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Camera Remote Setup via ONVIF

Managing camera settings from the Watcher UI via ONVIF

You can change a camera's settings directly from the Watcher UI. The ONVIF protocol is used for this, so make sure your camera supports it.

On the ONVIF configuration tab, Watcher allows you to setup:

  • PTZ control and receiving motion events
  • The output stream from the camera (resolution, frame rate, codec, etc.)
  • The network settings of the camera (DHCP, static IP address)
  • Image settings (brightness, sharpness, etc.)
  • Time setting (add an NTP server, set time manually)
  • User accounts.

The details are described below on this page.


If some settings are disabled (not editable), then the camera model does not support their change (except the IP address, it can be disabled when you use DHCP).

To configure a camera remotely:

  1. Go to the camera settings: you can do so from the Cameras page or from the Organizations page
  2. Open the ONVIF configuration tab
  3. If the camera is disconnected, enter the credentials configured on the camera and click Connect


    Both login and password must NOT include any of the following characters: @, ;, #, [, \, /, =, $

    Managing Cameras via ONVIF

  4. After the camera has been connected, the UI for managing it via ONVIF appears.

ONVIF features

If the camera connected via ONVIF supports PTZ control and/or receiving motion events, you can enable or disable these functions from the Watcher web UI.

Managing Cameras via ONVIF

  • PTZ. Turn this check box on for cameras with PTZ feature to enable camera PTZ controls in the UI.
  • Collect events. Enables collecting motion events from a camera via ONVIF. You should enable motion detection in the camera's web interface. You can view detected events on the Events page.


    Watcher can also receive events via SMTP. However, this function requires adjustment on the camera itself, which can be difficult with a large number of cameras. We recommended receiving events via ONVIF. Please do not hesitate to contact our technical support team in case of any troubles with events collection via ONVIF.

Information about the device

You can see camera details in the Watcher web UI: manufacturer, model, serial number, firmware. These details are returned by the camera and not editable.

Managing Cameras via ONVIF

To send a command to reboot the camera, click Reboot camera in the INFORMATION ABOUT DEVICE section.

Output stream settings

Here you can configure streams provided by the camera. The camera may have one or more streams depending on the model. Some stream settings can depend on each other, e.g. you may have to set resolution or fps according to certain rules. This also depends on the model. Please refer to the camera documentation for details.

You can specify one or two of the configured streams in the camera properties in Watcher.

Managing Cameras via ONVIF

The following settings are available:

  • H264 Profile: select one of the standard H264 profiles
  • Resolution: set the video resolution
  • Bitrate: stream bit rate, kbps
  • FPS: frames per second
  • Quality is the quality of the image from the camera, in units from 0 (low quality) to 5 (high quality). The higher the quality, the higher the bitrate of the stream.


You can configure camera's network settings or synchronize the camera time with NTP server or you browser time.

Time synchronization is necessary for correct time stamping. Timestamps are used for archive playback to display archive for the time period you select.

Managing Cameras via ONVIF

The following settings are available:

  • DHCP: check the box for the camera to obtain the IP address and subnet mask settings automatically from the router to which it is connected. If DHCP is used, you cannot manually set the IP address and mask.
  • IP and Mask: you can set the camera IP address and subnet mask if necessary.


    Be careful when changing these camera settings to avoid losing access to it. If the camera is no longer available on the Watcher server, you will not be able to continue remote configuration.


    To apply any of the network settings, click Reboot camera in the INFORMATION ABOUT DEVICE section. All other settings take effect without rebooting the camera.

  • Gateway: set the gateway address.

  • NTP settings group: check the DHCP box in this group for the camera to obtain the address of the time synchronization server (NTP) automatically from the router, OR uncheck the bof and enter the NTP server address in the text field.
  • Date & Time settings group: check the current camera date and time; if necessary, forcibly set the browser time or NTP server time on camera.

Imaging settings

You can change video image settings.

Managing Cameras via ONVIF

The following settings are available:

  • Brightness
  • Contrast
  • Saturation
  • Sharpness
  • Wide Dynamic Range
  • Backlight Compensation
  • Infrared cut-off filter
  • The Exposure settings:

    • Mode of the exposure control
    • Min gain
    • Max gain
    • Min exposure time
    • Max exposure time


You can add, delete or edit camera user accounts. These accounts can be used for camera connection, for example, as shown above.

Managing Cameras via ONVIF