I have the Arlo Ultra 2 Cam kit and can't seem to get 4k with this camera. Mounted about 8 feet up on garage and the video resolution is terrible even 10 feet line of sight to camera. Cannot read license plate at 10-20 foot range. screenshot of video included below.
I have checked the settings in the Arlo app to ensure all are set for 4k as follows:
SD Card Recording on
4k Video Recording on
Overwrite automatically on
using micro sd card sandisk extreme plus 128 GB
has strong video signal
good wireless connection
video settings auto HDR on / local hdr on
power management best video mode Full
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Are you playing back on a device that supports 4K?
Morse is faster than texting!
To be able to record in 4k, there are 2 plans that you need. You got the free 1 year Premium subscription but you still need to purchase the PVR, (Premium Video Recording), to be able to stream 4k video to the cloud. You should be able to record in 4k to the SD card without the PVR plan, but, of course, there is no wy to view the recordings on the SD card without safely removing it from the hub and inserting it into a computer for viewing.
For playback I have used several apps. On my iPhone 8+ I have the latest IOS 12+ and using Safari which is documented as supporting HEVC/H.265. When using local streaming, there is a 4k icon in the top left. I have also removed the SD card and copied the mp4 files off of that to view on Windows10 with an updated codec for HEVC/H.265. The initial picture looks good, until trying to zoom in on a person or license plate and within 10-15 feet the picture is really breaking up and low res.
I don't expect to download 4k from the cloud but am using local streaming and the SD Card to test the resolution. As far as the plans are concerned, as you know I have the Arlo Smart Premier. But when I go to the subscription link to change plans, the only 3 plans that appear are Arlo Smart, Smart Premier, and Smart Elite. The difference seems to be number of cameras and the e911, (and cost). There is an option to add CVR but this plan states it is for the ability to record continuous streaming for either 14 or 30 days.
What I am saying is that I'm not seeing any option that would enable streaming 4k to the cloud. Additionally, it it isn't streaming locally and to the SD Card, I would think we need to resolve that issue first before I add additional cost to the plan - if they still have that option. Maybe the options recently changed? Not sure why I'm not seeing the PVR option.
To see the PVR option, click change plan and on the screen that shows Arlo Smart, Smart Premier, and Smart Elite don't make any changes and click "continue", you should now see the option for PVR.
Oh ok. I do see the PVR option once I click continue. However, before I pop out an additional $19... here is my quandry:
1. The resolution is poor with local streaming even though it indicates 4k with an icon on the screen.
2. The resolution is poor when pulling video off of the SD card.
Therefore, if the camera resolution is poor in those two local conditions, it seems that the PVR option will only port the same poor video up to the cloud.
Wouldn't you agree that the resolution needs to be fixed locally first?
thanks for the continued assistance and help.
Have you checked the video details to verify the resolution? WHen I downloaded it from your page it was 720p which would seem to be due to the quality setting for your camera although it could be something about the website changing it.
ALso, remember that the lens is a BIG fisheye lens so zooming in and expecting detail from a distant object is not gonna happen. Add in the compression and you lose more detail.
Ok, I will repeat again because I seem to just get justification as to why the resolution is poor. But just to level-set and then comment:
1. I have all settings set for 4k
2. I am using an Iphone 8+ to view on local network and the 4k icon appears in the upper left corner. But I can't make out a person's face at 20 feet. This is not what is advertised or demo'd on the Arlo web site.
3. I have a fast SD Card installed in the base station and have captured video. That video has the same quality problem as stated in item #2.
4. The video posted to the web site is unaltered and copied from the SD Card. It is possible that the web site is porting it down to 720p. However, when I look at the video I posted on the web site, that is the same quality I am seeing on my phone on local network and when I copy from the SD Card and view it on my computer on a 27" monitor with 2560x1440 resolution.
5. When viewing the details of the video clip(s) - the res is 3840x2160 / data rate 3915 kbps / frame rate 18.75, etc. The resolution is there, the camera just can't make out detail even at short distances and is not performing as advertised.
Also, I do a lot of video editing and camera work and even at 720P, I should be getting a better picture. Either I'm missing something or the Arlo Ultra camera's and base station are not able to provide the quality that is advertised. Also, a person at 10 or 15 feet away is NOT a DISTANT object as you are stating in your response. I'm aware of the compression issue and losing detail.
The point I am making is that the camera is not performing as advertised and if there is a fix I'd really like to know it.
720p is <1 megapixel, 1080p is 2MP. Add compression (compare file sizes with uncompressed videos). Depending on what angle you've chosen for the FOV, it's still like a 15mm full-frame DSLR fisheye at best, probably more like 5mm at the widest. Details are hidden because of all of this.
If you are on staff at Arlo, this is the type of poor support that ultimately hurts the company's reputation overall. Because, my point is, the camera does not provide the same performance as advertised. That's known as false advertising. I think this could be a good, if not a great product. The company may be better off and improve the product by working with their customers instead of arguing petty technical details.
If you're not on staff at Arlo, I'm not sure what point you are trying to make as these are advertised as 4k cams, not 1mp, not 2mp. 4k. If you want to provide your email address, I can dropbox you the original file which is 3840x2160. Clearly not 720p and I already mentioned this before as well.
Also, about the poor support - I think I mentioned before that I called technical support and the agent did nothing except keep me on hold for 2 hours and occassionally come back on the line and say they were working on it. The last hold time after that was 45 minutes and then the call was disconnected.
I'm wondering if you have even used or tested the Ultra cameras and it seems you are not really reading the details of my comments.
I too am having the same problem as the orginal poster (although I am not using the local micro SD option). I did not seem to be getting 4k streaming when viewing recorded clips or when viewing live. I am on the 1 year free Premier plan that came with buying the new Ultra units. I then upgraded the plan to the Premium Video option for each of my 3 cameras and have confirmation that was successful. I now see a little "4K" on the recorded clips and also see 4K when streaming live although that was always the case prior to upgrading my plan.
However, just like the original poster, the pictures are clearly not 4k and I cannot make out any detail whatsoever, even 6 feet away when I zoom in. Pretty gutted about this as it is not what is advertised.
Same here . Purchased this week . All the same problems as the original poster can’t read a car license plate at 20 yards which is the eyesight standard for the UK Driving Test. This is confirmed as 4K with a logo from the SD Card. I realise you need to pay even more to have Cloud 4K which is a further rip off. As well as the awful video quality the so called Siren is hardly audible and communication through the microphone is a big delay and just breaks up. The software update is May 2019 and I am operating on fast fibre Broadband.
It also does not detect movement in every case perhaps a short clip then ignoring any other movement.
Update: logged a support call. After 4-5 hours of testing, verifed I am seeing 4k footage on live and recorded view now. HOWEVER, although the file says its 4k, I can 100% say this is not the crisp 4k picture that you would expect. Although better than any previous version, this is still woefully inadequte in terms of being able to see sharp detail. I just dont get how they can says its 4k. Its not even 1080 quality. Annoyed.
Your description is great! I would like to think that Arlo isn't using THAT much compression but we will likely never know. We've asked for the ability to set compression levels with no result. It would affect minimum upload speeds as well as disk storage so I suspect it won't happen.
You do understand that significant compression is being used, right?
I understand compression is likely. Without further documentation of what type and to what degree, your statement doesn't resolve the OP's original concern. Do you have a source for stating "significant" compression?