Live Video Yes, But No Recordings.

I dont know if this has been discussed before...but,

I now and then are working with live VMS systems and sometimes I come across systems where the user/guard doesnt notice a camera is missing the recordings for some reason. There is live picture stream, so everything is allright. But one or two cameras is not being recorded and its not being noticed because they rarely do a playbak on them.

So here is a suggestion for when you/IPVM are testing VMSes.

How easy is it to see if all the cameras is being recorded? Asumed they shall record.

Is there a alarm function/window popup to notice the user is the camera for some unknown reason stops recording?

F.ex the Bosch BVMS is easy to see if there is missing recordings, goto Playback, zoom out to one month and see it there is motion/contineous lines for each camera.

Any thougts?

'Not recording while still displaying live' isn't an alert feature I've ever seen....

If the VMS is set to record a camera full time (and it would have to be to somehow recognize when it wasn't recording) it should do so unless and until you experience network or hardware issues with the recording device.

If you are experiencing intermittent gaps in your recordings of certain cameras, I might suggest you investigate why that is occuring, rather than just being alerted when it happens.


Great question and a critical issue; especially when discovered post incident. There are several reasons that could cause recordings to stop:

1. If using a shared location and using credentials that don't have rights to that share location. Usually a bad VMS design would suppress those errors in a system log rather than immediately notifying during setup of a storage location.

2. Simply ran out of space- All VMSes should have a "clean drive" method, but if it fails for whatever reason, the camera will still show that its recording, but won't actually write.

3. Someone may inadvertently set it to not record or motion only hence it may not record if motion hasn't triggered (small object size or sensitivity)

So how do you catch these issues quickly?

1. (may miss) In the live view of all clients there is a green/red color indication showing it is recording which should change once a camera recording is interrupted. A pop-up would be better and harder to ignore.

2. Rules- can setup rules per camera or all cameras to send an email once a recording stopped (and can actually trigger a start recording as well if desired). Harder to miss an email.

3. Some VMSes offers a health monitor adds on that checks to ensure the cameras are recording and sends an email in case of a disk failure or no write error.

Also, the BVMS example seems to me like it would be cumbersome and very manual- meaning it requires someone to add a task to their todos to research each and every camera manually- very time consuming. It should be automated by the VMS.

I added this subject to the list of future tests. Thanks!


Do you know of any VMS's that currently have this function? Alerting of some kind when a camera stops recording while it still can be viewed live?

Yes. Avigilon (Rules/emails based), Genetec, Video Insight (also offers Health Monitor), Network Optix (Vi Rules-Notification toolbar right in the client- also takes into account Storage misconfiguration issues).

Is it not available in ONSSI? or is the relationship such that when adding a camera it must be recording type (always, motion), and if not recording it does not show live either?

It is an option as a configurable hardware event - along with the numerous others you mentioned.

However, I don't know a VMS that will alert an operator (without the hardware event config option) when a camera that is supposed to be recording full time, stops recording while live view is still displayed.

Sorry for the confusion, I should have been more specific.

Genetec Security Center can do this, obviously it would only be useful if the camera(s) are supposed to be recording continuously.

Recording Stopped Alert

I have seen this issue with 2 different VMS's where I am able to see live data , but recorded data was missing. What I found was that I had exceeded the bandwidth of the hard drives. So much data was coming in that drives could not keep up so the data just gets dropped. I simply moved some of the cameras to a different server and I was back to recording my data. I am also looking to upgrade all the drives from 7200 rpm SATA drives to 15000 rpm SAS drives for live video.

Recorded data should be in top priority in VMS's. Skip live frames is not so dangerous than recorded ones. Alarm notifications should be standard feature when data loss occurs.

Thank you for the replyes.

Yes, how easy is it to monitor if there is recordings on every channel.

I have an idea.

Some security units like this one: LS-30

have an incativity monitoring function, for elderly supervision.

Couldn it be transformed to a VMS, with a predefined time for each specific camera accoring to the situation.

So if the camera is normaly recording in motion and the recording stops for some reason = inactivity, after the defined time it will make an action, restart camera, popup, email, etc...

A thought :)

Søren: "So if the camera is normaly recording in motion and the recording stops for some reason = inactivity, after the defined time it will make an action, restart camera, popup, email, etc..."

If your recording is set to motion detection, unless you have constant activity you will be 'alerting' yourself when things are normal? (i.e. every time motion stops for a period of time)

What I mean by that is, it should be a normal thing for the system to stop recording when motion ceases - why would you alert yourself to this?

It may help us to understand the type of application you are attempting to find a solution for?

It was just a generel observation.

