Let’s face it, it’s not fun when things don’t work properly which is why I was a little annoyed recently – very big understatment! – when I discovered my TRENDnet TV-IP310pi cameras had a slight flaw, a flaw which is scarcely documented but fairly fundemental to the overall use of the camera… oh and did I forget to mention I own 5 of these cameras, all installed around my house, all which had the same problem? Yup!
So what is the actual problem?
Well the cameras work perfectly in the day delivering 25 frames per second of crisp 1080p footage which is great BUT when the night time comes – as it does – performance takes a dramatic hit and you are lucky to get a maximum of 4 frames per second… which is pretty rubbish! For months I’ve been thinking it was a problem with my home server – an Intel I7 920 quad core 2.4GHz running VMware – and I came to the conclusion that I needed a new rig as it just couldn’t cope with the amount of data passing through but oh was I wrong!
Anyway, long story short after pestering my friend Chris at work – who also runs his own CCTV system, only with the identical Hikvision DS-2CD2032F-I cameras – some extensive testing was done – I’ll spare you the details – but we came to the conclusion that the hardware was good, the network was good and were stumped until we found an Amazon review which also mentioned the same problem!
This unfortunatley opened up a can of worms and what followed was a very stressful 3 days which involved not sleeping much, scouring forums, downloading all sorts of firmware and almost losing ALL hope and contacting support! However, I’m very pleased to report that all of my cameras are now running the latest TRENDnet firmware – v5.3.4 – and are delivering 25 FPS 1080p footage at night time – Wow!
So how easy is it to fix?
The fix is easier than you might think, but you do need to be brave as we are essentially going to ‘brick’ the camera and make it an expensive paper weight by installing the Hikvision firmware, then we will reload the TRENDnet firmware fresh and enjoy ALL the frames per second! You might think this is a mad idea, but the TRENDnet TV-IP310pi is actually a rebranded version of the Hikvision DS-2CD2032F-I, so deep down the hardware is the same it just has a different sticker on the side.
I used the following files found below, combined with an XP laptop that was connected by cable directly to the PoE switch, this was connected to the camera directly and ideally you’ll want to unplug all other devices so you only have the camera and the laptop plugged in but I might have got a bit lazy towards the end… Also, my Windows 7 laptop struggled to transfer the firmware as the TFTP file transfer kept looping and wouldn’t complete, hence using an old XP machine.
I’m up for the challenge!
Great! Before you continue please be aware that I won’t be liable if this goes wrong and it will reset your camera back to the factory default settings! I’ve done this process 5 times flawlessly so far but still – proceed at your own risk!
Whenever the camera boots it scans a predefined IP for a TFTP server, if it finds this server it looks for a specific file and because of this we can do the recovery without having to open the camera up or get ‘hands on’! I reflashed all my cameras with them still fixed in position on the house, minimal effort required!
- Download the files found here, extract them somewhere safe and keep reading
- Change your computers network settings so the IP address is 188.8.131.52, see picture below:
- Connect your computer to the switch along with the camera, disable any other connections network – FLASH VIA ETHERNET CABLE ONLY!
- Copy the Hikvision_5-1-6–digicap.dav file into the TFTP Server folder and rename it digicap.dav
- Run tftpserv.exe and then restart your camera, after a few seconds you should see the following:
- Now you won’t get any confirmation here, so leave it 2 or 3 minutes then unplug your camera, close the tftpserv.exe and repeat step 3 but this time use the Trendnet_5-3-4–digicap.dav file
- Now start tftpserv.exe again and connect your IP camera, this time after a few minutes you’ll see a system update complete message like below:
- Close of tftpserv.exe and reboot the camera, after a few minutes check your router and you’ll have a fresh IP camera sat on DHCP waiting be configured! If you can’t find your camera straight away, don’t panic! Install the auto discovery program (SADPTool_V184.108.40.206.exe) and find the camera that way
I did try updating to the latest TRENDnet firmware via the web interface before going down the TFTP route but it still gave me low frames per second at night using the identical 5.3.4 file… I’m guessing installing the Hikvision firmware first completely screwed things up, after that the camera is left fresh, ready for the TRENDnet firmware? Either way it worked and I’m a happy nerd!
- Again, I can’t be liable if this goes wrong for you!
- The files in the link above were all found on the Internet, I take no credit, all credit belongs to the respective authors (presuming that is Hikvision? Thanks!)
- If you get really stuck I can reflash your cameras, after all not everyone has an old XP relic lying around! Drop me an email, pay for postage and send your camera in a box along with a little gift!
- I found an easy way to tell the camera state during the reflashing process which is to do a constant ping to the IP addresses below – Note that in order to use this method you’ll need to assign your network card two IP addresses (220.127.116.11 and 192.168.1.128):
- 18.104.22.168 – Camera is in rescue mode
- 192.168.1.64 – Camera firmware has updated but not yet rebooted
- No response from either – Somethings not right!
- You can find the latest TRENDnet firmware direct from their website here
- From various forum posts I read some people were saying you can flash using any TFTP server software, however this isn’t the case as you must use the Hikvision TFTP server as there is a special initiation process which waits for certain key to be sent back and forward before the firmware updating process begins
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