23.10
2023-10-18

Flussonic Watcher 23.10

Watcher Release Notes - Version 23.10

Flussonic Watcher 23.10 introduces significant enhancements to improve user experience and system efficiency. Key highlights include the new Watcher Client Web UI (available https://<YOUR_DOMAIN>/watcher/client/), providing an intuitive interface for managing surveillance systems on various devices, and the Watcher Client API for seamless integrations. New Client Watcher Web UI is a Progressive Web App (PWA) that allows to create an application that can be easily accessed without the need for downloading it from an app store, ensuring a seamless user experience. The current version of the Web UI is a private beta one not yet available for all the users. Upgrading to 23.10 is a great opportunity for you to try it out and selectively present to your customers, before it is widely available to everyone.

The New Client Watcher Web UI and Client API:

To significantly improve the functionality and user experience of video surveillance and monitoring systems, the new Watcher Client Web UI can be tried out through https://<YOUR_DOMAIN>/watcher/client/ and the new Watcher Client API is introduced. Below are the key benefits this improvement brings: Accessibility from Any Device: The new Watcher Client Web UI enables users to access and manage their surveillance systems across various platforms and devices with internet access. This flexibility ensures improved user experience: no need to download or install mobile apps (especially for the iOS users) for real-time monitoring and control with a secure connection through HTTPS protocol. Improved User Experience: The Watcher Client Web UI simplifies the management of surveillance cameras, streams, and footage, offering an intuitive and user-friendly interface that ensures an efficient and pleasant experience for users. Enhanced Integration Capabilities: The Watcher Client API empowers developers to seamlessly integrate Flussonic Watcher with other software applications and systems or easily develop their own mobile application if needed. This opens doors to tailor-made solutions, including integration with access control systems or third-party analytics tools.

To interact with and control playback authorization through the Watcher Client User Interface, playback_token implemented in Watcher Client UI is currently being developed. Once it’s fully developed, users can have direct control over playback authorization using this new UI element.

To make navigation and interaction with Flussonic Watcher easier, we aligned the design of the camera profile page with the rest of the new Client Watcher UI. This consistency enhances usability and reduces the learning curve, ultimately leading to a more intuitive and user-friendly interface.

For more convenient and efficient managing and selecting content, we moved displaying the list of events (episodes) on the right side of the player in the new Client Watcher UI, so that customers can easily access and browse through the content while simultaneously watching video playback.

Improved content organization and accessibility are achieved through the updated Watcher UI, which sorts episodes in descending order by their start time. This enhancement streamlines user navigation, enabling efficient access to the most recent episodes and enhancing the overall user experience, particularly in scenarios involving extensive content libraries.

We improved data access, making it easier for customers to manage and retrieve the information they need, paginating through large datasets. With the addition of support for cursors in Watcher API v3 data retrieval and navigation capabilities became much more easier. Customers benefit from this feature as it allows for more efficient and precise querying of data without overloading the whole system.

Push Messages in the Client Area:

By improving the style of the notification about disabled push messages, customers will receive clearer and more visually appealing notifications. This improvement leads to better user engagement, understanding, and overall satisfaction with the notification system.

Protection against brute-force

For a robust defense mechanism, safeguarding sensitive data and ensuring the smooth and secure operation of your video surveillance infrastructure the security of Flussonic Watcher systems is improved with the protection against brute-force on authorization requests. This enhancement contributes to a safer and more reliable monitoring and management experience for Flussonic Watcher customers.

Agents update:

Customers can easily assess the current state and capacity of their system at a glance, facilitating better resource management, scalability planning, and system optimization, with the number of Agents being displayed in the Central Admin UI, so that monitoring and managing agents becomes more effective.

Watcher VMS:

To reduce the complexity of the installation process, save time, and ensure that the Watcher system can efficiently distribute traffic, we simplified installation and configuration of the Watcher-standalone package by including this package that configures Nginx as a balancer to Watcher-VMS and Central.

RTSP Ingest:

The system now tries multiple authorization methods to establish a connection with RTSP cameras, making it compatible with a wider range of cameras and devices that may have different or limited authorization capabilities, ensuring that video streams can be ingested and processed even if they do not support Basic authorization.

