Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Ultra Cameras don't seem to want to stay connected

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Ayrity Guide
Guide
Definitely not 4k. I just ran a test between the arlo ultra, arlo 1.0, nest cam, and circle 2 wired and wireless. My determination is that arlo ultras video quality was about the same as the nest cam, but came in dead last for connecting time as well as lag through both the app and when streaming through a google home hub screen.

The nest was about a second delayed to the home hub, and the arlo ultra was a solid 20 second count delayed! It's sad to say, but I just think we may be hoping to get something that the tech isn't ready for here. I wanted a wireless camera that I could see who was at the door by saying "ok google, show me the front door" I guess I will be depending on the dog to let me know someone is there still haha.

I learned a few things though, I live in an older house, and i wanted to see if it was worth it to drill holes, or hire an electrician to add outlets so I could mount wired cameras. It's not, at least not yet. The image quality is mediocre at best, even on 1080p or arlo ultra 4k. The lag is substantial for wireless cams, but not so much so that going through the effort and expense to use wired cameras is obvious. This leaves me in a hollow limbo of sorts. I have the arlo 1.0 system, and it's always been "fine" even if I have to buy those stupid batteries every 3 months. Is it worth $1000 to upgrade to the ultra where image is just ok, delay is very long, and sometimes even after their fix the camera is pixelated and wont connect? Nope. Is it worth it to drill holes and set up a wired system? Nope. Especially with the expensive subscription services for both.

Maybe I'll check out the pro 2's. People seem to say that the image on them is the same if not better than the ultra, and I think I can keep my 7 day free recording account. Plus they have rechargeable batteries, and lots of accessories like the solar panel now, and it's on sale for $650, that's 350 less than the ultra.

Anyways just wanted to share what I've learned. I guess I'll keep the ultras through the weekend and see if anything new develops firmware wise, but it looks like they are going back.

If anyone has any questions about the systems I mentioned, feel free to ask. I tested them pretty thoroughly.
Jeremyinsf Apprentice
Apprentice

I returned mine today to Best Buy - as soon as the employee saw what I was returning, you could see the mood change.  It's clear many are asking for their money back. 

 

There are also now reviews showing up online, both text and video (youtube) reviews, including one with several thousand views, that actually shows this thead in the video.  And it's not just about the connectivity issue.

 

Sorry Arlo, but this product just isn't ready for primetime. 

 

 

Bigjames83 Apprentice
Apprentice
I have to push back on the video quality. Even tho the arlo 4K live stream doesn’t really look good the actual 4K clips are about 3x better than my nest outdoor camera that is right next to it. All the other issues are spot on tho. Arlo has a lot of work to do.
Ayrity Guide
Guide
To be clear, maybe the clips are better, but I was talking about live streaming only.
Guru jguerdat Guru
Guru

As I just posted in a different thread, don't forget that the compression used as well as the extreme FOV makes details less likely to show up. Making sure that the video is 4k, set to Best Video and trying the Wide or Full settings may make a difference for you or not.

zincyellowcobra Luminary
Luminary

@Bigjames83 wrote:
I have to push back on the video quality. Even tho the arlo 4K live stream doesn’t really look good the actual 4K clips are about 3x better than my nest outdoor camera that is right next to it. All the other issues are spot on tho. Arlo has a lot of work to do.

Is the Nest Outdoor cam 1080p? I would expect more than 3x better! But I might be overly critical as I am highly frustrated today after making this terrible purchase. 

JamSam Star
Star

Well... I spoke a bit too soon. After removing all cross camera triggering, and removing and re-adding a suspect camera, and changing my wifi channel (per support) I am still missing events. When I got home today I walked from the garage to the house which has a camera perfectly centered over the walkway. That camera captured no video(!) of me walking into my house, but the camera much farther away (and with the lowest signal at of all my cameras) did. When I walked back to the garage 5 minutes later, that same walkway camera did capture, so it just seems to be quite unpredictable. I also see a few videos where you can tell things didn't go quite right... the video starts with an event that clearly has been happening for a while, and then ends while there is still motion.

 

After calling support a few times I don't get the sense everyone at Arlo is on the same page. Support called me back about disconnects, but had no idea a firmware release had happened. So many of us have clear examples of issues (and timestamps for those issues), but for whatever reason I am not totally confident that info is making its way to those who are fixing this. When I brought up having examples and timestamps, it wasn't really received with any interest from support. I am starting to realize this might have to go back, which sucks. If anyone has a suggestion beyond giving up, let me know!

