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Get your Panasonic network camera to send email on motion detection

We know that one of the benefits of having Panasonic network cameras in the home is the added security they bring. This is nowhere better illustrated than their ability to detect motion and send a series of images to your email address.

If you always wanted to set this up but you weren’t sure where to begin then you’ve come to the right place. This guide will take you step by step through the whole process and is designed to be as painless as possible.

This guide will be suitable for the following Panasonic Network Cameras:

  • BL-C1
  • BL-C20
  • BL-C10
  • BL-C30
  • BL-C140
  • BL-C160
  • BB-HCM311
  • BB-HCM331
  • BB-HCM381
  • BB-HCE481
  • BB-HCM705
  • BB-HCM715
  • BB-HCM735

Step 1

Log into your camera as an administrator using your User Name and Password.

Step 2

Click the ‘Setup‘ tab at the top of the screen to enter the camera’s setup mode and on the menu positioned to the left, click on the ‘Trigger‘ option under the ‘Buffer/Transfer‘ heading. This will show you a list of possible events or actions that the camera is set to perform. Note that the status of all the events will initially be set to ‘off‘.

Step 3

We want to create only one trigger so click on the first one. To do that, click on ‘1‘ under the column heading ‘No.‘ You will be presented with the ‘Trigger Setting‘ page.

Step 4

Click in the checkbox ‘Enable Image Buffer/Transfer‘ and select ‘Motion Detection‘ as the trigger. This enables the trigger, turns it on and selects the method of triggering to be based on motion detection. To continue, click the ‘next‘ button at the bottom of the page. You will then be presented with the first ‘Motion Detection Setting‘ page.

Step 5

This page allows you to schedule when you want your trigger to work. As default it is set to ‘Always‘ but you can configure it so that it will only send you an email, for example overnight or only during the week. Once you’re happy with the settings, click the ‘next‘ button at the bottom of the page. You will be presented with the next page entitled ‘Motion Detection Setting‘.

Step 6

This page allows you to move the camera to a specific preset when it detects motion. A good example of this would be having the camera move to cover an entrance or window whenever motion is detected. You must first configure your pre-sets in the camera (on the ‘Single Camera‘ page) before you can apply them here. This is an optional setting and once you’re happy click the ‘next‘ button at the bottom to continue. You will be presented with the third ‘Motion Detection Setting‘ page.

Step 7

This page will allow you to choose an image size (resolution) and image quality for the images which will be sent to you via email. Note that a larger image size and better quality image has a larger file size so will take longer to download to your inbox. Once you’re happy with the settings click the ‘next‘ button to continue. You will be shown the next ‘Motion Detection Setting‘ screen.

Step 8

This page will allow you set the number of images you will be sent by the camera to your email address. Note that because the camera keeps a buffer of images in its own memory it is possible to be sent images before the motion event took place, this is known as the Pre-Trigger image buffer. So, you can set the number of images before the trigger took effect in the pre-trigger buffer and the number of images after the trigger took effect in the post-trigger buffer. Once you’re happy with the settings click the ‘next‘ button to continue. This will take you to the next ‘Motion Detection Setting‘ page.

Step 9

This page asks what you want to do with the images once they have been triggered. Select ‘E-mail‘ from the list and click the ‘next‘ button to continue. This takes you to another ‘Motion Detection Setting‘ page.

Step 10

This page is probably the most complicated page in this guide as it requires technical information about your email account. You will find this information from your email supplier or inside your email application such as Outlook or Outlook Express. I’ll go through this an entry at a time:

  • SMTP Server IP Address or Host Name: This will come from your email settings. If you use Outlook or Outlook Express then go into your email account and look at your account properties. Your SMTP address will be in there.
  • Port No.: This is the port number for SMTP and is 25 as standard. You will only have to change this if you know your email uses a non-standard port.
  • Reply email address: This can be anything. When your camera sends an email , this will be the address it says it has come from. You will probably want to use your own address here.
  • Destination Email Address: You can send the email to up to 3 email addresses. Select which addresses you want emails to go to here.
  • Subject: This would be the text that appears in the subject line of the email.
  • Text: You can add your own text to be included in the emails in this box. Something like ‘Motion detection images from Camera 4’ for example.
  • Authentication: Try without authentication first and leave this section blank. If your email requires authentication then fill out the fields using information provided by your ISP for your email account. If you require authentication check the box marked ‘SMTP authentication
  • Login ID: Your email username
  • Password: Your email password

If you still can’t get an email from the camera try using the ‘POP before SMTP authentication‘ option:

  • POP3 Server IP Address: As with the SMTP address, you will find your POP3 address in your email settings.
  • Port No.: Port 110 is the default and will likely be ok. Only change if you know your port for POP3 has been changed.
  • Login: Your email username.
  • Password: Your email password.

