The netcam plugin from Homeseer is a basic tool to grab pictures from your network cameras. To use motion areas, virtual devices |(when a camera is triggered), grab snapshots, start recording of cameras, then (a connection to) BlueIris is a much nicer piece of software.

I have this setup already for more than 4 years, but see a lot of people struggle to get it working. Hopefully this will clear up the questions and give the benefit of a free communication tool (except Homeseer and Blueiris).

This tutorial don’t need the BlueIris plugin in Homeseer.

What do you need:

  • Homeseer 3
  • BlueIris (v3 / v4)
  • Camera(s) that is/are compatible with BlueIris
  • Virtual device(s) in Homeseer
  • Free tool “BICommand.exe” (download link at the bottom of the page).

BlueIris camera configuration

Basic start is to setup your camera(s) in BlueIris. The shortname of the camera in the camera properties is left as default name (like: cam1, cam2 or cam3, etc)

I use different time profiles, for during the day and night, so specific areas will be watched. In my case it’s just a matter of time profiles (setting within BlueIris). The scheduler in BlueIris will switch the different time profiles automatically.

Queue images

When the camera is configured, in the Post tab of the camera, a file will be queued to my local webserver with the name of the camera. This image will be used in several tools (i.e. HSTouch), to provide to last motion triggered picture but also on a running website to provide data from Homeseer (as a replacement of HSTouch).

Request from web service

Finally in tab Alerts, the option “Request from web service” is activated. In the “When triggered” section of this option, a JSON command is added to control a virtual device in Homeseer. The virtual device is created to monitor that specific camera when the last motion is triggered.

Homeseer configuration

The virtual device is just a standard On/Off virtual device, even the Status Only checkbox is not selected.

like:

http://

<HS3-IP>/JSON?request=controldevicebylabel&ref=179&label=On

So in case when the camera will trigger motion, a web request is activated to Turn On a virtual device(HS3 ref=179) in Homeseer (and other actions, like events are possible because of this device status change).

In my case, when the virtual device is triggered, an event will start with the following commands (the “netcam” folder in the urls below don’t need the actual “Netcam” plugin):

  • Run a script – Execute immediately script command: &hs.GetURLImage(“http:\<camera-ip>:<camera-port>”,”\snapshot.cgi?user=<camera-user>&pwd=<camera-password>”, TRUE, 80, “\html\netcam\voordeurcam.jpg”)
    • This command will grab a picture from the camera and store it in the Homeseer HS3\html\netcam folder with the name “voordeurcam.jpg”. This image will be used in a later command.
  • Run a script = Execute immediatly script command: &hs.setdevicestring(179, “<a href='<webserver-ip>:<webserver-port>\voordeurcam.jpg’ target=’_blank’><img src=’http:\\<webserver-ip>:<webserver-port>\voordeurcam.jpg’ width=’150px’></img></a>”, true)
    • This command grab the queued/posted image which is created earlier in BlueIris, and store it as an clickable (web)link in the devicestring of the same virtual device in Homeseer.
  • Set a device – in this case the virtual device with ref 179 to Off (which means BlueIris can set is to On again the next time motion is triggered).

The complete virtual device will be shown like this:

When you click on the image (blurred in this case), a new browser tab will open with the image in actual screen resolution of the camera (640×480, 1920×1080, etc).

Control BlueIris from Homeseer

It’s possible to control the camera in Blueiris, from Homeseer. For this you’ll need the free tool “BICommand.exe” It was long time ago available on the “cam-it.org” website, which is currently down but you can download it at the bottom of this blog post.

This executable has to be copied in the root of the Blue iris installation folder, in my case: “C:\Program Files\Blue Iris 4”. Be aware that Blue Iris 3 is installed in the “Program Files (x86)” folder and BlueIris 4 is not.

With the BICommand tool several commands can be accomplished, like:

trigger triggers an motion event
recstart starts manual recording of the camera(s)
recstop stops manual recording of the camera(s)
snapshot takes a snapshot of the camera(s) and stores it in the recording folder
reset resets the camera(s)
enable enables the camera(s)
disable disables the camera(s)
profile enable a specific profile

The command has to be entered in a .bat file.

In my setup, the bat files are stored in the Homeser Scripts folder. The name of a bat file can be anything, like “cam2enable.bat”. The file will enable cam2 in BlueIris. The bat file contains the following data (with quotes!!):

Location-BICommand command shortname-of-camera

“C:\Program Files\Blue Iris 4\bicommand.exe” enable cam2

The bat file will be launched from a Homeseer event:

Action in the event, choose for “Run another program or process”. Point to the Homeseer/Scripts folder and select the bat file, in this case “cam2enable.bat”.

Run the event and you will see in BlueIris that the camera will be disabled. Why do you want to disable a camera? For example, when you are at home, the camera stream in the livingroom can be disabled in BlueIris, because otherwise it will be triggered all the time, which is probably not necessary. Or enable a camera when the alarm-away mode is activated and disable it until the alarm is deactivated.

 

Another case could be start recording for specific cameras, based on needs from Homeseer. The command in one bat file could be:

“C:\Program Files\Blue Iris 4\bicommand.exe” recstart cam1
“C:\Program Files\Blue Iris 4\bicommand.exe” recstart cam2
“C:\Program Files\Blue Iris 4\bicommand.exe” recstart cam3

 

Downloads:

  BICommand (195.3 KiB, 313 hits)

Privacy Preference Center