Arlo|Smart Home Security|Wireless HD Security Cameras

Video doorbell activity zones not working

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Elboydo
Guide
Guide
I have activity zones setup on my new video doorbell in an attempt to stop cars going by sending notifications. However the app keeps flagging motion in the non-active area. Is there an update or a work around for this issue?
163 REPLIES 163
JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

Clendinning,

 

Firmware 1.14.2.0_475_a93c203_739f079 is now available for Arlo Video Doorbell. Are you still experiencing this issue now that this firmware is available?

 

JamesC

Clendinning
Apprentice
Apprentice

James,

 

I have been running with the microphone disabled. I have enabled it now and will let you know if the doorbell experiences spurious triggers or not tomorrow. I confirm that the new firmware has been pushed to my device.

 

Regards,

 

-kirk-

 

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@JamesC wrote:

Firmware 1.14.2.0_475_a93c203_739f079 is now available for Arlo Video Doorbell. Are you still experiencing this issue now that this firmware is available?

 


FWIW, I am running this firmware and activity zones aren't working for me either (in fact they've never worked).

Jsmitty66
Apprentice
Apprentice

I was still getting notifications outside the activity zone while on the new firmware up through 2/24.  That’s when my trial period for the Smart Plan ran out and I refuse to pay for it if this function is not working.

 

I opened a case with Customer Service on 2/2 and it is supposedly with the engineers.  I called back on 2/19 after getting no word and there still is no solution or sign of progress.  I requested that my Smart Plan be activated at no charge which Arlo said they would do for one extension only (3 months?).  Despite Arlo’s commitment my Smart Plan has gone inactive.  I’m not sure when Arlo thought I wanted the Smart Plan.

 

So now I just have a video doorbell with no cloud video so I have turned off motion notifications since I would get notified every time a car went by (I was getting notified every 5th car before with the failed activity zone).  I’m contemplating dropping the Arlo doorbell and going with another brand/model.  

 

The Arlo response has been non-existent.  I’m also perturbed that we have to pay monthly for the basic cloud functionality and activity zones when I get those features at no charge with my Arlo Pro 2 cameras that are wired.

 

Pretty poor Arlo.

Clendinning
Apprentice
Apprentice

James,

 

Yesterday, I enabled the microphone. With the new firmware, I did not notice an abnormal number of non-visual triggers given my current activation zones. I'll have to look over the stored videos to know for sure. However, when the bug was present, I was getting 30 to 40 triggers a day. Yesterday it was about 10 or so and at least 5 of those were legitimate. 

 

Regards,

 

-kirk-

 

Clendinning
Apprentice
Apprentice

JSmitty,

 

I've been doing a bit of testing for Arlo with regard to the false trigger issue. What I found was that the microphone was triggering recording events. I disabled it, reducing false triggers. I have tried several firmware versions now, and the latest, with the microphone once again enabled, appears to have reduced false triggers significantly.

 

I actually found Arlo support to be very responsive. But, rather than simply complaining, I went through my videos to diagnose the false triggers. For my system, it was clearly related to sound, not movement in the activation zones. My system was especially sensitive to gusts of wind, dogs barking and the shouts of children.

 

If the firmware I have tested is pushed to the user base and works for others as it has me, false triggers should be reduced to a reasonable level.

 

 

Regards,

 

-kirk-

Clendinning
Apprentice
Apprentice

My zones seem to have always worked. However, when one considers that a sounds might be triggering a recording event, then the false triggers start to have a pattern. I realized with my system, that when movement outside my activation areas appeared to trigger a recording event, it was really the sound that accompanied the movement. In some cases, there was no movement at all, but instead a loud sound, wind gusts, dog barks, car noise, etc. The realization came for me when I noticed triggers when there was no movement at all on a video. At that point I realized that wind gusts were triggering the recording event. If you are still getting unwanted triggers, try disabling the microphone.

 

I think that Arlo should probably try to include some processing of the microphone signal. The user should be able to set the sensitivity and the EQ. At the very least it would be helpful to have a low-cut filter for wind noise.

 

Regards,

 

-kirk-

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@Clendinning wrote:

The realization came for me when I noticed triggers when there was no movement at all on a video. At that point I realized that wind gusts were triggering the recording event. If you are still getting unwanted triggers, try disabling the microphone.

 


This is with the video doorbell?

