Setting up NetTime Time Sync Tool on Windows 10

TL1096r

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This is a great way to sync all your cameras. If cameras are not synced correctly they could be thrown out as evidence.
This will not adjust for Daylight Savings - you must enter DST Start and End time in your Camera.

I want to thank @mikeynags for all the information to get this up and running for me. I hope this step by step helps others.

Step 1:
Download NetTime:
NetTime - Network Time Synchronization Tool

Step 2:
After installing NetTime You want to make sure you go to "settings" in the NetTime program and then Check
"Allow Other Computers to sync to this computer"

I also suggest (thanks to mikeynags) making Logging Level: "Debug" so you can see if it is working later (this is discussed more in step 5)

Also check "Start NetTime Service at bootup" if not already.

DO NOT check "Always provide time (NOT recommended!)

Here is what the settings will look like:


Step 3:
Setup NTP in your cameras
I only have screenshots for Dahua.

This is found under System -> General -> Date & Time. It should be similar for all cameras.

Important: You will want the NIC card that your switch/cameras are on as the 'Server'. Do not forget to click 'NTP'

It will look like this:


Step 4:
If it is not working you will want to Create an inbound rule for your Windows firewall.
Go to Window Defender Firewall and then Advanced setting. (there are many sites showing how to get to this area in windows)

Go to Inbound -> New Rule -> Port -> Select UDP -> Port 123 -> Allow the connection -> for Rule applies you can check Domain, Private and Public

Tip: you can also change Time Servers. MikeyNags suggested Google because:
"I have seen issue with NTP.org - they've had hosts associated with their service which end up on block lists because for example, they run a TOR exit node. I just know with Google, you won't have to deal with any of that"

Time servers would be:
time.google.com
time3.google.com
time2.google.com
time4.google.com
(step 2 shows where you can add these to NetTime)

Step 5 to see if it is working:
This is simply to confirm it is working. Go to the log file. The txt log file is in the NetTime folder and named "NetTimeLog.txt".

If this is working correctly you will see:
'Sent NTP response to: Camera's IP will be here'
'Sent NTP response to: Camera's IP will be here'
'Sent NTP response to: Camera's IP will be here'

Thanks for IPCAMTALK and members that helped.
 
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IAmATeaf

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Not too sure I’d leave the check interval a 1 minute? Think I have mine set to the max, 30?
 

TL1096r

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Not too sure I’d leave the check interval a 1 minute? Think I have mine set to the max, 30?
It was a setting I was trying when I had issues with it working. I am not too sure what the difference or best setting but if 30 is suggested then I will change/update SS when I have some time tomorrow.

Thank you
 

IAmATeaf

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To be honest if I could set it longer I would, 12 hours would be ideal for me.
 

mikeynags

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At work, we run different NTP software at work but we have to maintain a +/-250ms clock skew. Luckily the stuff we run at work, you can configure to check in as much as needed to maintain the skew tolerance. I also take my cams and set them to whatever the max is for time window. I think 30 mins is the max on my Dahuas.
 

bp2008

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NTP time syncs are insignificant traffic/CPU load compared to anything else the camera does, however I also agree that one sync per minute is excessive. Even a 30 minute time sync is a bit excessive.

NTP also does not negate the need to configure daylight savings time correctly. NTP basically just synchronizes universal time, and the camera still needs to know what the time zone offset is, and needs to know when DST starts and stops and by how much it affects the clock.
 

VorlonFrog

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If you're running a recent model Asus router, the Merlin firmware includes an NTP time server. The standard software may, as well. All my cameras sync back to the router.
 

J Sigmo

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In my case, most of my cameras cannot contact my router because they're on a separate physical network that uses a second Ethernet port in the BI PC. However a few of my cameras are on the internet-connected network, via the other NIC of the BI PC because they are branched off of cable runs (via small POE switches) that also serve devices that need to have internet connectivity).

At some point, I could run new cable runs to serve those areas directly from the non-internet network, but my main reason for adding the second NIC and separate network was because the router can only block 16 devices, and I ran out of "blockable addresses".

