How Come There Is No ONVIF Defined Generic RTSP URL?

You know, something simple like

rtsp://my_camera_ip/stream1

that any ONVIF camera would be guaranteed to implement?

Wouldn't that make it easier to use or test any ONVIF camera? It's would have to be nothing more really technically than a RTSP redirect from a public standardized URL to the default internal stream URL.

Is there a good reason why they didn't specify such a URL?


It would have been a great place to start for ONVIF for sure. But perhaps such a simplistic approach would have partially threatened the need for a broader standard and therefore the need for ONVIF itself ?

Obviously a standard which supports as many common IP camera functions as possible is very useful, but only if adopted widely and properly tested by manufacturers. When some manufacturers claim ONVIF compatibility but don't deliver it, it undermines the usefulness of the standard for everyone. This is something ONVIF need to address somehow.

Can I suggest that IPVM speaks to ONVIF and recommends that they add a common RTSP URL to the most basic part of the standard for the next update ?

I would also suggest that IPVM run a survey of its subscribers and readers to ask whether they would like to see this most basic IP camera standard implemented and supported by ONVIF.

"When some manufacturers claim ONVIF compatibility but don't deliver it, it undermines the usefulness of the standard for everyone."

The RTSP URL won't address that.

"Can I suggest that IPVM speaks to ONVIF and recommends that they add a common RTSP URL to the most basic part of the standard for the next update ?"

Sure, but I imagine ONVIF is going to emphasize the value here of Profile Q, which has the added benefit of theoretically finding ONVIF conformant cameras even if you do not know their IP address.

"I would also suggest that IPVM run a survey of its subscribers and readers to ask whether they would like to see this most basic IP camera standard implemented and supported by ONVIF."

Here's a poll:

I doubt ONVIF will ever implement this. It would remove quite a bit of motivation for many VMS/NVR vendors to implement ONVIF, since they could simply support the generic RTSP URL without joining ONVIF and becoming conformant themselves.

But you wouldn't be able to configure the camera or anything else, outside of streaming.

You can use RTSP right now to do that, by finding the camera's own RTSP syntax but that's still not popular.

Poor man's NVR could just have a link to go to the camera web-page for config. Hokey, but serviceable.

Some people don't need to configure their cameras much.

I doubt ONVIF will ever implement this.

I agree. But its a shame, considering it's coming from an organization who prides itself on promoting interoperability

Clearly, it's intentionally omitted from the spec since

It's obvious.

It's simple.

It's possible that no single change would have been easier and created more instant interoperability than a universal RTSP URL.

Could it have really been too easy and too simple that it would have ended up making things worse? That's a dangerous argument, but that may have been the rationale...

Makes you wonder what other things might have been too easy to do....

New Castle County (DE) Executive Tom Gordon don't need no stinkin' ONVIF:

"The vision is to link every private surveillance camera in the county into a single network"

"It's going to be hundreds of thousands [of cameras], but it's very easy to do because we've programmed it into our equipment," Gordon said. "You just need to know the IP addresses."

"You just need to know the IP addresses"

That's easy. 192.168.1.x

That would be the private IP, not the public facing WAN IP.

That would have been a joke... ;)

My sarcasm meter batteries were dead. :D

I'm less worried about easy RTSP streams as I am about full, direct integration. I would much rather have ONVIF worry about that angle.

It's nothing they have to worry about, really. All they would have to do is come up with a single word.

To be consistent with their namespace, it could be as simple as:

At least one stream shall exist at the following URL:

rtsp://my_camera_ip:554/onvif/device_services/default_stream

As for the implementation, no code would typically be necessary, only a configuration rule added to the RTSP server to issue an internal RTSP redirect to the propreitery URL.

You know how when you type in chrome SomeCompany.com you are really redirected SomeCompany.com/index.html or SomeCompany.com/main.cgi or SomeCompany.com/home.cfa?

Now imagine you had to know the "home.cfa" part when going to Wells Fargo but instead know to use "main.cgi" for moderncontractor.com...

That's what it's like with cameras.