ONVIF stands for Open Network Video Interface Forum and is an open industry forum for determining how IP cameras and other security products communicate with each other, as well as with video management systems (VMS) and access control systems. It was founded in 2008 by Axis Communications, Bosch, and Sony – some of the biggest names in security systems – and is open to any manufacturers and developers that wish to be involved.
Why Is This Important?
Essentially, ONVIF makes sure that any security cameras and VMS’s, as well as control panels, all work with each other regardless of who manufactured it. In the past, security camera manufacturers would create their own software, and systems weren’t compatible with each other. ONVIF changes that, and ONVIF-compliant cameras and systems now work with each other, allowing for greater flexibility when putting together a security system.
What Does The ONVIF Standard Entail?
ONVIF Specifications cover things such as IP configuration, device discovery, device management, video analytics, PTZ camera control, event management, and real-time viewing, ensuring that ONVIF-compliant devices and software are compatible and can execute them together properly.
What are ONVIF Profiles?
IP devices cannot be ONVIF-compliant without fitting a certain ONVIF Profile. ONVIF Profiles are subsets of the ONVIF standard, specifying the exact features and functions that the device or software is rated as compatible with. These include:
- Profile S, which regulates IP-based Video and Audio Streaming.
- Profile G, which covers Edge Storage and Retrieval of video data over IP networks.
- Profile C, covering IP-based Access Control Systems.
- Profile A, covering devices that retrieve information and configure access rules, credentials and schedules in Physical Access Control Systems.
- Profile Q, covering Easy Configuration and Advanced Security.
- Profile T, a proposed profile covering functions such as video streaming in H.264 and H.265 encoding formats, imaging settings and alarm tampering. (This works in conjunction with Profile S).
When a product is specified as Profile S-compliant, for example, it will be compatible with all other Profile S devices and systems, supporting functions such as video streaming in H.264 and IP configuration of the device.
This kind of compatibility makes building a security system, integrating it with third-party systems, and upgrading it in the future simple and easy. It also helps you avoid being stuck with a proprietary system, where one manufacturer’s IP devices and systems do not work with other manufacturer’s components.