The cameras still on the internet-capable net are still blocked from internet access in the router using its so-called "parental controls".

It might be possible to let those cameras get their time reference from the Asus router while the cameras on the non-internet network get theirs from the BI PC.

On the other hand, since all of the cameras can reach the BI PC, they could probably all get their time from the BI PC if I set it up as described above, to be a time server.

Right now, I have the time displays of all of my cameras disabled, and I use the time overlays in Blue Iris, which is automatically synched.

I haven't paid attention, but presumably, you folks are saying that when I export the video from BI, it cannot contain the BI-Inserted time overlays, and without any time overlays, the exported video becomes somewhat useless in court?

If so, it seems like a nice feature to add to BI would be an "export BI time overlay" feature for when you export video. That's probably a lot easier said than done, but it seems possible, and would be very useful. But it might slow down the video export operations.

Still, I prefer the unified look and synchronized times I get by simply disabling the cameras' individual time overlays. Different brands and models have different styles and positioning possibilities.

I do think a lot of BI users would appreciate being able to have the BI time overlays superimposed onto their exported videos.

As long as that doesn't create a chain of evidence issue, it seems like it would satisfy everyone.

Again, I have not tried exporting any BI videos since I switched off all of my cameras' built-in time overlays. I got tired of having both showing up, and opted to use BI's. Do the exported videos show up sans BI overlays?

Edit to add:

I just checked one of my previously-exported videos, and indeed, all that shows up are the overlays directly produced by the cameras. I do use direct to disk recording in BI, so I know the recorded video does not contain the BI overlays.

But somehow, when I play back clips, etc., in BI, it adds in the BI time data. So it must have that information embedded into the recorded camera data, or it regenerates it on the fly when playing video back.

If it could create those overlays as it is exporting video, that would be a handy feature a lot of people would like to have, I think.

Such a system should be defensible in court, too, maintaining a chain of evidence that is acceptable.
 
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TL1096r

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In my case, most of my cameras cannot contact my router because they're on a separate physical network that uses a second Ethernet port in the BI PC. However a few of my cameras are on the internet-connected network, via the other NIC of the BI PC because they are branched off of cable runs (via small POE switches) that also serve devices that need to have internet connectivity).

At some point, I could run new cable runs to serve those areas directly from the non-internet network, but my main reason for adding the second NIC and separate network was because the router can only block 16 devices, and I ran out of "blockable addresses".

The cameras still on the internet-cabable net are still blocked from internet access in the router using its so-called "parental controls".

It might be possible to let those cameras get their time reference from the Asus router while the cameras on the non-internet network get theirs from the BI PC.

On the other hand, since all of the cameras can reach the BI PC, they could probably all get their time from the BI PC if I set it up as described above, to be a time server.

Right now, I have the time displays of all of my cameras disabled, and I use the time overlays in Blue Iris, which is automatically synched.

I haven't paid attention, but presumably, you folks are saying that when I export the video from BI, it cannot contain the BI-Inserted time overlays, and without any time overlays, the exported video becomes somewhat useless in court?

If so, it seems like a nice feature to add to BI would be an "export BI time overlay" feature for when you export video. That's probably a lot easier said than done, but it seems possible, and would be very useful. But it might slow down the video export operations.

Still, I prefer the unified look and synchronized times I get by simply disabling the cameras' individual time overlays. Different brands and models have different styles and positioning possibilities.

I do think a lot of BI users would appreciate being able to have the BI time overlays superimposed onto their exported videos.

As long as that doesn't create a chain of evidence issue, it seems like it would satisfy everyone.

Again, I have not tried exporting any BI videos since I switched off all of my cameras' built-in time overlays. I got tired of having both showing up, and opted to use BI's. Do the exported videos show up sans BI overlays?
I thought the BI overlays took up CPU usage and it was better to go with the cameras. Also, if you use SD card to record as backup there would be no timestamp.
 

