Embedding Video And PTZ Controls In Web Browser?

Hello- I currently have about a dozen Axis PTZ cameras that are used for viewing wildlife. Currently only a small number of people have access to the cameras. I am looking to create a web page for viewing/controlling the cameras. My number one priority is good PTZ controls. I absolutely love the PTZ controls that are built in to the Axis cameras. I would really like to keep the click to center and drag a rectangle to zoom features. I purchased a SmartVue S9N NVR which has worked okay. It does reduce the demands on my network, but the PTZ controls are poor and seem delayed so you tend to over shoot your target. I'm also less than thrilled about the video quality out of the S9N, for some reason they want to squish my 16:9 video into a 4:3 box. My secondary concern is, as user numbers increase I need to be able to provide good quality video to the web without over taxing my internal network. If what I'm looking for (web interface / good PTZ) doesn't exist I may just custom build the web interface, but would still like recommendations for multicasting the streams out to the web. Thanks in advance for your advice. -Nick

Nicholas, I forwarded your post and explanation over to both Axis and SmartVue, to see if they have any advice. I think that's the best place to start to verify if there's any solution we can use with what you have.


I too really like the PTZ controls that the Axis interface uses! In the Smartvue system we had to develop controls that we would be able to use across a wide range of cameras. To that end we went with a simpler arrow based system. We have an installation in the field right now where the customer uses a combination of the two interfaces. The video is recorded on the Smartvue system but they go direct to the Axis camera for the PTZ control. As for video, playback in the archive section should be the only place where the video would be stretched at all to fit the display. If you download the video it should be in it's native format. Are you seeing something different?

Terry-Thanks for the response. What you describe sound like what I'm doing, recording to the S9N and viewing/controlling at the camera web interface. The problem I have with this (and correct me if I'm wrong) is when multiple people are viewing the same camera they pulling multiple streams out of the camera. I didn't mention that these cameras are all connected to my wired network through a Firetide Mesh network, hence bandwidth conservation is important. As for the squished video, I'm seeing it in the live view preview pane. Maybe I've got something set wrong? See attached photos.


Axis Screen Shot

The folks at Axis would be better equipped to answer the question but I believe if you have multiple people going directly to the ip address of the camera they are all essentially accessing the same stream from the camera itself. That's definitely how it works with the Smartvue system. If you have multiple people logging into the server at the same time it will just feed out the needed information to those users while still pulling the same number of streams from the camera.

The issue you're seeing with the image size in preview is a function of us having a standard sized pane that we fit all of the images into. We are looking at expanding that field to adjust to the aspect ratio of the video, but that hasn't been implemented yet. If you were to download the recorded video from the archive section it would appear as it does when you are going direct to the camera.

Nicholas, Axis confirmed that there is no 'out of the box' way to embed PTZ controls in a web browser.

You can do video only and here are instructions. You could add PTZ controls but that requires custom development.

Could you use a service, such as HDrelay?

Phil, interesting suggestion. HDRelay says it supports Axis cameras and shows integrated PTZ controls. Main downside is the $225 per month minimal cost. I sent them a message asking them specifically about using existing Axis cameras and them providing PTZ controls for it.

Update: HD Relay confirmed they do support embedded PTZ control for Axis cameras. Now you just need to pay the price?

It might be worth looking at other webcam streaming providers to see if they have the same features but lower rates.

HDrelay looks very interesting. I need to do a bit more research. Thanks for the tip!