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In order to provide you with a rapid response to your questions about the iCatcher range we have created this FAQ section. If you do not find the answer to your question please contact us directly. This section of the web site will be expanded as we feel relevant questions are encountered.
Q1.1 - Which operating systems will iCatcher run on?
Q1.2 - The systems we run are not Microsoft Windows compatible,
do you have plans to develop iCatcher versions to run on other operating systems?
Q1.3 - There are many motion detection/web cam applications
on the market why did you develop iCatcher?
Q1.4 - Why is the colour quality of my captured image poor?
A1.5 - The Network Source driver will attempt to download an image from the specified network address, in the same way as your web browser would. Very rarely do Network/IP Cameras have an image as their "home" page. When you put in the IP address by itself, iCatcher tries to download the default file in the root of the camera's web server. Very often this is an index or preview page of some sort, and can't be loaded as an image. You need to specify the full path to the image itself. For this reason, it is beter to use the New Camera Wizard to add the camera. If your camera is not in the list, please contact us to see if we can determine how to set your camera.
A1.6 - iCatcher supports devices that conform to the WDM (Windows Driver Model) or Video for Windows (VfW) video capture interfaces. Some devices are not supplied with fully compliant drivers, or are supplied with proprietary drivers that only work with the software supplied with the device.
A1.7 - Terminal Services/Remote Desktop on server operating systems (Windows Server 2003, Windows Server 2008) typically provide a unique session for each connected client. This can cause problems if iCatcher is set to run on startup and the system automatically logs in, as it can lead to the software running multiple times, with both instances recording to the same part of the hard disk. If Remote Desktop is to be used, it should be configured to provide access to the "Console" - the session running on the machine at the machine itself. Note also that Remote Desktop may use a lower colour depth to reduce bandwidth usage. This does not affect the recorded images on Console 3.1 and later and Sentry/Wildlife 3.0. Note that Console 5.2 and above will detect an already running instance in another session and refuse to start in this case.
A1.8 - There are various ways to get the images from your iCatcher installation online. The "Getting Online" HowTo covers this process in great detail. There is also the Advanced HowTo which covers more technical topics such as router devices, network connections, etc.
A1.9 - There are various reasons why you might experience problems with your registration key. Most of the time, they are down to an error in entering the name or key, or both. When you enter your name and key, you need to make sure you enter them precisely. There must be no leading or trailing spaces. and if you enter your key without pasting from the clipboard, you must leave out the hyphens (-). The best way to enter your registration key, is to copy (Ctrl+C) from the registration email, and paste (Ctrl+V) into iCatcher. Also note that iCatcher keys are not global to the iCatcher product range, i.e. an i-Catcher Sentry key won't work on iCatcher Console, and similarly, an iCatcher Console key won't work on i-Catcher Video Server.
A1.10 - Audio support in iCatcher is still in early stages due to legal restrictions on recording audio in the UK. Current legislation requires that written consent is obtained in order to record audio. In most CCTV uses this isn't practical, and as such audio is a rarely used feature. The current version of iCatcher Console supports audio recording and playback from IP cameras that support H.264 video over RTSP, which includes Axis, Sony, Etrovision, Vivotek and many others. iCatcher Sentry/Wildlife currently do not support audio.
A1.11 - At this time, no. We are looking to implement iCatcher (optionally) as a service in a future version, but have no support to do so at this time. If you desire an iCatcher server that is automated, we advise you to use the auto-login option (Windows 2000 and higher) and add iCatcher to your startup folder on your Start Menu. Also, there are third party applications that are available that allow applications to be run as services, however we do not have any links to such applications, as we do not use them.
A1.12 - Your camera may require a username and password to see the image. Your browser caches these details when you go to view the image, so you see the live image fine. To ensure the feed is configured correctly it is best to use the New Camera Wizard to add the camera which ensures the username and password are used.
A1.13 - DV/FireWire devices very often aren't supplied with Video for Windows capable codecs. Since they are higher performance devices, they are intended to be used with more specialist software that doesn't use the Video for Windows mechanism.
Later versions of iCatcher use the WDM video capture system rather than Video for Windows, which should provide an interface to your capture device. If this is not the case, you will need to locate a Video for Window or WDM compatible capture driver for your DV/FireWire video device.
A1.14 - Due to new security measures in Outlook 2003 and above, it will display a message asking for authorisation before sending each email alert. For more information, read MS Knowledge base article Q262631 and Q290500. Applications are available from 3rd party sources to work around this issue, in particular the 'ClickYes' application which automatically authorises mailbox access. Note that we can not provide support for the use of this application.
