Monocle: View IP Cameras with Alexa (Echo Show, Echo Spot, Fire TV, Fire Tablet)

Discussion in 'Home Automation' started by Monocle, Mar 30, 2018.

Share This Page

  1. Monocle

    Monocle n3wb

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    USA
    @jking3

    That looks like a MJPEG stream, so that won't work. The Alexa devices will only work with a H264 encoded video stream.
    If the Blue Iris provides a RTSP stream using H264 video and either AAC or G711 audio, then it should work.

    We have a Troubleshooting Guide that can help you test the stream and validate the audio and video codecs using VLC:
    Troubleshooting Guide | Monocle

    Most users are just pulling the camera feeds directly from their IP cameras or dedicated NVR hardware but it would be great to know if anyone is able to use Blue Iris and get a compatible stream directly from the NVR software.

    Thank You,
    Robert
     
  2. TonyR

    TonyR IPCT Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2014
    Messages:
    3,529
    Likes Received:
    3,241
    Location:
    Alabama
    FYI, for anyone reading this, here's URL to pull a H.264 stream from Blue Iris.
    Code:
    http://BlueIrisIP:port/h264/{cam-short-name}/temp.h264
     
  3. Monocle

    Monocle n3wb

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    USA
    Also just a couple of tips to help reader avoid some common pitfalls.

    TIP #1
    Any Alexa device running FireTV OS 6.x or later must additionally run our Monocle Gateway software service to act as a communications bridge between the Alexa devices and the IP cameras. This is because Amazon has enforced tighter security restrictions on how Alexa devices can communicate with IP cameras. These restrictions make a lot of sense for cloud connected cameras but not for locally connected cameras running in your private network. Nevertheless, the Monocle Gateway can help overcome this hurdle by implementing all the Amazon enforced requirements.
    These devices currently include:
    You can find the latest information about Monocle's support for Amazon devices here:
    Additional information about Monocle Gateway can be found here:

    TIP #2
    Some cameras/NVRs including but not limited to Foscam, ReoLink, D-Link, TrendNET, TPLink, SV3C are not directly compatible with Alexa's RTSP player.
    Many of these cameras can be made to work by using the Monocle Gateway service to overcome some of the incompatibilities.
    Additional information about Monocle Gateway can be found here:

    TIP #3
    Some Alexa devices are limited to playing camera streams with a maximum resolution of 1080P.
    These devices currently include:
    You can find the latest information about the maximum supported video resolutions for Amazon devices here:

    Thank You,
    Robert
     
    Last edited: Jul 20, 2018
  4. CliveS

    CliveS n3wb

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2016
    Messages:
    16
    Likes Received:
    4
    Just a followup on this.

    The Fire HD8 would not work with AAC set or the Dahua 8mp camera, just purchased and installed an Echo Show which works fine on /cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=2 and then tried the Fire HD and that also now works so it seems the Show set some flags that the Fire could not.

    I needed to use the Sub Stream 2 of the Dahua's as anything above 1280x720 just has a massive delay and eventually locks up.
     
  5. Roger

    Roger Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    May 30, 2014
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    I have an Amcrest IP8M-2496EB that was working on my fire tablet and now I just get "Camera isn't responding" Other 2 cameras work. Have deleted it and re-added it a few times now.
     
  6. Monocle

    Monocle n3wb

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    USA
    I also have an Amcrest IP8M-2496EB on hand and its working great for me. One of the best cameras I own.
    SEE: Amcrest IP8M-2496EB

    If I recall, this camera may be defaulted to using the H.265 codec. (which Alexa devices do not support)
    So make sure to change the video codec to H.264.

    For testing you may want to also bump the resolution down to 1080P or lower. Some Alexa devices don't support resolutions above 1080P. I'm not sure which, if any, Fire Tablets are affected by this, but I know the Echo Spot, FireTV Stick and the new Toshiba FireTV Edition 4K TV are all limited to camera feeds of 1080P or lower.

    Thank You,
    Robert
     
  7. Roger

    Roger Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    May 30, 2014
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    My settings are as follows:
    rtsp://192.168.0.85:554/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0
    Video resolution: 1280 X 720 (16:9) <720p>
    Video Codec:H264
    Audio Codec: AAC
     
  8. Monocle

    Monocle n3wb

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    USA
    Those settings look perfect.
    I'm assuming you have already tried rebooting the Fire tablet and IP camera.
    Can you confirm the RTSP address is woking using another tool like VLC?

