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Activity Zones

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Naiyas
Guide
Guide

I would hope so. I'm around 10 days in currently and am really happy with them and so was looking to expand my installation. Read some of the issues people are having (that I hadn't noticed in my set up) and thought I'd better run some testing to confirm before I dropped another several hundred on additional cameras for locations that I need the features working on battery for.

 

So for now, I'm holding fire on more Ultras or Pro 3's. The only addition I've gone for right now is the Video Doorbell as I've been looking for one for 2-3 years. Withe the Arlo one being wired it fits the bill perfectly for my needs.

Tvines13
Tutor
Tutor
I just purchased a 4 pack Ultra system and have had numerous issues within only 48 hours. I have owned 6 Pro 2’s for over a year and have had be little issues that have all been related to the Arlo app. The Ultra would be a fabulous camera if it worked properly. I setup local storage so I can view 4K videos without a subscription which worked the first 24 hours. But now I’m getting an error stating that the base station videos are not available and I have to check my connection settings. I’ve tried restarting the base station with the app, power cycling the base station, ejecting and re-formatting the microSD card and nothing works. In addition to that there are no thumbnails and no one else in my family can view the local storage on their devices. Those are separate issues for a different post though.

Secondly my activity zones are not working. I have the free 1 year trial activated and all my cameras are directly plugged into A/C power. No issues with my Pro 2 activity zones which have no subscription and plugged into A/C power.

I will try to attach a photo of the base station error and my activity zone problem. However my photos aren’t attaching.....Shocking
Model: VMB5000 | Arlo Ultra SmartHub
Tvines13
Tutor
Tutor
Error Message
Tvines13
Tutor
Tutor
Above I attached the base station video error message, click on it if needed. Below I attached the activity zone problem. Click on it if needed. You’ll see the activity zone and you can see the half circle American flag hanging from the pergola (which is not in the activity zone). Every time that flag blows in the wind the camera activated. This is a real problem and a true annoyance.
LMeli
Aspirant
Aspirant
My activity zones are not working. Cameras picking up activity outside of zone ongoing. Have only one setup at front of house despite the zone being in the boundaries of the property it’s picking up traffic and people waking by. Please assist
Model: VMC5040 | Arlo Ultra Wire-Free Camera
DjSchafer
Aspirant
Aspirant

How can a person get a hold of support?  I have called 3 times.  left my number for call back twice and sent two emails. 

My activity zones aren't working correctly.  All the cameras are set for activity zones and randomly turn off notifications except 1.  Some don't register activity at all.  one registers activity outside the zone.  NONE record for the max 3 minutes.  I have had people walk up to my door and are only recorded driving up to it.  The bear was recorded on the side of the house but not in front.

 

Nothing but trouble with this system.  I am thinking all the positive reviews I read before purchase were paid for.  

 

Netgear has great products but their support division needs serious help.  

Model: VMC5040 | Arlo Ultra Wire-Free Camera
Tvines13
Tutor
Tutor
I’m having the same problem. I just picked up my Ultra’s 2 days ago. My cameras are plugged into A/C and I’m using the included 1 year smart trial still. Hopefully the app just has a bug that needs to be sorted out and nothing more. I’m considering upgrading to the smart elite plan to see if that helps. What plan are you using?
LMeli
Aspirant
Aspirant
I’m using the plan free in the intro pack and we are on battery but that shouldn’t make a difference. I’m
Pretty sure it’s a bug Arlo need to fix.
Tvines13
Tutor
Tutor
Agreed. Over this past night my activity zones seemed to work better. I did completely remove my base station and then re-sync the cameras. I did not have to take the cameras down from their location to do so (quick and easy). You just have to remove the front portion to access the sync button. Maybe that helped or maybe there just wasn’t any wind last night. Time will tell I guess.
Mad_cow
Star
Star

Once you get somewhere report back.

 

I have waited a week and a half for a response. Something is making me think that the company may be going under.

njfoses
Apprentice
Apprentice

You do not need AC power for ultra activity zones if you are using one of the smart plans. You can use AC power or subscribe to a smart plan for motion zones.

Naiyas
Guide
Guide

Hi @njfoses 

 

Your experience may differ, but from my now 4 days of continuous testing all different permutations of settings this is not the case for me. I have a smart plan active on all of my cameras (it runs out in just over 11 months).

 

My testing confirms that Activity Zones only work when using power from the AC adaptor. Without the AC adaptor connected the warnings in the iOS and web app remain (saying AC power is required) and motion based recordings occur even when the only motion is well outside of the assigned activity zones.

 

Perhaps you have different hardware/firmware versions?

njfoses
Apprentice
Apprentice

Recordings will still happen outside of the zones but you will not be notified about them if using zones with smart plans.

Naiyas
Guide
Guide

@njfoses 

 

Unfortunately that isn't the case for me either.  Just had another notification for motion outside the zone right now.

