Raspberry Pi as an IP Camera for BI

abelmj

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Has anyone been able to use a Raspberry Pi or Pi Zero with the Camera module to act as an IP Camera for Blue Iris? I understand the latest V2 camera module has very good resolution. I am having a horrible time finding good doc on selecting and configuring the right software that would work well to do live video streaming. Audio seems to be an even bigger challenge. I would like both, but I'm willing to do baby-steps - video first and maybe add support for the audio later if necessary. I know a bit of Python and Linux scripting, so I'm not too afraid of that. I just can't find a good option for doing the video.

I would ideally like to use several Pi Zeros to act as IP Cameras placed at strategic spots around the house.
 

meissen

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I'm using my Raspicam through Blue Iris - I set it up according to a tutorial I read for setting up the Raspicam for OctoPi / OctoPrint (3d printing). On a whim I tried setting up the camera in Blue Iris and it worked.
 

Keredoc

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I also used the instructions provided by @Dodutils and everything worked without a hitch on my Pi Zero W. I grabbed a ZeroViewfrom PiHut which arrived in less than a week from England. It's a great DIY version of the Ring doorbell, especially considering I had the RaspiCam and ZeroW just kicking around looking bored.

You must make RasPi act like a MJPEG or RTSP IP camera you have many ways to do it. Best one is to turn it into RTSP camera as the RaspiCam is already H.264 so no video convertion needed, nearly no CPU usage.

You can try this way Raspberry PI (Ver 2.0) + PI Cam as a stable RTSP Server - Synology Forum
 

bp2008

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Pi cameras are good during they day but they have utterly terrible low light performance so you should limit your expectations.
 

mikeduncan

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Have any of you been able to get your raspberry PI stream to save direct to disk in blue iris? No video will save when I turn the option on in BI to do this. Also of course it says hardware encoders only in BI next to the setting, does anyone know the difference between hardware and software encoded streams and why blue iris has this limitation?
 
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Hello! A little late to this party, but I thought I'd let people know how I was able to get a Raspberry Pi 3 with camera functioning as a mjpeg camera easily accessible by Blue Iris in a very short period of time.

First of all, I installed the Raspberry Pi software that is described here;
RPi-Cam-Web-Interface - eLinux.org

To summarize my steps, I performed the following;

Get latest
sudo apt-get update
sudo apt-get dist-upgrade
Get the RPi-Cam-Web-Interface software

Installed the software using the old method - the new method did not work for me, for some reason;
cd RPi_Cam_Web_Interface
./RPi_Cam_Web_Interface_Installer.sh install​

The configuration screens popped up within that install. Basically, I took all of the defaults. Once the install finished, I rebooted the Pi as requested and connected to the IP address of the camera and got a web page with a video stream and all sorts of configuration. It looks a little like this!

upload_2018-1-25_16-10-39.png

Once I saw that everything was working, I pressed the System button and changed the stream from the Default stream to an MJPEG stream.

Then, I watched the https traffic using Fiddler (don't worry about this - trust me, I got what I needed) and was able to find the path to the actual mjpeg stream. Then it was off to my Blue Iris configuration!

The Blue Iris Network IP camera configuration looks just like this;

upload_2018-1-25_16-14-20.png

The magic is in the Path that you see above

/cam_pic_new.php​

Once I was able to find that path from the Fiddler stream, I just dropped it in place and it's been working ever since - close to 30 minutes now, what could go wrong?

A few points;
  1. Note that there is no security protecting this stream. It looks like the new installation method (install.sh) allows for a username and password, but like I said earlier in this post, I could not get this method to run properly - far from it.
  2. I actually tried to change the port from the default 80 to something else and, while the configuration allowed me to make the change, this immediately broke the stream - no idea why, but for my purposes today it didn't matter enough to dig in and figure out.

Ok, that's it! Any questions, let me know - would be glad to help.


Thanks,
Marshall
 

bp2008

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it's been working ever since - close to 30 minutes now, what could go wrong?
I have a pair of pi on a window sill running basically that configuration, minus Blue Iris constantly streaming from them, and they've been quite reliable.

