If you have purchased an Axis IP Security camera for your home or business, you will most likely be looking for a robust and easy to use recording suite. For this, Axis offer their Axis Camera Station software. This is a premium application which provides a way of monitoring and recording from your Axis IP CCTV camera and will work with up to 50 cameras simultaneously.
For those, however, who are on a tight budget or are looking to test the software before they buy the full version, Axis also offer Axis Camera Station One. This offers all of the functionality available to the full package but limits the number of concurrent cameras to one.
The Axis Camera Station One installation files are available in one of two ways. They can either be installed from the CD that comes with your Axis security camera, or can be downloaded directly from the Axis website.
Install From CD
To install the software from CD, place the CD into your drive and let it autostart. If it does not, go to “My Computer”, double click the CD drive icon and double click “Autostart.exe”. At this point you should see a screen with Axis Network Video Products CD. From this click “Install Product” and “Large Installations”, then click “AXIS Camera Station One”. A popup will appear asking you to select your language. Select the correct language and click “Ok”. At this point it is a good idea to check your version. The screen that comes up should read “The application will install Axis Camera Station 3.0”. If the software version is less than this you may want to download the files directly from Axis as stated below.
Install From Download
To Download the Axis Camera Station One installation files, download them directly from the Axis Download Area. This may require you to register with Axis should you have not done so previously. On the right hand side of this page is a box marked “Free of Charge” containing a link marked “Download Software”. If you haven’t registered at this point you will need to do so. The main download page should appear after you log in.
Aside from providing the link to download the installation files for Axis Camera Station One V3, the page also gives information about upgrading from version 2. If you have an existing version of Axis Camera Station on your machine I would advise uninstalling it if possible. If not, follow this information before proceeding. Please note that recordings and settings cannot be transferred from one version to the next. To view older recordings you will need to keep the existing camera station on your system as well.
To begin the download, click link marked “Download AXIS Camera Station One” at the bottom of the page and save it onto your computer in a location that you can access easily.
From this point, the setup process is very similar to that of the CD. Run the program from the location you downloaded it to, select your language and click “Ok”. From the main install screen click “next” to continue. If you receive a pop-up box saying that your graphics card drivers need to be updated to run the Axis Camera Station Client, click “Ok” and continue with the installation. Now, click the radio button beside “I agree” and click “Next”. You will now be able to choose where you wish your software to be installed. If you have any preference other than the default enter it here, otherwise click “Next”.
The next screen offers you the option of installing either a full installation or just the client software. If you have an existing installation of Axis Camera Station which you would like to connect to over a network then select “AXIS Camera Station Client” from the drop-down menu. Otherwise, make sure “Full Installation” is selected in the drop-down box and click “Next”. You will now be shown some information regarding remote access to Axis Camera Station. If you are expecting to use Axis Camera Station from one machine only then you do not need to pay any attention to this window. If you are planning on using the client software over the network connection you will need to make sure that either the windows firewall or any third party firewalls are opened. Click “Next” to continue. Select whether you would like a desktop shortcut or not and click “Next”. The next page will offer you a recap of the choices selected. If you wish to make any changes, click “Back” and amend your choices. Otherwise click “Install” to begin the program installation.
Once installation has been completed you should see a small film reel with a green tick appear in your system tray next to your clock. The final screen of the installation will offer you the chance to launch the client software upon exiting the installation program. Leave this ticked and click “Finish”.
Axis Camera Station Overview
For those who are not familiar with the way Axis Camera Station works, there are two separate programs which work together, the client and server software. The server software should be running constantly on your recording machine. This handles all the communication with the camera and the recording to your hard disk or network drive. The client software can either be run on the same machine as the server software or can be run on a remote machine, for example checking an installation at a business premises from a home computer. Using the client software over an internet connection can often be a slow process due to the bandwidth restrictions inherent to modern broadband connections, but can provide invaluable notification or piece of mind when away from site.
Once the installation page closes, a small window will pop up saying “Connect to Axis camera station Server”. This is the client software trying to connect to the server software. If your server is on the same machine, leave the “Use Local Server” box ticked and click “Connect”. If you are trying to access a server on another machine you will need to specify either the local or internet address of that server.
The “License Selection” window will now appear. The Licensed version will require a premium software license code and will allow you to record from up to 50 IP cameras. Should you require one of these licenses please visit the Axis Camera Station page on our store. The demo license will give you full functionality for 30 days but will allow you to add up to 4 cameras. The one we want, however, is “AXIS Camera Station One – Free Version”. Select it and click “Ok”.
