Video feed to AMX Panel

JOHNBONZJOHNBONZ Junior MemberPosts: 99
Is there a way to feed video to an AMX panel from a DVR through IP and NOT RS232? So if I open up a port and then feed the IP address of my DVR I was hoping to see my cameras on the touch panel the same way I see them on a web browser.

Any ideas?

thanks
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Comments

  • PhreaKPhreaK Senior Member Posts: 966
    You're going to have an interesting time trying to feed streaming video to anything over RS-232. The good news is though if you've got a G4 panel you can stream video to it via IP to your hearts content.

    The way to do this is to set up a dynamic image with a motion jpeg source - AMX calls this 'DynaMo'. If you shoot over to the tech centre and have a look at tech note #682 it will walk you through how to set this up.
  • ipssheldonipssheldon Registered User Posts: 106
    Your DVR will have to output a MJPEG stream. Many DVRs use ActiveX to display video in the web browser. The AMX G4 panels cannot display streaming video unless it is a MJPEG stream.

    IP/RS-232 is the control method that you would use to control the DVR. It would not apply to the process of viewing the live video itself.

    It really comes down to what your DVR will support regarding the live video output.

    Sheldon Samuels
  • ericmedleyericmedley Senior Member - 3709 Posts Posts: 4,157
    JOHNBONZ wrote: »
    Is there a way to feed video to an AMX panel from a DVR through IP and NOT RS232? So if I open up a port and then feed the IP address of my DVR I was hoping to see my cameras on the touch panel the same way I see them on a web browser.

    Any ideas?

    thanks

    I do this for many of our homes. However, I've only done it with Axis and Panasonic cameras. You simply need to put a dymanic image on the page and link its URL to the image feed on the camera. Panasic is quite tricky and not very well documented.

    One word of warning: putting many images on a single page/popup brings the panel down to its knees. I've gotten away from putting a main view page altogether and just show single images.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    If your DVR does not support MJPEG (and it probably won't in a format that AMX panels can use), you can get an external video encoder (AXIS makes a couple different units) that will provide a feed for your touch panels from any composite video source.

    Jeff
  • John GonzalesJohn Gonzales Junior Member Posts: 609
    ipssheldon wrote: »
    Many DVRs use ActiveX to display video in the web browser.
    Axis 241Q/241S (axis) can serve up video if this is your situation. Take one of the monitor outputs from the DVR, feed it into the Axis IP video server and you're set.

    --John
  • snoblesnoble AMX Engineering Posts: 35
    PhreaK wrote: »
    The way to do this is to set up a dynamic image with a motion jpeg source - AMX calls this 'DynaMo'. If you shoot over to the tech centre and have a look at tech note #682 it will walk you through how to set this up.

    Note that this tech note was published before Fast Dynamo was introduced in the latest 500i, 5200i, 8400/i, 700Vi and 1000Vi firmware, so there is now a new checkbox in the "Edit Dynamic Image" dialog box called "Dynamo Resource". Check this if you want to identify this resource as a Dynamo resource so that it can be accelerated in hardware to decode up to 30 frames per second (depending on resolution, compression and network connection).
  • JOHNBONZJOHNBONZ Junior Member Posts: 99
    Video feed to AMX Panel

    Well I have a AMX panel 7500 and an NI-2000 controller. The DVR I want to output video from uses ActiveX to display video in the web browser. The DVR uses H-264 compression.
    I am looking at this Axis 241Q/241S and it seems expensive, I saw it for 500 bucks and it appears to have only one channel input.
  • Jimweir192Jimweir192 Junior Member Posts: 502
    The Axis connects to a single video output of your DVR, and then encodes your video to a video MJPEG stream compatible with your TP. Sending control commands to your DVR lets you control what video source the DVR sends on the connected output - single camera, multiplex, playback etc.

    There are cheaper Video servers around, but you get what you pay for in this world.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    JOHNBONZ wrote: »
    Well I have a AMX panel 7500 and an NI-2000 controller. The DVR I want to output video from uses ActiveX to display video in the web browser. The DVR uses H-264 compression.
    I am looking at this Axis 241Q/241S and it seems expensive, I saw it for 500 bucks and it appears to have only one channel input.

