Using VLC to Locate Packet Loss

IMPORTANT: The information in this article is specific to Orchid version 1.12.7 or earlier.  Equivalent instructions for Orchid versions 2.0.0 and above are available in the Orchid Core VMS Administrator Guide in the chapter "Advanced Topics: Checking for Packet Loss".


VLC can be used to identify packet loss in a video stream which can often prevent a camera from recording properly. Before starting this guide, ensure you have VLC installed on your computer. For installation instructions, please visit VLC’s documentation here:

To start, open VLC. When VLC opens, hit CTRL + N on the keyboard to open the Open Media window (shown below).

In the Please enter a network URL box, enter the RTSP URL of the camera you want to stream. Consult your camera’s owner manual for the exact RTSP URL to use for your camera.

Click the Play button to start streaming the camera in VLC. Right-click on the video in VLC (or the blank black area if the video has not started playing) and select Tools then Media Information.

The Current Media Information window will open. Click the Statistics tab. Under the video section, it will list the number of decoded blocks, displayed frames, and lost frames. If the Lost frames count is increasing, the video stream is dropping frames.

In this example, only 9 frames were lost after streaming for about five minutes. This is acceptable and will not prevent video from recording. However, if a large number of frames are being dropped per second, there is a network issue that will prevent our software from successfully recording video from the camera.

Once network related issues are resolved and VLC is able to stream video from the camera (when using VLC directly on the server that will be recording the camera’s stream) without significant frame loss, our software should be able to record the camera successfully.

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