Once you’re happy with the email set up, click the ‘next‘ button to continue.

You may find you have to revisit this page until you get a successful email from the camera. Just try various email settings until it works.

Step 11

The next page gives you the option to have an email sent when the camera has detected motion. This is additional to the emails you would recieve with images attached and is only used to notify you that motion has been detected. This email can be sent to a different address than the images and if you select ‘yes‘ you will have to re-enter your email details again as Step 10.

Step 12

After you have skipped or configured your email notification in Step 11 you will be finished. The ‘next’ button will now have changed to ‘save’. Click the ‘save’ button to save your trigger.

That should be your camera set up. If you want to disable the emails being sent then just select your trigger, by clicking the ‘1’ link, and on the first screen entitled ‘Trigger Setting’ un-check the box ‘Enable Image Buffer/Transfer’ to disable the trigger and click the ‘save’ button at the bottom. The settings will remain but the trigger will be deactivated. Of course, you can enable it again any time by doing the reverse.

One important factor to bear in mind when setting this up is that each image will be sent to your selected email address in a separate email. Therefore, you may want to limit the amount of images in the pre- and post-alarm buffer for this reason. Trial and error testing will help you determine the best settings to use.

If you have any comments or questions about this guide please leave them below and we will do our best to answer them as soon as possible.

Published on January 12th, 2007 by Greg

44 Responses to “Get your Panasonic network camera to send email on motion detection”

  1. Darrin says:

    Is there any way to stop the camera from appending the date-timestamp to the subject of the emails? I have set the subject to be "Motion Detected", but the actual subject of the email ends up being "Motion Detected:20150127204612375", which makes gmail treat each message as a completely different thread, since each date-timestamp is different.

  2. Kevin Bowyer says:

    Hi Paul. It could either be a router issue, but more likely to do with the SMTP (outgoing email) provider. I'd check that first.

  3. Paul says:

    I have a similar problem than Norman’s. I have to BC-L 210 than all of a suddent BOTH cameras stop sending e-mails. I don’t believe is a camera issue as it is very strange both went down at the same time. I am wondering whether it could be a router issue.

    Any ideas?

  4. davemm says:

    I am resurrecting this as I still cant get it to work with VirginMedia who are absolutely useless when it comes to assistance.
    Even now after overa year its still not doing what it should. YET and its a BIG YET it will send alert emails/images to a third party Server who can then forward them onto me.
    This plus the fact that it always worked with my previous ISP confirms that its not the camera but something to do with VM blocking the email alerts.
    I am now awaiting another ISP to provide a good Inet service in my area, then I shall be saying goodbye to VM for good.

  5. Smess says:

    Leo,

    the settings are smtp settings so you can use any one you want to send. You can have it sent to any isp you want so you cant use gmail in the smtp section but gmail can be the receiver.

  6. Dave M says:

    Has anybody got their IPcam to send emails using Virginmedia, no matter what I try I cannot get it to work. Pictures are fine, just emails.
    Must be someone who has achieved it.

  7. Dave M says:

    Hi
    I have recently moved over to Virginmedia and can no longer get email notifications from my Panasonic BL -1C images are ok and can see them on my mobile phone as well.
    I have now setup a pop3 account using both Mac Mail and Thunderbird.
    I have used the info given to me by Virgin ie. Pop3 port is 465 and SMTP port is 995, but I still cannot get emails. The sensor log shows that movement has been recognised but then I get numerous smtp and pop3 errors. I use viewnetcam.com externally and thats fine. So it appears to be soemthing to do with virgin, but they do not offer IPcam support. Any ideas please.

  8. Norm says:

    I have two BL-C131A and two BB-HCM 371A Panasonic cameras that have all been sending emails for the last two years without any problem. Then all Four cameras quit sending? All cameras seem to be working fine and I went through the procedure above. I Still can’t get emails from any of the cameras. Do you have any suggestions?
    Thanks, Norm

  9. loch says:

    So if we want to have videos transferred instead of snapshots we have to buy the $400 software from panasonic?

  10. Chris says:

    I used to have my BL-C10 working correctly but now it will not send image attachments with the emails.

  11. Greg says:

    I am not sure if Comcast uses SSL but if it does check out our guide here for a web-based email provider which doesn't require SSL:

    https://www.networkwebcams.co.uk/blog/2010/02/18/setup-email-smtp-on-axis-cameras/

  12. Larry Coleman says:

    Thanks for the great article.
    I have not been able to get my Panasonic BB-HCM331A webcam to send an email when it detects motion. I’m pretty sure I input the correct values in the “Trigger” section except for the smtp/pop3 pages. My primary email is gmail so I am not using it, but I still cannot get the email function to work using comcast inputs. Does comcast use SSL as well? I am using smtp.comcast.net and mail.comcast.net resp. for the smtp and pop3 values host names, along with the comcast sign-in id/pw.

