I have been waiting for one of these for years. A network PTZ camera that does true standards based streaming. Most of the others from Linksys, DLink and so on seem like they fit the bill but their flavor of “MPEG-4” is only codec deep (if even that) and requires playback to be handled with their proprietary ActiveX or Java players.
Not so with the Axis 214 which not only serves true MPEG-4 content but it is playable with QuickTime and any other player that can handle a standard RTSP MPEG-4 stream. This also means that the streams can be reflected by QuickTime/Darwin Streaming Server to allow for a much larger audience than the camera itself can handle.
Unfortunately, getting it to work with the QuickTime Streaming Server but in the end it was well worth it.
In the interest of saving the rest of the world some time I am posting an email message from Kyle Robertson from Apple’s Streaming Server User’s Listserv that was immensely helpful.
Over the span of a year I think I have it dialed.
Firstly you have two choices, you can use the mpeg4 encoder built into the
camera, or you can use an external encoder such as VLC and convert the mjpeg
stream to mpeg4. This may prove a better method in the future as you could
convert into H.264, but right now I think the built in encoder is best.
First step is to log into the camera’s web interface and change one of the
files. You need to edit the /etc/rtspd/rtspd.conf file and change the
timeout value (default is 60 seconds). Changing it to ‘0’ will mean no
timeout. This one had me stumped for a while!! If you don’t do that the
stream will reflect for 60 secs and then cut out.
Secondly you need to log into the Darwin web interface and mount the stream
to be reflected. Go to ‘Relay settings’, ‘other relay’ and create a new one.
Enter the camera’s IP address. The mount point should be something like
this: /mpeg4/1/media.amp . Put in the cameras root user/pass. Under the
destination we want it to reflect the stream locally because it is running
on the server that will be doing the feeds. I set the IP to 127.0.0.1 . Make
it an announced SDP, give it a name, and a system user/pass if you haven’t
made the group access file writeable to all.
Once you do this and enable the relay you will see the SDP file get created
in the \Movies directory of your Darwin server. Simply open that file with a
media program capable of reading .SDP files (quicktime) and tadaaa! If you
don’t use HTTP streaming the stream is located at:
rtsp:\\servername\filename.sdp:554 . I have had better accessibility using
streaming over HTTP however.
You don’t need to bother with manually uploading the SDP file from the
camera. The only limitation I have run into so far (and it is a big one), is
that Darwin will not reflect streams from more than one camera source. i.e.
It will reflect all the feeds from one camera or camera server, but as soon
as you ask it to reflect another stream from a separate IP it fails. It only
seems to be able to do one at a time.
Hope that helps!