Community Platform for NVR
Community Platform is an initiative to improve global IP camera compatibility. By sharing IP camera connectivity information, you can contribute to the IP video community to help everyone connecting to the same type of camera you're using. You also benefit from the knowledge shared by others. Visit our official website for more information: http://geniusvision.net/cp
There are 2 major parts of Community Platform; NVR and web. In NVR, users can upload or download camera settings. On the web, they can manage and browse uploaded camera settings.
We have prepared a one-page quick guide to Community Platform on our official website.
Upload Camera Settings
Camera settings uploaded to Community Platform can be searched and downloaded by other users when adding new channels in NVR.
Please note that
- By default, user credentials (username/password) for camera will not be uploaded.
- IP address of the camera will not be uploaded.
- Channel description will not be uploaded.
Whenever a camera is added in NVR and connected for the first time, a dialog pops up to hint users that the camera settings is ready to be shared to Community Platform.
Clicking "Share on Community…" invokes Camera Setup dialog for upload.
In the uploading dialog, users can do 3 things before uploading:
- Sign in (with Google or Facebook account).
- Input description.
- Choose to upload username/password for camera.
Signing in is optional. But if upload camera settings anonymously, users can not get credit. See also Credits
This description will be seen by users when they browse/search camera settings on Community Platform. Please provide as more information as possible. Useful information includes:
By default, user credentials (username/password) for camera will not be uploaded. User can still choose to upload credentials. Default values could be useful for other users.
Do NOT check this option if default credential has been changed.
Users can access the dialog any time by clicking on the log message in System Briefcase Viewer in left panel.
Download Camera Settings
Camera settings can be downloaded from Community Platform and apply to local channels. For this to work, users need to check camera models first and find matching settings on Community Platform.
To download camera settings, when adding a new channel, click Find on Community in Camera Setup dialog...
This dialog is invoked for searching or browsing camera settings uploaded by other users. Use the edit control in red box to input keywords (manufacturers, models, types…) and search.
Camera settings that match the keywords will be listed. Click Add to NVR on the right to apply the settings to the channel being added now.
Camera settings, such as encoding, imaging, and streaming… will be downloaded and applied automatically. But users still need to fill the following fields before proceeding to add the channel:
- Input a locally unique channel name (Required for any channel, with or without Community Platform)
- Input IP address (Refer to camera manual or use find tool provided by camera manufacturer)
- Input username/password, if it's not included in the settings downloaded
Users can change to Video Setup page to see what settings are downloaded and applied. Some camera settings are comprehensive while some are not. You can always use Find on Community button to download different settings, even after the channel being added.
Community Platform for Web
Link Camera Models
Before users can find the camera settings they need, they must match camera models first. Camera settings cannot be shared among different camera models. For users to match models easily, camera settings can be linked to camera models. In Community Platform menu, click Recently Uploaded Settings to view a list of camera settings… (You will be prompted to sign in with Google or Facebook account)
Click the settings you want to link. In the settings page there's a link "Link model to this setting"...
Select manufacturer, series, and model you want to link. (Click Next after selection to show options for next tier)
Or if the manufacturer/series/model is not in the list. You can suggest one. Select "suggest" and click next or link.
After confirmation, you will be redirected to camera settings page and see this message. This is a preview of your editing. Other users cannot see these changes before the change is approved by Genius Vision.
Linked Models show at bottom of settings page after being approved.
Rating of Camera Settings
In the IP camera settings list, there're 4 numbers for each entry. From right to left they are: likes, dislikes, connected, and used.
Number of users who like this settings. If you find the settings useful, click it.
Number of users who dislike this settings. If you find the settings not working, click it.
Number of users downloaded the settings and successfully connected to the camera and see video.
Number of users downloaded the settings and applied to their local channels.
Community Platform proposal and approval guidelines
Genius Vision Community Platform provides a powerful collaboration platform for global users to contribute their IP camera knowedge.
However, not all contribution would be accepted. It is important to understand that all contributed content is subject to Genius Vision's moderation and we approve or reject contributed content according to some rules since we established Community Platform, in order to maintain the content quality level.
We will introduce the rules in the next section, but it is important to know that communication is the key to collaboration. If you are not sure how to contribute correct content or encounters repeated rejection, you may choose to
- Contact us directly about your contribution question or idea.
- Use Disqus under every webpage to engage discussion.
Guidelines and rules of Community Platform contributed content
Following we provide some explicit rules. Contact us if you have any question about these rules. The rules are not exhaustive and might adapt as situation evolves. We only make the rules to better the platform that will benefit most people, and to prevent platform abuse.
- Adding a manufacturer without any models will be rejected.
- Adding a model without any suggested IP camera setting will be rejected.
- Any contributed content must be specific and accurate, and not to be abused as "SEO tool". For example, a model named "P2P IP Camera" is too generic to be accepted.
- Requesting delete without any reason specified will be rejected.
