Dahua camera web interface - OS support, plugins in 2018

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n3wb
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Hi, what is the current state of web access and plugins for Dahua cams?

I've spent some time searching the forums but haven't found a clear answer.

Some say they're only compatible with Windows + Internet Explorer because of ActiveX;
"There is no plugins for Safari or Chrome. You need a browser that support ActiveX which is the internet explorer on a Windows OS."
IVS option missing

But this appears to show the web interface with a working video stream on MacOS (but I guess it could just be a static image taken from the live stream):
Dahua Starlight Varifocal Turret (IPC-HDW5231R-Z)

Several plugins are listed here for Macs:
https://www.dahuasecurity.com/support/downloadCenter/softwares?id=2&child=272
But no mention about support; what camera models, MacOS version, browsers, etc?

Looks like older versions of Firefox with the legacy NPAPI plugins might work for some people (but again, probably only on Windows):
Dahua Web plugin has stopped working in Firefox
 

aristobrat

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Several plugins are listed here for Macs:
https://www.dahuasecurity.com/support/downloadCenter/softwares?id=2&child=272
But no mention about support; what camera models, MacOS version, browsers, etc?
FWIW, I just installed that IPC driver for the Mac on macOS 10.13.4 (using Safari 11.1), and it works with the different Dahua models in my signature... with one exception. Once I have Tripwire enabled (and a zone setup), if I come back into the camera and let it stay on the main screen long enough for it to give the live preview, the video will fail with a "plugin failure" error. The workaround I use is that as soon as I login to the camera, I click on the SETUP tab... so the browser never stays on the main screen long enough to do the live preview. This Tripwire thing has been the case (for me) over various Dahua Mac driver versions going back a year or two.

This is from tonight on my Mac (camera is HDW5231R-Z).

Screen Shot 2018-04-30 at 10.05.49 PM.png
 

tangent

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On a Mac you can use the following currently:
-Firefox ESR 52 with plugin
-Safari 11
-Chrome with NACL web plug-in chrome app

I believe the chrome and safari options are both going to get killed off in the next few months. The plugin that works in firefox and safari only works on a mac if you use the h.264 codec on your cameras.

You can also view cameras using smartpss or vlc on a mac.
 

bp2008

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I do wish the camera manufacturers would get their act together. There is no reason besides ineptitude for their web interfaces still requiring plugins or separate apps for basic things like checking the camera's aim and focus, previewing exposure changes, and configuring motion detection. It has been YEARS since plugins started losing support in major browsers and still they prefer to just let their interfaces be broken. Chrome dropped NPAPI in 2015 and gave about a year of warning prior to the cutoff!
 
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Jagradang

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I use IE11 - but have also got palemoon installed as i previously used that. IE working fine with no issues. I also use SmartPSS for just viewing cams etc.
 

tangent

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I do wish the camera manufacturers would get their act together. There is no reason besides ineptitude for their web interfaces still requiring plugins or separate apps for basic things like checking the camera's aim and focus, previewing exposure changes, and configuring motion detection. It has been YEARS since plugins started losing support in major browsers and still they prefer to just let their interfaces be broken. Chrome dropped NPAPI in 2015 and gave about a year of warning prior to the cutoff!
Minimum I would have expected to see some graceful fallbacks by now. No HLS or Plugin, why don't you just display a static snapshot that updates once every few seconds. If you set a stream to mjpeg, how about coding the page so the browser can actually display it. Then again the English translations are still lacking, so I won't hold my breath.

There are a few tags in the html that make me think Dahua has at least been experimenting with HLS, but afik no cameras support it yet.

Unfortunately they're using the plugins to stuff other than simply displaying the video feed. Once version of one of the plugins I even had to patch myself to fix a typo they made that was preventing it from working.
 

VorlonFrog

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You'd think the HTML5 support in modern browsers would be enough . . . :facepalm:
 

bp2008

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HTML5 not natively supporting live streams is the main issue I think. They could achieve it via a method like HLS, feeding fully-formed video files into the browser one at a time, but this unavoidably adds video delay equal to the iframe interval, and it doesn't support H.265. Alternatively they could use WebRTC (which is designed for making audio and video calls so it is a hack to use it for an IP camera) but again H.265 is not supported and even H.264 is not nailed down, just kind of supported "for now" in most browsers.
 

tangent

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HTML5 not natively supporting live streams is the main issue I think. They could achieve it via a method like HLS, feeding fully-formed video files into the browser one at a time, but this unavoidably adds video delay equal to the iframe interval, and it doesn't support H.265. Alternatively they could use WebRTC (which is designed for making audio and video calls so it is a hack to use it for an IP camera) but again H.265 is not supported and even H.264 is not nailed down, just kind of supported "for now" in most browsers.
A feed with a delay beats no feed at all. Good analysis, I imagine variants like h.264+ would also cause problems.

nayr pointed out a few times that none of the security camera mfgs are a part of any of the web browser standard consortiums.
 

bp2008

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Yes, their custom variants like H.264+ would cause problems for sure.