    I was seeing issues with Alexa earlier today not working with a number of my cameras.
    Not sure if they had a problem but they seem to be working better now.

    In your Monocle account via the web portal you can use the small icon button "Camera Feed History" on the right side of the camera listing to see what details we are sending to the Alexa service when you request the camera.
    You might look here just to confirm we are sending the appropriate URL to Alexa when you request this camera.

    Thanks, Robert
     
  9. Roger

    Roger Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    May 30, 2014
    Messages:
    63
    Likes Received:
    34
    Location:
    Bellevue, WA
    Hi Robert, Had some time to look at the issue again. Have installed the camera again under a different name to see if it works. Verified in VLC that stream works. Camera history is here:
    [
    {
    "timestamp": "2018-08-12T16:45:58.749Z",
    "request": "InitializeCameraStreams",
    "response": [
    {
    "uri": "rtsp://%USER%:%PWD%@192.168.0.85:554/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0&unicast=true&proto=Onvif",
    "proxy": "rtsp://proxy.monoclecam.com:443/767c8155-13e0-4cfd-bf54-75040be43d79",
    "resolution": {
    "width": "1024",
    "height": "576"
    },
    "authorizationType": "BASIC",
    "videoCodec": "H264",
    "audioCodec": "AAC",
    "protocol": "RTSP"
    }
    ]
    },
    {
    "timestamp": "2018-08-12T16:45:57.073Z",
    "request": "InitializeCameraStreams",
    "response": [
    {
    "uri": "rtsp://%USER%:%PWD%@192.168.0.85:554/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0&unicast=true&proto=Onvif",
    "proxy": "rtsp://proxy.monoclecam.com:443/b77162d0-3d08-4457-810f-a198c16acbf0",
    "resolution": {
    "width": "1024",
    "height": "576"
    },
    "authorizationType": "BASIC",
    "videoCodec": "H264",
    "audioCodec": "AAC",
    "protocol": "RTSP"
    }
    ]
    },
    {
    "timestamp": "2018-08-12T16:45:54.628Z",
    "request": "InitializeCameraStreams",
    "response": [
    {
    "uri": "rtsp://%USER%:%PWD%@192.168.0.85:554/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0&unicast=true&proto=Onvif",
    "proxy": "rtsp://proxy.monoclecam.com:443/6b67addf-901f-4e69-9966-a8615b526b54",
    "resolution": {
    "width": "1024",
    "height": "576"
    },
    "authorizationType": "BASIC",
    "videoCodec": "H264",
    "audioCodec": "AAC",
    "protocol": "RTSP"
    }
    ]
    },
    {
    "timestamp": "2018-08-12T16:42:52.870Z",
    "request": "InitializeCameraStreams",
    "response": [
    {
    "uri": "rtsp://%USER%:%PWD%@192.168.0.85:554/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0",
    "proxy": "rtsp://proxy.monoclecam.com:443/c9482470-2109-4365-8461-d65c229a1218",
    "resolution": {
    "width": "1024",
    "height": "576"
    },
    "authorizationType": "BASIC",
    "videoCodec": "H264",
    "audioCodec": "AAC",
    "protocol": "RTSP"
    }
    ]
    },
    {
    "timestamp": "2018-08-12T16:42:51.168Z",
    "request": "InitializeCameraStreams",
    "response": [
    {
    "uri": "rtsp://%USER%:%PWD%@192.168.0.85:554/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0",
    "proxy": "rtsp://proxy.monoclecam.com:443/dc65da8b-c89d-4ba0-a86e-2ae9320cfae7",
    "resolution": {
    "width": "1024",
    "height": "576"
    },
    "authorizationType": "BASIC",
    "videoCodec": "H264",
    "audioCodec": "AAC",
    "protocol": "RTSP"
    }
    ]
    },
    {
    "timestamp": "2018-08-12T16:42:48.670Z",
    "request": "InitializeCameraStreams",
    "response": [
    {
    "uri": "rtsp://%USER%:%PWD%@192.168.0.85:554/cam/realmonitor?channel=1&subtype=0",
    "proxy": "rtsp://proxy.monoclecam.com:443/630f27f7-04cb-4e37-88f4-8a051b1193dc",
    "resolution": {
    "width": "1024",
    "height": "576"
    },
    "authorizationType": "BASIC",
    "videoCodec": "H264",
    "audioCodec": "AAC",
    "protocol": "RTSP"
    }
    ]
    }
     
  10. Monocle

    Monocle n3wb

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    USA
    Hi Roger,

    Please open a ticket here and I think we can get you up and running with this camera.
    Contact Support | Monocle

    Thanks, Robert
     
  11. Optimus Prime

    Optimus Prime Getting the hang of it

    Joined:
    Sep 29, 2014
    Messages:
    176
    Likes Received:
    8
    This is awesome. I just setup mine.
     
