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Can you connect to a camera on different network?

Posted: Mon Feb 16, 2015 1:40 pm
by jaderoyston
I have not installed yet but am going to try this week. It's obvious I am able to connect to cameras running on the same internet network that I install the program on.

I am wondering if I have cameras port forwarded on totally different networks, maybe not even in the same city, will I be able to connect and monitor those cameras through the zoneminder program I have on this site?

Re: Can you connect to a camera on different network?

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 4:27 am
by river100
Since you are talking about networks, I'll assume you plan on using IP cams.
Yes of course you can. I have cams connected in a city 50 miles away,
not many since the upload speed of the site with the cam is used.
You can also "Cross connect" any Zoneminder camera IP or composite video
to another Zoneminder.

Connecting through the internet is the easy part. Doing it securely is what's important.
There are quite a few ways to do this ranging from simply using obscure ports to
a VPN tunnel. A warning, it doesn't sound like you have much networking experience
or you probably would not have asked your question. So if you do give this a shot,
look into security reqarding IP cams exposed to the internet and if you're willing to
spend the time, VPN, OpenVPN, ect.

Just tot let you know what can be done, I had my previous cell phone configured to
connect to my router at home through a VPN (openvpn) and then run the camera
as an IP cam and record on Zoneminder.
In the end bandwith will be what limits you.

Re: Can you connect to a camera on different network?

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 5:17 am
by jaderoyston
Thanks for the response. You are correct I am not the most educated on networking. I'm a fast learner though, and have been teaching myself over the past few months and have learned a lot. My family has a sports complex and I currently have 7 ip cameras live streaming the sports inside. I have yet to figure out a good way to record them, cut the clips, and post after the events. Which is why I am here. I tried an onsite NVR but for some reason when I would export a one hour clip, instead of getting one AVI file, I would get about 700 clips with a variety of lengths between them which is not what I want. I also tried using VLC media player to have the streams open in different windows recording the live stream to an external hard drive. That would work but only for a certain amount of hours. If I tried to open a clip over a couple hours long, VLC (or any other media player/editor) would say that it could not connect or open the media.

So another question. Let's say I set these cameras to record for 10 hours straight and I want to export the clips one hour at a time or export a clip 5-10 hours long and split that using different video software. I'm hoping this is very simple to do with Zoneminder?

We do use other facilities, which is why I ask if I can connect to the other facilities to cover our entire tournaments and record. I am very pleased that I will be able to connect to other sites. So my Zoneminder I have on a computer on site will be able to connect to as many cameras I wish, at as many different sites I wish, as long as each site has enough upload speed correct? And I do not have to install Zoneminder on a computer on that site to do this correct?

I am somewhat familiar with upload speeds because we had to increase ours due to streaming 7 simultaneously. For our other sites though we would only need 1 or 2 cameras at each site so I don't think the upload speed will be a problem. I have the cameras set at a lower bitrate so the upload speeds are fluent and the video is smooth and uninterrupted.

I have a computer technician coming this week to install Zoneminder on a computer onsite, he said he is going to put something inside the computer to increase the RAM and something else. I'm not too worried about that I am more concerned about the functionality and how I will work it once it is installed.

Re: Can you connect to a camera on different network?

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 7:54 am
by river100
You can set Zoneminder to create video clips and upload them to a remote
server / PC. This software will do what you want, however you'll want to get
a computer tech' with linux experience. Otherwise you'll pay him through
a learning experience.

As far as the video is concerned, Playing large video files can bog down some PCs,
you'll want to break them down to smaller files. This can be done in the recording
settings of Zoneminder.
IP cams can produce pretty big files so there wil be a learning curve.

I put XYMON client on all of the Zoneminder servers I build. I have one XYMON
server that watches all of the ZM installs I've done for people. With it you can
have Graphs and a history of each ZM server.

Yes you can connect as many cameras as your PC / Server's hardware can handle.
I have been using used servers bought from ebay for Zoneminder. They have the
power to do the job, are designed to run 24/7, and are dirt cheap.
Once you get your system running, make an image of it and if it dies,
re-image another one and you're good to go.
Not sure if they still do this or allow it but there are some really good tech's
on this forum that could work with you and or you and a computer tech'.
That might be the way to go for you.