The thing that amazes me is that all their cameras are capable of producing jpeg snapshots, even if only at a fairly low rate, so there is no reason they couldn't render those when no plugin is available, with a big fat disclaimer saying it is not representative of the camera's true performance.
 

VorlonFrog

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Yes, their custom variants like H.264+ would cause problems for sure.

The thing that amazes me is that all their cameras are capable of producing jpeg snapshots, even if only at a fairly low rate, so there is no reason they couldn't render those when no plugin is available, with a big fat disclaimer saying it is not representative of the camera's true performance.
I'd guess the main reason they don't improve the interface is, people are still buying the cameras, anyway.
 

tangent

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I'd guess the main reason they don't improve the interface is, people are still buying the cameras, anyway.
But 6-12 months from now, it's going to be even harder for people to get the cameras to work in their browser if the companies don't adapt.
 

scanline

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Thanks for all the replies,

if I come back into the camera and let it stay on the main screen long enough for it to give the live preview, the video will fail with a "plugin failure" error. The workaround I use is that as soon as I login to the camera, I click on the SETUP tab... so the browser never stays on the main screen long enough to do the live preview. This Tripwire thing has been the case (for me) over various Dahua Mac driver versions going back a year or two.
I guess no word from Dahua about this?

On a Mac you can use the following currently:
-Firefox ESR 52 with plugin
-Safari 11
-Chrome with NACL web plug-in chrome app
I found out last week that the Chrome NACL web plugin/app can also be installed on Linux, too (my main OS), and works well enough to access the Dahua demo cameras listed here:
Live Demo - Dahua Wiki

The login screen sometimes gets stuck, even with the correct password and I couldn't get the alert notifications to make any sound. The other cam features seem to work; liveview, pan/tilt/zoom, etc. Does anyone know if their NVRs can be controlled this way?

It'd probably be easier to set up a Windows Virtual Machine and run the native Windows client from there.

The Reolink cameras can supposedly be accessed without any plugins, so I ordered a RLC-410S to test out. Turns out... it needs Flash - despite this message:
twitter.com/reolinktech/status/755698316550082560
"It's pretty cool to access #Reolink camera in browsers, without installing plugins.Thanks for sharing"

Maybe that only applies to some of their cameras, or later firmware. I'm not sure.

The only upside is Flash is a fairly unified experience on Win/Mac/Linux, so the features seem to work. But as people have said, it's well on the way out. And it's a CPU hog. I don't have it on Firefox, so only tested on Chrome.

I do wish the camera manufacturers would get their act together. There is no reason besides ineptitude for their web interfaces still requiring plugins or separate apps for basic things like checking the camera's aim and focus, previewing exposure changes, and configuring motion detection. It has been YEARS since plugins started losing support in major browsers and still they prefer to just let their interfaces be broken. Chrome dropped NPAPI in 2015 and gave about a year of warning prior to the cutoff!
Absolutely. If YouTube are able to stream live video with HTML5 in 2018, then manufacturers should really be moving in that direction. It could even benefit them, since they wouldn't have to support multiple OS client software.

HTML5 not natively supporting live streams is the main issue I think. They could achieve it via a method like HLS, feeding fully-formed video files into the browser one at a time, but this unavoidably adds video delay equal to the iframe interval
So in practice, the I-frame interval is often equivalent to a few seconds, which doesn't seem too much of a deal. They could tell the user that streaming to a browser adds a bit of latency.

I was about to say that the manufacturers should publish their APIs so people can write their own apps and then found this:
ftp://ftp.wintel.fi/drivers/dahua/SDK-HTTP_ohjelmointi/DAHUA_IPC_HTTP_API_V1.00x.pdf
SDK

Hikvision has some basic stuff documented, but looks like only enough for basic adjustments:
Where is the API for motion and other events for Hikvision cameras documented?
Reolink also looks patchy on the details.

Has anyone here used Dahua or Reolink cameras with ZoneMinder? Can it make use of the cameras motion detection/alerts (via ONVIF?) and also configure the detection areas/masks, etc?
 

tangent

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Thanks for all the replies,


I guess no word from Dahua about this?


