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Howto

On this page, you will find the answers to the following questions:

  1. What is Flussonic Watcher?
  2. Flussonic Watcher licensing
  3. What are Watcher system requirements?
  4. How to calculate the hard disk size for the archive, and what HDD types can I use?
  5. How to add a camera?
  6. How to customize the mobile app?
  7. What is a camera agent?
  8. How do I get the camera agent?
  9. Can I install Flussonic Watcher on VPS?
  10. Does Flussonic Watcher work with PTZ control?
  11. How to get analytics data for events?
  12. What is the main advantage over competitors?
  13. Which camera can I use to work with Watcher?
  14. Can I go back to the factory camera firmware after agent installation?
  15. Can I host other sites on the server with Watcher?
  16. Can I install other software on the server with Watcher?

What is Flussonic Watcher?

Flussonic Watcher is a software that lets you launch your own video service or surveillance system.

Areas of application:

  • Cloud video services as a solution (VSaaS) is a subscription-based online system with access to cameras and archive from anywhere by using a web browser or a mobile application.

  • Surveillance systems within a corporate network to provide the highest security.

More about Watcher

Flussonic Watcher licensing

The price depends on the number of cameras. There are two licensing models available:

  • subscription
  • perpetual

A subscription license doesn’t imply any limitations to updating and basic support.

The perpetual license includes free upgrades and basic support for one year. You can extend the maintenance plan for the next year for 30% of the license price.

What are Watcher system requirements?

A list of hardware requirements is available here.

However, each project requires individual performance checks, because there are too many factors that can affect it. For example, a camera bitrate, a number of users, network bandwidth, whether a client mosaic is turned on or off, etc.

That’s why we offer a free and fully functional Flussonic Watcher version, which you can test in a real work environment and run the load tests.

How to calculate the hard disk size for the archive and what HDD types can I use?

Please refer to Calculation of the bandwidth and disks for storing the video archive for detailed instructions on hard disk space calculation based on bitrate and number of cameras.

How to add a camera?

There is an easy plug-and-play option if you have Flussonic Agent installed onto your camera. Learn more

Also, you can search for cameras on your local network or add a camera to Watcher using its IP or regular RTSP URL, but you need to know it and set visibility through your NAT (port forwarding, OpenVPN, or a white static IP address for your camera). Learn more

How to customize the mobile app?

You can use the following options to customize mobile applications:

  1. Use free and ready-to-use applications with limited customization. You will see the Operator ID field in the login screen: you can get this ID on the Mobile app and Agents tab in Watcher settings and it is always displayed in the lower left part of the Watcher web UI once you get it. When users (subscribers) enter the ID, they reach the server specified in your admin account settings. The application users will see the company name and URL also configured in your admin account.

    Note

    Operator ID is a numeric value which is more convenient as opposed to typing symbols. If you don’t enter your Operator ID (it also stores your server address) the application will try to reach the default server, and your users won’t see your cameras.

  2. Use our iOS and/or Android API to develop your mobile application(s) that can access Flussonic Watcher and get video streams, archives, users, etc. Use this approach if you want to create the branded application with your account and develop it independently.

  3. We offer a service for customizing (branding) our application in accordance with your company style. Please contact our technical support team for details: support@flussonic.com. Our team will let you know which assets and details are needed for this option.

What is a camera Agent?

Flussonic Agent (or Agent) is a small-size software that you install on IP cameras used in a video surveillance service. It allows cameras from a local area network to connect to a Watcher server outside the LAN. An encrypted channel is used for that.

You can find a detailed answer in this article and in our documentation.

How do I get the camera Agent?

We offer a line of cameras with the Agent already installed. Please check out our branded cameras here or contact our technical support team at support@flussonic.com to get extended list of camera models with Agent.

Flussonic engineers are always ready to help you find the Agent for your model(s) or help the camera vendor to prepare the Agent for you. The vendor, together with our engineers, develops the Agent individually for each specific camera model, and in some cases, for the custom requirements. The Agent is added to the camera firmware by the vendor.

The Agent's price is included in Flussonic Watcher.

Why can't I get one Agent that fits all cameras?

Because the Agent is highly dependent on the hardware which differs for all cameras. Apart from that, the Agent may require customization for a specific environment where you plan to use the cameras.

Can I install Flussonic Watcher on VPS?

Yes, both Flussonic Watcher and Flussonic Media Server can run on local virtual machines or virtual cloud servers. However, any virtual server should be used for tests or trials rather than for full-functioning production facilities. When you install Watcher on VPS, the delays and video quality degradation may arise at high load while users and subscribers have strict real-time requirements to Flussonic products.

Does Flussonic Watcher work with PTZ controls?

Yes, it does.

But there is a thing you should bear in mind. The Flussonic Watcher UI includes PTZ (pan–tilt–zoom) camera controls, but the stability of PTZ operation depends on the particular camera. Many cameras have a poor PTZ/ONVIF implementation. In fact, some camera descriptions may mention PTZ support while it does not work.

How to get analytics data for events

Flussonic Watcher can receive motion events from IP surveillance cameras and also has its own neural network analytics.

Events in Watcher web UI

All events that Watcher detects on the video are shown on the Events page in the web UI. You can apply various filters there.

Events are also shown as marks on the timeline when you browse the archive in the player.

You should enable motion events in Watcher and on the camera itself in order to see them in Watcher. Please note that the camera must support events sending via ONVIF.

To get events from neural network detectors, you should install the analytics module and enable one of the analytics type on the camera(s).

What is the main advantage over competitors?

  • Watcher is a platform (software package) for running your surveillance system or a service. Our clients are companies who want to start a new business, provide their customers (subscribers) with a cloud video surveillance service, or organizations that require a large-scale video surveillance system in a closed ecosystem.
  • You can write an endless archive (up to a year and more) with a dozen, hundreds or thousands of cameras.
  • It works with hardware by any vendors.
  • High performance (up to 1000 cameras per server).
  • The Web and Mobile access. There is no need to install desktop applications that require admin access to the selected computer and no need to install browser plugins that can be blocked. You can work without proxy-servers that can make your server infrastructure more expensive, affect the video quality, and increase the possibility of system crash in case of a server failure.
  • A stable Flussonic Media Server video core, that’s been tested for many years by hundreds of thousands of users around the world.
  • Ready-to-use and universal solution for launching various services and video surveillance systems (without having to buy additional third-party software).
  • Branding features, available out of the box.
  • Secure system scaling up to tens of thousands of cameras.

Which camera can I use to work with Watcher?

Any IP camera with RTSP (supported h264, h265). If you want to have a firmware Agent, you can pick any camera with HiSilicon chipset (most of the cameras on the market have it).

Can I go back to the factory camera firmware after Agent installation?

Yes, you can. Whenever you need to use the camera for other purposes, you can install the default camera firmware. Make sure that you have a copy of the original firmware from the manufacturer’s website.

Can I host other sites on the server with Watcher?

Hosting other websites on the same server with Watcher can cause various problems, such as problems with managing HTTPS certificates or with using the same ports for different applications.

Can I install other software on the server with Watcher?

We don't prohibit installation of other software, but as soon as this becomes a potential problem, we will ask you to remove it in order to implement support.

Other software can overuse the system disk and slow down the database, and accordingly Watcher. We recommend using only monitoring tools, for example, zabbix-agent, node_exporter, collectord, etc.