CPU usage
  • How does SS compare with Hikvision's iVMS-4200 in terms of Mac CPU usage? My son is running 7 1080P Hik IP cameras in iVMS on a Core i5 iMac with 4TB SSD drive, 40GB RAM and a gigabit fibre LAN and reports seeing CPU usage of iVMS frequently above 100% - even though he is only recording motion events. He does run his cameras at 25fps with high quality video but mostly they are in small 4- or 8-window matrixes so presumably running off sub-streams until he opens a large live view window. I've told him that iVMS is not very functional on a Mac but he persists with it. However at 100%+ CPU usage, I doubt it will be long before it implodes. So I would like to give him an idea of the level of CPU usage SS would deliver. If lower than iVMS, as seems likely, what processes would he sacrifice by switching to SS? Whatever he may lose, he would surely gain shedloads of functionality since iVMS is so crippled on the Mac.
  • In order to get a rough estimate about SecuritySpy's CPU usage on a particular machine, check out our SecuritySpy System Requirements Calculator. SecuritySpy is designed to be as efficient as possible, and is designed from the ground up as Mac software that takes advantage of Mac-specific technologies that provide very high performance, boosted by hardware acceleration (Metal, CoreML, VideoToolbox). We haven't actually done a like-for-like comparison with iVMS, but any application with a cross-platform codebase, like iVMS, is unlikely to be optimised for one particular platform.

    If you do manage to convince your son to try SecuritySpy, please report back and let me know how the CPU usage compares. For this purpose, we offer a 30-day trial period. In terms of functionality, SecuritySpy has a comprehensive feature set and should have everything that your son needs to run his CCTV system.
  • Thank you Ben - and that calculator is excellent. On a 1-camera test, SS runs at 25% of the CPU load of iVMS - and it's much snappier too. In fact, it may be the fastest Mac app ever written! More anon. The festering wound with MacOs is the inability to load live views into web config pages, which presumably hurts the SS browser too? The unsatisfactory workaround at the moment is to load the Windows version of iVMS into Parallels on the Mac - from where Explorer (not Edge) does work once the web plugin is downloaded. But iVMS on Parallels is even slower than iVMS on MacOS, which is a lot slower than SS. But it's possible to dip into Parallels iVMS to set a system up and then run SS happily ever after on MacOs.
  • Great to hear your initial testing results are positive!

    As for viewing via the web, SecuritySpy's web server is fully compatible with Mac web browsers (Safari, Chrome, Firefox) and can deliver live video/audio as well as recorded footage, without requiring any plugins. Let me know if you need further information about this.

    We also have an iOS and tvOS app for easy viewing on these platforms.
  • Viewing the recorded motion clips seems to work fine in the SS browser - and better than iVMS which has difficulty picking up motion recordings from its video intercom. But for configuring the cameras, compatibility with Mac browsers doesn't help since they are all unable to show the live feed previews in the config panes due to outlawing the web plugin. AFAIK, the only way to access the configs with live feed previews via a browser is on Internet Explorer under Windows…unless you know different.

    Meanwhile, my son's only complaint with SS is that he can't seem to turn off floating alerts - and particularly the automatic focus on SS alert windows - even after disabling floating windows in prefs. So in order to get any other computer work done on a wet and windy day he has to quit SS. What has he missed?
  • You are correct that for many IP cameras, their own web interfaces typically cannot display live video in Mac web browsers. However, once you set up a camera and have it up and running in SecuritySpy, you should no longer need to use the camera's own web browser; you use SecuritySpy for all access. And even though you can't see the video via a camera's web interface, you are usually still able to adjust all settings, so it's typically not a big limitation.

    As for your other question, I'm not quite sure what alerts you are referring to. SecuritySpy has a few different ways to alert you of motion:

    - Playing a sound
    - Drawing a red box around a camera's video feed
    - Opening a window that shows the camera's feed
    - Optionally coming to the front, above other applications
    - Sending an email
    - Sending an iOS notification

    All these are configurable under Preferences -> Cameras -> Actions, apart from iOS notifications, which are configured via the iOS app itself.

    So the first thing would be to choose some way to notify you of events that is effective but not too intrusive. Personally, I prefer iOS notifications to my iPhone.

    Then, you will want to adjust the motion detection settings to cut down on false-positive detections. For more info on this, I would recommend reading our two relevant blog posts on the topic: How To Achieve Effective Motion Detection and Optimising SecuritySpy’s AI Object Detection.

    If you want to detect humans only, then using the human AI should eliminate (or significantly cut down) false positive detections due to a windy day.

    Furthermore, if there is some unusual activity for a short period of time that you want to ignore, you can use a temporary "schedule override", described in the Schedules section of the user manual.

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