Supporting more camera models by adopting specific timestamps:

To implement use cases with various camera brands and models to work together in the same surveillance infrastructure, the ONVIF module of Flussonic Media Server was updated to support Vivotek cameras. Those cameras can now be seamlessly incorporated in the surveillance setups on Flussonic Media Server, while the ONVIF module discovers, connects to, and manages Vivotek cameras, making it easier to create comprehensive and interoperable video surveillance solutions that include Vivotek devices.

DVR:

Customers receive smoother playback and quicker access to archived content, ultimately enhancing their streaming service quality and user satisfaction. This is possible with DVR index cleanup implemented. The system can automatically remove unnecessary index data when there is no associated archive on certain streamers. This optimization reduces the time required to open streams, leading to faster stream access and a more efficient user experience.

By moving settings such as video quality and audio track to the ‘gear’ settings menu in the new Player UI, customers can enjoy a cleaner and more streamlined playback experience. This enhancement reduces clutter on the main Watcher interface, making it easier for users to access and adjust these settings when needed, ultimately enhancing their overall viewing experience.

The addition of the “Export to mp4” option in the Player allows users to conveniently save content for offline viewing or sharing. This feature offers Flussonic Watcher greater control over content consumption, facilitating the ability to store and utilize video content in a format that suits their needs, whether it’s for archiving, sharing, or offline playback.

Enhancing visibility of DVR operations, and ensuring security and compliance in video recording processes, ultimately resulting in improved reliability and performance of Flussonic Watcher, we added more tracing spans to monitor and capture specific events within the DVR writing process.

Flussonic Media Server can better allocate its resources to serving active playback requests and efficiently deliver video content without being hampered by irrelevant or outdated locks. This improvement ensures that when episodes are accessible in Flussonic Watcher, any outdated DVR locks, which might have previously caused unnecessary resource consumption or delays in handling playback requests, are disregarded.

Large number of streams:

The latest update in Flussonic Watcher video surveillance system empowers customers with enhanced efficiency and precision in managing their extensive streaming infrastructure. By implementing stream distribution logic based on the ‘channel_limit’ parameter, streams are intelligently allocated to available streamers, preventing overload and ensuring optimal resource utilization, resulting in a smoother viewing experience for their audience.

The improved accuracy in stream counting eliminates discrepancies, enabling precise monitoring and resource allocation. Failover streams are now accurately accounted for, avoiding double counting and providing a more accurate reflection of active streams.

The extended polling period and configurable STREAMS_STATS_FETCH_INTERVAL parameter reduce streamer load, offering greater flexibility in resource management, allowing customers to fine-tune performance to meet their specific requirements, ultimately optimizing their video surveillance operations.

Streamer configuration:

With 23.10 administrators can programmatically update settings, making it more efficient to manage and adapt the streamer behavior to their specific requirements. For automating configuration changes, ensuring consistency, and integrating the streamer component into a larger system or workflow, managing the streamer config was added to API.

Tracing requests:

To contribute to a more robust and efficient video surveillance system, ensuring the integrity and security of the network, we added the support for tracing Agent connections. This improvement provides customers with enhanced visibility, troubleshooting capabilities, performance optimization, security monitoring, and improved resource allocation within their video surveillance infrastructure.

Archive clean-up:

To maintain a more organized and efficient storage system, particularly when dealing with a large volume of streams and their associated archives, not only old stream archives are properly cleaned up, but any directories that were left empty as a result of the clean-up process are also automatically removed.

Configuration:

For enhanced system stability, resilience, service continuity, resource handling efficiency, and the overall user experience, the timeout for config requests from Central to streamers was increased from 5 to 75 seconds. This improvement mitigates denial of service scenarios and ensures uninterrupted video streaming operations for Flussonic Watcher customers.

Centralized configuration management, efficient resource allocation, customized content retention, streamlined maintenance, and optimized storage usage is possible with provisioning of episodes_expiration as part of config_external from Flussonic Central. This enhancement empowers customers to effectively manage their video streaming infrastructure with greater flexibility and control over content retention settings.

With synchronous config saving and applying, users can now see the real-time save progress, even though API calls may become slightly slower. This feature provides a more intuitive and reassuring experience, as users can confirm when their configurations have been successfully saved.

