Whether you’re still waiting for the first snow of the year or it has already arrived, now’s the best time to plan your winter holiday. Before you put on your skis or pull out your snowboard from the garage, don’t forget to check the amount of snow on web camera in the ski resorts. A quick glance at their cameras can tell you whether new snow has fallen or if snow cannons are busy waiting for colder weather.
Get some inspiration from these public webcams connected by Angelcam.
Yes, it’s true! And now you can even connect it to Angelcam without any network configuration. spyNet Camera works with WiFi or by using mobile data connectivity. It can stream any available camera and it’s free. And it’s not the only advantage. You can turn your Android device into a security camera that protects your house, hotel or AirBnB room. Or anything else that needs to be temporarily secured. You just use your phone that has a battery and wi-fi (no wires required) and there you go – your security system comes alive! Anytime you move your camera to a different network (new wi-fi or even cellular) and connect it to Angelcam, it’s connected securely to our cloud.
All you need is a smartphone with Android 5.0 (and up) and a wireless connection.
If you want to give it a try, please follow these steps:
Nobody likes to wait. Nobody wants to install yet another plug-in to the computer. Everybody loves when their camera broadcasting runs smoothly. That’s exactly why we’ve brought another feature to our cloud platform – LOW LATENCY STREAMING.
CHECK OUT IT’S ADVANTAGES:
Minimum delay between reality and camera stream – only 2 seconds! (Otherwise it can be 5, 10 or even 20 seconds).
Faster loading of the camera stream.
Runs directly in your browser, you don’t have to install Flash Player or plug-ins
Lower CPU load.
So far, the feature is available for Google Chrome & Microsoft Edge. The only little disadvantage is no support of sound, as the stream is muted when Low latency is on.
Our new feature you’ve been asking for is here – Fast forward! It is still in BETA test (experimental function), but we believe we can fine tune it with your help and make it perfect soon.
Fast forward can move forward through your recordings to find a specific moment up to 8x faster. From now on, you don’t have to lose your precious time watching recordings in real-time speed. You can choose to watch a video 2x, 4x or 8x faster with the help of new controls that show up below the timeline.
Please note that Fast forward mode:
is available only on some browsers:
Chrome for Desktop 34+,
Firefox for Desktop 42+
MS IE11+ for Windows 8.1
can be turned on by the switch in Fast forward box (and controls will pop up when clicking on the timeline),
is not compatible with all cameras,
works only with recordings, not live view,
right now is available within free plan for limited time.
if Fast forward mode is turned on, it can affect video playback (if this happens, turn the mode off),
we can disable Fast forward mode anytime due technical maintenance.
Give it a try, we’ll be happy if it saves your time. If you’ll find a moment, give us your feedback. Happy Fast forwarding!
Last week London held Europe’s largest security exhibition, IFSEC International, and of course we couldn’t miss this exciting event!
IFSEC is a great exhibition where you can meet everyone from the world of security systems, such as manufacturers, distributors, installers, integrators, consultants and end users. You can see hundreds of latest technology innovations for the protection of your property and people. What surprised us this year was the general theme of the exhibition, that is, openness and collaboration. Manufacturers seem to realize success is not tied to just hardware, but rather the overall solution, interoperability and the ease of installation. It also seems everyone senses change coming to the industry. Cameras are getting cheaper and smarter (you could see a camera that can recognize people, follow them and even talk to them), DIY products are entering the market and cloud solutions are changing business models. For all of these reasons, manufacturers need to cooperate and embrace openness.
Let’s take a peek at what caught our attention:
Higher resolution cameras (eg. new Avigilon 7K Pro camera that cover larger areas with less cameras, very handy for parking lots for instance), lower priced cameras, more h.265 codecs.
More integrations and many cloud solutions built around camera hardware.
Axis zipstream compression (together with h.265 camera are about to reduce bandwidth needs).
The AXIS Design Tool continues to evolve, showing that manufacturers are differentiating themselves by catering to the needs of the integrators.
Smart doors. Assa Abbloy made us believe the future of unlocking doors is not using keys (no more lost or forgotten keys at home, hurray!)
It was interesting to see the Home Automation House, a new smart home built on the exhibition floor and packed full of interesting smart products (lights, baby monitors, security systems, home audio etc.)
Jon Carter, UK Head of Business Development for the Connected Home at Deutsche Telekom said at IFSEC: “There is not an industry player that can even start to replicate the same level of innovation as Amazon. It can capture more and more data as connected products feed back to the core data warehouse through Echo to better understand the customer’s needs and offer products which are relevant to them (if interested in topic, see http://www.ifsecglobal.com/amazon-steal-your-business/?cid=homepage_1st)
We’ve met many interesting people and saw things that convinced us that security systems are one great field to work in. See you next year, London.
Check out the list of compatible cameras at “Connect a camera”. If you can’t find yours in the list, your camera may still be compatible. Just read this article to find out!
Most IP cameras support H.264 encoding and RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol) – the standard,most compatible and reliable service for streaming. You will need a device that has these features to use our Cloud recording app.
