Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras|NETGEAR
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Time and Date Display on video (Timestamp)

Preface: The property management company I work for purchased 8 Arlo cameras to set up around the apartment complex I manage. 


The current system does not provide an easy way to tell the exact time a specific time that an image within a video clip was captured, nor does it provice an easy way to navigate to a specific time within a video. The only mention of an exact time is the time listed when the camera began recording each clip. To find out when a still image within the video was captured, you must mentally add up the amount of time you are into a video and the start time of the clip. Example: I want to find the time 6:32 within a video clip. The video clip states that it starts at 6:30, so I navigate two minutes into the video.


My suggestion is to either add a time and date stamp to the video recording, in an unobtrusive area of the video, perhaps customizeable to which corner it appears in. Alternatively, rather than the time slider at the bottom of the clip playback stating the time into the video clip, it displays the real time the video was taken. Current setup for video playback begins at 00:00:00 and advances to 00:02:00, if video length is set to 120 seconds. Instead, it could start at the real time the video capture was taken and continue along at real time. Example: Video starts at 06:30:27 and the slider at the bottom of the playback advances to 06:32:27.


This would aid in finding a specific time in which an event reportedly occurred, as well as serve for better evidence when assessing a charge against a tenant for littering, as you could print out a screenshot of the video with a timestamp and attach it to a document for issuing a charge. It would also aid in police investigations or as evidence when in litigation. Police often come to my office to request video footage of a certain time and date, and this would assist them. We also have a problem with illegal dumping of mattresses and furniture, in which case we would need a timestamped image to present to police.


Thank you for reading this suggestion, and I hope that a timestamp could be implemented as an optional feature for the Arlo camera system in the future. 

J. Benson,
Ullrich Real Estate


To Netgear R&D,


this feature is very important for security and law reasons. All those are already mentioned in the above messages. One of the first requests for this feature was in September 2016. A year passed you did nothing about it! I don't think that's a hard task, as other low-cost cameras do have such feature.


Do you understand that when we need to submit the video proof to the judge, normally it isn't accepted since timestamp on the video is missing!!! Yes, there is metadata, yes there is the file name, but the judges want to see the timestamp with seconds on each video frame. 


You then requested to put it in the feature request thread and vote. Look it has already 168 votes. Isn't that enough to start working on it?


Looking forward to hearing from the Netgear an official update on this feature.


Thank you.


So Netgear apparently deleted my comment about how if not for the lack of time and date stamp burn-in options on the videos, I'd recommend Arlo to everyone. Now I'm annoyed-- you dismiss the requests of all the customers in this thread and then selectively delete their comments too? It is literally only because of this function not being offered that I don't recommend Arlo, and when people ask me about it, which they do more often than you would think, I tell them the truth-- Arlo not only doesn't offer this option, but in the forums, Netgear is being completely unresponsive to nearly 200 customer requests for this time/date stamp alone. The requests go back over a year.

Epoch isn't an option-- it's a cumbersome workaround that is completely impractical because of the vast number of videos one is likely to record. Personally, the five cameras I have up now record hundreds of clips every day. I'm not going to sit there and noodle through each one--by hand-- with the effort it takes to copy and past the information into Epoch to get a stamp one video at a time. The stamps won't even show on the videos themselves unless I use an editing software to superimpose them on there. And even then, it's not particularly useful in court, because the stamps can be altered. In fact, all opposing counsel would have to do is take a copy of this forum thread to court to discredit any Arlo time/date stamp arguments. 

My comment still stands-- this was the only reason I wouldn't recommend Arlos, and now I'm going to include "lousy customer service" into the reason I won't recommend it. Netgear could take two seconds out of their day to make a statement to the many customers who have invested in their pricey systems to tell them one way or another what they do or don't plan to do about time and date stamp options. I bought my Arlo system because I have a horrible neighbor who has destroyed property of mine and has threatened to burn her own house down repeatedly for insurance money.  The police suggested I get cameras, so I did. But without time time/date stamp option, they aren't going to be useful if I have to go to court. So I'm thinking strongly of putting my nearly $2000 worth of Arlo products on craigslist and finding a system that does offer time/date stamp. It's ridiculous that there are 180+ comments about this and Netgear can't even be bothered to answer with a "we'll take it under advisement" or say they'll do anything. 

Community Manager



None of your comments have been deleted or lost from what I can tell, we have been merging duplicate threads on topics like this to help consolidate similar ideas. I apologize for any confusion that may have caused.


Regarding this specific feature I don't have any new information at this time.The Arlo team is still working hard to deliver new features to all existing Arlo product lines. I encourage you to continue offering your support for new ideas by adding Kudos. The status of this idea will be updated in the future to reflect it's progress with the development team.


"Epoch isn't an option-- it's a cumbersome workaround that is completely impractical because of the vast number of videos one is likely to record."


Regarding the above, as I have mentioned before, I wrote a Python script to batch process the file names into human readable format.  I have copied the script below for your reference.


# timestamp_arlo - a utility to rename arlo downloaded files to human readable date/time format
# Developed under Python 2.7.10
# This script is open-source; please use and distribute as you wish.
# There are no warranties; please use at your own risk.

import os
import glob
import datetime

#list files that are mp4
files = glob.glob('*.mp4')

#iteratively look at all listed files
for file in files:

    #rename only those file names that look like epoch timestamps
    if file.startswith("14"):
        #divide timestamp (first 13 characters) by 1000 to remove the milliseconds that Python does not understand
        sec = int(file [0:13]) / 1000

        #convert epoch timestamp to human readable, OS compatible, date and time
        timestamp = str(datetime.datetime.fromtimestamp(sec).strftime('%Y-%m-%d_%H%M%S'))
        #define the new name as the readable date/time plus the extension
        new_name = os.path.join(timestamp + ".mp4")

        #rename the file with the new name
        os.rename(file, new_name)
#repeat above with jpg files
files = glob.glob('*.jpg')
for file in files:
    if file.startswith("14"):    
        sec = int(file [0:13]) / 1000
        timestamp = str(datetime.datetime.fromtimestamp(sec).strftime('%Y-%m-%d_%H%M%S'))
        new_name = os.path.join(timestamp + ".jpg")
        os.rename(file, new_name)

hokeysmoke, Thank you for posting the script, that's very kind. I do appreciate it, but I'm not a programmer, so I'm not sure how to use it. I'll see if I can figure it out when I have a moment. In any event, Arlo is a consumer system, aimed at people who just want to take it out of the box and have it work. It should record time and date stamps without customers having to jump through scripting hoops to make it happen. 




JamesC, Thank you for your response. I can't find my original comments though-- they have completely disappeared out of my notifications, so it does appear they were somehow removed from the system. Comments I made before those are still there, however.


+1 expressed disappointment to the product team that this is still outstanding. Really using an external tool to handle timestamp is less than ideal. Not all people care or can grasp the concept of epoch time. A simple export option via web or app for a burned in time stamp overlay is ok.


 Yeah so ill give Netgear/Arlo to the next update to add embedded time and date one the recording then im buying a new product and chucking this in the bin! Just had a claim rejected because of NO date and time stamp! Useless as a security system!

NETGEAR don't give a stuff. This has been going on for more than 12 months.. They have your money, why should they care. Maybe we should all return them to the stores as unfit for purpose, which is a legal way to return a product out of warranty especially since we have been trying to get NETGEAR to add this feature but they have made no effort to rectify the shortcomings

Netgear is not going to do anything. All they are interested in is more new products, more money. Screw the ones that helped them get established with the original arlo. I really don't think the engineers know all they should. Every time they have an update some other problem arises.