 

However, one thing that is interesting is that despite having "All motion" detection switched off (all others are switched on), the cloud library does correctly limit the recordings held there by detection type. BUT despite this I still get notified of all types of detected motion. In addition the local library has ALL clips stored regardless of detection type.

n1976jmk
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

Hi @JamesC @ShayneS @JessicaP 

 

unfortunately I must report that one of my 2 Ultra cameras started reporting motion detection notification and recording within my shaded area of the camera where it’s not supposed to report anything.

 

everything was working fine for about 7-10 days since you last reported the engineers made a change to fix.

 

now I’m not only getting motion detection notification and recordings within the shaded area, the camera is also identifying the vehicles in that shaded area.

 

can you please escalate back to the engineers again?  It was working perfect up until this morning and I did not change one thing.

 

before my activity zones worked perfect.

 

thank you Arlo employee’s as always!

Model: VMB5000 | Arlo Ultra SmartHub, VMC5040 | Arlo Ultra Wire-Free Camera, AAD1001 | Arlo Audio Doorbell
Mrpersonallity2
Guide
Guide
Arlo activity zones is a joke even two years later and still no fix. They been telling me for two years a fix was coming. I would not recommend buying any Arlo system at this point in time. They have a lot of technical issues to work out and not to mention stop false advertising....
Model: VMB5000 | Arlo Ultra SmartHub
Johnny290
Mentor
Mentor
👍👍👍
Tech-D
Luminary
Luminary

Keep telling everyone you can.  If anyone asks me about Arlo I tell then to steer clear.

n1976jmk
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

@JamesC @ShayneS @JessicaP 

 

And just like that as of 6pm EST, it fixes itself and it's not reporting any motion detection or making recordings from the cameras shaded area.

 

 

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@Naiyas wrote:

My testing confirms that Activity Zones only work when using power from the AC adaptor. Without the AC adaptor connected the warnings in the iOS and web app remain (saying AC power is required) and motion based recordings occur even when the only motion is well outside of the assigned activity zones.

 


Hopefully we all know by this point that activity zones are not working properly yet.  But I do want to clarify how zones are supposed to work, because there seems to be some confusion on that in several posts on this thread.

 

-Local Activity Zones are a feature in many (but not all) Arlo cameras, - in particular the Arlo Ultra, Pro 3, Pro 3 Floodlight, Pro 2, Q, Q Plus, and Baby cameras.  The Go, Pro, and Video Doorbell do not support Local Activity Zones.  Local Activity Zones require AC power (not solar panels).  That is because the pixel processing needed is done in the camera and takes significant power.   They are automatically disabled if the camera is not connected to AC power.  When Local Activity Zones are in use, video is only streamed when the motion is inside the zone.  So there won't be recordings either on the USB drive/SD card or in the cloud when the motion is outside the zone.  Local Activity Zones do not require a subscription.

 

-Cloud Activity Zones are a (paid/trial) subscription feature available for all Arlo cameras.  Whenever motion is detected in the camera, the video is streamed to the cloud.  The cloud then determines if the motion is inside the zone or not.  If the motion is inside the zone, the recording is saved in the cloud and a notification is sent.  If the motion is outside the zone, the recording is not saved in the cloud (and no notification is sent), but it is saved on the USB drive/SD card.  Cloud activity zones do not improve (or hurt) battery life - the camera streams the same amount of video whether cloud activity zones are being used or not.  Pixelated or otherwise corrupted video will mess up the cloud activity zone detection, and personally I think that is one aspect of the recent wave of issues reported with activity zones.

 

-If you have a camera that uses Local Activity Zones and is also on a paid subscription, then the system should automatically shift to Cloud Activity Zones when power is removed from the camera.

 

-Both Cloud and Local Zones use the same configuration settings.   One consequence is that in many cases users don't understand the difference between them, and often don't know what kind of activity zones they are using.

 

-You should not see the triangle warning on AC power being disconnected if your camera is on a paid (or trial) subscription. 

 

-You should not be getting notifications or cloud recordings for out-of-zone motion if your camera is on a paid (or trial) subscription.

 

njfoses
Apprentice
Apprentice

@StephenB wrote:

@Naiyas wrote:

My testing confirms that Activity Zones only work when using power from the AC adaptor. Without the AC adaptor connected the warnings in the iOS and web app remain (saying AC power is required) and motion based recordings occur even when the only motion is well outside of the assigned activity zones.

 


Hopefully we all know by this point that activity zones are not working properly yet.  But I do want to clarify how zones are supposed to work, because there seems to be some confusion on that in several posts on this thread.

