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How can I live stream a CCTV camera for public view - while recording to a Hikvision NVR?

cymruchris

Member
Messages
71
Points
8
Hi everyone - and this is my first post. I've worked with CCTV for a while, and know enough to get a decent POE system up and running and doing all that it does in terms of intruder alerts or line crossings and everything that comes with it.

Following a recent break-in where the scouts lost their cash float (£400) I've been asked by the local community church to pop together a proposal to fit a number of security cameras and an NVR (that's the easy bit) - and then to also fit a camera up in the bell tower where there are a family of owls nesting, that they'd like the local village to be able to see on a 24/7 basis. (I'm doing it on a voluntary basis - cost price of equipment only)

Now I'm all good with choosing a decent NVR and the relevant cameras for the security bit - but a bit out of my depth on the Owl cam - and wondering if anyone would give me a few pointers.

The church tower is about 30-40 meters tall.
There is a church hall literally 2 meters from the church
The church hall has the broadband connection
No cables are permitted (due to some ancient law) to be put through a church wall into the church - so the solution also has to be wireless

Initial thoughts are around running a network cable from the router to the exterior of the hall, and then fitting a Ubiquiti external wifi transmitter, and then up in the tower either another of the same unit or similar as an access point for the camera that's going to be watching the owls. (Mains power isn't an issue up the tower)

But then whether there's a way to get that camera signal into an NVR for recording purposes - and from the NVR some kind of stream that can be viewed online.

If there's no way to do the above - and the only way is to have a direct live camera straight out to the internet - I'd welcome thoughts/pointers on how I might achieve this with a wireless bridge as it were.

Some of my thoughts also include getting a web domain 'www.theowls.com' (yes I know that's not available!) and having it link to a live stream on the front page.

But in that respect I'm still a newbie figuring stuff out.

It's the usual thing - trying to get something together to help the community while they're on a shoestring budget - so would welcome cost effective suggestions - and as mentioned at the beginning this is my first post here - but I'm not the kind that will take an answer and run.

If anyone is interested I'd post progress (when there is some) and hopefully at the end - a live stream of a family of owls living in a church tower for your enjoyment.
 

David

Active Member
Messages
679
Points
43
@cymruchris I may be able to help you. I've installed wireless links in Church towers.

Both wireless bridges (directional / dual antennas) need to roughly point at each other. The wireless bridge in the church hall will have to point up to the tower and the tower wireless bridge point down. Are there any windows in the hall that point towards the church tower and church tower windows pointing towards the hall?

church walls are usually very thick and made of stone, if your radio link has to pass through a wall use a directional bridge (at both ends) and 2.4GHz / 20MHz channel for a better signal. Bear in mind this may not work properly.

For live streaming see here. view this empty (this year) bird box here
 

cymruchris

Member
Messages
71
Points
8
@cymruchris I may be able to help you. I've installed wireless links in Church towers.

Both wireless bridges (directional / dual antennas) need to roughly point at each other. The wireless bridge in the church hall will have to point up to the tower and the tower wireless bridge point down. Are there any windows in the hall that point towards the church tower and church tower windows pointing towards the hall?

church walls are usually very thick and made of stone, if your radio link has to pass through a wall use a directional bridge (at both ends) and 2.4GHz / 20MHz channel for a better signal. Bear in mind this may not work properly.

For live streaming see here. view this empty (this year) bird box here

Thankyou - You provided some really helpful pointers - and particularly the rtsp link led to me to some detailed research into how livestreams could be managed. (Good to see the box even if it was empty) - it gave me some direction into what I was searching for.

I've now succeeded in the project! I have two cameras streaming from the belltower - one of the general bell area where the owls have been known to congregate and one inside the owlbox. There's no owls in there at the moment - but apparently the peak activity will take place in the Spring - so it's all ready and waiting for the owl's annual return!

I've also got both cameras feeding into an NVR so everything is also recorded.

Owlbox

Belltower

I thought I'd come back and update my success as I said I would :)

I have a few bits left to do on the project - but I'm 99 percent of the way there now.
 

David

Active Member
Messages
679
Points
43
Thankyou - You provided some really helpful pointers - and particularly the rtsp link led to me to some detailed research into how livestreams could be managed. (Good to see the box even if it was empty) - it gave me some direction into what I was searching for.

I've now succeeded in the project! I have two cameras streaming from the belltower - one of the general bell area where the owls have been known to congregate and one inside the owlbox. There's no owls in there at the moment - but apparently the peak activity will take place in the Spring - so it's all ready and waiting for the owl's annual return!

I've also got both cameras feeding into an NVR so everything is also recorded.

Owlbox

Belltower

I thought I'd come back and update my success as I said I would :)

I have a few bits left to do on the project - but I'm 99 percent of the way there now.
Good to hear it worked, both video links are stable and quality is excellent. Did you use wifi links for both?

