Mobile Devices - Gotchas

The mobile apps (iOS / Android) and the web interface (UI3) provides remote access to cameras for users.
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Mobile Devices - Gotchas

Post by varghesesa » Mon Aug 09, 2021 5:53 pm

Mobile App Gotchas

Link to Mobile Devices article.

If you are facing video issues like Live view is choppy or you are getting a black screen when trying to playback an alert then you are having video streaming issues.
The Camera Stream Gotchas article deals with all things streaming including streaming to mobile endpoints.

Below are the learnings from past tickets regarding getting the app working.

Notifications / Alerts

Gotcha 1: My push notifications stopped
See Action maps article (Gotcha 4: Push notifications).

Gotcha 2: I get the push notification with no image.
See Action maps article (Gotcha 3: Push notifications - Alert images).

Gotcha 3: Long delay before alerts received on mobile device.
  • Walk through Windows Tuning article to make sure BI is not in conflict with Windows.
  • Gotcha 1 explains how to examine the Status->Log to determine how fast the server is processing Motion trigger -> Alerts.
  • If the log shows Success, yet the alert is not received, Blue Iris received a successful "handoff" to Google/Apple. It's then up to Google/Apple for the "last mile."
  • Unfortunately, your Cellular and ISP service provider and/or Google/Apple controls how fast alerts are received.

Recent Alerts

Gotcha 1: Recent alerts no longer show up.

As always, first update the server software to latest version. Install latest mobile app if one exists and restart the app. See if the problem goes away. (The fix for example below was a server update)

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Break down issue into components:
  • First, confirm an alert occurred on the camera that is more recent than the one listed. From the console, the Alerts list on the clips list will show the most recent motion trigger. You will need to look in the logs to confirm an alert was sent. See Gotcha 1 for details.
  • In console -> right click in clip list -> Database->Repair/regenerate. Restart mobile app. Do the recent alerts update?
  • If you go to the Alerts tab, do you see the most recent alert for that camera? (Include info with ticket)
  • See if you can find the alert manually. Go to the camera view of the problem camera -> select the date when the last alert was sent (as determined in previous step) and see if the alert search brings up the alert. (Include info with ticket)
  • If still not resolved, now we need to include mobile app info to the ticket for BI engineering to review. See Next steps / Submitting a ticket section below.

Gotcha 2: Recent alerts are blank.

First make sure you did not accidentally delete the alert yourself in the app as seen below. (two scenarios)

alert list gotcha.png
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alert list gotcha 2.png
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Artificial Intelligence
The other possibility is only confirmed alerts appear on the mobile app.
The most common reason for a cancelled alert is Artificial Intelligence (DeepStack or Sentry AI) cancelled it.


Gotcha 1: PTZ Controls are greyed out.
  • There is no such thing as PTZ controls when viewing a group of cameras, i.e. group view.
  • Camera settings -> PTZ tab. Enable Pan/Tilt/Zoom etc. checkbox has to be selected.
  • Global settings -> Users tab. The user using the app has to have PTZ privileges. PTZ/Control has to be checked.

Motion Overlays

Gotcha 1: Motion overlays are not visible
Go to the playback window for an alert.
Click the 3 dots button in the top right.
Video overlays are usually the BI timestamp but could have customizations based on the user.
Motion rectangles obviously show the motion overlays.
mobile article motion overlays.PNG
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Also, keep in mind, if you have Re-encode instead of D2D as your Record setting, Motion overlays are not recorded unless you have them turned on during Live view. Camera settings -> Trigger tab -> Motion sensor.

mobile article motion settings.png
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Gotcha 1: Camera streams no longer appear.

First check if the network is still setup correctly. Easiest way to do so is from your mobile device, in a browser, can you login to the web interface. If so, then the network is setup correctly. If not, you need review the network case below and/or go through the Remote Access Wizard to figure out the network issue. The Remote Access Webinar walks through the Wizard steps.

