OpenCV with Network Cameras


I'm using openCV 1.1pre1 under Windows. I have a network camera and I need to grab frames from openCV. That camera can stream a standard mpeg4 stream over RTSP or mjpeg over http. I've seen many threads talking about using ffmpeg with openCV but I cannot make it work.

How I can grab frames from an IP camera with openCV?



4/3/2009 8:15:29 AM

Accepted Answer

rtsp protocol did not work for me. mjpeg worked first try. I assume it is built into my camera (Dlink DCS 900).

Syntax found here:

I did not need to compile OpenCV with ffmpg support.

11/28/2012 10:21:00 PM

I enclosed C++ code for grabbing frames. It requires OpenCV version 2.0 or higher. The code uses cv::mat structure which is preferred to old IplImage structure.

#include "cv.h"
#include "highgui.h"
#include <iostream>

int main(int, char**) {
    cv::VideoCapture vcap;
    cv::Mat image;

    const std::string videoStreamAddress = "rtsp://cam_address:554/live.sdp"; 
    /* it may be an address of an mjpeg stream, 
    e.g. "http://user:pass@cam_address:8081/cgi/mjpg/mjpg.cgi?.mjpg" */

    //open the video stream and make sure it's opened
    if(! {
        std::cout << "Error opening video stream or file" << std::endl;
        return -1;

    //Create output window for displaying frames. 
    //It's important to create this window outside of the `for` loop
    //Otherwise this window will be created automatically each time you call
    //`imshow(...)`, which is very inefficient. 
    cv::namedWindow("Output Window");

    for(;;) {
        if(! {
            std::cout << "No frame" << std::endl;
        cv::imshow("Output Window", image);
        if(cv::waitKey(1) >= 0) break;

Update You can grab frames from H.264 RTSP streams. Look up your camera API for details to get the URL command. For example, for an Axis network camera the URL address might be:

// H.264 stream RTSP address, where is an IP address 
// and 554 is the port number

// if the camera is password protected

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