DW Spectrum Full User Guide - DVRCMS.Com

DW Spectrum Full User Guide

DW Spectrum Full User Guide, This Quick User's Guide provides the steps you need to view live video, search and view archived video and export recorded video evidence to your local computer or to a removable media device. Contains the following sections: • View Live Video • Search/View Archive Video • Exporting Recorded Video

Note: Depending on your individual access rights, you may not be able to view all of the functionality documented in this guide.

Accessing the DW Spectrum Web

DW Spectrum Web Client

In addition to the DW Spectrum® IPVMS desktop client, Administrators may use their web browsers to access the web client of their DW Spectrum® Server where they may view video and manage select administrative settings of their server.

This article will outline how to access the DW Spectrum® Web Client and some of the features within the interface.


Note:  The DW Spectrum® IPVMS Web Client is supports Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari, and Microsoft Edge.


Note:  The use of “server” in this article refers to the computer on which the DW Spectrum® IPVMS server application is installed.

The use of “system” in this article is used interchangeably to refer to either an individual server or to a group of merged servers.


Supported/Affected Devices:

  • DW Blackjack® Server Series


Opening the DW Spectrum® Web Client


Open Through DW Spectrum® IPVMS Desktop Client

To open the web client using the DW Spectrum® IPVMS desktop client, right-click on the target server, then select Server Web Page.

Your computer's default will open to the login page of the server's web client.



Manually Connect Through a Web Browser

To open the web client using a web browser, open a web browser and enter the server's Web Admin URL into the address bar, then press the Enter key.

  • URL Structure:  http://:
  • Example:

If you are able to connect with the server through your current network connection, the login page of the server's web client will display.


Note:  The default Server Port value of DW Spectrum® IPVMS is 7001.

Read Next Article's.


Logging In to the DW Spectrum® Web Client

Upon reaching the login page of the web client, there are two options for logging in:

  • Enter the Login and  that you use when utilizing the DW Spectrum® desktop client
    • Default Login:  admin
    • Default Password:  admin12345
  • Enter the Email and Password associated with your DW Cloud™ account



Features of DW Spectrum® IPVMS Web Client

The interface of the web client is divided into six (6) tabbed pages, accessible to users depending on their user role permissions – SettingsViewMonitoringFor Developers, and Help.


Settings Tab

The Settings Tab is comprised of two menus – Server and System.


Features of the Server menu:

  • Info – displays the system associated with the server, your current user profile, the current server and IP address, current version of DW Spectrum® IPVMS, server platform, and other associated (merged) servers of the system.
  • Port – current access port used by the DW Spectrum® server for communication across network connections.
  • Reset Server – by clicking the Restore Factory Defaults button, all settings, features, and database configurations will be defaulted.  Additionally, if the server is part of a merged system, it will be detached from the array.
  • Detach Server from the System – by clicking the Detach from the System button, the current server will be removed from its merged system and all of its registered DW Cloud™ accounts will be removed from the server's registry.
  • Restart – by clicking the Restart Server button, the server application will be remotely restarted on the server's host computer.
  • Change Admin Password – use this feature to change the password credential for the Owner user profile (admin) of the system.



Features of the System menu:

  • Name – use this feature to change the title of the system.  Be aware that if the server is part of a merged system, the change will be applied across all of the other merged servers as well.
  • Merge System – by clicking the Merge Systems button, a pop-up window will display.  Enter the host IP address and server port, the Login, and the Password of another server to merge it with the current system.
  • DW Cloud – use this feature to connect or disconnect the current server from a DW Cloud™ account.
  • Traffic Encryption – allows users to change the encryption level of system traffic and video traffic.



View Tab

The View tab allows users to view live or recorded video from the current system.

  • Devices Panel (left panel) – lists devices (IP cameras) that are connected to the server.  Select a camera to begin viewing.
  • Camera View – displays camera video to the right of the Devices Panel.  Click in the Timeline to view previously recorded video.



To change the current video quality or to view the camera's details, click the video settings button (Gear icon).



Monitoring Tab

The Monitoring tab is comprised of three menus – GraphsStorage, and Log.

  • Graphs – displays a real-time line graph of the server's CPU, Memory, HDD activity, and Ethernet throughput.


  • Storage – displays all connected storage pathing for the Server including HDDs and NAS drives.


  • Log – displays the system logs of your DW Spectrum® system.  This information might be requested by a Digital Watchdog support member for specific troubleshooting scenarios.



For Developers Tab

The For Developers tab contains tools for developers for creating and testing features in association with DW Spectrum® IPVMS.

The available tools include:

  • Generic Events Generator – a tool for developing and testing HTTPS Generic Event calls for use with the Events & Rules engine of DW Spectrum®.
  • Server API – provides developers with the ability to access almost every system feature within the regular DW Spectrum® desktop client.  Includes an API Testing ToolAPI Changelog, and an API Documentation list.
  • Camera Details Panel – displays additional information for cameras in the View tab including Camera ID, links for available video-streams, and the ability to directly export video from the browser.  This feature is the equivalent of clicking the Gear icon for a camera while using the View tab.
  • Video Source SDK – provides the ability to integrate video sources (IP cameras, NVRs, DVRs, etc.) into the system, making it possible to create methods for discovering, displaying, analyzing, and recording video.  This also allows the integration of I/O ports and devices, as well as with 3rd party devices.
  • Storage SDK – allows the integration of non-standard 3rd party storage mediums.



Information Tab

The Information tab contains the means to check the status of the current server.

Features include:

  • Alerts – displays detected issues such as server storage errors or communication issues with devices.  This works in tandem with the Event Notifications engine of DW Spectrum®.
  • System – displays system information including the number of currently merged servers, number of connected devices, number of storage locations, number of users, and the current software version of DW Spectrum® IPVMS in use by the system.
  • Servers – displays information of all servers within the system including uptime information, average CPU usage, average memory (RAM) usage, public IP addresses, and current server OS time (differs from shared system time).
  • Cameras – displays information of connected cameras including server affiliation, type of camera, IP address, availability status, stream information, and archive storage analysis.
  • Storage Locations – displays the storage drive information of each server including status, number of issues (24h), read/write rate, and available storage space.
  • Network Interfaces – displays the Ethernet information of the servers within a system including affiliated server, availability status of the connection, IP address of the node, and I/O bitrate.



