Step By Step

Step By Step installation instructions

Before you begin

License agreement

By using this software you implicitly agree to the end user license agreement. You can find the end user license agreements as attachment when you download the Camplayer OS software, these files are called ‘LICENSE_system.txt’ and ‘LICENSE_camplayer.txt’. For existing installations, you can find these files on the ‘boot’ partition of the SD card or in the configuration menu.

Security warnings

The camera player software “Camplayer” uses RTSP/HTTP streams for playback,
even with password protection these streams can not be considered as secure for the following reasons:

  • RTSP/HTTP streams are not encrypted, only the login procedure is protected!
  • Someone with physical access to this device can grab the SD card
    and read its content, including possible passwords!

For these reasons, CAMPLAYER OS is only intended to be used for harmless footage in protected and trusted home networks (domestic use).

Installation prerequisites

  • At least a Raspberry Pi 2 model B or better.
    Model 3+ or 4 is highly recommended because of the better video decoding capabilities.
  • Micro SD card of at least 4 GB.
  • Computer with a micro SD card reader.
  • A USB keyboard connected to your Raspberry Pi, alternately you can use your television remote control, however this is less practical and does not work with all brands/models.
  • Reliable network connection, either wired or wireless (WiFi).

Step 1: Prepare your SD card

  1. Download ‘CAMPLAYER OS’.

  2. Unzip the .iso file.

    For windows you can use the built-in ZIP extractor.

Extract image on Windows 10

  1. Flash the ‘CAMPLAYER OS’ image (.iso file) on your SD card.

    For windows you can use ‘Win32DiskImager’ or ‘balenaEtcher’. These instructions are made for Win32DiskImager, but it should be very similar with other image writers.
    https://www.balena.io/etcher/
    https://sourceforge.net/projects/win32diskimager/

    1. Browse and select the unzipped .iso file (folder icon).
    2. Select the correct SD card (drive letter/device), this is VERY VERY important as all data on this device will be overwritten!
    3. Select ‘Write’.

Write image on Windows 10 with Win32DiskImager

  1. Safely remove your SD card, usually there is an icon for this in the taskbar.

Safely remove SD card in Windows 10

Step 2: Network configuration

Wired connection

Everything should be configured already by the DHCP client,
you can skip to section network verification to verify the network status.

WiFi setup

This section will guide you through the WiFi setup procedure.
Select ‘WIFI SETUP WIZARD’ in the configuration menu to start.

Example:

WiFi setup

Parameters:

Enable WiFi         Enables the onboard WiFi adapter. 
                    A reboot is required before it takes effect.
Select Network      A list of discovered networks, 
                    select the network you want to connect with.
Enter password      Enter your WiFi network password.
Select country..    Select your country, only required for 5GHz networks.
OSD KEYBOARD        Opens an OSD keyboard in case you are configuring without 
                    a connected keyboard (Television remote).
BACKSPACE           Sends a backspace in case you are configuring without 
                    a connected keyboard (Television remote).

Network verification

Network status

To view the current network status, open the configuration menu and select ‘NETWORK INFORMATION’. The network information will be shown in the output window. You have a valid network connection when the IP address and gateway fields are filled in. Please check your network cabling and/or configuration if this is not the case. In some cases, a full system restart is necessary.

Example:

Network status

Network speedtest

Network problems can lead to interrupting and/or freezing video playback, therefore the speedtest tool comes in handy when you want to verify your network quality. The most important parameter is the download speed, at least 20Mbit/s is recommended and should be sufficient for most cases.

To start the speedtest, open the configuration menu and select ‘NETWORK SPEEDTEST’. The speedtest progress will be shown in the output window.

Example:

Network speedtest

Step 3: Camplayer configuration

This section will guide you through the camplayer setup procedure. Before proceeding, please make sure your network connection is properly set up. You can verify this with the ‘NETWORK INFORMATION’ option in the configuration menu. Select ‘CAMPLAYER SETUP WIZARD’ in the configuration menu to start.

If an existing configuration is found, you will be prompted to edit this one or to create a new one.

The first page of the camplayer setup wizard is an overview of sources and streams listed in the current configuration file. Of course this list is empty if this is your initial setup or when you chose to create a new configuration file in the previous step. To add a new device (or other source), select ‘ADD DEVICE MANUALLY’.

