11-22-2011 05:06 AM
I've recently installed both an indoor and outdoor version of the Logitech Alert cameras.(everything working great, by the way, and I'm thrilled with the product!)
I have to add my voice to the many who are trying to run Alert Commander on a Virtual Machine. In my case, I'm using ESXi 5.0 and trying to run Alert Commander 3.1.x on a Win7 64 bit VM. I'm seeing the same problem others before me have indicated: no video display in the monitoring windows and no playback in the monitoring windows.
Previous guidance has been to make sure the VM network is properly bridged - in this case, it is. I can see video from the camera in the "small window" to the lower right where you can adjust frame size and position. No problem out-of-the-box finding the cameras, the software seems to be able to do that by default. I am able to use the Web commander in the VM and it works a treat.
The problem does appear to be rendering of the image in the monitoring windows. Along those lines, I tried installing DirectX and even Adobe Flash - no success with either approach.
I have seen the comment by one poster who has been able to display video from his camera in a VM using the VLC video stream viewer. That seems to further support the idea that the problem is with video rendering in the Alert Commander product.
I have seen the postings that the product is not supported in a Virtual Machine - I can understand how it's important for support purposes to limit the number of platforms supported. But being able to run your software in a Virtual Machine is a very important function for many of us, as it allows us to do round-the-clock local monitoring without having to stand up dedicated hardware. In other words, using a VM with your cameras is the "greenest" option possible to minimize overhead, electric energy consumption and heat generated.
I wouldn't even say you have to fully support running the product in a VM - if only the product would simply RUN in a VM properly, or if there were anything one could do in a VM to make it display video.
Any experienced suggestions welcomed! Thanks!
04-07-2012 10:13 AM
Seconding this request for realtime video display that works in a virtual machine.
I've just now downloaded the new 3.1 SP1 version of Alert Commander, and along with it, the firmware update for my indoor and outdoor cameras.
Gosh Logitech, you've done the best possible job architecting your video surveillance solution. You have gotten amazingly adept at providing EASY monitoring software and camera firmware updates. The improvements in video quality, elimination of jerkiness and increase of the frame rate to 15fpm is AWESOME! No one else does it like you do! Thank you, thank you!
Now all I'm longing for is to be able to leave Alert Commander running 24x7 if I could run it in an ESXi 5.x virtual machine. Original poster is 100% right about it being the "greenest" option. I have a VM server that barely sips power, doesn't need a full-time display screen or honkin big video card. I even have a power monitor on it so I know exactly how much power it uses.
Oh, wait. that's probably the reason your stuff won't run in a VM anyway...no video card. But my VM server motherboard has integrated, low-power video circuitry...wouldn't that do for rendering the video? :-( :-(
I absolutely love your stuff, and it's filling a vital need for me: I live in a wooded area on a large lot. I've had neighbors have things stolen from their homes, even their exterior heat pump compressors being stolen for the copper. This happened next door during the night while my wife and I were sleeping in our home. So my request for Alert Commander to run (properly) in a VM isn't just for fun - these cameras truly protect us and our property.
The Logitech video cameras are far superior to anything out there near the price point. I'm going to stick with your product as best I can unless something else comes along at an equal-or-better price point that can run in a virtual machine, works better, and maybe even works with your cameras.
Until we get to a version of Alert Commander that runs in a VM, I'll use ZoneMinder with (inferior) webcams to take up the slack. ZoneMinder is a Linux app that runs happily in a virtual machine. I use it and a couple webcams as a "backup" system to give me the ability to keep video longer-term than the camera can. It was hard to configure and is just as difficult to update. The parameters you have to conjure up for each of your webcams you use are ridiculously obtruse, and you have to search the internet for some bright person who's already decoded how the camera works.
One other option that will help this, of course, is to put a larger microSD card in the cameras and simply bring up the Logitech Alert Commander every-so-often. Still, that's not quite as good as just keeping it up and running in a VM 24x7....
Thank you all for your work. You have an amazing, fantastic product that my family depends on every day.
07-10-2012 12:51 PM
I did not say I got the Logitech products to work with Zoneminder.
More information on Zoneminder:
Not for the faint of heart .... very challenging to configure, not at all like Logitech Alert Commander.
07-12-2012 09:54 AM
I often run my Commander instance in VMWare Workstation 8 without any problem. I am curious as to what difference exists between ESXi and Workstation that is causing the video rendering to fail. When you run your system on the ESXi instance, do the cameras archive recorded clips to the machine? ie; are there video files in the Logitech Alert Recordings directory? If there are, are you able to play those clips in Windows Media Player?