Adding / Managing analog cameras

This section covers adding and managing analog cameras. A Bluecherry hardware compression card is required for use with analog cameras and our software.

Select Devices from the menu

We support stacking of multiple Bluecherry cards. Each card will be automatically recognized and loaded on startup. For this example we have a Bluecherry 4 port card and a Bluecherry 16 port card installed.

By default each Bluecherry hardware compression card is minimized. Clicking on the card number will expand the card allowing you to enable and configure each port

The next step is to select 'Enable', which will give you options to set the resolution and frame rate (FPS)

Once a port is enabled you have several options. Each camera can have the resolution independantly controlled. Bluecherry cards support resolutions of 704x480 and 352x240.

Updating the resolution and FPS will also update the 'Unused capacity', which is the total amount of frames per second that you have left on this card.

Note: Bluecherry MPEG-4 16 port cards support 120FPS @ 704x480, or 480FPS @ 352x240. Bluecherry H.264 16 port cards support 150FPS @ 704x480 or 480FPS @ 352x240.

You can also change the video signal type from NTSC to PAL. Note, by default the driver loads up as NTSC. Changing to PAL requires a quick command line change, follow this knowledge base article for more information. NTSC is the 'standard' video signal for North America.

Change the name of a camera

To change the name of the camera, simply click on the current camera title (by default "Port X on Card 0"), and type the new name for that camera and hit enter. In this example the name was changed from 'Port 1 on Card 1' to 'Front PTZ'

Settings -> Video / Audio

This section allows you to adjust the video brightness, hue, saturation and contrast along with enabling audio and selecting the audio 'gain'.

By default each control has a default value of 50. Moving the bar to the left or right will show the current value. The image will update about once a second to show you the changes you made to the video settings. Changes are automatically saved as you move the bar. 'Reset values to defaults' brings all settings back to the default of 50.

Note: Audio is disabled by default. Audio recording is illegal in some states and countries / provinces. Please read up on your local laws to before enabling audio.

Settings -> Motion detection settings

The motion detection section can be broken down into three parts

  1. Pre-event and Post event buffers
  2. Sensitivity settings
  3. Grid selection
  1. Pre-event and post event buffers - Each camera can be individually set to have its own pre-event and post-event buffer. This value is measured in seconds, and allows for pre and post event recording to be added automatically once a motion event occurs.
  2. Sensitivity settings - Each location on the grid above can be changed to a different value. The supported values are off (no motion detected in this grid), minimal, low, average, high and very high. Selecting a 'low' sensitivity setting would mean that more motion would need to occur in that selected grid location to 'trip' the motion detection recording. Selecting 'very high' would change the sensitivity value so very little movement would need to occur in that grid to 'trip' the motion detection recording.
  3. Grid selection - As mentioned above, each location on the grid can be changed to different values. Simply select the type of sensitivity you want from the levels above, then click on the grid. You can also hide the image to better set the grid locations if the image from the camera is too bright.

Note: Changes are not made until you click 'Save changes'.


Settings -> Schedule

By default each camera uses the 'Global schedule' (see #1 on the image above). However it is possible to use a different schedule for each device. To enable this, click the 'Use device-specific schedule for this camera' and click 'Save changes'

Device-specific schedules

From this section you can select which hours on which days you want certain recording to occur. In this example motion will be detected on Monday - Friday between 8 AM and 6 PM.

Setting the schedule to 'Continuous' will record for the entire duration. Every 15 minutes a new video file will be started.
Setting the schedule to 'Motion' will recording motion for the duration of the motion event, plus the pre and post event times (if selected)
Setting the schedule to 'Off' will disable any recording from occuring during the selected time.

Settings -> PTZ settings

Basic PTZ configuration

Note: Most of the values above will come from your PTZ camera. Most cameras display this on startup (power cycle the camera and watch what is displayed on startup). Don't forget to click 'Save changes' once you are finished tweaking these settings.

  1. Protocol - Most cameras support the Pelco protocol
  2. Control path - This is the serial port path on the server that is connected to the PTZ camera. USB adapters may be /dev/ttyUSB0
  3. Camera address - This should be displayed on the camera during startup. The Pelco protocol allows for IDs to range between 0 and 255
  4. Baud rate - This should be displayed on the camera during startup. Most cameras default to 2400
  5. Bit: - This should be displayed on the camera during startup. Most cameras default to 8
  6. Stop bit - This should be displayed on the camera during startup. Most cameras default to 1
  7. Parity - This should be displayed on the camera during startup. Most cameras default to None

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