Help Tab

The help tab contains hyperlinks that will route you to the DW Technical Support request portal, DW Tools and Calculators page, and the mobile application page for DW Spectrum® IPVMS Mobile in the App Store or Google Play.


Connect DW Spectrum Desktop to Server with command line

It is possible to use special option to connect DW Spectrum Desktop to Server from the command line:


In example below server address is, port is default 7001, username is admin and password is admin1234. Client version is


>”C:\Program Files\DW Spectrum\DW Spectrum Client\\DW Spectrum.exe” –auth=http://admin:admin1234@


$/opt/dwspectrumn/client/ –auth=http://admin:admin1234@

Client will use secured connection.

DW Spectrum Client Hardware Requirements

What are the recommended hardware specifications for the DW Spectrum® Client?

The DW Spectrum® IPVMS program can be installed on most modern computers with an x64-bit architecture.  However, while DW Spectrum® is a relatively lightweight application, it does use a varying amount of hardware resources, depending on the intensity that it is used.

This article will outline the recommended hardware specifications required for DW Spectrum® IPVMS for your consideration.


Related Articles



**NOTE:  32-bit operating systems, Ubuntu 14.04, Windows 7, Windows Server 2008, and Windows Server 2008 R2 are no longer supported by DW Spectrum®.  Additionally, the desktop client will not function when using Macintosh OS X 10.11, 10.12, or 10.13.


**NOTE:  It is highly recommended to use a computer that is separate from the device hosting the DW Spectrum® Server application when using the DW Spectrum® Client, rather than run both programs fulltime on the same device.  This will help to keep the server device's CPU from being overused and mitigate processing issues.



To use the DW Spectrum® Client, a computer must meet the following prerequisites:

  • A supported 64-bit Operating System
    • Windows 8, 8.1, 10 Pro/Enterprise
    • Windows Server 2012, 2012 R2, 2016 v1607 and later, 2019
    • Ubuntu LTS 16.04, 18.04, 20.04
    • MacOS 11
  •  OpenGL 2.1 Support or better
  • An Intel or AMD CPU


Hardware Recommendations

The following specifications and aforementioned prerequisites will ensure a smooth user experience when using the DW Spectrum® IPVMS with up to 64 devices in a layout.


Single Monitor Workstation

Type Requirement
CPU Intel i5 8th gen or AMD Ryzen 5 3000 Quad-Core or better
RAM 8 GB DDR3 1600 MHz or better
Network Interface 1 Gbit or better
GPU Intel HD Graphics onboard GPU or better
Storage Dedicated SSD or NVME disk for the OS, 128 GB or larger


Dual Monitor Workstation

Type Requirement
CPU Intel i7 8th gen or AMD Ryzen 7 3000 Quad-Core or better
RAM 16 GB DDR3 1600 MHz or better
Network Interface 2 x 1 Gbit or better
GPU Intel HD Graphics onboard GPU or better
Storage Dedicated SSD or NVME disk for the OS, 128 GB or larger


Quad Monitor Workstation

Type Requirement
CPU Intel i9 or AMD Ryzen 9 Quad-Core or better
RAM 32 GB or better
Network Interface 2 x 1 Gbit or better
GPU GeForce GTX 1650 or better
Storage Dedicated SSD or NVME disk for the OS, 128 GB or larger


**NOTE 1:  DW Spectrum® Client uses only the CPU for video decoding and can display up to 64 items on the viewing grid.  The GPU is used for dewarping on the fly, drawing animations, controls, and rendering UI elements in the client.


**NOTE 2:  We assume that only one instance of DW Spectrum® Client will run on a single monitor system.  If you intend to run two instances of the program on a single monitor, use the recommended specs of the “Dual Monitor Workstation”.  For three or four instances of DW Spectrum® Client, use the recommended specs for the “Quad Monitor Station”.


**NOTE 3:  Please take notice that dewarping a fisheye camera will set the resolution to “High”.  As a result, the specifications as mentioned above may not apply and are dependent on the cameras settings (e.g. resolution, framerate, etc.).  It is better to take the suggestions mentioned below in the decoding capabilities paragraph.


Decoding Capabilities

Although it is difficult to offer recommended specifications with regard to decoding capabilities of a system due to the multiple variables of a stream, the following camera settings were taken into consideration:

  • Resolution of 1920 x 1080 or less
  • Framerate of 15 fps or fewer
  • Bandwidth of 2 Mbps or fewer
  • Group of Pictures (GOP) of 15 (IBBBBPBBBBPBBBBI)
  • H.264 compression method


Up to 8 High-Resolution Streams

Type Requirement
CPU Intel i5 8th gen or AMD Ryzen 5 3000 Quad-Core or better
RAM 8 GB DDR3 1600 MHz or better
Network Interface 1 Gbit or better
GPU Intel HD Graphics onboard GPU or better
Storage Dedicated SSD or NVME disk for the OS, 128 GB or larger


Up to 16 High-Resolution Streams

Type Requirement
CPU Intel i7 8th gen or AMD Ryzen 7 3000 Quad-Core or better
RAM 16 GB DDR3 1600 MHz or better
Network Interface 2 x 1 Gbit or better
GPU Intel HD Graphics onboard GPU or better
Storage Dedicated SSD or NVME disk for the OS, 128 GB or larger


Up to 32 High-Resolution Streams

Type Requirement
CPU Intel i9 or AMD Ryzen 9 Quad-Core or better
RAM 32 GB or better
Network Interface 2 x 1 Gbit or better
GPU GeForce GTX 1650 or better
Storage Dedicated SSD or NVME disk for the OS, 128 GB or larger


**NOTE:  Please take into consideration that most monitors have a native resolution of 1920×1080.  There is no benefit of displaying more than 1 Full HD camera in High Resolution on such a screen.  The same applies to displaying more than 4 Full HD cameras on a 4K screen or more than 16 Full HD cameras on an 8K screen.