What video resolution / frame rates are you using?
 

cymruchris

Member
Messages
71
Points
8
Good to hear it worked, both video links are stable and quality is excellent. Did you use wifi links for both?

What video resolution / frame rates are you using?
There are two different cameras in use - one is a small bird-box POE camera, and the other a Hikvision 2mp camera with a third stream. Both are set to H264 so as to stream via RTSP. The Hikvision is currently at 1280*720P @15fps, and the birdbox camera is currently at 1920*1080P @25fps - I might still tweak them a little over the coming days depending how they load on different devices (if there's any difference at all). Both cameras run to a POE network switch in the church tower, which then connects to a Ubiquiti wireless bridge, which in turn connects to the router in the church hall. My signal between the church and church hall is coming up as 'great' with a capacity of 298.8 Mbps in both directions, and a current throughput of something like 10Mbps, so plenty of capacity. Another benefit I identified was by plugging in a router to the POE switch on the church side meant that we now have wireless in there too. So an indirect win that I hadn't considered when I started the project.
 

David

Active Member
Messages
679
Points
43
@cymruchris
Don't forget about your internet upload limit from your broadband supplier and people using older devices on 3G / 4G networks. The video bandwidth will increase dramatically when the scene changes quickly. You may have to think about changing to the sub stream.

Here is my camera in hedgehog house1 this uses IPCamLive but I plan to move to rtsp.me. This camera is 720p at 10FPS.
 

cymruchris

Member
Messages
71
Points
8
@cymruchris
Don't forget about your internet upload limit from your broadband supplier and people using older devices on 3G / 4G networks. The video bandwidth will increase dramatically when the scene changes quickly. You may have to think about changing to the sub stream.

Here is my camera in hedgehog house1 this uses IPCamLive but I plan to move to rtsp.me. This camera is 720p at 10FPS.
Yes - had considered that - and many of the 'youngsters' tend to have unlimited plans these days, and internet is going super-fast fibre - but not for everyone I know. I have already set up the sub-stream view, and also a high res view (although I don't see a big difference between the standard view I originally posted above) - and might offer all as options to 'viewers' based on their data allowances and connections speeds. I've just noticed that in all my changes - the sub-stream has reverted to H265 - so I need to get that back to H264 later today. I'll pop the link here - but if you access it before I get to the NVR - you might get the message of H265 isn't supported. The high res is working atm though.

Bell tower - High res

Bell tower - Low res

The hedgehog house seems to stream nicely, although no hedgehogs home right now :)
 

David

Active Member
Messages
679
Points
43
The hedgehog house seems to stream nicely, although no hedgehogs home right now
There is one in there, probably buried in the hay.

Both your high and low res links report h265, let me know when you're done and I'll try playback on various devices.
 

cymruchris

Member
Messages
71
Points
8
There is one in there, probably buried in the hay.

Both your high and low res links report h265, let me know when you're done and I'll try playback on various devices.
I’ve updated the camera streams back to h264 now - and hedgehog cam is offline at the moment - went back to see if I could spot him or her.

The low res stream isn’t great for anything above an average iPhone screen size I think, so don’t think I’ll likely publicise that one - but see what feedback I get from testers in terms of connectivity over the coming week or two.
 

David

Active Member
Messages
679
Points
43
I’ve updated the camera streams back to h264 now - and hedgehog cam is offline at the moment - went back to see if I could spot him or her.

The low res stream isn’t great for anything above an average iPhone screen size I think, so don’t think I’ll likely publicise that one - but see what feedback I get from testers in terms of connectivity over the coming week or two.
web links updated to rtsp.me
house1
house2

I'll check your links and let you know.
 

David

Active Member
Messages
679
Points
43
I’ve spotted a hedgehog both links are streaming nicely.
Streaming / sound is good on iPhone 8 (wifi & 4g) and MacBook (wifi). Streamed both at the same time on MacBook again no problem. Night IR exposure good.
Image below is from my router vdsl interface and gives a rough idea of my download data rate.
Screenshot 2021-08-28 at 10.22.46.png
 

zubair

New Member
Messages
10
Points
3
Hi,

Just a quick question. I'm just after peoples opinion on this. If I was to port forward only the RTSP port from my NVR so i can add it to the RTSP.me page, could be any kind of risk of hacking or security issue?

Zubair
 

cymruchris

Member
Messages
71
Points
8
Hi,

Just a quick question. I'm just after peoples opinion on this. If I was to port forward only the RTSP port from my NVR so i can add it to the RTSP.me page, could be any kind of risk of hacking or security issue?

Zubair
If you set up an independent user (non-admin) with a fairly decent password - you should be able to do it. I might consider putting in a POE switch, connecting the cameras to that, allowing the NVR to pick them up via their IP addresses, and then take the stream directly from the camera and not involve the NVR at all. (I struggled trying to get the channels of my NVR talking to rtsp.me - but it picked up the streams from the directly connected cameras via the POE switch very easily once I'd port forwarded all the individual addresses.)
 
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