Raspberry Pi webcam server

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Any recommendations for using the Raspberry Pi as a webcam server? My
preferences are:

* high frame rate, high resolution
* include video and audio
* streaming over a network

I am not looking for motion detection because I think that would put
too large a drain on the CPU.

For similar reasons I don't want the Pi to convert the video any more
than necessary. I would rather get good video quality and decode and
process video streams on another machine.

So the Pi principally needs to read raw-ish video and audio and pipe
them over the network link. I'm not sure what I would do to process it
elsewhere, yet, but that will depend on what the Pi can best output.

Any suggestions? Anyone else already got something like this working?

James

Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
On 17/05/2013 22:41, James Harris wrote:
 > Any recommendations for using the Raspberry Pi as a webcam server? My
 > preferences are:
 >
 > * high frame rate, high resolution
 > * include video and audio
 > * streaming over a network

If you are looking for a solution rather than a project, you can buy a  
complete IP camera with IR, pan/tilt, two way audio, etc, on ebay for as  

little as £16 for VGA and £25 for 720P. Which makes more sense than  
tying up the Pi on such tasks. I've just bought one of these:-

http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/NR-HD-720P-MegaPixel-Home-Digital-Video-Wireles
s-Security-IP-Camera-DVR-System-/261214010255?pt=UK_Computing_ComputerC
omponents_Webcams&hash=item3cd1917b8f

---druck



Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
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Maybe I should be asking this question elsewhere (comp.sys.acorn.
networking?) but I am unfamiliar with remotely accessing anything on my
network from outside.

If you want to be able to access this camera from a remote site do you
have to make changes to your router settings (NAT firewall?) that might
compromise your network in someway or reduce its security?

At the moment I like to think that my router setting are locked down as
tight as possible to reduce /any/ possibility that anything on my network
can be "got at" from outside.

--  
Stuart Winsor

Midlands RISC OS and Raspberry pi show, 13th July 2013

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Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
On 18/05/13 17:44, Stuart wrote:
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yes - ish!

you need to pass through the inbound connection. That puts your webcam  
in the public domain :-)

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indeed. It may be possible to isolate the cam so its the ONLY thing that  
CAN be got at. With a decent router.




--  
Ineptocracy

(in-ep-toc?-ra-cy) ? a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.


Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
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And anything else presumably, which then becomes more dependant on its own
firewall program. Thanks, I thought that might be the case.

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BT fibre with their modem followed by a TP-Link N600

--  
Stuart Winsor

Midlands RISC OS and Raspberry pi show, 13th July 2013

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Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
On 18/05/13 18:28, Stuart wrote:
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no, not presumably. You can open an IP link TO the web cam, but thats  
it. Now if it has a way to be hicked using -0 say - port 80 to act as a  
start point fr attcaking the interneal network, maybe. Otherwise, web  
cam alone really.

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Oh god. TP link. I've never found it possible to hat a FW working AT ALL  
on mine.




--  
Ineptocracy

(in-ep-toc?-ra-cy) ? a system of government where the least capable to lead are elected by the least capable of producing, and where the members of society least likely to sustain themselves or succeed, are rewarded with goods and services paid for by the confiscated wealth of a diminishing number of producers.


Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
On Sat, 18 May 2013 18:08:40 +0100

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    Alternatively set up a VPN with openvn running on the pi and then
you can still control and view the camera from anywhere, but only if you
have the necessary VPN keys. Also the traffic is encrypted across the
public internet.

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    Any router should be able to manage that.

--  
Steve O'Hara-Smith                          |   Directable Mirror Arrays
C:>WIN                                      | A better way to focus the sun
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Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
On 18/05/2013 17:44, Stuart wrote:

[Wireless IP camera]

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You would need to get the router to forward external connections to a  
particular port to the port on the IP camera.

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Only the IP camera can be accessed directly from outside, but if there  
are vulnerabilities in the IP camera server, it could be used to gain  
access to other devices on your local network.

---druck


Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
declaimed the following in comp.sys.raspberry-pi:

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    Yes!

    One:  you will need to have either a fixed IP address, or some
dynamic IP address forwarding service (DynDNS) so that the outside world
can address your network at all.

    Two: you will have to open the router to permit outside connections
to pass through to whatever machine is being used as a server (good
routers should have the ability to specify a "dmz" node which is exposed
to the outside but still block blind attempt to other machines on the
inside).

    This assumes your outside world is supposed to be able to control
the camera at all. Otherwise you could just set up a chron job to have
the camera take shots at some interval and upload the image to an
external web/ftp hosting site (if the file name doesn't change, you
could maybe have the HTML for a web site time to update the page at the
same interval you run the uploads; so anyone viewing would see the page
updating periodically).
--  
    Wulfraed                 Dennis Lee Bieber         AF6VN
         snipped-for-privacy@ix.netcom.com    HTTP://wlfraed.home.netcom.com/

Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
Thanks to everyone for your help and information.

I was wondering about the possibilities of being able to keep an eye on my
home while I am away, which I thought was the purpose of such a camera.

The issues are beyond me so I'll be leaving it there.

Thank you.

Stuart

--  
Stuart Winsor

Midlands RISC OS and Raspberry pi show, 13th July 2013

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Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
On Sat, 18 May 2013 20:49:01 +0100, Stuart wrote:

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Yes. The obvious approaches (Allowing a client to connect to a server in  
your network and periodically updating an external webserver (the latter  
doesn't need any holes in your firewall as the update would be a cron job  
that connects out to the webserver) both are, at least potentially, world  
viewable - of course your client program could use authentication to see  
streamed video of you could password protect the web page holding the  
photos, but they may get hacked, hence my 'at least potentially'.

