When you add a camera to Orchid Core VMS, that camera should come with a Primary stream (which will be used for recording), and several inactive streams, by default. Each of these streams will have different settings such as recording style, resolution, and frame rate. Beginning in version 21.12, Orchid Core VMS and Orchid Fusion/Hybrid VMS support multiple active streams. This means that Administrators may enable a Secondary stream for each camera (with different stream settings), to accommodate different recording and viewing requirements. This provides Users with a variety of streams to choose from when viewing video on the Stage.

Use Cases for Secondary Streams

Assigning secondary streams may be useful from a couple of perspectives, both centered around the amount of data that needs to be processed for viewing and recording video.

Viewing Video

More and more, users want to record video at higher resolutions (such as 1080p, or even higher at 3, 4, or 5 megapixels). With a single, Primary stream, the system is forced to record at this high resolution and decode the video for remote viewing at the same time. That’s a lot of data to move. But are those high resolutions really needed on the Stage? If the Stage is displaying 20 or 30 Players, those Players are going to be relatively small, and in this case, high resolution is essentially wasted. With a Primary and a Secondary stream, you have the ability to choose a lower resolution stream for the Stage, while saving the high resolution stream for recorded video.

CPU Usage

In some situations, the Orchid Core VMS server (the recording server) is also used as an on-site viewing workstation. When the server is recording a large number of high resolution video streams, while simultaneously trying to display all of that high resolution video, it takes a lot of computer horsepower to do it. (The more horsepower required, the more expensive the server will be.) If the computer could decode and display lower resolution video for the Stage, the server would not need to be quite as powerful, and would be less costly. Primary and secondary streams allow us to view lower resolution video on the Stage, while still recording high resolution video to the archives.

Tips for Secondary Streams

Here are some important things to consider when using Primary and Secondary streams.

  • If you decide to use Primary and Secondary streams, and plan to record both, keep in mind that both of these streams will consume some amount of disk space.
    • The IPConfigure Design Tool (at calculator.ipconfigure.com) may be used to estimate the amount of disk space you will need to accommodate the Primary and Secondary streams you are planning to configure. The key parameters to select for each calculation are: number of cameras, image resolution, frames per second, and number of days of storage.
  • If you decide to enable secondary streams, consider adding “primary” and “secondary” to the stream names (which will make them easier to identify in places like the System Report.)
  • Motion detection can only be performed on Primary streams.
    • Primary streams may be configured with any of the five available Recording Styles.
    • Secondary streams must be configured with one of the following Recording Styles: Continuous Recording Without Motion Detection or Proxy Only (no video will be recorded).
  • Since high-resolution camera streams are more likely to cause problems, it may be best to assign lower resolution streams as Primary streams. (The Primary stream will be used by default when adding a camera to the Stage.)
  • Beginning in version 22.3, when you export video:
    • You will be able to select which stream to export.
    • If you do not make a selection, the system will export the stream with the highest resolution.


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