Dahua Web Interface

 

Introduction

 

Dahua’s IP cameras come with a web interface that’s sufficient to initially set up and fully operate the camera- all through a PC on your network. In fact, you can even set your PC to act as a network video recorder (NVR). There are a few downsides to only  using the web interface. The first is remote viewing. You’ll have to do a little extra work to forward ports you open in your firewall to your cameras. The next is if you have multiple cameras, it can be cumbersome to remember which ports you assigned to each camera. You’ll also have to login to the web interface each time. Most people with multiple cameras will not  want to solely use the web interface. I highly recommend Blue Iris, but Dahua also has their own security monitoring software (SmartPSS) and mobile phone app (gDMSS Lite & gDMSS Pro) that are free. The advantage of using Blue Iris is you don’t have to use all Dahua cameras, you can mix-and-match them.

 

 

Live View

 

Live view gives you a large pane in your browser window to view your camera’s footage. Internet Explorer is the preferred browser for viewing your camera’s live video. If you have a PTZ capable camera, you’ll have those controls off to the right of the video. You can take snapshots and start a manual recording from this window as well. Live view also allows for very basic image adjustment.


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The default username is admin  and the default password is admin.

You’ll see a row of tab in the upper right. 1- The Live screen is where you can view your camera’s video as well as operate the PTZ functions (if available). 2- Setup configures your camera’s system settings. 3- Alarm allows you to configure the camera’s alarm settings. 4- Logout of the camera. You’ll start on this screen after you log in.

In the upper left, you’ll see two buttons and a dropdown menu. 1- Main Stream allows to view the camera’s primary video output (higher resolution video), 2- Sub Stream gives you access to the camera’s secondary video output (lower resolution video), and 3- Protocol allows you to switch between the TCP and UDP protocols.

On the lower left, you’ll see a row of icons. 1- Image Adjustment, 2- Original Size, 3- Full Screen, 4- W:H, and 5- Adjust Fluency.

In the upper right below the row of tabs you have another row of icons. 1- Digital Zoom, 2- Snapshot, 3- Triple Snapshot, 4- Record, and 5- Help.



Setup

 

For this tutorial I’ll be using a Dahua IPC-HDBW1200E WiFi camera. There are no PTZ or powered zoom lens controls for this camera. As such, your system settings may differ slightly. It’s important to note that each camera will only have settings applicable to the camera’s capability. System settings can even differ between two models that are exactly the same but have different firmware versions.

For this camera, Setup is broken down into 6 main categories listed in the sidebar on the left side of the screen. These are:

  • Camera
  • Network
  • Event
  • Storage
  • System
  • Information
Camera settings

 

This is where you’ll find you adjustments related to the way the camera’s video looks. You have typical picture adjustments, such as brightness, contrast, sharpness, etc. You can also rotate and flip the image from here. This is also where you’ll find the settings for the main and sub streams.


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Notice the left sidebar. You’ll start off on the Camera settings. The Conditions settings gives you video management options . Your first option is Profile. There are 3 profiles to choose from: Normal, Day, and Night. Click on the Profile Management tab.

You have 3 options for profile management. Normal sets everything to auto. Full Time allows you to manually choose either a day or night profile. The profile you select will always be active. Schedule lets you set a day or night profile based on time.

If you want to use different camera settings during the day than you do at night, then check Schedule. A slider will open up and you can drag each end to pick your night & day times. Now the Day profile will be active during the day, and the Night profile will run during the hours you selected for nighttime.

Typical camera controls that allow for picture adjustment.

Used mostly for indoor cameras where fluorescent lights cause the picture to flicker.

Exposure settings. Choices are: Auto, Low Noise, Low Motion Blur, and Manual.

Auto: Automatically adjusts the shutter speed, exposure timing, and gain. Low Noise: Maximizes the gain for the ideal exposure. Low Motion Blur: Increases the shutter speed but reduces the gain. Manual: You manually set shutter speed while gain is automatically adjusted. You can play around with these settings to find the best picture under different lighting situations.