DW Spectrum – Installing DW Spectrum for Macintosh

Creating A New System

DW Spectrum is composed of two parts:

  • DW Spectrum® Media Server – the Media Server is Spectrum.  The media server is responsible for the recording, contains the database information of your added cameras and user profiles, and is arguably the most important aspect of the DW Spectrum IPVMS platform.  The Media Server is supposed to be installed on a computer that will be acting as your server.  If you have a DW Blackjack server, this software is already installed.
  • DW Spectrum® Client – the Client software provides the graphical interface with which users may utilize to interact with the Media Server and allows users to see what the Media Server is doing.  Some features include allowing users to configure settings, view live and recorded video, and manage device connections.  The Client is helpful for accessing the Media Server, but is not required to remain running for the Media Server to do its job.  Instead, it is recommended that users install the DW Spectrum Client software on a separate computer from the DW Spectrum Media Server computer to save on processing.

These two portions of DW Spectrum IPVMS coordinate to comprise a System.  A System can refer to a group of merged servers or to a single server.

This article will explain how to install DW Spectrum IPVMS, how to connect with the DW Spectrum System, and how to change the Owner/Admin password and System name.


**NOTE:  DW Spectrum for Macintosh is for the Client only.  A computer with either a Windows OS or an Ubuntu OS will be required to create a Server.


Installing DW Spectrum on Macintosh

  1. To obtain the installation files for DW Spectrum, open a web browser and visit the DW Spectrum IPVMS product page on the Digital Watchdog website.


  1. Click on the Software tab.

Select the Version of DW Spectrum that you want to install, then select the operating system that you are installing with (Macintosh).

Click on the Download icon to download the installation file.



  1. Open the downloaded .DMG file, then drag the DW Spectrum application into your Applications folder.

Allow the process to run and complete the installation.  When finished, you can begin to set up the System.



Creating a New System

  1. To launch the application, open the Applications folder, then double-click on the DW Spectrum Client application


  1. If your computer is on the same LAN as a pre-existing Server, the DW Spectrum Client application may automatically detect it.  If so, click on the tile.

You will be prompted to enter your login credentials (User ID and Password).  Contact the System Owner or Administrator of the Server if you need a login to be created.



**NOTE:  DW Spectrum for Macintosh is for the Client only.  A computer with either a Windows OS or an Ubuntu OS will be required to create a Server.

  1. If this is a first-time setup of DW Spectrum Client, click the Add to Existing System button.

You will then be prompted to enter the Connection Options to connect with the DW Spectrum Server.

  • Host – enter the IP Address of the DW Spectrum Server.
  • Port – enter the TCP port of the DW Spectrum Server (default: 7001).
  • Login – enter the login ID of your DW Spectrum user profile.
  • Password – enter the login password of your DW Spectrum user profile.




  1. Once you have entered the connection information, click the OK button to connect with the DW Spectrum System.



Changing the Admin Password

  1. To change the Admin password of a Server, launch DW Spectrum and connect with the System.  You must have Administrator privileges to make system changes.

Right-click on the System (house icon) and select Open Web Client.



  1. A browser will open and connect with the System.

Enter the Owner ID (Admin) and the Password to log in.


**NOTE:  Another way to access this web client is to enter the Server's IP address and port to connect through a web browser.



  1. After logging into the System Web Client, open the Settings tab then open the Users menu.

Select the admin (Owner) profile and click the Change Password button.

Enter the current admin password and new admin password for the system then click the Save button.




It is recommended to keep track of your password.  If the Admin password is forgotten, a password reset form must be submitted for all Blackjack Series units.

If the DW Spectrum Server is installed on a custom-built server (not a Blackjack Series NVR), a clean reinstallation of the DW Spectrum Server will be required to reset a forgotten password.

To learn how to completely uninstall DW Spectrum from the Windows or Ubuntu Server, check out DW Spectrum Clean Uninstall.


Changing the System Name

To change the System name, select the System Administration tab and open the General menu.

Click the edit icon beside the current system name and enter the new name of the System, then click the Save button to rename the System.


DW Spectrum Keyboard Shortcuts

Keyboard Shortcuts

By using keyboard shortcuts, users can quickly navigate around DW Spectrum® IPVMS without having to route through various menus.

These keyboard shortcuts are for Windows and Ubunut/Linux, but most will also work for MacOS by replacing “Ctrl” with the “Command” key.


Supported/Affected Devices:

  • DW Blackjack® Server Series
  • DW Blackjack® Client Workstation Series


DW Spectrum® IPVMS Shortcut Keys

To download the technical bulletin that lists these shortcut keys, Click Here.


Shortcut Command
Ctrl+Left (arrow) Previous Frame
Ctrl+Right (arrow) Next Frame
Z Jump to Start of Segment
X Jump to Next Segment
Ctrl+Up (arrow) Volume Up
Ctrl+Down (arrow) Volume Down
M Toggle Mute
L Jump to Live
S Toggle Stream Synchronization
Enter Maximize Selected Item
Alt+I Show Information of Selected Item
Alt+G Start Smart Search
Alt+C Check File Signature
Alt+S Take Snapshot
Alt+J Adjust Video; Image Enhancement
F2 Rename Resource (Resource Tree)
Alt+T Toggle Showreel Mode
Ctrl+W Close Layout
Ctrl+Tab Switch Layout (similar to using Tab in a web browser)
Alt+R Toggle Screen Recording
Esc Close Current Dialogue
Alt+Enter Full Screen (DW Spectrum window)
Ctrl+Alt+A Open System Administration Dialogue
Ctrl+B Open Bookmarks Search
Ctrl+E Open Alarm/Event Rules Dialogue
F1 About DW Spectrum (current instance)
Alt+F4 Exit DW Spectrum (current instance)
[ Start Time Selection (on Timeline over recorded segment)
] End Time Selection (on Timeline if time selection has been started)



Additional Shortcuts

Below are additional shortcut keys that are not listed in the technical bulletin.


Shortcut Command
Ctrl+Shift+C Connect to Another Server
Ctrl+Shift+D Disconnect from Server
Ctrl+T New Tab
Ctrl+N New Window
Ctrl+O Open Files
Ctrl+L Open Event Log
Ctrl+M Open Camera List

DW Spectrum Mobile SSL Certificate Notification

Security Certificate Notifications

After upgrading the DW Spectrum Mobile application to v22.1, users will be automatically logged out of DW Cloud and must log in to DW Cloud again to regain access to their Cloud Systems. Upon doing so, you may encounter an alert notification when attempting to connect with a DW Spectrum Server using version 4.2 or higher.