I actually tried to change the port from the default 80 to something else and, while the configuration allowed me to make the change, this immediately broke the stream - no idea why, but for my purposes today it didn't matter enough to dig in and figure out.
You probably need to enter the port number in Blue Iris. Just replace both port number fields with the new port. To be honest I don't know how Blue Iris decided to use port 80 if you didn't have that entered in either port number field already.

But just so you know, changing the port number a server listens on is the most trivial, easily defeated trick in the book. It is a moot point anyway if your camera isn't accessible outside your LAN.
 

bp2008

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Aha, that one does H.264 over rtsp. Very nice. It should be a lot more efficient than the old mjpeg method.
 

Dasstrum

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Just curious as to why you would want to use a Pi for a camera? (Unless you have a spare Pi laying around collecting dust). Just seems there's much better options than spending $35 on the Pi and $15-30 for the camera module.

Don't get me wrong love my Pi (running Kiosk mode + UI3) but wouldn't want to use it for a camera :/
 

bp2008

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It is mostly just for fun. Most real IP cameras (even cruddy brands) are likely to produce higher frame rates and better video quality (especially at night), and be a whole lot easier to configure. I guess if you wanted a concealed camera and didn't like any of the pre-built options on the market, a pi + camera module would make it fairly easy to build your own and put it inside a hollowed-out book or an alarm clock or something.

You could build a cheap wireless 5MP camera for $10 (pi zero w) + $20 (camera module). Of course you can still buy some cruddy pre-built IP camera for that price or less. It really isn't about cost.
 
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Well, I can't speak for anyone else but I paid $5 (plus tax) for my Pi Zero W from Micro Center and $5.91 for my camera module on E-bay with free shipping (it is the older version but it's still 30 fps 1080p 5 MP codec H.264). If anyone can show me where I can buy an IP camera of comparable quality for less than $11, I'm all ears.

Until then, I'll keep building these. :D
 
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Comparable quality? Hah, yeah I'm sure theres plenty of cameras out there that looks like the video was recorded with a potato...

Here ya go: 360 Degree Panoramic Wireless Wifi IP Fisheye Camera Two Way Audio 960P LOT | eBay
That isn't comparable. That has to be plugged into a usb and I doubt it's truly 5 MP.

I actually get good quality recordings from these.

I looked for cheap wireless IP cameras for days. I never found any actual listing for a wireless IP camera for less than about $24. Wait, I take that back. I did and I bought 5 of them and then Ebay canceled their listing and informed me that it was a bogus listing and that they removed the seller. lol
 
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Well, I can't speak for anyone else but I paid $5 (plus tax) for my Pi Zero W from Micro Center and $5.91 for my camera module on E-bay with free shipping (it is the older version but it's still 30 fps 1080p 5 MP codec H.264). If anyone can show me where I can buy an IP camera of comparable quality for less than $11, I'm all ears.

Until then, I'll keep building these. :D
I forgot about the SD card. They were $3.49 for 16 GB. SO the total is more like $14.40.

And an upside to me is I can put them in anything and hide them anywhere. They just need power, which I am getting from an old computer power supply.

Obviously they are not the best answer for everyone. But they work for me.
 

Dodutils

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problem is that the PICam is good dyalight but not good at all low light and you also forgot the price of the box for your raspi+cam and the USB power and the fact that your cam is not IR so you cannot use it at night unless it it IR pass thru but then you'll need an automatic IR filter and IR light ... so yes a ready to use 25€ 1080p chinese camera will do much better for lesser price.
 

tung256

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Just curious as to why you would want to use a Pi for a camera? (Unless you have a spare Pi laying around collecting dust). Just seems there's much better options than spending $35 on the Pi and $15-30 for the camera module.

Don't get me wrong love my Pi (running Kiosk mode + UI3) but wouldn't want to use it for a camera :/
the rpi, especially the zero is small enough to conceal anywhere. i am looking at super small but high quality to monitor our nanny.
sure there are Wyze cams but those require a cloud account and that's something i cant stand.
 
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