Mobile Devices - iOS

Details on the five major steps to configure and deploy Blue Iris.
1. Connecting IP cameras.
2. Configuring your home or office network for Remote Access via a web browser or the phone apps.
3. Setting up Storage and Recordings.
4. Creating Triggers and Alerts.
5. Creating Schedules and Profiles
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Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:52 pm

Mobile Devices - iOS

Post by varghesesa » Tue Apr 06, 2021 12:13 am

This article walks you through connecting your iOS device (iPhone, iPad) to your Blue Iris server. It walks through all the dependencies and potential pitfalls when trying to setup your device.

Windows and Blue Iris
There is no way for the BI server to communicate with your LAN devices unless Windows settings are not in conflict with your BI server. The Windows System Tuning article will walk you through all the checks.

There is no way for the mobile app to communicate with the Blue Iris server once you leave your LAN, i.e. home network, unless you setup your network to do so.

The Remote Access Wizard walks you through the steps to setup your network. The Remote Access webinar guides you through the process.
  • Most users are using NGROK (ddns) these days since it's easier. The NGROK section in the Help file provides details.
  • Tech saavy folks still use port forwarding. In the webinar, I walk through port forwarding via an AT&T Pace gateway device. Setting up your specific router/gateway is beyond BI support.
Coming soon: Documentation to setup NGROK.
Coming soon: SSL connections with https (STunnel).

Checkpoint: Windows is setup correctly. The network is setup correctly.

iOS App - Phone settings
First try connecting through the LAN, i.e. Wi-Fi connection. Then turn off the Wi-Fi connection and try connecting via the cellular network, i.e. WAN address.

Easiest way to setup your phone settings to connect and work well with the BI App is to use the Wizard within the Add New Server function.
FYI, the BI Mobile App can connect to multiple servers.
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The iOS Server Setup Wizard (helps configure iOS device settings)

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The final step is to Scan the QR Code. Where is the QR Code?
The QR Code is located in one of the last pages in the Remote Access Wizard. (see below)
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BI Mobile App Settings (~ Global Settings)

Most of the setting descriptions are intuitive or can be understood by simply turning them on/off. Below I highlight the ones that raise tickets and cause confusion.
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Camera settings

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What are the blue badges on my alerts?

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Mobile App Gotchas

Case 1: Playback is not smooth. Live view is choppy.
  • Test 1: Need to make sure live stream and playback are first smooth on the BI Server. Garbage in = Garbage out.
  • Test 2: If you open a browser and go to the BI web interface (UI3), are the live view and playback a good experience. If so, then you know the problem is not with the network.
If you are still reading, then the problem probably means the player used by your device cannot handle the incoming stream well. The short answer is to go to Global settings -> Web server -> Advanced -> Encoder profiles (Choose Streaming 0 or 1) -> Configure dialog. Use the below settings to start and see if they work.
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I highlighted the values I changed from the default settings:
  • First, I turned on Constant Bit Rate (CBR). This settings caps the amount of data going to the player at 1024 kbps.
  • Next, I reduced the resolution to 856 x 480. You are streaming to a mobile device, so reducing the resolution will probably have no affect on your viewing experience. I played with "Retain aspect ratio within frame". On iOS devices, the setting seemed fine. But I noticed instability and crashes on some Android devices. It does not really change/help the user experience, so my conclusion was to just leave it off unless required for another reason.
So how did I choose the values for the bit rate and resolution? I cheated and used the expertise of the BI development team!

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Once I made the stream adjustments, I went to the mobile app settings and chose the appropriate settings for my LAN and WAN connections.
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Case 2: Cannot playback alerts or clips.

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Issue: If you are recording Direct to Disk (D2D) and the key frame interval is sub-par, e.g. <1, then it is possible the file is open for recording, but no key frames have actually been recorded yet so BI cannot playback.

  • Check the key frame interval in the Status -> Camera tab.
  • If the key frame interval is <1, go to your camera settings (not in Blue Iris) and raise the key frame interval. The Camera Stream Optimization article has details.
Case 3: Network is setup using port forwarding. Router restarted/replaced by own volition or power outage occurred

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Based on diagram, ISP provider originally assigend as your WAN address. Based on diagram, the router assigned the BI Server as the LAN address.

After the router restart:
  • ISP could have assigned a new WAN address. ->
    Consequence: Mobile devices will no longer be able to connect to the BI server from the WAN.
    Fix: Logout of BI Mobile App -> Edit -> Lookup key. You should observe the WAN address update.
  • Router could have assigned BI a new IP address. ->
    Consequence: The router's port forwarding is broken.
    Fix: Update the router's port forwarding to the new IP address. Also change the router setting to provide a Static IP Address to the BI server so it never changes again to prevent future issues.
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