Using Web Cams With A VMS?

We have several web cams in strategic locations on campus that show live video on our web site. I would like to know if anyone has ever used one of these for recording video for safety reasons. I know it depends upon the camera type being supported by the IP camera software (we use ONSSI NetGuard EVS), but all things being equal, is there any reason why it wouldn't be feasible to use these cameras to record as well?

Before I get into a shooting match with the department that controls these web cams, I want to have my ducks in a row. I appreciate any advice you are willing to share.

Do you know the models of those web cams? Often web cams are just regular IP cameras (axis is one common choice) that are simply used for public display rather than recording on a VMS/NVR. To that end, there would be no real technical problem.

I have not tried web cam with vms, but I did some testing with Opencv and Ffmpeg. They are design for close up. Non HD web cam becomes blurry around 25+ feet. HD web cam like Logitech C920 can extend that up to 40 feet.

If you need to identify people in the recording, you have to be careful with distance from web cam to subject.

Another issue is usb cable length. I believe you run into issue after 75+ feet long, but I have not tested this limit yet.

Tue, if by 'web cam', Cynthia means USB cameras, than there are issues. We have a test of using USB cameras with VMSes.

I bet Cynthia means USB web cams connected to various PCs on a LAN...


Guys, I am referring to the outdoor cameras that view large areas and stream live video to a website, not the little cameras you mount on a PC...Thanks!

Cynthia, it's important to know the exact model and its spec - it could be USB, it could be MJPEG only, etc.

One of the "old timers" motto in our office is "a camera should be expected to do only one job a time". When you try having a camera do different jobs, problems can more easily occur. Can you jury rig something? Probably. Would it be worth it? Most times I think not, since you may have to have 2 or more system components in the middle to get your end result. Since you seem to be seeking general advice and not just or necessarily a technical how too, my advice is unless the camera has some built in universal compatibility, like network streaming to both your web servers and the VMS via ONVIF or HTTP streaming, for example, it would probably not be worth the trouble to jurry rig something. If that's the case but you like what the web cams are looking at and want to record them to your VMS, probably better to put seperate cameras for that purpose.

Absolutely you can bring them in to your VMS Cynthia. I am thinking you would not have to rig anything and can just slap the ip into your VMS. Obviously there is a bit more too it, but if ALL you are looking for is to take the same feed and record it you should have little issue getting it set up. We have taken advantage of a few Axis cameras that other departments use as an eyeball into their areas by putting the feed into our VMS. Works out great, but you need to be aware of the bandwidth implications because the last thing you want to do its overload the network and cause their camera feed to fail. If that happens you would be cut off in an instant and probably never get the opportunity to try again.

OnSSI NetGuard EVS is extremely old. You'll have to find the make and model of your "web" cameras and see if they are compatible with NetGuard.

As long as the website only pulls one video stream and then the web server handles the multiple requests for that camera you should be fine bandwidth wise. One stream for the webserver, one for the NetGuard server.

Thanks so much for all the feedback. My next step is to get the camera makes and model numbers.

I will return to the discussion after I have obtained more information.

It looks like they are all StarDot cameras (at least 3 out of 4), and as far as I can tell, the model is NetCam XL VGA. They have odd IP addresses such as (feel free to view the feed).

The StarDot web site suggests that video from these cameras is recordable, but I don't know if they can stream to the web and record to a server. Most of you are a million times more savvy than I about this sort of thing, so if anyone has an inkling, please let me know.

Those are MJPEG only IP cameras and should be able to connect to OnSSI (check with them if there's a driver or if you just request the JPEG stream).

The camera can certainly stream to both the web and a recorder. The issue will be how many streams are going to the web (each user will likely get its own individual stream) and how many total this Stardot model can support.

Btw, these are not particularly great cameras - relatively low detail and relatively high storage but it should work with your VMS.


I am a technical trainer with OnSSI.... The Stardot NetCam XL series cameras are integrated with NetGuard (and all of our Ocularis platforms). Note that there is not a lot of functionality with this camera:

When adding the camera via the Manual option in the recorder, choose Stardot NetCamXL/SC from the Hardware Driver list:

I am much more familiar with our current Ocularis platform, but if you have any other questions, please let me know... our support guys will have any answers that I don't. :) mmajorATonssiDOTcom

These cameras are recordable from any VMS that supports RTSP. I have tried your link and running it through VLC to test.

Vincent, were you able to stream the feed with VLC?

Yes, as you see from the image above that is the feed i got from Cynthia's IP that was given.

We're not exactly cutting edge here, Mr H!

My plan is coming together because of all the great feedback. Now, does anyone know if there is a way to get the cameras' MAC addresses through public IPs?


If you have the username and password for the camera, go to and it should be listed inside the Network tab in the configuration of the camera.

Congrats to Cynthia for not using factory default username and/or password on that camera!!

Using this very informative document, I found that Stardot uses admin/admin as defaults - so I checked these at and was DENIED.

Seriously, that is good. :)

At home, I am currently using 4x 7MP web cams as a makeshift security system using two small laptops (netbooks) running "iSpy" I think...

One netbook covers the front yard/driveway/front door area and the main entrance to my home, the other netbook covers the backyard/back room/rear entrance of my home. I have two netbooks due to cable legnth limitations of USB cables. The image quality is so so, low light looks like garbage, but it meets a few of my simple needs, keeping an eye on my dog and kids.

Now if I had the money to spend on a real wireless IP camera system....

Are they 7mp video or 2mp video and 7mp still?


the packaging is distinctly lacking in more information, I bought them for $5 each at big lots, there isn't even a brand name on them.