All the time, A1 Security Cameras is asked by customers curious about an IP camera or similar product for their security camera system but worry about functionality due to the difference in brand.

What is ONVIF and How it Helps you?

What is ONVIF and How it Helps you?

All the time, A1 Security Cameras is asked by customers curious about an IP camera or similar product for their security camera system but worry about functionality due to the difference in brand. While the typical recommendation is to try as best as possible to keep a security camera system under one brand, we understand that there are different circumstances. For example,m sometimes there is a better product from another company or your inherent equipment that would be cheaper to use than buying something new. As some of our best clients have chosen either option, we think it best to direct attention towards ONVIF.

An abbreviation for Open Network Video Interface Forum, ONVIF is a global forum shared by some of the most popular surveillance brands on the market. Also referred to as a worldwide protocol or initiative, the intention behind ONVIF is to standardize an interface between all participating brands and their IP camera products. In simple terms, this means an IP camera from one brand can communicate or function with an IP camera or network video recorder of another brand.  

However, ONVIF compatibility is not necessarily the end all be all when it comes to each IP camera and NVR. Rather, it specifically depends on the ONVIF profile the brand chooses to either broadly or in specific circumstances. Therefore, before we get into some of the most popular brands offered by A1 Security Cameras, we’ll clarify information about ONVIF profiles.

What are ONVIF profiles?

What are ONVIF profiles?

Whereas ONVIF compatibility is a broad label used on products that fit the description, ONVIF profiles provide distinct information on a product-to-product basis. Displayed in the description tab of each A1 Security Cameras product (if applicable), ONVIF profiles provide a set of features and functions that correspond with other pieces of hardware sporting the same label. It is a short and efficient way to display what features a product offers that make it compatible with other hardware and systems. Below, you will find a short description of each profile that is prominently in use at the time of writing in 2022.

Profile A: Specific to access control systems, this profile provides communication between applicable products. More particularly, this profile manages credentials for individuals, personnel schedules having to do with the access control system, and can set more specific rules for circumstances or individuals. Furthermore, ONVIF Profile A can accept and send standard rules when there is a specific event. Profile A can be compatible with Profile C and can be integrated with Profile S.

Profile C: Designed for entrances, exits, and event management in access control, this profile is primarily geared towards broader site information, entrance/exit control, and alarm configuration. Profile C can be compatible with Profile A and can be integrated with Profile S.

Profile D: Applies to specific devices within access control, communicating the status of each and passing on specific information for approval, rejection, or to send out a notification when an interaction or movement is detected. Furthermore, devices with this designation can lock and unlock based on individual configuration. Some devices that can feature ONVIF Profile D include:

Profile D is compatible with both Profile A and Profile C as it compliments both through managing peripheral systems. Furthermore, devices like IP cameras that use Profile M and/or Profile T can also be supported by Profile D.

Profile G: Profile G is a standard for managing video recording and streaming from IP cameras and encoders. Perfect for someone interested in edge recording, the profile also applies to video management software that deals with the incoming video data and outgoing commands made by the greater system or user. Cameras with Profile G can also be made to record with the audio if the feature is built-in or physically added and moreover if the greater system can support audio.

Profile M: Profile M is a standard set for managing analytics and metadata. Particularly meant for motion detection and license plate detection, this helps users manage what cameras recognize within the field of view of the device. Moreover, the system specifically applies to facial recognition, suspicious movement detection, the range at which movement is detected, and so on. Not only does it affect IP cameras and network video recorders, but the standard will also apply to how data is sent through a given network. Profile M conformed products can work well in a system that features Profile S, T, A, C, and D.

Profile S: Profile S is a standard designed specifically for the configuration and process of video streaming over an IP-based network. Prominently displayed in most IP cameras by brands in the forum, this standard also provides support for the management of PTZ cameras, multicasting, and more. Despite the similarity, Profile S is designed to be combined with Profile T if the two can be in the same system.

Profile T: The Profile T standard is designed for more advanced video settings and advanced streaming management. Such functions of this standard will include alarm event management, H264/H265 support, onscreen display support, PTZ control/configuration, HTTPS streaming, and more. While Profile S and Profile T are entirely similar, they are both indeed compatible when used within the same system. Furthermore, the two certainly complement each other when applied in an IP security camera system.

It should be noted that ONVIF profiles meant for surveillance can be complemented by those meant for access control and vice versa when the two systems are integrated within the same apparatus. For more specific information on ONVIF Profiles, A1 Security Cameras encourages customers to look at the information ONVIF provides for each ONVIF profile. While in this article we offer a general overview, there is some information that is uniquely offered and better displayed by the forum’s site.

Do all IP cameras use ONVIF?

No, not all IP cameras will support ONVIF as a brand might not have a membership to the forum, the forum outright rejects the brand, or the company could be somewhat hostile to the standards proposed by the ONVIF forum. A1 Security Cameras showcases multiple brands on our site and each description applies to at lease one. Below, you will see the most popular brands we offer and the stance each takes in relation to ONVIF standards.

