JPG url as a camera resource - choose fractional fps - time lapse

In Progress



  • Official comment
    Norman - Nx Support

    Hi Andrew Sharrem

    Since such streams do not follow any standards (like Onvif) we can't change anything. 
    I checked the stream, and it provides a 352x288 @ 1,7ish stream. These are figures that hardly eats a lot of data. 

    I would be worried a bit more that your IP address will be blocked. I have experienced such when I used public cameras for demonstration and testing purposes. 


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    Andrew Sharrem

    Hi Norman,

    I think the point was missed or not explained well.

    I don't want to manipulate someone else's stream - which is not a stream - I just want a jpeg snapshot.
    I want to grab the a snapshot at a frequency < 1fps defined by me via the nx recording schedule.

    Perhaps I'll raise the request under the title of an often requested feature "Time Lapse".

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    Norman - Nx Support

    Hi Andrew,

    In case of an RTSP or http stream being added manually, you can't modify the recording schedule. The stream comes as it is.

    But grabbing a snapshot every second is easy with a script, but what's next? You have a directory with tons of snapshots. Then what?

    Is it okay to create a manual time lapse or should it be automatically? In case of the last option. What are the requirements? What is it that you want to end up with?

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    Andrew Sharrem


    We want the ability to create a Time lapse video manually in a similar way to export or rapid review.
    Or just review images over a very long period using the least amount of storage.
    Having a directory with tons of snapshots? That's why we buy Nx - to store tons of images usually in streams, but jpg's are supported are they not?
    Absolutely I could run a cron script to get a snapshot into a dir, then run it through a "movie maker", but Nx in many ways can actually do all that process too. Maybe I could even use Nx Virtual Camera to import this dir and achieve my desired outcome.

    We want time lapse probably for the same reasons that Nx added the rapid review feature. Construction projects are by far the most common use case for us. The downside of rapid review is I cannot ask it to give me a "time slice" @ 9am 12pm & 3pm on weekdays. Additionally to use rapid review to provide a single contiguous video, currently we must archive the video stream over the required project period @ >=1fps. All I need is 3 snapshots every weekday for 2 years. Or I may need 1 image every 15mins for remote monitoring over low bandwidth or data capped links.

    Lets propose a scenario that incorporates all the wonderful things that Nx has the capability to do and along the way perhaps come up with a workable solution for some other feature ideas I've seen.

    1st of all - let's make money from this Idea - Let's call it a "Snapshot License" for now. I'm happy to pay a license for it and I'm certain Nx are looking for additional revenue streams.

    • The scope is to:
      • Archive images at a frequency < 1 fps and on a schedule. I'm thinking jpg image is the most efficient form for now.
      • Maybe use an existing camera from an Nx System that is already used for usual Nx purposes.
      • Use the Nx client & server to "make it all happen" - as opposed to a script that is beyond a lot of users capabilities.
        This also means we get to use Failover Nx magic.
    • There are 2 ways I can think of to get the snapshot easily:
    • Storing the snapshot:
      • Is it possible or practical to perhaps database/store the snapshot as a "3rd stream"?
        ie. High Quality / Low Quality / Snapshot directories within the Nx recording folder structure
      • As a new resource in the resource tree.
        This is attractive as we can define alternate archiving & retention parameters and apply our new "snapshot license" to the resource.
    One new feature requested in different ways is "Archive Frame Reduction".

    Seems to me that this could address these requests too.
    Kind regards,
    Andrew Sharrem
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    Norman - Nx Support

    Hi Andrew Sharrem,

    Thank you for the clear description. 

    This can't be done with N Witness, but you figured that out yourself already. 

    I will convert your use case into a feature request, all tough I'm not sure it will get the highest priority since it is quite a specific use case and there are currently easy solutions to achieve this. 

    I just wanted to be clear on what you wanted to achieve, since it couldn't be done with Nx Witness, I wanted to direct you to another solution 

    With a tool called FFmpeg you can create a script that grabs a snapshot every X time and save it to a directory and with the same FFmpeg you can create a time-lapse video from the files in that directory automatically. 

    Besides the effort, this can be done for free, no licenses required. Up to you what you want to charge for such service. 

    We also have a partner in Norway,, who has such solution, and they're quite nice to work with, saves you some time and money and Fredrik Ahlsen, can offer you such solution today. 

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    Dan Grant

    +1 for this feature request also. 

    I agree you could create a cron job to do this, but will be much nicer if you could use an existing stream and change the frame rate to 'snapshot' etc!


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