Connecting Axis Cameras to BoinxTV......an offer to good to refuse!

While I am new to Boinx, I have been working with Axis cameras since I got my hands on their first IP Camera in 1998 when we became their first reseller in Australia.

We have a small company called Campus Watch (www.campuswatch.com.au) that runs as a not-for-profit adjunct to our primary business. Campus Watch is a DIY site that was built to help all the Independent Schools in Australia design, select and install Network cameras on their campuses.

Not surprisingly, many of our Customers are Boinx users and in recent days 2 of them have asked me to look into the advertised/implied Axis Camera support on the Boinx website.

Yesterday, I had a few hours to spare so I downloaded and installed a demo version of BoinxTV. As a newbie (and as a result of what appears to be a lack of documentation regarding attaching Axis Cameras) I fumbled around and eventually worked out how to add the Axis Layer and eventually managed to have a 1080P image from an Axis Q1615 appear within the “Live” area.

Here are a few comments and questions that I have as a result of this exercise:-

  1. Initially I had trouble connecting to the camera using its User and Password so I had a look at the camera log and saw a heap of “access denied” messages. Given that I knew the entries I had made were correct, I went into the Axis setup page and selected Basic Setup>>Users and then selected “Enable anonymous viewer login” and immediately the camera image appeared in BoinxTV. If the Axis Layer was created a long time ago, I am thinking that the RTSP string that the layer creates is probably no longer valid for Axis cameras and needs to be reworked. Is there any chance I can see the actual RTSP string?

  2. I have BoinxTV running on Yosemite with a Mid 2012 MacBook Pro Retina machine. When I first loaded BoinxTV, I selected a blank template with HD 1080 format (because that is what I am used to) and noticed that there were many dropped frames and that BoinxTV was using an enormous amount of CPU. In an effort to reduce CPU usage, I deleted the default camera source (ie the Webcam) and, while CPU utilisation dropped a little, I was still noticing evidence of dropped frames. A quick look at the camera log told me that the RTSP string that BoinxTV used simply requested the default capture mode of the camera ie 1080P MJPEG 25fps (50Hz) which meant that I was capturing basic MJPEG images at a rate of about 11MBytes/sec (yes Bytes) across the network. While I’m not sure, I suspect that this flood of barely compressed 1080P images was more than BoinxTV could handle on this machine. Any other suggestions?

  3. If we could change the RTSP strings, would BoinxTV be able to accept an H264 compressed stream from the camera?

  4. If the answer to 3. is no, should I force the camera into 720P mode (which would be a great shame)

  5. I have a New Mac Pro at home that MAY handle this better BUT if the encoding task that BoinxTV attempts to complete with this massive MJPEG stream is single threaded then I suspect that current CPU’s will all have the same problem.

  6. Before I spend any more time making changes to the camera settings, could anybody please explain to me how this Layer was developed and whether or not it can be maintained.

  7. We have a good number of “recent” Axis cameras in our demo kit here with me. I would be more than happy to attach all of them to our local network and allow the owner/maintainer of the “Axis Layer” to connect to my machine for as long as they like.

  8. I am happy to provide Boinx with free Axis advice and guidance (including contact with Axis staff if required) in order to see if we can sort this our for all OUR Customers.

I would like to say that I have the time to become a BoinxTV expert but the reality is that I don’t. I am hoping that there is enough common interest here from both Boinx and the Boinx Community to work though this issue and I’m happy to contribute on that basis.

What do you all think?