A1.15 - iCatcher uses a subset of the Internet Explorer interfaces to acquire network feeds from the widest range of sources. As such, if your internet explorer configuration requires a proxy server then you iCatcher may have trouble connecting. Microsoft ISA (Internet Security and Acceleration) Server does this by default. If the feed with problems is local, i.e. you don't need to go through the proxy server, then you should add its hostname or IP address to the bypass list under Tools/Internet Options/Connection/LAN Settings/Proxy Server/Advanced/Bypass proxy server for addresses.
If the feed is the other side of a proxy server, e.g. a remote camera being viewed via the internet, you may need to enable HTTP/1.1 through Proxies. This option is listed under Tools/Internet Options/Advanced/HTTP 1.1 Settings/Use HTTP 1.1 Through Proxy Server.
A1.16 - Older versions of iCatcher store settings and recorded images in the application folder where iCatcher is installed, which may not be writable by the user you are now logged in as. Newer versions have moved settings and recordings to a global "Application Data" folder, so permissions should no longer be a problem, however it is best to run iCatcher as the same user that installed it, or make sure the user running iCatcher has full access to the data folders.
A1.17 - Windows XP's Security and firewall features are attempting to block the Web Server component of iCatcher for listening for web requests, as a measure to prevent potentially malicious programs from being accessible by outside users. This prevention was introduced in Windows XP Service Pack 2 to try to prevent viruses from installing backdoors allowing malicious users to control a system. Since Windows XP doesn't know about iCatcher, it doesn't know that the process is clean.
To resolve this issue, when the message pops up, you can add iCatcherTools.exe or Console.exe as an exception to the firewall/security system. Once the exception is in place, Windows XP will permit the process to listen on the web server port. Note that this function is limited to certain users. Only the Administrator can unblock it at the time the error appears, and only the Administrator can permanently unblock the program. Non-Administrator users will not be able to use the web server component until the Administrator user has unblocked it.
A1.18 - Windows XP and Windows Server 2003 are shipped with the Windows Messaging service turned off by default. This prevents the machine from both sending AND receiving Windows Messaging alerts. Note that in the case of Windows XP, the restriction applies only to systems in which Service Pack 2 has been applied. Windows Vista, Windows 7 and Windows Server 2008 no longer support Net Send messages, and so Windows Messaging Alerts are not available on these systems.
iCatcher Console Questions
A2.1 - iCatcher Console is our multi-camera product, and as such does not have any cameras added to it by default, as it would be difficult to assume which camera should be used. Camera feeds can be set up via "Cameras" and the camera/feed wizard. The options there can be used to add and configure as many cameras as your licence allows (255 for trial versions, 4 for demo versions, Full version licences are specified at time of purchase).
A2.2 - As iCatcher Console can monitor multiple cameras, a single playback button would be inadequate. On the window for each feed, there is a button labelled "Playback" which will load the playback window for that feed. Alternatively, you can right-click on the feed in the main feed list and select Playback.
A2.3 - You don't. The connection is in fact the other way around. In i-Catcher Sentry/Wildlife, you simply set the path of the feeds directory (See under "Connection") of your iCatcher Console system, and click on "Start Monitoring". The feed will automatically be added to the feed list of iCatcher Console. You can however set up a local node on iCatcher Console, using the i-Catcher Sentry's built-in web server as a network source. This will however cause the motion detection routines to be run twice, reducing your frame rate.
A2.4 - iCatcher Console has been designed to minimise resources by primarily relying on motion detection to determine when to save to disk. However, it is possible to disabled recording for feeds (via Feed Settings/Recording tab) and thus run a feed in a "webcam" mode. Motion detection will still operate, so it may be desirable to disable overlays. Time-lapse mode can be achieved by additionally configuring the heart-beat facility.
A2.5 It is possible to install the latest Console and Sentry at the same time, but due to changes in shared components this should not be done with anything other than the latest versions. Additionally, Console is updated before Sentry in our release schedules, so Sentry should be installed first to avoid crippling Console.
i-Catcher Sentry/Wildlife Questions
A3.1 - When connected to iCatcher Console no stills are saved locally, therefore it would be pointless to offer playback. To access any stills that may have been recorded before i-Catcher was connected to iCatcher Console, change the Connection settings to "Standalone".
A3.2 It is possible to install the latest Console and Sentry at the same time, but due to changes in shared components this should not be done with anything other than the latest versions. Additionally, Console is updated before Sentry in our release schedules, so Sentry should be installed first to avoid crippling Console.
i-Catcher Video Server Questions
Note: The functionality of iCatcher Video Server was moved into iCatcher Console from version 3.0 onwards. Console supports the Picolo range directly for multiple input use, and the Osprey and other WDM-supported video capture cards via the Video Input Switching Service. iCatcher Video Server is limited to the Picolo and Osprey ranges and requires special drivers to operate, and shoud only be used as a low-cost remote analogue-to-ip solution if absolutely necessary.