This article will explain the prompts that will display regarding security certificates and the DW Spectrum Mobile application.


Related Articles


Self-Signed SSL Certificates

If the an affiliated DW Spectrum Server is using version 4.2 or higher, the mobile application will attempt to verify that the target Server is using an SSL Certificate for security. However, a notification will display alerting an SSL certificate verification issue if the DW Spectrum Server is using the default Self-Signed SSL Certificate that is generated automatically.

While valid, this is due to the Server using a self-signed certificate as opposed to using a public certificate that has been purchased from a recognized certificate provider. Select “Connect Anyway” to confirm that you trust the current Server. This message will not display the next time that you connect with the Server as long as its SSL Certificate remains valid.

The following prompt may display:



Expired SSL Certificates

If a DW Spectrum Server's SSL Certificate (self-signed or public) has expired, the following prompt will appear:



Enable (check) the “Trust this server” checkbox and select “Connect Anyway” to continue with connecting to the Server. This prompt will continue to appear each time you attempt to connect with the Server until the certificate has been renewed.

Alternatively, you can disable the SSL Certificate verification setting in the DW Spectrum Mobile application, but this is not recommended as it will lower the security level of your connection.

To learn how to apply a public SSL Certificate or how to renew the self-signed SSL Certificate of a DW Spectrum Server, please use the KB article – DW Spectrum IPVMS SSL Certificate Management.


Changing Security Settings

DW Spectrum Mobile v22.1 users have the option to change the Security settings of the mobile app to connect without checking security certificates, but are instead recommended to use the default setting.

To change the Security settings in the mobile app:

  1. Tap the Main Menu icon , located in the top-right of the screen, and select “Settings”.



  1. In the Settings menu, top on the Security toggle to change your SSL certificate verification preference.

Your options include:

  • Recommended (default) – DW Spectrum Mobile will allow you to connect with DW Spectrum Servers that are using either valid self-signed or public SSL certificates.
  • Strict – DW Spectrum Mobile will only allow you to connect with DW Spectrum Servers that are using valid public SSL Certificates.
  • Disabled – disabling the Security toggle will allow you to connect with any DW Spectrum Servers and will NOT check for SSL Certificate verification. Please keep in mind that this option may pose a greater security risk.



Export Bookmark from Timeline

Export Bookmark from Timeline

DW Spectrum v3.2 introduced a feature that allows users to export bookmarks quickly from the timeline.

How to Export a Bookmark from the Timeline?

  1. Find and select the Bookmark you would like to export on the Timeline.
    *remember you need to have a camera selected on the Viewing Grid in order to interact with the Timeline.
  2. Click on the 3rd icon (download icon) on the Bookmark.
  3. The Export Dialog will now appear.

* As with all video exports the larger the Bookmark duration the longer the Bookmark will need to complete exporting.


Maximum DW Spectrum Client Connections

How many users can connect to a DW Spectrum Server?

The quantity of concurrent DW Spectrum Client connections that a DW Spectrum Server can sustain is limited by the number of active TCP connections that can be supported by the server.

With this knowledge, the Owner and Administrators should consider the number of desktop client instances that will be connecting to the system, how many cameras and devices will stream video in each instance, and if there are other servers merged with the system. This is to avoid potential bottlenecks that may occur due to exceeding the system's overall capabilities.


**NOTE:  The numbers provided in this article is in consideration of connecting to only a single (1) DW Spectrum Server. In the case that a DW Spectrum System is comprised of a merged, multi-server configuration, consider the number of devices connected to each server.


Related Articles


Calculating the Maximum TCP Connections

For a DW Spectrum Server that is using the recommended system and hardware requirements, the average limit of concurrent DW Spectrum Client connections that can be supported is:

  • One (1) DW Spectrum Server can support up to 2,000 concurrent TCP connections – including connected devices and camera streams, as well as connecting instances of the DW Spectrum Client for regular viewing


As the supported number of client connections to a server varies depending on the number of active TCP connections that are in use with the server, use the following information to calculate the number of active TCP connections of a server.

  • x1 DW Spectrum Client connection = 5 TCP connections
  • x1 Device or Camera connection = 1 TCP connection

X = # of active DW Spectrum Clients

Y = # of active video streams per Client

TCP Connections Consumed = (x 5 TCP connections) + (x Y)


Examples for a Single (1) Server

  • 400 DW Spectrum Client instances can connect, but no video (0) can display for the users
    • (400 clients x 5 TCP connections each) = 2,000 TCP connections; the max. amount of TCP connections are being used
  • 80 DW Spectrum Client instances can connect, but only up to 20 devices per client can stream video
    • (80 clients x 5 TCP connections each) + (80 clients x 20 devices) = 2,000 TCP connections; the max. amount of TCP connections are being used
  • 28 DW Spectrum Client instances can connect, but only up to 64 devices per client can stream video
    • (28 clients x 5 TCP connections each) + (28 clients x 64 devices) = 1,932 TCP connections in use; 68 TCP connections are still available

PTZ Auto-Focus and Camera Control in DW Spectrum

PTZ & Auto-Focus

While supported cameras with motorized varifocal lenses can only zoom in and out, DW Spectrum also allows users to easily control connected PTZ cameras through the DW Spectrum Client without having to use an external joystick.

This article will show where you can manage the local PTZ settings in the DW Spectrum Client and outline the PTZ controls that are available.


**NOTE:  The Extended PTZ features require that the camera supports ONVIF Absolute Move and custom product integration to work with the DW Spectrum IPVMS software controls.


Supported/Affected Devices

  • DW Blackjack® Series


Local DW Spectrum Settings

When using a PTZ camera, the local client settings can be configured to affect how the user's PTZ control interface will display and PTZ configuration presets will be used by the system.


