Author Topic: IP Cameras  (Read 3067 times)

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Offline Hardman

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IP Cameras
« on: January 11, 2012, 12:22:10 PM »
I'm not sure if Knucks have much experience with these things - I sort of do, used to sell them, but I'm utterly bemused at the moment over latency, seems to be all over the place.

A client of mine has been using Bosch in the analogue world but thier digitals seem to be way behind, they claim overall 240mms of IP latency, which would be messy anyway, but it measures worse than that, well over 300ms before you add in inevitable network latencies - not hard to get out to half a second, which is ridiculous.

Anyone know of a low-latency IP camera with PTZ?

I'm on the hunt but even the manufacturers seem not to know and my customer doesn't want to invest in a shoot-out just yet.

Cheers
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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #1 on: January 12, 2012, 06:19:21 PM »
Oh god..  This was the area where I 'specialized'...

I have a lot of experience here.  And the answer is "they're not ready".

If you want to use them, get a dedicated network to them with prioritized UDP traffic.

Now, what do they want to do with them?  Is this the kind of thing where you could just use a 75 - 300ohm balun for transmitting a signal down twisted pair?  or is it remote location?

Otherwise, the BEST compromise I've encountered in the last 5 years or so, was an analogue -> TCP encoder.  I've used Cieffe (Which is now Dedicated Micros) who have done some good stuff in this.

If you can give me details on the network, or requirements, perhaps I can give you better advice.

AD

Offline Hardman

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #2 on: January 13, 2012, 02:56:33 PM »
 :)

AD, I completely agree, they are not ready, but the hype has been sold - not by me, by all the media etc.

This particular job is your old employer, but the net is far wider, and it's indirect from my perspective.

In short the Cisco 3750 switch seemed fine, had some odd insertion loss on Cat 6/6A, zero on Cat 7, which I'm recommending, switch is cut-through, sits around 5ms of latency, all remote, consolidates on fibre at the switch, the switch means single cable for PoE+ and stream plus PTZ, but the Bosch is as laggy as all hell.

Dedicated Micro I know Nicole, if she is still there, will try a call.

 Might give you a call if you don't mind, it's one weird situation, that latency is ridiculous and most manufactures don't even seem to publish their IP latency, and Bosch got it wrong by my measurements, I'm tempted to give V.6 a try, but yeah, on a dedicated security network UDP should be fine, especially on Cat7, it's like having four cables in one sheath :)

I do worry about UDP floods, but seems the switch can cope.

Cheers

PS: You do know for most of Knuck we just talked gobbledygook?  :)





« Last Edit: January 13, 2012, 02:58:31 PM by Hardman »
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Offline AccessDenied

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #3 on: January 13, 2012, 07:29:41 PM »
HEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEEHEEHEHEHEHEHEHEHEHAHAYHAHAHAHAHAHAHAH *BREATHE*

Ok..  Got that out..  I knew they were having troubles internally with technical knowledge on camera technology, but I wasn't aware that it got to this stage....  BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHHAHAAHHAAAA!!!!!

OK.  The issue you'll face with those sites is they don't believe in 'dedicated networks'.  The switches will always put UDP traffic at lower priority.

TCP/IP is painful to deal with in IP cameras, especially in an operational environment.  Lag leads to lost targets.  You sometimes can't afford for a camera to be 1/2 second behind, as in a busy environment a sudden change in direction could cause you to lose your target.

Interestingly, with CISCO switches, the way to work out how to improve IP Camera traffic is to work on VOIP.  VOIP uses similar architecture to IP Video in transmission.  Many Cisco Switches include VOIP prioritization.

Depending on the IP Camera, you can change the buffer rate.  Turn it off.  It's unnecessary lag.  In a priority environment you need to get rid of everything.

IIRC the sites would be using Sun systems for alot of their equipment (It was being quoted and the like when I left, I don't know 100% if it was installed, but it was highly unlikely for it to fall through).

The final issue you face is that they got a VERY dodgy report for internal networking from a consultant.  This is based on 'garbage in garbage out' principle.  The specs for the report were written by the proverbial 'manager'  (You know.  The dilbertesque Pointy Haired Boss).  And they gave the specs to the consultant, and the consultant gave them EXACTLY what they asked for.  I reviewed a little of the report and decided it was garbage.  This did NOT do me any favours as this consultation was worth millions.  Even with me quoting sections and providing proof.  All I could do was 'folio it'..  It means if there was a witchhunt, my head wouldn't be on the line.

