Camera audio

Symptoms to Resolution

It's easy to state symptoms:
My BI server started crashing.
My recordings are missing.
No alerts are being sent.

Much harder to know how to investigate and self-correct or provide the needed information for support to help.

The articles here are frameworks on how to think about the issue and get to resolution.
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varghesesa
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:52 pm

Camera audio

Post by varghesesa »

Introduction

If you were directed to this page you are having audio issues.

Audio or 2-way audio
I cannot hear audio from the camera.
I cannot speak to the camera.

Below are the settings to double check.

If you need support to get involved, the Next steps / Submit a ticket section explains exactly what is needed to move forward.

Troubleshooting

Step 1: 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
audio tab.png (13.23 KiB) Viewed 23119 times

If you cannot hear audio from a remote endpoint (UI3, mobile app), confirm webcasting is also selected. Below is a screenshot of default settings.
audio_webcast.png
audio_webcast.png (34.72 KiB) Viewed 22817 times

Step 3: Console test
If Audio does not work from the console, it will not work from any remote endpoints.
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
    console sound bar.png (22 KiB) Viewed 23119 times
  • Select the camera. Confirm audio is active for the camera. Top left of camera mosaic window.
    console mosaic sound.png
    console mosaic sound.png (110.96 KiB) Viewed 23119 times
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 on playback?
If not, uncheck/check Also BVR. Camera settings -> Video tab.
Hardware acceleration can have adverse affects on audio.

MP4 test
A simple way to confirm the connector is pulling in the camera audio is to record a sample from the camera. Export the clip to mp4. If something is wrong with audio on the console machine (live view / playback tests above), this test at least confirms the BI connector is able to pull the audio from the camera.

camera audio_export.png
camera audio_export.png (56.51 KiB) Viewed 22760 times

Export settings can be tricky. Selecting mp4 format and Include audio track is a must for this test. Use sub stream if available is optional. If you are recording D2D and have Re-encode video unselected, it's very possible your media player cannot play the video format provided by your camera. Selecting Re-encode video almost always works.

Basically, the settings above are the safest and almost always works. The point of the test is to just confirm audio is being sent from the camera and being ingested in the BI server.

Step 4: User permissions
Before testing remote endpoints, confirm user logged into mobile app/UI3 has audio privileges.
Global settings -> Users tab.

mobile devices gotchas_user audio settings.png
mobile devices gotchas_user audio settings.png (3.63 KiB) Viewed 23119 times

Step 5: 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
mobile devices gotcha_HA off.PNG (22.44 KiB) Viewed 23119 times

Step 6: 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
mobile devices gotcha_audio on.PNG (57.72 KiB) Viewed 23119 times
Step 7: Two-way audio
If your camera has a speaker and you want to talk to the camera (e.g. doorbell camera and someone's at the door):
Mic and speaker can't be live at the same time and mic wins ties.
Users turn on the speaker and hold down the mic when they want to speak and it will turn back off when you let go.


Next steps / Submitting a ticket

Camera settings. Camera settings -> General tab -> Export.
If the issue is with a remote endpoint,
Confirmation or screenshot showing user permissions are set correctly. (Step 4)
UI3 audio. Works / does not work. (Step 5)
Mobile app audio. Works / does not work. (Step 6)

You may need to put the camera on the WAN for remote testing. We will let you know.

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