Support Center

"Could not connect" error, or stays in the "Connecting..." state when trying to view my camera

Mar 09, 2017

If Sighthound Video cannot communicate with your camera, this text appears in the Monitor view video pane: "Could not connect. We will keep trying. If this continues, you can click here to go to the camera setup test screen."

could not connect dialog

Similarly, if your connection periodically drops, this text appears in the Monitor view video pane: "Connecting... Finding your camera and turning it on. Please wait."

connecting

If you are using a webcam:

  • Make sure your webcam is plugged into your computer. Unplug it and plug it in again to make sure it hasn't come loose.
  • The most likely explanation is that the camera is being used by another application that is running. See if another application like a video chat program is running, and if so quit it.
  • Some applications may for some reason end up in a state where the application is not running, but they still have control of the camera. If that is the case you may need to reboot your computer. Make sure another webcam application is not starting automatically. If you use Windows, check to make sure there is not an icon on the bottom right of your screen (the "system tray") that contains a webcam application. If you use a Macintosh, check the icons on the top right title bar.
  • Verify if you have the latest drivers for your webcam:
    1. Download the latest USB camera driver the camera manufacturer's website.
    2. Uninstall the current driver.
    3. Unplug the camera from USB (important).
    4. Reinstall the latest driver that you downloaded.
    5. Plug the camera in again.
  • Alternatively, in some cases the default Windows drivers may work in cases where the manufacturer's driver does not:
    1. Uninstall the current driver.
    2. Unplug the camera from USB (important).
    3. Plug the camera in again
  • If you haven't already, you can try another application to make sure your webcam is working. If you have an external webcam (one that you plug into the computer rather than one that is built in), it probably came with a disk containing software that uses the webcam. If not, there are freeware applications on the Internet that can be downloaded. Most Macintosh computers come pre-installed with a video chat application called iChat. You can click "Cancel" at the login screen and still see if the video is working.
    • If you cannot get your webcam to work using another application, you can try consulting the documentation or support website of your camera's manufacturer.
    • If you can get your webcam to work but it does not show up in the Sighthound Video camera setup wizard, there are not any common known causes for this symptom. It may be the result of an intermittent or temporary problem that can be resolved by restarting Sighthound Video or rebooting your computer.
  • Avoid using USB "extension" cables. Some of these work well (especially "active" extension cables), but others can make your USB connection unreliable. If the connection works reliably without the extension but not with the extension, then the extension is probably the problem.
  • Plug straight into the PC without using any USB hubs. Some hubs, especially hubs that don't have their own power source, can't provide enough power to power-hungry devices like webcams. If the connection works reliably without the hub but not with the hub, then the hub is probably the problem. You can try to replace the hub with a new, powered hub.

If you are using a network (IP) camera:

  • Make sure you have a strong Wi-Fi signal--this problem will occur whenever your Wi-Fi connection drops. Potential causes include:
    • The Wi-Fi signal at the camera is too weak for the camera to hold a good connection (note that cameras in general need a stronger signal than laptops or PCs do, so your signal might look “good” in the same location on a computer, but still be too weak to keep a camera streaming consistently). To see if this is the problem, try moving the camera closer to your router (or vice-versa), or even leaving the camera plugged into your router. If weak signal is the problem, a few things to try:
      • Place your router at a higher location, such as on a shelf. If possible, try locating it in a place that minimizes the number of walls between it and the camera (Wi-Fi signals have a hard time getting through walls).
      • Change the channel of your router. Like TV sets, wireless signals are sent on channels. Many products ship with a default channel set to 6. If your neighbors are all on the same channel, you can try using your router software to change the channel to 1 or 11 (farthest away from 6).
    • Electrical interference from a device like a cordless phone or microwave can cause the signal to drop. If you suspect this is the problem, you can try to move your camera away from these devices. If the problem stops when you moved the camera away from a cordless phone or similar device, you might consider replacing that device with another one that uses a different frequency.
    • The camera hardware itself has issues and doesn't keep a good network connection. Try connecting your camera into your network temporarily with a network (Ethernet) cable. Connect it either directly to your router or to a network jack if you have one, and see if the problem disappears. If the problem still exists your camera hardware likely has a problem in its network interface.
  • Note that your computer needs to be connected to the network to which the camera is connected. If you set up Sighthound Video on a laptop and took the laptop to a different location outside the range of your Wi-Fi network, you will not be able to see your cameras (even if you have internet access on a different network).
  • Check that you have the latest firmware in your camera; if not download and install the latest version, and try again. Check the camera to see that it is on and powered (usually an LED light is on, unless you have disabled it.)
  • To verify if your settings are correct, click the link that says "here" on the screen above. This launches the camera setup assistant, where you can click the “view your camera from your browser” link. That link attempts to connect directly to your camera’s web interface based on the IP address settings you entered when you set up your camera. (The IP address is the number used by your computer to communicate with the camera.)
    • If you can connect to the website, that means that the settings are correct and your camera is working properly, but Sighthound Video cannot access it. There isn't a common cause for this scenario. It might be an intermittent network problem, or a random state where rebooting the computer and trying again will work. If you cannot connect to the website, that suggests the problem is somewhere between the camera and the network.
    • If you cannot connect for the first time, try to verify that the user name and password you entered in the camera settings screen is correct.
  • Check to make sure the IP address has not changed. The camera settings in the Sighthound Video application require an IP address. which is a number (like a real address) that the software uses to find the camera on your network (it will look something like 10.0.1.1). A "dynamic" address means that your network assigns a number--and that it can change if the camera or your network hardware power is turned off, for example. A "static" address means that you are assigned a number that is stored and doesn't change. IP cameras typically come with software that helps you find the IP address. Usually you click a button called "refresh" or "scan" to check your network for connected cameras. When they are found, the IP address is displayed. Make sure that the IP address in the Options dialog camera setup screen is the same as the current IP address. For recommended methods of working with the IP address of your camera, you can go to the Getting started tab and select your configuration.
  • Some cameras use the "RTSP" protocol rather than the "HTTP" protocol. You can verify this in the Settings screen of the camera setup assistant. If so, check if it has settings for the rtsp authentication method on its configuration page. If so, 'digest' mode is not supported by Sighthound Video, it must be configured to use either 'basic' or 'none."
  • Try creating a new camera with the same settings, just in case something was wrong with the old setup.
  • Quit and re-launch the application.

If you are using the ESET NOD32 antivirus application:

The NOD32 application can conflict with Sighthound Video. If you have connection problems, you can try the following:
1. Download the latest version of Nod32 (version 4.2.35 or later).
2. Go to setup and choose "Enter entire advanced setup tree..."

nod32 setup tree

3. Choose "Exclusions" under "Antivirus and antispyware", then click "Add..."

nod32 exclusions

4. Add the excluded data directory, called “Sighthound Video." For Windows 7, the location of the data directory is C:\Users\<your user name>\App Data\Local\Sighthound Video.

5. Select Sighthound Video to prevent Nod32 from potentially interfering with Sighthound Video network traffic. If you have moved the location of your video storage from its default in the Sighthound Video folder, then you should also add an exclusion for the video storage folder (follow steps 2-4 above). These steps should eliminate any direct virus scanner conflicts, and should also reduce the load on your CPU.