Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Lower video resolution than in the past. No longer can read logo on truck at 20 ft?

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IshmaelB
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Star

Video resolution has degraded from what it used to be. It started after Netgear sold Arlo.

We can no longer read a logo on the door of a truck, in bright sunlight, at 20 feet.

This is terrible for a SECURITY camera.   

All cameras have the same issue.  Once-good resolution is now blurry.

Is AI blurring writing and faces?  Trying to upsell to Ultra2?  That is not much better and requires special hardware to view on a PC, and not at all on a Mac.

 

Model: VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
jguerdat
Guru Guru
Guru

The resolution hasn't changed over time but the compression algorithm may have. That said, my cameras have the same sort of video quality over the years so it's not likely that it's a firmware issue or the separation of Arlo from Netgear. It may also be that your needs are significantly different from mine. If you have comparison videos or screenshots that could be useful to see.

 

BTW, check your camera settings to ensure they haven't somehow changed to the lowest resolution.

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@jguerdat wrote:

The resolution hasn't changed over time but the compression algorithm may have.


The compression was (and remains) H.264 - that is built into the hardware. 

 

But I believe they have reduced the bitrate at least once.  With modern compression, dropping the bitrate makes the video blurrier.

IshmaelB
Star
Star

I've sent sample videos to Arlo several times.  Nothing ever changes, except to get worse.

I have over a dozen Pro2s; some are 2+ years old, some less than 6 months.  Same issue.

The camera resolution means nothing if playback is of lower res.  3  base stations.  It matters not how far the cameras are from them, same issue.  

Model: VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
IshmaelB
Star
Star

I am aware of the. bitrate change.  I am not convinced that compression is only on the camera/base side.   I feel them compress the videos when storing on the cloud, to save space, i.e. money.

Also, I'd wager than firmware changes on the cameras/bases is a factor.

 

Model: VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@IshmaelB wrote:

 I am not convinced that compression is only on the camera/base side.   

 


You can test your theory by adding USB storage in the base.  Then compare the base recordings with the versions in cloud storage.

 

FWIW, it would be cheapest for them to encode once in the camera, and not re-encode in the cloud.  It also would give better quality.  So I don't believe they are re-encoding in the cloud.

 


@IshmaelB wrote:

 

Also, I'd wager than firmware changes on the cameras/bases is a factor.

 


I believe the bit rate reduction was accomplished by updating the firmware in the camera.

 

The base stations don't have the hardware needed to transcode, so I don't see how firmware in the base would change the encoding quality.

HoneyMarket
Tutor
Tutor

I recall, sometime about a year ago...reading online that Arlo did some changes...and if you were NOT a subscriber to paid services, the quality of your video was degraded, including video to your local USB drive on the base station.  I don't think I read it here...maybe it was on SlickDeals during discussions about Arlo cameras and users were discussing changes that had happened with the video quality.  I too have subtly noticed that the quality of my cameras/videos sucks, compared to prior years...

SAub
Tutor
Tutor

"Your Arlo Wire-Free, Pro, and Pro 2 camera’s bitrate is reduced if you do not have an Arlo Smart plan. To increase the bitrate on these camera models, you must add the cameras to an Arlo Smart plan."

 

I found this snippet from an Alro KB article   https://kb.arlo.com/1179147/How-do-I-get-better-picture-quality-from-my-Arlo-camer

Model: VMB4500 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
silverado44
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

@IshmaelB wrote:

Video resolution has degraded from what it used to be. It started after Netgear sold Arlo.

We can no longer read a logo on the door of a truck, in bright sunlight, at 20 feet.

This is terrible for a SECURITY camera.   

All cameras have the same issue.  Once-good resolution is now blurry.

Is AI blurring writing and faces?  Trying to upsell to Ultra2?  That is not much better and requires special hardware to view on a PC, and not at all on a Mac.

 


Yes video resolution has downgraded a lot as its more like 670p last time I checked and supposed to be 1080p. They are advertised as 1080p and we are not even close, can Arlo be in trouble for this? Most definitely as there advertised as 1080p and we are not getting it. Will they do anything about it? Nope.

 

As I said before the CEO Matt McRae is tricking its customers into this junk resolution product and in my eyes he is a terrible CEO for letting this product turn to junk and letting it out on the market fooling customers of its performance.

 

I cant wait to get rid of this system and move on and will be thanking Arlo for stealing my money on a product THAT doesn't deliver. 

Edinburgh_lad1
Apprentice
Apprentice
Hi

I have Arlo HD, but definitely noticed a change in the quality of the video. Probably when Arlo was sold by Netgear. I always thought it was our internet connection but now with fibre, I'm confident it's not.

