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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® IPVMS

Complexity:  High

Last Edit:  February 5, 2021

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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, creating an easier setup process when adding cameras to a Server and for video stream communication.

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

In most cases, these issues can be resolved by rebooting the camera itself.  However, it is otherwise recommended to troubleshoot these types of issues either 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 the first-time setup of a third-party camera, please consult with the third-party camera manufacturer for assistance.

Supported/Affected Devices

  • DW MEGApix® Camera Series
  • DW Blackjack® Series

Definitions

  • DW Spectrum® Server – the computer on which the DW Spectrum® IPVMS Server application is installed; acts as the location for storage and camera management.  Multiple Servers can be merged to form a single DW Spectrum® System.
  • Media Server – the program running in the background of the DW Spectrum® Server.
  • Workstation – a client computer that is separate from the DW Spectrum® Server.  This device will need network access to the camera network to test camera connections through either network routing or by being physically connected directly to the camera network.
  • Camera Network – a Local Area Network (LAN) to which cameras are first connected; typically comprised of high-speed network switches and a subnetwork of the primary network.

Streaming Issues

If your camera is not streaming video, and this is a first-time setup, check the physical camera connections and that all 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 Issues – camera is set to a different network, IP address conflict, failing network hardware (routers, switches, and Ethernet cables), etc.
  • Device Issues – the camera is not processing ONVIF requests, camera firmware is outdated, camera is not powering, etc.

ONVIF Device Manager

When troubleshooting streaming issues, it is recommended to download and install ONVIF Device Manager(ODM) to the DW Spectrum® Server or to a workstation 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 that are produced by both Digital Watchdog and by other manufacturers.  Most importantly, it can be used to test ONVIF video streams.

Testing the ONVIF Stream

To test camera ONVIF streams:

  1. Launch ONVIF Device Manager (ODM) on the DW Spectrum® Server or on a workstation computer that can communicate with the camera network.

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

  • For DW MEGApix® cameras, this is the user login of the camera
  • For third-party cameras, please consult the third-party camera’s manufacturer for the ONVIF profile login.

  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 and the camera’s login is entered correctly, then 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® IPVMS, stop then restart your DW Spectrum® Media Server.  Additionally, you can attempt to delete then re-add the camera back to the Server and should ensure that the DW Spectrum® Server’s software is up-to-date.

If the camera does not display video in ODM, 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 method.

Testing the Web Client

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

To connect with the web client, enter the camera’s IP address into the address bar of the web browser.  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.

For Example:

Camera IP:  192.168.1.90

Port:  8245

Example URL:  http://192.168.1.90:8245

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

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

  • Default ID:  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® IPVMS or in ODM, please check the camera’s streaming settings and test the camera using an H.264 codec instead of an H.265 codec.

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 an acceptable troubleshooting action.

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

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

  • Default ID:  admin
  • Default Password:  admin

You may be required to update the camera’s password if this is the first time that the camera is being logged into.

Otherwise, 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, defaulting the camera 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 physically uninstall the camera from its mounted position 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 a possible cause as well.

If the above troubleshooting has not resolved your streaming issue, you can contact Digital Watchdog Technical Support for further assistance.

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  • 06-Feb-2021
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