I’m a long-time fan of Axis’ IP cameras. I’ve played with a few other IP cameras too, but I’ve never come across a camera with the performance and stability of Axis’ products.
Recently I deployed two Axis M1114-cameras. It’s an impressive device with built in motion sensor (that can record to a SMB or FTP) with Power over Ethernet (PoE). The optics in the device is equally impressive, as it capable of recording data in down to 0.6 Lux.
Once I had deployed the cameras, I wanted to view the feeds on two statically mounted monitor. With the help of two spare monotors and an Asus EEEPC (a low-powered Atom-based computer with both HDMI and VGA output) I was able to do just that. A simple Ubuntu installation with auto-login did the trick. The secret sauce however was mplayer.
Since this is a low-powered computer with a rather powerful GPU (Nvidia ION), I had to offload the rendering to the GPU to avoid overheating. After installing the required GPU drivers and configure both monitors, all I had to do was to create two scripts and have them launch at boot:
while [ true ]
mplayer -nosound -display :0 -quiet -vo vdpau -vc ffh264vdpau -fs rtsp://cam0/axis-media/media.amp?videocodec=h264 -rtsp-stream-over-tcp -hardframedrop
while [ true ]
mplayer -nosound -display :0.1 -quiet -vo vdpau -vc ffh264vdpau -fs rtsp://cam1/axis-media/media.amp?videocodec=h264 -rtsp-stream-over-tcp -hardframedrop
Simple as pie! Even with two streams, the computer is at 99% idle. Also, even if the power goes out, the computer will automatically boot up and show the stream.
If you have different hardware, you might need to adjust the ‘-vo’ and ‘-vc’ variables to fit your hardware.