Anyways..  Good bloody luck to you.  Try doing the VOIP prioritization.  Check the IP cameras for their features.  Especially for reducing or removing buffering.  Avoid cameras that do TCP Comms.  They are a nuisance and can cause unusual behaviour.  (Tip:  If you have a device connected to a TCP camera OR the camera itself is randomly rebooting, it's because the TCP comms has got itself caught in a loop.  It'll fill up the memory buffer of whichever device until you get an overflow and the device reboots itself.  I've gone back to many a manufacturer with this fault)

AD

Offline Hardman

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2012, 07:42:25 AM »
:)

I thought you would find that amusing.

My client is actually a consultant with many years of experience in security but limited in IT. He does seem to have their attention and has demanded dedicated networks, so perhaps that has changed.

The rest all sounds like very good advise, I'm talking to the consultant on Monday will discuss it with him.

Many thanks.

Cheers




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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2012, 01:28:20 PM »
No worries mate..  If you have any other questions, let me know..

If it gets too involved, he'll have to employ me.  :P  (If the pay was right, I'd even seriously consider it)

AD

Offline Hardman

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #6 on: January 15, 2012, 08:01:39 AM »
 :)

I'll let him know.

Cheers
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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #7 on: January 16, 2012, 08:17:35 AM »
hehehe..  But it'd have to be generous..  I know what I'm getting myself into...   ;)

BTW..  What is the name of the chap you are dealing with?  I may have encountered him or his name.

My biggest issue in Customs is that the managers of CCTV don't talk to the ground staff and ABS and find out what THEY need.  Alot of the time they get these wonderful and fanciful ideas which the ground staff don't use.  1 of the most used features on the console when I was there was something I created.  It was used a lot because I spoke to the staff and ASKED THEM what they would find really handy.  "A method to capture an image of a target so we can always reference it when tracking, and if necessary print that image".  *BAM*  Single button press on the controller they are using for the cameras, and the monitor off to 1 side gets a current snapshot.  Can press multiple times and shift through images.  Press print and out it comes on the printer with a Customs logo in the border of the picture.   Simple.

The CCTV/ABS communication problems then lead to getting contractors in with poorly designed specifications.  This leads to the contractor trying to work out what they want, want they need and how to satisfy both.  Often not possible.  I felt sorry for the contractors (until I saw what they were getting paid).

AD

Offline Hardman

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #8 on: January 17, 2012, 10:05:21 AM »
:)

 I'll PM you his name, and concur entirely with your summation, it's similar with many Government departments. Can't say I like government work much but take on some from time to time.

This guy is a little different, sounds more like you, works with the ground people to determine needs.

Cheers
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Caelum

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #9 on: January 17, 2012, 11:28:01 PM »
So basically... You shouldn't deploy IP cameras if you don't know about.... IP?


Wow. There's a shock!


Sorry, can't resist. Seriously... And yes, i'm sure that a lot of companies who have come from installing CCTV stuff would fall into the trap of thinking they know best, and not knowing IP... But... Really? I thought better from you Chris!



If you run into problems, let me know. I've got UDP going all over the shop on my site, all of it with sub 2ms latency. Typical 0.5-1ms... Hell, even across to our Perth office(1300km away), we're only talking 26ms, typically. Granted, that's just the network end... But i'll be going ahead with a IP camera setup (sadly not with PTZ, but it's not needed on my project) probably within the next 2 months.

This won't be our first IP camera setup... Or our last... It just needs to be done right from the get-go. Most of the issues are in the networking side, when it has been done by dodgy techs.

Interested to see how you tackle the problems... But i suggest there's an issue on the Bosch end, with latency like that for the camera comms...

Offline Hardman

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #10 on: January 18, 2012, 09:02:04 AM »
 :)

Um, very politely mate, get fucked :)

I was brought in to have a look at the IP side because I DO understand IP, I ought to after 27 years now in IT and being part of the development path of IP...