J Sigmo

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I thought the BI overlays took up CPU usage and it was better to go with the cameras. Also, if you use SD card to record as backup there would be no timestamp.
Good point about the SD card backups not having any time stamps. I have never installed an SD card in any of my cameras because I figure climbing up on a ladder and disassembling the camera to get at the card would be a royal pain. Then again, in the event of a burglary, if they stole one's BI PC and any backup data for it, it would be worth the effort to climb up, remove the camera, open it up, and then get at its SD card. So I can see why people do use the SD card slots.

As for using extra clock cycles in BI, I can imagine it does when rendering the video, but 99.9% of the time, my system is just recording. And when I access it via the local console, the CPU usage does go up. But interestingly, when I access it via my phone using UI3 or the BI APP, or access it from any other PC, via UI3, the CPU usage doesn't really go up noticeably. It's always considerably less than when I am actually using the BI PC with the program showing through its console. I don't run BI as a service, I just minimize it. Perhaps I'd see a big difference if I was running it as a service. But the CPU usage is so low that I don't worry about it at this point. It's usually around 20% when NOT using the console. It goes up to, maybe, 24% when I am using the console (not minimized).

What might be handy would be a setting in BI that left the BI timestamp overlays off unless you request it, and only generate the overlays if requested when it generates the export files. Somehow, it must be storing time stamp data into the recorded data stream even though it doesn't show up in the exported videos.

I haven't experimented, but I wonder if the BI-generated "invisible" time stamp data is only generated if you have the time overlay enabled for a particular camera. That seems unlikely. But I haven't tested this. I'm guessing that BI's time data is always present in the metadata.

All I know is that even though I'm recording direct to disk, when I review clips, time information is available and shows up when I view on the console or on a remote device via UI3 or the BI App. So at least for me, with BI4, and with the time overlays enabled, I do get time data when I replay. It's just not showing up as an overlay on the exported videos. And I'd like to have that capability.

Assuming that there isn't much of a CPU usage penalty associated with this (because the time data is already being stored in metadata in the files despite not appearing in the actual stored video), then having the ability to "draw" the time overlay onto the video that's generated when one exports a video would not add to CPU usage under normal use - only when exporting the video, and if it does slow down generation of the export videos, that would be fine by me (if enabled).

Further, I wonder if the cameras themselves embed any time stamp metadata in their video files, of if they only generate video files. If they do generate time metadata, there might be a program of some sort that would let you read the SD card and then export videos with a time overlay inserted. Presumably if you're going to use video that's been recorded on an SD card, you'd need to be able to export only selected ranges of time from what's on the SD card, and that implies using some sort of video editor, and that editor could generate the overlays based on metadata.

That all brings up issues of chain-of-evidence as well, but then without some truly good data integrity tracking system, none of this video should really be admissible as evidence if the lawyers involved were really tech savvy themselves. It wouldn't be that hard for someone skilled in CGI or video editing to create whatever sort of video they want or at least alter an existing video.

We've seen the mainstream news show videos taken during the Obama administration that show "kids in cages" at border detention facilities where they've blurred or removed the time/date stamps so that viewers can be mislead into thinking the videos were shot during the Trump administration. This fools 99% of the viewers, of course.

I think the same sort of easy trickery could be used for security camera footage, so I'm somewhat surprised that any of this footage is accepted so readily either way without some sort of forensic verification.

Years ago, Canon had a special kit you could get for their DSLRs to supposedly encode some sort of checksum or hash into the image files to make it "provable" that a digital photo had not been altered so it would be admissible in court. Until then, Polaroids were about the only truly court-admissible photos since it would be obvious if they'd been "retouched".

But I read recently that someone broke that system and showed that it could be "scammed". So I'm not sure what police and fire investigators use now. Not being able to use digital cameras would be a real burden. But digital images can be altered so easily that proving an image is "original data" could be a serious problem.

Anyhow, I'd like, and I think others might like, a checkbox in BI's video export system to let it generate time/date overlay data into the generated video. That's assuming that a timestamp is always being encoded into metadata anyhow - or could be.

