Don’t Buy a Video Surveillance Without ONVIF Support: Here’s Why and What is ONVIF?

Have you ever heard of ONVIF in Video Surveillance area? And why is it actually matter to pay attention to ONVIF support when selecting a network-based device, such as network camera, network video recorders, access control systems or any other security appliance? The goal of this material is to answer these questions. You’re on Pipl Systems Store, my name’s Daniel, we begin.

In simple words, ONVIF is an acknowledged standard among IP-based security products. And what it does, is that it allows the appliance of different manufacturers to communicate between each other and, kind of, go beyond the limitations and the fact that they are a products of different companies. The easiest way to explain this is the example with English language, that is the world’s most universal language, which is kind of an acknowledged “middle link” or “standard” between different languages and different nationalities. So as ONVIF, but for a network-based security products.

For a practical example I took a Hikvision network camera and Dahua’s Network Video Recorder – different companies, yes? Considering that both Dahua and Hikvision are members of ONVIF and have ONVIF protocol supported in their devices, that means we totally can connect Hikvision Camera to Dahua Recorder, or backwards.

I am transmitting power and network to camera via patch cord from PoE-switch and powering Dahua recorder with 12V power supply coming from an outlet, and transmitting network from a switch to it – see the following video

The example with Dahua and Hikvision devices is the essence of solution that ONVIF offers, in the small scale though. But there are some details worth talking about. And this – an ONVIF conformance profiles, and you see, there’s a few of them, and every single one has its own specific feature set. Consequently, to make security devices of different manufacturers communicate with each other, they should have identical ONVIF conformance profiles supported on both ends – this is how it works.

ONFIV Profiles

There is a clear division: profiles A and C are relevant for everything related to access control systems, profiles G, Q, S and T are used among video systems. And there is also a division by type: IP-device, such as camera, video recorder, access control terminal, and the client – a video management software.

Profile A: access control configuration

  • Granting/revoking credentials
  • Creating schedules
  • Assigning access rules

More closely – Profile A provides support for access control configuration functionality: that is: granting/revoking credentials, creating schedules and assigning access rules. Device conformant to A profile can retrieve information, status, events, and configure access rules, credentials and schedules. Profile A conformant client provides configurations of access rules, credentials and schedules. The client can also retrieve and receive standardized access control-related events.

Profile C: door control and event management

  • Site information and configuration
  • Event and alarm management
  • Door access control

Profile C is used for door control and event management, such as site information and configuration, event and alarm management, and door access control.

Profile G: edge storage and retrieval

  • Configure, request and control recording
  • Receive audio and metadata stream

With Profile G we get into IP-based video systems, and specifically this one is responsible for edge storage and retrieval, allowing devices to configure, request and control recording, to receive audio and metadata stream. A Profile G device, an IP-camera or video encoder, is one that can record video data over a network or on the device itself. A Profile G client, like a video management software used on computer, can configure, request, and control recording of video data on a conformant device over network. The profile also supports audio receiving and metadata stream if the client supports it.

Profile Q: quick installation / device discovery

  • Easy setup
  • Discovery, configuration and control of conformant devices

PROFILE Q is about the device discovery within the network, basic configuration of ones, and taking control of Profile Q conformant devices. Like, profile Q conformant client can discover, configure and control a conformant device over the network. Profile Q also supports TLS secure communication protocol.

Profile S: basic video streaming

  • Video streaming and configuration

PROFILE S is the basic one for IP video systems, used for video streaming and configuration of it. Meaning that Profile S conformant IP-camera or video encoder as a device to send video over network to video management software, conformant to Profile S, which in its turn, is able to configure, request, and control video streaming over a network. Profile S supports PTZ devices control over network, audio streaming, multicasting and relay outputs.

Profile T: advanced video streaming

  • 264 / H.265 video compression
  • Imaging settings
  • Motion alarm and tampering events
  • Metadata streaming
  • Bi-directional audio

PROFILE T is a next level: intended for advanced video streaming. It supports H point two sixty four and two sixty five encoding formats, imaging settings, and alarm events such as motion and tampering detection. Although, you won’t find much supported devices here. Even though a majority of manufacturers adopted H point two sixty five compression rate support for quite a time, it doesn’t seem like they are willing to share that with other manufacturers.

What’s convenient, is that beforehand you can easily check if a new devices you consider to get are supporting required ONVIF Profiles in order to make them integrate with your existing system, made by another manufacturer. So what’s nice, is that we can go to ONVIF website, press the conformant devices button, and check it all on place.

So why is it actually matter to pay attention to ONVIF support when selecting the Security-related IP-product, such as IP-camera, Video Recorder, or appliance related to Access Control? Because whenever you are going to add to your existing system something new, and that will be a device of another company – regardless of these limitations, that those are a different manufacturers, you will easily make your system work even if it consists of completely different products. Contact us in the Pipl Systems Store and we will help you select your perfect IP video surveillance system supporting ONVIF and many other features. We’ve got a lot of brands presented and we can assemble your system from a completely different devices, but it will work good.

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