If the network is fine, your server settings are not correct. Logout and use the lookup key to reset your network settings. See The Server Manual Setup section above.

Gotcha 2: Some cameras do not show live video

mobile no camera.png
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Highly unusual. The most common reason is if the camera has no signal or lost signal. See No Signal article to troubleshoot.
Outside of the camera not connecting from the Console, the only other way this is possible is if webcasting for that camera was disabled.

webcast disabled.png
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The video pipeline: Camera feed -> Decode -> Encode ->Mobile device live view.

Decode: Turn Decode on/off to see if video improves
Camera settings -> Video tab. Hardware decode = Default (On) / No (Off)

Camera feed: See Camera settings article on optimal encoding settings on a camera.

Gotcha 3: Cameras do not show up on the phone

If cameras are visible on the console but do not show up on the mobile apps, there must be a permissions issue.

In the console, did you make the camera hidden?
FYI, we're trying to move away from hidden cameras because it often leads to confusion.
See 5.5 Release notes for details.

Otherwise the user account used to login to the phone app does not have permission to access the camera.
Double check your user settings. Global settings -> User tab.
mobile_camera groups.png
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Alerts tab

Gotcha 1: Missing alerts in Alerts tab on mobile device versus the Alerts tab on the Console

mobile alerts missing.png
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The Alerts tab on the mobile device should normally be identical to the Alerts tab on the console.
If not, the mobile device does not have access to the camera (hidden camera) or the user does not have access to the camera (user permissions).

Hidden camera:
If they are not, then the missing alerts must belong to cameras that are hidden.
In the cameras tab, is the camera listed? Can you see the live view?

User permissions:
Does the user that logged into the mobile device have access to the camera?
In the cameras tab, is the camera listed? Can you see the live view?
If not, check user settings. Global settings -> Users tab.

alert map_camera groups.png
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Gotcha 1: Audio or 2-way audio

Step1: Camera connector
To get audio to work, especially 2-way, you have to choose the Make / Model appropriate for your camera in the IP Config dialog.
Generic/RTSP will likely not work.
See Camera Connector article (Step 3) for best practices when connecting cameras with advanced functionality.
If your camera happens to use port 34567 for the RTSP/Media port, then Make/Model = Cantonk/H.264... may work.

Step 2: Confirm BI Server settings.
Confirm audio is enabled. Camera settings -> Audio tab.
audio tab.png
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Confirm user logged into mobile app has audio privileges. Global settings -> Users tab.
mobile devices gotchas_user audio settings.png
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Step 3: Console test
Live view
While testing from the desktop, make sure audio is first turned on for BI and the computer.
  • Computer audio is on and loud enough to hear.
  • BI audio is on and loud enough to hear. Top right of screen.
    console sound bar.png
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  • Select the camera. Confirm audio is active for the camera. Top left of camera mosaic window.
    console mosaic sound.png
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If console test fails, check Setup RTSP back-channel for talk support (PCM-U format) in the IP Config dialog.
Unlikely it will work, but a simple test so why not try.

Playback test

After you get live view working, confirm playback also works.
Trigger the camera to force a recording.
Can you hear the audio?
If not, uncheck/check Also BVR. Camera settings -> Video tab.
Hardware acceleration can have adverse affects on audio.

Step 4: Browser test
From a mobile browser, go to the web interface (UI3) and confirm audio works for both the LAN and WAN.
If not go to the Encoder settings. Confirm HA is off. Hardware encoders are notoriously bad.

mobile devices gotcha_HA off.PNG
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Step 5: Test from the mobile app
Before testing on the mobile app, update to the latest version of the app and the BI server.
Features/functionality on the mobile app are not guaranteed to run with older versions of the server.

Confirm audio is turned on for the mobile app.
mobile devices gotcha_audio on.PNG
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If you still cannot get the audio working, the Next steps section of the Mobile devices article has details.


Gotcha 1: Ad blockers
See Ad blockers gotcha.
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