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Re: Returning my Ultra today - it's not quite ready...

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airboyd
Initiate
Initiate

I'm returning mine to Best Buy today. I had a Dropcam (Nest) that broke this week and I had high hopes for the Ultra. It feels like it's something to do with the base station, which is a shame as I have an Netgear Orbi system that is awesome, but this product is still in beta as far as I'm concerned. 

 

I love the 180 degree view and the clarity but the rest of this is just way too buggy to rely on for safety and security. 

 

It took 40 minutes last night for the base station to connect, find and activate with the two cameras in the package. After I finally got them to connect, I did the firmware update for all three devices. I plugged the base into my Orbi base in the center of the house and took one camera up to our front balcony. Lost the signal before I even got outside. 

 

During the setup, the base station kept reverting to flashing yellow and showing disconnected in the app. Multiple reboots, factory reset (just in case) and resetting the Orbi and checking Ethernet cables didn't have any affect on the base station working. Had to remove the base from the app twice and both cameras once to get them to sync properly. If I wasn't reasonably tech savvy and patient, I'd have given up then as the app does lead you through additional steps like holding down the camera sync button to "force" it to be found etc...but the time to set-up was pretty bad. Again, I compare it to the Orbi set up and a Nest with built-in wifi.

 

I moved the base station to the repeater Orbi location, near front, and the signal is better but it's not a great location. I set the second camera up inside so I could compare both in and out together. I set up and activated all the settings for smart motion, 4K, high streaming etc....

 

Everything was working fine until about 10PM last night. That's the last time either camera registered motion of any type. The cameras seem to recognize motion, light goes on, but there's no recordings or notifications. Again, this is after firmware updates and rebooting. Nothing seems to change the fact they've stopped. Arlo support isn't set up for Ultra yet.

 

I manually turned on both cameras today to check they had power and signal and they both responded but there's been zero motion sensed since yesterday. I've even adjust the sensitivity. No change. 

 

The street facing camera hasn't been able to detect any cars or people since last night and it's been light for 4 hours and nearly every neighbor has driven past the house, we have a solid view of a cu-de-sac without obstruction. The inside camera hasn't been able to detect 3 adults, 2 dogs and a child moving around getting ready and leaving for school etc...

 

The iOS app is slow to open and each camera takes a while to connect, I realize it's a power saving function, but it's not functional if the motion isn't working. The Nest App is much faster at responding and loading. That latency is something that Nest, Ring, Skybell, Kuna and others are all competing to beat.

 

iOS app is also having a view issue. The attached screen shot is what happened when I tried to manually load Camera 1 and zoom today. I got an overlay of a thumbnail from last night with the live picture in the zoom box off screen.

 

The auto zoom is a little slow to respond, lagged for sure and the AI isn't great at sorting things out yet. I did one test where I walked out to the street and came back around the van towards the house, stopped at the van and then continued towards the house. After I left the frame, the camera zoomed on the entire van and not once on my body walking around the driveway. 

 

There's also a lengthy delay when zooming in on a person or object. I tested it with license plates in the drive. When you zoom, the picture is initially blurry and then a few seconds later it clears up and is crystal clear. It's impossible for me to tell if this is just the 4K/1080 function sorting itself out, a delay in streaming or something else. Not being able to have a clear zoom in a reasonable amount of time could be an issue using this for identification. 

 

Night sensing and contrast/brightness is also affected by the zoom. I don't think you could clearly identify a person's face at night from a normal mounting height, which is fine, but the zoom picked up a lot of glare. When zooming at night the license plates became unreadable. Due to reflected light? The sensor overpowered? The HDR? I don't know, but basically you could read the plate in the wide view but not the zoom.

 

This might be great someday, but at $650 including tax for 2 and a base station, I don't want to beta test it at full retail. I'd be happy to test an Arlo system like this, but not without another camera to back it up. The 180 degree view looks awesome though! I'll be getting the Nest Outdoor IQ until Arlo sorts itself out...

