Optimizing Motion Based Recording

By: Brian Rhodes, Published on Mar 15, 2012

Often users will be shocked to find video is being stored only for as half as long as they expected. The #1 problem is typically unoptimized motion based recording. Various real world problems will cause unoptimized systems to record fare more often that they should. In this note, we examine the 6 most common problems and how they can be overcome by optimizing motion recording settings.

Key Issues affecting motion recording

A variety of situations affect motion recording settings:

  • Landscaping
  • Banners, signage and decorations
  • Screensavers
  • Glare, reflection and headlights
  • Flashing lights
  • Digital noise

Below we review each one:

Landscaping: A winter tree with no leaves may not have enough movement to trigger motion but after it grows leaves it may become a big source of motion noise. Be aware of how seasonal landscape changes can affect what is being recorded. Keeping landscaping manicured can go a long way to minimizing this issue, but sometimes 'hard' masking of moving areas are required to offset these impacts.

Banners, Signage, and Decorations: Items suspended from ceilings move around when air handlers are working. Subtle drifting of a banner make be just enough pixel change to keep a camera recording. Seasonally changed decorations are another common source of false positive movements. Even worse, these items are relocated or changed frequently. Often, these changes are so significant to a scene, the only adjustment is a reconfiguring motion sensitivity in the entire FoV.

Screensavers: Computer, television, or digital signage continously update images and can trigger inadvertant recording, especially in darkened rooms. Consider adjusting motion sensitivity at night or masking out the screens of monitors or signs.

Glare, reflections, and headlights: Intermittent exposures of light are very frustrating and very difficult to adjust for due to the randomness involved. Ice, snow, and pools of standing water often cast reflections in hard-to-predict places. Consider adding light shades, or masking windows to reduce the impact of these events. Take note of this situation during site survey and consider beefing up storage estimates for cameras located in these areas.

Flashing lights: A lightsource with a steady blink is frustrating but easy to adjust for, especially since these light don't move.  This problem is commonly found when motion detectors, traffic lights, or highrise tower lights are part of a recorded scene. Since the location of these lights are fixed, they can be masked out. 

Digital Noise: The camera itself can cause false motion recording. Many cameras generate visible 'digital noise' in darkened environments, where the imager 'picks up' static and interference from the camera itself, and records nothing outwardly noticeable. This frustrating condition can be corrected by adjusting the minimium motion threshold levels to screen detection of digital noise.

Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News
Get Notified of Video Surveillance Breaking News

Here is an example of what digital noise looks like:

Recommendations

Two common ways exist to overcome this:

  • Throw more storage at it
  • Optimize motion detection settings

If you have the money and room for more hard drives, adding in more storage is one way to address the problem. However, often budgets or tight or space available for more drives in limited.

The other way to overcome, without having to add any more hardware is to optimize motion detection settings. Modern systems enable outright FoV masking (exclusion) and motion threshold adjustments to reduce nuisance events from being recorded (screensavers, digital noise, etc.). The integrator should review and optimize these settings a few days after a system is installed to see what types of false motion issues are being recorded. During this time, the integrator should explain to the end user the motion threshold and motion sensitivity settings and how ambient movement in the scene affects what is recorded. The integrator should ensure the end user understands that even minor adjustments affect motion recording greatly, and that major events can be missed if adjustments are not made properly.

The two most common software tools address different issues:

  • FoV masking is used to block out a specific area of the scene that is causing problems. For instance, if a screensaver on a PC monitor is causing problems at night, mask the entire PC.
  • Motion thresholds are used when recording is being triggered but there is no obvious object causing the issue. Typically, the problem then is digital noise that appears across the entire image. Raise the threshold level step by step to find the minimal level that eliminates the spurious recording.

The image below shows both of these controls. While the look and feel will vary by vendors, similar controls are common across the industry:

Finally, either the end user or integrator should periodically review recording duration. Over time, recording duration may drop. For instance, at first it might be 30 days but a few months later it could drop to 20 or 22 days. This typically indicates that changes in the scene have occured and motion settings might need to be reoptimized.

1 report cite this report:

Calculating Video Surveillance Storage / Bandwidth on Dec 29, 2016
Calculating surveillance bandwidth is complex, and inexperienced users can easily underestimate bandwidth, leading to reduced storage durations...
Comments : Members only. Login. or Join.

