Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Battery life lasts only days, 4K streaming shows grey flashes

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Mikem30303 Tutor
Tutor

3 major issues:

1:  The battery life is literally days.  I charged the camera immediately after opening and it lasted less than 3 days before i get the message "It's time to charge your batteries".  Is there something wrong with my camera?

 

2:  Activity Zones.  From the app: "Highlight areas in your camera's view where you want to receive or ignore motion... " So, which is it??  I've tried to use the zone (where it darkens the picture) to block the street where cars set off the motion all day and night, and I've tried the opposite (where it darkens the driveway and yard) and no matter what, I get alerts.

 

3: 4K streaming.  I can barely stream in 4k, it's grey flashes with occasional clarity.  Does this happen for everyone?  Non-4k seems ok, and signal shows 1-2 bars.

 

4:  I know I said 3 issues, but it should be said over and over:  if you want to keep your customers, Arlo should keep the 7 days of recording for ultras even if it's only in 1080p.  Accessing the 4k on the sd card will be a nice touch, but you are charging a massive premium for cameras for also having a monthly fee...

 

I have all firmware/updates for app (iOS), Arlo ultra base station, and camera as of 2/4/2019.

Thanks.

JamesC Community Manager
Community Manager

Mikem30303,

 

How often are you live streaming and how much activity is the camera recording?

 

The activity zones are "inclusion" zones, meaning that inside the zone, motion will be detected and outside the zone, motion will not be detected. Try setting up your zones this way and test again to see if you get the expected behavior.

 

JamesC

Master st_shaw Master
Master

 

1. Battery life is inversely proportional to the length of detected motion and recordings.  Arlo battery life estimates are based on 5 minutes of recording per day. Aiming the camera at an active scene will drain the battery quickly.  Using activity zones on battery power will not reduce the impact on battery life.  Every time motion is detected by the camera (either inside or outside the zones), the video clip is recorded and sent to the cloud for analysis (to see if motion is inside the zone). So, the impact is the same as if you recorded every event within the camera's field of view. It's best to position and aim the camera carefully so it does not have unwanted motion in the field of view.

 

2. The zones are inclusion zones.

 

3. I see the same issue for local 4K streaming.  4K recordings to the library are OK.  I believe Arlo still has some kinks to work out for the 4K local streaming.

 

4. I agree with that.

Mikem30303 Tutor
Tutor

I intend to hardwire this camera as soon as the cable is released.  I am currently charging the camera tonight and will give it another try tomorrow...  BTW, I just got a sd card for the new base station and had to use the website to format the sd card, the option would not show up in the ios app.

Mikem30303 Tutor
Tutor

I now understand that the zones prevent notifications not recordings...  This ultra replaced an Arlo Pro and has much better detection of movement as I'm getting a recording for every car that drives by but I am no longer getting a notification unless it is in the activity zone I created.  This is less annoying, but means I can't save battery life...


Battery life is still an issue.  I charged the battery on Monday to 100% and put the camera back up (a fun experience as it requires a ladder).  It's been a day and a half and the battery is now 57%!   James, when will the outdoor charger be released??  

4k streaming is still an issue.  I have moved the smart hub closer but it is still nothing close to a 4k clear stream.

 

I have found a new problem too, my Next Renewal Date for Arlo Smart Premier is Jun, 21 2019.  Did I miss a coupon code for the year free or was it supposed to automatically add when you activate the arlo ultra?

 

I do appreciate the quick responses from support but I'm just not sure a system this expensive with the future cost of monthly fees to use it is worth keeping this...

 

Thanks.

Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

I suspect your battery life is due to the excessive recordings. As usual, spec battery life is based on <5 minutes total per day of recording and live viewing. My Ultra is recording little and has used 4% over the past 2-3 days. As usual, eliminate the street from the camera view - use Wide or Full video mode if needed.

 

For 4k streaming, how does it compare to the 4k recordings? Post a link to a recording.

Master st_shaw Master
Master

 


@Mikem30303 wrote:

I now understand that the zones prevent notifications not recordings...  This ultra replaced an Arlo Pro and has much better detection of movement as I'm getting a recording for every car that drives by but I am no longer getting a notification unless it is in the activity zone I created.  This is less annoying, but means I can't save battery life...

 


Arlo claimed as recently as last week that Smart activity zones prevent both alerts AND recordings.  However, I'm skeptical because I've seen it work as you describe, where recordings are still made for all detected motion.

 

You probably already saw what I wrote above regarding battery life: "It's best to position and aim the camera carefully so it does not have unwanted motion in the field of view." For me with the Pro2, aiming the camera downwards so the road was only visible at the very top of the frame eliminated the  passing cars. This didn't require a smart zone either. I haven't tried an Ultra in the same position yet.

 

You can also try the narrower fields of view on Ultra.  These are supposed to narrow the response angle of the PIR motion sensor as well.

 

 

Mikem30303 Tutor
Tutor

I haven't had a chance to try repositioning the camera (freezing rain, not interested in ladder work).  I have tried to move the base station closer for a better signal, no luck.  4k streaming is useless and I refuse to pay for 4K cloud recordings, so I don't know if it is recording to the sd card in 4k until I pull the sd card to check.  

 

I still have a renewal date for smart premier of Jun 21, 2019, I may have to start a new discussion for this topic.

 

I really want this product to work, but now that they've delayed the launch for this product, I have no idea when the outdoor charging cable will be released and a product that doesn't work half as well as advertised.  Super frustrating!!  

JamesC Community Manager
Community Manager

Mikem30303,

 

Did you have a subscription plan already prior to adding the Ultra system to your account?

 

JamesC

Mikem30303 Tutor
Tutor

A few weeks ago I signed up for a trial.

JamesC Community Manager
Community Manager

Mikem30303,

 

I will reach out to you in a private message to gather more information.

 

JamesC