Bigjames83
Apprentice
Apprentice
Save yourself the money and get the regular rest outdoor. The IQ is a big let down as well
Retired_Member
Not applicable

I have to agree with you on all points.  I also bought the 2 camera Ultra system and having all of the same problems with video quality, tracking, lack of motion detection, etc.  It is almost completely unusable.  If it had 24/7 recording included like all the Nest plans, then I would keep it and hopefully watch them fix the bugs.  But without proper motion detection, it is worthless.  No recordings unless I get really up close and personal with it.  Then it will cut the recording while I'm still there and moving around.  I work in technology, so I understand the development process.  This should have never gone out the door with these problems.  Putting out a quality product is much more important than getting it out quick or on time.

BestBuyGuy
Apprentice
Apprentice

I have already processed 2 store returns at my Best Buy location for the Ultra, and I have seen at least 2 other returns already in the back as well. It's not even released everywhere yet! I will be swaying people to purchase the Pro 2 system since I don't need my customers returning this failure.

JehovasFitness
Luminary
Luminary

I cancelled my 3 cam system order on Amazon.

 

seems too buggy at this point

JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

A new firmware update for the SmartHub was released that may help with the issues being discussed here. Please make sure your SmartHub is up to date with the latest firmware (1.12.0.1_30356) and let us know if you continue experiencing issues.

 

The development team is still keeping a close eye on these reports. We appreciate your patience in this process. I will provide new information here as I find out more.

 

JamesC

Retired_Member
Not applicable

 


@JamesC wrote:

A new firmware update for the SmartHub was released that may help with the issues being discussed here. Please make sure your SmartHub is up to date with the latest firmware (1.12.0.1_30356) and let us know if you continue experiencing issues.

 

The development team is still keeping a close eye on these reports. We appreciate your patience in this process. I will provide new information here as I find out more.

 

JamesC


Sorry, but I had all these problems on that level of firmware.  It is simply unusable for what I need and expect.  I have now returned my 2 camera system to Best Buy as well.  I can't be a BETA customer after paying so much.  I will be looking to another vendor for my next purchase.  Sorry, but this should have never have been released with these problems.  I'm sure your development and test teams have seen them and are working on them and someone should have delayed the release.  I work in hardware/software development and know personally how this process works and how executives are sometimes determined to meet a date instead of delaying and shipping a quality product.  Good luck all, but I will be deleting my account as I have no interest in following this any longer.

airboyd
Initiate
Initiate

Firmware for both the base and the cameras was updated to the latest version available to me at 6PM Pacific on the 16th. 

 

This appeared to fix the syncing and camera and base station offline issues. 

 

The cameras fine until about 1030PM, then went more than 12+ hours without recording a single motion event or any other activity. 

 

I contacted Arlo support before giving up and returning them but was told to contact them again in 24-48 hours as they didn't have Ultra support available yet.

 

I do not believe that an average person would have been able to set this system up the way I received it. 

 

The message to update the firmware on the base station was hidden by the multiple base station offline issues and not apparent, even to me, until I reset the app three times and forced it NOT to sync the cameras and focused on just the base station. 

 

I've got video and screenshots of various issues.

KGSRETIRED
Apprentice
Apprentice

I still have the 30255 and it says no updates available. 

Dymo33
Star
Star

Add me to the list of someone who cancelled their order for a 1 camera system to try. Reasons are: picture quality is reportedly not any better than the Pro 2 even when you pay the 4k fee or are on your home network, ridiculous amount of bugs which means zero quality control and it was rushed to market, horrible battery life being reported, and the BIG reason is no more free 7 day cloud recording after a year. I read an article a month ago that said you would get standard 7 day free recording after that year, but would have to pay for 4k because of the extra storage needed. You would still be able to stream 4k on your home network or have it locally recorded on the memory card (why did you take away the USB port!?!? DUMB). I was ok with that because no way your cellphone network will always be capable of streaming a 4k video stream away from home. So what happened? Taking away the free 7 day cloud recording will drive everyone to the Pro 2 which is finally working beautifully for me. Even if I was going to have confidence you'd fix the bugs, I can't and won't forgive you for taking away the free 7 day basic plan. Big, big mistake. 

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  • 9 Replies
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