 

I'm puzzled since there are no settings for audio detection in the app.  Also for me reducing the motion detection threshold to < 50% also largely eliminates the flood of notifications (though I still am seeing recordings that aren't in the zone).

 

Still I am trying turning off the microphone and restoring the default 80% motion detection trigger.

 

FWIW, turning off the microphone isn't a good solution, since you can't talk to the person at the door when it is off.  

Clendinning
Apprentice
Apprentice

Yes. My comments were directed toward the video doorbell.

 

My theory is that a developer was experimenting with audio triggering of recording events and that somehow got into a firmware release unintentionally. If indeed audio triggering is to be a new feature, my suggestion is that Arlo add user controls for trigger level, a low cut filter for wind option and perhaps a 3 channel parametric EQ (should there be enough processing to do so).

 

I agree that turning off the microphone is not a long term solution. I only suggested it as a work around while the firmware is being modified. For me, turning off the microphone eliminated all non-motion false triggers.  I cannot confirm that the old firmware had microphone triggering since I have no access to the code. However, in my case, that appeared to work around the issue.

chopper2019
Initiate
Initiate

I'm experiencing the same issue. I'm running on the updated firmware and still getting sooo many alerts. There is no motion. Not even cars going by. I've adjusted the activity zones and that doesn't even help.

StephenB
Guru Guru
Guru

@Clendinning wrote:

Yes. My comments were directed toward the video doorbell.

 

For me, turning off the microphone eliminated all non-motion false triggers.  


It doesn't seem to be doing that for me.  At least when I turned off the microphone and re-applied the default motion detection setting, the flood of unwanted notifications resumed. 

 

Reducing the motion threshold to below 50% sharply reduces the notifications - and the ones I am getting do have motion that is almost always out of the activity zone.

Clendinning
Apprentice
Apprentice

Yesterday, I had the same experience. What I did before, turn off the microphone, didn't appear to help. I got triggers as before, apparently from wind gusts. I'm wondering if I should offer to look at the firmware and help them debug it. 😞

Clendinning
Apprentice
Apprentice

I'm wondering if the issue isn't on the server side. When I first got the new firmware it seemed to be working. However, yesterday, I got false triggers even with the microphone disabled. So, I'm a bit confused. Perhaps actually working with a small user group and having more direct contact with developers would be beneficial. It is odd that the developers cannot duplicate the issues that so many users are experiencing.

 

I still seem to be getting sound triggers. When there is no motion at all in _any_ of the image, I can correlate a trigger with a gust of wind or some other sound.

Clendinning
Apprentice
Apprentice

I disabled my microphone on an earlier version of firmware, which seemed to help. However, yesterday I was getting triggers with the microphone disabled. That brings up the question of how long it takes for a change in the app to reach the doorbell, and even if the disable is in the doorbell itself, or what the servers are processing.

catsmeowgh
Guide
Guide

I just got the Arlo video doorbell. I am getting motion alerts on my Android cell phone when motion is detected out of the activity zone.

 

Firmware: 1.14.2.0_475_a93c203_739f079

 

Gina

wkgeneral
Tutor
Tutor

It's official - I have crossed to the point that I LOATHE this doorbell. I've had this since November and have had nothing but problems. It's not the camera - the video quality is great! But the issues with the app are such that I'm going to get rid of this and get something else as soon as I can afford it. The biggest issue is the smart notifications - they don't work much of the time. I've had three instances when the doorbell just went crazy and started sending notification after notification (like yes, every 3 seconds) every time a car went by. I turned the thing off and contacted support, it took them 3 days to respond and their solution was that turning it off and leaving it off for a good amount of time (I checked periodically over the 3 days window to see if if was fixed) and it wasn't until after support called that the notifications suddenly worked sort of correctly again. I say sort of because I still got a fair amount of notifications for cars (set to no notification for cars) and for motion (set to no motion) and for animals (set to no animals) e.g., set to people only. This happened two more times. Today my 3 month free period for using the smart notification expired - I am not renewing because why should I pay for something that doesn't work correctly a lot!!. Since I can no longer use smart notifications I reset the activity zone to ONLY reflect my front door steps, but I still am getting notification after notification for cars and motion (the street is 20 - 30 feet away and is not within the activity zone. Unfortunately I can't turn notifications off for the doorbell as that also turns off notifications for my other cameras. Other issues with this system that I have complained about before but which have not been resolved: 1) the lag time for getting notifications is ridiculous - the amazon guy can walk up my sidewalk, walk up the 10 steps to get to my front door, drop a package off, take a picture and be totally out of sight before I ever get the first notification. 2) there is no way to turn the phone calls off - if someone rings the door bell you get it all - the doorbell chime, the notification and the phone call. this is way to much to deal with all at once. 3) There is no way to change the notification sound - it sounds like very other notification I get on my Iphone.......If you live far away from a busy street this system might work great for you but if your doorbell is close to a heavily traveled street then this thing is not a solution that I would ever recommend for anyone and until Arlo fixes this app I would recommend that people buy something else.

