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Video Pixelation after firmware update Pro/VMB4000r3 (1.16.1.1_3348_facf74c)

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Manolo86
Apprentice
Apprentice
If these idiots don't fix this trash before Black Friday, I'm changing to Eufy. They have stellar product AND app reviews, local storage, they say it's a one time cost won't hurt your wallet purchase, anti theft alarms on their cameras, image enhancement technology, etc. I've spent too much time on this junk recently to change now. Black Friday is my deadline......
Ordinary1
Star
Star

Hi All,

 

My firmware release ID hasn't changed at all since just after this was originally reported (986 camera, 1a608C1 for base).

 

If there has been an update over the last couple of days then the Arlo engineering team are staying true to form (i.e. terrible software development standards) and haven't updated the firmware release number!

 

It is possible that something has changed. I have noticed slightly less pixilation over the last couple of days but I still have horrendous frame drops and often have people and vehicles leaving a trail of blocks behind them as they move. Any object that is moving is surrounded by lots of noise around their edges.

 

Bitrate on my 720p Pro cameras for an equivalent shot from the same camera as that posted on page one of this thread is coming in at 428kbps which is slightly higher than the 350-400 experienced after the April update. This is still nowhere near the 700-750kbps experienced before the April update, which was in itself lower than before the May 2019 disaster.

 

So, in summary. IF the update has happened it hasn't been flagged with a new firmware release ID and IF there has been a bitrate change it is still insufficient to restore a reasonable quality picture.

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

The video image quality I’m getting is still not what it was as compared to archived videos I have on file and way below 720P standards. When reviewing both new and archived videos today I also noticed the quality of the audio is way down when compared to older videos. I certainly hope this is not Arlo’s solution to this issue.

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
kstrike155
Aspirant
Aspirant
It’s entirely possible that recording bitrate has nothing to do with firmware. It’s entirely possible that these things can be controlled server-side and changes pushed out at any time.

I wouldn’t expect any changes made over a holiday weekend. I’m as disappointed as everyone else, but changes take time and people to implement and it’s not always able to happen overnight.
TerryHoss
Star
Star

Well I'm still having the same problems, video pixelation and dropping out. This screen shot was just a few minutes ago.

Screenshot_2020-05-25 Arlo Web Portal Smart Home Security.png

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station
Retired_Member
Not applicable
Arlo was sold, new company is too cheap to offer same quality of service. I found best solution was to unload this trash and move on before your stuck with something no one will buy at any price. Their reputation is going to get alot worse just watch.
alchemist50
Apprentice
Apprentice

I'm seeing performance similar to that reported by @Ordinary1 and @CCNE37 .  Pixelation not as bad, but still somewhat there.  Bitrate slightly higher.  But images are still pretty low resolution.  Used to be that I could make out details of the grass on the lawn.  Now, it's just a blurry sea of green.  Glad someone's apparently working on it, but still hoping for a significant improvement.

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

Don't see the fix yet.

If the camera firmware isn't updated, the compression isn't being addressed. In an earlier post, I mention two issues.
(1) a recent change that overcompresses the stream
(2) a bug that exacerbates the issue of (1)

Fixing only (2) still doesn't address the significant compression increase this Spring. This compression reduces the usable resolution of these cameras into legal peril territory.

We can attribute (1) is a BUG as the feature that is published as a feature but doesn't do anything (video quality setting) illustrates this isn't normal behavior. Forget the fact that any motion smears (pixelates) the subject and the surrounding areas around that subject.

BTW- Has release notes been made available? If/when they are, I hope that details of what they are claiming to fix are explained further. FYI- I haven't seen an update, nor any change in my camera quality (for either Pro or Pro 2).

One thing I can't believe is all these recently posted 4 and 5-star glowing reviews on BestBuy, where the reviewers focus primarily on video 'quality.' That site doesn't allow one to identify "verified purchase" users. Could these reviews be illegitimate? The only other thing I can think of is that newer purchases perform better before being downgraded. Perhaps Arlo is not pushing the latest firmware to newly activated cameras while they fix ours that are suffering (hopefully). I'd hate to think that there is some intentional sabotaging going on with the older-run ones in service.

Anyone recently (last 7-10 days) purchase the Pro or Pro 2 base station/kit that can comment on the quality?

silverado44
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Company's pay people to post good reviews on there product, look it up, at any rate I guess we will have to purchase an Ultra to get 1080? Not going to happen here and all this is so they can boost sales on the pro3 and Ultra by downgrading are system. But I will tell you I will never buy an Arlo product again if they don't fix this, who can trust a sneeky company. 

