Continuous/timelapse capture - what am I doing wrong
  • I have the camera enabled, no motion detection. 1 second per frame. Create a new movie every 15 minutes. So I would expect to have 15 minutes of video, one picture per second. Then a new 15 minute movie. All these 15 minute movies would have a continuous recording of the camera.

    What I get is a file with 4 minutes of video, the file ends. Then a new movie starts after the 15 minutes - but a hole of no recording for 10 minutes or so.

    Thoughts
    Bob Ross
  • Hi Bob, a few of questions:

    1. What version of SecuritySpy are you using?
    2. Have you specified a "playback frame rate" in the timelapse settings in SecuritySpy? This will result in playback being at a different rate to recording.
    3. Is the camera on a schedule, or is it in Active mode all the time?
  • Hi Ben

    3.2.1
    yes - record 1 frame per second and 2 frames/sec playback
    no schedule and active all the time

    I have tried several variations and have not yet figured out the combination I want

    Thanks
    Bob
  • Hi Bob, with those settings you should get movies that are 7.5 minutes long (as the playback speed is twice the recording speed). If you enable the text overlay (timestamp) feature in SecuritySpy this will tell you exactly what periods of time are being recorded, and should be continuous between consecutive captures. Please can you do this and check the timestamps for the full length of each movie being recorded and let me know what this reveals.
  • Hi Ben;

    Thanks for helping on this.

    My camera has burned in time code, and I turned the date and time on in Security Spy, (my camera time is off a little)

    Capture Frequency 1 second per frame and 2 frames per second playback. 15 minutes per recording.

    Movie one reported start time on file selection page = 14:20:01

    Security Spy 14:20:01 --> 14:27:43 = 7 minutes and 42 seconds
    Camera time 14:20:51 -->14:28:33 = 7 minutes and 42 seconds

    The next movie start time on file selection page = 14:36:00

    Security Spy 14:36:12 --> 14:44:01 = 7 minutes and 49 seconds
    Camera time 14:37:11 -->14:44:52 = 7 minutes and 41 seconds

    The gap is 8 minutes and 29 seconds of no pictures

    Bob
  • Hang On!!

    I was at the computer doing the recording... The browser pull down has the movies with the full 15 minutes! The Quick View of the remote WEB browser has the above problem. I will look and see if the remote web browser "Full res
    ' does it!!

    Bob
  • Hi Bob, great to hear you worked this out! I was a bit stumped. Yes the "quick" movies via the web browser are limited to 1MB so that they download quickly over slow connections and give a good preview of the first bit of the movie. They are re-encoded at 1fps and 640x480 resolution to keep the data rate low and are normally around 10 minutes long.

    If you are using Remote Patrol there is a switch to turn on and off the Quick option.
  • It's still an issue

    At the computer that is running Security Spy - all the recordings are the correct length with no gaps.

    But...

    On another computer logged into Security Spy using Safari there are the "short" videos. From your note above, you re-encode the video, that makes sense. But is there a limit of the length of that video? Should I create a new file every 5 minutes rather than 15.

    BTW. The original and the quick videos when logged in remotely both have the "short" video issue.

    So why am I doing a Continuous record rather than motion trigger records? SNOW! I live outside New York City and we have had 4 storms. When it snows, even when set up for a trigger time of 2 seconds, I get about a zillion files. If only it never snowed...

    Bob Ross
  • Hi Bob,

    With Safari you will be presented with two links for each movie download: an "Original" and a "Quick" download. the Original download is the whole, entire movie.

    Please try this in a different web browser (e.g. Chrome or FireFox) to rule out any problems with Safari. Also please make sure you are allowing the whole movie to download so that you can see to the end (as these are the full-size movies, the download will take longer than the Quick movies).

    Sorry about the snow issue. SecuritySpy's motion-detection algorithm does work well in most situations, however extreme weather can cause problems that are very difficult to deal with without a more sophisticated and CPU-intensive algorithm. We will be looking into this for the future.
  • In Both Firefox and Safari the quick movie continues to be about half the length that it should be. I understand from your explanation above you drop frames when the movie is created to speed the download. (good idea) I now have the camera set with burned in time to create a new continuous capture every five minutes. For those five-minute recordings I get video of approximately 1 minute 40 seconds. (ignoring the file that is currently being recorded) There is a gap of no video until the next movie starts which is also short.

    The full movie is in fact the full movie but as you pointed out downloading those does take a while. Why would I have a gap when using the quick version. The gap is also exists using a iOS device.

    What settings do I use so when downloading a quick movie there are no gaps in time.

    Sorry to be a pain
    Bob

  • Hi Bob, with 5-minute movies you shouldn't be getting any gaps with the Quick downloads, as these files should be less than 1MB and therefore not truncated when re-encoding to Quick format. Would it be possible for you to send me one of these so that I can check it out? From FireFox or Safari, right-click on the Quick link, and select "Download linked file" / "Save link as", and save this to your disk and attach it in an email to support@bensoftware.com. Please do the same for the Original link and send me both files so that I can compare them. Thanks!
  • Any news on this??
  • Hi Bob, apologies for the delay, I've had a look at the files you sent.

    It appears my calculations for the duration of the short movies are a bit off for your situation. In your scene, there's quite a lot of movement with cars going by at the road at the end, and also a certain amount of noise generated by the camera (because it's dark). This will affect the encoder's ability to produce a low data rate. The data rate is around 30 kbps for your movies. While not excessively high, this is higher than I obtained in my testing here, and does give a limit of around 4.5 minutes per quick movie. My figure of 10 minutes for the quick movies must have been calculated in different circumstances (e.g. a nice noise-free image with not much going on).

    Therefore if you want the quick movies to be as long as the full movies, you could set the capture settings to start a new file every 4 minutes. This still isn't guaranteed to produce a quick movie of the full length: the quick features is designed specifically to have a 1MB size limit to enable a consistently-fast download; it's not designed to satisfy a particular requirement for video duration.

    In the mean time, for the next version of SecuritySpy, I'll see if I can tweak the encoder settings (e.g. decrease the key frame rate) to squeeze some extra video duration out of the 1MB limit.

    Hope this helps.
  • Yes it does, When we get out of the "snow" season, I will revert back to motion capture.


    Thanks
    Bob
  • Some parts of this thread tie into my "Feature Request" comment (http://www.bensoftware.com/forum/discussion/579 ) about possibly adding a feature which turns off motion detection if _too many_ pixels change from moment to moment. I have a problem with trees in the wind, and it seems snow does the same thing. Instead of just making the movies smaller, maybe having the option of not triggering at all would be ideal.

    Since I infer that this is video of a street, Bobross52 might be interested in my idea in the same post of time-lapse triggering on motion events instead of just on seconds of interval, to create timelapse films that consist only of frames of interest.

    JT

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