MxMC: local and remote bandwidth optimization


MxMC, in combination with camera firmware 4.x or higher, offers a unique functionality that makes the access to the cameras’ live streams and recorded footage, a completely different experience, regardless of connection type.

In fact, thanks to the presence of custom user environments, MxMC can automatically retrieve images with different image size, image quality and frame rate depending on the available bandwidth, without changing the camera settings.

Let’s make an example to explain why this functionality can be beneficial in your application.

Mr. Smith has just installed some cameras at his place. He also installed MxMC on his laptop to access the camera’s live view and playback the footage stored on his NAS. To enjoy the high resolution and the fast frame rates of his new MOBOTIX cameras, he only had to find the cameras within the local network via MxMC and import them into the software. By doing this, MxMC will instruct the cameras to deliver images with the same quality configured for the cameras’ main stream (camera Web GUI > Setup Menu > General Image Settings).

Mr. Smith is a business man and is often out of town but he doesn’t want to give up on the possibility to watch his cameras, even when he sits in an hotel room on the other side of the world. Using MxManagementCenter, he can access cameras from different locations. This usually means that each location requires using different network access data. To avoid changing the network access data every time, you can set up different network environments with the corresponding network access data. Find below how Mr. Smith configured his MxMC.

1. Creating Environments

For simplicity, we will consider only 2 environments: Home and HotelRoom. The first one will contain the settings for the connection from within the cameras’ local network whereas the second one will contain the settings for remote access and low bandwidth connections.

From the top-right corner click on the gearwheel icon > Environment and press the “+” button to add 2 environments. Double click on them to change their names: call the first one Home and the second one HotelRoom


2. Changing Network Data and Selecting Environments

After creating the environments, you can select the cameras that will be active for each environment and adjust the network data as needed.

Open the Device Tree (left pane) by dragging the anchor and enter the Editing mode by clicking on the padlock located at the bottom of the Device Tree pane. Select the cameras that will be included in the aforementioned environments (CTRL+click) and right click on any of them to open the cameras’ properties dialog.

Select the Home environment and make sure that the settings below are set as follows:

  • Remote: Off
  • SSL: On
  • Bandwidth: HiRes
  • Recording Settings: File Server

Now select the HotelRoom environment and adjust the settings as follows:

  • Remote: On
  • SSL: On
  • Bandwidth: LoRes
  • Recording Settings: via camera

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Explanation of the parameters:

  • Remote: allows to specify whether to use the local IP address or the public IP address/Dynamic DNS URL to connect to the camera. Local URL and Remote URL must be configured for each camera individually by editing the cameras’ properties dialog (right-click on a camera from the Device Tree with padlock open).

    Remote connection generally requires a port-forwarding rule for each camera. To know more about port-forwarding, please visit this post.

  • SSL: if enabled MxMC will establish an HTTPS (encrypted) connection with the camera whereas if disabled the HTTP protocol (clear text) will be used.

  • Bandwidth: HiRes means that MxMC will retrieve the native live stream configured on the camera from the page Setup Menu > General Event Settings. LoRes means that MxMC will retrieve a sub-stream with different characteristics in terms of image size, image quality and frame rate. The settings for the LoRes mode can be adjusted from File > Preferences > Data Volume > Bandwidth.

  • Recording Settings: this parameter instructs MxMC how to access recordings. When set to “via camera”, the software will retrieve recordings via camera, regardless of where they are actually stored to (e.g. microSD card, attached USB flash device, file server, etc…). When it is set to specific File Server path, MxMC will look for recordings exclusively within the specified folder. Recording Paths can be configured from File > Preferences > Recording Paths.

3. Selecting an Environment

In the header, click on Projects and Environments and then on Environment. Select the desired environment

If Local is selected, the live stream and the playback will be available in high resolution and high frame rate.

If HotelRoom is selected, MxMC will manage efficiently the hotel’s low bandwidth connectivity by retrieving a video stream with adapted quality and frame rate. However, by actively zooming into a portion of the image, the actual resolution is displayed to provide greater detail of the scene.

4. Temporarily Adjusting the Bandwidth

By assigning a bandwidth to an environment, you can specify how the images are pulled from the cameras given different connection speeds. This basically controls how the images can be displayed for live viewing and event research. Selecting a bandwidth thus also controls the image quality.

However, you can temporarily overwrite the environment’s settings without actually changing the camera setting.

Click or right-click on Bandwidth in the header to select one of the following profiles:

  • HiRes: The images are transferred using the current camera settings.
  • LoRes: The images are provided with the specified frame rate, image size and quality
  • Unchanged: Uses the predefined settings for the selected environment.

Please note that the temporary settings selected via the symbol in the Header bar, will be reverted as soon as you switch to a different group or to a different view.

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