    As I recall, the Axis241Q is not much more than the 241S and it offers 4 video inputs. We normally spec the quad and then we can provide the main DVR output and direct video of the main entrances/driveway(s). You can also add a cable box or video output from a distribution switch into the mix if you want to display that video for guide navigation (a little slow to watch TV and no sound :) )

    Jeff
  • JOHNBONZJOHNBONZ Junior Member Posts: 99
    So if my DVR uses H-264 compression are you guys saying that I cannot have my touch Panel display the cams? Or if I have the video come out of the Output on the DVR, it will be digital and if I use the Axis241Q it will convert the video to something the touch panel can read?
    Jeff, what kind of compression do you DVR's use?
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,348
    H.264 is MPEG-4 isn't it? So if you have one of the TPs that can handle MPEG-4 it should work but I personally have never done this and not all TPs support MPEG-2/4 streams.

    If you have a standard video (composite) output of your DVR you can convert it to an MJPEG stream using the Axis server discussed and then display the video on your TP as a Dynamic Image or a Dynamo Dynamic Image. Not all TPs support Dynamic or Dynamo Dynamic Images though. Mostly all do except for the newer 400 series possibly 500 series (The new small TPs). That may have changed so check it if that's what you have.
  • Spire_JeffSpire_Jeff Formerly Caffeinated Programmer Posts: 1,917
    JOHNBONZ wrote: »
    So if my DVR uses H-264 compression are you guys saying that I cannot have my touch Panel display the cams? Or if I have the video come out of the Output on the DVR, it will be digital and if I use the Axis241Q it will convert the video to something the touch panel can read?
    Jeff, what kind of compression do you DVR's use?

    The compression the DVR uses and the digital video feeds that it serves are often different. I tried what you were originally trying to do with a Dedicated Micros Digital Sprite 2. It was using MJPEG compression and the PC software used an MJPEG stream to view the video, unfortunately, DM decided that the standard MJPEG was not what they wanted. They were saving interlaced images as individual images and then remapping the video lines in their software. The result was an image that was distorted and half size :)

    I spoke with them at some length and the end answer was that they had software development tools that contained a library to construct the actual image.... but it was written in C# or visual basic ... or something like that :)

    The AXIS241Q requires a composite video output. Think of it like a monitor without a screen. Instead of displaying the data as light information on a screen, the AXIS241Q encodes the data as an MJPEG stream.

    Jeff
  • ColzieColzie Senior Member Posts: 470
    ericmedley wrote: »
    One word of warning: putting many images on a single page/popup brings the panel down to its knees. I've gotten away from putting a main view page altogether and just show single images.
    snoble wrote: »
    there is now a new checkbox in the "Edit Dynamic Image" dialog box called "Dynamo Resource". Check this if you want to identify this resource as a Dynamo resource so that it can be accelerated in hardware to decode up to 30 frames per second (depending on resolution, compression and network connection).

    I have an AXIS 241Q "feeding" an NXD-500i (firmware v 2.4.14). I change the dynamic image via code to switch between the 4 inputs.

    My problem is whenever the TP is on a page with the video stream, the TP is extremely slow. Like push a button and 15 seconds later it updates. I only have one dynamic image on the page to show the video. When on a pages without the dynamic image the TP works great.

    I have almost the same setup at another client's place and it works fine -- the difference is the touch panel -- they have a CV7 and a 1000Vi.

    If I change to "Dynamo Resource" will this help? Would I need to change anything on the AXIS side of things? Any suggestions would be great, the security cameras are pretty much useless the way it is currently operating.
  • John GonzalesJohn Gonzales Junior Member Posts: 609
    Colzie wrote: »
    I have an AXIS 241Q "feeding" an NXD-500i (firmware v 2.4.14). My problem is whenever the TP is on a page with the video stream, the TP is extremely slow.

    Have you tried changing the refresh rate for the dynamic image in TP4 (Panel->Resource Manager->Dynamic Images, Select Dynamic Image, click "edit")? Also, you can change the compression setting on the Axis 241 to give you a smaller file. On an NXD-500i it probably wouldn't be a big deal to max out compression in an effort to reduce bandwidth.

    --John
  • ColzieColzie Senior Member Posts: 470
    I have not tried changing the refresh rate yet. It is currently "1". I'll add that to my to-try checklist. While this could help performance overall, I don't think it addresses the root problem since this setup worked on the other TPs.

    The on-site tech has messed with the compressions settings, I don't know exactly what he has tried.

    I have some other suggestions from tech support, will try those (and this one) on Friday when the tech is back at the house.
  • snoblesnoble AMX Engineering Posts: 35
    Colzie wrote: »
    I have not tried changing the refresh rate yet. It is currently "1". I'll add that to my to-try checklist. While this could help performance overall, I don't think it addresses the root problem since this setup worked on the other TPs.

    The on-site tech has messed with the compressions settings, I don't know exactly what he has tried.

    I have some other suggestions from tech support, will try those (and this one) on Friday when the tech is back at the house.