Preferred PTZ Preset Setting

By default, PTZ control will automatically be available for supported PTZ cameras in the DW Spectrum Client and will use the camera's Native PTZ setting presets (manufacturer configured). Considering this, DW Spectrum will determine if the system should use the camera's presets or if it will use the DW Spectrum System's preferred presets, depending on its assigned settings. These presets can be used to tell the PTZ camera to perform specific maneuvers, tours, etc.

You can find this setting in the DW Spectrum Client under the PTZ section. To get there, right-click on the camera and select “Camera Settings”. In the resulting Camera Settings window, select the “Expert tab.

In the PTZ section of the menu, select one of the following:

  • Auto (default) – use a mix between the Native and System PTZ presets to easily begin using the PTZ preset controls in the DW Spectrum Client.
  • System – ignore the camera manufacturer settings in favor of using DW Spectrum PTZ preset settings only.
  • Native – have DW Spectrum only use the PTZ camera's preset settings.



PTZ Aim Overlay Setting

By default, the DW Spectrum Client will utilize a user interface (UI) that follows simple click-and-drag controls, which minimizes the need to display controls for the PTZ camera, which some users feel can take up a fair portion of the screen. However, other users may prefer to have an overlay display as it offers clear and simple controls by which to control the camera.

To show an aim overlay (HUD), navigate to Main Menu > Local Settings > Look and Feel menu in the desktop client.

Locate the “Show aim overlay for PTZ cameras” setting.

Enabling this setting will affect how the PTZ control interface will display in the client by directly overlaying the camera's FOV and how the user interacts with the PTZ features.



Using PTZ Controls

When DW Spectrum detects that a compatible PTZ camera has been added to the system, the PTZ icon will display in the camera's viewing window.



To activate the DW Spectrum's PTZ controls, click the PTZ icon that appears at the top of the camera's window. Click the PTZ icon again to hide the PTZ controls.

How the PTZ controls interface displays will vary, depending on whether or not the “Show aim overlay for PTZ cameras” setting has been enabled.


Simple-Zoom (non-PTZ cameras)

If a camera uses a motorized, varifocal lens to zoom (T/W), but does not feature the ability to pan or tilt the camera, only the zoom controls (+ and –) will be available regardless of enabling/disabling the aim overlay setting.

This feature is represented by a set of plus (+) and minus (-) buttons that allow users to zoom the camera lens in or out through the DW Spectrum interface.  Alternatively, users may use the mouse-wheel to zoom-in or zoom-out.



Extended PTZ (Disabled PTZ Aim Overlay)

When the Aim Overlay setting is DISABLED, the PTZ control features are represented in the following ways:

  • Zoom In/Out – click on the Zoom-in (+) or Zoom-out (-) buttons to use the camera's motorized zoom; alternatively, users may use the mouse-wheel to zoom-in or zoom-out
  • Pan-and Tilt – click-and-drag the mouse within the viewing window to pan and tilt the camera


While holding the Shift key:

  • Box Targeting – to zoom and position the camera into a specific FOV-framing, Shift + click-and-drag anywhere within the camera viewing window and draw a box around the target area.
  • Single Mouse Click Pan/Tilt – users can Shift + click (once) anywhere within the camera viewing window to have the PTZ camera move and center to that point
  • Double-click Zoom Out – users can Shift + double-click anywhere within the camera viewing window to zoom the camera back out to its telescopic base.



Regular PTZ (Enabled PTZ Aim Overlay)

When the Aim Overlay setting is ENABLED, the PTZ control features are represented in the following ways:

  • Zoom In/Out – to use the camera's motorized zoom, click on the Zoom-in (+) or Zoom-out (-) buttons; alternatively, users may use the mouse-wheel to zoom-in or zoom-out.
  • Virtual Joystick – displaying in the center of the overlay, click-and-drag the virtual joystick to pan and tilt the camera.


**NOTE:  The user does not need to hold the Shift key down when using the Extended PTZ features, so long as the “Show aim overlay for PTZ cameras” setting is enabled.


  • Box Targeting – to zoom and position the camera into a specific FOV-framing, click-and-drag anywhere within the camera viewing window and draw a box around the target area.
  • Single Mouse Click Pan/Tilt – to have the PTZ camera quickly move and center to a single point, users can click (once) anywhere within the camera viewing window to have the PTZ camera move and center to that point
  • Double-click Zoom Out – users can double-click anywhere within the camera viewing window to have the camera zoom-out to its widest magnification.



PTZ Issue Troubleshooting

Camera models that support the advanced PTZ features (Regular PTZ and Extended PTZ) can be found using the DW Spectrum Supported Device List.


When troubleshooting ONVIF camera issues, such as PTZ control problems, it is recommended to download and install ONVIF Device Manager on the same computer as your DW Spectrum Server.  If you cannot install the ONVIF (ODM), because you are using an Ubuntu/Linux or Macintosh operating system, install ODM on a Windows PC that shares the same LAN as your troubled camera.


Common PTZ Issues

  • If PTZ camera does not display the PTZ icon in DW Spectrum, ensure that the DW Spectrum firmware version is up-to-date, use ODM to connect with the camera and confirm if there is a PTZ Controls option available. If not, it may be an issue with the camera. Confirm that the camera's firmware is also up-to-date.
  • If PTZ controls do not respond in DW Spectrum, in addition to ensuring that the camera firmware and DW Spectrum firmware are up-to-date, use the PTZ Controls in ODM to see if the camera responds.  If not, it may be an issue with the camera.
  • If PTZ position presets assignment is not working, use ODM and use PTZ Controls, then select Absolute Move.  Try a different set of values for the Absolute Move coordinates.

Axis T8311 Joystick

In v3.0 DW Spectrum introduced the ability to use the Axis T8311 Joystick to control live PTZ cameras on Windows OS-based computers.

How to Setup & Use the Axis T8311 Joystick

  1. Plugin the Axis T8311 Joystick to the computer that you will be using.
    * The drivers should be automatically installed by Windows and the device should be recognized.
  2. If your DW Spectrum Desktop app is open when you plugged in the joystick, restart your DW Spectrum Desktop. If not, open DW Spectrum Desktop.
  3. Open the PTZ camera you would like to control with the Joystick and click on the PTZ icon with your mouse.
  4. Use the Joystick to Pan, Tilt, and Zoom the camera.

