Sunday, October 11, 2020

View Blue Iris on Roku

 

Stumbled on this article about viewing your Blue Iris web console view from a Roku.

Basically what you need is the IP Camera Viewer - Basic app. Note upgrade to the Pro version to get more than 1 view and a split screen view.

In Blue Iris, go to global settings-> webserver-> 'advanced'. In the first box, enter the IP address(es) of the devices which should have unchallenged access to the BI server as admin. Place a carrot symbol (^) in front of each IP address:


While I was in there I also upped the quality a bit since the default is 50% @ 720p. Still does not look quite as good as on the console but good probably good enough especially if you use limited views. (See below.)


If you invested in the in the Pro version (as I did after about 5 minutes) you can set up the "cams" (actually Blue Iris group views) from a web browser which is a lot easier than an on screen keyboard.

Note Easy Web Admin only works while selected on the Roku

From the browser to looks like this


Click on add new cam. Give it a name, the IP of your server, the port (probably 80 for most people) and the Stream URL which is /mjpg/[group name]. Not if you want to see all cams create a group like I have here called _all and add all your cams to that group.


If for some reason you get a time out message go out and back into the Easy Web Admin in the Roku and reload the page in the browser and it will resubmit after clicking OK.


Sadly the only way to edit a cam and to change settings like split screen view is in the Roku app.

Camera settings screen

General setting screen which includes the split screen config
Settings page 2

Since I have 4 consoles the split screen works perfect for me. That is what it looks like with all my active cams but not the weather graphics and cloned cams.

Though for general use I'll be setting the split screen to just show the yard cams and the house interior cams.


Thursday, September 17, 2020

Syncing time

The issue

One of the things suggested to save CPU on Blue Iris is to turn on the in camera overlay instead of having Blue Iris add it while viewing. Note this works most of the time but some instances in camera overlays mess with tools like LPR. But many of the clocks seemed to refuse to keep time. At first I thought it was the local ntp servers having problems and wrote a quick tool to test all my ntp server options. The real issue is I'm finding different models of cameras work with only some ntp servers. In a perfect world this would not be an issue but in the real world they are often off a bit from each other and for syncing of video you want them a close as possible. And it also means you need to know which cam works with which and set them to ones as close in time as possible. Plus I want to avoid uploading packets where possible given my network connection is 900 down with only 40 up and I'm backing up to the cloud contentiously. 

Main options I have to work with are:

  • internet time servers (time.windows.com for instance)
  • ntpd on OPNsense router box 192.168.0.1 using 0.opnsense.pool.ntp.org as source
  • Windows time server on a Blue Iris server 10.10.3.48 using 192.168.0.1 as source
  • NetTime on a Blue Iris server 10.10.3.46 using 192.168.0.1 as source
  • ntp service running on IoT Unifi network gateway 10.10.0.1 using 192.168.0.1 as source

Note just setting the time server you want to use on a Windows 10 PC gets complicated. Microsoft really wants you to use time.windows.com. Detailed instructions to change the server can be found here.


What worked with what

Hikvision

System->System Settings->Time Settings (ColorVu)

Basic Configuration->System->Time Settings (older cams)

Would not even ping most of these. In the end the only one it would connect to was the Windows time server

ColorVu screen shot


Reolink

Network->Advanced->NTP

Only seems to like the OPNsense box. Takes 3 screens to set all the time options.


Amcrest

System->General->Date & Time

Hard to say since there is no test button. You just set it and hope. I'll set them to diff servers and see what keeps time. Though it looks like it might do a sync on save so you can see if something works if the time was off. After a day it appears OPNsense did not seem to work as the time was WAY off.

Used Windows time server 

Dahua

System->General->Date & Time

Like Amcrest (some claim the Dahua makes many of Amcrest cams and the software is very similar) it is hard to say since there is no test button. You just set it and hope. I'll set them to diff servers and see what keeps time. Though it looks like it might do a sync on save so you can see if something works if the time was off. After a day it appears OPNsense did not seem to work as the time was WAY off.

Used Windows time server 

JideTech

System->Time

Not sure if this is working or not. Comes set to time.windows.com which seemed to be working. When I set it to a local one it changed the date to 2036 and stayed there till I "Synced with PC time". Then tried to dup and could not. Set to OPNsense box. After a few days the time seems to be hold so think is OK. Note there is no option to set DST start and stop.  

Foscam

Basic Settings->Camera Time
OPNsense seems to work OK. Note this old enough there is no option to set DST start and stop.

Escam

Again OPNsense seems to work OK.