We also support MJPEG mode but only for our Live Streaming app (we may include further support for MJPEG cameras in the future).
Check your camera specifications for compatibility (in its manual or on the web). If you find RTSP among the specs, H.264 is usually supported as well. But double check! In this screenshot from the manual of an Axis camera, you can find the H.264 under video specifications.
RTSP can be found under Network or sometimes Protocols.
Be aware, some un-branded or cheaper devices will mention RTSP support, but may be missing or very unstable. Use our list below to assist you.
We listed some of our favourite brands here:
Most cameras have required protocols as well as a service called AVHS allowing you to connect using “one click” technology. No router configuration is required and with Axis, although the price may be higher, you always get a quality product with good support, great image quality and configuration options.
Another well known brand which offers good image quality for a good price. The configuration is not very detailed, but it gets the job done for most users. Look for camera models marked 9xxx, the older ones don’t support h264 encoding.
As currently the world’s biggest IP camera manufacturer, Dahua offers a wide range of devices for various applications at a great value for money with the price of basic models starting under $99.
However, Dahua devices are often unofficially distributed, meaning there’s no firmware upgrade option, or various glitches may occur in the settings.
A good choice for a home user.
One of the few low-cost brands which actually works: A nice user interface with all the basic settings. Great value for money – price can be as low as $40, international shipping included.
A well known manufacturer, good quality and acceptable price. Good support.
Great image quality, some neat features. Higher price.
Another big manufacturer, it is similar to Dahua with all pros and cons.
Other brands: Samsung, Geovision, AirLive, Bosch, Panasonic, Pelco
There are many other brands, and generic devices which function perfectly with Angelcam.
Not recommended cameras
Xiaomi Small Ants (Also known as YiCam, MiCam): this brand commonly has issues with it’s RTSP streaming and is usually not stable or working on our Cloud recording app. This device also comes with various firmware versions, some of which don’t even support RTSP. You can run into many more similar Dropcam/Nest clones with the same problem.
NEST cam (Dropcam): Restricted access for mainly their own services. Incompatible with Angelcam.
TP-Link NC200: Although this device does not work on angelcam, newer versions, such as the NC220 are working without issues.
D-Link DCS-931L, 932L, DCS 5020L: no RTSP support, unstable MJPEG stream. Some other D-Link models have stability issues as well
Cantonk: The camera restarts when we try to initiate a new connection
Escam: Cameras keep restarting
Cameras that require an extra step in the setup process
AEvision & Vstarcam & Anran: Are not currently detected by Angelcam due to specific authentication requirements. RTSP address should be set manually.
Just now you can meet Luke & Mike in Las Vegas on a CES show, where they visited our friends from Muzzley as well. They’re simplifying the home automation in a great way.
Lancaster (Pennsylvania): 9-16th of January, 2016
New York City: 16-19th of January, 2016
Prague (Czech Republic): from 19th January, 2016
On February we will be in San Francisco, on April in Las Vegas again (ISC West show) and we’re planning our trip to Tokyo and other places. We’ve customers and partners in more than 150 countries and we want to meet as much as possible interesting people.
So feel free to drop us a line to firstname.lastname@example.org and schedule a talk about your needs or business challenges!
You’re here because you need your camera to be streaming properly. We get that, so let’s skip the usual opening chit-chat and get straight to business.
Ready? Let’s go.
When configuring your camera stream, your main goal is clear: to find the best possible streaming quality while keeping your Internet connection limits in mind and then to provide a satisfactory quality / bandwidth ratio for your viewers (note that some of them will be watching your stream on their mobile devices).
We would love to tell you that things are very much straightforward and there’s one single most important attribute of any stream that you should focus on. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
What matters most is the purpose of the stream. Are you going to broadcast a live stream from a concert? Or are you interested in streaming “just” for security reasons? Once you’ve determined this, there are three key attributes of your stream that matter most.
You likely know a thing or two about this, but let’s sum it up anyway. Repetition has never killed anyone, right?
The optimal resolution which delivers a high-quality stream is 1280×720 pixels. You and your viewers should be fine with that. However, if you start experiencing connection issues, lower it right away to keep the stream running smoothly – ideally to VGA resolution, which is 640×480 pixels.
If the opposite is the case, meaning you have a solid Internet connection and want viewers to enjoy higher image quality (in fullscreen, for example), switch to 1920×1080 pixels, that should do. Such resolution is particularly useful when you or your viewers will likely be zooming in when watching the recorded footage.
By now, a question might have popped up in your head. What does “solid” connection really mean? Let’s have a brief look at Internet speeds. If you’re already familiar with this subtopic, feel free to skip to the next chapter titled Compression.
Your ISP (Internet Service Provider) should be able to tell you what your Internet speed should be. It always includes two numbers:
Download (usually the higher number)
Upload (usually the lower number)
If you are trying to stream your camera over the Internet, you should mainly worry about the Upload speed, as this is the speed which will limit you in how much data or camera streams you will be able to stream. It is good to measure your real-life speed, for example at www.speedtest.net.
