Frequently Asked Questions

General

VIAAS uses the Internet. Is this secure?

VIAAS is extremely secure. Captured video is stored on the MicroSD card then transferred via SSL to the VideoVault hosted in the VIAAS Secure Cloud. The images can be viewed over a HTTPS connection.

Most importantly, the cameras connect directly to the VIAAS service to authenticate themselves and upload video. This outbound connection model prevents a huge class of security issues faced by facilities-based solutions, which rely on techniques such as port forwarding, where end users connect directly to your DVR, NVR or video server.

How much network bandwidth does a VIAAS need to capture video?

During normal operation VIAAS records video data in segments, only when events are detected. Each camera requires average upstream bandwidth of about 400Kbps for transmitting recorded video and images when Bandwidth Shaping is configured properly for cloud-based Service Plans (based on 6 hours of recording a day at 1080p resolution). Non-cloud-based Service Plans require only about 50Kbps each for transmitting images and information. More bandwidth may be required intermittently for Live Streaming, or for playback when the video is still on the camera, so it is recommended that you have at least 1.5Mbps of upload bandwidth available overall.

A Bandwidth Calculator tool is available for more accurate estimates.

What is Bandwidth Shaping?

Bandwidth Shaping stores video and images on an onboard SD card in the camera at high speed, then trickles them to the VIAAS Secure Cloud at a rate and schedule you can set for each location. VIAAS cameras can be "throttled down" during operating hours so they don't compete for your Internet bandwidth, then "throttled up" when bandwidth allows. This evens out the camera bandwidth demand, enabling installation of many VIAAS Cameras on you existing Internet connection. The VIAAS service always knows if the video has made it to the cloud or is still in the camera and will play it back for you seamlessly from the camera or cloud. You won't know the difference!

What happens if my camera internet connection goes down?

Bandwidth Shaping allows VIAAS cameras to continue recording video and images (as long as they have power) even if the Internet connection goes down. When connectivity is restored, recorded events will be uploaded to the VIAAS Secure Cloud.

If it is an extended outage (>10 minutes) you can get an alert from VIAAS (if enabled), telling you we have lost connection with your camera. The period of the outage will be marked in red in your recorded events timeline.

How do I share recorded video or images?

You can download an MP4 copy of your video or JPEG of your images via the Video Player.

How do I save video and images?

Your video and images are automatically saved. Whatever you see in the user interface is stored in the VIAAS Secure Cloud if you have a service plan that includes cloud storage. VIAAS Service Plans range from in-camera storage only, to 30, 60, 90 or more days of cloud storage of all your video. If you have something important, mark it with a Saved Event and it will be retained beyond the plan retention period, until you choose to delete it.

I have some VIAAS-branded cameras. How do the Wisenet cameras affect me?

The VIAAS service will continue to support existing camera models alongside Wisenet cameras in the same account. Browsing recorded video, launching live streams, storing Saved Events and other operations are identical, regardless of the model. Installation and configuration of the Wisenet cameras are quite different than the older cameras. Installers and admins should review the updated User Guide and Quick Start Guide, and possibly update their installation plans if camera configuration / network access is complex or limited.

Installation

How do I install a camera into the VIAAS service?

Please refer to the Installation section of the Resources page.

What are the requirements to use the VIAAS service?

  1. A valid subscription to a VIAAS service plan. We provide a two week trial subscription for new accounts.
  2. An Internet connection with at least 1.5Mbps upstream bandwidth.
  3. A supported Q, X or P Series Wisenet Camera with Open Platform support, an SD Card, a Power over Ethernet supply (a PoE injector or PoE switch), and cables.
    • The Wisenet Toolbox PLUS can help for narrowing your search of supported cameras. If you select "Network camera" from the menu, you can use the "Filter" in the top right to select "Open Platform" and other features.

What are some installation Best Practices?

  • For a new account, run through the install on a desk rather than with a mounted camera. This makes it easier to run quick tests and verify that the installation has completed properly.
  • Insert a High Endurance SD card with FAT format (the typical default) before starting the camera for the first time.
  • Expect to run IP discovery when installing the camera. Wisenet cameras are named with their model number in most DHCP listings.
  • Consider using the Wisenet Device Manager to assist with discovery and configuration during the initial install, especially for large installations. The installation into the VIAAS service typically takes about 5 minutes, but can be much faster if resolution, motion detection, SD card settings and date are already set, and doing so in the Device Manager may make longer term maintenance simpler. You may also install the VIAAS_Cloud.cap file using the Device Manager.
  • For larger installs, consider using the CVBS output to aim and focus the camera.
  • Plan for Location settings in the user interface. The Location is shared amongst cameras, and is used to configure bandwidth allocation, monitoring, permissions and tree selection, so good planning can make long term maintenance much easier.

Troubleshooting

Why did I receive an email saying my camera is offline?

The VIAAS service detected that the connection from the camera went offline and didn't reconnect (after about 15 - 20 minutes). This usually indicates one of several issues:

  • If several cameras at one Location (see above for Location setup recommendations) are included in the email, and went offline within seconds of each other, it is likely that internet access for the entire site has failed.
    • This may also happen if the network configuration changes, which prevents communication with the VIAAS service. If you have a network administrator (i.e. if your network is relatively complex), you may want to inquire about network changes.
    • If only a few cameras in that Location went offline at the same time, it may instead indicate that a switch was turned off or disconnected from the network.
  • If a single Wisenet camera is reported offline, but you can log into the camera's web interface on your local network, check the "Open Platform" settings on your Wisenet camera. The app should be running, with "Auto start" enabled. You can also click on "Go App" and then run "Setup / Diagnostics" to provide more information about connectivity and operations.
    • This troubleshooting step may also be used if multiple cameras are offline, as the diagnostics information can help determine the cause of a broader networking issue.

Why did I receive an email saying my camera's configuration has an issue?

Wisenet cameras running on the VIAAS service are not fully managed - the service attempts to set some configuration during installation, but once installed, does not attempt to make camera configuration changes. Instead, the VIAAS service regularly checks the camera's configuration to ensure that it will continue to work properly with our online service, and comply with service limitations such as maximum resolution limits. The email should contain details about the configuration problem, and the user interface allows you to re-check these settings after making changes using the "Wisenet Configuration Guide" (via the "plug" icon in the camera viewer).

Why do I still see "Bad codec, res, bitrate or framerate" for my camera's configuration?

In addition to Service Plan limits on resolution, there are bitrate limits based on the selected resolution of the camera (H.265 codec). Roughly speaking:

  • 720p Resolution: 1024 Kbps
  • 1080p Resolution: 1400 Kbps
  • 4MP Resolution: 2000 Kbps
  • 5MP+ Resolution: 2560 Kbps

Why can't I see images in the browser (but the camera is online)?

Occasionally we've found that restarting your browser might fix issues with images not appearing properly. This seems to happen most often during browser updates (when the browser has a prompt to "Restart to apply" the update).

For answers to additional questions, please contact VIAAS at +1 888 606 7461 or email sales@viaas.com.