Software

Problem

Has anything been looked into to improve the disk burning process in Ubuntu please?

The default application (Brasero) is full of bugs and won’t allow multi-session writing, despite that option being enabled.

We have to try and find a way to retain the functionality users have become familiar with and we are some way off that with Ubuntu at this stage, both 12.04 and 14.04 seem to have the same issue.

Take a look at the Ubuntu app ‘K3b’ (apt-get install k3b).

It is a media writing app which has more capabilities than the default Brasero app.

Solution

We've allowed the configuration of the app used and the command line passed to that app. If you edit the file:

/usr/nvr/client_settings/archivesetup.ini

You'll find find a line containing:

burn_cmd_line "brasero -d $PATH"

The command: brasero -d $PATH gets run when the user is prompted to burn and the token $PATH is replaced in software by the path of the archive data to burn. All you need to do is fill in the command line appropriate for the authoring app you've chosen and use the token $PATH where your app takes the path to burn on the command line.


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Yes, all the fail over server licenses can reside on the site master recorder.


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Problem

Is it possible to reduce the size of a database in all versions of CathexisVision?

Solution

NetBSD does not use the filesystem database engine, and the code does not allow for the database to be reduced in size.

CathexisVision 2014: Fedora and Windows use a Basic file system database, and it is possible to edit and reduce the size of the already created database.

CathexisVison 2015 and higher: The new advanced database only allows you to reduce the size if the database if it consists of multiple slices (volumes/disks).  You can delete the slices in order to reduce the overal database size.

NB* When deleting slices of a database you will be deleting recorded footage that belongs to that slice in the database


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Problem

Can I use the same API version for DVR units running Software version 5042 and CathexisVision 2014?

Solution

Yes, it is backwards compatible.


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Problem

I would like to automatically log in with a specific username on a Windows NVR. How can this be done?

Solution

If a user needs the CathexisVision software to automatically log in with a specific username on a Windows NVR, then the following steps should be followed:

Ensure that the CathexisVision software runs at start-up.

Create a new text file called “autologin.txt” in the …\CathexisVision install folder\settings\ folder.

Add the user credential for the the user in the "autologin.txt" file:

username

password

Remember to set up the auto login with a restricted user account.


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Problem

I am having an issue installing the CathexisVision NVR release with the provided msi installation software.

Solution

You can also run the installation by using msiexec to create an installation log file:

Example below:

c:> msiexec /i d:\CathexisVision_2017.01_Server_x86.msi /log install_log.txt

Zip up the log file and mail it to support@cat.co.za.


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Problem

We have had a request from a customer for a Base Station Operator “Dead Man” facility. We have looked at it here but can’t see how we could do it. Have you any ideas?

The concept is very simple. During the evening shift when everyone has left for the day, they want the Operator to have to push a button on his desk say every 30 minutes to 1 hour, indicating he is OK. Should that button not be pressed for say 5 minutes after the required time then an alarm must occur and this will be an audible alarm internally but also a text message externally.

Can you think how we could set up an event based on an input that needs to be triggered every 30 minutes?

This is a common requirement for large facilities where guards patrol and touch sensors around the site to indicate they have been there. More often than not this is managed by the Intruder panel or Access system but in this case the client has neither.

Solution

You can achieve this by using a virtual input as a level trigger, where the level goes low if the operator doesn't push the button:

  1. Setup an event that is triggered by an input (the button the operator needs to push). The action for this event is to pulse a virtual input for some period (the period the operator need to repeatedly push the button). - (Max pulse duration 3600000 ms (1 hour))
  2. Setup a second event that is triggered while the virtual input is low. This is the event that will trigger when the operator is "dead". The action is to sound an alarm etc. They'll probably only want this event enabled during the evening shift.

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Yes you do. You are not paying for the camera license here. You are paying for the ability to fail over any encoder.


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Problem

Do I need camera fail over licenses for Cathexis SAM encoders?

Solution

Yes you do. You are not paying for the camera license here. You are paying for the ability to fail over any encoder.


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Problem

I removed my fail-over Server and tried to re-add it back to my site.

I got an error message saying it is already attached to the site.

Solution

Go to the failover server and navigate to:

c:\program files (x86)\Cathexis Server\failover\data\control\

Remove the file called "config.xml".

Reboot the server

The hotspares for a site are identified by their IP address. To change the IP address of a hotspare they should remove it as a hotspare from the site, change the IP, and then re-add it using the new IP.

There are quite clear messages when you remove a hotspare from the site that the hotspare should be connected, so it can clean itself up (remove the configuration). If it is removed from a site without being connected you end up with the problem listed in this FAQ.
 

