Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Arlo Pro poor quality video clip of theft

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Aspirant
Aspirant

Caught a thief on camera going through our cars in the driveway, but only triggered 1 minute (camera set to record for 60 seconds upon motion)  and did not get the thief coming or leaving, only rooting in the car.  Got a face shot but quality is horrible and unidentifiable. What good are these cameras??  Can’t get through to live chat and they don’t offer an email for support.  Spent a lot of money to catch squirrels and the mail man on camera and when a theft really happens it doesn’t work. Extremely frustrated!! Any ideas or suggestions??

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Community Manager
Community Manager

JF44,

 

How far away from the cars is the camera? Can you provide a screenshot from the cameras point of view so we can better understand the environment?

 

JamesC

 

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Aspirant
Aspirant

The camera is approximately 25 feet from the first vehicle.  Tried to add the video but it won't let me. 

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Hero
Hero

25 feet (depending on the conditions) is pushing the motion sensor detection range for detecting people. Cars at that distance probably will set off motion detection, but maybe not people, which is probably why the camera didn't pick the person up walking up or leaving. Also depends on what you have the camera sensitivity set at. At 100% I had mine pick up people about 25-30 feet and cars at 50-60 feet, but if you never changed that setting I believe the default is 80%. So try turning the motion detection sensitivity up. Also make sure that the camera is pointed so that motion comes across it's detection area, not straight at it.

 

Also 25 feet to get a picture of a persons face that can be used by police or in court....... again probably pushing the limits. In my garage my camera will pick up a person 25-30 feet away, and you can see the face, but is it good enough to without a doubt convict in a court of law.... idk. My buddy has different cameras and got a persons face from 10 feet away trying to open his front door and the cops said, we think we know who the guy is, but we can't prove it from just a video. But that said, if you can, move the camera closer.

 

Also, always lock your cars doors and invest in a car alarm system if you don't already have one.

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Aspirant
Aspirant

Thanks for your response. I over esttimated the distance. Just measured and it is 15 feet away and the sensitivity was at 90; so I changed it to 100. So in reality arlo is more of a toy and for daylight activity.   I guess I Should have invested in a real security system as there are a ton of issues on these community discussions with little resolution. We lock our vehicles pretty much every night but of course Murphy’s law. 

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Hero
Hero

15 feet should be fine for picking up motion, but make sure the motion comes across the camera, not straight at it. Also remember these are cloud-based cameras and there is always a small delay/lag once motion is detected. Enough for you to not see someone enter the field of view right away depending on how fast they are moving (a few seconds).

 

IMHO........

It's a common misconception that video cameras alone are a security system. They are really used to enhance or add to other security systems like an alarm system. One main function of residential video cameras in this price range is deterrence. Put the arlo stickers on doors/windows, let the cameras be seen, and hopefully that makes the person move on to the next house. Second function is to capture the activity, what time it happened, what was the person wearing, estimate height/weight/build, long hair/short hair, male/female, race. Most video cameras in this price range, not just arlo, aren't designed to capture a face or license plate from distance, so that you could pick out the person in a mug shot or with facial recognition software. However, close up they capture a face fine. I have one by my attached garage door that leads into the house. About 10-15 feet from the door all the way up to the door, where it’s about 5 feet away, it gets people and faces clear as day. Inside my house my cameras are no more than 15 feet from any point in the room and they pick up my face just fine, of course closer is better. But you can use any video it captures to show the police and they might say, hey I know that jacket, that's Joe Crackhead from 3 blocks over. Then if an actual theft happened they could take finger prints, find the person if they have a record, and use the video to help prove the identification. (finger prints are still the most popular and best way to find a criminal, even more than DNA currently).

 

Also set up notificstions from the cameras so if you get notified during a time when there should be no motion you can quickly take a look at live view and use the microphone to hopefully scare the person off.

 

With all that said, with the right placement and lighting like LED smart bulbs and IR emitting bulbs, for better night vision, these cameras do a good job for the price. (LIFX sells these, I have 12 LED smart bulbs and 2 IR emitting light bulbs which emit the IR light even if they are off) If you want something to capture crystal clear faces and license plates from distances your taking about a commercial system which would cost you thousands of dollars, something like a large dept store would have.