Manole831 Apprentice
Apprentice
Ok, I’m throwing in the towel. They’re going back to Best Buy tomorrow. These cameras are not even close to 4K when streaming locally and even if they were, there is no way I’m shelling out even more money per camera on top of Arlo Smart subscription that I already have to get 4K cloud storage. On top of that - they are the most unreliable devices I’ve ever owned even after the recent firmware update. On top of that - the new base station doesn’t have a built in siren. On top of that - the LED flood light is useless, it’s like using my iPhone flash to light up the backyard. On top of that - the 180 degree view is counter productive, it’s way too warped of an image compared to Arlo Pros with 130 degree view. (What happened to the warp correction they advertised!?). On top of that - they respond to motion slower than the Pros. On top of that - the allegedged noise cancellation feature does nothing that I can distinguish. On top of that (I can’t make this s it up) - the app is suddenly crashing on launch EVERY time with the new base station (but works fine now that I reverted back to the old one). On top of that - the battery life is significantly degraded compared to the pros evident in just a couple nights even after the firmware update. Many of these things may be resolved with firmware over the next year but not all of them. The only sane thing to do is go back to the Pros and invest in the NestCam IQ outdoor moving forward as I add more cameras. Yes I’ll need to run power but it’s worth it. Sorry to hate so much on this product but it truly is that bad.
zincyellowcobra Luminary
Luminary

@Manole831

 

Amen brother. I’m so frustrated after messing with these cameras for several days that I want to run them over with my car, except, I want my money back so have to resist the frustration fueled desire to destroy the product. Seriously, IM ANGRY. 

 

I paid for 4k upgrade yesterday, lost the functionality today, customer support cannot fix, and I can’t cancel upgrade to get a refund because my account has some sort of error preventing any changes. You can’t make this crap up.  Customer support is as useful as piece of lint stuck to my pants. 

 

 

Bigjames83 Apprentice
Apprentice
They have 12 more days to fix things for me. When the cameras work they are actually pretty good. But that’s not very often. I will return to Best Buy and dispute the charges for the 4K subscription with Amex if it’s not sorted out.
Manole831 Apprentice
Apprentice

Their customer support takes this to the next level.  They are the most counterproductive support team EVER with the exception of James monitoring these threads.  They literally will have you do the most nosensical troubleshooting steps like delinking all your cameras, removing batteries, unlinking account, etc. which is a huge PITA when you have 8 cameras all over your house. They must know when there is a widespread issue yet they instruct you to do things that are pointless - I am convinced they are messing with people intentionally.  I know that sounds like hyperbole but anyone who has dealt with their phone support knows what I'm talking about.  I feel like I'm in a new series of Punk'd and Ashton Kutcher is gone to jump out of my closet and explain this was all just a prank.

zincyellowcobra Luminary
Luminary

@Manole831

 

I am rolling and laughing because you are dead on in your description of the customer support experience. Sadly, that experience only serves to further frustrate and irritate Arlo customers. 

 

 

JamesC Community Manager
Community Manager

I'm working with the development team on these reports. As soon as I have more information, i'll provide an update here. I understand the frustration everyone is experiencing at the moment and appreciate your patience while we work to resolve these issues.

 

JamesC

ItsPlayTime Apprentice
Apprentice
TLDR; Progress is happening, I'm encouraged/optimistic, loss off free sucks but I'll pay, telephone support cannot help us. I'll keep posting here & look forward to more progress.

I bought these day one &was as let down as anyone here by the multitude of issues with the system. At this point, are they ready for prime time? Clearly, not.

That said, I am encouraged by the quick progress that has been made.. The team is clearly putting the work in to fix issues & more importantly actually making progress. My cameras are online & available the overwhelming majority of the time now. The sensitivity to movement is definitely improved as well. It went from being few recordings & 0 notifications to getting most recordings & notifications (I compare the Ultra's to what's captured on Pros similarly placed) the local 4k streaming remains an issue as I still usually get the Black screen with audio on the Android app. I turned it off for now & randomly turn it on to verify that it's still not right.

I have been holding off on the 4k recording upgrade for now. The loss off 7 days free sucks but I get it; servers, bandwidth & electricity etc. cost money. To me, the eventual cost of +/- $180/year for 30 day 4k cloud recording for four cameras isn't really that bad. It's on par with my Netflix subscription while potentially far more valuable (hoping I never need it to be).

As for the telephone "tech support"... if you're here you probably know more than them. Disclaimer, I haven't called them & I likely never will. I don't intend this to be disrespectful but most companies 800 tech support are people who work in a call center/at home &; read preset statements/responses off/out of a manual that is written to the most basic levels of trouble shooting. They aren't necessarily familiar with the products or even technologically inclined. They need a job to eat & can be polite/professional/patient on the phone with your parent/other person who is not technologically savvy. At this point they are in a tough spot & I actually feel bad for them as trouble shooting at their level assumes things are working properly to begin with.

JamesC is clearly a functional conduit between us & the engineers & I'm grateful for that as many/most companies fail in that regard.
KGSRETIRED Apprentice
Apprentice
Knock on wood, so far mine have been working pretty good the last few days. The farthest away camera is about 70 feet away. One camera even caught a bunch of snow sliding off my roof. So it kicked on pretty quickly . I'll see what this next week brings.
Sensei michaelkenward Sensei
Sensei

@KGSRETIRED wrote:
The farthest away camera is about 70 feet away.