 


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Problem

I have two networks at site. One for the camera network, and the other network dedicated for storage. I have the camera and storage networks configured on both my NVR and hotspare server.

During failover, the videowall and Client PCs are given the hotspare server's storage NIC address to connect and stream video. The problem is that the Client and videowall PCs are not connected to the storage network, and fails to connect and stream the video.

Solution

This is a limitation in previous versions of software.
The hotspare will try to match the NVR network interfaces during failover. If the network interface cards differ between the hotspare and NVR, then hotspare selects the first available network during failover.

This has been addressed in 2017.3/2018.3 and later.

You can now configure the correct network interface in the failover setup for the hotspare during failover. This will ensure that the client and videowall PCs are given the correct network address. 

The network adapter can be selected/configured in the failover setup.


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You can access the CathexisVision servers or site remotely using our free CathexisVision Client software.

Alternatively you can also access the CathexisVision Servers via http using your web browser, and we also provide a free mobile app available from Playstore (Android devices), and iStore (IOS devices).


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Problem

How do I get the API server to start on the NetBSD DVR platform?

Solution

The API server on the unit needs to be enabled by creating this file:
/usr/dvs/ENABLEAPISERVER

From a text terminal logged in as root type the following:

#  touch /usr/dvs/ENABLEAPISERVER
#  reboot


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Problem

How does camera fail over licenses gets distributed over 3 NVR units if I purchase 3 x Server fail over licenses, and 120 x fail over camera licenses?

Solution

It  will give you equal camera fail over licenses on each server.

So this would be the Camera fail over license divided by the Server fail over licenses.

So you have 40 camera fail over licenses per NVR unit.

Note: Even if you only configured two fail over servers on the site the camera fail over values are calculated based on the number of server fail over licenses.

If any NVR has more than 40 cameras configured, it would not get failed over. The user would have a warning indicating this.


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Problem

How can I convert a mp4 or AVI file to a CathexisVision CAR file so I can use it a virtual feed?

Solution

There is new media2car utility shipped with the 2019 client and server software:

Run sandboxutils  and select media2car to convert a media file (Two supported video formats: avi or mp4) to a car file.

Example below:

From the Windows command prompt:

> cd c:\program files\CathexisVision Server\

> bin\sandboxutils media2car -o output_file  sample_video_file_one.avi

or

> bin\sandboxutils media2car -o output_file  "c:\folder\video file from client.mp4"

2.) If you have media files that have resolutions greater than 2560x1310, then you will  need to

specify the video frame rate by adding  "-ifps" for this media file.

> bin\sandboxutils media2car  -ifps 25 -o output_file  sample_video_file_two.mp4

Note: You can get the source video frame rate and resolution in VLC player.

Right click on video in VLC and select "Tools", and then "Codec information",

or just press "Ctrl - J" in VLC.


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Problem

How do I enable the monitor tab to appear in the Client Version of Cathexis or is it only available from the server to change videos on the video wall?

Solution

From the CathexisVision Client Software, open the "Enterprise manager" and then select the site you would like to make your resources site.

Select "Edit" from the menu bar, and then select "Make resources site".
Restart the client software for the changes to take effect.


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Problem

If a server or site has say 65 cameras and 2014 software, if only 64 CCVM migration licenses are applied, will this prevent the software being upgraded?

It doesn’t make it clear in the License document what happens if you don’t apply the required number of migration lics.

Solution

The software can be upgraded  to 2015 but the installer gives you a general warning:

"You may require camera version-migration licenses to run this version. Continuing could result in unlicensed cameras until the additional licenses are applied"

After the update 64 cameras will work on the site.


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Problem

How to change Tamper Alarm settings

Scenario: I am obstructing the camera and I am not immediately getting an alert on the main screen.

Solution

The tamper time period is fixed and set at a realistic time period to eliminate false alarms.
Tamper detection takes around 90 to 95 seconds to trigger a tamper alarm.
Pre-event recording times should be greater than 95 seconds in order to capture the
actual tampering moment.

Other 3rd party provider tamper time periods:

Axis allows the user to set a minimum tamper period of 10 seconds. In my opinion, 10 seconds is to short, leading to an excessive number of false positives.

From axis:

"tamper time period. This prevents false alarms from innocuous sources by allowing a time window (set in seconds or minutes, with a minimum of 10 seconds and maximum of 60 minutes) for which a mask or other violation needs to exist before it is flagged as a sabotage attempt."