Related Reports

Bezos-Funded Deep Sentinel Tested on Mar 28, 2019
Backed by Jeff Bezos, the Silicon Valley startup, Deep Sentinel, has declared: No One Does Home Security Like We Do Our Surveillance Team has...
Bosch AI Camera Trainer Released And Tested on Apr 09, 2019
Bosch is releasing a highly unusual new AI feature - 'Camera Trainer'. Now, coming as a standard feature in Bosch IVA/EVA analytics, one can train...
Hikvision DeepinMind 2019 Test on Jun 06, 2019
In 2018, Hikvision's DeepinMind AI NVR performed terribly, recognizing vehicles, animals, and other objects as humans, misclassifying demographics,...
False Verkada 'Unrivaled' Low Light Performance Claim Removed on Jun 12, 2019
Verkada falsely claimed that it delivered 'UNRIVALED LOW LIGHT PERFORMANCE' until IPVM questioned. In fact, Verkada's low light performance is...
Axis Live Privacy Shield Analytics Tested on Jun 25, 2019
Privacy is becoming a bigger factor in video surveillance, driven both by increased public awareness and by GDPR. Now, Axis has released Live...
Yi Home Camera 3 AI Analytics Tested on Sep 10, 2019
Yi Technology is claiming "new AI features" in its $50 Home Camera 3 "eliminates 'false positives' caused by flying insects, small pets, or light...
Consumer IP Camera Analytics / AI Shootout - Arlo, Google / Nest, Amazon / Ring, Hikvision / Ezviz, Wyze Cam, Yi Home on Sep 26, 2019
AI analytics are hitting the mainstream in the consumer camera market, with entrants Wyze and Yi Home releasing free people detection on their...
Hidden Camera Detectors Tested on Nov 18, 2019
Hidden cameras are a growing problem as cameras become smaller, cheaper and easier to access. However, some companies claim to be able to detect...
IPVM Opens 12,000 Sqft Testing Facility on Dec 16, 2019
IPVM is proud to announce the opening of the world's first video surveillance testing facility that will allow us to significantly expand our...
Halo Smart Vape Detector Tested on Jan 16, 2020
The Halo Smart Sensor claims to detect vaping, including popular brand Juul and even THC vapes. But how well does it work in real world...

Most Recent Industry Reports

Hanwha Wisenet X Plus PTRZ Tested on Feb 14, 2020
Hanwha has released their PTRZ camera, the Wisenet X Plus XNV-6081Z, claiming the "modular design allows for easy installation". We bought and...
PRC Warns Against China Video Surveillance Hacks, Hikvision Targeted on Feb 14, 2020
Hackers are targeting China video surveillance manufacturers and systems, according to the PRC's main cyber threat monitoring body. The hackers...
IPVM Conference 2020 on Feb 13, 2020
IPVM is excited to announce our 2020 conference. This is the first and only industry event that will be 100% sponsor-free. Like IPVM online, the...
Bosch Dropping Dahua on Feb 13, 2020
Bosch has confirmed to IPVM that it is in the process of dropping Dahua, over the next year, as both IP camera contract manufacturer and recorder...
BluB0X Alleges Lenel, S2, Software House Are Dinosaurs on Feb 13, 2020
BluB0X is running an ad campaign labeling Lenel, S2, Software House, Honeywell, AMAG and more as dinosaurs: In a follow-up email to IPVM,...
London Live Police Face Recognition Visited on Feb 13, 2020
London police have officially begun using live facial recognition in select areas of the UK capital, sparking significant controversy. IPVM...
Converged vs Dedicated Networks For Surveillance Tutorial on Feb 12, 2020
Use the existing network or deploy a new one? This is a critical choice in designing video surveillance systems. Though 'convergence' was a big...
Monitoreal "Completely Autonomous" Home AI Tested on Feb 12, 2020
Monitoreal claims to allow users to "see the things you want (people, vehicles, animals) and ignore the things you don’t”, using AI to distinguish...
Cisco Video Surveillance Is Dead, Long Live Cisco Meraki Video Surveillance on Feb 11, 2020
A dozen years ago much of the industry thought that Cisco was destined to dominate video surveillance. They stumbled repeatedly, failing. Now it is...
BICSI For IP Video Surveillance Guide on Feb 11, 2020
Spend enough time around networks and eventually someone will mention BICSI, the oft-referenced but only vaguely known standards body prevalent in...