Update 20072014 – There are quite a number hits on this page. I’m just wondering if there are specific problems that people are facing and leading to this page. If there is, please leave a comment and discuss. I’m interested to help if I can.
My encounter with ZoneMinder started many years back in 2008/2009 period. I was a poor engineer with little money, so I had to DIY a home surveillance solutions. :P ZoneMinder has served me well since. ZoneMinder at that time supported MJPEG and RTSP. Performance was excellent, especially for RTSP. It worked darn well for my Foscam (cheap China camera).
Fast forward to 2014. My Foscam has a resolution of 640 x 480. By today’s standard, it’s seriously outdated. And with that resolution, it’s sucking up 4Mbps of my upstream bandwidth. Not that I didn’t have enough bandwidth, but it would help to be more efficient. After hunting around, I found another brand of cheap China camera (Hisung). Sub-100 bucks for a 720p camera, can’t get a better deal.
So the camera arrived. Manual says it supports RTSP and H.264. Cool…Not. The problem with China products is that, they are good, but they always have to leave out this little bit and become incomplete. The RTSP server on the camera was not sending out proper RTP headers. Found this out after sniffing the traffic with Wireshark. Painful.
And so I’m stuck. ZoneMinder wouldn’t play with this camera. But of course, I’m creative in this aspect. VLC could play the RTSP stream, so I setup VLC as a stream server taking the input from the camera and transcoding it to proper RTSP. Did it work? Of course! But then now comes the most important part. After all the work, I discovered that the 1.27 release for ZoneMinder supports LibVLC, which means that ZoneMinder can make use of LibVLC to read from the camera directly. This release has be to downloaded from the ZoneMinder GIT repository though since it’s not an official release yet. (https://github.com/ZoneMinder/ZoneMinder/tree/v1.27.0). There’s compilation instructions there for different distributions and I compiled mine for Debian.
And viola! LibVLC support!