wkgeneral
Tutor
Tutor

One more comment - since I wrote the above I took some additional measures: I reset the activity level again to only see my front porch and not the stairs, I set the motion sensitivity to the lowest level of 1, I made the doorbell inactive for smart notifications and finally I turned the device off......and guess what....I AM STILL getting occasional notifications. Looks like the only remaining thing to do to stop this constant annoyance is to remove the device totally. What poorly designed application.

JamesC
Community Manager
Community Manager

wkgeneral,

 

I apologize for the poor experience. The issues you've experienced here, along with similar reports from other users, have been escalated to the development team for further investigation. I will provide an update once we have more information on these issues.

 

JamesC

Spatman
Guide
Guide
I have been have this same problem with our video doorbell on and off for months. In the past it was about a day of ignored activity zones then it would stop. This had happened about 7-8 times so far.

Now it’s been doing this for the last 4 straight days. The firmware is current, the device has been restarted multiple times. The activity zones have been deleted and restored, but none have made a difference.

I am highly doubtful the microphone is triggering the alert because someone walking by across the street sets it off.

Like others have mentioned this is getting very frustrating. Turning off the alerts makes having this device almost pointless for us. If this isn’t resolved soon, our subscription will be cancelled and future Arlo purchases reconsidered.
Jsmitty66
Apprentice
Apprentice

I’m ready to rip mine off the door frame, chuck it outside the activity zone, watch a car run over it and rejoice that I didn’t just get an “animal detected on front door” notification. 

Granted, I’m sure work has slowed or stopped due to the crisis if they ever were working on it, but I’ve heard not a peep on the engineering case opened on Feb 2.

Spatman
Guide
Guide
I found something that seems to have stopped the problem (for now at least).

I removed the video doorbell from the “smart notifications” active list and then restored it to active and now it seems to functioning properly.
CrimsonLynx
Initiate
Initiate

Hi, was this issue regarding the false activity zone notifications resolved? Still pending I'm assuming as I continue to experience this.

Jsmitty66
Apprentice
Apprentice

Nearly two weeks ago Arlo called me on my open case and said that a firmware update had been issued that had solved the problem - firmware version AVD1001_OTA-1.14.3.0_526_7d9145d_58dd815.  I confirmed that I had the latest update and informed them that no, this had not solved my notifications outside of the activity zones.  I emailed them an example video with the errant notification and a screen shot of my activity zones.

 

This is beyond frustrating that the Video Doorbell does not operate as intended and hasn't since day one - I preordered and received mine at product launch.  I am ready to pursue a refund.

 

In the meantime, since they extended my free trial for smart notifications, I have turned off all notifications other than "person" movement so I don't get notifications as they occur.  When I go into the Arlo app however, I see the long list of notifications recorded as cars passed by outside of the activity zones.  Before this workaround I simply disarmed the Video Doorbell rendering it a "dumb" smart doorbell.

Clendinning
Apprentice
Apprentice
My doorbell seems to trigger abnormally whenever there’s a low frequency loud sound, be it wind, aircraft or a car. This system seems less sensitive to high frequency sounds. However allowed a child’s scream will trigger an event sometimes. And one version of firmware it seem to help if I turned the microphone off. Recently that hasn’t seemed to matter. I’m convinced that there is a sound trigger in the firmware that is not well understood by Arlo. They keep asking for recordings to show the sound triggering an event. I've sent clear examples. I’m to the point that I think they should send me the firmware, a development environment and let me look into it. I’m assuming the firmware was farmed out to a third-party who dropped the ball.

Kind regards,

Kirk
Clendinning
Apprentice
Apprentice
I am very convinced that the triggers are caused by sound. I’ll be sitting in my living room A jet will fly over and the doorbell video trigger will go off. I can look at the video and there’s noThing there. I’ve sent arlo plenty of examples of this. I suggest other users do the same.

Kind regards,

Kirk