Gain amplifies the signal from the camera sensor, including background noise. It goes along with exposure for picture adjustment.

White Balance settings. Allows for adjustment so white colors look white in different lighting scenarios. Choices are: Auto, Day, Night, OutdoorCustomized.

Auto: Automatically adjusts for the best setting of the whole picture. Day: Adjusts for brighter daylight conditions. Night: Adjusts for darker nighttime conditions. Outdoor: Adjusts for outdoor lighting conditions. Customized: Manual color balance.

Day & Night settings. Decides when, if at all, the camera switches between black & white and color. Choices are: Color, Auto, Black & White.

Color: Always presents a picture with color, although this doesn’t perform well under dim lighting conditions. Auto: Automatically switches from color to black & white mode based on the lighting. Black & White: Always presents a picture in black & white.

BLC Mode settings. BLC stands for backlight compensation. This feature helps to balance out bright lights that cause overexposure. Choices are: Off, BLC, WDR.

Off: No backlight compensation provided (images in front of bright lights will appear darker). BLC: Uses the whole image to balance the lighting settings. WDR: Makes multiple scans of a scene, processes it, then creates one image to provide clearest picture possible.

Mirror rotates the picture horizontally along the vertical axis (everything will be backwards, similar to looking in a mirror).

Flip rotates the picture around the center of the image a set number of degrees to allow for different mounting configurations (such as upside-down).

Next you have Video settings. Notice you have 2 sections here- a Main Stream section and a Sub Stream section. The main stream is usually your higher quality stream and used for recording to a hard drive. The sub stream is a secondary video feed, giving you the option of viewing at a reduced resolution (such as remotely through a smartphone) to reduce bandwidth and thus data usage.

Code-Stream Type settings. Choices are: General and Motion.

Encode Mode settings. Choices are: H.264B, H.264, H.264H, and MJPEG.

H.264B: H.264 Baseline Profile (a stripped down version of H.264, ideal for playback on less powerful devices). H.264: H.264 Main Profile (higher quality video, requires less bandwidth, requires more powerful hardware to decode). H.264H: H.264 High Profile (highest quality video, requires even less bandwidth, needs the most powerful hardware to decode). MJPEG: Motion JPEG, takes a series of high quality pictures which results in motion.

Resolution settings. Choices will vary greatly by camera. This camera offers: 1080P, SXGA, 1.3M, 720P, and D1 resolutions.

1080P (1920 X 1080) resolution will result in the best quality picture, but will require more storage space and higher bandwidth to stream. On the other hand, D1 resolution (704 X 480) will offer the lowest picture quality, but will use less storage space and lower bandwidth to stream.

Frame Rate (FPS) settings. Choices are 1 – 30.

The frame rate and resolution are the two most important factors when considering video quality. The resolution will determine how clear and detailed the video is, and the frame rate will determine how fluid the video is. If you are monitoring, a small area, framerate may be more important. Keep in mind, higher resolutions and frame rate will require more powerful hardware, especially if you plan on recording many cameras.

Bit Rate Type settings. Choices are: CBR and VBR.

Both CBR and VBR refer to the video’s bit rate mode, which will affect quality and the size of the file. CBR: Constant Bit Rate (easier and faster to process, same bit rate used for each second of video). VBR: Variable Bit Rate (more efficient, the bit rate will change resulting in better quality but it’s harder to decode).

Quality settings. Choices are 1 – 6.

Quality refers to the video quality. Dahua gives you 6 settings to choose from, 1 being the lowest quality, and 6 being the best quality.

Bit Rate settings: Various choices.

The bit rate settings will affect the quality of the video. The higher the bit rate, the better the video quality.

I Frame Interval settings. Choices are a value 30 – 150. Used for video compression, this should be set approximately twice that of the frame rate. So if you’re using a frame rate of 30 fps, the I frame interval should be 60.

Watermark settings. A watermark can be used to prevent tampering with video integrity, helping to verify the authenticity of the recorded footage.

Don’t forget to click the Save button.