From Bosch:

"Trigger delay [s] Set delayed alarm triggering here. The alarm is only triggered after a set time interval in seconds has elapsed and then only if the triggering condition still exists. If the original condition has been restored before this time interval elapses, the alarm is not triggered. This avoids false alarms triggered by short-term changes, for example, cleaning activities in the direct field of vision of the camera."


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Problem

We have had a request from a customer for a Base Station Operator “Dead Man” facility. We have looked at it here but can’t see how we could do it. Have you any ideas?

The concept is very simple. During the evening shift when everyone has left for the day, they want the Operator to have to push a button on his desk say every 30 minutes to 1 hour, indicating he is OK. Should that button not be pressed for say 5 minutes after the required time then an alarm must occur and this will be an audible alarm internally but also a text message externally.

Can you think how we could set up an event based on an input that needs to be triggered every 30 minutes?

This is a common requirement for large facilities where guards patrol and touch sensors around the site to indicate they have been there. More often than not this is managed by the Intruder panel or Access system but in this case the client has neither.

Solution

You can achieve this by using a virtual input as a level trigger, where the level goes low if the operator doesn't push the button:

  1. Setup an event that is triggered by an input (the button the operator needs to push). The action for this event is to pulse a virtual input for some period (the period the operator need to repeatedly push the button). - (Max pulse duration 3600000 ms (1 hour))
  2. Setup a second event that is triggered while the virtual input is low. This is the event that will trigger when the operator is "dead". The action is to sound an alarm etc. They'll probably only want this event enabled during the evening shift.

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Yes you can.

You first need to enable site user management in the User management setup.

You can now enable access to this feature for the relevant user/s.

See attached:

"Enable own password change.PNG"

 

 
 

Once logged in you can now change your password. See attached: "Change own password.PNG"

 

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Operating Systems

Problem

Has anything been looked into to improve the disk burning process in Ubuntu please?

The default application (Brasero) is full of bugs and won’t allow multi-session writing, despite that option being enabled.

We have to try and find a way to retain the functionality users have become familiar with and we are some way off that with Ubuntu at this stage, both 12.04 and 14.04 seem to have the same issue.

Take a look at the Ubuntu app ‘K3b’ (apt-get install k3b).

It is a media writing app which has more capabilities than the default Brasero app.

Solution

We've allowed the configuration of the app used and the command line passed to that app. If you edit the file:

/usr/nvr/client_settings/archivesetup.ini

You'll find find a line containing:

burn_cmd_line "brasero -d $PATH"

The command: brasero -d $PATH gets run when the user is prompted to burn and the token $PATH is replaced in software by the path of the archive data to burn. All you need to do is fill in the command line appropriate for the authoring app you've chosen and use the token $PATH where your app takes the path to burn on the command line.


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Problem

How do I add a the VGA Server software to start when the computer starts?

Solution

To autostart a the vgaserver program at startup just copy the vgaserver icon to your startup folder.

For ALL Users copy to :

"C:\ProgramData\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup"

Right Click Start Button - Explorer All Users and navigate to that folder.
You would need to show hidden files and folders to see the c:\ProgramData\ folder.

------------------------------------

For specific Users copy to :

"C:\Users\The User Name\AppData\Roaming\Microsoft\Windows\Start Menu\Programs\Startup"

Use Start - Computer   OR  Windows Explorers to navigate to that.


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Problem

How do I configure a specific Windows user to automatically log into Windows at start-up?

Solution

To automatically log in to Windows with a user’s credentials, please follow the these instructions:
 
1. Press "Windows Start" + R.
2. Type "control userpasswords2" and press Enter.

Security note: If UAC is enabled, then you’ll get a UAC prompt on screen. Please specify
credentials or permission to pass the UAC elevation.

3. Select your account from the list.
4. Uncheck the "Users must enter a user name and password to use this computer. "
5. Click Apply and a dialog will appear (See Figure A below).


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Problem

The yum installer on Fedora 16 gives error messages when trying to install or update packages.

Solution

Open the File Manager and navigate to the following directory:

/usr/lib/python2.7/site-packages/urlgrabber/

Edit the grabber.py file and change the following ssl option:

from
self.curl_obj.setopt(pycurl.SSL_VERIFYHOST, opts.ssl_verify_host)
to
self.curl_obj.setopt(pycurl.SSL_VERIFYHOST, 2)

Save and close the file and the yum installer will now work.


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Problem

How to allow clients to use an Ubuntu NVR unit as Client PC?