A4.1 - i-Catcher Video Server is not a product for capturing/manipulating camera feeds. It is merely used to serve network video feeds from supported multi-port video capture cards. If you wish to use the advanced features of the iCatcher product range, you will also need to download iCatcher Console, Sentry, or Wildlife.
As of iCatcher Console 3.2, the video switching/multiple input features of i-Catcher Video Server are supported in iCatcher Console. i-Catcher Video Server is only necessary as a basic web cam application or for making analogue feeds available via a network when the analogue feeds can not easily be brought back to the Console system. As such, i-Catcher Video Server is essentially a software version of an IP video server unit.
A4.2 - i-Catcher Video Server is a network server. It's images are made available via a built-in web server. Selecting the Osprey driver in iCatcher will attempt to open the Osprey driver directly, which will work fine for the first input, but will fail on subsequent attempts. If i-Catcher Video Server is running then all attempts will fail as the driver is already in use. You need to specify a Network Source, and point iCatcher to i-Catcher Video Server. Help on doing this can be found here.
A4.3 - This is due to video inputs with no video signal present. The Osprey 100 is based on the Fusion 878A chip. This chip has design flaws relating to the AGC (Automatic Gain Control), which cause the chip to try and calibrate itself to a non-existent video signal. Under normal operation this is not noticeable, however when the chip is made to switch inputs rapidly, this effect happens far more often, and frequently the chip has insufficient time to "come back down" from this excessive AGC adjustment, causing over compensation. The solution is to disable any video inputs that are not being used.
A4.4 - Unlike the Sentry, Wildlife and Console iCatcher products, i-Catcher Video Server is for use with two specific card models, the Picolo Pro range, and the Osprey range. The reason for this is that these cards have multiple video inputs, and i-Catcher Video Server uses these inputs to server multiple feeds from a single card using a single interface. Because of the need to access the cards directly to do this, only specific cards can be supported.
A4.5 - The direct access driver needed to access the Osprey 100 is only available for Windows NT, 2000 and XP. While this doesn't stop i-Catcher Video Server from running, i-Catcher Video Server will not be able to see the Osprey card
A4.6 - Osprey cards purchased recently ship with WDM drivers for Windows XP. While these drivers should be used for single-input purposes as they provide better support for the Osprey cards, the WDM drivers are not currently compatible with i-Catcher Video Server. When started, i-Catcher Video Server will report "No compatible cards found". Note that if you do not require to use i-Catcher Video Server as a software equivalent of an IP video server unit, the input switching/multiple input functions are now built-in to iCatcher Console, and are compatible with the WDM Osprey driver.
To resolve this problem, download the Windows XP Video for Windows drivers from here. Once these are installed, i-Catcher Video Server should pick up your Osprey card (you will need to restart i-Catcher Video Server).
Hardware Related Problems
A5.1 - Some of the older ATI All-in-Wonder cards had serious resource allocation issues with their drivers causing iCatcher to leak memory when the driver was in use. This was a driver issue, and not a problem in iCatcher itself. Note that this applied specifically the capture component and was unrelated the graphic display portion of the cards.
A5.2 - The Pinnacle cards use proprietary drivers that only work with the supplied Pinnacle software. Since iCatcher can only make use of Video for Windows, WDM, or Network devices, it unfortunately means that these cards will not be detected by iCatcher. Note that we have had some reports of these cards working with iCatcher using more recent drivers from Pinnacle.
A5.3 - Pico cards also use proprietary drivers, which prevent iCatcher from detecting them properly (see the entry for Pinnacle cards above). However, these cards are based on the BT878 chip, and we have had reports that the generic drivers (see question 5.5 below) work well with these cards.
A5.4 - Some early versions of the Osprey WDM drvier for Windows XP are known to have problems on certain systems. The latest versions available from ViewCast are stable and should cause no issues.
A5.5 There are some cards that use the standard BT8xx capture chipset, but who's drivers do not support either a Video for Windows or WDM interface (such as the Pico cards above). However, it may be possible to operate these cards using generic drivers available from http://btwincap.sourceforge.net/. Note that we cannot guarantee the effectiveness or reliability of these drivers with your particular card.
A5.6 We have had reports that certain JetWay motherboards cause problems for the Junior 4 card, most likely due to PCI bus quirks and constraints. This is usually manifested as a system lock when attempting to use the board, causing the keyboard and mouse to become unresponsive, requiring a hard reset/restart. Unfortunately we are unable to provide a solution or workaround for this particular issue as it is a hardware incompatibility between the motherboard and the Junior 4 capture card, however the issue may be resolved in the latest drivers from Euresys.