Settings for manual or activated snapshots. Activated snapshots include scheduled- and event-activated (motion-triggered) snapshots.

Overlay gives you three options for on-screen text- 1) Channel Title, 2) Time Title, and 3) Location. It also gives you the option to create a privacy mask.

First is Privacy Masking, which gives you the option of blacking out part of your video, i.e., the neighbor’s property. To set it up, check the box for Privacy Masking, then click Setup. Simply drag the cursor across the screen and you cover up that part of the video. Right-click the mouse to delete an area, or use the Delete and Delete All buttons.

An example of a privacy mask set to black out the left side of the screen, with all other overlays active.

Click the Save button when you’re done.

Click the Path tab. If recording to a computer, here is where you will set your storage location for snapshots and recordings. The default saves to the C:\ drive. Click Save.





Network settings

 

You’ll be able to set options related to TCP/IP, such as IP address, DNS, default gateway, WiFi, etc. You can also set up email if you want to be notified of camera events. There are a slew of other settings that may not be useful for everyone.


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If you have a WiFi-enabled camera, you may have 2 Ethernet adapters (network cards). Choose which one you want to use, then click Set as Default button.

Choose whether you want your camera to have a static IP address (never changes) or have one assigned by your router’s DHCP server (IP address may change). If you choose DHCP, you must ensure your router is capable of DHCP static mapping or DHCP reservation. Otherwise, if your IP address changes, you’ll need to scan your LAN to find it again to access the web interface. Most people should be good with a Static IP, but it really should be set outside of your DHCP server’s scope in your router’s settings.

Your camera’s MAC address.

Although IPv4 will be sufficient for most people, Dahua also gives you the option of using IPv6.

Assign a unique IP address (if static IP address is selected). Make sure no other devices are using this IP address by going to your PC’s command prompt and typing in ping 192.168.1.108 (or whatever IP address you want to use for your network). If you’re not sure about subnet mask, default gateway, or DNS servers, again, go to the command prompt and type in ipconfig /all and copy that information.

If you check this box, you will have the ability to use arp to set the camera’s IP address. Go to your PC’s command prompt. You will need your camera’s MAC address. Let’s say you want to assign an IP address of 192.168.1.108 to your camera with a MAC address of 00:00:00:11:22:33. Type in arp -s 192.168.1.108 00:00:00:11:22:33. Now type in ping 192.168.1.108. You may need to reboot your camera. Afterwards, you should be able to ping the IP address you just set. Click the Save button to update your camera’s network settings.

Next click on the P2P tab. Here you have the option of scanning the QR code on the screen to add your camera to Dahua’s desktop software SmartPSS, or their mobile app, gDMSS Lite/Plus. This makes adding your camera’s really easy, and keeps you from having to manually open ports on your router. Be aware this method will use Dahua’s servers to make the connection.

Click on Connection on the left sidebar. Here you’ll find your camera’s port information. This is important if you plan on manually forwarding your ports to remotely access your cameras. You can change the port numbers to suit your needs for your application.

Click on the ONVIF tab. If you plan on the using ONVIF standard, you probably should enable authentication by clicking the Enable radio button, especially if you’re going to be remotely accessing your cameras. Click Save when you’re finished.

If you’re using a PPPoE connection, check the Enable box and enter your user credentials you received from your ISP. Click Save. You’ll need to reboot your camera to apply these settings.

You can go to each provider’s website to register in order to get the login information. If you’re registered, and want to use the DDNS feature, make sure you check the box next to Server Type.

Dahua gives you a few options for DDNS. You will still have to forward your ports, but you won’t have to worry about your IP address changing.

The server address will automatically be filled in after you select your DDNS provider.

The domain name will be auto-filled with the MAC address. So your domain name to reach your camera with a MAC address of 00:00:00:11:22:33 and using Dyndns DDNS would be something like 000000112233.members.dyndns.org. Not very convenient huh?

Enter your username and password that your DDNS service provider gave you here.

Finally, choose how often the camera will check to see if the IP address has changed. If it detects a change, then it will send your DDNS provider the update.