Why does DW Spectrum only support one joystick controller for PTZ?

  1. IP cameras are network-based and have latency, making joystick control….not great.
  2. DW Spectrum has Advanced PTZ – a feature that makes analog joysticks seem….well, outdated.

Creating A Showreel in DW Spectrum


The Showreel feature of DW Spectrum® allows users to create customizable timed viewing sequences, to which users may assign media resources such as cameras, layouts, web pages, and more.

This article will outline how to create a Showreel within the DW Spectrum® IPVMS desktop client.


Supported/Affected Devices:

  • DW Blackjack® Server Series


Creating a Showreel

To create a Showreel within the DW Spectrum® IPVMS Client:

  1. Open the Main Menu, then click New.

Select Showreel.



  1. From the Resource Tree, drag any resource to an available cell in the Showreel layout.

The Showreel will support the use of:

    • Layouts
    • Single Devices (cameras, I/O devices)
    • Exported Files
    • Web Pages
    • Servers (monitoring item will be displayed)
    • External Media (offline files, files within the Local Media folder)



  1. Drag-and-drop resources to rearrange the display order of the cells within the Showreel.

Adjust the display time of each resource.



  1. Click the Start Showreel button to begin the Showreel.

To stop the Showreel, press the Esc key on the keyboard.


DW Spectrum Help Function

Help Function

DW Spectrum v3.2 introduced a context-sensitive help function that allows DW Spectrum users to easily find more information on operator functions, setup information, and more.

This article will outline how to use the Context Help Manual of DW Spectrum.


Note:  An active Internet connection is not required to use this function.


Supported/Affected Devices

  • DW Blackjack Servers


Accessing the Help Function

When using DW Spectrum, the Context Help Manual provides quick access to an offline user manual.


To use the help function:

  1. Click on the Help Icon [?] in the Navigation Panel, at the top of the window.



  1. A question mark [?] will overlay your mouse cursor, indicating that the Help Function is enabled.

Click on the subject matter in question or interface element that you want to know more about.


  1. The Context Help Manual will open in your default web browser.


DW Spectrum IPVMS Mobile Application Setup

DW Spectrum® Mobile Application

The DW Spectrum® Mobile application allows users to connect with their DW Spectrum® systems using their Apple (iOS) and Android mobile devices.  However, some initial setup is required before you can begin to use the live viewing and playback features of the application.

This article will outline how to connect your DW Spectrum® Mobile application to a DW Spectrum System using DW Cloud™ or by using a server's IP address for direct connection.


**NOTE:  The use of the term “DW Spectrum® System” in this article may refer to a single DW Spectrum® Server or to multiple DW Spectrum® Servers that have been merged into a single group.


**NOTE:  If a network that is hosting a DW Spectrum Server is using a SonicWall or Firewall service to filter out external Internet access, you may need to allowlist or port forward the DW Spectrum® Server.

For the FQDN list of DW Spectrum®, please read DW Spectrum – FQDN or Allowlist for DW Cloud Access.


Supported/Affected Devices:

  • DW Blackjack® Servers
  • MEGApix® IP Camera Series


Acquiring the Application

To use DW Spectrum® Mobile on your mobile device (smartphone, tablet, etc.), you will need to download and install the mobile application from your application store.



Connecting Through DW Cloud™

DW Cloud™ is a free connection service for use with the DW Spectrum® IPVMS software.  If you have yet to connect your DW Spectrum® system to a DW Cloud™ account or still need to create a DW Cloud™ account, check out DW Cloud Management.


To connect with your DW Spectrum® IPVMS system using the DW Cloud™ service:


  1. Open the DW Spectrum application on your mobile device.

To connect your DW Cloud™ account to the DW Spectrum® Mobile application, click on Log in to DW Cloud.



  1. In the Cloud Account screen, enter the Email and Password login credentials for your DW Cloud™ account, then tap the Log in button.

In the Server Selection screen, DW Spectrum® systems that are already connected with your DW Cloud™ account will display with an orange Cloud icon.  As your mobile application is now connected with your account, simply select the cloud-connected system to begin viewing.



  1. You may only view one DW Spectrum® system at a time through the mobile application.

To view another system, tap on the Main Menu button, then select Disconnect from Server.

You will then be routed back to the Server Selection screen.




Connecting Through Direct Connection (IP Address)

When connecting to your DW Spectrum® system using an IP address, you will need to port forward the DW Spectrum® server(s) to ensure that external network access is available while offsite.


Automatic Discovery (LAN)

If you are currently connected to the same local network (LAN) as the DW Spectrum® system, the DW Spectrum® Mobile application may discover the server automatically.

  1. To connect with a discovered server, select the system.  The IP Address field will automatically fill.
  2. Enter your Login and Password for the DW Spectrum® system, then tap the Connect button to begin viewing.



Manual Direct Connection (LAN)

If the IP address of the server does not automatically fill or the server is not discovered, you can find the email address in the Server Settings menu of the DW Spectrum® IPVMS desktop application.

  1. In the DW Spectrum® IPVMS desktop application, right-click on the server.
  2. Select Server Settings.
  3. Under the General tab, locate the IP Address and Port value for your connection needs.



  1. Changing to your DW Spectrum® Mobile application, tap on the Connect to Another Server button.



  1. The New Connection screen will display.

Enter the IP address of your server in the Host field,

Next, enter your Login and Password credentials for the DW Spectrum® system.

Tap the Connect button to begin viewing.



Manual Direct Connection (WAN)

If you will be connecting to your DW Spectrum® system from outside of your local network (LAN), you will need to know the Public IP Address (WAN) of your network.


**NOTE:  When connected to the same internal network (LAN) as the DW Spectrum® Server, you will not be able to connect if you are using an external, public IP address (WAN).  Use a public IP address only when connecting from outside of the server's host network.


  1. To obtain the public IP address of your network, you may inquire with your ISP, work with your network administrator, or check in your router for the information.

Alternatively, open a web browser (Google Chrome, Mozilla Firefox, etc.) and visit a port checking website (e.g., http://canyouseeme.org).