I know its a difficult function to have in different systems, but when there is no recordings is even worse than no live picture.

Anybody ells have seen a system with no recordings, but live video worked?

What was the problem?


If you aren't getting any recorded video at all, then Sarit covered the most probable things to investigate in her first response above.

If you are getting recorded video - but have gaps in the database where nothing gets recorded - then Patrick covered the most probable thing to investigate in his response above (i.e. - throughput; during the times where there is no recording, you may be sending more data to that particular drive than it can handle).

Usually Operating System is in different harddisk than recordings so it is possible to see live video but no recording. Failure of harddisk or corrupted database can cause it.

To the earlier questions about VMSes that alert on recording problems, Geutebruck has an alert when there's a problem recording video. Alerts can be displayed on screen, emailed, and/or made to perform some I/O action like a light or something.


I have seen this before, where you have good live video but no recorded video. Because of this we don't rely solely on health alerts from the appliance or VMS.

We have a DVR/HVR/NVR and camera review process. We will reach out to every applaince weekly. We will reveiw items such as are all camera view present per unit, unit cooling fans functioning, hard disk drives present.

We will also review for the following: both live and recorded video. On both the live and recorded video we will observe for the following, is the image the same, has the image changed. You don't know how many times we have seen an image change do to the fact that an outside pole mounted camera the housing and bracket came loose and the wind was able to move the entire housing or a cleaning person was dusting spider webs off of an inside camera and they moved the camera. WE also look for out of focus / blury images. Has dust, spider webs, or rain drop stains caused the image to no longer be clear.

Sometimes on ATM's the glass built into an ATM can and or will become scratched or I have even seen the ATM manufacture will put window film on the inside and the film will go bad making the image being recorded bad.

Now things that will cause an live image and no video be available in the recorded mode this has many things to consider. Was the appliance even set up properly. It was never set to record. Camera or appliance has motion detection set up and the trigger was set way to high so not enough pixels changed to trigger the unit to record. Hard drive failure there for no video. Fans fail causing the unit to over heat and hard drives to shut down. We had a unit in a location where we were a tenent and the land lord would shut down the A/C over night and on weekends. We did not know this and every night and weekend the heat in the location ( a closet where the unit was located) would get so hot the unit would freeze up and the following Monday when staff arrived they would locally open the closet door and the landlord would turn the A/C back on and this went on forover a year and we never knew it till an incident occured and we needed video from the weekend.

This was just one reason for starting our appliance review process.


How does that scale? The larger your company becomes, the more customers that have your equipment out in the field, the longer it would take to perform the appliance review process, no?

I like the effort - as a ton of installs get nothing at all until a failure occurs... :(

I am just imagining that it could mushroom into something of significant size.

How is this paid for? Is it a direct cost (billed as 'appliance review', maintenance, etc) or do you offer it as a value add (billed as 'free')?


I am not an integrator. I work for a large financial institution. We found time after time again there just was no video for all the reasons I listed previously. So intyernally with my staff we do this.

I will say in a similar fashion we had a contract with a electrical contractor who would without fail twice a month have a guy drive around to our facilities and check lights on the outside of the business. If any lights were found to be out, he would send us a report the next business day and than wait for us to issue a work order / service request. Than once there he had it in his contract with us to check inside the building for lights out and report those to us. We would usually grant the additional work authorization while he was on property.

We had a sign company who would do the same thing with signs.

I suppose a good way to handle this as an integrator would be to sort of sell it as a benefit. As an example, I hate it when we have an issue with camera 5 and place a service call and when we get there we discover a previously unknown issue with camera8 and the service tech says he can't work on it as well because he does not have a work order for tihs camera.

Provide me with a service not just a sale.

Hope this helps.


ah, I see....

you know, if you added a link in your name, I might've figured that out....

ok, maybe I still wouldn't have, but I still like the name links - helps me figure out who is who and what they do... :)

As far as your appliance review process, I commend your proactive approach!

Back in my support days with an integrator, I must have answered hundreds of calls over the years where an incident had happened the day before, and when the customer went to pull up a clip - the last actual recordings were months old!

"I hate it when we have an issue with camera 5 and place a service call and when we get there we discover a previously unknown issue with camera8 and the service tech says he can't work on it as well because he does not have a work order for tihs camera."

Nothing annoys me more than dealing with a process 'driven' support entity. Processes should guide, not drive.

Making the customer happy should always be the driver, imo... fix cam 8, bill for it after the fact (with some kind of 'outside normal process' form). Or... and this will make most bean-counters cringe; fix cam 8 while they're there fixing cam 5 - and DON'T bill for it! :)

Bean-counters don't have a spreadsheet with a column for 'customer retention'..... :)