 

WHERE YOU AT MATT MCRAE CEO. I pm'ed you with no response. I told my lawyer to stand down for now and see in the next few days due to what JessciaP said in an earlier reply as they are working on it.

dcfox1
Master
Master

What did your lawyer say has going to do before you told him to stand down. 

ralfyguy1
Luminary
Luminary

@silverado44 wrote:

WHERE YOU AT MATT MCRAE CEO. I pm'ed you with no response. I told my lawyer to stand down for now and see in the next few days due to what JessciaP said in an earlier reply as they are working on it.


I bet he doesn't give a flying crap...

TechJohn
Guide
Guide

Incredulous, I just received a reply back from Arlo regarding my BBB complaint (see response below). Arlo's defense to this issue is that I agreed to let them remove features, change service, etc. when I created my Arlo account. I did not agree to let them turn my security camera system into something that is not usable for the purpose I bought this for.  This is pure evil and companies like this should be put out of business. My state has very strong consumer laws and this behavior will not be tolerated.

 

 

"Good Day!

 

Thank you for submitting your complaint. I would like to convey to you our sincere apologies for the inconvenience you have experienced with your device. This issue has no doubt caused you some frustration and we want you to know that this is certainly not typical of our organization. Arlo Technologies, Inc. takes great pride in maintaining a reputation for excellence.

 

Please let me assure you that we continue to be committed in providing you and all of our customers with the highest standards of product & service in the industry. We value your business, and I am responding to discuss your concern further.

 

I understand that you want to have a full refund for your Arlo Pro 2 system since it is not working for you as a security camera since the quality of the video has been degraded. With regards to this, please be informed that our Arlo Devices comes with a year of hardware warranty. You have used the system for more than 2 years now and it is already out of its warranty entitlement.

 

You have also agreed to our terms and conditions upon account creation. Under Section 5 - Changes to your Arlo Service. It clearly states the following "To the extent possible under the governing law, ARLO may, at its discretion and without notice or user permission, change, add, or remove features and functionality of the Arlo Services. ARLO is under no obligation to provide any or all features and functionality to your Arlo System and may, at its discretion, discontinue the provision of software updates to certain Arlo Systems. Because different Arlo Systems may support different features and functionality the level of service ARLO provides may not be the same for each Arlo System."

 

With that being said, we will not be able to grant your product refund request.

 

Please let me know if you have further questions or clarifications. Thank you for choosing ARLO!

 

Regards,

 

Elbert Val Lambo

Customer Care Advocate

Arlo Technologies, Inc."

Manolo86
Apprentice
Apprentice
Wow.... Definitely switching to Eufy when I can get a good deal. Black Friday should bring some.
Macarioc
Guide
Guide

What an astonishing reply from Arlo. Doesn't look as if video quality will ever be restored to that which it was when the cameras were purchased.  The Arlo Pro and Pro2 cameras will likely be sacrificed to provide for the increased storage requirements of the newer high resolution cameras  .....

Model: VMB4000 | Arlo Pro/Pro2 Base Station, VMC4030 | Arlo Pro Wire-Free Camera
silverado44
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

@dcfox1 wrote:

What did your lawyer say has going to do before you told him to stand down. 


Deceptive Advertising and some other that I cant remember the terms he used, the advertising states 1080 and that what it should be for the life of the product.

kstrike155
Aspirant
Aspirant
The problem is that it IS 1080, just at a very low bitrate that looks like garbage. They make no claims about bitrate. And there is no defined, accepted standard for what 1080 bitrate should be.

Would love for a class action about deceptive advertising though.
kstrike155
Aspirant
Aspirant
The best course of action would be to pull down all of their advertising videos and “sample” videos and compare it against real world results. It would be VERY clear then...
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

View solution in original post

Ordinary1
Star
Star

Hi @JessicaP

 

Many thanks for the update and I apologise in advance for the rant that follows, but as you are the only Arlo representative that has seen fit to respond to us I can only use you as a conduit for feedback. My earlier requests for a formal complaints procedure (as per recommended official UK Trading Standards process) have been ignored.

 

As per my post further up this page, I have noticed a SLIGHT improvement in the picture quality but it is nowhere near as good as it was before the April firmware update, which in itself was worse that the pre May 2019 firmware fiasco.

 

I am not alone in this, there are a few posts above from those that have noticed a slight change but still have issues. I still have jerky motion and often have a trail of blocks being left behind moving objects, neither of which were apparent between October 2019 (previous camera update) and April 2020. My conditions have not changed. Looking at the bitrate of videos taken from yesterday there has been perhaps a 10% uptick in this 'fix' against a 50% quality reduction in April.

 

The firmware on my camera and base station have not changed since April - can you confirm that this was not deployed as a firmware update so I can at least rule that out as a possible cause ?