- "Keyword and aliases" must be what it literally means: some alternative way in calling. For example, "D-Link", may have been spelled as "DLink". Sometimes company acquires another company, so the name will be used interchangebly and this also qualifies.
- Please use manufacturer standard letter case. For example, SNC-WR602C written as snc-wr602c might not be accepted.
- Content that has too little significance might not be accepted. Try "Google" the content you intend to contribute.
- Duplicated content will not be accepted.
- Repeated submission of the same content will be rejected. (Please check "latest" page to see your changes.)
- Any URL (RTSP or HTTP etc) containing a specific IP address or a domain name will not be accepted. This is a security measure.
- Default username/password must "look like" a generic one. For example: Admin/123456 might be accepted, while Jason/Xysx345 will not. This is a security measure, obviously. The default username/password is only provided as tool for users to quickly connect to a new IP camera, not to be abused as a hacking tool to access unauthorized cameras.
There is some hidden "trust factor" involved when reviewing contributed content. This is required for our staff because we cannot always know if the contributed content is correct or meant to disrupt the platform (that's why we need to establish this collaboration platform in the first place).
Unfortunately for the trust factor, there is no explicit rules to be written, but only some principles, as follows:
- Try to communicate with us to establish trust.
- Try to contribute only a few changes at a time. If you contribute too many changes at once, and only a few change violates the rule, it might causes our staff to reject your entire contribution.
Genius Vision Technical Support Forum Rules
Genius Vision NVR technical support forum is a moderated Discord-based forum(what's that?), allowing live interaction among users. To be invited to the forum, please use invitation link below. Guests of the forum must read the rules and follow them accordingly. These rules will now be enforced, so violation of rules will receive "perma-ban". Please respect the rules so we can all utilize the forum to help users.
Forum invitation link
What this forum is NOT for (forum NO's)
- N1 - This forum is NOT for individual users troubleshooting or tutorial. To distinguish troubleshooting from technical support please check this article. In order for us to help you with a particular trouble, you need to provide clues (what is a clue?), otherwise this forum is not for you.
- N2 - This forum is NOT for individual users to discuss IP camera support issue. The best way to deal with IP camera compatibility issue is to have the camera vendor's technical department to contact us. We do not allow individuals to discuss IP camera support issues here. The reason is explained here.
What this forum is for (forum YES's)
- Y1 - Help users to find answers in knowledge-base (KB). Genius Vision NVR is a piece of professional software, that is built upon a pile of static KBs (including technical articles and tutorial videos). It could be challenging for new users to find the right information, so we're here to help. Of course, if you can try to find KB by yourself (here's how you use KB), it will save everyone a lot of time.
- Y2 - Improve knowledge-base to help future users. If the KB is not easy to understand, then you can make the suggestion here about how to adjust the KB to better help future users. The suggestion should only be addressed to the KB, and not the software itself. Software enhancement suggestion is a whole different topic and is described below.
- Y3 - Software enhancement "process" establishment. Software enhancement is a giant topic. Before we can actually discuss software enhancement, we can discuss the "process" of discussing software enhancement. Our vision about community-based software enhancement is described here. A tentative Dropbox Paper (online collaboration platform) is created for this purpose. So, please DO NOT discuss actual software enhancement suggestions in the forum, but only discuss the "process", for current time being.
- R1 - Please keep language clean. This is a public forum, please do not reveal any sensitive information. Please only use English, and not any other languages, when posting in this forum. Please give common courtesy and respect to the developer of the software you are using.
- R2 - Please don't send private-message to the admin about any issues. Only use forum to communicate.
- R3 - If you are not clear about the rules, please discuss the rules before potentially violating them. The rules will be enforced. Violations of the rules can result in permanent ban to the forum.
- R4 - Please do not disrupt forum order. This includes:
(1) do not repost similar messages repeatedly in adjacent timeframe
(2) do not use languages of "high frequency" or "strong demand" to disrupt the order and focus of the forum.
(3) do not discuss under speculation, "hear and say", or anticipation. Instead, please discuss based on "tangible facts".
(4) posting advertisements are strongly prohibited.
(5) do not discuss iOS 11 related issue. iOS 11 is answered here.
What is a "Discord forum"?
Discord is a very useful cloud-based collaboration tool, allowing live interaction (chat) among group of users. It supports a variety of platforms including web-browser, Android phone, and iOS systems.
For a quick outlook of Genius Vision Discord forum, you can see the screenshot below:
Why can't you support individual users about IP camera compatibility issues?
Many users like to drop a line of message to us, like this:
Hey, what's up? I just bought a camera of XXX brand YYY model. Does you software support it? How do I connect to this camera to make it work?
We have a whole different topic to teach you how to add various cameras to Genius Vision NVR using Community Platform. Here, we focus on explaining that "we are not able" to respond to this kind of support-call messages that surround "IP camera compatibility issues".
