Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Re: What is the ideal distance to capture a license plate?

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mikejd1
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 So I have an Arlo ultra pointing directly at my driveway and it is about 12 feet up onto my house. I have been testing this unit by pulling into my driveway and leaving my driveway and every single video including downloading the video to my Photos app it is 100% unreadable On the license plate. What gives? 

Model: VMS5440 | Arlo Ultra 4 Camera Kit
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TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

Most of the Arlo cameras are "activity cameras" and not meant to read plates at a distance.... esp if in 1080p.

That said, have you tried it in 4k mode?  The plates are readable at a better distance then standard viewing.

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mikejd1
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Thanks for your response but it makes no sense to me. The reason it makes no sense because Arlo has specifically in their marketing and selling materials the license plate view.

I do have super wide angle selected so I changed it to full view to test it. I also have auto HDR and 4K set yes.
TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

Yes 4 K is set, but are you viewing in 4k....?

If you can on a device, a 4K icon and home network icon show.  ... Or off the mem card

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mikejd1
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I’m on the same network yes I have a 4K icon at the top left-hand corner in the house icon shows
TomMac
Guru Guru
Guru

Since your seeing 4K ,have you tried to zoom in a bit on the plate?

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brh
Master
Master

I am not sure of the resolution strictly over wi-fi, (computer, laptop, iPad, etc.) but I think one must look at the recordings on the SD card to really see the 4k resolution. If I am wrong, someone correct me.

 

Brian

st_shaw
Master Master
Master

 

Exactly how far is the car from the base of the wall the camera is mounted on?

 

Theoretically, you need about 200 pixels/meter to read license plates.  With the Ultra's 180-degree lens, that means the maximum distance will be around 20 feet.  If the camera is 12 feet high, the car needs to be no farther than 16 feet from the wall the camera is on. That's pretty close.

 

Because of the high level of  compression used in Arlo cameras, you would need to be even closer than that. Motion or low light will reduce the range even more.

 

Setting the Ultra to a narrower field of view setting might help a little.  If you really want to capture readable license plates, especially at night, you'll need a conventional IP camera  that let's you manually control the image capture  settings, and with a narrow field of view.

NoPlatesAt4K
Initiate
Initiate
Same here. Is this false advertising or what. I specifically bought this for the “reads plates feature” and it does not at any distance. I have the 4K icon on top left of my screen on SAME WIFI NETWORK. Hub is close to cameras. 500Mb download and 250Mb Upload Speeds on my home wifi.

Perfect sunny day moved my car closer and closer and doesnt read jack!! I am really dissapointed and frustrated. Add the horrible Tech support people I have a hard time understanding. I will never again trust Arlo or Netgear advertising (or the Sponsored Youtube reviewers). Very angry!
Model: VMS5240 | Arlo Ultra 2 Camera Kit
catemp
Apprentice
Apprentice
The license plate thing is pure marketing. I’ve been annoyed by it too.

Homekit, zWave, the list goes on for things Arlo has advertised and not delivered.
HowCome
Star
Star

I've just installed the Ultra kit today, and am also disappointed about what seems to be the blatant false advertisement of the license plate feature. A car in the photo is about 20 ft away from the camera and the plate is unredable in "4K". I truly hope this will be fixed soon, or I am returning this thing for refund after wasting all day installing it. Not happy!

 

Screenshot_20190805-151148_Arlo.jpg

Model: VMS5340 | Arlo Ultra 3 Camera Kit
glennman
Tutor
Tutor
I can’t read a license plate in 4K mode. And the car is only about 25 feet away. Options seems to all be set to 4K. I’ve cleaned the lens. Am I missing something? Maybe an optical zoom is what’s needed? Am really disappointed.

73,
Glennman
Model: VMS5240 | Arlo Ultra 2 Camera Kit
st_shaw
Master Master
Master
Please review my post above. Twenty five feet would be too far under ideal conditions. License plate capture is a pretty tough application. Make sure your viewing method is actually providing 4K. You can download a clip and verify the resolution.
LandJS
Mentor
Mentor

The issue isn't whether IR does it better or even are you viewing it  in 4K which is only possible  on your own network or via additional subscription.  It's simply that it is sold and advertised as one of it's features to sell you cameras.  Don't advertise it that way and there is no issue.  It's not, license plate only in 4K under perfect conditions and a few feat away.  It's a crystal clear pic of a license plate intended to make a sale.  Certainly not just Arlo and I say this about all who advertise in this way.

glennman
Tutor
Tutor
Awesome response. Thx. A shame that the field of view can’t even be narrower for situations where license capture is desired!
Model: VMS5240 | Arlo Ultra 2 Camera Kit
catemp
Apprentice
Apprentice
5 to 6 feet seems to be the range for license plates. If the person robbing you stops in the street and not in front of the camera these are pretty worthless.

File your complaint with the FTC. That’s what I did. If enough do it then maybe you’ll see some traction.
st_shaw
Master Master
Master

 

Today in good lighting I can read my car's license plate at a distance of 34 feet from my Ultra. That's with the car stopped in the driveway.

LandJS
Mentor
Mentor

I would love to get that, is there somewhere we could meet up to swap a couple cameras.  Mine looks like the pic HowCome posted.  At 12 ft I can read it if I zoom in on the plate itself but still not like the pic advertised in anyway.  At 18 feet even zooming won't do it.  I only need two that can if you have them lol

st_shaw
Master Master
Master

 

I can only read the plate if I view a video from the library and zoom in on the plate.  And, the video must be created from a motion trigger.  Manual recordings are not 4K, so I have to walk out near the car to trigger the recording.  The resolution streaming local live 4K on an iPhone isn't good enough to read the plate for some reason.

jsturess
Luminary
Luminary

Manual recording not in 4K? where do you find that information?

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RBK53| Orbi Router + 3 Satellites
Arlo Pro 2| 5 cameras
Arlo Ultra| 3 base stations and 6 cameras
st_shaw
Master Master
Master

 

Not sure where it's documented, but that's the way it's always worked, as far as I know. Try making manual recordings and look for the 4K badge in the library.  If local 4K streaming is enabled the record button is disabled. If local 4K streaming is off the recordings are 1080.

jsturess
Luminary
Luminary

ok, Do you also use local savings? Wonder if this could be due to space limit for saving it to the cloud? @JamesC is there a specific reason to this?

________________________________________
RBK53| Orbi Router + 3 Satellites
Arlo Pro 2| 5 cameras
Arlo Ultra| 3 base stations and 6 cameras
st_shaw
Master Master
Master

 

I'm not using the local storage at the moment. I suspect it has something to do with hardware limitations on sending multiple streams from the camera.  If you are viewing in 1080 (camera->cloud->device), the camera cannot generate a second 4K stream to send to the cloud. If you are viewing locally in 4K (camera->device), the camera cannot generate a second stream to send to the cloud.

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@jsturess wrote:

Manual recording not in 4K? where do you find that information?


It isn't well documented, but it has been reported in several posts here.

 

It's easy to check, just make a manual recording, download it, and look at the resolution in the player.

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