Poll: When Will Hik Finally Abandon the Stupid Plugin for HTML 5?

Discussion in 'Hikvision' started by Ookie, Oct 16, 2018.

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When will Hik finally abandon the stupid plugin for HTML 5?

  1. Early 2019 (Q1-Q2)

    2 vote(s)
    22.2%
  2. Late 2019 (Q3-Q4)

    0 vote(s)
    0.0%
  3. 2020

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  4. 2021

    1 vote(s)
    11.1%
  5. Not in this Lifetime!

    5 vote(s)
    55.6%
  1. Ookie

    Ookie Getting the hang of it

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    Like many other members here, I am a big fan of Hikvision IP cameras. Image quality is outstanding, and the price is right.

    The one Achilles' heel, however, is Hangzhou's continued reliance on a long-outdated plugin to access the company's products via web browser.

    NPAPI was created in 1995. Long seen as a security risk, vendors have been in the process of phasing out this plugin for five years.

    Google announced that NPAPI would be deprecated from Chrome in 2013. Other vendors have followed suit. Firefox bailed in March 2017, and Safari jumped off the sinking ship in September of 2018.

    While this has been a royal pain for all Hik customers, it is especially difficult for those who install commercially. Every time a browser drops support, it prompts a flurry of support calls ("I can't see my cameras"). Telling people to "pick another browser" was never an answer I felt comfortable giving.

    Yes, there is the i-VMS software. Which is unusable on touchscreen table PCs like Microsoft Surface because scaling issues.

    The answer, of course, is to modernize the firmware to communicate with the browser via HTML 5. I was told by my US vendor that this was in the works over a year ago.

    So riddle me this. When do the boys in Hangzhou finally get with the program and release HTML 5 compatible firmware for their products?
     
    tne7laa and Bink like this.
  2. bp2008

    bp2008 Staff Member

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    Nobody knows. If this was a high priority for them, it would have been done years ago. The main challenge is replacing the native video decoders they were able to embed with NPAPI. To this day, there are problems with achieving low-delay H.264 playback in some browsers. And H.265 support is a joke. But there is no reason they couldn't have fallen back to MJPEG streaming as a crutch back in 2013 to make the web configuration fully functional (if not very bandwidth-efficient). A little 5 FPS low resolution JPEG stream would not have been too taxing for their cameras, and would have gone a long way toward independence from NPAPI.

    I figure it is one of two things preventing them from abandoning the NPAPI plugin -- and this goes for ALL camera manufacturers who write their own firmware with NPAPI plugins. Either they are grossly incompetent (which is a serious possibility) or they are unwilling to release an interface that can't showcase their video streams in the best possible quality. Goodness knows most users would blame it on the camera manufacturer when their stream didn't look as good as expected in the web browser.
     
    Last edited: Oct 16, 2018
    fenderman and Tolting Colt Acres like this.
  3. Tolting Colt Acres

    Tolting Colt Acres Pulling my weight

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    ...and you do not have to buy their NVR for playback :)
     
  4. Bink

    Bink Young grasshopper

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    I pray for this every night. Too many camera startups support modern protocols and other technologies (like Google casting and related) and Hikvision is constantly behind. Either Hikvision will get on the ball here quickly, release a new camera line with support for the newer bells and whistles or disappear in 5-10 years due to constant security issues and lack of support for more modern methods of interacting with their cameras.
     
  5. Securame

    Securame Pulling my weight

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    They will release the firmwares with HTML5 support by Oct-Nov/2015.

    Oh, wait...
     
  6. Ookie

    Ookie Getting the hang of it

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    One thing that I'm consistently told is that while Asia is an excellent place to manufacture circuits, it is on the other side of the world from Silicon Valley, where the world's software development talent lies. Or at least that's the excuse I was given by Mobotix when we were a big installer for them, (we jumped ship after incessant personnel turnover). Too far from Silicon Valley=bad software. And fear of subbing things out.

    Regrettably, the camera startups provide less leverage than anyone thinks. Anything that is cloud-only recording is simply a toy. Way too easy to cut the cable line. I am supporting state police with a few recent high dollar burgs done in this manner.

    Bottom line is that aside from resolution increases, there has been essentially no progress in three years. At this point, I want to see:
    1. Better low light capability without IR (no insects and spiders);
    2. More accurate human detection; and
    3. A useable web interface.
     
  7. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    One reason they dont care is because 99 percent of their cameras are put in place by installers who know how to easily get around the issue and once installed the web interface is never used again. In most installs the web interface is unlikely ever touched. If you think hikvision cares about a diy guy screwing with his own system, you are mistaken. There has been a significant increase in low light capability in the last few years including some cameras that come without IR that are intended to be used with some light and are exceptional at that. 8mp 1/1.8 sensors cams have been released by dahua as well. If you want truly excellent low light capability be prepared to pay for it...dont expect it a 199.
     
  8. tinkerbear

    tinkerbear n3wb

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    Ok, funny thing I just noticed...

    I wanted to upgrade one of my cameras to the hacked firmware without the network port resets (and hangs). This doesn't work on current MacOS, because the plugin is no longer supported by anything. (So annoying.)

    So I booted up an old MacBook, running MacOS 10.7.6, and visited the camera page, and live video was working as you'd expect... but wait, I hadn't installed the plugin on that machine yet. Yep, live video with no Hikvision plugin, just QuickTime 7.1.1. (Firmware upgrades still wouldn't work without a plugin, no great surprise, so I ended up installing it.)

    Now I'm wondering - do we need Hikvision to do anything, or is it possible we could just hack the HTML returned from the camera to specify a proper video format? I suppose I should go look into what video formats browsers can support these days.
     
  9. bp2008

    bp2008 Staff Member

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    There are a number of ways that Hikvision could make it happen, but none of the current methods a camera provides for video streaming are compatible with any browser no matter how much html/javascript you were to write. Server-side support would be necessary.
     
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  10. LeeH

    LeeH Getting the hang of it

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    I can still access mine using IE thankfully, non of my other browsers work.

    Is IE the only one left? Will MS pull the plug on that too?
     
  11. awahl101

    awahl101 Young grasshopper

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    I am not sure if its just me but I can access the live stream via my phone and via my laptop in chrome just fine . I just noticed after accidently using chrome when making changes.

    always had to use ie[​IMG]

    Sent from my LG-LS997 using Tapatalk
     
  12. alastairstevenson

    alastairstevenson Known around here

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    Presumably a very old version of Chrome that still supports NPAPI plugins.
    What version is it?
     
  13. awahl101

    awahl101 Young grasshopper

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    latest version, also its it works on my phone so its not the version. I believe 5.5.5 added support for this now. I know 5.4.5 that most run do not support this.

    Sent from my LG-LS997 using Tapatalk
     
  14. Tolting Colt Acres

    Tolting Colt Acres Pulling my weight

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    Must be camera-specific. Using Chrome v70.0.3538.77, the following camera does not live view:

    upload_2018-11-9_9-0-36.png