Mobotix Camera Configuration Tested

Author: John Honovich, Published on May 06, 2010

We find Mobotix camera's configuration to be significantly different from almost any other IP camera we have tested. The sheer number of options were far greater. Plus the complexity in finding and determining the appropriate settings was unique. These present both advantages and challenges in evaluating the use of the camera and in deploying them.

Mobotix emphasizes that their cameras are not simply cameras, but complete VMS systems embedded inside each camera. We did see this clearly in our tests - including storage, recording, event and VoIP setup for the cameras.

Additionally, we found that Mobotix diverges from many common IP camera usability conventions - also increasing the complexity and need for training.

In the next week, we will release reports on a specific Mobotix camera (the Q24 panoramic) and on Mobotix's decentralized architecture/ VMS system. Inside the premium section of this report, we will provide a survey and explanation of Mobotix camera fundamentals to help the uninitiated.

Configuration Overview

To configure Mobotix, one can use two primary interfaces:

  • The web interface for each camera: This interface provides a complete set of Mobotix configurations with explanations next to each function's setup. The interface provides pop-ups and web page browsing to access settings. It is easy to get lost finding the right page/section.
  • The viewing thick client for Mobotix - MxControlCenter: This interface (through the Camera Configuration Assistant) provides a simple table interface to the most common camera functionalities. It is easy to find one's way amongst the tabs of this interface. However, a number of more advanced functionalities cannot be accomplished in this interface plus there is no embedded explanations/help on features.

Key Differences in Mobotix Camera Configuration from most IP Cameras

Mobotix's configuration is different from most other IP camera's. Below is some of the most important elements:

  • Mobotix provides extensive configuration options for storage selection and recording setup. Most IP cameras have minimal setup for these options and users rarely need to use them as such setup is done in the VMS system.
  • Mobotix provides additional options that are rare in other cameras including: advanced event management, VoIP/IP phone capabilities, intercom functionality, built-in IR illuminator, camera temperature tracking, embedding one's logo on the video stream, etc.
  • The Mobotix web interface uses a one-window drilldown design rather than a two-panel selector common in IP camera setup. Because Mobotix only has a single window, users must click back and forth to explore configuration settings - a far more time consuming process, made more challenging due to Mobotix's increased options.
  • The web interface divides setup into two buttons/sections: admin menu and setup menu. Techs should memorize what settings fall under which section so that they can remember where to access certain functionalities. By contrast, most IP cameras provides a single configuration section.
  • Configuration changes in the web interface are not permanently stored when a configuration change is made. An additional step of storing the configuration is required. If you forget this, when the camera is rebooted, the configuration changes will be lost. This is atypical of almost all other IP camera interfaces. In Mobotix's MxControlCenter client, configuration changes are automatically stored when made.
  • The 3MP cameras we have tested default to 640 x 480 resolution (a fraction of their full image size). Techs need to adjust this if they want to record at higher resolution.
  • Mobotix maximum exposure default is 1/5th second, far longer than most competitors who use 1/30th second. For still shots, this provides significantly brighter images but significantly blurrier/worse images for moving objects. When comparing Mobotix's low light performance, this must be normalized. For background, read our report on exposure setting tricks.
  • By default, Mobotix has a single stream only. Changes to the live video feed will impact recording.
  • To enable separate live video and recording streams, the tech needs to check the 'full image recording' option inside the recording setup menu. Mobotix does not have an interface for 'Stream 1', 'Stream 2', etc. as do most IP cameras supporting multiple streams.
  • No physical factory default button / pinhole is available for the camera.
  • If you change and forget the admin password, the camera must be sent back to Mobotix and you have to pay 100 Euros to reset it. This is a direct consequence of no physical factory default option.
  • The MxControlCenter client does not provide a camera tree hierarchy to select cameras for viewing. This is unlike almost all other VMS systems which allow users to easily select or drag and drop cameras into viewing panes. Mobotix's grid layouts, the equivalent of matrix views in other VMS systems, requires cameras to be assigned to panes. The positioning of cameras in these grids may only be changed by going into layout manager. The restrictions of displaying live video can be challenging and goes against best practices in nearly all other VMS systems.