 

This is just my opinion and I’m no video camera expert. There might be affordable cameras out there that do a better job with faces at distance, but for me these do the job just fine. If these don’t suit your needs, hopefully you’ll find ones that do.

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Apprentice
Apprentice

Always disappointing when I click on a thread like this and there's no video to stickybeak at 🙂

 

One of the dirty little secrets of the original and Pro models is that they only record at 640x352 by default. But even if you change the video quality setting to 'best' to get the advertised 720p, it's pretty bad 720p due to low bitrate, while the Pro 2, though an improvement over the Pro in good light, is pretty bad 1080p. On top of that is the smearing of moving objects that sometimes occurs and blown highlights in night vision.


So while it's good at capturing events (or parts of them), it's poor at capturing details such as faces and licence plates. This video gives an idea of what a high quality wired camera can do by comparison:

 

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Guru Guru
Guru

With 110-130 degrees of angle of vision, you should never expect them to be ID-type cameras. Expectations need to be modified by reality.

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Apprentice
Apprentice

There's nothing exceptional about Arlo's field of view, so that's not the key factor when it comes to Arlo's quality relative to other systems.

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Aspirant
Aspirant

Thank you to everyone’s response. Just to be clear, I did not purchase these cameras to prevent thefts.  I did a lot of reserch and these cameras were rated one of the best wireless systems out there and I assumed I would be able to identify a thief in my driveway and if these cameras can’t accomplish this, why would I invest in such a gimmicky toy. If I knew how poor the quality was prior to purchasing them I definitely would have spent more and invested in a quality system. Thanks again for everyone’s reply and does anyone want to buy a used arlo system?  

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Guru Guru
Guru

@mocodi wrote:

There's nothing exceptional about Arlo's field of view, so that's not the key factor when it comes to Arlo's quality relative to other systems.


The angle of view as well as the compression level has everything to do with it. These cameras are very wide angle which is great if you want to see everything but becomes a problem when trying to see small details in a small area. You can download pictures taken with a camera using a 15mm lens on a full-frame DSLR which is comparable with the original wireless camera or a 10mm lens which is comp[arable with the Pro series. Zoom in on them and see how pixelated they get as you try that. Now add in the compression needed to keep data usage and storage space reasonable (not everyone has 50Mbps upload speeds).

 

That said, I'd like to see cameras with more like a 70 degree angle of view and user-configurable compression levels. Both would provide the end-user with options that would enhance the system's utility and the end-user experience.

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Hero
Hero

Thanks for that video. That is exactly why......

1) I have my video setting on for all my cameras on Best Video

2) I have 3 of my 4 cameras inside the house and the 4th inside the attached garage.

3) In the garage I use 2 LIFX+ lights which emit 950 nm of infrared light even when they are turned off. Those 2 lights plus the IR light of the camera give great night light without washing out people/faces.

4) I have placed the cameras so I get what I want to see, but so that when the lights come on in the room/garage it doesn't wash out objects.

5) Why I plan on putting different wired cameras outside. Those Axis cameras look good. I'll have to look into those for outside.

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Hero
Hero

I just wanted to add to my previous post for anyone reading this thread...........

I did some research on those Axis camera, and yes they are really nice, but he fails to mention the price tag in the video. If you want color, night vision, and outdoor, one camera is $300-400, then add in the cost of an NVR to record onto, and the cost of having an electricion wire your home for POE........ for 4 cameras your talking about $2000 easily. You could save on the POE wire install if you do it yourself, but still much more expensive than the Arlo kits. I also looked at a few other POE cameras and most of them are more expensive or if they are in the Arlo price range they don't have the features, most just detect motion and record. No geofencing, no custom schduleing, just detect and record.

 

I love my Arlo cameras inside, and yes the quality might be a bit less and the lag a bit more than a POE system, but for the price Arlo is looking good for my outside setup too. Maybe my thinking was off......... Arlo Pro's with a solar panel is the way I'm leaning now.