IP camera compatibility issue involves testing with various hardware of different camera models. As one might understand that there are too many brands of IP camera existing in the world, and it is obviously not possible to ask Genius Vision, who is a single software developer, to perform exhaustive testing to all these camera models. Considering all these brands we listed in the Community Platform, it's inconceivable to make all the testing done physically in a normal-sized lab. Please just put up a little imagination and you will understand our point, that there are currently more than 8,000 models listed in the platform.
The practical way to resolve any IP camera compatibility issue, is to have the camera vendor's technical department to contact us. Why? Firstly, because they can easily download our software, freely, and setup inside their lab to conduct test. Secondly, if they find any problems, they can contact Genius Vision engineer and speak in the engineer's language. Too many times, individual users try to contact us without even understanding some basic technical terms, such as TCP, UDP, RTSP, ONVIF, HTTP, URL, packet buffer size, codec, and etc. These are really technical terms and are not generally well-understood by average users. However in order to resolve the compatibility issues, talking in engineer's language is necessary.
Finally, a very important point about "any kind" of technical support, goes like this:
You should always firstly contact the person who you buy stuff (camera) from.
Many (in fact, most) of Genius Vision software users did not pay for the commercial software license. They pay another vendor for the camera, but instead ask Genius Vision to perform the first-line technical support. First-line technical support means "the support line that deals directly with end-users", and is often considered the "most burdened task".
This does not sound very fair to Genius Vision, isn't?
So, the conclusion is:
Please have the camera vendor's technical department to contact us, to resolve any IP camera compatibility issue.
What is a "pinned message" in Discord forum channel?
Pinned-message is a per-channel important message and can be accessed using the following method:
How to participate in software enhancement discussion and suggestion?
Genius Vision welcomes all kinds of software improvement suggestions. As a software developer, it is our goal to make the software more and more useful to people within our abilities. However, how we do this, is a very big issue.
Like normal software developers, we used to discuss software enhancement suggestion with paid customer "in private". However, after a long period of time, with scientific evaluation, we find this method simply "does not work", so we were gradually abolishing this practice in the past few years. From our perspective, this can be caused by following reasons:
- Commercial or competitive bias. It means the discussion is not really centered on GV's product, but rather is on the interests of a specific customer. When recentered back to GV, the enhancement is not really beneficial or sometimes even harmful (to a majority of users).
- Not economically viable. The customer often underestimate the hidden software maintenance cost, so in the end it's actually not cost effective.
To remedy this, we have chosen to completely abolish the practice of "discussing software enhancement in private", starting from this year. The new practice is still under development, mainly to create a public forum or community to engage in such discussion. The forum has already been operating for several months, as anyone can join by this link, or alternatively you can use the "Dropbox Paper" collaboration platform to contribute/organize your idea at this place.
We're in the process of establishing a moderated community that can offer us a more objective perspective. It means every software enhancement suggestion should be discussed publicly, and got 2nd or 3rd opinions before we actually put into my list. This will relieve us from a very big issue that we used to face, that to "listen only to a single person" to make a change that affects all users. The decision process must at least go through something resembling "collegial".
Since the process is still under development, everyone is welcomed to join the discussion, maybe also contribute your idea about how this should be done.
For now, please refrain from discussing software technical issues in private Email, we wouldn't know how to respond it. For whatever technical issues, please go through the public forum, and we will address that in the forum, unless there is an explicit and obvious reason that is inappropriate to do so (such as "license code problem").
Effective testing environment and sampling
The first practical topic toward community-driven software enhancement is
We need to establish a group of effective testable environment.
A group (multiple) of testable environment will allow flexible R&D scheduling and diversity. Often when we fix a problem in an environment, actually creates another in many other environments. So we need more "samples" to verify any modification.
We also need a group of "active users" who can contribute testing environment or help verifying development builds. We need a system that is somewhat fault tolerent, and will allow me a flexible schedule. Also, of course, allow flexible schedule for contributors. That means not single source, but "multiple source".
Through all the years, Genius Vision seem to have created a large community users of Genius Vision NVR. However, we would like this community to become somewhat self sustaining or self organizing to certain degree.
IP Surviellance Software is extremely complicated. Even when we did thorough test inside the company lab, it might not even cover 0.01% of actual scenario. IP Surviellance Software is not just a piece of software. It's the central piece of a very large and complex system. Often combined in heterogeneous manner. Meaning it's not possible for one single company to exhaust all kind of system combination. We need help from a great comunnity to facilitate the future development direction.
What is a "clue" in the context of troubleshooting?
A clue is a piece of information that can lead the developers to potentially diagnose the problem on a development environment. The effort to obtain a clue is often non-trivial and it requires some level of knowledge about "scientific method", in order to be able to recreate the issue in different environment.
Because the effectiveness of a system depends on many factors that a piece of software cannot control (for example: damaged hardware or obsolete network cables, conflicting software such as antiviruses, corrupted operating system, incorrect driver, or improper user operation), we ask users to provide clues before we can provide technical support.
Without a clue, it could take an amount of unreasonable time and resource for the developers to try to help on an issue. So we ask the users to contribute a certain amount of effort to find a clue before asking us to offer support on an unknown issue.