Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Re: Severe Pixelation?

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Ordinary1
Star
Star

Hi All.

 

Hope everyone is keeping safe and well.


Since the early hours of yesterday morning (25th April) UK time all of my Arlo Pro cameras have been suffering from extreme pixelation in both live view and motion detection recordings. The location of the cameras and base station have not changed for months.

 

The base station is VMB4000r3 on firmware 1.16.1.1_3348_facf74c

The four cameras are version H8 1.092.0.25_24_986

 

The pixelated video is also present on local USB storage suggesting a local issue.

 

I have checked WiFi strength using an analyser and all is good. All cameras have three bars in the Arlo app.

 

One of the cameras is within ten feet of the base station with no obstructions and is suffering the same.

 

I have noticed that a camera firmware update was issued in the last few days. Are there any known problems that could have caused such a drastic change in system performance?

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
1 ACCEPTED SOLUTION

Accepted Solutions
JessicaP
Arlo Moderator
Arlo Moderator

As we shared Friday, the new software update has now been deployed and your Arlo system should have downloaded it by now. If you are continuing to see the same issue, please reach out to us at 408-638-3750.

 

- Arlo Team

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530 REPLIES 530
shoustonnz
Luminary
Luminary

I must admit I haven't seen pixelation, but I do see freezes frequently.

 

Can I ask on a totally different subject??

 

I see that you have a VMB4000r3 and use USB storage too.

Do you notice that all your recordings, that show on your mobile phone or computer library, are short by at least 2 seconds from the front of the recording. Compared with what is recorded on your USB.

So what is being uploaded to the cloud is incorrect, often looking like a false record.

 

I have had this problem since before Christmas, and it has been logged as a known issue. Case Number: 41324651

 

 

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station, VMC4030 | Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
Ordinary1
Star
Star

Hi shoustonnz,

 

I have checked a number of recordings on my USB to cloud (iOS app/PC) and they are exactly the same in duration and activity captured so it looks like you have a different issue.

 

I also have VMC4030 cameras so the kit seems to be consistent, assuming that you are also on the same firmware releases that I described in my original post.

mamarcac
Apprentice
Apprentice

Yup, same issues, horrible pixelation and inconsistent recording lengths (have mine set to 30 seconds, fixed).

 

Looks like another loss in the Arlo Firmware Lottery, I just wish they'd test their crap before release. Sick of years of incompetence from them.

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
ksss11
Luminary
Luminary

The videos are just horrible for all of my cameras now. Door frames do the weave kind of thing, etc. I have not changed video settings at all for 3 years, now 'optimized'  bites.

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
Ordinary1
Star
Star

Hi mamarcac/ksss11

 

Many thanks for your replies. Have these problems started in the last week ? I am trying to narrow down a window to the latest firmware update ?

 

I have rebooted my base station multiple times, removed cameras, removed batteries, re-sync'd them, turned all video options on/off and changed the video quality and still have the same problems with all four cameras, even if I move them to within a few feet of the base station.

 

The pixelation seems pretty consistent. There is a brief spell of pixelation across the whole screen when a camera detects movement, If there is no further movement the pixelation calms down. As soon as there is more movement then the pixelation starts again and will keep going for the duration of movement. It seems to get worse the more central the movement is to the camera. This is not great for identifying people / vehicles as part of a security system as they are transformed into looking like something out of Minecraft 🙂

 

It feels like some sort of video compression routine not working correctly / poor video bit rate.

 

 

jam436
Apprentice
Apprentice

I'm seeing this as well.
This is just more of the same.


This recent -explosion- of problems seems to be limited only to the older Arlo Pro and Arlo Pro 2 systems, the only systems left that offer a week's worth of free cloud storage for up to 5 cameras.
Starting with the Arlo Pro 3 systems, a paid subscription is now necessary.

And if you look through the Arlo Pro 3 and higher threads, you won't see these problems.
Is there anyone here who hasn't noticed that each new firmware update only introduces new problems, without fixing any of the old problems?

 

I've said it before and I'll say it again;

Apparently since breaking off from Netgear in Jan. 2019, the new managers have decided to squeeze owners of these older systems out - by intentionally sabotaging their own systems.
There seems to be no other explanation for this sudden deluge of issues, all cropping up in just the last few months, many of which are rendering these systems nearly unusable. Is this by design? I believe it is.
The new owners no longer wish to honor the original free subscription agreement written by Netgear.

Model: VMB4500 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
Ordinary1
Star
Star

Thanks jam436.

 

So, I have followed up on my video compression theory.

 

I have reviewed the video clips on the local USB recordings.

