Email alerts

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varghesesa
Posts: 90
Joined: Thu Jul 11, 2019 9:52 pm

Email alerts

Post by varghesesa »

Introduction

This article discusses how to trouble shoot Email alerts.

If you are interested in learning how to create Email alerts or other alerts go to Camera settings -> Alerts tab -> On Alert and click on the Help button in the Action set dialog. This will immediately take you to the Alerts and Actions section of Help.

Furthermore, the Triggers and Alerts section of the online Checklist provides references to articles and webinars for deeper understanding.


Troubleshooting

Log files

Confirm alerts are being sent from the server

Understanding the logs is key to understanding what is going on.

Code: Select all

3 	12/2/2021 10:03:11.239 AM	norman              	MOTION_A
0 	12/2/2021 10:03:11.546 AM	norman              	DeepStack: car:86% [304,67 395,117] 85ms
0 	12/2/2021 10:03:11.546 AM	norman              	DeepStack: Car:86% [299,63 400,124] 85ms
0 	12/2/2021 10:03:12.720 AM	norman              	Email: xxxxx@yahoo.com with 1 attachment/s
This camera was setup for Motion trigger and DeepStack AI. In the above log snippet, norman (camera name) detected motion at 10:03:11.239 AM.
DeepStack identified a car at 10:03:11.546 AM. The camera was set to sample the Motion leading edge in addition to the trigger leading edge, thus the two DeepStack calls very close in proximity. At 10:03:12.720 AM an email alert was sent. Note the gap between the MOTION event and the Alert should not be more than 1-2s.

:?: If the logs state the Email alert was NOT sent, skip below section and jump to No Email alerts section to troubleshoot your server settings.

Email alert

If the logs state alerts are being sent, then you can be confident the camera is triggering on motion and alerts are being sent by BI.
The issue must reside with your email server settings or your email provider.

Send alternative alerts
If you are only sending one type of alert, e.g. an email notification, create an SMS alert to try and isolate the issue. Does the SMS alert work?

If so, the email server must be setup correctly. SMS and Email alerts both leverage the email server. Assuming the same email server is being used for both Email and SMS alerts, if one alert works then the email server must be setup correctly.

Email alert dialog
A setting in your Email alert dialog has to be blocking the alert from being sent. Double-check your Profiles and Trigger and Zones section.

email alerts_filters.png
email alerts_filters.png (65.77 KiB) Viewed 26908 times

In the screenshot above, this email alert will ONLY fire in Profile 2.


Email server
If an SMS alert does not work either, the common denominator is the email server.
Global settings -> Email servers.

Email process: BI Server -> Email server -> Email notification
SMS process: BI Server -> Email server -> Mobile provider email to text service -> SMS message

Easy to check if SMS and Email alerts are being processed correctly by your email server. Simply login to your email server. Go to the sent folder.

If you see sent emails to your cellular provider (for an SMS text) or to the email address specified in the Email alert settings, your mail server processed the alert correctly. BI emails are easy to spot because the subject starts with Blue Iris. If you do not see any BI sent emails, your email server is not setup correctly.

No Email alert

If the logs state the camera triggered (i.e. Motion event in logs) and NO alerts are being sent, then you can be confident there has to be an issue with Server permissions. As stated above, double check your Profiles and Trigger and Zones section of the Email alert dialog.

If the logs state the camera did NOT trigger (i.e. no Motion event in logs) then you will have to revisit your Trigger tab settings.


Alert images
The Email alert provides a lot of choices for image/mp4 attachments.

Troubleshooting
If there are issues with the image attachments for example some frames are black, the underlying cause is often the video stream. Either frames are not available when the email is being generated or the encoding is causing errors. Confirm the camera window has no warning symbols and the video stream has no issues. The Live view article has details.


Issue
Confusion arises when dual streams are connected to the camera. Users may want high-res images or they may be fine with low res images. This section provides clarity as to what to do to meet your needs.


Background info
The thumbnail image which is actually stored in the database and associated with the Alert is 240px.
In earlier versions of 5.x, the thumbnail image was 480px, but the increased size really did not add much value, but did eat up database storage so was changed back to 240px.

The fix
To get higher resolution main stream Alert images, select Hi-res JPEG files for Add to alerts list:. Camera settings -> Trigger tab.

alert image hi-res.png
alert image hi-res.png (7.31 KiB) Viewed 27371 times

Dual streams
If your camera has dual streams and Hi-res JPEG is selected (as stated above), but the alert image is not the higher resolution image, the issue is often the main stream does not have the corresponding key frame. If the hi-res (mainstream) alert could not be saved, the software will use the alert image which is cached in memory (sub stream if camera has dual streams).

The fix is setting an appropriate pre-trigger buffer size.

Server errors
If the above two fixes do not resolve the issue, right click on an alert -> Open containing folder.
Is the corresponding JPEG the correct resolution? 240p is what's in the database. However if there's a hi-res JPEG file, this should be served instead.

If the Open containing folder selection is greyed out, then there is an issue.
  • The most obvious cause is you did not set Add to alerts list = Hi-res JPEGfiles
  • OR There is an issue with the setup of the Alerts folder (image below), folder permissions or something else.
    Check the log for errors, in particular Storage errors.
alert image alerts folder.png
alert image alerts folder.png (66.92 KiB) Viewed 27371 times

Note on email alerts
Email alerts provide many more options.
The Motion leading-edge image will always come from the sub stream.
The Trigger leading-edge, aka the Alert image, will only be high-res if you select Hi-res JPEG (as stated above) AND the main stream has a key frame in the buffer (thus, the need for a pre-trigger buffer as stated above).
The Additional images will always be hi-res (if you have a main stream key frame in the buffer).
Finally, the Email alert dialog also provides quality controls (default is 50/50) which can alter the alert image.

action map email quality.png
action map email quality.png (2.08 KiB) Viewed 27371 times
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