If you decide to use Zoneminder for this, Don't forget to make a donation.
All of the ZM installs I've done are for friends and the fee is a donation to the Zoneminder project

Re: Can you connect to a camera on different network?

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 1:49 pm
by Nerre
Zoneminder is NOT the tool you want to record video for editing, since zoneminder internally stores everything as JPEG images.

Zoneminder is targeted towards surveillance, not recording.

Re: Can you connect to a camera on different network?

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 2:39 pm
by jaderoyston
Is there any way to store the stream as something other than jpeg such as avi? Or possibly another program that you may know of that will allow me to convert the jpeg images to a video file?

Re: Can you connect to a camera on different network?

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:42 pm
by river100
You can configure Zoneminder to generate videos and upload them to a remote site.
Do some searches of the forum. Look at the filter pop-up.

Re: Can you connect to a camera on different network?

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 3:47 pm
by jaderoyston
Thanks river100, do you by chance have a link you can post back in a comment that I could follow to find the correct forum to help?

Thanks before hand.

Re: Can you connect to a camera on different network?

Posted: Wed Feb 18, 2015 10:18 pm
by jaderoyston
I have zoneminder installed and have the "ZoneMinder Console - Running - v1.26.5"

Neither myself or the technician can figure out how to configure the cameras I have to communicate with zonminder.
I have 6 IP cameras that I bought from POLARISUSA Video Inc.

The model number for these 6 cameras is: PIP-DM2MP-VF

I have one other camera style with the model number: ST-IP121M-2M

I have watch youtube videos online of someone configuring a camera and I think the problem I am running into is the
"Remote Host Path"

Also I do not see polaris named on the compatible list on the wiki site.

Does anybody have help for me to configure these cameras?

Re: Can you connect to a camera on different network?

Posted: Mon Feb 23, 2015 7:56 pm
by Nerre
Even though zoneminder can create videos, they are created from the stored JPEG-images. The possibility for zoneminder to record videos is often requested but will neej major reworking since the motion detection uses individual JPEG-images.

So to record videos, use something else. VLC (command line version) or ffmpeg might be better suited.

Re: Can you connect to a camera on different network?

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 2:43 pm
by ionut
Reviving this old post but this is the closest topic that I found close to my situation. So the problem is like this, I have a country house in a rural area and a cable internet connection that works pretty well, the only problem is that my internet provides uses carrier grade NAT, meaning there is no way to forward my IP to the outside and even have problems using peer to peer DVR. So instead of traditional security cameras I have set up 4 old android phones with IPWebcam Pro and they work excellent with Zoneminder and TinyCam on the same network, still without access from outside. I've started reading a bit and now as a workaround for this problem I have setup a virtual private server on google cloud platform on Debian that is a openvpn server and zoneminder. Each one of the 4 phones is always connected through VPN to my VPS on GCP. On the same VPS i have setup Zoneminder but now I can't add cameras that are connected through VPN to the zoneminder instalation, basically my cameras have IP's assigned by the openvpn server - etc and my zoneminder install isn't able to read information from those cameras. I feel like I'm missing something related to networking. Thanks.

Re: Can you connect to a camera on different network?

Posted: Tue Mar 27, 2018 3:05 pm
by river100
I had a friend with no internet options other than Hughes sat at his fishing camp with camera system.
I used a Cradle Point MBR1200 router with a Verizon 4g LTS USB dongle to get internet.
Then put an ASUS router behind it running OpenVPN in client mode.
The VPN was setup as a TAP VPN. This puts both networks on the same subnet.
the VPN server was an ASUS router at his home running OpenVPN.
Now he gets to the camp DVR using his home internet address.
He can even control his stereo at home from the fishing camp.

Re: Can you connect to a camera on different network?

Posted: Wed Mar 28, 2018 5:00 am
by ionut
Hi, the setup you mention is a bit different then my approach, the way you configured works pretty well, unfortunately to be able to do the same means I'd have to buy two additional routers with VPN capabilities one to act as a server and the other as client, and in Romania this is kinda expensive. I still think that there is a solution and manage to connect to cameras on a different subnet, not really a Zoneminder issue, more a Debian issue regarding routing and iptables.