 

Up until 25th April, a standard 11 second recording from the same camera was always over 1000KB in size, a sample of video bitrates taken from these files show a bitrate of 700-750kbps.

 

From 25th April, the file size has dropped to consistently around 600KB and bitrate to 350-400kbps, same camera, same recording conditions/level of movement. A 3 minute clip with lots of movement taken on the 26th is at 410kbps.

 

Looks like the video is being compressed to a much greater extent locally so it takes up less cloud storage at the Arlo end ? Unfortunately the effect is that the system is now not performing at a level that any reasonable security system should be expected to support.

 

Taking this further and looking back through video history, I had problems that were similar but not so exacerbated in 2019 throughout the summer with dropped frames/jerky movement and minor pixelation.  These files are also showing lower bitrates and file sizes. The bitrate and file sizes increased again and the problems subsided on 30th October 2019. I have just reviewed the firmware update files for VMC4030 cameras and guess what, there was an update to 1.092.0.24_985 the day before.

 

I suspect that Arlo have reverted back to the heavier compression seen mid-2019 that had been resolved following the firmware update on October 29th ?

mamarcac
Apprentice
Apprentice

@Ordinary1 wrote:

Hi mamarcac/ksss11

 

Many thanks for your replies. Have these problems started in the last week ? I am trying to narrow down a window to the latest firmware update ?

 

I have rebooted my base station multiple times, removed cameras, removed batteries, re-sync'd them, turned all video options on/off and changed the video quality and still have the same problems with all four cameras, even if I move them to within a few feet of the base station.

 

The pixelation seems pretty consistent. There is a brief spell of pixelation across the whole screen when a camera detects movement, If there is no further movement the pixelation calms down. As soon as there is more movement then the pixelation starts again and will keep going for the duration of movement. It seems to get worse the more central the movement is to the camera. This is not great for identifying people / vehicles as part of a security system as they are transformed into looking like something out of Minecraft 🙂

 

It feels like some sort of video compression routine not working correctly / poor video bit rate.

 

 


Yes this is 100% a firmware compression issue with the recent update. Same exact thing happened last May, 2019. It wasn't until the community made enough noise that Arlo actually fixed it. They're absolutely trying to save server space and bandwidth by lowering the quality of the legacy products.

 

@JamesC @JessicaP Fix this. Again. And stop un-fixing it.

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
Tricky111
Guide
Guide

Same issue here. Video is crap now and ARLO, doesn't seem to care. Will be last one I order.

ksss11
Luminary
Luminary

This is BS. We just ordered and received two Pro 2 cameras to use in case old ones need replaced. Now none of them will have clear video details for prosecution in court cases.

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
alchemist50
Apprentice
Apprentice

A few days ago I began to notice severe pixelation on all my cameras (Pro and Pro2).  Everything was working fine up until then.  I of course tried rebooting the base station and cameras (removed and reinserted batteries), removed a couple of the cameras and reattached them.  Internet upload and download speeds are 370 Mbps, 17 ms latency.

 

Anyone else seeing this issue?

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station, VMC4030 | Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera , VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

Haven't seen many other complaints...

many times this has to do with some type of interference. 

 

I would , if possible,  see via some of the apps if your wifi in area has some new signals listed that are strong. 

( had a neighbor blast me with a new wifi signal on same as my channel, so I changed channels of router to avoid... the base will follow the main router is close enough )

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Morse is faster than texting!
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Ordinary1
Star
Star
Hi TomMac

Thanks for taking the time to respond. Per my original post WiFi strength for all cameras on the app is three bars and I have used a WiFi analyser. All clear and no competing signals. Multiple Cameras as part of my testing have exhibited the same behaviour in the same room as the base station with no obstructions between them.

From the follow up work that I have done (Documented above) it is clear that the bitrate has been reduced and this coincides exactly with the Camera firmware update.

This also happened in summer last year and was fixed with the camera firmware update in October.

Arlo need to address this as the system is currently not fit for purpose.

I am happy for Arlo support to contact me (still waiting after a ticket was raised) and share the files that I have, their bit rates and file lengths both before and after each of these firmware updates (pre Oct 19, post Oct 19 and post April 24 2020).


alchemist50
Apprentice
Apprentice

Thanks everyone.  I missed this thread initially, but I'm seeing exactly the same issues, including smaller sizes on locally stored files.  And the locally stored files are also pixelated, indicating that it's not a cloud issue.  Sure sounds like increased compression.  Things were finally working pretty well since January, but now not so much again.  Please Arlo, fix this, and quit breaking things every few months.  If you need to save space on the cloud servers, I'd much rather maintain recording quality and maybe go to 5 days retention instead of 7.