For a 720p camera with h.264 stream, we recommend an upload speed of around 1Mbps, in order to maintain decent video quality. For each additional camera, you would have to multiply that number of course.
All clear so far? Good, let’s move on.
Compression is the second of the three key attributes of your stream. And – just to give you a heads up – it’s also the point where things start to get a bit nasty, technical jargon-wise. No worries, though, you’ll be fine!
When it comes to compression, you get to choose from three options:
The most suitable one? Opt for h.264. It consumes a lot less bandwidth than the remaining two while maintaining the same image quality. Interested in details? Read the compression types comparison below. If you’re fine with just knowing that the three options exist, feel free to skip it.
Compression types comparison
+ compatibility + supported by most cameras + low decoding demands – consumes significantly more bandwidth than h.264 – lower quality of the stream – not supported by our recording app – no audio support
+ best widely supported compression type available + reduces bandwidth usage + high quality picture + can include audio + can be used with cloud recording app – higher hardware demands for decoding – the picture might be temporarily corrupted when packets get lost
– not widely supported (like most platforms, we don’t support MPEG4 either) – it is a compression similar to h.264 but not as efficient
Along with h.264 comparison, we also recommend you to go for either of these two options:
CBR (constant bitrate) set to a lower value than the upload speed of your Internet connection.
VBR (variable bitrate) with a fixed maximum value which won’t be exceeded. This way, you will decrease the bandwidth when there is no movement in the picture. That proves useful especially when streaming for security reasons.
If you use fixed quality settings, you can run into trouble with your stream when the traffic increases significantly, e.g. at night or when there’s sudden, unexpected movement in the stream, which either exceeds the upload bandwidth or the camera itself can’t handle.
Almost there! We’ve already discussed resolution and compression, let’s close it with the third attribute of a stream – the frame rate.
Most cameras allow you to choose frame rate on a scale from 1 to 30 FPS (frames per second). The higher the frame rate (more FPS), the more fluid your streaming is.
Sounds logical, right?
Lower frame rate results in using less bandwidth, but also for a choppy video. We recommend it when there’s not much movement in the picture because then you can save some bandwidth or use the same bandwidth to keep the stream fluid.
Higher frame rate consumes more bandwidth and, not surprisingly, results in a more fluid video. It should be your option of choice when you’re about to stream fast action and a lot of movement. In order to avoid using too much bandwidth while keeping the picture fluid, we suggest lowering the resolution or compression quality.
When streaming for security purposes, it’s usually sufficient to opt for a frame rate of 10 – 15 FPS. Some cameras will even lower the frame rate during nighttime as they increase the exposure time in order to reduce the noise in the picture.
Got what you came here for? Great! Need to go deeper? Leave a comment, our camera guru, Paul, will be in touch.
For those of you who are still hungry for more information, we prepared a glossary with the most widespread expressions you can possibly come across when dealing with streaming and cameras in general. We’ve covered some of them earlier in this blog post, some might be new to you.
FPS = Frames Per Second
How many frames per second your camera encodes. It can usually be set to 1 to 30. The higher the value, the more fluid the video is.
CBR = Constant BitRate
Also known as fixed bitrate. The camera will keep the bitrate constant, thus the video quality will vary.
VBR = Variable BitRate
Also known as fixed quality. The camera will keep the quality constant, thus the video bitrate will vary.
GOP = Group Of Pictures
Also known as I-Frame interval, keyframe interval. It can be expressed and set in seconds (1/30 to 2s) or in frames (1 to 60). This value identifies how frequently the keyframe (complete picture) will be used in comparison with predictive frames (incomplete pictures, carrying only data which differ from the keyframe)
More frequent keyframes are used for videos with a lot of motion, which reduces a potential chance of frame corruption. Less frequent keyframes are used for more static videos, where it can significantly reduce the bandwidth or improve image quality while maintaining the bandwidth.
GOV = GOP Compression
Image quality can be set in percentage (0-100) or in steps from low to high. It influences the overall image quality and bandwidth usage.
There are numerous ways to save bandwidth when streaming video. Most of them, however, have a direct negative impact on the quality of the stream (e.g. lowering bit rate, frame rate or resolution).
Luckily, you can seek out more sophisticated forms of saving bandwidth, ones that have no or very little negative consequences.
The most well known technology is Zipstream by AXIS. It’s supposed to save about 50% of transferred data without lowering the quality of your stream. And our own tests confirm that you can really achieve these savings with AXIS.
Zipstream turns out to be most useful for night scenes and static scenes.
You can turn it on in your camera settings via the Video Stream Settings / Zipstream section. Turn H.264 bitrate reduction to High and turn on Dynamic GOP (Zipstream can only be used with newer camera models).
Other camera manufacturers certainly don’t want to be left behind, so you can check out technologies like Vivotek Smart Stream, Hikvision Smart H.264 and Arecont Bandwidth Saving Mode.