Thursday, February 20, 2020

Possible issue with Blue Iris 5

People are reporting seeing issues with Blue Iris 5 and certain brands of cameras disconnecting. Reolink and Unifi cams are what I'm mainly hearing. Possibly Door bird too. It seems very similar this issue from back in the early days of BI4.

As I said in a previous post I upgraded one of my servers to handle more cams. Main changes are newer i7 CPU, more RAM, BI5 instead of BI4 and GTX 1050Ti instead of GTX 730 GPU.
I still have the BI4 box running in parallel because the BI5 box is having issues these with just the 2 Reolinks. A RLC-511-5MP and a RLC-422W-5MP. The other 9 cams on that server are fine. So are the 2 Reolinks viewed from the old BI4 server.

What I'm seeing on the BI5 server:
After restarting Blue Iris, the Reolink cam windows are often black till I open each camera's settings and save.
Random video corruption and disconnects. (See below.)
Note the corruption is in the recordings, not just the console display.
Changing the video settings often sorts it for awhile but sometimes I need to reboot the cam to get it working again.

Some of the things I've tried:
Both Generic ONVIF and Reolink video settings
Diff frame rates
Overlays on and off
Limited decoding on and off

The only thing that seems to make a diff is GPU settings. With Nvidia I see what is best described as multi colored vertical lines covering the lower third to half of the video.

With Intel it pixelates instead of the lines.

With no hardware acceleration it usually appears OK for a bit then the video hangs without the camera ever being reported as offline or disconnected. Though sometimes the bottom is grey which makes me think parts of the frame might not always be getting sent. As in a a camera issue but it just the Reolinks and just on Blue Iris 5. For instance a snap of the same time from the original Blue Iris 4 server of that same cam looks like this.

Trying to pull the same from the BI5 recording I get
Note the timestamp is not the same because there seems to be dropped frames for a few seconds where the 14:22:33 frames should be so playback hangs on this frame for a bit.

Update 2/25/2020 There seems to be an issue with motion detection dying too.

Update 4/28/2020 Might be a work around for the video issue. 

First I noticed a similar issue playing back some Dahua videos. I noticed those cams had the "Smart Codec" turned on. And was set to VBR. I turned off "Smart Codec" and set to CBR and that seems to have sorted the issue.

Then I came across an old article that said to use the "Base" H.264 profile instead of the default "Main" or "High". I've stuck a Reolink on my BI5 server (just pointed at a clock for now) to see how it goes. Seems to be working so far but then it could go days between showing on the console sometimes. Note too I've upgraded BI5 since I last had a Reolink on that server.  Currently on BI5 v5.2.6.3 64 bit.

Friday, February 7, 2020

HikVision ColorVu cameras

Quick starts

Videos in the Hikvision and Color night vision playlists

For a compare against the Darkfighter models look at this review video from dvs.

The first one I bought was the OEM version of the DS-2CD2347G1-LU from Nelly's Security. Note there is a DS-2CD2347G1-L that appears to be the same thing without audio for about the same price from most sellers. Later I ordered a 2.8 mm version that had just listed on Amazon.

First thing you should not is the cams come with a static IP set of This means you either need to have a 192.168.1.X network or a Windows PC you can run their tool on.

Next these are huge.
Here is the HikVision turret model (left) next the the Amcrest (right).
If you look close you will notice UP is marked on the case. A nice feature. I usually end up drawing an line on these so I know which way is up out in the field.

To install an SD card (128GB max) or adjust the rotation of the camera takes an Torx-10 screwdriver. Though realistically if you are going to be doing this kind of stuff you should just break down and get driver and set of bits that include straight, Phillips, hex and Torx bits of various sizes. Maybe even an all in set.
Update I found the L shaped Torx it comes with under the packing so you don't need to get one though having a set with screwdriver like grips might make you life easier.

For a quick test I just swapped in place of the west Amcrest skycam. The difference was amazing. For this compare shot I set them all to an exposure of 1/12 and gain of 0-100.

The original Amcrest is lower left, the Dahua upper left and the HikVision on the right.
Now this how sensitive the HikVision is. Here I set the Amcrest and Dahua exposure to 1/3 which causes ghosting see this video,  but the HikVision is at 1/30 (double the frame rate).

