Manufacturers Sound Off on ONVIF

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Sep 16, 2014

ONVIF has achieved massive adoption amidst significant criticism. The most vocal critics are typically from manufacturers who deal with ONVIF most directly.

Do those critics represent manufacturers overall? In this IPVM survey, we asked manufacturers:

  • "Has ONVIF helped or hurt your company?"
  • "How would you like to see ONVIF improve? What problem(s) do you want them to solve?"

The results surprised us:

***** *** ******** ******* adoption ****** *********** *********. *** most ***** ******* *** typically **** ************* *** deal **** ***** **** directly.

** ***** ******* ********* manufacturers *******? ** **** IPVM ******, ** ***** manufacturers:

  • "*** ***** ****** ** hurt **** *******?"
  • "*** ***** *** **** to *** ***** *******? What *******(*) ** *** want **** ** *****?"

*** ******* ********* **:

[***************]

********

*******, **** ************* *** positive ***** *****. ******, their ******** **** ****, in * ********** ****** like ************, ***** *** become * ****** **** to ****** **** ****, more ********, ***********.

Camera ************ *********

*** ************, ****** *************, especially ******* ****, *** overwhelmingly ******** ***** *****, with ******** *********:

  • "***** *** * ********** baseline, *** *** ******* a ***** **** *** integration ** * ***."
  • "***** *** ****** *** company ***** *** ************ produced ********** *** ****** cameras. *** **** ***** has *******, ** ****** the ***** *********** ** these ******* **** ******* involvement **** *** ******* VMS *********."
  • "***** *** ******. *********** with *** **** ********* small - *** **** is *********. **** **** integrate *** ****** *****. Thus***** *** ****** **."
  • "**** *** ************** ** ONVIF *.*/******* *, ** have **** * ****** increase ** ****************, **** with *** ****** *** partners *** **** *****'* gotten ****** ** *********** our ****** ***."
  • "******* *** * ***** manufacturer ***** ** **** advantage **** *** ******** is *** ** ******* as ******."

**** **** ***** *** perspectives, ***** ** ******* those ******* ****** ************* become ****** ****** * broader ******* ** *** company.

VMS Companies *******

******* ******** ************, ***** VMSes *** ***** *** not ** ********** *********, most *** ********* ***** ONVIF ** ** ***** helpful *** ****:

  • "** *** ****** ** with *** ********* *********, to ****** *** *** party ******* ** *** support."
  • "* ***** ****. ** do *** ********* *** cameras *** *** *** more *** **** ********* ONVIF."
  • "** ****** *** **** some *** ***** ** get ***** ******* ******* cameras **** *** ***."
  • "** **** **** ********* who **** ************ **** other ******* **** ** have ***** ***** **. This ********** ** *** goal."
  • "****** *********** ********* ** added ***** ******* ** basic ************."
  • "******. ** *** ******* partners * **** ******* to ********* ***** *******."

****** *** **** ************

*******, ****** ***** ****** less ************ ******* ***** ONVIF, **** *** ************** comments *********: 

"***** ******* ********* **** than *% ** ***** camera ***********, *** **** 25% ** ******* ********** and **** ******* *********. On *** ********, **'* a ********** ********* *** to *** *** ****** camera ******* **** *****'** otherwise ******** *********** ** a *** ****** ******."

"***** * *** ** time *************** ****** ** the ************ ****'* *********** ONVIF *******."