    I’m hoping I don’t have to go to something other than comcast.

    Thanks.

  13. mario says:

    Sorry about that Greg, will do, and thx for yr time.Brgds

  14. Greg says:

    @Mario:

    This is quite hard to resolve here and I'd rather not fill up the comments here with tech support. Can you create a thread in our forums? I will try and nail down the problem for you there. Thanks.

  15. mario says:

    Thanks so much Greg. The BL-C111 was wrongly setup on my sister’s Belkin router while following the details in this excellent link you supplied us with
    http://portforward.com/english/routers/port_forwarding/Belkin/F5D8233-4v3/default.htm
    The Internal Network is OK, but we cannot get through the WAN access, we have tried everything from Port forwarding to obscure non used Ports, or putting the camera IP in DMZ at no avail. So we are trying to fresh start with it but every time we log in, the camera is recognized with its previous port # as assigned by us, besides, we have never reached the point when we are allowed to enter the Panasonic view service, where they request Active X controls allocate a passw, etc, etc. It just shows “Error connecting” So we are stuck in there. The BLC1A camera we also have, works fine but we set it up on an old WRT54G Linksys router with zero problems, albeit forwarding ports, etc, etc. And btw your email notice instructions worked like a dream, so we decided to stop the trial, as our mailboxes were flooded with ugly pics from us 🙂 I get the motion pics within a min of the incident happening, which is great.The pin reset doesnot work as the camera keeps the green light, and not even blinks for a sec. Will try the on screen menu and let you know. Thanks for your tips. mario

  16. Greg says:

    @mario:

    Never heard of the emergency factory reset button not working before. With the power on you should just use a paperclip or something similar to press the reset button for a second then the orange light should flash on the front of the camera to indicate it is resetting.

    If that doesn't work you can return the camera to factory settings using the on-camera menus. The option is in the maintenance tab.

    What is the faulty setting you are having problems with?

  17. mario says:

    Just one question Greg, how do you uninstall the camera if you made a mistake while setting it up ? I have a Panasonic BL C-111 which I cannot reset to factory default settings pinning the place as indicated by Panasonic, it just doesnot react at all and is being recognized with the same faulty setting the minute I plug it in. Is there a way to do it through the software that came attached with it ? I just want to re-configure it from scratch as it came from Panasonic. Thx for yr help

  18. Greg says:

    No problem Mario. Glad we could help.

  19. mario says:

    Just a big THANK YOU GUYS ! This is the best place ever to setup IP cameras. I am located in S.America and following your instructions on both the Internet surveillance through Panasonic DynamicDNS Service and the email triggering it just worked wonders. Greg you are a Genius ! On the email I just set my pics to be sent to my ISP free email supplied when I signed in, and then had them forwarded automatically to my gmail and yahoo accounts, and it works just great ! SMTP does work on port 25, and I enabled the SMTP authentication putting there my ISP email name and domain and passw. Thanks once more !

  20. Greg says:

    Scheduling is available in the camera so you can tell it when to send emails and when not too. It's part of the triggering setup.

  21. Pete says:

    I tried to get this to work ,trying with & without POP authentication, but for some reason it does not send the emails. I use the same email settings for other stuff on my network, so I know they’re right, or at least I think they are. I’ve posted details below, just in case anyone else is using a roadrunner email account for the same kind of thing. this is for a

    SMTP server name: smtp-server.tx.rr.com
    port: 25
    Reply email address :{emailaddress@tx.rr.com]

    SMTP Authentication
    login ID: {emailaddress@tx.rr.com]
    Password: xxxxxxx

    any ideas? this is for a BL-C140A, but I think most of the Panasonic camera’s are set up the same way for sending email.

    Thanks, Pete

  22. Gary says:

    Does anyone know how to activate the camera triggers without using the web interface for each camera?
    I have several cameras monitoring my house. They work very well but I would like a way to turn them all off or all on without having to log into the web interface of each of them.
    At the moment I gt bombarded with emails when someone safe is at the house (for instance my cleaner). It would be easier if I could send a script to the cameras when the alarm was deactivated or activated.

  23. Michael Blackwell says:

    I too am trying to get the email function to work. I have a MSN account that is using hotmail live that is not working (I’m assuming it needs an SSL connection), per previous email theads, both GMail and Yahoo email does’t work (I’ve just covered three of the
    normal email accounts). Can someone suggest a working email account(s) (for free) that the rest of us could possibly use. many thanxs in advance.

  24. Greg says:

    @Leo:

    No, you can't use Gmail etc. because those require an SSL connection.

    Contact your ISP and set up an email account with them (for free) which you don't need to use. You should be able to use their SMTP details though to get the cameras to send emails.