  1. The public IP of your currently connected network will display

Confirm that the DW Spectrum® port (Default Port: 7001) is open within the network.  If the port is blocked, external communication to the server will be unavailable.



  1. Changing to your DW Spectrum® Mobile application, tap on the Connect to Another Server button.



  1. The New Connection screen will display.

Enter the public IP address of your server in the Host field,

Next, enter your Login and Password credentials for the DW Spectrum® system.

Tap the Connect button to begin viewing.


DW Spectrum – Launch Desktop Client with CLI

Benefits of Launching with the CLI

Launching the Desktop client with the CLI gives you a lot more flexibility. The CLI allows you to launch it normally without any changes, but you can also change its behavior by utilizing specific parameters. It can facilitate many tasks such as server auto-login, disabling auto-updates, creating multiple instances of the client, restricting options, and more.


How to Launch with CLI

In Windows:

  1. Open Command Prompt and enter:

cd C:\Program Files\Digital Watchdog\DW Spectrum\Client


  1. Next, to view all installed versions enter:



  1. Choose a version: [replace “VERSION” with your version number (e.g., in the command below]



  1. Launch the Client (no parameter):



Or launch the Client with a parameter:

applauncher –layout-name=”Example”


In Linux:

  1. Open Terminal and enter:

cd /opt/digitalwatchdog/client/VERSION/bin


Example:  cd /opt/digitalwatchdog/client/



  1. View all installed versions with the command:



  1. Choose a version. [replace “VERSION” with your version number (e.g., in the command below]

cd VERSION/bin


  1. Launch the client (no parameter):



Or launch the client with a parameter:

applauncher –layout-name=”Example”


Command Line Parameters (v4.0 and newer):





Default implied value  


–no-single-application Allows to have more than one instance of the client application running. (Also disables ‘Beta version' warning message.) true –no-single-application
–auth Auto-login to the target server –auth=http://admin:123@localhost:7001
–screen Open client on the target screen –screen=1
–window-geometry Place the client window to the target coordinates and resize it –window-geometry=100,100,1024×768
–soft-yuv Enables video shader software emulation mode. May cause glitches. true –soft-yuv


Changes settings source from registry to file system (Windows only) true  


–no-fullscreen Open client in the windowed mode. May cause glitches. true –no-fullscreen


Do not scan media folders. Local resources will not be displayed. true –skip-media-folder-scan


Override software version of the client with the provided value. Will change auto-updates behavior. –override-version=


Minimal level of the log messages that should be recorded to log-file.

Allowed values:

none – fully disable logging







–no-client-update Disable client auto-update and update notifications. true –no-client-update
–acs ACS mode (for Paxton integrations and similar scenarios) true –acs


Start client in the primary videowall mode. Must contain GUID of the existing

to work properly.

Requires valid –auth key without specified credentials.

–videowall-instance Start client in the secondary videowall mode. Must contain the GUID of the existing Video Wall Item to work properly. Requires valid–videowall key. Requires valid –auth key without specified credentials. –videowall-instance={8692e6e8-ceb7-54bb-23a0-84b81cf1d3f0}
–light-mode Start client in the light mode. Can contain ‘full' or a numeric value. full –light-mode=full


–customization Start client with custom skin, loaded from the target folder.

Works only if the client is built with ENABLE_DYNAMIC_CUSTOMIZATION define.

–instant-drop Inner key to open files in the new window. –instant-drop=
–delayed-drop Inner key to open cameras in the new window. –delayed-drop=
–layout-name Name of layout which will be opened after connection to server. –layout-name=”Some layout name”
–show-full-info Display full info on cameras instead of the minimal. true –show-full-info
–no-hidpi Disable hidpi support true –no-hidpi




Command Line Parameters for v3.2 and Older

–dev-mode-key Enables developer mode if the key is equal to “razrazraz” –dev-mode-key=razrazraz
–profiler Switch client to the profiler mode. true –profiler


Do not show a warning dialog if servers in the system have different versions. true –no-version-mismatch-check
–no-vsync Disable VSync. (May cause glitches.) true –no-vsync


Minimal level of the transactions log messages that should be recorded to log-file. Allowed values are the same as in –log-level key. none –ec2-tran-log-level=info


Prefixes, that will be logged as verbose. –exception-filters=dw::dws

DW Spectrum Quick User Guide

This Quick User's Guide provides the steps you need to view live video, search and view archived video and export recorded video evidence to your local computer or to a removable media device. Contains the following sections: • View Live Video • Search/View Archive Video • Exporting Recorded Video

Note: Depending on your individual access rights, you may not be able to view all of the functionality documented in this guide.

DW Spectrum Quick User Guide

How to Run DW Spectrum Client in a Limited GPU Environment

Limited OpenGL 2.1 Support

The DW Spectrum® Client application requires a computer with support for OpenGL 2.1 or higher, whether on a virtual machine (VM) or an actual computer.  In most cases, this is not an issue.  However, if a user is utilizing a virtual machine (VMWare, VirtualBox) or a personal computer (PC) with limited graphics capability (or no GPU), OpenGL 2.1 may not be supported.  As a result, DW Spectrum® Client will not run.

To resolve this issue, an emulation of the necessary graphics to function through the CPU may allow the Client to run if the Server application is also installed on a computer using Windows x64 OS.

This article will outline how to emulate a GPU using a CPU on a WinOS x64-bit system.


**DISCLAIMER:  We do not recommend this method unless it is absolutely required.  Even then, please be aware that you will be performing this at your own risk.


Supported/Affected Devices:

  • DW Blackjack® Cube Series (WinOS)
  • DW Blackjack® Client Workstation Series (WinOS)


Things to Consider

  • When using this method, you will be transferring the computing load that would otherwise be directed to a GPU onto the CPU. This will cause the CPU usage to increase significantly.
  • We do not recommend using this method unless it is absolutely required.
  • Remember to close the DW Spectrum® Client application as soon as you are finished returning the CPU load to normal.
  • The hosting computer must be using a Windows x64-bit operating system.


Emulating a GPU Using a CPU

To emulate a GPU:

  1. Download the Open GL emulation library.

Extract the files “opengl32.dll” and “libglapi.dll” from the zipped/compressed folder.


