ONVIF: Open Network Video Interface Forum

What is ONVIF?

To put it simply, ONVIF will create a communication standard between video surveillance devices and other physical security areas. The goal is to achieve interoperability between network video products, even if they are manufa ctured by different companies. The standardized interfaces that ONVIF creates will promote effective interoperability of IP-based physical security products that are conformant to ONVIF standards.

ONVIF as an organization was started by Axis Communication, Bosch Security Systems and Sony. ONVIF membership is open to manufacturers, software developers, consultants, system integrators, and all end users and other interest groups that wish to participate in this forum. So far ONVIF has 480 active members, including prominent companies such as ASSA ABLOY AB, Canon Inc. , Huawei Technologies Co., Panasonic Corporation etc.

How does ONVIF relate to physical security?

Essentially, ONVIF enables the users to choose their ideal surveillance device without worrying about it being incompatible with video management softwares. When users make decisions regarding security devices, they are not no longer locked in to a specific brand, since ONVIF CCTV and ONVIF IP cameras are conformant to a unified standard. Take a realistic example to see how ONVIF can be applied in real life scenarios:

When the police department of a city is trying to determine which surveillance cameras to purchase and install, it faces a dilemma: cameras with different functions and features are needed to ensure the comprehensive surveillance of the city. Various features such as strength, accuracy, and angles are required, and they are provided by different vendors. The cost might be prohibited and the process of analyzing and integrating those video data are potentially complex as well.

With ONVIF standards, however, the police department can choose the devices freely among different manufacturers and vendors as long as they are ONVIF conformant. Products from different manufacturers can be used under the same system since they ‘’speak the same language’’. Devices such as ONVIF IP camera and ONVIF CCTV are totally compatible to one universal standard, so there will be no issue for such devices to communicate with each other. In this way, the police department has a wide range of vendors and manufacturers to choose from, without spending extra money and human resources on the software part of video management process.

How is ONVIF used in practice?

ONVIF is used widely in practice covering various areas of the video product and network interface fields:

● IP configuration
● Device discovery
● Device management
● Media configuration
● Real time viewing
● Event handling
● PTZ camera control
● Video analytics
● Security

How can I find ONVIF compatible devices?

If you are looking for ONVIF compatible devices in general , simply go to https://www.ONVIF.org/conformant-products/ , and in the Application Type drop-down menu, select Device , the start the Search , a full list of conformant devices are presented. Notice that the ONVIF Conformant Product List is the authoritative source for determining whether a product is ONVIF Conformant.

If you are looking for ONVIF camera list specifically, simply type Camera in the Product Name column, and start the Search . In the ONVIF camera list, the names, profiles, approved dates, as well as the manufacturers of the cameras are listed.

Below is an image of two ONVIF conformant cameras, models Axis dome cameras 212PTZ and M3005-V respectively.

ONVIF compatible cameras
Axis Dome 212PTZ and M3005-V

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