Bug Fixes:

Configuration: Resolving the issue where the “RTMP/RTSP is not configured” message was displayed, even when the corresponding ports were properly set in the Listeners section on the Config page, ensures that users now receive accurate status messages, reducing confusion and misinterpretations of system readiness.

User interface: By addressing the issue of overlapping tooltips and checkboxes in the Standby field, users can now clearly see and access tooltips, making it easier to understand the functionality and configuration options.

DVR player: The issue of playback freezing when interacting with the timeline in the archive area of Watcher UI is resolved. As a result, users can seamlessly navigate and access archived content without disruptions, ensuring a smoother and more dependable viewing experience.

Users can now successfully play back recorded video content using the DVR Player, even when DVR recording is configured for the stream. This is essential for surveillance and monitoring applications, as it ensures that recorded footage can be easily accessed and reviewed within the user interface.

To prevent excessive network traffic and resource usage, we fixed the issue with a loop when requesting JPEG thumbnails, even when the remote_dvr=nochain parameter is used.

Users can now rely on the calendar to correctly indicate the presence of video archives for all days of the month, making it easier to navigate and access recorded content.

The “Failed to clean blob” error was fixed. It is related to the ongoing DVR clean-up process, which starts another clean-up process while the previous one is already running. With this fixed, troubleshooting and managing the DVR cleaning processes are run more effectively.

Having fixed a performance bug with massive DVR loss, we improved the reliability and functionality of the DVR system to continuously record and store video content without disruptions or data loss issues at specific times, such as the beginning of each hour. The DVR clean-up process is optimized to run faster and more efficiently, even when episodes and old locks coexist in the archive. This improvement ensures quicker and smoother clean-up operations.

Having fixed a performance bug with massive DVR loss, we improved the reliability and functionality of the DVR system to continuously record and store video content without disruptions or data loss issues at specific times, such as the beginning of each hour. The DVR clean-up process is optimized to run faster and more efficiently, even when episodes and old locks coexist in the archive. This improvement ensures quicker and smoother clean-up operations.

Multiplexer settings: By addressing the issue of form data resetting unexpectedly during the editing of Multiplexer settings, users can now make changes and updates to settings without the risk of losing their input or configuration data.

Authorization: By addressing the issue of missing authorization tokens in requests for mp4 camera thumbnails, access to sensitive content is properly authenticated, enhancing data protection. Additionally, it ensures the seamless functioning of thumbnail requests, providing a more reliable and secure user experience.

Auth backend: The authentication backend URL is correctly provisioned from Central to streamers, when the UPSTREAM_URL configuration is not explicitly specified. This ensures that the authentication process functions properly, providing a more robust and user-friendly experience for Flussonic Watcher customers.

The bug fix that prevents the reset of the auth backend URL during updates ensures preserved configuration, operational continuity, configuration consistency, and enhanced security for Flussonic Watcher customers. This enhancement leads to a more dependable and secure authentication process within the system.

RTSP ingest: with fixing the bug that adds support for HTTP 302 redirects for RTSP ingest in Flussonic Watcher, we improved the system reliability, expands source options, and enhances compatibility with various RTSP streaming configurations, ultimately benefiting users who rely on the software for video surveillance and monitoring.

Streaming multimedia content: Flussonic Media Server can effectively and reliably handle video streams from the specified Bosch camera model (NDP-5512-Z30)l. Users can now expect that the camera RTSP stream will be properly ingested and made available for further processing, monitoring, or distribution within the Flussonic Watcher environment.

Agents: the HTTP 405 error at Agent connection attempts is fixed. With this we improve system reliability, connectivity, and functionality in Flussonic Watcher, ensuring that Agents can connect successfully, contributing to system stability and a better user experience for those utilizing the video surveillance and monitoring system.

Watcher Documentation

Domain settings: The updated placement of the domain settings section in the Watcher installation process improves clarity and underscores the importance of these settings for its seamless operation. By moving this section further along in the installation process, customers can better understand the context and necessity of configuring domain settings.

Watcher Quick Start Guide: The updated Watcher Quick Start Guide provides users with a more accessible and user-friendly resource for installing Watcher Single and quickly adding virtual or real cameras for testing purposes. This enhancement simplifies the onboarding process, making it easier for users to get started with Watcher and evaluate its features.

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