You can also compare the above Amcrest 1/3 exposure video to this 1/12 exposure video from the HikVision and this Dahua one.

Here is the odd thing. It actually looks darker during the day which is why I did the above video with exposure 1/12. For example here is the next day.

The Amcrest and Dahua are using profile scheduling to switch to automatic exposure for the daytime. The HikVision is still set to exposure 1/30 (it does not have an automatic setting).  It does have profile scheduling but it would appear to be unneeded so far. I checked to make sure it was not switching the exposure based on profile.

Though if you are looking to grab hummingbird stills from the video it appears switching to 1/100000 is doable even on an overcast day like today.

Three days later and an even tougher test. While the moon is technically up you can not tell where the clouds are so thick. Not just dark but but air so heavy with moisture it is almost fog.
Here the old cams are set on auto but and the HikVision is still has exposure set to 1/12
The original Amcrest is lower left, the Dahua upper left and the HikVision on the right.
Cranking the old cams down to an exposure of 1/3 it looks better.
The original Amcrest is lower left, the Dahua upper left and the HikVision on the right.
Turning on the back door light ~45 feet from the barn in the picture with the old cams still at 1/3.

Smart features:

While not applicable to what I'm currently using these cams for they do have extensive motion and other alerts built right into the camera.


Motion detection, video tampering detection, network disconnected, IP address conflict, illegal login, HDD full, HDD error

Behavior Analysis

Line crossing detection, intrusion detection, object removal detection, unattended baggage detection
Sample of the line crossing setup screen,

Region Of Interest

1 fixed region for main stream and sub-stream separately

Exception Detection

Scene change detection

Note the Smart Supplement Light setting in Display setting is for the IR LEDs and so does nothing here.
Day/Night Switch  is what tells to be in color or B&W mode at "night"

The Smart Supplement Light white LEDs are controlled on this page under System Settings.
Note the light is unfortunately almost useless in most cases as the the ideal setting to avoid blacking out background detail seems to be 4-5 and it will not reliably switch on below 5. Even at 5, it lights up well beyond the view of the cams to what looks real close to 180 degrees which has both good and bad features. For instance, properly placed it not only assists its view when ambient light falls below what is needed but also can assist other low light cams that need just a bit more help that then ColorVus. Check out ColorVu supplemental light off/on axis tests.

2.8 mm version

The HS-VUT04G1-IA 2.8 mm version is virtual identical to the one form Nelly's.
Firmware on the Nelly's cams was V5.6.2 build 191111
Firmware on the 2.8mm was V5.6.2 build 190701
Nelly's has firmware downloads and support on their site. The vendor looked a bit sketchy so I stuck the cam on my test network for a couple days to see if it was going to do anything odd but it seems clean with no out bound traffic.  I also upgraded the monitoring on my main network which did highlight an issue with my one GW Security camera. Fortunately already being blocked. But now I'll be more likely to alerts if anything else tries something.

Anyway before I swapped the 2.8 mm in as the SE sky cam I set it up for a few minutes just below the 4 mm to get some shots of the the diff the view angle makes.

Just 109 degrees versus 94 degrees but if you are looking to stitch them together and or get a bit more vertical coverage like me that diff can be a deal breaker.

One last thing about these that is nice. The POE connection seal which seems to be getting to be standard now. (The Dahuas and the latest Amcrests came with matching ones.) It allows a RJ45 through yet seals air tight which makes swapping them out easy.

Added a second 2.8 mm to replace the 4 mm so they match. Just ordered a 3rd so I can get a panorama from almost due east to about due north. Unfortunately I do not have a good spot for the north west quarter.

Update 4/6/2020

I'm up to 6 of these now. The one on the driveway is the 4 mm version. The rest are the 2.8 mm versions.

Might be hard to tell but the above is from 9:24 PM with little bit of moon light you can see on the top center. For compare here are all the cams on that server. Note the 2 other color cams are Amcrests (top row) and a Dahua (bird feeder) with the exposure set to 1/3 and the gain to 100.