Mobotix Configuration Overview

In the video screencast below, we provide a visual overview of how and where to configure Mobotix cameras.

Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox
Get Video Surveillance News In Your Inbox

  • Configuration menus fragmented (00:26 min)
  • Starting with the web interface (01:10 min)
  • Admin and Setup are the definitive menus for configuration (02:39 min)
  • Storing configurations (04:12 min)
  • Using MXControlCenter client (05:15 min)
  • Full Image Recording is equivelent to dual-streaming (06:29 min)

Recording and Video Setup Overview

In the video screencast below, we provide a visual overview of setting up storage, recording and exposure:

  • Configuring Events (00:35 min)
  • Configurating Mobotix specific events (02:10 min)
  • Confiruing multiple motion detection areas (03:09 min)
  • Configuring Random Events (04:59 min)
  • Camera measing illumination (06:34 min)
  • Applying conditional rules (10:17 min)
  • Using MXControlCenter to search for events (10:50  min)

Event Management Overview

In the video screencast below, we provide a visual overview of setting up different types of events and using advanced event triggering options:

  • DVR built into camera (00:33 min)
  • Storage options (01:30 min)
  • MXControlCenter does not host the recorded video (03:05 min)
  • MxPEG is proprietary to Mobotix & reduces bit rate (05:15 min)
  • Important Note - default exposure is 1/5 second (06:56 min)
  • Working with multiple exposure areas (08:22 min)
  • Full Image Recording is disabled by default (09:54 min)

 

Intercom / VoIP Telephony Overview

Mobotix provides extensive audio options from convenience features like cameras announcing their IP addresses via speaker (to help find a camera) to automated two-way intercom functionality and full VoIP integration. Essentially, Mobotix cameras can be used as videophones.

To do so, requires a VoIP phone - either hardware or software. A free software phone can be used to try this out. We used X-Lite, the recommended VoIP phone software from Mobotix (download X-Lite's windows version).

If you are in a LAN and want to call the phone using a software phone application, you can do so by simply entering in the SIP address of the Mobotix phone. This can be found in the admin menu and uses a structure of <camera_name>@<ip_address_of_camera>. We were able to simply do this from the X-Lite application, have a two-way conversation to the camera as well as watch video from the camera.

If you want to call out from the camera, you need to enter in SIP account information from a VoIP service provider (it's similar to Skype but more complicated to setup). We used the Callcentric service, purchasing the lowest cost US plan ($5 + $3 for 911 service). This information can then be added to the Mobotix camera to call out.

We are still reviewing the audio/telephony features of the Mobotix camera and plan to add more information plus a video in the future. 

4 reports cite this report:

Mobotix P25 Camera Tested on Aug 04, 2015
Low-cost from Mobotix? With MP prices plunging to sub $100 levels, Mobotix's historic ~$1,000 price points are hard to justify. Now, Mobotix has...
T24 Test Criticisms Reviewed on Dec 16, 2010
In this note, we review the key criticisms of Mobotix's T24 access control offering from NetworkWebcam's T24 test. We strongly recommend you read...
New Products Reviewed Fall 2010 on Oct 12, 2010
In this report, we aggregate all our new products reviews for Fall 2010 announcments. Products Reviewed The following new products are reviewed....
T24 IP Door Station Cameras Examined on Oct 04, 2010
Mobotix has recently launched two new megapixel panoramic IP cameras, designed to integrate with their various home/building automation modules to...