    The refresh rate should be 0 for Motion JPEG resources. Try checking the "Dynamo Resource" checkbox - this will offload video decoding (which is very processor intensive) to the DSP, freeing up processor cycles for input handling (although the 15 second latency may indicate that there is another problem). Then as someone mentioned, experiment with compression settings on the Axis encoder to find the right balance of bandwidth vs. quality. If you cannot (or don't want to) enable hardware acceleration, try removing any border around the image, and remove any other overlapping text or buttons that are not fully opaque. Also you can try disabling the scale to fit option. Good luck , and please let us know what you find.
  • ColzieColzie Senior Member Posts: 470
    snoble wrote: »
    The refresh rate should be 0 for Motion JPEG resources.

    For Motion JPEG resources does the "Refresh only at panel startup" matter?

    There is a TPD4 bug with Dynamic Images:
    * Set the refresh rate to 0
    * De-select Refresh at startup
    * Save and close file
    * Re-open the file
    * "Refresh at startup" has been reselected!

    I've gotten in the habit of setting the refresh rate to 1 to avoid this situation.

    Also, is there any reason I wouldn't want to enable hardware acceleration?
  • snoblesnoble AMX Engineering Posts: 35
    Colzie wrote: »
    For Motion JPEG resources does the "Refresh only at panel startup" matter?

    There is a TPD4 bug with Dynamic Images:
    * Set the refresh rate to 0
    * De-select Refresh at startup
    * Save and close file
    * Re-open the file
    * "Refresh at startup" has been reselected!

    I've gotten in the habit of setting the refresh rate to 1 to avoid this situation.

    Also, is there any reason I wouldn't want to enable hardware acceleration?

    The "Refresh only at panel startup" should NOT be set for Motion JPEGs. I did a quick test of the problem scenario and didn't see the issue, but I may have had different initial conditions - I'll pass it on to the TPD4 team.

    The main drawback to hardware acceleration is that your video will not appear remotely when using web control. To get around this you could always create a separate resource for viewing remotely. Another drawback is that you cannot blend graphics with video using transparency (this does not apply to 8400, 700Vi or 1000Vi - although those panels have a different drawback in that they do not support variable scaling like the 500i and 5200i). Also remember that you can only display one hardware accelerated video stream at a time.
  • ColzieColzie Senior Member Posts: 470
    Thanks for the excellent information. I'll let you know how it turns out.
  • viningvining X Member Posts: 4,348
    Colzie wrote:
    There is a TPD4 bug with Dynamic Images:
    * Set the refresh rate to 0
    * De-select Refresh at startup
    * Save and close file
    * Re-open the file
    * "Refresh at startup" has been reselected!

    snoble wrote:
    I did a quick test of the problem scenario and didn't see the issue,
    I've seen that movie too!

    I haven't played with dynamic images recently and don't recall what firmware/panels it may have been but I'm sure there were posts discussing it.
  • snoblesnoble AMX Engineering Posts: 35
    An engineer responsible for TPD4 informs me that this is a known issue and will be fixed in the next release. He also said that if none of your resources has this option checked, then you won't see the problem (which is why I didn't see it). The bug is apparently in reading the value (not in saving it), so if it is correct when you last saved, it will be OK when pushing it to the panel.
  • ColzieColzie Senior Member Posts: 470
    Solved

    I set the refresh time to zero, removed all borders, removed all overlaying buttons, and it was still sluggish.

    After one of the panel uploads, the TP was nice enough to completely reset (almost) all settings...not to default settings, but to zeros. Device number, panel name, Master URL, Master Port Number, display brightness...all zero. Thanks! Interestingly it still had the IP Settings intact.

    Back to the issue, in my code I was doing this:
    1. Update Dynamic Image file name
    2. Hide Dynamic Image
    3. Show Dynamic Image

    Previously I had found that the hide/show was necessary to force the TP to update.

    After some experimenting, the solution is to
    1. Hide Dynamic Image
    2. Update Dynamic Image file name
    3. Show Dynamic Image

    It now updates within a second or so, as expected!

    Hopefully the new panel firmware (8400 only right now) addresses this issue. The line item "-- Fixed many dynamic image problems." carries a lot of weight in my mind. Not just for video streams, but using dynamic images for things like source icons, favorites, etc., so not everything has to be "hard coded" in the touch panel file.

