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Customer Review

37 of 37 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Works in Zoneminder. Good deal for an IP camera, but not for the novice!, October 2, 2013
Verified Purchase(What's this?)
I bought this camera to use with Zoneminder (A free Linux-based surveillance program). It is also sold under the brand Q-See QCN7001b, among others.

As you may have gleaned from other reviews, the camera is shipped OEM and includes no support or help on how to configure it. They are assuming you are a distributor or that you have bought the camera as part of another security solution, and that the distributor provides the support. For general configuration instructions, google for "QC IP Camera Manual_web.pdf"

For those using this camera with Zoneminder: you may not see any live feed in the camera's local configuration webpage, depending on what browser and plugins you use. I used the following settings in Zoneminder to set up the primary feed (note you need ffmpeg and h.264 support in your Zoneminder install):

General tab

Name: Whatever
Source type: ffmpeg
Function: Monitor (for now)
Max FPS: leave blank, better to set this in camera config page
Alarm FPS: leave blank
Blend: leave alone

Source tab

Path: This one is weird. You have two options, see below. make sure you have "?tcp" at the end, it prevents a lot of potential issues.
Source Colors: 24 bit
Capture Width: 1280
Capture Height: 720
Preserve Aspect: blank
Orientation: normal, unless you mounted the camera weird

Path URLs (Made for zoneminder, will NOT work in a browser!):

Option 1: rtsp://user:password@IP_ADDRESS:554/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0?tcp
- puts the user:password string in plaintext at beginning of the URL. Not very secure. Worked in Zoneminder, but not in VLC.

Option 2: rtsp://IP_ADDRESS:554/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0&authbasic=XXXXXX?tcp
-The authbasic parameter is the user/password string, ENCODED IN BASE64.
-google for "base64 converter", online tools available. Enter your user password string separated by colon, and hit convert. For example, the string for the default admin:admin translates to YWRtaW46YWRtaW4=
-Say your camera is the default IP of 192.168.1.108, and default admin password. The URL would look like:
rtsp://192.168.1.108:554/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0&authbasic=YWRtaW46YWRtaW4=?tcp

I have no idea how mere mortals could figure that out, without documentation. I guess that's why they want you to buy their crummy camera tools...
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Showing 1-5 of 5 posts in this discussion
Initial post: Jan 31, 2014 1:24:06 PM PST
Hi Bam Bam. Thank you very much for your great explanation of how to get this camera working with ZoneMinder. You saved me many hours of stress. Also I appreciated your Base64 comments, this was very useful too!! I currently have this camera working well with my MintBox2 Linux Computer + ZoneMinder setup :-)

In reply to an earlier post on Apr 9, 2014 10:21:21 AM PDT
Bam Bam says:
Glad the instructions helped someone! If you have a minute, could you post a question for "Does this camera work in Zoneminder," in the Questions and Answers section for the camera? Then we can paste the instructions there for other Linux users. I don't think Amazon lets me post answers to my own questions, so someone else has to ask it first.

Thanks

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 23, 2014 7:07:34 AM PDT
NobaiKarakas says:
I too found your instructions very helpful. I noticed no one had asked the ZM question yet, so I posted it. Thanks for making it so easy!

Posted on Jul 19, 2015 7:35:50 AM PDT
Thanks for the zoneminder info; I have the same goal. I've had severe problems with two cameras using the rtsp protocol: the picture gets badly pixelated and smeared whenever there is motion in the scene (which is exactly when you WANT a security camera working!) One of the cameras had a URL very like what you show, so although it was not this camera I think it was the same firmware.

Anyway I'm curious if others have seen this problem with rtsp cameras? I have a 100Mbps switch; do I need gigabit? I have other cameras working with zoneminder over http instead of rtsp and no issues.

In reply to an earlier post on Jul 20, 2015 9:07:24 AM PDT
Last edited by the author on Jul 20, 2015 9:08:38 AM PDT
Bam Bam says:
In my experience, RTSP tends to be more finicky than HTTP when it comes to video / mjpeg streaming (even though RTSP is made for video streaming). I think it is partly because a lot of the HTTP-based streams use motion JPEG for capture, so you are capturing a bunch of still images and zoneminder stitches them together. With RTSP, the feed tends to be in the form of mpeg video, and either the encoder or decoder may need tuning so the feed doesn't get crapified in translation. Try to see if those cameras let you switch to MJPEG for the feed, instead of "H.264" or "MPEG 4".

HTTP is also a much more widely-used protocol, and has better support. You can load up an HTTP stream in most modern web browsers and they will be smart enough to at least render one frame (Firefox seems to be intelligent enough to run mjpeg streams on its own). With RTSP, not so much- you have to pull it up in VLC or get some plugins for your browser to support it.

On bitrate, 100Mbps should be fine for most IP cameras. Below is a handy bitrate/storage calculator that will tell you bandwidth and storage required for what you want to do. http://www.supercircuits.com/resources/tools/security-nvr-storage-calculator
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