PLANET

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ICA-HM132, ICA-HM136, ICA-HM316

The following configuration was tested with

The following configuration was tested using ZoneMinder v1.25.0 but works best using the v1.26.x release branch.

LIBVLC Support

The easiest way to get PLANET cameras to work is to use libvlc. Support was added somewhere around ZoneMinder version 1.27.0. It enables ZoneMinder to play virtually any stream that's actually supported by VLC.

I've successfully tested all aforementioned camera models using both - H.264 as well as MJPEG encodings - with the following URI:

http://{LOGIN}:{PASSWORD}@{ADDRESS}/GetData.cgi?CH=1

Benefits of ZoneMinder 1.26.x

With beta-release 1.26 some neat performance enhancements were introduced, speeding up things when it comes to camera provisioning during startup. For instance - running on a Debian Wheezy box it took zoneminder-1.25.0-4 up to 6 minutes to connect to all eight PLANET cameras of the above mentioned types. Such cameras are running RTSP/H.264 at 10-15 fps and a resolution of either 640x480 (VGA) or 800x592. Running a self-compiled version of 1.26.3 instead reduced the amount of time by factor 8 and the system itself feels way more responsive.

Troubleshooting

All cameras work fine within a fully routed environment. Though, for the sake of testing you may want to place it on a local network (same broadcast domain) just to minimize the effort on troubleshooting things just in case you have to. First of all make sure your camera runs on the latest firmware.

Latest Firmware

Therefore, power the camera and log-in using the default credentials (admin/admin) and IP address 192.168.0.20 which AFAIK is the default for all PLANET products so far. You can obtain the latest firmware here (direct download for models HM132, HM136 and HM316) or here. Due to the fact that upgrading requires an ActiveX applet (yeah, I know ..) you'll have to have a Internet Explorer (7+) at hand. I usually have a virtualized windows box ready to handle that kind of proprietary stuff.

Planet ica hm 03.png

Initial configuration

Change the password of the admin user to a string <= 16 characters. As of firmware version 1.0.42 guest users do not seem to work well with RTSP as long as authentication is used. Enable authentication for the RTSP Server and enable platform-wide security as shown down below (ONVIF is truly optional).

Planet ica hm 01.png

Video Settings

You'll also need to adapt the video settings of the camera to fit your needs.

It's advisable to start with lower resolutions first to ease the pain.

Planet ica hm 02.png

Some of the tested cameras seem to overheat frequently causing artifacts to occur within the video stream. This theory is supported by the fact that it seems to happen more frequently specially when using resolutions greater than 640x480 (VGA). This renders motion detection useless since the database is trashed with false positives'. I still have to look into this further since I ain't had the chance yet to exempt ffmpeg/avconv from being the root-cause.

Monitor Set-Up

Finally log on to your ZoneMinder setup creating a new Monitor using the following settings:

Planet ica hm 04.png

Planet ica hm 05.png

Final Thoughts

As with many other IP-based CCTV cameras also PLANET uses technologies like ActiveX which were proven to be vulnerable like hell for the past decade. IP-based CCTV cameras shouldn't be operated on a plain internet link. Eavesdropping can only be prevented using a fully secured environment whereas physical access restrictions are in place. That mainly applies to commercial use only.

Once everything's set up this is what you're going to end up with - an output stream obtained via RTSP/H.264 @ 15fps providing a resolution of 800x592.

Planet ica hm 06.png

Source Path: rtsp://[USER]:[PASSWORD]@[IPADDRESS]:554/v1

Motion JPEG Support (Working)

I couldn't get the cameras to work with MJPEG but only with H.264/RTSP as described above.

The MJPEG media profile of the cameras isn't supported by ZM:

zmc_m13[4240]: ERR [Unsupported media type 'application' in SDP media attribute 'application 0 RTP/AVP 107']

From my understanding the expected profile for MJPEG should to be RTP/AVP 26 (JPEG Video) only.

See wikipedia for a complete list of audio/video profiles.

I've opened a thread on the board to discuss things. -- Jayd (talk) 08:44, 9 October 2013 (BST)

Found a solution by manually patching the code like stated in this thread --Jayd (talk) 17:01, 9 February 2014 (GMT)


Support for Frame Rates below 5 FPS

As of firmware version 1.0.46 PLANET cameras only support frame rates as low as 3fps. But even with having 3fps configured all camera models as stated above will provide an inconsistent stream with 4.5-5fps. Getting in touch with PLANET's support to evaluate the possibility of integrating frame rates as low as 1fps I've only got the following response:

Sir, thanks for your reply, according to your description, you want the camera to supports 1 FPS video frame rate, but we won't support such low FPS of the camera.

Please note that, 1 FPS is too slow to lose its meaning of surveillance, but the camera is used for monitoring, so we won't develope such camera which fit your requirement, please kindly understand, thank you for your supporting.

The more information we know, the faster we could help you. Let us know if you have any questions regarding the above information. Thank you so much . Best regards [...]

In fact for some corner cases a frame rate of 1fps is pretty much desirable but specially to keep the storage demands down to a certain level when running on continuous recording. For instance - why would I want our parking lot to be monitored with 5-10fps, simply bloating the storage? Besides, AXIS cameras do support frame rates as low as 1fps out-of-the-box but most of us know that in terms of quality, PLANET and AXIS are poles apart.

Distortion / Artifacts with H.264 Streams running RTSP via FFMPEG

As of October 3rd, 2013 there are still some major issues with image distortion and artifacts happening under low-light scenarios.

Meaning, distortion mainly takes place under low-light scenarios (e.g. under when using IR during night time) but for sometimes during day time as well.

See the initial report with screenshots for further details [2].

A set of RTSP related patches are currently in the work [1].

This set of patches didn't help neither. Tested using recently released version 1.26.4. Jayd (talk) 05:40, 9 October 2013 (BST)

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