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External RTSP

Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) is a protocol designed to stream live audio or video from one device to another and is used in sectors where there is a need for real-time transmission, like video surveillance. Video surveillance manufacturers implement the RTSP protocol on cameras, recorders, and software so that they are compatible with other devices available in the market.

Use Case

External RTSP is ideal for administrators looking to use 3rd party software that utilizes RTSP streams to provide additional analytics outside of the Meraki dashboard. Administrators can also use external RTSP to integrate MVs into existing legacy camera deployments.

Prerequisites

  • RTSP is only supported on second generation cameras (MV*2 cameras only). It is not supported on the MV21 and MV71. 
  • RTSP is only available on MV 4.2 firmware and newer. Please refer to Managing Firmware Upgrades for steps on scheduling this firmware upgrade for your network.

Caveats

  • Only live video can be streamed.
  • Only 2 simultaneous streams per camera.
  • No built-in remote access. The link will only work when streaming locally.
  • There is no metadata attached to the RTSP stream.
  • The RTSP stream will respect the resolution, quality, privacy windows, and sensor crop settings that are configured in the dashboard.

Use the bitrate from the quality settings when determining the impact of RTSP streams to your network bandwidth usage. 

  • There is no secure connection or encryption when streaming video.

Please refer to the FAQ section below for examples on how to secure camera access.

Configuration

RTSP must be enabled per-camera and can be done in the dashboard or via the Meraki Dashboard API:

Dashboard

1. Select Cameras > Monitor > Cameras and select a camera from the list.

2. Select Settings > Video Settings.

3. Under External RTSP select Yes and use the provided stream link to access the camera.

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API

The following API call can be used to enable or disable External RTSP:

PUT https://api.meraki.com/api/v0/devices/{serial}/camera/video/settings
Request body: {"externalRtspEnabled":true}
Response code: 200
Response body: {"externalRtspEnabled": true, "rtspUrl": rtsp://10.0.0.1:9000/live}

This API call will be included in the May 2020 API update.

Troubleshooting

I Cannot Access the Stream Via URL

Ensure that the end device that is accessing the RTSP stream has direct network access to the camera. Verify that the streaming device can ping the camera LAN IP.

FAQ

Will 3rd Parties Be Able to Store Video?

Once the RTSP stream leaves our ecosystem, the 3rd party system can handle the video however it would like.

What Type of Stream Delay Can Be Expected?

Since RTSP is not using HTTP Live Streaming (HLS), which is what is used on the dashboard, the delay will be significantly reduced. Enabling RTSP will not affect the dashboard delay for video streaming.

How Do I Secure the RTSP Stream?

While the External RTSP stream itself may not be secured or encrypted, there are various configurations that can secure access to the cameras. Some examples of these configurations are:

  • Placing the cameras on a separate VLAN
  • Configuring port isolation
  • ACLs on the switches or edge firewall to allow/deny traffic to the cameras
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