Solution

Below are instructions on how to run a Ubuntu NVR as a Basestation :

- Start the GUI

- In the "Menu bar" go to Settings > General

- In the "Gerneral Settings" menu option you will find an option: "Run as basestation"

- Enable "Run as basestation"

- Close all the open tabs

- Restart the GUI.

When the GUI comes up again, there will be no tabs open and the gui will now behave like a basestation.


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Hardware

Solution

PSP1200 and RS232 Loopback Adapter

  • Pin 8 connected to pins 7 and 9 (CTS to RTS and RI)
  • Pin 3 connected to pin 2  (TxD to RxD)
  • Pin 4 connected to pins 6 and 1 (DTR to DSR and D

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Solution

PSP1400 Loopback Adapter

  • 2 to 6 (RTS+ to CTS+)
  • 3 to 7 (RTS- to CTS-)
  • 4 to 8 (Tx+ to  Rx+)
  • 5 to 9 (Tx- to Rx-)

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Miscellaneous

Problem

The client is having close to 25000 users on their active directory. Can they import to the VMS a specific group from the active directory

Solution

Yes, this can be done:

A filter should be used to limit the LDAP results to the required users.

For example if an attribute userGroup is configured and only users beloging to the CCTV group is required to appear on the NVR, then the filter below should be used:

(&(objectCategory=person)(objectClass=user)(userGroup=CCTV))


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Problem

We have had a request from a customer for a Base Station Operator “Dead Man” facility. We have looked at it here but can’t see how we could do it. Have you any ideas?

The concept is very simple. During the evening shift when everyone has left for the day, they want the Operator to have to push a button on his desk say every 30 minutes to 1 hour, indicating he is OK. Should that button not be pressed for say 5 minutes after the required time then an alarm must occur and this will be an audible alarm internally but also a text message externally.

Can you think how we could set up an event based on an input that needs to be triggered every 30 minutes?

This is a common requirement for large facilities where guards patrol and touch sensors around the site to indicate they have been there. More often than not this is managed by the Intruder panel or Access system but in this case the client has neither.

Solution

You can achieve this by using a virtual input as a level trigger, where the level goes low if the operator doesn't push the button:

  1. Setup an event that is triggered by an input (the button the operator needs to push). The action for this event is to pulse a virtual input for some period (the period the operator need to repeatedly push the button). - (Max pulse duration 3600000 ms (1 hour))
  2. Setup a second event that is triggered while the virtual input is low. This is the event that will trigger when the operator is "dead". The action is to sound an alarm etc. They'll probably only want this event enabled during the evening shift.

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Problem

When the user presents his username during the CathexisVision login, does he use his username or domain details togethe with the username?

Example: domain\username

Solution

Only the username is required. No need to add the domain information.


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Problem

How can I pull an event report on a Windows or Linux NVR unit?

Solution

1.) The Forensic tool has an event report section where you can get event stats for selected cameras. You can export the stats.

2.) You can also create a Cathexis Events meta-database. Once created, it will automatically store all site events generated by the CathexisVision system. No other setup is required besides simply creating the meta-database.

See the attached document that describes the setup of the Cathexis events meta-database.


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Problem

How does cathexis vision updates the username / passwords from the active directory i.e. if a user changed his password how long will it take to be changed on the VMS.

Solution

The authentication is done by the domain controller, and not by the CathexisVision software.


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Problem

I am having an issue where mails are sent out every minute. I have only scheduled the mails once a week.

Solution

Clear out all the files in the /usr/dvs/outbox/ folder.

It contains a queue of unsent mails over time.

Mails would accumulate in this folder if the recorder is not able to reach the mail server.


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Problem

What languages does CathexisVision support?

Solution

The list you see in the language selection setup (Menu -> Settings -> General -> Language) is the list of supported languages. So they are:

  • Arabic
  • Dutch
  • English
  • French
  • Hungairan
  • Italian
  • Portuguese
  • Spanish

The translations have varying degrees of completion. For example, the Arabic translation is mainly the operator interface, while the Spanish and Italian translations are nominally complete.


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Problem

I have an issue with the gui_res.exe that is running in my task manger after starting it, but it is not giving me any display on my Windows desktop

Solution

This may be caused by Windows returning the incorrect monitor size values when closing the software.

Stop the gui_res.exe from the task manager by right clicking on it and selecting "End task"
Go to the installation folder where the CathexisVision software is installed.

Open the bsconfig.xml file in notepad or another editor.

Make sure the screen h (height) and w (Width) values are within this range:
0 to 2147483648

You can manually change the values to something that would represent your screen resolution.
See example below of expected values of a unit with two screens:


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