Camera Troubleshooting

There are various reasons why your camera may not be recording correctly. This guide talks step by step through troubleshooting them.

Check if your Camera is Online

Your camera may be offline, you can check this by going to the Cameras page. Pay attention to the Last Seen column, it will show if the camera is online and when it was online last if it is offline.


Camera is Online but Not Recording

There are several reasons why your camera may not be recording:

  • Camera Credentials are Incorrect
  • Camera Stream Path is Incorrect
  • Camera is Providing an Invalid Stream (could be faulty?)
  • Camera has an old buggy firmware
  • There is some other fault such as a faulty power supply, etc.

Testing the camera with VLC

If your camera is online but you are struggling to get your camera working with Tether, please follow these steps:

  • Tap on the Camera name under Admin -> Cameras
  • Under URLs, make note of the Analytics URL, you will need it later.
  • Download and install the VLC video player: www.videolan.org/vlc
  • Open VLC and tap on File -> Open Network
  • Paste the Analytics URL you made note of above.
This will open the camera stream in an industry standard player and will ensure the camera is working correctly.

If your camera is playing correctly, please send an email with a screenshot of the VLC player and the URL used to support@tetherit.io and one of our engineers will be able to assist further.

If VLC is showing an error, please contact the camera manufacturer with a screenshot and the error, they should be able to assist further. Once you have your camera working in VLC, you can proceed to try to add it to your Tether It.


Camera is reporting "bad auth"

This means the camera is rejecting the credentials specified for some reason. If you are struggling to figure out the default username/password of the camera, you may find this list of Default Credentials useful.

If you are certain that the username/password are correct, the camera may still reject them if the credentials were initially incorrect. This happens because some cameras prevents too many tries with the wrong password. If this happens, you can do one of the following:

  • Disable the camera by switching "Active" to the "Off" position and wait 60 minutes, after this time the camera should allow connections again.
  • OR Restart the camera by unplugging it from the switch (or restarting it, in its web interface).
  • OR Unplug the PoE switch from power temporarily, forcing camera to restart.

If you have followed the above and still experience a problem, please try to reset the camera. You can normally do this by holding a reset button inside of the camera for 5 seconds. Please refer to your camera manual for further instructions.

If restarting and resetting the camera did not help, please ensure you are able to open the camera in a player such as VLC. Please refer to "Testing the camera with VLC" above.


Live is Working but Recordings are Empty

The most common cause for this to happen is the analytics stream of the camera is working, but the recording stream is not. Please ensure you are able to open both streams with a player such as VLC.

If both streams are working correctly, please look at the Tetherboxes page to ensure your CPU usage is less than 80%. If CPU load stays at over 80% for prolonged periods of time, it may cause some cameras to temporarily stop recording.


Are my cameras on the same IP?

If these are new cameras, some manufacturers such as Hikvision set them up to use a static IP. You will need to change this. To confirm this is the case, follow these steps:

  • Click on Admin (top right) -> Cameras
  • In the "Access" column of the Camera table, you will see the IP of each camera, e.g. http://192.168.1.64
  • If this IP is the same for all cameras, you need to change it in the camera config.
    Note: Make note of this IP as you will need it in the next steps.

All my cameras are on the same IP, what do I do?

If your cameras are on the same IP, you will need to change this. To make this change follow these steps:

  • Unplug all cameras from the PoE Switch
    Note: Because the cameras are on the same IP, you cannot have multiple cameras plugged in at the same time.
  • Plug in each camera, one camera at a time
  • Open the camera IP using Internet Explorer, e.g. http://192.168.1.64
  • Note: You may be able to use other browsers, but many cameras require Internet Explorer
  • Login using the default password (this will be in the camera manual) or some cameras will allow you to set a new password, make note of this password as you will need it to login.
  • Under "Network" settings (could be under General > Network), make sure camera is set to "DHCP" or "Obtain IP address automatically". For more details on camera setup, refer to: Setup Checklist

Camera Dropping Off the Network Periodically

There can be several reasons why a camera may be dropping off the network periodically:

  • Bad Cable: A bad cable that is damaged internally could create a partial short at different times of the day as temperature/humidity changes. This causes either a short to ground or resistance which causes a drop in voltage, making the camera freeze or reboot.
  • Cable is Too Long: Please ensure the cable does not exceed the 100m maximum allowed.
  • Bad Connection: Subpar connector/contact can cause the connection to be lost when the contacts heat up/cool down during temperature/humidity changes throughout the day.
  • Not Enough Power: Insuccificnet power is reaching the camera, causing it to shut off periodically or restart. Please check the specifications of the switch and camera to make sure it can provide the power requirements.
  • Faulty Network Switch: The network switch could be faulty, please try a different port on the switch or a different network switch entirely to see if problem persists.
  • For Wireless or HomePlug Cameras We found HomePlug to be unreliable when it comes to video surveillance. The connection drops frequently and causes the camera skip minutes (and some times hours) of footage. For Wireless cameras, it is also important to make sure the wireless signal is strong and that the wireless router is not over loaded.
  • Faulty Camera: Finally, it could just be a faulty camera. We had several instances where a camera would reboot every few hours or just freeze and the problem was resolved by replacing the camera.