  12. Monocle

    Monocle n3wb

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    USA
    Just a few updates ...

    BETA Version (0.0.3) of the Monocle Gateway is now available for the following platforms:
    • Windows (x86)
    • Windows (x64)
    • Linux (x86)
    • Linux (x64)
    • Linux (ARMv7 32-bit) [Raspberry Pi 3B/3B+]
    • Linux (ARMv8 64-bit)
    >Version 0.0.3 (Beta) Released


    NEW FEATURE: Copy/Clone Button Added to Monocle Web Portal
    >NEW FEATURE: Copy/Clone Button

    We have tested a few LOREX cameras and NVRs are posted details here:
    >LOREX

    Thanks, Robert
     
    Terk likes this.
  13. jcraigcx

    jcraigcx Young grasshopper

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2017
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    7
    I'm trying to get this working with BI and have what I think is a basic problem. I've verified the URL from my laptop, cut and pasted into the Monocle setup but not working. In fact, I can see no evidence in the BI connection logs that the Show attempts to connect at all. So I simplified the URL: field in Monocle to just http://{BI IP address]:81 just to see if I could log a connection attempt and I still get nothing. If I enter the exact same URL in my laptop browser, BI logs a connection.

    So my conclusion is I have a basic connectivity issue that has nothing to do with BI at this point. The Show does not appear to attempt a session with BI.
     
  14. TonyR

    TonyR IPCT Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2014
    Messages:
    3,529
    Likes Received:
    3,241
    Location:
    Alabama
    Have you tried the URL in post #22?
     
  15. Monocle

    Monocle n3wb

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    USA
    A couple of tips for checking connectivity. (1) In the Monocle web portal, on your camera feed there is an icon button on the right side to view feed history. This will show you a record for each time we receive a request from Alexa and your camera RTSP URL and related information sent to Alexa. So check this to make sure that records are showing up and that the URL sent is correct or at least what you expected. (2) The Alexa device is actually what will be connecting to your RTSP camera/NVR. Make sure the Alexa device is connected to your primary WiFI connection and not connected to a Guest WiFi or your neighbors WiFi signal :)

    If you are using a FireTV (Especially the 4K or Cube) check our this thread for your specific device ... you will need to use our Monocle Gateway:
    Alexa Devices

    Thanks, Robert
     
  16. jcraigcx

    jcraigcx Young grasshopper

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2017
    Messages:
    32
    Likes Received:
    7
    Yes. The string is verified from my laptop. Works fine.
     
  17. squartochi

    squartochi n3wb

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    1
    Likes Received:
    0
    Hi TonyR, what is the format for username and password?

    thanks,
    Scott
     
  18. TonyR

    TonyR IPCT Contributor

    Joined:
    Jul 15, 2014
    Messages:
    3,529
    Likes Received:
    3,241
    Location:
    Alabama
  19. plomaris

    plomaris n3wb

    Joined:
    Jul 2, 2014
    Messages:
    28
    Likes Received:
    1
    I just set up Monocle and thinks it's a great solution to get camera feeds on my Echo Spot (even if the screen is puny). However, the icon with the four arrows on the screen (zoom button) takes up too much real estate. Any way to turn that off? Just tapping on the screen without an icon to zoom in/out would be fine. Also, an easy way to turn on/off camera feed audio (without muting Alexa totally) would also be helpful. Great job on the project!
     
  20. Monocle

    Monocle n3wb

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2018
    Messages:
    25
    Likes Received:
    2
    Location:
    USA
    Hi plomaris,

    The zoom button overlay on the Echo Spot is a recent bug introduced in the latest Amazon system update for the Echo Spot. Hopefully they will push a fix out for this bug soon. There is nothing we can do on our end to address this issue.

    The Alexa camera APIs provide no support for controlling the camera feed or its audio once it streaming. However, if you use our Monocle Gateway service you can tag your camera with the "@noaudio" tag and the gateway will strip out the audio feed from the stream. This does not necessarily make it easier to toggle the audio while your are viewing the stream, but if you simply wanted to remove the audio, this could work.

    THanks, Robert