Foscam FI9821W V1 (and others with media ports)

Foscam FI9821W V1 (and others with media ports)

NOTE: If your camera is a V2 device and does not prompt you for a “media port” you should ignore this document. Newer camera models do not require these extra setup steps.

Recent enhancements to Live Cams Pro for iOS include the ability to support audio and H.264 video from new Foscam models like the FI9821W. These cameras deliver Linear PCM audio (high quality) and 720p H.264 video streams at low bandwidths.

In order to properly configure these devices for external access (and the ability to view on your mobile device from anywhere outside your home) you will need to take an extra step. On your router you would normally need to configure a “port forwarding” rule to expose the camera’s web interface and be able to reach it from your mobile device. This is still true with the new Foscams but it does not provide access to the audio/video content. On these newer models they have a second port which is used to transfer the streams, called the “media port”.

Live Cams Pro now connects to the camera over the HTTP port and asks for various settings and properties when it first loads. One of the properties it acquires is the value for the “media port”. It then attempts to open a connection directly to the media port and using a custom protocol it starts to fetch and decode the audio/video streams. On a local network you can reach the media port without any special setup. When connected using a cell network or a wifi network outside of your home you’ll need to tell your router to pass data through to the media port and not block the access.

In your router, find the area where “applications” or port forwarding rules are configured. You may need to contact your router manufacturer for docs or instructions on this. Add a rule so that the UDP and TCP port with the same value as the media port is forwarded to the internal IP address of the camera and the same port # for the media port.

For example, if your camera is internally configured as:

Internal IP 192.168.1.5,  HTTP port 80 and media port 12000

Then on your router you would configure two port forwarding rules:

1. External HTTP port (say 8080) using TCP is forwarded to the camera at 192.168.1.5 on port 80

2. External media port 12000 using TCP/UDP is forwarded to the camera at 192.168.1.5 on port 12000

This allows you to reach the device by using a third party app like ours, or a mobile browser with this URL:

http://routerIP:8080

Using a DNS account from providers like no-ip.org will allow you to assign a text-based label for your routerIP rather than having to type in the ugly numbers. Keep in mind that your internet provider may change the router’s IP address once in a while and this would require you to update their system with the new IP address when it happens. Most providers offer desktop applications which automatically update the servers as needed.

One more thing to note. Most cameras are configured to use DHCP automatically. This means that when they power up or reboot, the router automatically assigns it an IP address based on the next available one in your network. This can cause your router configuration to be pointing to an old IP address and not to the camera anymore. In our app, it will appear as though a camera that once loaded fine is now failing to load. To resolve this we would recommend NOT using DHCP but instead configure the camera using a STATIC IP so that it will always load with the same IP address.

Hopefully this article helps many new IP camera owners understand a bit more about basic networking setup. Without this knowledge it can be very frustrating and often confusing about how to use your new toy!

Live Cams Pro is available on iTunes for all iOS devices with v5.1 and up. It supports thousands of device models from a wide variety of manufacturers.

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