The end result is that, while you can check on the state of your house,  
the black hats can also see when you're out. For this and othyer reasons  
I think you'll find that all similar publically accessible webcams only  
show external views suitable for checking the weather, etc.  

The only semi-secure method I can think of would be to arrange your setup  
so that you could fetch pictures by e-mailing your house system to  
request current picture(s) and it would send you the picture(s) in a  
reply message. That should be fairly easy to implement: you'd run a  
mailserver and use procmail or a javamail-based Java program to monitor  
the camera's mailbox and generate a response whenever a valid mail  
request was received.  

HTH
  

--  
martin@   | Martin Gregorie
gregorie. | Essex, UK
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Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
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[Snip]

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[Snip]

IME IP cameras and software which do motion detection will SEND you an
email when they see something. No need to ask. They will also often send
stills via FTP to a web server on an interval or on motion detection.
Then you can set up a web page like this www.timil.com/webcam

You could use some PHP or summat and password protect a page it if you
find it necessary. And careful when you set motion thresholds or you
could receive a barrage of email.

I have been using CCTV, web and IP cameras for years. I have written a
few notes about setting them up which are linked from the above page. My
set-ups have both helped with an RTA outside my client's office (which
proved an idiot was overtaking on a pelican crossing) and catching
door-to-door con men who visited my house and wanted to rip us off for
unnecessary roof repairs. The funny bit was that our local cop had no
idea you could have a basic CCTV set-up with a PC, a few £10 USB cameras
and free open-source software.  

Perhaps iSpy could be ported to the Pi.

--  
from Tim Hill who welcomes incoming email to tim at timil dot com.
* Share in a better energy supplier: http://tjrh.eu/coopnrg
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Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
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y

Cool! Yes, I would consider something like that if the prices are so
good. I wanted a security camera by the front door, for example. The
only webcam servers I had seen before, albeit some time ago, were such
as those made by Axis and which cost over £100.

That said, I also have some low-light webcams which I bought cheaply a
while ago. I would like to try them in a number of scenarios. For
those, a computer connection might be better so I am still interested
in Raspberry Pi solutions.

James

Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
On 18/05/2013 15:04, druck wrote:
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y
s

ess-Security-IP-Camera-DVR-System-/261214010255?pt=UK_Computing_Compute
rComponents_Webcams&hash=item3cd1917b8f

It's finally arrived, and unfortunately it's pretty crap. Video and  
sound stuttery, crashes a lot, IR LEDs not working. Just updated the  
firmware and suspect it's bricked itself. Will probably cost me more to  
return it to China that I paid for it. :-(

---druck



Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
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[Snip]

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[Snip URL - don't buy these!!!]

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Those things are poor knock-offs of decent cameras which cost £60 or so
but beware: some of the knock-offs are £60. FOSCAM is what they copy,
apparently. Some even claim to have microphones and loudspeakers when
they don't. And they may claim all sort of resolutions which may only be
upscaled in software from a tiny, crappy VGA sensor.

My soon-to-be-ex bought me one of those Chinese clone jobs a few years
ago (it cost a fortune) and the wireless never worked well and eventually
it just stopped working altogether. 'Twas badly made cheap rubbish and
looked identical to those listed at the URL I won't repeat.

--  
from Tim Hill who welcomes incoming email to tim at timil dot com.
* Share in a better energy supplier: http://tjrh.eu/coopnrg
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Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
On 02/06/13 16:06, Tim Hill wrote:
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I bought one of these:
(Amazon.com product link shortened)

It seems quite good for the price. Wireless worked OK with my
Technicolor router in the UK, but tended to saturate the link. For some
reason it doesn't  want to work with my Sagem router here in France, but
I don't care as I want to run it wired anyway.
Never got the microphone or speaker to work, though.

As I said, for just over 30 quid it's not bad, and Amazon offer a year's
warranty; hardly worth going directly to a dodgy chinese supplier.



Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
On Sun, 02 Jun 2013 14:49:49 +0100

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Might be worth opening an eBay case for goods significantly not as
described?
I've bought some great cheap audio and general electronic stuff on eBay
from China, but the one video camera I bought worked briefly and then
got rather warm. OTOH it was so cheap it wasn't really worth bothering
about.


Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
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 My
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s

Thanks for the warning.

I have had good purchases from Hong Kong in the past. Not sure about
China more generally.

Strange that it is so poor. The seller has good feedback for other
items they have sold - though it's not clear what products the
feedback is about.

As someone else said, it might be worth registering a complaint
specifically about something that made it unsuitable. In some ways
Ebay have improved in helping buyers.

James

Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
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The Pi camera posting:
http://www.raspberrypi.org/archives/3890

has some notes on how to stream raw video (not sure if it's H264 or JPEG
encoded).  Not sure if that's sufficient or you'd need better compression.
It won't do audio but maybe you could set up something else to do that?

Theo

Re: Raspberry Pi webcam server
wrote:
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on.

Thanks. It's a long page so I may have missed it but the page seems to
relate more the new camera board than a webcam? The new camera is very
impressive. I might try that at some point but I have some low-light
USB webcams, i.e. with CCD rather than CMOS sensors, and I would like
to try them out with the Pi.

So any pointers on *CPU-friendly* streaming from the Pi would be
welcome. I may just have to try it and see where I get to but I guess
this must be a well-trodden road.

James

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