  25. Leo says:

    Hello,

    I guess I am VERY disappointed that I cannot use my GMAIL (google) account with these cams. I bought two of them, installed them, they work flawlessly, but if I need to check my ISP email account (which I have never used) for emails, I may as well just log on to my webcams and review the trigger history.

    If you can suggest a way to have them send emails to Google or Yahoo I would appreciate it.

    I did try using another web email account that I have, and redirecting that email to gmail, but still failed…

    Thanks!

  26. Greg says:

    Hi Alex.

    You can't use Google Mail with one of these cameras for sending emails I'm afraid as the camera doesn't support a secure SSL connection which Gmail requires.

    Try using the email account that comes from your Internet service provider as they are normally compatible.

  27. alex says:

    Does anyone know a free email account service that works with the panasonic software to send an email when the camera is triggered??

  28. alex says:

    Doe annyone know the settings for sending an email with a gmail account? I cant get it working

  29. Greg says:

    Sorry Wayne, The Panasonic BL/BB series can't send video files. Notification emails only with optional image attachment.

  30. Wayne says:

    I can now view the video over the internet. It works great. Now I need to figure out how to get my alarm to email video files instead of only snapshots.

  31. Greg says:

    Hi Wayne,

    Glad the article was of some help. See this article for help on setting up external access from the Internet: https://www.networkwebcams.co.uk/blog/2007/10/22/howto-port-forwarding-101/

  32. Wayne says:

    I finally got my Netcamera work work after reading this article. I have a generic off brand camera IP207W that uses the same settings as these Panasonic’s. The instructions here worked great. Now if I could only figure out how to view the camera via the internet. At least I got one hurdle accomplished. Thanks!

  33. Greg says:

    Hi Jim,

    You won't be able to use a web-based email account. Try using the SMTP settings for the email account you get from your ISP. Almost all ISPs will give you a free email account. Contact them for details if you don't have them.

  34. jim says:

    hi,

    i tried to follow the article but i can’t make the email notification work. Hostname seems to be wrong.
    How do I send the notification to my yahoo address.
    what is the correct smtp server ip for yahoo email?

    Please help..

  35. Greg says:

    So where do you input the path the file is being sent to? (the 'networkcam' folder)

  36. Robert says:

    Excellent article I found while Google’ing my problem. I have a Toshiba IK-WB11A that won’t transfer images via ftp. It is set up correctly but after looking at the logs it is trying to send files with the following invalid filename. The line from the log is:
    “STOR /c:\networkcam/MDtest20080524160538005D16C.JPG”
    It seems to me that the “/” after the directory is the problem, since a “/” is an invalid character in a filename, but the camera software only lets me change the part of the filename between the “MD” and the number (test). Any ideas? Am I missing something else obvious? Thanks

  37. KB says:

    What particular camera type are you using? Depending on this you can perhaps use the command "Get?Func=Sensor&Kind=1" to detect the current sensor status. I think, however, that this will only tell you whethor the sonsor is making a detection or not (1 = yes, 0 = no).

    I am not sure that you can call the current 'motion level' from any of these cameras. Can you explain further?

  38. matt says:

    Do you know how to access the motion detection value over the web instead of email?

    I can SET and GET the THRESH and SENSE settings, but I can’t get the camera to tell me what the current motion level is.

  39. Greg says:

    Hi Anne,

    Thanks for your enquiry. It sounds like you haven't set up your SMTP server details. This is basically your email information which you can find in your favourite email program (such as Outlook etc.) You will need to enter this information into the camera before it can send emails.

    If you need further help you can drop by our forums and we'll be happy to discuss this further.

  40. anne says:

    Hi,
    I’ve a problem with my camera network sony snc-m3, it dont want send me email when i set up on motion detection. I already folow all the instruction from guide user but still dont want to work.
    its said : motion detection triggered and unwknown smtp server.
    Plz help me.

    Regards,
    Anne

  41. Greg says:

    Hi Dave,

    Yes, it is a little unclear but there are two distinct notification steps. In the article these are noted as Steps 10 and Steps 11. Step 10 sets up the image transfers and Step 11 is an optional step which sends a notification email ONLY. Ensure your email settings in Step 10 are the same as Step 11. Also ensure that you have values in the pre and post buffer and that your email supports attachments. Hopefully that will help you get those images coming through.

  42. DAVID says:

    Good article I managed to set the email trigger which notifies me the BLC30 is being triggered but the images are not being sent.Could be something to do with the pre trigger and after trigger settings and the resolution settings I hope.If you have any ideas please reply,thanks again for your info I am half way their.

    Cheers

    Dave

  43. John Heating says:

    Thanks for this, a lot of information to absorb but well worth the read.

  44. Wes Fernley says:

    Great Article!

    I posted this on the NetworkCameraReviews.com blog for our visitors.

    Wes