You can enable an IP filter if you wish. This will act as a very basic firewall. Click the Add IP/MAC button and enter the correct information.

Next tick the Trusted Sites box. This will prevent any IP or MAC address not listed in your trusted sites list from accessing the camera. Click Save.

We’ll use Gmail in this example. For SMTP server, enter smtp.gmail.com. For port, enter 465 (SSL encryption).

If your server supports anonymous logins, you can check this box. We’ll leave it unchecked for this example.

Enter your username credentials, such as somebody@gmail.com and your password. Re-enter your somebody@gmail.com address again in the Sender field.

For Authentication, choose SSL in the dropdown box.

Enter the email subject in the Title field, such as “Dahua camera alert”. In the Mail Receiver field, enter your somebody@gmail.com address again. You’ll be sending an email to yourself. If you check the Attachment box, you’ll also receive a snapshot in the email.

Interval is the delay that will occur before sending out the email. This is to prevent bombarding your inbox with emails. Check the box for Health Mail if you want emails to be sent informing you of the health of the camera, then set the Update Period.

Lastly, click the Save button to save your settings. Click the Email Test button to send a test email to verify your settings.

Click on UPnP. This is Universal Plug ‘N’ Play. If you enable it, you can let the camera communicate directly with a UPnP-capable router to automate the process of opening ports. Also note that you can modify the ports if you have other devices on the network using those port numbers. Click Save when you’re done.

SNMP stands for Simple Network Management Protocol. I highly doubt you’re using it on a home network, but if you are, and know how to configure it, you probably won’t be reading this.

Bonjour is a network discovery and configuration protocol used by Apple devices. It’s enabled by default.

If you have multiple DVRs recording your cameras simultaneously, multicast may be of use. The vast majority of home network users can ignore this section.

If you have a wireless camera, you’ll configure the WiFi here. Ensure the “Enabled” box is checked. If you have a wireless network that broadcasts its SSID, click the Search SSID button. Otherwise, click Add SSID if you have a hidden network, then type in your SSID.

For this example we’ll click the Search SSID button.

You’ll need to enter your network’s WiFi password.

You should see your network information under the WiFi Info section. If you don’t, you may need to click the Refresh button.

If you’re using a RADIUS server for authentication, you’ll need to check the Enable box, choose your authentication type, then enter your username and password. Again, this won’t be applicable to most home networks. Click Save.

If your router supports QoS (Quality of Service), you can set the priority level for each camera. This typically won’t be needed in the average home network. Click Save when you’re done.



Event settings

 

The Event settings section will allow you to enable and set up motion detection, and determine a schedule when motion detection is enabled. Event settings also allow you to be notified of motion detection and tampering events by recording, taking a snapshot, or sending an email (if email has been set up). It can also detect certain events on your network, such as an IP conflict or if the camera has been disconnected from the network.


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If you plan on using motion detection, click the Working Period Setup button.

Click each day’s Setup button to set the time periods where motion detection will be active.

Here you can select up to 6 monitoring periods per day that motion detection is active, and each day can be customized individually. This adds quite a bit of flexibility that should meet most users’ needs. Click the Save button when you’re finished.

Next you’ll need to set your Anti-dither time. This is the amount of time the camera will be triggered for each time it senses motion.

You’ll need to set up your motion detection zones. Click the Setup button next to Area.

You can set up to 4 motion detection zones, or clear an area where you don’t motion to trigger the camera. Additionally, you can set each region’s sensitivity and threshold individually. A lower sensitivity means the camera will pick up on a smaller amount of motion. If the sensitivity exceeds the threshold, it will trigger the camera’s motion detection. When you’re happy with your settings, click on Save.

Next you need to decide what to do when the camera’s motion detection is triggered. The first option is to record the footage. Record Delay means the amount of time the camera will continue to record after motion has stopped.

You also have the option of sending an email or taking a snapshot upon sensing motion. Click Save when you’re done.

The Tampering settings are similar to the Motion Detect settings. Tampering detects lighting conditions, and can tell if someone has spray-painted your camera’s lens, or is purposely trying to blind your camera with a bright light. Don’t forget to click the Save button.