The camera does seem to be the major culprit, but I wonder how you are measuring latency because those figures are pretty impossible given switch latency even at the best is usually on a cut-through switch 3ms by itself, worse on store and forward, and routers are slower again. You can get those sort of results from a host to a switch, but once there are latency inducers in the link up goes the latency :) A simple ping doesn't really tell you much, you have to measure end-to-end packet delay with real world packet streams. :)

There has always been a fiction about "wire speed," which in itself is nonsense, you'll always get some degradation over distance which is why we have maximum cable lengths, and there is always insertion loss, even if it is too low to measure, then you have retransmit possibilities, which does seem to be part of this camera's problem and AD has suggested some ways to improve that.

I'm not usually much of a fan of UDP, neither are a lot of Internet professionals, it's, as the head of Big Pond once said at a presentation like a machine gun, but for cameras in dedicated networks it makes perfect sense although I'm inclined to think, and going to test, that RTP over IPV.6 might be the best option of all at transport layer.

You are quite right though, as is AD, a lot of CCTV people from the analogue world are being dragged kicking and screaming into the IP world and many do not understand it. My client is one very smart cookie, comes of a lab background, smart people like him know when to ask what they don't know about, which is why he came to me, as he has been doing for some years.

I would not pretend to know much about surveillance cameras, but cameras in general I do - used to sell them in the professional market, long time ago but the principles and the terminology remain the same.

I had nothing to do with the design of this test system, I was simply asked to take a look, it was dumped on my bench and I measured it to see where the latencies were. Now we re-design, reconfigure and see what it comes down to, possibly with a different camera, although I will give Bosch their due, at least they publish what their overall IP latency is, most do not, including to my surprise Axis, which I used to sell and whom I have respect for.

Given his choice my customer would do as AD has alluded, a hybrid of analogue cameras and digital storage, but his customer has become all enamoured of IP cameras because they like the idea of using a single cable to the camera and use PoE+ to power the camera, which does simplify the cabling greatly. I think I know where they picked up on that, one of the BDMs of one of my former employers who has been touting it for years.

What they do not appreciate, as AD said, is that IP cameras are not really ready yet for the sort of demands this system requires. IPV.4 never anticipated the demands we would put it to, in particular applications such as voice and video, it's amazing how well it does really, but it is old, and never purported reliability - doesn't matter much with data transfers per se, does with real-time.

V.6 is better, much better, but it's a fast moving world, V.8 which purports to makes better allowances has seen some development but that will most likely fall flat on its face, we are better off improving V.6, which most everything other than old routers, and there are plenty of those around, now understands.

There is still going to be the tyranny of installed base though, which is why V.6 has seen such slow take-up.

In this situation we don't have to worry about that, AD will be pleased to know that his former employer has accepted, finally, that security networks must be dedicated for their application. For you, if you don't need PTZ, it is probably not an issue, for these guys it is.

That make it clearer? :)

Cheers







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Caelum

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #11 on: January 18, 2012, 10:51:41 AM »
:)

Um, very politely mate, get fucked :)

I wasn't having a go at your understanding of IP(though can see how it looked that way...), rather that there is a requirement of having a good IP network as a base....

I'll choose to ignore your brash language above.



The camera does seem to be the major culprit, but I wonder how you are measuring latency because those figures are pretty impossible given switch latency even at the best is usually on a cut-through switch 3ms by itself, worse on store and forward, and routers are slower again. You can get those sort of results from a host to a switch, but once there are latency inducers in the link up goes the latency :) A simple ping doesn't really tell you much, you have to measure end-to-end packet delay with real world packet streams. :)

There has always been a fiction about "wire speed," which in itself is nonsense, you'll always get some degradation over distance which is why we have maximum cable lengths, and there is always insertion loss, even if it is too low to measure, then you have retransmit possibilities, which does seem to be part of this camera's problem and AD has suggested some ways to improve that.

I'm not usually much of a fan of UDP, neither are a lot of Internet professionals, it's, as the head of Big Pond once said at a presentation like a machine gun, but for cameras in dedicated networks it makes perfect sense although I'm inclined to think, and going to test, that RTP over IPV.6 might be the best option of all at transport layer.

How would you like me to test my latency? I'll do it to the letter of how you specify, so we're comparing apples with apples.

That said, i have *full* confidence in my network.


