Best practices for Axis camera settings in Stratocast™ - Stratocast™

Stratocast™ Integrator Guide

Applies to
Stratocast™
Last updated
2022-06-02
Content type
Guides > Integration guides
Language
English (United States)
Product
Stratocast

Use the following best practices information to help you understand Axis camera settings including what can be changed and what cannot be changed.

The information is intended for integrators, field engineers, and support engineers who are responsible for configuring Axis camera settings or supporting accounts with Axis cameras enrolled.

Stratocast™ does not require substantial changes to an Axis camera in order for it to function. In fact, no configuration work is required before enrolling the unit; it is possible to take a new camera out of the box and enroll it.

Changes to Axis camera settings during enrollment

Stratocast™ assigns a camera its recording settings based on user input during camera enrollment. These parameters include:

  • Resolution
  • Frame Rate
  • Average Bit Rate
  • Recording Priority
  • Image Rotation (only 0 and 180 degrees are supported)
  • Image Quality (Percentage)
  • Key Frame Interval
  • Motion Detection (Enabled or Disabled)

Additional configuration changes

In addition to the changes made on enrollment, Stratocast™ changes the unit’s login password and creates a new user called stsuser.

As part of the Axis Video Hosting System (AVHS), the camera receives new security certificates issued by Axis.

Hidden in the Plain Config configuration section of the camera, the Server List in the RemoteService section is populated with the URL of the Stratocast™ server instance that the camera must connect to.

Settings that are not used by Stratocast™

Several other settings can be adjusted independently of Stratocast™ if required. The following sections highlight some of the most common settings that can be adjusted to improve camera or network performance.

Image tab

Stratocast™ does not change any of the settings on the Image tab and they can be adjusted as required.
  • Wide Dynamic Range (WDR) is generally enabled by default and results in better image quality, especially in scenes with high degrees of contrast, such as an outdoor camera that might be partially in a shaded area.
  • The behavior of the IR illumination can also be adjusted from this tab.

Stream tab

The recording settings of the camera as configured in the Stratocast™ portal are independent of the values that can be set on this tab. The Zipstream setting is particularly useful. This is an intelligent compression algorithm designed by Axis and can result in substantial bandwidth savings, often without substantial loss of image quality. This setting might require some fine-tuning to obtain an acceptable balance between bandwidth savings and image compression. Dynamic FPS and Dynamic GOP are not supported by Stratocast™.
NOTE: The image orientation setting accessed from this tab does not impact the image rotation in Stratocast™. It exists independently of the setting accessed from the Stratocast™ Portal.

Overlay

Any text entered here will be overlaid into the video stream and will be recorded in Stratocast™. For example, the date and time could be overlaid.
IMPORTANT: This additional information is hardcoded into the video and cannot be removed.

PTZ

PTZ function is supported in Stratocast™ for some cameras (Axis only). For more information, see the Stratocast™ Supported Devices List.

The ability to control PTZ cameras is currently limited to Security Desk through Federation™, and the mobile application. Additional settings such as panning back to a predefined home position can be configured and will work with Stratocast™. However, any position presets configured here are independent of position presets configured in Stratocast™ and might cause conflicts. For example, a different home position in the camera itself versus Security Desk might cause the camera to switch between them.

Privacy mask

Privacy masks can be configured in the same way as overlays.
IMPORTANT: Privacy masks are hardcoded into the video stream and cannot be removed from already recorded footage.

View area

The view area setting can be used to reduce the field of view to restrict the section of the camera’s field of view that can be seen. Only the first View area can be used in Stratocast™ and cannot be toggled on or off. This also limits the recorded footage to the section of the field of view that was selected when creating the area. The rest of the frame is discarded. Any privacy masks that were previously set are maintained based on the full frame configuration. Privacy masks are not displayed in a view area if the privacy mask position is outside the field of view.

Apps

Apps such as Video Motion Detection 3 and 4 can be used with Stratocast™. Other applications only pass data through Federation™ and are not officially supported.

Axis Video Motion Detection

This application’s configuration can be adjusted if the results it yields are not accurate enough. Cameras running firmware 6.50 and higher support VMD versions 3 or 4, while older firmwares support VMD 1 or 2. When VMD 3.x and higher is installed and in use, the sliders displayed in the Stratocast™ portal (Sensivity, Motion On, Motion Off) are still visible but no longer functional, because they do not translate into parameters that exist within the application.

System

The settings on this tab generally do not belong to functions needed by Stratocast™.

One setting that might be of interest is the AVHS setting, it is advantageous to set it to Always rather than One Click. Making this change eliminates the need to physically press the button on the camera to start the handshake with the Axis Dispatch Service.

The date and time can also be configured from this tab, however it is not mandatory to set this. The time zone is also set within Stratocast™ and is independent of the setting listed here for the video accessed through the portal’s web player. However, if dual recording is enabled through the Stratocast™ Portal, the local copy of the video recorded to the SD card will be in GMT rather than the time zone set in Stratocast™ (because GMT is the default setting). Changing this to the correct time zone displays an accurate time on the local copy of the footage.