    Thanks for all the suggestions above, especially from AMX. I appreciate all the help!
  • John PaulJohn Paul Junior Member Posts: 143
    Panels locked on Dynamic Images

    I have Axis IP camera models 2241QA Video server and 225FD Network cameras at site. All together i have to show about 13 cameras in the touch panels which are 5200i, 8400i and NXD 1000Vi. In the touch panels i have to show full screen videos, pop ups, 3 camera sequence of 5 cameras( Interior, Exterior and Kids section) and Quad camera view.

    Now i have a scenario where the panels get locked up when i am on this page and then i have to restart the touch panel to have normal operation again. All panels are having the latest firmware. Now i have the ip of the cameras in the resource manager as http://10.11.2.11/mjpg/video.mjpg but since i have removed scale to fit in the button properties, the preview image comes huge. But if i customize the ip of the camera, the panel locks up faster.

    The camera sequence of 4 or 5 cameras are not perfect, i have given a animate time up of 120 and time down of 90, is there another way to make sure the timing comes perfect.

    Now i have removed borders, overlaying buttons and other suggestions given in the post here. In the resource manager i have created 13 dynamic images for the different cameras rather than put a single dynamic image and change the ip through code.

    Please guide me on how to remove this error. I have attached the screen shots of the setup for your reference.
  • snoblesnoble AMX Engineering Posts: 35
    John, a few questions:

    1. Could you clarify exactly which page the panel is getting stuck on? Is it the one with a sequence of 5 cameras you mentioned? Could you describe exactly what is on the offending page (sending the TPD4 file would be even better)?

    2. Is there a particular sequence of page flips you must perform to reproduce, or do you just go right to the offending page and it always locks up? How long does it take to lock up?

    3. Is the problem the same on all panels you mentioned (8400i, 5200i, and 1000Vi)? Could you specify firmware versions?

    4. Could you send the values from the "Cache Settings" setup page after you flip to a few of your dynamic image pages (under Protected Setup->Other Settings)? This sounds like a potential low memory scenario, so I'd like to look at the memory and image cache stats).

    Thanks,
    Scott
  • John PaulJohn Paul Junior Member Posts: 143
    Answers

    Scott, Thanks for the response. Here are the answers

    1. The Panels gets locked when i am in Camera Feeds page. If i switch on the different camera feeds or view a sequence, the panel gets locked till i ve to reboot it. The page contains options to flip to about 13 camera feeds, 3 camera sequences of 5 cameras each and a quad camera view. I dont have a option to send the TPD4 file in this forum and also the TPD4 file is about 19mb. Here is the link to download the touch panel file http://www.adrive.com/public/9a8c75dceb06018a284c7fdcef8159ac5314eee310a188417e6181222ec03680.html , The cameras page is '[Home]Camera'

    2. It takes about 5 to 10 minutes in the offending page for the panel to lock up

    3. Panel lockup occur mainly on 5200i and not on the 8400i and 1000vi. The 8400i and 1000vi gets slower when i am on this page and page flips take about 15 or more secs to occur.
    Firmware versions 5200i - 2.66.21 , 1000Vi - 2.85.14 and 8400i -2.85.14.

    4. Here are the cache settings of the three different types of panels here. I was on the popup 'Camera Interior Sequence for Kids Rooms' when i took the readings

    cache settings -8400i
    image cache settings
    flash cache size
    0mb

    flash/ram cache expires
    never

    ram max size 25025 kb
    ram current size 21520 kb
    ram hit rate 100%
    items in cahche(Ram) 51

    flash current size nil
    flash hit rate nil
    items in cache (flash)

    cache settings- 5200i
    image cache settings
    flash cache size
    0mb

    flash/ram cache expires
    never

    ram max size 4777 kb
    ram current size 3034 kb
    ram hit rate 100%
    items in cahche(Ram) 57

    flash current size nil
    flash hit rate nil
    items in cache (flash)


    cache settings- 1000Vi
    image cache settings
    flash cache size
    0mb

    flash/ram cache expires
    never

    ram max size 3298 kb
    ram current size 1902 kb
    ram hit rate 100%
    items in cahche(Ram) 8

    flash current size nil
    flash hit rate nil
    items in cache (flash)


    Hope this helps in clearing this issue.

    Thanks
    JP
  • snoblesnoble AMX Engineering Posts: 35
    John,

    Could you confirm that I have the correct sequence to reproduce (and make any corrections):

    1) From start page, press "Cameras" button
    2) From the [Home]Camera page, press the "Sequence" button
    3) Leave on the sequence popup for about 10 minutes
    4) Attempt to press a button for another camera feed. At this point, it will be locked up and will require a reboot.