UDP/IGMP/RTSP is a requirement in my network - streaming media out to 1600+ clients, sometimes unique(movies on demand, with a capacity of about 2000 streams(limited by server hardware, which is upgradable, not networking)) to that particularly client(sent unicast) or out to all clients(in the form of TV station streams) via multicast...

This network was purpose designed for streaming media - audio, video, and VoIP.

Offline Hardman

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #12 on: January 18, 2012, 05:12:32 PM »
 :)

I wasn't being brash, tyranny of text :)

You might find this interesting, and useful :)

http://acvtech.files.wordpress.com/2010/02/dicta_latency.pdf

Pretty much the methodology I used,  and the Bosch tested woeful, but it does seem to have configuration options - seems to be very popular in Europe - hardly surprising.

Latency is always somewhat difficult to test, I typically use a protocol analyzer and measure send and receive intervals on captured files, but,PAs are subtle things sometimes, I use a mix of HP and Wireshark, but done every course known and been a sub-profession for a LONG time :)

You are utterly correct, work your way up the stack and optimise at each layer, that's how I build networks, but I do also monitor - did your budget allow you any monitoring tools? If not some of the Open Source stuff is pretty good now.

Users... Networking would be simple without them but hardly the point :)

Interesting mix of protocols, but I understand why, the most basic, PHY layer, can make a huge difference, I either do it myself and test, or get it certified, and not in an Excel spreadsheet, I want the TDR tapes :)

(Once had a case where my results were woeful, until I realised the optical fly was needing a clean :) )

So many variables, that's networking, it's why I'm looking to V.6 as a means to remove at least some of it, can dispose of DHCP at the very least :)

Was not having a go at you, just wanted you to understand - I didn't design it, just have to fix it :)

It's what I do :)

Cheers











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Caelum

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #13 on: January 18, 2012, 05:37:08 PM »
Yeah, I use wireshark mostly, amongst other unix utils... but we also have network monitoring running here 24/7, get notified when anything is outside of spec in the slightest.

All of our cables and fibres are certified by fluke, TDR is just the start... So yeah, i *know* the network is as near to perfect as it could get without spending twice my budget on just cabling alone.



I understood that you were taking over anther network. :)

Offline McClean

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #14 on: January 18, 2012, 06:39:23 PM »
Bitch Fight in Thread #4092!

 rofl

Sorry, but I couldn't resist a bit of late night humor.  :-*

I've also spent WAY too much time here.

As exampled by, I just initially spelled humor with a U.  ;:q
Where everything out here ain't what it seems
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And face the fact that I'm a circle in a world full of squares

Offline Hardman

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #15 on: January 19, 2012, 10:02:37 AM »
:)

I used some Fluke kit to test the bench set-up but had my best insights as to what was going on from the analyzers.

TDR or OTDR is useful in determining cable lengths and any cable faults, in decent length runs, they still seem to have a dead zone in close so I always attach a cable of known length and subtract that from the measurement.

The problem with the PHY layer is, and always will be, that the day you certify it is as good as it will ever be, it can only decay.

i had a case in point of that only a few months back on a government site here, one I had had nothing to do with until called in to troubleshoot it.

On checking via PA there was a lot of re-transmit going on, go looking and find a waterfall of cable in the server room, lots of indiscriminate patching and not particularly good cable at that. Find an inactive port, pull the connector, it had been inserted so many times that the gold was worn off... Turned out on asking that the install was about six years old and they had had countless re-shuffles.

Did a cable map, sorted out what was going where, told the admin he needed to order a few hundred flyleads and some cable management. When they turned up I did a weekend clean up and mapped it for them, all was fine when I tested again. A somewhat extreme, but not unusual case, I think when you were here I once went to KL to rectify a similar problem.

I've seen worse, back in the VAX days re-cabled a large installation by first taking a chain saw to the tangle that was the patch panelling. It just wasn't worth un-scrambling it - that old flat cable MMJ terminated stuff was a bastard once it got out of control and there was no one on the site keeping track of what was patched where.

There is an ancillary problem to that, because cable has moved from Cat3 to a brief dalliance with Cat4, then 5/5A now 6/6A and 7 looming in the wings the manufacturers don't keep making anything of the older stuff for too long. Plug higher Category cable into lower Category plant and you can get some very odd reflections and losses, it keeps the cable companies in business I suppose but its really that they don't want, or have the ability to make more than two or three types of cable at any one time.