Impressive. Can anyone beat that?

 


My Arlo hardware: Q Plus, Pro 2 (X2), Security Light, Ultra, Doorbell, Chime
DamianR Apprentice
Apprentice
I have an Ultra at about 100 feet, line of sight. Signal is 3 bars.
Another at around 50ft, past a couple of double brick walls. Still 3 bars.
Pro2 at same distance 2 bars.
So, for me, Ultra is showing a little better signal (on the indicator).
Of course, with more resolution, the cameras will need better signal/bandwidth to run sucessfully..
EInce Guide
Guide

Hello all, I have been reading through this form and wanted to express my gratitude to all of you for the information you have posted. I am new to Arlo but know a few people with the pro 2. They have spoken highly of the system so, being in the market for a system I was considering the Arlo pro 2 or a Reolink (hard wired version). Not wanting to fool with wires I decided on Arlo. However, after visiting best buy a sales associate informed me of the New 4K Arlo Ultra so, I purchased the 4 Camera Ultra system, doorbell, chime, security lights and also a 256GB SanDisk Extrema Plus because I was told I could store 4K content on it rather than paying a yearly/monthly fee. $1,400 later home I go. Prior to unboxing anything I decided look up the Ultra. I am a person who have always taken reviews with a grain of salt but its apparent that there is a problem with the Ultra and the problems with this system/cameras are not limited to a few as I could not find one person to praise the Ultra (referring to people who have actually purchase the system) in this room nor youtube. (Credit to lifehackster

To JamesC and Arlo’s credit I have noticed that there has been a firmware update that have corrected some connection issues. With that being said. I am considering returning the Ultra and going with the Pro2 to avoid the headache the Ultra seem to be giving you all. However, I was hoping to get a few questions answered first.  

  • I understanding that video quality is limited while streaming but, Is the locally stored 4K video Quality and/or the payed 4K video quality better than that of the Pro2? (hope I fares that right)
  • Do the notifications/alerts inform you in a timely manner?
  • Has anyone been able to actually make out a license plate? (Recording Quality is key for me)
  • Is the Ultra presently worth keeping or should it be returned?

I know these questions are loaded but thanks in advance for your answers.

Manole831 Apprentice
Apprentice
-The video when streaming locally in 4K is not any better than the Pro 2 as far as I can tell. HDR is an improvement but not worth it IMHO. Basically, these cameras are no where near 4K resolution and it’s probably because of the higher compression they must be using.
-The notification are slower than the Pro
-You are never going to make out a license plate especially at motion at more than 10 feet away
-You should return it for the Pro 2 or the NestCam IQ outdoor if you can run power
EInce Guide
Guide

Thank you for the response. I felt like I already knew the answer but i sooo wanted to like this system.

Master st_shaw Master
Master

 


@michaelkenward wrote:

@KGSRETIRED wrote:
The farthest away camera is about 70 feet away.


Impressive. Can anyone beat that?

 


I had one at 180 feet. One bar.

Ahwaldrup Tutor
Tutor
I would keep keep the ultra if I were you. The updated has fixed any issues I’m having.
MVN Guide
Guide

I Bought the 4 pack Arlo Ultra for $1100. This product is a total disaster and embarrassment.

 

After reading all the feedback in the forums we are all in agreement that this Product was prematurely released. Interacting with your customer support is frustrating and hopeless because they can’t trouble shoot anything until your platform and software runs correctly. 

 

Out of the box The camera had issues  with video  lagging , delayed videos, no videos, no motion detection, pixelated live videos. What’s the use of having a security camera when it can’t even catch the subject live. Unless this update or firmware update comes soon, I am returning the product to Best Buy. I  Have a ring doorbell and a ring spotlight cam and they work perfectly.

Extremely disappointed with the Arlo Ultra.

 

dwbrock Tutor
Tutor

After a week of travel, came home and loaded up the base station and cameras with all the latest firmware.  Result...marginal improvement.   I returned to Best Buy this afternoon.  Will monitor this group and perhaps give another try if issues are resolved. 

DrJus Initiate
Initiate
Not being able to hardwire power to the locations I want cameras at, I was so excited to pre-order my Arlo Ultra 4-pack from Best Buy. I was even more stoked when I saved an extra $100 by using the birthday coupon Best Buy sent me. But thanks to this forum and YouTube, my long anticipated Ultras that I received yesterday just got returned back to Best Buy today. Without even opening them, I knew that I was saving myself a world of hurt. I just ordered the Arlo Pro 2 off Amazon and will stick with that until this forum confirms that the Ultras are actually a worthwhile upgrade. Doesn’t however sound like I should be holding my breath for this. Kudos again to all you who have candidly shared your Ultra woes.