After a couple of seconds the AXIS Camera Station Client main page should come up and begin searching for local cameras. Once finished, you will see the main landing page for Axis Camera Station. To add your camera, click “Configuration” at the top of the screen, then click “Add/Edit Cameras…”. A new window will appear which will display your installed cameras. At this point it should be empty. Click “Add…” at the bottom of the page.
The “Add Camera” window should now be shown. This is where you need to input the settings for your IP camera. The “Name” field is to help you know which camera is which, so with the single camera version of Axis Camera Station, where only one camera is used, it is not that important. Enter a name for the camera. The “Address” and “Port” fields are where you enter the IP address and port number of your camera. You can always test that this information is correct by entering it into a web browser along with the port number to see if your camera is accessible. Leave the “Enabled” box ticked.
The “Video Port” drop down is meant for analogue video servers such as the Axis 241Q where multiple video sources go through the same device. If you are not using a video server you can leave this on “1”. Under the “Credentials” heading, click the “Use specific credentials” radio button. You can then add in the username and password that you have specified for the camera. Once this information is entered, click “Ok”. Once the window closes, click “Close” on the “Add/Edit Cameras” page to return to the main window.
In order to view your cameras, click on the button at the top of the screen. This will take you to the view screen. Don’t worry if you cannot see your camera immediately. This screen is customisable so that different screen layouts with a varied amount of cameras can be used. Because we’re only using the one camera, click “Camera Views” in the “View Groups” pane on the left hand side of the screen, then click the icon for your camera. You will now see your camera on the screen.
Axis have added some tools below this window which will appear dependant on the abilities of your camera. If your camera offers audio (such as an Axis 211A) you will see an audio drop-down which will offer you a volume slider. You should also see a “PTZ Control” drop down. This will appear even if your camera does not have any native pan, tilt or zoom functionality. For static cameras, you will be able to use the controls to digitally move the image and zoom in and out. For PTZ cameras (such as the Axis 215) you can use the controls to move the image in the same way as a static camera, but may also use these controls to physically move the camera and zoom in and out.
If you move your mouse over your camera image, you may have noticed in the top right of the screen there is a gray “REC” button. Before clicking this, you will want to check the location to which your camera is recording. To check this, click “Configuration” and select “Recording Storage…”. Alternatively, click the button and click “Recording Storage”.
This screen shows the location where Axis Camera Station stores images from the camera. On the top left hand side of the page you should see local hard disks on your server. Should you not see one which you wish to use, select “Add server disk…” just below this window. Additionally, should you have access to Network Attached Storage or shared drives on other machines, you can add these by clicking “Add network disk…”.
To the right of this you will see a green and red bar with a slider. This illustrates the current capacity and free space on the selected disk and also allows you to set a recording limit. Recordings will be made up to this limit. As soon as this limit is reached the recordings will then be overwritten. It is always best to leave at least 2GB of free space on any hard disk at a given time to prevent the operating system becoming unstable. Below this you will see a directory where your footage will be stored. You can alter this by clicking the “Edit” button.
At the bottom of the screen you will see the current recording path. Should you wish to set a maximum life on your surveillance footage, to save you having to delete items manually, click “Edit” just below this window. A pop-up window will appear on which you will see a tick box marked “Unlimited”. This means the images will stay on the server permanently. To alter this, un-tick the box and enter a time limit (in days) in the box provided. Once you are happy with these settings click “OK” to save the settings and close the window.
There are a few recording methods with Axis Camera Station, namely continuous, motion detection and manual. To access these, in the configuration screen, click “Recording Settings”. A window will appear with your cameras. Select your camera then choose from one of the three recording methods.
“Continuous…” recording does what it says on the tin. A constant stream of images will be taken from the camera and saved. When clicked, a window will appear. Tick “Enable” and if necessary set up a recording schedule, for instance if you wanted a stream from your camera whenever you were out of the office. Click “OK” to save your settings and close the window.
With “Motion Detection…”, the camera will record images only when motion is detected. Again, to enable the system click “Enable”. The “Trigger Period” is the minimum amount of time which can pass before another event is triggered, also known as “dead time”. The Pre- and Post-buffer settings refer to images that are recorded just before and just after motion is detected. Adjusting these will adjust the amount of time that is recorded before and after an event. Again, choose a schedule if need be and click “OK” to save your settings.
The “Manual…” button offers adjustments for the manual recording system on the live view page. On here you can alter the resolution, speed and quality of images being recorded by the camera. Again, click “OK” to save these settings.
For more information on Axis Camera Station One visit the Network Webcams store.