How Does Your VMS Handle Camera Replacements?

We had an issue come up recently with a client where we had to replace a camera due to damage. My question is, when you replace a damaged camera, how does your VMS handle this substitution?

We sold our client DW Spectrum and the way it handles camera replacements is the source of our issue. When replacing the damaged camera, we cannot associate the new camera with the existing video data for that particular location. The existing data is tied to the original camera MAC address and there is no way to associate the new camera's MAC address to the existing video data.

This is problematic when you have multiple layouts that include this camera location. We have to manually replace the camera in each layout. We also have to choose whether or not to leave the existing camera in the view, as it's the only way to access the legacy video. If we remove the dead camera from the layout, the client no longer has access to that data. Now, this is confusing to the client. They have two "cameras" for the same location. If we delete the old camera, we also lose it's associated video data.

What would make sense to us is to be able to associate the new camera in place of the old camera, so we wouldn't have to manually replace it in layouts, or have to decide how to access the legacy data.

This is a good question, specifically how old video data is associated with new cameras.

If we remove the dead camera from the layout, the client no longer has access to that data. Now, this is confusing to the client.

Did DW confirm this?

Yes, we were told this is a seldom occurrence and we could submit a feature request.

Wow, that's nuts. Never seen that on any of the systems I've worked with - Vigil, Video Insight, iDVR, all the offshore brands. In Vigil, I could even swap an IP camera in for an analog camera, then back to analog, then to a different IP, and the video on that channel will all still play back on that channel.

It could be worse I worked on a Prism system the other week and when you remove a camera from the system it deletes the old video :(

That explains why criminals will take the cameras after a crime. ;)

Milestone has the ability to do replacements no worries, the only issue I have is I tend to be forced to put the new cam on a different IP (does not happen every time), even so you just tell it what data base to inherit and off you go.

Geutebruck has you create a hardware channel associated with a camera, and then you assign that to a media channel which is what shows up in the viewer. Database Video stays with the media channel, so you can always assign it a new hardware channel. As long as you don't delete the media channel, you're fine.

With exacqVision, if you replace the old camera with the same model, you are fine. If you replace it with a different brand of camera that uses a different handler (plugin), then basically you are adding a new camera and removing the old one.

Removing the camera removes easy access to the video from the client, but doesn't remove the video from disk, so you can pretty easily review it if needed.

I just wanted to update this post with news that Network Optix support has given us directions how we can manually assign the old data to the new (replacement) cams. It's not a quick fix, but it looks to be a solution to the issue.


There is really no need to go searching via the API request. You can just right click the camera > camera Settings and then you can see the MAC address. The rest of the instructions are the same.

We were told the UUID isn't always determined by the MAC address.

Milestone on its different tiers of software uses a wizard for camera replacement.

1. Use the wizard for camera replacement

2. Change of drivers and also user id and password to the cameras

3. Camera replacement will retain the camera original GUID (ties all previously integrated solution back to the new camera) , the user will have seamless access to the old video data (they will not even know you have change a camera)

Full Disclosure - I work for Eagle Eye Networks

With Eagle Eye, when a camera fails, we have a 'replace camera' feature. Essentially instead of adding a new camera to the system, you simply indicate that this 'new' camera is replacing one that is offline. All of the old video is associated with the new camera. Also, any settings (resolution, bitrate, camera name, etc) are automatically assigned to the new camera.

FLIR United VMS (Latitude, Horizon and Meridian) supports camera replacement, while maintaining recordings of the old camera. Upon search, the system seamlessly searches also the pre-existing recording.