Add devices and sources

One of the most important steps in the configuration progress is the adding of devices. You have to add at least one device, the maximum number of devices is currently limited to 64.

Each device can contain up to three substreams/subchannels, it is very important that the video content of all substreams is identical as the player software can automatically switch between them. Usually IP cameras support multi-quality streams e.g. one 1080p main stream, one 720p substream and one 360p substream.

Streams are composed semi-automatically by parameters like username, password and IP address. In most cases you have to append a camera specific path after the composed URL, you can probably find this information in the manual of your IP camera or on the internet.

I’ve made an attempt (without guarantee) to list this information for some of the most common brands.

Hikvision

/Streaming/Channels/<channel><subchannel>
/Streaming/Channels/101                 # Channel 1 high quality stream.
/Streaming/Channels/102                 # Channel 1 lower quality stream.
/Streaming/Channels/161                 # Higher quality stream of channel 16, 
                                          only valid for multi-channel devices like NVRs.

Bosch

/?line=<channel>&inst=<subchannel>
/?line=1&inst=1                         # Channel 1 high quality stream.
/?line=1&inst=2                         # Channel 1 lower quality stream.
/?line=16&inst=1                        # Higher quality stream of channel 16, 
                                          only valid for multi-channel devices like NVRs.

Example:

Camplayer setup: add device

Parameters:

Device Name     Optional device name.
Type            Stream type, usually RTSP.
Username        Username for stream.
Password        Password for stream.
IP or Hostname  IP address or hostname of stream.
Port            RTSP or HTTP port, usually 554 for RTSP.
Stream 1 URL    Composed stream URL (mainstream/mainchannel) 
                based on the previous settings, 
                you probably have to append a specific path, 
                check your IP camera stream URL documentation.
Stream 2 URL    Composed stream URL (substream1/subchannel1) 
                based on the previous settings, 
                you probably have to append a specific path, 
                check your IP camera stream URL documentation.
                Optional in case your device doesn't support multiple streams.
Stream 3 URL    Composed stream URL (substream2/subchannel2) 
                based on the previous settings, 
                you probably have to append a specific path, 
                check your IP camera stream URL documentation.
                Optional in case your device doesn't support multiple streams.
OSD KEYBOARD    Opens an OSD keyboard in case you are configuring without 
                a physical keyboard (Television remote).
BACKSPACE       Sends a backspace in case you are configuring without 
                a physical keyboard (Television remote).
PREVIEW         Opens the source URL in a video player, 
                if you don't see anything your URL is probably wrong.

Devices and sources overview

After adding a device, you will return to the overview of sources and streams. Repeat this process until all devices are added.

Example:

Camplayer setup: streams

Parameters:

Streams             The list of streams in the current configuration. 
                    Every device can contain up to 3 streams/subchannels.
ADD DEVICE MANUALLY Add an IP camera device with up to three substreams/subchannels.
REMOVE DISABLED..   Remove unchecked streams from the configuration.
SCAN STREAM PROP..  Scan or rescan the stream properties like 
                    codec, resolution and frame rate.

Configure layout

In this step you can define the screen layout. i.e. how many windows per screens, order of streams/sources etc. If you are done, you have to select ‘FINISH’ and you will be prompted to enter a locking password. Saving the configuration with locking password is more secure and asks you to enter that password on every startup. After this step, the system is ready to use.

Camplayer layout

Parameters:

SCREENx         Screen number, this defines the playing sequence.
Display Time    The active time of this screen in seconds before switching 
                to the next screen (if multiple screens are configured),
                '0' will disable automatic rotation.
Screen Layout   The number of windows per screen. The more windows, 
                the heavier the load on your Raspberry Pi, 
                therefore please respect the 'Not recommended' warnings.
windowx         The source/stream that is currently mapped to this window, 
                press select to change this mapping. 
                Please also respect the 'Not recommended' warnings here.
DEVICE          The device mapped to this window.
CHANNEL         The channel/stream mapped to this window.
INFO            Please follow the suggestions given here.
MAPPING         Shows duplicate source/streams mappings when 
                multiple screens are configured.
Numeric 0       Opens the source URL in a video player 
                to verify the mapping location.

Last modified May 11, 2021: doc update (d8256bf)