In our regular feature, owner of Antrica Les Litwin explains some of common IP streaming issues you can encounter when using Video Managment Systems. He also offers a variety of solutions to help you get your technology working.

Okay, so today I just want to talk about another problem with VMS, is that sometimes they won’t display an encoded stream, or they that just won’t work with a particular encoder or IP camera.

So there are two forms of stream that a camera or encoder will generate, one is called RTSP, the other one is called ONVIF. I’ve already spoken about ONVIF and discovering ONVIF products, so I’m going to focus a little bit more about RTSP.

So, the first thing is, if the RTSP stream is not working in your VMS, what we suggest is that you try VLC Player. VLC Player is a free piece of software where you can open up a network stream in VLC, you can type the URL or copy and paste the URL into VLC and press play. VLC will either work or it won’t work – if it works you’ll get video playing if it doesn’t work, then you know you’ve got a problem, but what you may find is it will bring up a little pop-up window and this pop-up window will say username and password. If that happens, you know that the URL that you just pasted is missing the username and password.
So the first thing you need to do is put the username and password into the URL, and that should overcome that particular problem, and once you’ve cut and pasted it, put it back into VLC Player and press play, hopefully you’ll get video playing, if the video still doesn’t play, or if that popup window didn’t appear, then there is something completely wrong with the RTSP URL and it may be that you’ve missed out the port, or the port is different, or the actual URL itself is wrong.

So that’s the quickest way to do a sort of quick health check, whether the RTSP is streaming because VLC Player is a very universal player, it will decode almost, pretty much anything that’s out there as a RTSP URL. If it’s a ONVIF stream, as I’ve mentioned in some of the other videos that we’ve done, the thing to do is download ONVIF Device Manager, because ONVIF Device Manager has a way of testing whether the ONVIF stream is working or not.

So the first thing ONVIF device manager does is it goes out and looks for all the ONVIF devices. The next thing it will ask you to do is pick one of the ones that you found, you then log back into ONVIF Device Manager and change the username and password, which relates to that particular encoder. You then go and click ‘go’, it hopefully then picks up that stream and you’ll see live video. If that happens, you know that that particular ONVIF product is working, and the username and password is correct.

If, however, it doesn’t work then it’s almost certainly the username and password that’s wrong, or as I said earlier a lot of products do not come ONVIF ready out the box, so you may have to then log back into the product, set up some settings to make sure that it is actually broadcasting ONVIF profiles. So that’s it, those are the main problems that we see with RTSP and ONVIF URLs.