 

Re. the telephone number, I am assuming that this is in the US ?  I am a UK customer, do I have a local number I can dial rather than taking the cost of an international call to talk to a service desk who, frankly, aren't particularly capable and I have no faith will resolve the problem ?

 

The issue lies with the video compression, I think the posts here have proven that consistently. Calling the US will lead to me logging exactly the same details for exactly the same outcome.

The engineering team have done SOMETHING to uptick the bitrate over the last few days, they NEED to uptick this higher to satisfy your customer base.

 

Hobbling a system through firmware updates that degrade system quality is nothing short of a scandal that needs to be outed.

 

I paid for a system two years ago that I was very happy with. This is not a hardware warranty failure issue. All of my cameras are physically fine thanks very much. ARLO have degraded the system through software and if they think that it is acceptable then it looks like you have a fight coming from a number of your customers.

 

In summary, I do not consider this issue resolved until the engineers address the compression issue once and for all.

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

Also..Why is this showing as 'Solved' with an 'Accepted Solution'.

 

Who says it is solved and who has accepted it ? As the originator of this thread I certainly haven't.

alchemist50
Apprentice
Apprentice

Agree with everything @Ordinary1 just said, including appreciation for Jessica's feedback.  Firmware versions on my VMB4000r3 base station, Pro and Pro 2 cameras are unchanged.  Less pixelation, but still jerky movement, noticeably blurrier images than before, occasional blocky artifacts in the picture, etc.  Looks like the video quality selection has been at least partly restored.  A quick test on one of my Pro 2 cameras with virtually identical scenes showed the following when switching Power Management from Best Battery to Best Video:

 

  • Best Battery Life - 18.27 frames/sec, 443 kbps Total Bitrate (1920 x 1072)
  • Best Video - 23.79 frames/sec, 539 kbps Total Bitrate (1920 x 1072)

Agree that more needs to be done.  Seems to me that Best Video total bitrate on the Pro 2 really needs to be at least 1000 kbps, with maybe 700-800 on the Pro.

 

For reference, a Google search turned up that Nest reduced the bitrate on their IQ cameras sometime in April to help conserve global bandwidth during the pandemic.  However, with two important differences over Arlo.  Nest just changed everyone's quality settings to a lower value, allowing users to change it back if they wished.  More importantly, they notified users by email that they were doing so.  They got a lot of pushback from unhappy users for overriding settings.  But I thought, compared to Arlo's approach, they look stellar in the way they handled it.

 

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

To add, even if ARLO reserves the right to change their service at any time, what we have is a change of service without notice.

 

Either (1) it is a bug or (2) it was a change of feature without providing the public notice of the change.  (2) may be problematic for them as they have continued to promote their legacy product.  Beyond false advertising, it would be interesting to see how legal interpretation is set on core functions being considered "features"

tibert
Star
Star

"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."

 

@JessicaP   OK- what has been deployed? I've checked two different base stations with other family members and all of the Pro and Pro 2 cameras and do not see any changes and checked for new versions, which there were none. In addition, (1) There have been no release notes submitted, (2) there has been no change in our firmware version, (3) there were no details on what was deployed nor even a link from your last note aiding us trying to identify what has been changed, and (4) there has been no changes in quality of these camera feeds since Friday.  Firmware versions/dates are at the bottom.

Why are we encouraging people to call in, especially without even the basic details above being provided? This request to call in is an unnecessary cost (to either Arlo or customers who have to pay past their 90 days). Or are we trying to 'end' this thread?

 

Since the message is signed as the 'Arlo team,' who posted it?

 

BTW- it would be nice if your web team can fix the base stations' device info page to display the firmware version.  All other devices have this detail.  Customers now have to go to the phone app to see the version, and in those apps, we can't even copy-and-paste from the app to search online. All of this results in customers being forced to type the firmware version to search manually.  Not a great customer experience.

 

Here is what hasn't changed since April.  What release(s) have been pushed since below?

- Base station VMB4000 - 1.16.1.3_3394_1a608c1 (released 2020-04-27)
- Base station VMB4500 - 1.16.1.3_3305_1a608c1 (released 2020-04-27)

- Pro Camera - 1.092.0.25_24_986 (released 2020-04-21)
- Pro 2 Camera - 1.125.14.0_34_1189 (released late April *)

 

(* release date as evidence in forum posts, 1.125.14.0_31_1189 is the official release posting on 2020-04-22. Perhaps the posting has a typo?)


Tricky111
Guide
Guide

How about a compromise? Let us by a backup hardrive and store our footage there? You can take the bitrate back to normal and save your cloud storage. The live stream is still pixelated and the recordings are great.

silverado44
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Edit see below