  1. Next, stop the Spectrum Media Server service.  To do so, you can right-click on the service in the Windows Service Tray, then select Stop Server (started).



  1. Once the Media Server has been stopped, open the computer's File Explorer program and navigate to:

C:\Program Files\Digital Watchdog\DW Spectrum\Client\


**NOTE:  “<version_number>” (above) refers to the DW Spectrum® Client software version number.


  1. Copy-and-paste the opengl32.dll and libglapi.dll files to this directory. Do not place them into any additional folders beyond this directory.


  1. Start the Media Server from the Windows Service Tray.

Launch the DW Spectrum® Client.

The DW Spectrum Client application will now utilize the CPU for some of the graphical processing.  The processing load on the CPU of the host computer will increase as a result, so be sure to completely close the DW Spectrum® Client application when you are not actively using it.

Motion Smart Search In DW Spectrum IPVMS

Motion Smart Search

DW Spectrum's Motion Smart Search feature is a useful tool that allows users to rapidly search video archives to discover segments of saved footage.  Rather than having to review long lengths of archived footage to find a specific moment, Motion Smart Search narrows down the saved video to a specified area in the camera's field of vision and highlights the discovered segments in the Timeline during playback.

This article will outline how to use the Motion Smart Search feature of DW Spectrum for faster footage acquisition.


Using Smart Search

To use the Motion Smart Search feature, you must be using a camera that supports motion recording (where both the primary and secondary video streams are active).


Note:  It is recommended that the secondary stream be set to a resolution of 704×480 or lower, with a frame rate no higher than 7 FPS.

If you are encountering issues with Motion Recording, check out Motion Recording Troubleshooting (DW Spectrum).


To use the Motion Smart Search feature:

  1. Select your desired camera to display.

Selecting from either the camera's Image Controls toolbar or from the Notifications Panel, click on the Motion icon.

Alternatively, you can right-click in the camera window and select Show Motion/Smart Search.



  1. Upon activating Motion Smart Search, a grid will overlay the camera area.

Click-and-drag to highlight a specific motion area in the grid.



  1. DW Spectrum will display preview frames the system's search results.

Additionally, in the Timeline, sections will be highlighted to indicate that motion was detected in the specified motion area.

Select from the previewed frames or click in the Timeline to begin playing the detected footage.

Reporting DW Spectrum Issues

DW Spectrum® Issues

This article will outline how to report operator issues with DW Spectrum® IPVMS.


Supported/Affected Devices

  • DW Blackjack® Series


Before Requesting Support

Use the following resources to check for possible solutions:


**Note:  It is recommended to use the latest version of DW Spectrum®.  If you are encountering operator issues and your firmware is outdated, consider updating to the latest build version.

The Digital Watchdog Support Knowledge Base hosts release notes for recent updates.


Requesting Support

Digital Watchdog Technical Support strives to provide quick and efficient assistance for issues that directly regard Digital Watchdog products.

Use the following guidelines to provide a concise outline of your issue so that our technicians may support you in an orderly fashion.


Submit One Support Request per Issue

As our support team focuses on different Digital Watchdog products, features, and software, tracking the progress of individual issues becomes difficult when there is an overwhelming number of issues described in a single report.

If one issue appears to be interrelated with another issue, it may be worth mentioning.  However, please maintain a clear outline of a single issue, per request, if possible.

Once the issue has been identified by the technician, a recommended resolution may be provided.


**Note:  Open a support ticket with Digital Watchdog Technical Support.


Provide a Short and Clear Summary

An ideal summary should be clear and as short as possible, but long enough to clarify the issue.  Provide a clear overview of the issue, the component where the issue is occurring (Server, Client, DW Cloud, mobile application), and what conditions the system was under when the problem started.

Please also provide details regarding any troubleshooting steps that have already been taken.  If troubleshooting has not already been performed, you may be tasked with performing recommended troubleshooting steps.



Provide details about the environment that DW Spectrum® is running in.  This includes information such as what version/build of DW Spectrum® is being used, the operating systems being used, and the size of the System (a single server or multi-server/merged System).



  • DW Spectrum® Version:  v4.1.0.31401
  • DW Spectrum® Client:  Mac OS 10.13
  • DW Spectrum® Server: 
  • Network Topology:  Server is connected to cameras through a Wi-Fi router that is connected to a single PoE switch, with 10 cameras.
  • Special Features:  The mentioned PoE switch has an embedded firewall blocking UDP traffic.


Reproduction Scenario

Describe any steps that you performed prior to the start of the problem.  The technician may need to try to reproduce the issue on their end to better understand what may be causing the issue.

Examples of this include upgrading firmware from a particular build, changing network hardware, applying specific settings in DW Spectrum®, etc.



Attachments can be quite helpful for technicians as they offer additional insight to the issue that you are experiencing.  Providing photos, screen recordings, or Sever Logs may help to reduce the wait time for a resolution to your issue.

Since attachments can be quite large to share, you may use a third party service like Google Drive or DropBox to provide your attachment.

Avoid sending compressed (.zip) files as we are less likely to open this file type for security reasons.  Instead, upload each file individually to the sharing application of choice so that your technician can check the file before opening or downloading it.


**Note:  DW Spectrum® (Windows version) has an in-client screen recording feature that you may use to capture a recording of your display as you see it.  Press Alt+R on the keyboard to start or stop this function.


Remote Assistance

Issues are often system-specific and your technician may request remote access to your System to directly assist you with resolving the problem.

Frequently, Digital Watchdog Technical Support will ask for unattended TeamViewer access to investigate the issue directly.  We understand if this is not possible, but please be aware that this may delay the solution for your issue.  If you prefer to instead be present for the remote session, you may request one.

Additionally, the use of ONVIF Device Manager and/or Wireshark is commonly used for troubleshooting our most commonly reported issues.  It may be in your best interest to have these applications installed.


**Note:  DW Blackjack® Servers (Windows) will come with ONVIF Device Manager installed.  Most DW Blackjack® Series devices will come with TeamViewer installed as well.

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  1. Discover the power of DW Spectrum® IPVMS! Maximize security with user permissions and real-time notifications. Integrate third-party tools for a customized surveillance solution tailored to your needs. Unlock possibilities!


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