That's why in any spec I do there is a healthy over-purchase of raw cable, connectors/jacks and flyleads, without them a site can become a nasty mish-mash of un-matched cable and require an expensive re-cabling much sooner than should be the case.

the classic on that is Cat5, nearly gone, lots of it installed, doesn't play well with Cat6A - it works, but you get losses and the long runs start being troublesome.

Government are usually the worst in that regard, their requirements tend not to change much at the desktop so they go on using old plant, which is fine, until they can't keep it common any more.

IT, always something to plan for :)

Cheers













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Offline AccessDenied

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #16 on: January 19, 2012, 10:09:42 AM »
hehehe.  And I know that Cael is a hell of a lot better than I am at identifying these faults.   :)

I just have the experience of having physically had my hands on their systems before.

When I left, they still hadn't fixed the UPS which was danger tagged.  This was one of the major catalysts in kicking that contractor off site.  I have no idea whether it was followed up.  SNMP  (Simply Not My Problem).

My big suggestion would be "If you want to test whether things COULD work" test at Melbourne or Sydney  (Melbourne for preference).  ESPECIALLY if they still have ACES doing their work.  Bemac in Sydney also good.  Of all, those are the 2 companies which had the highest standards in their work, and had the most intelligent cablers (Who knew the difference between Twin&Earth and Cat5e/6), who were also exceptionally IT literate.

Once you have a proof of working, then try Adelaide, Darwin or Perth.  Those are probably the worst sites for cabling.  Not sure which is worst unfortunately.  Perth and Adelaide may have improved after they booted some contractors off site when I was leaving.  Whether things have improved or not, I don't know.

AD

Caelum

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #17 on: January 19, 2012, 11:03:26 AM »
:)

I used some Fluke kit to test the bench set-up but had my best insights as to what was going on from the analyzers.

TDR or OTDR is useful in determining cable lengths and any cable faults, in decent length runs, they still seem to have a dead zone in close so I always attach a cable of known length and subtract that from the measurement.

Yeah, we use a 100m 'reference' cable(worth a shitload!) for OTDR testing, whereas the Fluke DTX-1800's are ok with short copper cable lengths...

Offline Hardman

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #18 on: January 19, 2012, 12:09:37 PM »
:)

Haven't used one of those yet, my Fluke rep has been trying to find me one, but they seem popular and unlikely to appear in the recycle pile he snitches things from for me - he's a nephew of the late Laurie Connolly, very interesting guy.

I actually use a lot of DCS kit these days, much cheaper, but not the quality that Fluke is legendary for - hell, the most basic of my Fluke kit is a Multimeter that I just realised is 24 years old and still works like a charm, I'm not expecting that of anything DCS :)

Might not be the right place but where was it you got those battery rechargers from? The batteries are superb - I need more :)

(It's Knuck, if you can't derail a thread, try harder :) )

Cheers

Edit: Hey AD, Perth and Adelaide I can point my guy at good installers, worked 16 years in the latter, 14 in the former now, yes Jamie, that's 30 years and I say I've been in IT 27 years, but you need the odd vacation :) )




« Last Edit: January 19, 2012, 12:14:59 PM by Hardman »
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Caelum

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #19 on: January 19, 2012, 12:38:36 PM »
I got the batteries from Thomas Distributing, in the states...

The best of the batteries these days you can actually get locally now - Sanyo have released(in the last 3-6 months) an low-self discharge 2500mAh AA - absolutely brilliant quality and runtime.

Should be able to pick them up for about $25/4 of them... Dick smith sell them...

http://dicksmith.com.au/product/S4469/eneloop-xx-lsd-1-2v-2500mah-nimh-rechargeable-batteries-4xaa-pack


They work *really* well in high drain devices, but because they're also low-self discharge, they'll happily sit in a device unused for 12 months and still hold ~80% of their original charge.


Can't go past them :)

Offline Hardman

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Re: IP Cameras
« Reply #20 on: January 19, 2012, 01:08:36 PM »
 :)

Cool, thanks, I think... going into a Dick Smith store has my credit cards rather twitchy :)

Cheers

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