Milestone Launches Disruptive ONVIF Bridge 'Out'

Author: John Honovich, Published on Dec 15, 2015

This is good news for the industry, for those wanting simpler integration and for the much battered PSIM market.

As part of Milestone's XProtect 2016 release, Milestone is adding an "ONVIF Bridge" that allows video to be sent from Milestone's XProtect VMS to third parties using ONVIF.

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Comments (29)

I agree on the aspect on accessing recorded video via ONVIF Profile G, and to lead the pack going, the next thing Milestone System should adopt is to include the device driver for ONVIF Profile G devices where Milestone is able to read and playback its recording directly without it (the recording) to pass through Milestone recording server database. Again that been said will also help Milestone to have both live and recording database accessibility from both

1. Milestone Interconnect

2. ONVIF Profile G devices (Cameras or NVRs or DVRs)

This will definitely have an impact on the current adoption of "OPEN"

"Milestone System should adopt is to include the device driver for ONVIF Profile G devices where Milestone is able to read and playback its recording directly without it (the recording) to pass through Milestone recording server database."

In this case, why not just connect directly to the camera? Maybe I don't understand your suggestion. Can you clarify?

Hi John,

Connecting to the camera is already an option adopted by Milestone and also other VMS over Profile S/G ,

What i actually meant is

Milestone "incoming" video should accept ONVIF PROFILE G from DVR or other VMS (should other VMS also adopt Profile G recorded video"out")

This will set the pace such that "A" VMS is able to playback "B" VMS video directly without flowing through its database.

See: Milestone Releases 'ONVIF Edge Storage'

They basically already do this though it is primarily intended for cameras with SD card storage.

The main constraint with incoming video from DVRs or VMSes is that, as you note, most do not support that.

I do like this feature and think others should adopt it. Is there any mention as to how it will be implemented (i.e. will there be a limit on the available channels, only one camera at a time, the number of simultaneous connections etc?). Good read, thanks.

Milestone says they have placed no limit on number of cameras nor parallel access.

Are they allowed to describe it using the term ONVIF even if it is not fully compatible with a published Profile?

As in "partially compliant with Profile G"

I'd be interested if seeing a test of this and if any impacts on the server CPU. Geutebruck has had the ability to "rebroadcast" cameras out as RTSP streams for a couple years now I think, but the caveat is CPU usage.

Just the live view though or recorded video?

Dahua and Hik DVR's have done RTSP 'rebroadcasts' of live views for some time now.

Milestone is streaming out through ONVIF Profile G which mean if the client (receiving end) are able to receive Profile G , it is able to 1. View Live 2. Playback of recorded feeds 3. PTZ control

Milestone provided some general feedback, offering a rough rule of thumb of "Streaming e.g. 10 concurrent streams on a dedicated “standard” server/pc the load will be 2-3%", also noting that it runs as a separate service that can be run on a different machine.

Your point though is well taken. It will take resources to additionally send video out.

Does anyone know if the Milestone implementation is transcoding the video signal before resending it out through ONVIF, or is it just forwarding the h264 from the camera. If it is just forwarding the h264, the CPU should be almost zero I would think.

I have "played" with Milestone SDK before prior to this launch, Milestone do not really need to transcode the video again to receive H.264 feeds (apply to both live and playback) , the SDK allows the removable of the files header and footer exposing the video in its original format and that been said means that there is no transcoding and the camera must firstly stream in generic h.264 format

Milestone is not transcoding video for ONVIF out (this is for H.264, MJPEG, etc., not sure how a fringe codec like MxPEG would work).

But even if you are just forwarding video, basically as is, out its going to take some CPU, just as it would if it was sending out to their own Smart Client.

If no transcoding is required, the most difficult aspect of implementing ONVIF Out would be the RTSP server (assuming one is writing their own RTSP server, and not using open source...). So I would say ONVIF-out would be quite an easy feature for most VMS manufactures to implement, so I predict we'll see it the others quite soon. If we do, one area that will benefit are Access Control companies wishing to integrate their products with VMS's (typically a bit of a pain for Access companies). Although integrating directly to the VMS's using their SDK's will generally result in a tighter integration.

"So I would say ONVIF-out would be quite an easy feature for most VMS manufactures to implement"

Yes, this is not a technology breakthrough.

"so I predict we'll see it the others quite soon"

Maybe, but the barrier has never been the time or effort it takes to make this happen. It is the risk that competitors will take over 'your' account by using the RTSP or ONVIF out functionality to monitor / integrate legacy systems and transition the account to the rival's recorder.

That said, Milestone adding it will help motivate others to do so, if only because Milestone can now put pressure on in deals against those who do not support this.

Ok I see. Perhaps VMS companies could avoid this problem by charging/licensing ONVIF connections to the VMS. I assume Milestone doesn't do this?

Maybe, but the barrier has never been the time or effort it takes to make this happen.

Funny how Milestone touts itself as such an OPEN company, yet it is/was only really half open.

But since there is an SDK available, I'm surprised that a third party has not created this already. Maybe they would have blocked it if someone had written it.

Even if it is just a subset of Profile G, it's a good first step. Maybe call it Profile K: (Open) Kimono.

"Funny how Milestone touts itself as such an OPEN company, yet it is/was only really half open."

How many VMSes prior to Milestone provide open out for live and recorded video? Few if any. So Milestone is an early adopter / leader here.

Listen, I've criticized Milestone for many other 'open platform' issues, like selling their own appliances (to the detriment of their hardware partners), selling out to a hardware manufacturer, etc. But this is a positive step for Milestone.

How many VMSes prior to Milestone provide open out for live and recorded video?

I guess I don't understand fully.

Doesn't the Milestone SDK let anyone who wants do that do it anyway?

With the knowledge, time, abilities, etc. to do so, etc.

Previously - learn their proprietary SDK (and each VMSes proprietary SDK), now re-use ONVIF.

I am downloading the MIPSDK off their site but its 252 MB and downloading super slow. I am curious what other restrictions they put in and if they require approval of applications. That is the other general issue with manufacturer SDKs, they frequently require business approval. For example, if they did not, why wouldn't Genetec integrate Milestone years ago (and vice versa)?

That is the other general issue with manufacturer SDKs, they frequently require business approval.

Indeed.

Additionally, the SDK User agrees that the developed Software Integration for a particular project or installation shall not have a Commercial Availability prior to notification and written approval from Milestone.

You are a master of reading EULAs! I figured there must be something like that in it but missed it. Thanks for adding.

I am curious what other restrictions they put in and if they require approval of applications

Probably another reason PSIMs are so expensive, besides doing the one-off development, they probably have to pay a hefty kickback license fee.

In general, the license fees are not that significant - typically in the $2,000 to $8,000 range and generally one time.

The bigger issue is typically development with tens of thousands of dollars a general cost used to actually do the integration on the third party side.

IMHO, If this step by Milestone drives the rest of the industry to follow suit, it would be a huge thing. Compatibility with multiple VMS's has been a very difficult thing, both in getting approval and access to each SDK and in writing to all the different SDK's.

Any words on if it needs License in the Milestone system to be able to pickup these Onvif channles, in the same way when you have an Onvif camera directly connected to the system?

No additional licenses needed for ONVIF out. Only license restriction is that it has to be one of the higher end XProtect versions, not including Go and Essential.

Update: Aimetis notified us that they too support ONVIF Out, which they call 'ONVIF Server' (see their guide).

There is no additional cost for this and is included in all versions.

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