******* ***** *** *** an *********** ******** ** using ***** ** **** their ****** ******** *** quicker, **** ****** ************:

"** ******* ******* *********** submission **** *** ** our *********** ***** ******** before ** **** ***** the ************* *******. ** also ******* ****** ******** ONVIF ****** **** **** test *******"

#1 ******* - ***** ******** 

* *********** ******** ** ************ emphasized ****** ***** ************ as *** ***** #* problem:

  • "**** - ****** *******  integrators ****** ** *** cheap **** **** *** ONVIF ***** *** **** fail. ********* ** *** wreck ** ****** ****"
  • "** *** **** * ******* painful, ***** * *** of **** ***** ** not *****. **** *** VMSs******** *** **********, ******** ONVIF."
  • "***** ***** ** ** its ********* ******* ***** manufacturers: *) **** ********* a ******* ** ** 2) ***'* **** ** with *** *********" 
  • "**** **** ****** ***** versions **** *** *** fully **********. *** ***** revisions **** ****** **** hurdles ** *****"
  • "**** *** * ***** number ** *** ***********, even **** ********** ***** names **** ** ***** and **** *******"
  • "*** ** ******* *** pass *** ****** ***** test ***** *** *** certified ******* * ********* yet *** ******* ********** fail ** ***** **** because ***** ** ****** control ** ************* ** recorders."

#2 ******* - ******* ********

*** ****** ******* ******* expressed *** ******* ********, as ***** **** *** require ******** ******** ** be ********:

  • "**** ******** ** *** customer **** **** ***** is ********, *******, ******* like *** *******, *****, etc **** *** ******** uses ******* ******** ****`* when *** ******* **** stars."
  • "*** ****** *********** **** customers *** ******** * ONVIF ******* **** ********* companies ** *** **** work, *** ** ********** the ******** ******."
  • "** **** **** ** has **** ** ******* the ************ ******* *** sometimes **** ******** ** using *** ****** ****** language."

Comments (7)

Before Profile S, a few black eyes, since Profile S been very successful. Would still recommend getting a copy of VMS and a demo/loaner camera to test. Overall, happy with ONVIF Profile S, waiting to see how other Profiles work out with Access Control integrations and edge storage, etc.

Disclosure: I am a manufacturer's rep, so I know the headache of "will my recorder/software work with this camera?" And vice versa...all while holding my lucky rabbit's foot, BEFORE Profile S, that is

At least in my experience, ONVIF device compatibility is still hit or miss, even with major manufacturers' cameras. Problems range from cameras' inability to Multicast via ONVIF to cameras unable to sync to our time server to problems controlling PTZs.

Carl, what VMSes are you using?

IndigoVision. But at least two of the three issues I pointed out are not VMS-specific.

The issue with time sync of the cameras is an incompatibility between the cameras and our Time Server, a Spectracom NetClock 9489. That is something both manufacturers whose cameras we're having problems with appear to agree on (Bosch and Vivotek). Other third party cameras we've tried synced fine.

The issues with PTZ control are that with most third party IP PTZs, control is "flaky". By that I mean that PTZ movements are jerky and not smooth. Also, the PTZs often "overshoot" when the joystick is released. It is my understanding that problem is common with many VMS' and PTZs.

Finally, the Multicast issue. I would assign equal blame to the camera(s), IndigoVision and our need to be able to access multiple simultaneous streams. Granted, at least some VMS' can internally redistribute a single stream to multiple clients without the need for a Proxy Server that IV requires but I am not aware if that is common with ONVIF streams or not.

Isn't it possible that your "overshoot" problem is due to input lag?

B,

I don't think so. Sony, Bosch and Pelco IP PTZs exhibited the "run-on" while JVC does not. In fact, the JVC PTZ had the best functionality we observed, next to IndigoVision's own cameras.

Great report!

Your survey results suggest that standardization is welcome, which implies that ONVIF standards, tools, and certifications might benefit from further refinement.

In our experience, early standards can only be as good as whatever the designers were able to imagine, so it is not uncommon for initial specifications to have unforeseen incompatibilities across implementations. Does anyone remember early Windows plug and play, or early wifi? Forward thinking organizations improve their early standards and tools until it is relatively straightforward for vendors to achieve compatibility. Ethernet seems to be a good example of very robust implementation of a complex standard, with mechanisms for improvement which don't break prior implementations.

For organizations that don't focus on compatibility, the "standard" is whatever it is, warts and all.

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