VLC - 3rd party Video players

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Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:52 pm

VLC - 3rd party Video players

Post by varghesesa »


The easiest way to determine whether your network is setup correctly and functioning correctly is by trying to connect another 3rd party video player to your cameras. If they work, then those cameras should also work in Blue Iris (BI).

There are many 3rd party video players:
  • VLC
  • Tinycam Pro
  • PotPlayer
  • iSpyConnect
  • MotionEye app
We are not very concerned which player you choose to test. The only caveat may be if you choose a player that has a Windows desktop executable, then you can install and run the test on the same machine running BI. The only advantage here is:
  • You are also confirming Windows is setup correctly and not in conflict with BI.
    For example, this test would confirm Anti-Virus and Firewall settings are correct.
  • This test would also confirm the BI server hardware is running properly, e.g. no hardware issues with the network card.

We prefer VLC because it is free and widely used. Meets conditions stated above.

VLC Testing

Download / install VLC


Connect VLC to RTSP stream of a camera

Start VLC
vlc homepage.png
vlc homepage.png (7.76 KiB) Viewed 18276 times

Media -> Open Network Stream
vlc open network stream.png
vlc open network stream.png (11.83 KiB) Viewed 18276 times

VLC settings
An RTSP URL for VLC is constructed with three components.
  • IP Address
  • Port (usually 554)
  • URI stream
For example if your camera has the following settings:
  • RTSP port for camera is 554
  • URI for camera is /Streaming/channels/701 (convention for Hikvision)
The RTSP stream needed for VLC is rtsp:// Identifying the correct URI stream can be the most challenging. Know your cameras. Reach out to the vendor/documentation. One user asked the vendor how to connect the camera to VLC. After much prying, the vendor finally gave up the information. Camera vendors would prefer you use their software and lock you in to their ecosystem.
VLC onvif code
POE camera:rtsp://IP address:554/uscast/11
Smart IPC:rtsp://IPaddress:554/video1
Old cameras:rtsp://IP address:554/onvif1

Alternatively, if your camera supports ONVIF, you can use another free software, ONVIF Device Manager, to get the RTSP URL.

vlc settings.png
vlc settings.png (59.33 KiB) Viewed 16608 times
  • I blocked out the IP address for privacy. I showed the side-by-side BI settings to VLC settings so it would be easy to get VLC working.
  • Simply copy the RTSP URL to the VLC window.
  • When you hit play, you will be prompted for the username/password to the camera.
Camera login
vlc login.png
vlc login.png (3.84 KiB) Viewed 18276 times

If you cannot get the camera to connect to VLC, it's very unlikely it will work with BI.
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