I found out last week that the Chrome NACL web plugin/app can also be installed on Linux, too (my main OS), and works well enough to access the Dahua demo cameras listed here:
Live Demo - Dahua Wiki

The login screen sometimes gets stuck, even with the correct password and I couldn't get the alert notifications to make any sound. The other cam features seem to work; liveview, pan/tilt/zoom, etc. Does anyone know if their NVRs can be controlled this way?

It'd probably be easier to set up a Windows Virtual Machine and run the native Windows client from there.

The Reolink cameras can supposedly be accessed without any plugins, so I ordered a RLC-410S to test out. Turns out... it needs Flash - despite this message:
twitter.com/reolinktech/status/755698316550082560
"It's pretty cool to access #Reolink camera in browsers, without installing plugins.Thanks for sharing"

Maybe that only applies to some of their cameras, or later firmware. I'm not sure.

The only upside is Flash is a fairly unified experience on Win/Mac/Linux, so the features seem to work. But as people have said, it's well on the way out. And it's a CPU hog. I don't have it on Firefox, so only tested on Chrome.


Absolutely. If YouTube are able to stream live video with HTML5 in 2018, then manufacturers should really be moving in that direction. It could even benefit them, since they wouldn't have to support multiple OS client software.


So in practice, the I-frame interval is often equivalent to a few seconds, which doesn't seem too much of a deal. They could tell the user that streaming to a browser adds a bit of latency.

I was about to say that the manufacturers should publish their APIs so people can write their own apps and then found this:
ftp://ftp.wintel.fi/drivers/dahua/SDK-HTTP_ohjelmointi/DAHUA_IPC_HTTP_API_V1.00x.pdf
SDK

Hikvision has some basic stuff documented, but looks like only enough for basic adjustments:
Where is the API for motion and other events for Hikvision cameras documented?
Reolink also looks patchy on the details.

Has anyone here used Dahua or Reolink cameras with ZoneMinder? Can it make use of the cameras motion detection/alerts (via ONVIF?) and also configure the detection areas/masks, etc?
Zone Minder is nothing but a migraine. There are better options. Free VMS Software Directory

That's a really old copy of the dahua http api, don't use that one.

Reolink has lots of issues that will cause you all sorts of problems.
 

scanline

n3wb
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Thanks for the links.

Reolink has lots of issues that will cause you all sorts of problems.
Yep, I've already noticed a few issues with this RLC-410;
The image seems out of focus at night. Not sure what's going on right now.
EDIT: Maybe this cam is faulty. Will investigate further.

The audio is around 32kbps AAC. Even for mono streams, that's low. So lots of compression artefacts.

Ack. Why is this way more complex than it needs to be.

Are there any non-proprietary standalone NVRs that can be used with Dahua or Hikvision cameras and play nicely with their motion detection/alert systems and also have a good web interface that doesn't lean on ActiveX or proprietary manufacturer plugins. Adobe Flash would just about be ok.

It feels like I'm asking for the impossible.
 
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tangent

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Adobe Flash would just about be ok.
adobe is going to stop updating and distributing flash in 2020. don't buy into a sinking ship.

Search the forum you'll find more detailed info on all the issues with reolink. A big one is their mishandling of the video codecs which causes tons of problems.

You're probably better off with a PoE switch, dedicated pc, and VMS software you like.
 

tangent

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Are there any non-proprietary standalone NVRs that can be used with Dahua or Hikvision cameras and play nicely with their motion detection/alert systems and also have a good web interface that doesn't lean on ActiveX or proprietary manufacturer plugins. Adobe Flash would just about be ok.

It feels like I'm asking for the impossible.
lets break that down a little more...
-pretty much all standalone NVRs are proprietary, they're often linux based but rarely release the required source for foss components. Most implement ONVIF, how well varies. Basic motion detection will work via ONVIF, features like line crossing may not
-There are some much more expensive brands that have NVRs that now work without plugins. So, not impossible just expensive and still may not work seamlessly with every camera / camera feature. The plugin-free implementations also often lack some features of the full implementation, may display a lower quality feed, and may have a video delay.

VMS software on a PC is the most practical way to achieve what you want on a budget.
 
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ik8sqi

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This is how I am often able to trick many websites in making the video play even if they are looking for useless plugins. It worked with my Dahua
HDBW5831R 8MP. No plugin needed.

Use Safari's developer tools to change the user agent to be an iPad. The video will play on your Macos High Sierra just fine now as it makes the website think your browser can only support H264.

To enable the developer tools - click on Safari - Preferences - Advanced - Show Develop menu in menu bar.

Then click on the menu bar on Develop - User Agent - Safari -- iOS 11 -- iPad
 
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