We should approach Arlo with our concerns, especially that when I got Arlo, this is not what I signed up for. Had I known that this would be the case at the time, I'd have chosen a different system, with a better video quality.
HoneyMarket
Tutor
Tutor

A similar thing is happening over at Tesla Motors.  Not exactly but similar.

 

It seems that Tesla, which the the ability to reach out and touch everyone of their vehicles over an onboard cellular connection, recently downgraded the range of their vehicles through a software update.

Tesla says they did this...to "extend the lifetime of the batteries" so that the consumer does not have to pay for an expensive battery repair in the near future.

Again, not exactly the same thing but it ticked off enough Tesla owners, that they have started a class-action lawsuit against Tesla due to them not getting what they paid for - Most Tesla's have the same battery in them...but you buy what type of range you want when you buy the vehicle.  Imagine if we bought the "resolution we wanted" when we bought our Arlo's??

Arlo just wants to make money for their Shareholders - they are doing this...but lowering the resolution capability of the camera to non-paying customers.  Oh, the cameras have the bitrate and resolution capability for higher...but you ain't paying a monthly subscription...so you ain't gettin a higher resolution!

Sounds ripe for a Class-Action Lawsuit!!!   There's always a lawyer out there willing to sue...I wonder if we have something here - what we're getting vs. what we "assumed" we were getting when we bought our cameras.

 

Dannybear
Mentor
Mentor
My opinion is to drop the resolution arguments in favour of the degrading motion quality.
I imagine Arlo’s argument would be that because the picture resolution has not changed you don’t have a leg to stand on as it hasn’t changed.
Arlo reason for degrading motion quality will be to optimise data rates for minimum bit rate specifications.
This allows the system to perform to some degree when utilised on low speed internet connections and consequently also save on server space.
I use an iPhone 5s to view my recordings and understand the displayed resolution and motion quality is useless using such a device.
Makes me wonder if dropping resolution to favour motion quality is worth pushing instead, no doubt you would still need a subscription.....
SAub
Tutor
Tutor

For me, Pro 2's resolution and frame rate are as documented: 1920x1072 and 23.93 fps so there is nothing to complain about for those. However, the bit rate on Best video day mode is typically 450 kbps - 550 kbps. Both lower than the Arlo documented 600 kbps. And even the documented 600 kbps is too low for a good quality video.

 

For reference my Ring doorbell has a much better bit rate:  2071 kbps and as expected its video quality is far better than Pro 2's. It is also 1920x1080, 24 fps.

 

Arlo loses money on Pro and Pro 2 customers as we consume backend servers and data storage and don't pay them a dime. Their only goal now is to A) lose less money on us by reducing our usage of backend servers and data storage. B) Induce us to upgrade to a Smart plan subscription model so Arlo can have a recurring revenue stream. Both goals are accomplished by having a low bit rate.

 

As evidenced by my Ring doorbell's bit rate of 2071 kbps, my WiFi is capable of streaming at a much higher bitrate than Pro2's 450 - 550 kbps. (Note that Ring doorbells connect directly with a WiFi router. They don't connect with a base station like Pro 2.).

 

I've noticed that the Arlo base station is under powered (or purposely throttled) as Pro 2's bitrate drops into the 450 kbps range when 2 Pro 2 cameras are transmitting at the same time.  

 

I would be interested to hear from a Pro or Pro2 customer with a Smart plan...what is your bit rate, resolution and frames per second? 

 

 

Model: VMB4500 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
HoneyMarket
Tutor
Tutor

"Arlo loses money on Pro and Pro 2 customers as we consume backend servers and data storage and don't pay them a dime. Their only goal now is to A) lose less money on us by reducing our usage of backend servers and data storage. B) Induce us to upgrade to a Smart plan subscription model so Arlo can have a recurring revenue stream. Both goals are accomplished by having a low bit rate."

 

That was Arlo's business decision early on - they offered "expensive" wireless cameras upfront to the consumer with the promise of 7 days worth of video storage.  We as consumers bought these expensive cameras and decided that 7 days was good enough for our particular needs at home. BTW, storage is "relatively" cheap and can be rented out as needed (I.e. Amazon cloud, etc...).  Arlo business and finance exec's must have figured this non-revenue portion into their business model.  Now if they (and the shareholders) think we're just parasites on their network they will entice us off.  Hopefully they don't pull an Apple and start throttling our devices down even further to make our bought & paid for products entirely useless.

ShaneLee
Luminary
Luminary

I have a Pro2 and a Smart Plan. 

 

Resolution: 1920x1072

Format: H.264

Audio: AAC, 16000 Hz

Encoded FPS: 23.9

Data Rate: 775.81 kbit/sec

 

framerate.jpg

 

 

alchemist50
Apprentice
Apprentice

Has anyone else noticed a deterioration in video quality starting on or around June 1?