    A few observations: the pages are large and memory-hungry and, as I suspected, your image cache is quite small on the 5200i (and is close to being maxed out). If there is any way to trim the pages to free up memory, it would help. Also, I would advise not checking the "Dynamo Resource" checkbox for resources that are involved in a rapid sequence of video feeds. This is because you are cycling through the images quickly (looks like just over 1 second per video source) and your frame rate is set to 3fps, so the panel is going through a longer setup process to funnel images through the DSP in order to accelerate only 3 or 4 jpeg frames. The "Dynamo" option is better used to accelerate a single video source up to 25fps that will be displayed continuously. It would also be a good idea to lengthen the animate time up and down as well (I would recommend at least 5 seconds).

    Thanks,
    Scott
  • John PaulJohn Paul Junior Member Posts: 143
    Scott,

    1. Regarding the correct sequence, if you click on any of the buttons in the '[Home] Camera' page or click on 'Options' and then click on 'Sequence' , etc. Mainly any of the buttons there slows the panel or locks it.

    2. How do i trim the pages to free up the memory ??

    3. If i increase the frames per second in the AXIS camera settings to 30, then i can keep the Dynamo resource option ticked ? If i remove the dynamo option, then what should be my refresh rate.

    4. Is there any other options to try

    Thanks
    John
  • snoblesnoble AMX Engineering Posts: 35
    John,

    Increasing the frame rate won't help (would bog down the panel even more). The refresh rate should always be 0 for Motion JPEGs (regardless of whether "Dynamo" is checked). There are 2 main areas of concern I see: the rapid sequence of video, and the low free memory. I would suggest you:

    - clear the Dynamo checkbox for any video that will be played in a sequence (but leave it for any video that will always be played continuously and standalone).
    - Increase the time between state transitions for any sequence containing Motion JPEG video to at least 5 seconds
    - Try a test where you isolate the problem page, i.e. copy it into its own project (with only the relevant resources). Does the problem still occur? If not, then you can try going through your project to see if there is anything that you are not using and get rid of it. Also, get rid of any images you aren't using or fonts that you could eliminate.
    - Try muting audio while performing your test
    - If possible, you can try to reduce the resolution on your video source
    - Make sure that you always hide popups that are no longer in use - never just cover them with other popups
    - If nothing works, could you telnet to the panel and do a "msg on all" (logging to file), then reproduce the problem and send the output?

    Good luck,
    Scott
  • John PaulJohn Paul Junior Member Posts: 143
    Still not resolved

    Scott,

    "
    - clear the Dynamo checkbox for any video that will be played in a sequence (but leave it for any video that will always be played continuously and standalone).
    - Increase the time between state transitions for any sequence containing Motion JPEG video to at least 5 seconds
    - Try a test where you isolate the problem page, i.e. copy it into its own project (with only the relevant resources). Does the problem still occur? If not, then you can try going through your project to see if there is anything that you are not using and get rid of it. Also, get rid of any images you aren't using or fonts that you could eliminate.
    - Try muting audio while performing your test"

    Based on the following changes that you had mentioned, i did create a new touch panel file which had only the camera pages and camera pop up pages, deleted all the other images, slots, dynamic images and sounds in the resource manager. Fonts i think you will have to delete from the system itself. This time the panel took a little more time to lock up but eventually it did lock while on the camera sequence page.

    "
    - Make sure that you always hide popups that are no longer in use - never just cover them with other popups
    "
    I have put all the camera popup in a separate pop up group so that once i show a camera pop up it will automatically hide the other pop ups. I have written down the cache settings of the tp which had only the camera pages below . Also i have attached the telnet sessions when the TP has all the files and the modified TP having only the camera pages.

    cache settings
    ram max size 17412 kb
    ram current size 5427 kb
    ram hit rate 91%
    items in cache (RAM) 24

    Thanks
    John
  • snoblesnoble AMX Engineering Posts: 35
    Would you be able to capture the logs starting at the beginning (i.e. right after bootup before any presses, telnet to the panel & capture)? Also for the failure case, could you describe exactly the order of the button presses that led to the lockup? Did you get a chance to try all the suggestions (clearing "Dynamo" checkbox, testing with audio muted, increasing the animate time up/down for sequences, etc.)?

    One other thing I noticed on your pages was that in some cases, pressing the camera image on the camera page takes you to a full page containing the same video feed. When you do this, make sure that you always hide the popup BEFORE the page flip (this is particularly important if "Dynamo" is checked because only accelerated video feed can be active at a time). I didn't go through all of your popups, but on the "Camera Nursery" popup, the page flip to the video feed is performed before you hide the popup containing the same video feed. The order here (& for any other similar cases) should be reversed.
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