Do you know What is ONVIF?
You must understand this protocol if you are working with IP based systems in the video surveillance or access control industry.
What is ONVIF?
ONVIF is a worldwide open standard protocol for interconnection between IP based systems such as video surveillance and access control devices. Most modern IP security systems are ONVIF compliant.
Let's use a standard protocol
Imagine a system integrator who sells IP surveillance systems or access control equipment to a customer who later decides to use a different brand.
Using ONVIF compliant devices, the customer has more freedom of choice for different IP cameras or access control equipment.
Quick video explanation
Watch this quick video to understand more about this open standard protocol.
Relate article: ONVIF protocol, the benefits, and drawbacks.
Relate article: ONVIF Device Manager Review and Download.
The devices communication
When a Network Video Recorder (NVR) sends commands to an IP camera to request high-resolution videos, a common standard enforced by the ONVIF protocol allows to such camera to delivery what was asked even if the NVR was manufactured by another company and has a different brand.
So the commands used by a PTZ (Pan Tilt Zoom) camera, for example, to change its position or send a Full HD video stream, are always the same. It doesn't matter who the camera is or the VMS software manufacturer.
This is why this network video interface forum is so important.
The benefits of the ONVIF protocol
The ONVIF profiles and features
In addition to the video, you can also use other features through the ONVIF protocol, such as alarms, video analytics, audio, and PTZ control. It all depends on the protocol version used by the manufacturers for video streaming.
There are versions 1.x and 2.x of the protocol. The 1.x is already very old and practically no longer considered by most manufacturers.
Profile S: This is the most basic profile for the cameras. It supports video streaming from the camera to the recording or monitoring system.
Profile G: Supports video storage control. The profile G allows a VMS to retrieve video from an SD card installed on an IP camera.
Profile Q: Profile that allows you to discover the cameras on the network through a scan. The profile Q increases password security.
Profile C and A: Support Access Control.
The video below explains the use of profile A and profile C.
Profile C is relatively new.
Profile T: Profile supports the H.265 CODEC.
The ONVIF Profile T was created to address advanced video capabilities such as motion detection, video analytics, and H.265 CODEC support.
The ONVIF Profile T features
Advanced video metadata
The ONVIF Profile T is H.265 compliant
The H.265 CODEC is supported by the Profile T via the Media2 service.
Media 2 service is a standard framework designed to support different codecs, so the H.265 and other ones can be implemented into the protocol, making it future-proof and more comfortable to work with.
The use of motion detection is essential for IP based systems since it allows us to use an IP camera to generate events to trigger alerts and reduce storage.
VMSes can use the motion detection feature from an IP camera or use their built-in motion detection. The first method reduces the need for extra processing power considerably; that's why it's proffered in most cases.
Most professional IP cameras have some video analytics features available, and usually, their use is tied to a proprietary VMS.
With the ONVIF Profile, the VMSes can receive the analytics events and trigger an appropriate response.
Most of the IP cameras on the market are compliant with the ONVIF Profile S, which supports audio.
Bi-directional audio can be used with the profile T, which allows us to transmit and receive audio from the IP security cameras and other network devices.
Why is ONVIF Profile T important?
The ONVIF Profile T is essential because it supports the new technologies used by the security camera manufacturers.
Video motion detection and video analytics are essential for AI (Artificial Intelligence), maximizing system efficiency.
The protocol Conformance Verification
You can test the ONVIF profiles for IP cameras and Access control (profile C) for conformance. Watch the video to learn more.
ONVIF compatible cameras
There's an official ONVIF compatibility list. See the link below.
Claudemir Martins is a former Samsung Engineer with 19+ years of experience in the surveillance industry. He has been traveling around 17 different countries to teach people how to design, and install CCTV systems. He is currently working for Axis Communications as a Technical Services Engineer and living in the United States with his family.