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RTSP Video Stream Bitrate Monitoring

The most guaranteed way to understand if a security CCTV/IP camera is working is to check if it generates a stable network traffic containing the video stream at a certain bitrate. This can be easily done if the camera or DVR/NVR supports RTSP protocol (Real time streaming protocol). With our program, you can receive the RTSP traffic from a IP camera or DVR/NVR, measure, analyze the bandwidth, and compare with the threshold rate. If the video stream bitrate is too low, this may mean that the camera is clogged with snow, is directed in the wrong direction, or does not produce the picture of the required quality for some other reason. The program can connect to an IP camera or DVR/NVR using an URL like the following

rtsp:// or

using RTSP, and starts receiving the video stream traffic, analyzing its current bitrate.

While configuring this check, you can see the current bitrate of your camera. Find the lowest acceptable (average) bitrate for a camera by connecting to it several times a day in various light conditions (day/night/snow/rain...). Set the lowest bitrate threshold to 50-70% of the lowest normal value (when the camera provides a good quality picture). If false alarms occur, decrease the threshold bitrate value further.

RTSP video stream bitrate monitoring settings

The bitrate can drop in different cases, which need to be quickly responded to. For example, if an analog camera stops sending a signal to the DVR, the bitrate of the stream will be around 0. The black picture compresses very well and generates almost no traffic. A drop in the bitrate of the video stream of the camera can also occur if it is covered with snow, or there is a strong backlight, which makes the picture completely white with no contrast. The program will inform you about it in order to fix the failure of the video surveillance system in time.

RTSP monitoring diagram and alert

To configure the camera check, you need to set its URL using the RTSP protocol. You can find it in the documentation for the camera or on the Internet. In this case, the RTSP protocol on the camera (video recorder) must be activated, and the port (TCP 554 by default) must be forwarded and accessible from the outside.

enabling RTSP in your IP camera

By default, the program measures the bitrate of the video stream for 10 seconds, but this time can be increased (up to a maximum of 60 seconds). Please note that the check generates the network traffic, so you should not perform it too often. It is enough to set the check interval to 10 minutes or more. The more camera checks you have on one monitoring server, the longer you need to take a break between them.

The bitrate can drop below the threshold value even during the normal camera operation, for example, in case of some network failures. Therefore, we recommend you to turn on the protection against false alarms in the check settings and set it the number of attempts to 3 or more with an interval of one minute.

We have created a short video on how to configure the RTSP monitoring.


Check out more CCTV monitoring methods in our article...



Requirements: Windows XP/Vista/7/8.1/10, Server 2003/2008/2012/2016/2019 supported.