Thursday, June 23, 2011

Using VLC with TrendNet TV-IP121W

I recently acquired the Trendnet TV-IP121W Security Camera and the SecurView TV-IP422W higher-end model wireless security cameras.   Overall, I experienced a couple of minor headaches while setting them up, particularly setting up the wireless component, but after firmware updates and multiple reboots of both the cameras and my router, everything finally settled in nicely and is operating as good as could be expected.

With both TRENDnet security cameras, you are able to access the live feed directly by accessing their url with Internet Explorer and Active X.  However, you can also access them via Firefox if you have a java applet installed and the VLC plugin for Mozilla.   As nice as the web interface is, I really was looking for a way to minimize the camera video feeds and put them in the corner of one of my monitors while I continued to work, but a web browser is not really supportive of that idea.

So, I downloaded VLC and set to work trying to get my Trendnet Securview cameras to connect to VLC directly.  I found that the TV-IP422W was way easier than expected, because it supports RTSP (real-time streaming protocol).  With the TV-IP422W, simply launch VLC, go to Media-> Open Network Stream -> Click the Network Tab -> and in the URL enter "rtsp://youripnumber:554/mpeg4".  Don't use the quotes, and change out the youripnumber for the actual ip number of the camera or dydns name setting that you are using.  The 554 is the port number, 554 is default, but change it if you are using something else.  Hit Play, and you are done! If you password protected your camera, don't worry, it will prompt you for your username and password.

Now, the hard part.  The TRENDnet TV-IP121 does NOT support RTSP.  The good news is the VLC supports http protocol as well.  The bad news is, trying every combination that I could think of in the url string would not work.  I read the manual, hit different forums, and could not find a single answer as to how to use VLC to watch a video stream from the TrendNet SecurView TV-IP121.   However, I did find people that made some progress with motion capture software and looked into how they did it.  Long story short, I found that you can in fact use VLC to watch the IP121 video stream using http, you just need to use the correct syntax (url).  So, follow the same instructions that I outlined above, but instead of the RTSP string, use this "http://youripnumber/cgi/mjpg/mjpg.cgi" .  Don't use the quotes and remember to change the youripnumber to reflect the ip address of your camera or its name if you are using a dynamic dns service.   You MAY need to also specify the port if you are accessing it from outside your firewall.  The default would be 80.  So your string would look like this: "http://youripnumber:80/cgi/mjpg/mjpg.cgi"


By the way, I believe VLC will also work with the TRENDnet TV-IP110 camera as I think the firmwares are practically identical to the TV-IP121 model.

TrendNet TV-IP110 and VLC
Using HTTP and VLC with TrendNet TV-IP121W
Using VLC to connect via HTTP to TrendNet TV-IP121 Securview camera
How to use VLC to connect to live video feed form TrendNet Tv-ip security web camera
How Can I watch live stream of TrendNet Securview TV-ip121W without a web browser


mossmatt said...

Hey thanks I was searching forever to connect VLC to my TV-IP110W. you Rock!

Jon said...

Google and helpful people rock! Been pulling my hair out trying to figure this out.