) facing in the direction of where the IP camera or DVR will be mounted. The second unit will be mounted on the pole, tree, wall or wherever you have the IP camera or DVR mounted. This will allow you to create a wireless bridge between your network and the IP camera or DVR you have mounted outside. One of these units is powerful enough to provide wireless transmission of several IP cameras or DVRs if they are in the same general location and connected to a switch. With up to 150mbps of bandwidth available and up to 15KM of line of sight distance capability, you are sure to be thrilled with the results. Each of these devices can be configured as an access point and can connect a non wireless device directly to your wireless network. When you purchase this unit from us, you also get our free tech support to help you with your configurations and setup. Oh, the price is right too! In the past, analog transmission systems were in the thousands of dollars. Now you can have a really good IP transmission system for under 200.00!!

How about a camera that will track an intruder? And also will generate an alarm if an invisible line is crossed? You can do that, too.

Here is a 2MP ONVIF Pan Tilt Zoom Camera (PTZ) that has an amazing auto tracker built right in. Auto tracking is the ability for the camera to follow an object such as a human or vehicle until that object is beyond the view of the camera.


One feature of this Auto Tracking PTZ is within its Intelligent Video Surveillance Function. Using virtual “tripwires” you can literally draw with your mouse on screen lines where you would like to put a “tripwire”. It will act as if you have a laser beam outside, but instead this camera is so smart, it knows when an object moves across this tripwire and will set the auto-tracking into motion. When hooked up to our NVR, it can also send an email alert when an object crosses the tripwire or set off a siren or strobe when connected to a relay system.

Patterns and tours can also be programmed into this camera. It comes preset with 5 patterns and 8 tours.

This ONVIF IP PTZ has a 4.3mm to 119mm lens giving you up to 30X Optical zoom, and comes equipped with a 1/3 inch Exmor CMOS Image Sensor.

At night this PTZ has a powerful IR of up to 250 feet, so day or night it will send a 2 megapixel (1080p) TRUE HD Image to our NVR.

This 1080p Pan Tilt Zoom camera also features a 4000 volt anti-lightening surge protector and is IP66 rated making it weather resistant.

There is also an SD card slot with a max of 64GB. The SD card is not included. A 24v AC Power Cord is included, as well as free tech support and a 2 year warranty.

Pretty cool, huh? For a LOT more info on these sophisticated features, look at an article written by one of us, Ian Bailes. He is much more than the funny guy dancing around on our product demo videos. Check out the Smart Features of an IVS Camera and what this camera can do.

Our suggested camera for this application, use our IPOB-EL3MPIR100L2812-US.


Have you heard about the newest tech in CCTV? 4K. 12MP video, supreme clarity. We now have a NVR that offers this feature, along with many more. NVR-ELHS-64-4K-DH, 64 camera capacity, hot swappable hard drives, Our 64 Channel High Definition NVR is a powerhouse of a security recorder. It can record up to 64 ONVIF IP Megapixel Cameras at the same time up to 12MP each. Wow! This is one of the most powerful NVRs on the market today. It also utilizes the new 4K display technology so that you can view your cameras on your Super High Resolution 4K Monitors. Of course the detail is amazing on a 1080p monitor as well.


The hard drives are completely Hot Swappable and are easy to install. Just click open the front panel and put the hard drive in. When you want to swap it out, there is no need to shut down your NVR. That is the great thing about a Hot Swappable Hard Drive capable security recorder. You can install up to 8 Hard Drives at one time. We currently sell hard drives from 1TB to 6TB, so there is a potential of 48TB total hard drive storage..

Another of my favorite functions is Facial Detection. This means that when the video catches a face, it will recognize that image as a face, record it on a special file, e-mail an image (if programmed to do so), and let you know to check it out. This is not a true facial recognition system that requires a huge data base, but a simple version. IPOB-EL3MPIRL2812-US is our camera with this function.

So, as you can see, there are a lot of interesting things that you can do with our camera systems, and probably a lot more not shown here. Please, let me know if you have some that you feel like sharing.