Understanding ONVIF Compliant Cameras : Introduction to ONVIF Profiles

ONVIF compliant camera

The term “ONVIF” will be encountered by everybody with an interest in IP security cameras at some point. In the world of security technology, ONVIF is becoming more and more popular. Since it is crucial for manufacturers to maintain system compatibility in the security business, the majority of IP camera manufacturers employ the ONVIF protocol. The acronym is very mysterious and can be challenging to fully comprehend. But it’s not always clear what it is and how it fits into contemporary security systems.

This post will make the clearer acronym and dispel some prevalent myths about it.

What is ONVIF Camera?

ONVIF is referred to as Open Network Video Interface Forum. ONVIF was established in 2008 with a mission to promote open standards for the security and surveillance industries, aiming to make the world safer and more secure. Its objective is to establish a standard for communication between various IP-based security devices. By providing a single interface, ONVIF simplifies the deployment of security devices and reduces the complexity of creating an effective security system.

So, what exactly is an ONVIF camera? ONVIF is a global organization and a protocol that enables the seamless interoperability of various surveillance systems and software, regardless of brand. They are typically connected to a network using an Ethernet cable, and they stream video data over the network, allowing them to be accessed from anywhere. In order to ensure network product interoperability for the security market, it is committed to standardizing network device communication. Since its establishment, ONVIF has published a number of documents and standards that outline and specify an adaptable, expandable, and constantly changing interface that specifies the procedures for dealing with and using security devices.

What makes ONVIF Protocol Important?

Prior to the creation of ONVIF, each manufacturer established their own protocols and required support from VMS (Video Management Software) providers. This caused interoperability issues and increased the cost of supporting a variety of devices. Due to these limitations, end users had to pay close attention to camera and software compatibility when designing a VMS. ONVIF changed this by providing a standard protocol for video management software to interface with IP cameras and other devices.

Overall, ONVIF establishes a standard method for device communication. Although not all devices use the same protocols or possess the same capabilities, there are a variety of distinct profiles that different devices and clients must adhere to. ONVIF’s profiles make it easier for them to work in unison, providing end-users with a much more unified experience. Each ONVIF profile specifies a set of rules for how devices should communicate with each other, including what kind of data will be exchanged and how that data should be formatted.

There are two sets of features for each profile: Mandatory (M) and Conditional (C). Mandatory features include those that are deemed necessary for the successful operation of the profile, while conditional features are optional and may be chosen at the user’s discretion. The mandatory features are listed in the ONVIF specifications that are provided under each profile and must be present for devices and clients that are ONVIF compliant to function.


Profiles A, C, D, and M are used by access control systems. Profiles D, G, M, S, and T are used by video surveillance systems.

ONVIF Profiles:

A basic profile is appropriate for configuring an IP camera to broadcast a video stream to a recorder, all of which will operate flawlessly if both devices comply.

Profile A: It can be used by the access control system. Access to regions controlled by card readers and other protocol-compliant devices can be granted or denied according to the creation of customized rules.

Profile C: Access control and event management are supported by this profile. Controlling access to particular areas can be advantageous.

Profile D: When using a device that complies with Profile D, input data is captured and securely transmitted to a Profile D client, including an online access management platform.

Profile G: This profile includes capabilities such as searching, recording, and playing. As a result, recovering recorded videos from SD cards or NVRs can be done in combination with a video management system.

Profile M: It is intended to be used with hardware or software that supports smart analytics. It facilitates the configuration and administration of analytics among compliant devices and users. Additionally, filtering, streaming, and querying of metadata are supported.

Profile Q: The network’s IP security devices, such as IP cameras, can be located using this profile. Scanning the network is one way to accomplish it. As a result, the installation procedure is sped up and made simpler.

Profile S: It is the most fundamental profile that IP devices such as NVRs, video encoders, and IP cameras employ.

Profile T: Similar to Profile S, Profile T is utilized in IP-based video systems. However, compared to Profile S, Profile T enables a number of more sophisticated capabilities. It offers advanced video features like H.265 CODEC compatibility, motion detection, and video analytics.

What does ONVIF compliance entail?

It entails that you may be sure that your product, whether it’s a client or a device, will function with other devices that have been certified at the same level. For instance, a Profile S client and the device should be compatible.

OnVIF offers its members a test tool and a test specification tool to aid with that. To certify conformity with an ONVIF profile, test tools, and methods are employed. Members can proclaim themselves to be ONVIF compliant once all standards for compliance have been satisfied.

Is it true that all IP cameras are ONVIF compliant?

It is impossible to say whether your ONVIF camera is genuinely compliant due to the large number of manufacturers in existence. IP camera chipset makers largely adhere to the ONVIF-created profiles. Such impressive development over a short period of time shows how highly interoperability is currently regarded in the security industry.

Why are ONVIF-compliant devices so prevalent today? With the successive releases of new profiles like T and M, more and more devices are now adhering to the standard. The transition from analog security camera systems to ONVIF IP cameras is another, much more significant commercial security camera trend.

Final Words

Since then, the majority of manufacturers in the security sector (of both software and hardware) have embraced ONVIF. The massive increase in the number of products that use ONVIF standards has had a hugely positive impact on the security industry. This is due to the convenience and cost-efficiency that it brings to the table, making it possible for manufacturers of different security systems to create products that are compatible with one another.

Vadzo Imaging has the engineering expertise to build ONVIF Compliant camera for specific use cases that cannot be directly fulfilled by ONVIF IP Cameras such as cameras with specific sensors, cameras that needs to work in specific environments, cameras that needs to have a specific dimensions, etc. Vadzo has experience with developing ONVIF cameras based on sensors such as AR0234, AR0521, AR0820, and so on.

Hope this post will be the most helpful to you that by knowing the technology behind ONVIF cameras and their use cases. If you require help from us or have any queries, feel free to Contact Us