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station, VMC4030 | Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera , VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
mamarcac
Apprentice
Apprentice

@TomMac wrote:

Haven't seen many other complaints...

many times this has to do with some type of interference. 

 

I would , if possible,  see via some of the apps if your wifi in area has some new signals listed that are strong. 

( had a neighbor blast me with a new wifi signal on same as my channel, so I changed channels of router to avoid... the base will follow the main router is close enough )


So you think the horrible quality degradation we're experiencing literally the day after the new firmware was pushed means we have external interference variables that changed AT THE EXACT TIME OF THE FIRMWARE release? People don't post on this forum because it rarely amounts to anything being fixed other than someone telling them to go reset the base station remove cameras etc. and then 2 hours later they're right back where they started because guess what. It's the firmware. It's _always_ the firmware with Arlo.

 

Bad firmware release, full stop.

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
jam436
Apprentice
Apprentice

Exactly. And if you go back and read comments in threads like these you'll notice that most of these "new" problems already existed at some time in the past and were fixed.
The new keepers of the Arlo brand are just trying to get rid of all the old legacy accounts that offered 5 cameras for free. What better way than to sabotage their own systems? These are not "new" problems, but rather old problems that are coming back. This hardly looks accidental.
And why do these firmware upgrades never add any new functionality of fix any existing problems? These firmware "updates" lately have only re-introduced old problems back into the system, slowly over time, and NONE of these issues are being fixed, or are going to be fixed.
Owners of the newer 'pay-to-play' systems (3 and up) don't have all these issues, just the owners of the old 'free' systems. Think about that...
Can you say 'class action'?

EDIT: I did notice one NEW problem being thrown into the mix. 
I always used an old 4Gb Sandisk flash drive to use for local storage.
Now it seems that drives <16Gb are no longer recognized by the base station.
Can anyone think of any logical reason for a change like this? I can, as I explained above.
This is just another 'f-you' from Arlo.

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
ksss11
Luminary
Luminary

So if we subscribe to a plan, even though we only have the Arlo Pro system (Pro base,  two-Pro2 cams and 3 Pro cams), will the recordings be better for sure? I don't want to get into the plan, then find out it can't do 2K or 4K  recordings., or that this update nonsense won't stop. If it will stop, and recordings will be better, then I might go ahead.

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
alchemist50
Apprentice
Apprentice

I have the same question.  If I subscribe to Arlo Smart, will the video quality on my Pro and Pro 2 cameras improve?  Or have these cameras been crippled no matter whether I have the free or paid plan?  The video quality is really pretty poor now - whenever there is any movement, the picture pixelates, gets blurry, smears, etc.  And yes, I noticed it the day after the firmware upgrade.

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station, VMC4030 | Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera , VMC4030P | Arlo Pro 2 Wire-Free Camera
jam436
Apprentice
Apprentice

If you were to 'bow to their demands' and pay the subscription fee, and the quality of your recordings improved, that would certainly answer a few questions wouldn't it...?
I'd be very interested to hear what happens if/when you do...

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
shoustonnz
Luminary
Luminary

Or.

We don't pay for storage, and supply our own, to USB. Give us full res recordings.

 

But

 

Give us access to our USB remotely.

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station, VMC4030 | Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
nickapalooza
Aspirant
Aspirant

I have (2) Pro and (2) Pro 2 cameras. Had to remove all cameras then re-add for them to work properly, but anyway...

 

They're all connected now. I have the image quality on all cameras set to Best, are the Pro cameras and Pro 2 cameras recording at 720p and 1080p respectively? Is there a place I can verify this?

 

Also, when I live view the cameras on any device, they are looking super low resolution. Before I added the (2) Pro 2 cameras, the (2) Pro cameras looked great. What is going on?

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
billkex
Luminary
Luminary

I don't think they are even 720p. When someone moves, the image is blurry & a mess.

Nothing like it used to be.

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
nickapalooza
Aspirant
Aspirant

Are you having the same issue? I'm confused because you seem to be adding to my question rather than answering it.

Arcmin
Aspirant
Aspirant

Morning

Within the past few weeks I’ve noticed a considerable drop in picture quality from my 3 x Pro 2 cameras.

I’ve always been very pleased with the quality and have some sharp recordings on file, but now it’s suddenly become very blocky on all 3 cameras.
We've had the system for a couple of years and nothing has been physically changed, although I did notice a firmware update in progress a week or so back.

Thoughts and hopefully a means to fix? Thanks.

 

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station