 

My mix of Pro and Pro2 cameras (5 total) all started producing noticeably blurrier videos on June 2.  It particularly shows up on the lawn and bushes in my yard.  Both used to be fairly clear with a decent amount of detail.  Now, for example, the grass has become just kind of a blurry sea of green with much less detail.  It's also evident that the overall image just appears to be blurrier.  As in the title, logos on passing vehicles have become difficult or impossible to read.  Just to check, I even cleaned the camera lenses hoping to improve things.  No change.

 

I switched from the free 7-day plan to Arlo Smart about three months ago looking for better video quality.  The subscription did improve the images somewhat, Pro2 bitrates went from 500-600 to about 800-1000 kbps.  I was willing to pay the subscription fee for the better video and the smart notifications.  But now, video quality is actually worse again than it had been on the free plan.  Interestingly, the bitrates don't seem to have changed significantly, however.

 

I was reasonably happy with the image quality for a number of months. Arlo seemed to have made some improvements in that area maybe last year.  But now they seem to be going backwards again.  Arlo, can you please restore the video quality and leave it alone???

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station, VMB4500 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station, VMC4030 | Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
silverado44
Virtuoso
Virtuoso
Video quality has gone way down on the pro 2 and Arlo will do nothing about it why because they want us to upgrade to the higher cameras and pay that's why. Pro 2 is supposed to be 1080 and its more like 620. Now what kind of company will destroy there older product to get you to upgrade, a company that does not care about there older product and its customers and they think were going to give Arlo more money when they do stuff like this? Not me that's for sure

A friend of mine bought the Eufy system and I will tell you it blows away my Arlo pro 2 system, well as you guess iam done with Arlo due to this poor video quality and if and I mean if it does go back to 1080 I will stay but I know that's not going to happen due to this piss poor run company that does not care about its customers and all they want is our money.

Iam sure the admins or moderators will delete this post like they always do because they don't want to hear the truth and have it out there on the web about there product spreading around.

Customer service, now that's a funny one my wife knows nothing about this system and iam better off asking her about this product then calling customer service.
IshmaelB
Star
Star

Ok, folks.  The moderators and admins and Arlo support refuse to address this marketing decision to break the terms of the purchase we all made.

Time for a class action suit.  That seems to be the only way to force them to honor their commitments.

All in favor, please post your willingness to participate.

We have 14 cameras, and they all were downgraded in terms of resolution,  response time, and reliability.

They used to work fairly well.  This was a conscious decision by Arlo management.  Netgear did a far better job.

This is supposed to be a security system.  It has turned into nothing more than a trailcam or novelty.

I also suggest you post your feelings on any and every review site, e.g. BestBuy and Costco.

Time to act.

 

 

 

Model: VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
HoneyMarket
Tutor
Tutor
We may have to take any class-action discussion over to Reddit but I’m in agreement, as long as-the consumers get more than the lawyers - usually, it’s the other way around.
alchemist50
Apprentice
Apprentice

I wholeheartedly agree that Arlo's business model of sabotaging video quality on legacy products is terrible.  This is why I do not plan to purchase any more and do not recommend Arlo products until/unless they change this philosophy.  After all, every product will eventually become a legacy product. It's a shame, because these systems have many features that I do like.

 

Nevertheless, in the past if enough of us complained loudly enough, we have been able to get Arlo to at least partially improve the Pro/Pro2 video quality, even if temporarily. That's why I wondered if others had noticed the June 1 change. Don't remember when it was, maybe 2020, but they changed the video compression algorithm so that the images became completely intolerable.  Couldn't even recognize animals at night, they just became a fuzzy blob. Many users complained.  Eventually, Arlo fixed this, and a decent level of detail was gradually restored to the images. The degradation is not as bad this time, but it's still definitely noticeable.  If enough of us complain now, maybe they'll back off the compression once again.

 

Thanks to all.

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station, VMC4030 | Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera, VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
silverado44
Virtuoso
Virtuoso
You will not even see none of the employees like Shayne, jessica or jamesC respond to this thread not going to happen as they stay away from threads like this.

I have around 2 grand tied in this piece of junk over about 2 years and it started getting bad when they came out with the pro 3 and the ultras and they are phasing us out by such performance. Do they really think were dumb enough that we will upgrade to the ultras with a payed subscription for better video in this company andknow what is going to happen to the ultras when they come out with a camera better then the ultras? There video quality will go down also. As soon as I see the Eufys go on sale I will be done with Arlo.

They have been reported to the BBB with no change. I just see in my head the CEO (Matt McRae) spinning around in his office chair laughing about how they screwed its older product customers knowing also some of the dumber customers upgraded to get a better video quality and feeding them more and more money.

You don't see company's like Sony, LG, Vizio etc sending updates to there TV's to degrade the picture quality so we buy a new one. They don't but Arlo does.
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