If You Must Choose: ONVIF Or RTSP?

If you need to choose an IP camera to integrate to your existing VMS / recording device that can have only one: ONVIF OR RTSP - what would you choose?

Based on your experience, which one the current VMS / recording devices support better, which one (rtsp/onvif) will be easier to add?

ONVIF is based on RTSP so, by definition, more systems will support RTSP than ONVIF.

However, ONVIF adds lots of advanced functionalities (camera configuration, authentication, VMD, PTZ control, i/o, etc.) beyond the basic streaming that RTSP supports.

The best process is:

  1. Try to connect / integrate via a proprietary driver between the VMS and the specific camera. This is most likely to work and work completely. If that fails, then:
  2. Try to connect / integrate vis ONVIF. If both officially support ONVIF, this is fairly likely to work, at least for basic streaming and camera configuration. However, if no connection can be made by ONVIF, then:
  3. Try RTSP as a last resort, understanding that you have to manually control and configure the camera outside of the VMS.


Thank you for the detailed answer.