Testing LILIN's PTZ (IPS-2124) and ONVIF Integration
Merit LILIN was the first manufacturer to announce production support for IP camera 'standards' - specifically ONVIF's protocol. In January 2009, Milestone announced its production support for both PSIA and ONVIF protocols [link no longer available], allowing for a test of production deployed system using ONVIF to connect IP cameras and VMS support.
In this test, we examine the performance of LILIN's IP2124 PTZ integrated with Milestone Enterprise 6.5F [link no longer available] using ONVIF (and Milestone's Device Pack 4.6). This is important to help gauge the progress and usability of interoperability specifications and the expanded product options that they should bring.
Our key findings include:
- Successful ONVIF integration of LILIN and Milestone with one important configuration change and one key issue with video display
- Strong low light performance over moderate distances
- Some limitations in capabilities and performance for specific scenarios
The LILIN 2124 is a 12x optical PTZ camera with SD resolution, 360 degree pan range and built in IR LED illumination (see the data sheet for details). The camera has an MSRP of $1099 USD.
For VMS support, the camera can be integrated with LILIN's own VMS and through ONVIF. LILIN is basing its interoperability strategy for this camera on using ONVIF rather than conducting individual integration with VMS manufacturers.
Key points to consider:
- With the integrated IR LEDs, low light image performance is extremely strong across short distances (50 feet or less).
- With 360 degree pan range, the camera can be used for active monitoring without the problem of having to pan back common with IP/webcams (see: Canon VB-C60).
- Fine grained zooming was not possible. When we zoomed, it moved it large 'chunks' which can be make precise tracking challenging.
- The camera depends on third party ONVIF support and full integration. While we expect significant VMS uptake of ONVIF in 2010, it is important to verify this support and ensure no issues with the integration (as we had with the Milestone ONVIF integration - see below).
ONVIF Integration Examined
The following screencast examines the process and issues seen when integrating LILIN and Milestone using ONVIF. Key points include:
- When integrating the LILIN 2124 to Milestone Enterprise, you must download and install Milestone's Video Device Pack version 4.6. This version includes ONVIF support for the VMS.
- When adding the camera to Milestone, in the Device Setup Wizard, select "ONVIF Conformant Device" in the Device Type drop down menu.
- In the Device Setup Wizard, it is key to click the Camera Setup button to associate the device port and COM device for ONVIF support.
- Setting up PTZ presets for the LILIN camera is not included in the Milestone VMS camera settings.
- Live and output video for the LILIN 2124 in Milestone produced lines/artifacts around moving subjects. This may be the result of integration issues with Milestone's VMS and the LILIN camera.
Image Quality Analysis
The following screencast examines the image quality on LILIN's PTZ camera. Key points include:
- Sample video is included from both Milestone Enterprise and LILIN's free CMX 3.0 VMS software because of the interlace artifact issue we previously described.
- Exported avi video from CMX 3.0 has significant framerate drop compared to the live video.
- Image quality in a nighttime, indoor low light setting (measured at 0.3 lux) faired well in our test because of the integrated Infrared LED which has a rated radiant distance of 50 feet.
- Nighttime outdoor image quality looked good at a zoomed in subject close by, butthe camera lost focus when zoomed at a far subject at the maximum 12x.
The following screencast examines the physical overview of LILIN's PTZ camera. Key points include:
- The PTZ must be ceiling mounted because it does not support e-flip.
- PTZ has an endless 360 degree panning range.
- Power over Ethernet is not supported.
The following screencast examines administration and configuration of LILIN's PTZ camera. Key points include:
- To access the camera's configuration options in the web interface, under the "Others" header, click "Configure."
- Under the "Server" header, in the "User" menu, selecting Bypass Logon to "On" prevented us from connecting the camera to Milestone Enterprise.
- Under the "Video" header, in the "General" menu, the Bit Rate drop down menu sets the target bit rate for variable bit rate mode.
- If you experience macro blocking artifacts when moving the PTZ, lower the I Frame Period.