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Replace a camera and recover related archive footage.


Affected Roles:  Administrators

Related Digital Watchdog VMS Apps:  DW Spectrum

Complexity:  HIGH

Last Edit:  July 21, 2020


In case if you have to replace one of your cameras, you'll likely discover that DW Spectrum doesn't retrieve the footage from the old one automatically. Even if you set the same name and ip address to the new unit.

The reason here is that neither camera resource name or even IP address do not stand for camera's unique identifier for DW Spectrum Media Server. The DW Spectrum Server uses a unqiue id for each camera in a system. Sometimes units report their MAC addresses, sometimes they report a different ID via their ONVIF.

If you don't need the footage itself but have concerns about the occupied storage space -- no worries. When it’s time comes, DW Spectrum Server will rewrite all of the oldest footage, including the video from the offline cameras.

  1. The very first thing you need to do here is to collect both the old and new unique ID for the camera to be replaced and the new camera. In order to do that you should give them some distinguishable names. So connect to server with both the camera to be replaced and the new camera using the DW Spectrum Client and rename those cameras to something like "Faulty" and "Replacement".
  2. Make the following API request to your server by inputting the following string in a browser: 
    • http://<server_address>:<server_port>/ec2/getCamerasEx?extraFormatting
  3. Instead of <server_address> place the address of your server, instead of <server_port> place the TCP port used for listening by the server(by default, 7001). This request will provide you a full list of cameras with every parameter including the necessary id.
  4. If you're using Internet Explorer, open the saved file with WordPad. If it's some other browser, you'll get the json-formatted list right in the browser tab.

    Search the browser tab (Control + F or Command + F) for the names of the cameras ("Faulty" and "Replacement").

    Near each search result you'll find a field called "physicalId". This is the unique id DW Spectrum Server uses to operate with this camera. Copy & Paste this file.

    Repeat for both cameras.
  5. Now you will be finding, copying, and moving the archive files associated with the camera-to-be-replaced.
  • Search for DW Spectrum Media folder on your computer. In a standard installation the folder may be located at D:\ DW Spectrum Media\hi_quality.

    In this example we will show how to move the archive in Windows OS. For linux-based Server everything will work the same way. A full list of storage drives can be found in the Media Server settings dialog in the
    DW Spectrum client or in the "info" tab of a Server's web-page.

    The D directory every folder is called as some camera physical Id. Find folders of the faulty and replacement cameras. 

  • Open the faulty camera folder, select all subdirectories (they will be named by years numbers like "2016") and cut them (ctrl+X).
  • Go to the replacement camera folder and paste the copied folders into the replacement camera's media folder. If you're prompted to make a replacement in case of conflicts, click "Yes to all".
  • Copy and paste all files you would like to move to the new camera's media folder - example: \ DW Spectrum Media\low_quality files.

The only thing left -- to rebuild archive index. Right click on the Server the new camera is connected to and open the Server Settings dialog. Choose the Storage Management tab --> click "Start" at archive index rebuild section.

When it's over, you'll find the old footage at new camera timeline.

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  • 21-Jul-2020