Related Reports

Magos Radar Company Profile on Nov 12, 2018
Magos America General Manager Yaron Zussman admits when he first came across Magos, he asked himself: "What's innovative about radar?" Be that as...
Video Surveillance Hard Drive Size Statistics 2018 on Nov 08, 2018
What is the most common hard drive size for video surveillance? 150+ integrators answered: What size hard drive do you most commonly use? What...
Axis 2N Intercom Tested on Nov 08, 2018
Axis expanded its video intercom business buying Czech-based 2N in 2016. Despite competing against owner Axis' intercoms, 2N recently registered as...
Kogniz Silicon Valley AI Startup Profile on Nov 07, 2018
Kogniz is a Silicon Valley company that aims to bring AI analytics to security and surveillance, centering on their own smart cameras: We spoke...
Dahua Dual Imager Dome Camera Tested (HDBW4231FN-E2-M) on Nov 07, 2018
Dahua has introduced a dual-imager dome model, the HDBW4231FN-E2-M, with two independently positionable sensors including integrated IR, not found...
Avigilon Opens Up Analytics And Cameras on Nov 06, 2018
Avigilon is opening up. The company historically famous for advocating its own end-to-end solutions and making it harder for 3rd parties to...
Favorite Video Surveillance Hard Drive Manufacturer 2018 on Nov 06, 2018
Who is the favorite hard drive for video surveillance use? 150+ integrators answered: What is your preferred brand/model of hard drive for...
Worst Products on Nov 03, 2018
Security integrators periodically report on their favorite and worst products to IPVM. These are known integrators who IPVM pays to answer surveys....
Video Surveillance Hard Drive Failure Statistics 2018 on Nov 02, 2018
Hard drive failures can be significant service problems but how common of an issue are they in video surveillance? How long do drives last when...
Building Occupancy Codes and Access Control Tutorial on Nov 01, 2018
A building or room's classification can greatly impact which building codes must be followed. In terms of access control, these 'occupancy codes'...

Most Recent Industry Reports

'Sticker' Surveillance Camera Developed (CSEM Witness) on Nov 16, 2018
The Swiss Center for Electronics and Microtechnology (CSEM) has announced what it calls the: world’s first fully autonomous camera that can be...
ISC East 2018 Mini-Show Final Report on Nov 16, 2018
This is our second (updated) and final show report from ISC East. ISC East, by its own admission, is not a national or international show, billed...
Facial Detection Tested on Nov 16, 2018
Facial detection and recognition are increasingly offered by video surveillance manufacturers. Facial detection detects faces in an image/video...
Throughtek P2P/Cloud Solution Profile on Nov 15, 2018
Many IoT manufacturers either do not have the capabilities or the interest to develop their own cloud management software for their devices....
ASIS Offering Custom Research For Manufacturers on Nov 15, 2018
Manufacturers often want to know what industry people think about trends and, in particular, the segments and product they offer.  ASIS and its...
Hikvision Silent on "Bad Architectural Practices" Cybersecurity Report on Nov 14, 2018
A 'significant vulnerability was found in Hikvision cameras' by VDOO, a startup cybersecurity specialist. Hikvision has fixed the specific...
French Government Threatens School with $1.7M Fine For “Excessive Video Surveillance” on Nov 14, 2018
The French government has notified a high-profile Paris coding academy that it risks a fine of up to 1.5 million euros (about $1.7m) if it...
Integrator Credit Card Alternative Divvy on Nov 13, 2018
Most security integrators are small businesses but large enough that they have various employees that need to be able to expense various charges as...
Directory of Video Intercoms on Nov 13, 2018
Video Intercoms, also known as Video Door-Phones or Video Entry Systems, have been growing in the past decade as more and more IP camera...
Beware Amazon Go Store Hype (Tested) on Nov 13, 2018
IPVM's trip to and testing of Amazon Go's San Francisco store shows a number of significant operational and economic issues that undermine the...

The world's leading video surveillance information source, IPVM provides the best reporting, testing and training for 10,000+ members globally. Dedicated to independent and objective information, we uniquely refuse any and all advertisements, sponsorship and consulting from manufacturers.

About | FAQ | Contact