Many Hikvision IP cameras and IP products support ONVIF standards. However, ONVIF has suspended the brand due to political disagreements concerning the 2019 NDAA.

Support by Hanwha Techwin IP cameras is product specific, but is generally supportive of the standards, especially with newer models. Customers should double-check before purchasing if this is a necessary feature.

AXIS Communications was a founding member of ONVIF and as a result, will offer support for most AXIS IP camera products. However, most AXIS products that can support ONVIF standards only do so with Profile S.

Depending on the Vivotek IP camera, there may or may not be compliance with ONVIF standards. Devices by this brand that are compliant should be updated to the most recent firmware as there are reports of incompatibility with older versions.

Arecont Vision IP cameras support 3rd party integration through ONVIF standards. Third-party cameras being added to IP security camera systems of this brand can be added via ONVIF and AV MegaLab.

Many Dahua IP cameras do support ONVIF standards. However, ONVIF has suspended Dahua from membership in the forum due to disagreements surrounding the 2019 NDAA and other political matters.

Bosch is a founding member of ONVIF and makes compatibility easy. Bosch IP cameras and access control are compliant with ONVIF standards when used in tandem with Bosch IoT Edge.

Uniview products like IP cameras and access control are entirely supportive of ONVIF. Most notably, the brand has provided extended support for Profile D and Profile S.

LTS IP Security cameras and related IP devices are entirely supportive of ONVIF standards but must be configured to function properly as a third-party device or when accepting those from other manufacturers on such a basis.

All Digital Watchdog IP cameras and related hardware are ONVIF Profile S compliant. Support for other profiles is not guaranteed.

All Geovision IP cameras are supportive of ONVIF standards. Furthermore, that support also applies to network video recorders and IP cameras connected to Geovision IP security camera systems.

All Mobotix IP cameras, video management software, and related products are compatible with ONVIF standards.

Pelco is an active member of the leadership of the ONVIF forum. Therefore, all Pelco IP cameras and related products will feature compatibility with ONVIF standards.

Not all Panasonic IP cameras are ONVIF compatible, with only specific products and related hardware providing any sort of functionality with the standards forum. If not distinctly labeled on one of our product pages, A1 Security Cameras recommends referencing the manufacturer directly.

Verkeda IP cameras and related network hardware are entirely incompatible with ONVIF standards. The busines model and software the company actively employs run counter to what ONVIF standards offer.

Ubiquiti IP cameras do not support ONVIF standards officially. While some customers have made functionality possible with the products, the brand itself has made no effort to support standards set by the forum.

Do doorbell cameras work with ONVIF cameras?

Doorbell cameras made by supported brands above will be compatible with ONVIF standards. However, Video doorbell cameras produced by companies like Nest and Ring will not be compatible with security camera systems needing ONVIF for 3rd party hardware support. The reasoning behind the incompatibility is simply through how each system works. Whereas doorbell cameras made by companies like AXIS Communications and Digital Watchdog are designed to run on the same IP network as their IP security cameras, video doorbells by companies like Nest and Ring work only through the cloud-based system devoted to such products. In the case of Nest or Ring, the cloud-based system uses a subscription model to provide features and cannot be extended to third-party products.

How do I know if my camera is ONVIF?

How do I know if my camera is ONVIF?

How do I know if my camera is ONVIF?

For customers of A1 Security Cameras, it is incredibly easy to find whether your security camera is ONVIF compatible or not. Simply find your product on our site and then scroll down to the Description section of the page.

How do I know if my camera is ONVIF?

In the description section, you will see something like ONVIF or ONVIF compatibility prominently featured with the specific ONVIF profile displayed in the Key Features subsection.

What is the purpose of ONVIF?

In essence, ONVIF creates a set of standards that many surveillance and access control brands adhere to so building an effective system is easier on the customer. Mainly applying to IP security camera systems, motion detection, video management software, access control, and integrating such systems, ONVIf provides a unified way for home and business owners to build the best possible security apparatus while using multiple brands if needed.

How secure is ONVIF?

When implementing the IP camera of another brand onto your security camera system, special attention needs to be paid to cybersecurity so that it can be made secure. While ONVIF standards inherently come with some security, not all brands provide the same level of security when it comes to 3rd party operability. Ultimately, it is on the purchaser or managing entity to keep their surveillance and access control systems secure from cyber attacks when mixing different brands.

Purchase ONVIF compliant IP cameras from A1 Security Cameras today!

A1 Security Cameras displays a multitude of brands that feature compatibility with ONVIF standards. Brands like AXIS Communications, Digital Watchdog, LTS Security, and other examples on the above list provide incredible support when you are looking to build one of the best security camera systems with a mix of different brands in mind. Residents and business owners of Dallas Fort Worth can especially enjoy the best possible surveillance and access control systems by choosing our experienced team of installers. We also offer a wide assortment of ONVIF compliant products ready for you to purchase and implement into your system. Contact us today for more information on our services and ONVIF compatible products!

Apr 13th 2022 Wayne Hahne

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