Axis YouTube Livestreaming CamStreamer Tested

Author: Ethan Ace, Published on Sep 25, 2015

Broadcasting live video has historically been complex and costly, with manual setup and pricey monthly subscriptions required.

Now, Camstreamer is aiming to change that, with an Axis Camera Application claiming cloud-based connections to Youtube's free live streaming service.

We bought a $240 license for this app and have tested cameras in multiple streaming scenarios to see how well it works and whether it lives up to its ease of use claims.

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Comments (24)

I wonder if this is meant to compliment the AV industry focused V59 PTZ series?

Hey Ethan. What was the end-to-end latency? How good was the video/audio sync?

Live YouTube video streaming in general has significant latency, with 5+ seconds being common.

Yes, in our tests it was generally at least that, often more. At one point last night I believe the stream was about 20 seconds behind.

That's the main downside of YouTube for anything that needs to be really live or interactive. We tried using YouTube live streaming / hangouts for webinars and that was a deal breaker.

We're using this on a couple sites and it does indeed work like a dream. Setup is ridiculously easy and their tech support (via email) is excellent. We swapped out a camera and they moved a license to a new MAC address for free. Very impressed with Camstreamer.

Is the license tied to the MAC address normally?

Yes. If you want to apply a license to another camera, it's another purchase. If you switch cameras, you contact Camstreamer to transfer it, as Scott says.

If anyone wants to see an example of live streaming via Camstreamer to YouTube from an Axis camera at 1080p here's a link. We used a Q60 camera at 1920x1080 resolution and set a continuous guard tour up that moves every 8 seconds or so. It looks really good.

Scott, good deal!

I've embedded it below to make it easier for people to see:

For many other nice cameras powered by CamStreamer, see CamStreamer's YouTube channel.

I would be interested in the audio sync - issues, delays...

What outbound ISP service speed should we aim for?

If you are about to use it with YouTube, please follow these rules ...

I think those Youtube guidelines are helpful, but especially for webcam type streams, they seem very high. For example, the M1125 we currently are livestreaming is only using about 425 Kb/s. In that application, I would generally say the lower the bitrate, the better. For event streaming, better quality is usually desired.

Somebody needs to take this Livestream app and connect it to Google Launches Free And Unlimited Cloud Storage For Video, wrap a OEM front-end on it and have an cloud based VMS with unlimited storage.

if you can Livestream in private that is.

I have been using this on a P3367-VE for about 5 months and it's been very stable. Initially there were some issues, but tech support provided an updated version that solved all the issues. We also record to an SD card at the same time (in 5MP) and so far so good.

Let me share one interesting live stream from AXIS Q3505-VE camera ... a maintenance tram cruising streets of Prague. Camera is powered by CamStreamer, but it runs via private Wowza of the media house running the slowTV project. Just for the inspiration. :)

http://slowtv.playtvak.cz/unikatni-primy-prenos-mazaci-tramvaj-vam-ukazuje-prahu-pjc-/mazaci-tramvaj.aspx?c=A150908_111659_mazaci-tramvaj_plap

David, how does it connect to the Internet? 4G or? The quality is quite good which implies it has a strong WAN link.

It runs via bonding LTE router with 3 SIM cards of 3 different operators (O2, T-Mobile, Vodafone), but mostly it runs via O2 only.

Bitrate limited to 3.5 Mbps, 25 fps, compression 30 %, zipstream low.

I love the idea having standalone solution, where any other SW or HW is needed.

But just for that reason is not good to mention Livestream or Ustream as a competitors, because that both requires PC with encoder software installed.

So I think it's better to compare with www.ipcamlive.com (supports any camera brand), www.camzone.com, www.1000eyes.de or one of the apps in our app-store www.angelcam.com/apps/live-streaming of course :)

I use Camstreamer and it works great! YouTube can even record (They call it DVR feature). If you're a lucky Beta qualifier, you can even have your camera just record on events.

I wish camera manufacturers would make a camera series that could stream the RMTP protocol? That nifty feature will let you bypass expensive online streamers like Wowza, LiveStream, and uStream along with paying for JW Player or its free limited player.

I remember reading someplace, a couple years ago, that Canon used to offer IP cameras with RTMP. Not sure if this is true.

Update: YouTube has begun allowing 4K live streaming, and CamStreamer just sent out a newsletter saying 4K streaming is supported on Axis cameras in version 1.5.3.

Update from CamStreamer about their recent progress. We have not tested any of the new features but are passing it along for those interested:

We have made a lot of progress since IPVM's test, added support for new protocols (mpeg-ts used by several IPTV operators to bring city surveillance cameras to living rooms of their customers, hls, ott video or newly SRT). Besides YouTube we support couple of new streaming platforms (Facebook Live, Dacast, Twitch, Wowza, etc.). Recently we released our new CamOverlay application, that adds dynamic graphics into the video stream right onboard of an Axis camera. Weather, infographics, score board data, all this is used by our customers to make their streams look even better. CamOverlay is not just about streaming though, we have customers that add alarm system status data into the video stream, LPR analysis outputs, different appliances’ operational data, etc. Look at this live video stream from AXIS P5624-E MkII camera installed here in Prague:

Both CamStreamer and CamOverlay run on that camera, CamOverlay adds Weather Underground live weather info and PTZ position based infographics into the video stream. Very cool and cheap production wise. Beauty of this approach to inserting dynamic graphics into the video stream is that no external server is needed to unpack H.264 video stream, insert graphics and pack it back, which saves a lot of resources and money. Currently it runs on ARTPEC-5 based cameras with 7.30+ firmware. ARTPEC-6 will be supported soon and this will bring processing speed into the solution.

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