[mythtv-users] mythtv and zoneminder cameras

Mike Perkins mikep at randomtraveller.org.uk
Wed May 5 09:12:50 UTC 2021

Like a number of other users here I run both mythtv and zoneminder, but in my case I don't run the 
zoneminder plugin.

I have run mythtv for a /very/ long time but zoneminder began only last year, when we discovered 
that we had a fairly active local hedgehog population. That's the only reason we run it.

I bought a couple of cheap IP cctv cameras for evaluation and was both impressed[1] and 
disgusted[2]. Impressed by the quality of the camera outputs and disgusted by the admin method: an 
/ActiveX/ control which only works using IE or an old version of Firefox! Still, I got there.

Now the camera traffic is high so I knocked up a separate ad-hoc subnet using some old disks and a 
spare (also old) motherboard and it did what we wanted. (Since upgraded.) Using zm is fine if we 
want to analyse what happens each night but sometimes we just want to see what is happening in 

What I want to do is to access the cctv cameras as a stream within mythtv. This is doable, I have 
used VLC from a frontend to see them so I know the streams are available. What I want is to set up a 
new source in mythtv and just switch to it as Live TV. The cameras are streaming 24/7 so there is no 
other overhead.

The only info I can find online about how to configure streams assumes that (i) either you are 
accessing an Internet stream, which can provide channel info, or (ii) that you are using a local box 
to convert (eg) HDMI to an ethernet stream. Neither of these is really helpful.

What I need is a pointer to some instructions to configure a source to accept IP streams in mythtv, 
when all I have is the streams. How do I do that? The streams would be in the format:


Thanks in advance for any assistance.

[1] I bought mine from CPC UK (http://cpc.farnell.com) for about £40 each plus VAT and carriage. The 
first was a Trendnet TV-IP324PI (but see [2]) and the other was an X-Vision X4C2000B-W. Both are POE 
and both are starlight capable, although the IR lighting is excellent.

[2] Do *not* buy Trendnet cctv camaeras. They are the cheapest I could find but they require 
*registration* with some site in China before they can be used. That also requires an ActiveX 
control to use and therefore opens your internal networks to potential abuse. It is a shame as the 
hardware is very good. (Once registration is done, I can then access streams as above, though. The 
money wasn't entirely wasted.)


Mike Perkins

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