 

-Local Activity Zones are a feature in many (but not all) Arlo cameras, - in particular the Arlo Ultra, Pro 3, Pro 3 Floodlight, Pro 2, Q, Q Plus, and Baby cameras.  The Go, Pro, and Video Doorbell do not support Local Activity Zones.  Local Activity Zones require AC power (not solar panels).  That is because the pixel processing needed is done in the camera and takes significant power.   They are automatically disabled if the camera is not connected to AC power.  When Local Activity Zones are in use, video is only streamed when the motion is inside the zone.  So there won't be recordings either on the USB drive/SD card or in the cloud when the motion is outside the zone.  Local Activity Zones do not require a subscription.

 

-Cloud Activity Zones are a (paid/trial) subscription feature available for all Arlo cameras.  Whenever motion is detected in the camera, the video is streamed to the cloud.  The cloud then determines if the motion is inside the zone or not.  If the motion is inside the zone, the recording is saved in the cloud and a notification is sent.  If the motion is outside the zone, the recording is not saved in the cloud (and no notification is sent), but it is saved on the USB drive/SD card.  Cloud activity zones do not improve (or hurt) battery life - the camera streams the same amount of video whether cloud activity zones are being used or not.  Pixelated or otherwise corrupted video will mess up the cloud activity zone detection, and personally I think that is one aspect of the recent wave of issues reported with activity zones.

 

-If you have a camera that uses Local Activity Zones and is also on a paid subscription, then the system should automatically shift to Cloud Activity Zones when power is removed from the camera.

 

-Both Cloud and Local Zones use the same configuration settings.   One consequence is that in many cases users don't understand the difference between them, and often don't know what kind of activity zones they are using.

 

-You should not see the triangle warning on AC power being disconnected if your camera is on a paid (or trial) subscription. 

 

-You should not be getting notifications or cloud recordings for out-of-zone motion if your camera is on a paid (or trial) subscription.

 


Thanks for typing this up as I agree there is much confusion among users on how activity zones are actually supposed to work. 

 

The only piece I would disagree with based on  my experience is 

 

-You should not be getting notifications or cloud recordings for out-of-zone motion if your camera is on a paid (or trial) subscription.

 

Motion outside of my cloud activity zones always end up as recordings in my library, just no notifications.

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@njfoses wrote:

Motion outside of my cloud activity zones always end up as recordings in my library, just no notifications.


I'm not disagreeing with your results.  I am saying that this is not the way the system is intended to work.

 

Smart notifications don't affect recordings.  But cloud activity zones are supposed to supress both cloud recordings and notifications.

njfoses
Apprentice
Apprentice

@StephenB wrote:

@njfoses wrote:

Motion outside of my cloud activity zones always end up as recordings in my library, just no notifications.


I'm not disagreeing with your results.  I am saying that this is not the way the system is intended to work.

 

Smart notifications don't affect recordings.  But cloud activity zones are supposed to supress both cloud recordings and notifications.


 

I wish i actually had confidence in the Arlo team to sort out all the activity zone issues, but their track record shows otherwise.

n1976jmk
Virtuoso
Virtuoso

(It started again today reporting and recording to library and even identifying them as vehicles even though I made sure my street was in the shaded dark area)

hi @StephenB 

 

have you been experiencing anything like this with your Ultra cameras?

 

my 2 uLtra cameras are on AC power via the 25 foot Arlo outdoor power cords.

 

but today and yesterday during the day I’m receiving motion detection notifications and recordings into my library for vehicles driving down my street.  But please note I set up my cameras so that the street is in the shaded dark area using the cameras positioning’ setting under ‘device utilities’.

 

please also note I pay the monthly subscription for smart elite for the 2 cameras as well.

 

it started happening a lot more the last 2 days.  

@JamesC @ShayneS @JessicaP  any thoughts would be appreciated?

rdegraci2020
Tutor
Tutor
I have the following :


AC powered Ultra Camera = Yes
Activity Zone enabled = Yes
Trial Cloud Subscription = Yes
Smart Notifications = People Yes
Smart Notifications = Vehicle Yes
Smart Notifications = Animals No
Smart Notifications = Other Motion No


Expected behavior:

A) Motion, Vehicles, People, Animals outside of the activity zone should not result in a video saved in the cloud library.

B) Vehicles and people detected within the activity zone should result in the video saved to the cloud library and a notification sent to my phone.


Actual Behavior:

A) Any Motion, Vehicles, Animals, and People detected outside the activity zone are not identified as people or vehicles, animals but saved as videos, in the cloud library, labeled “motion”

B) Vehicles and people detected in the activity zone results in a video saved in the cloud library and a notification is sent to my phone.


I personally like the actual behavior (A) for legal purposes in case a person or vehicle is loitering outside the activity zone. But also I think Arlo should provide an ON/OFF switch for (A) for those people that simply don’t want videos of anything occurring outside the activity zones to be saved.
Model: VMB5000 | Arlo Ultra SmartHub, VMC5040 | Arlo Ultra Wire-Free Camera