Abnormality can detect a loss of network connectivity. Click Enable to allow this feature. Click the Save button.

Abnormality can also detect if your camera has an IP conflict with another network device. Check the box to enable. Click Save when you’re done.



Storage settings

 

Storage settings allows you to set a schedule for when you want to record or take snapshots, as well as options for setting up a holiday schedule. You’ll be able to select where you want to record to, such as a PC, NAS, or FTP server (these options will vary based on your camera). You’ll also find options for how long you want each recorded clip to be, and what to do when your hard drive fills up.


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You can configure up to 6 working periods per day, similar to what we saw earlier in the motion detection settings. You also have options for General and Motion. General here refers to a regularly scheduled time. Click Save.

You can setup a snapshot schedule separately from your recording schedule. You set up your days of the week and times of the day exactly the same as before.

Finally you have a holiday schedule you can set. Click on the days you want to set in the calendar view. Click Save when finished.

Click on Destination in the left sidebar. You have the option to save the video to an FTP server. Choose the type of recordings you want to go to the FTP server, then click Save.

On the FTP tab, you can set up your FTP server’s information. Click Save when you’re done.

Now go to Record Control on the left sidebar. Pack Duration is how long you want each recording to be, thus determining file size.

Pre-event Record allows you to start recording before something happens. The camera does this by maintaining a video buffer at all times, the size of which is determined by the time you set in this field.

Disk Full gives you the option of overwriting previous recordings or to stop recording altogether.

Record Mode should be set to Auto in order to automatically record based on schedules, events, and alarms. You can also choose which stream you want to record, which generally will be the main stream at a higher resolution. Click Save.







System settings

 

System settings is where you will find options for language, date & time, video format (NTSC or PAL), firmware upgrade, and resetting the camera to its settings. However, the most important section will be the account setup. All Dahua cameras ship with a default admin account that has a default password. These accounts and passwords are common knowledge on the internet and are available to anyone. For this reason, it is very important to change this password immediately.


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You also have a Date & Time tab. You can set the date and time format to your preference. You can also set the time zone and current time, as well as having the option to sync time from your PC.

You can set daylight savings time to your preferences.

If you want to sync your camera’s time to either a local or online time server, you can do it here. If using an online server, you may need to open the port 123 on your router and PC. Click Save when you’re finished.

Next is the highly important Account settings. You should always immediately change the default admin password on any networking device, as well as any passwords for other built-in users. Click the Modify icon.

The default admin account cannot be deleted, only modified. Enter admin in the old password text box, then type in your new password. Dahua does not allow the use of symbols, but you can enter in up to a 32-character password using numbers and letters. You can also assign user rights by checking the boxes in the Authority List. Click Save when you are done.

If you have a very good reason, you can enable Anonymous Login (though I’m not sure why you ever would). The Anonymous login only has limited rights. You can also add other users, which I highly recommend. If you lock yourself out of the admin account, you’ll have to wait 30 minutes for the account to unlock automatically or cycle power to the camera. If you ever forget your admin password, you will have a difficult time trying to reset the camera without sending it off to Dahua.

Not too many home users will care about Groups, but it’s there if you want it.

Default in the left sidebar will take you to a page where you can reset all of the camera’s settings to factory default by click the Default button and acknowledging the prompts.

You can import or export system settings from or to your PC.

You can set your camera to automatically reboot itself every week at a specified time, as well as delete old files on the SD card or PC. If Auto Delete Old Files is checked, you’ll see another field where you will select how often you want to do this (1 – 31 days). You can also manually reboot the camera by clicking the Manual Reboot button. Click Save when you’re done.



Information settings

 

Information settings will allow you to see the software/firmware versions the camera is currently running, to view the camera’s logs, and see who is logged into your camera.


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You can view your cameras log files in the Log section. You also have a Backup button to save these files to your PC.

Online User will show you all currently logged on users, their IP address, and a time stamp showing the time they logged in.



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