But maybe I also need to stuff SD cards into all of my cameras, too. ;)

And of course, then, I'd want the cameras' clocks to be accurate so that their overlays or metadata would be correct.
 
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Jessie.slimer

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Hi, sorry to drag up an old thread, but I have tried everything listed to get my cams to see the NetTime NTP. My cameras are on a second NIC and in the Dahua setup page I have the NTP server turned on, pointed to my 2nd NIC IP of 192.168.1.1 and port set to 123 with an interval of 1 for testing. I manually changed the time wrong on the camera to see if it would update after a minute, but it does not. My Net time settings are correct, just like the screenshot you posted, and set to share time with other computers, and when I hit sync it does show successful. Inbound and outbound UDP ports 123 were set to allowed in Windows 10 firewall.

I have also changed both of my networks from "public" to "private" using the instructions I found here.

I tried turning off windows time in control panel, still nothing. When I put my 2nd NIC IP of 192.168.1.1 in the internet time section of control panel, it does not update successfully, so I think that this may be related to the problem.

Any other ideas? The cameras drift time if left for extended periods, as they are on a separate network that does not have internet access. I have been going into the camera and hitting the "sync pc" tab.

Thanks.
1577551094285.png1577551160345.png1577551330925.png1577551444162.png
 
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Jessie.slimer

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I just rebooted the computer, and looked in the net time log viewer, and it shows it is now responding to time requests from my camera every minute, as well as the time changing away from what I manually set it to, but the time it changes to is exactly 14 hours ahead (central time zone). I looked in the FAQ of Net time, but it says it may be a setting in windows for time zones. I will look into this. Hopefully it will be working correctly soon.
 
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fenderman

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I just rebooted the computer, and looked in the net time log viewer, and it shows it is now responding to time requests from my camera every minute, as well as the time changing away from what I manually set it to, but the time it changes to is exactly 10 hours behind my local time (central time zone). I looked in the FAQ of Net time, but it says it may be a setting in windows for time zones. I will look into this. Hopefully it will be working correctly soon.
You have the wrong time zone set in your cam
 

Jessie.slimer

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yep, you are right. Changed it to the correct zone and its working now. Thanks a ton for this quick response. Saved me from a lot of needless troubleshooting.
 

TheE

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Is NetTime and these steps still current? Also, is this still the preferred way to track times on the cameras?

Sadly, (my own fault for not figuring this out yet) I still do not have times on my exported videos.
 

Jessie.slimer

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I really like it, mine is still working great. Set it and forget it. Plus I like that the time is embedded in the original file, not added in during processing as BI would do.
 

SouthernYankee

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We are in daylight save time. Were are you looking at the time in the camera, the camera video or the BI time ?

This is for central time in the camera. NOTE NTP time is always GMT. the corrections must be made in the system for DST and time zone.

DST.jpg
 

TheE

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We are in daylight save time. Were are you looking at the time in the camera, the camera video or the BI time ?

This is for central time in the camera. NOTE NTP time is always GMT. the corrections must be made in the system for DST and time zone.

View attachment 64581
@SouthernYankee, if you have the time and do not mind, I have a few questions to get my NetTime/cameras up and running correctly.

I've already downloaded NetTime and updated the settings mentioned above.

My questions:

I'm in the central time zone (Texas), so within the cameras Time Zone setting do I select "(UTC-6:00) Central Time (US & Cananda)"?

I'm not sure what to put for the DST Type settings; the Day/Week and Start time/End.

Lastly, for the server; is this the IP for the computer running my BI?

Thanks in advance!
 
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SouthernYankee

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@TheE
I also am in texas the central time zone.

Look at my post #19 on page 1 of this forum post. It has the correct setting of a camera for central time zone and DST.

The IP address the computer that Nettime is on, most of the time this is the BI computer. IF you are using TWO NICs, then it is the IP address on the BI camera NIC.
 
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