Output images to Apple TV
  • Hello Ben,

    I've a feature request for the next version. I'm a happy user of the current Security Spy version, but there is a small thing wich would be very nice.

    I installed security spy on a mac mini, placed in a closet with no monitor attached. It would be nice if it's possible to connect to one or more apple tv's and use them as display.

    Using air-parrot is an option. But I'm looking for a native solution for this.

  • That's an interesting idea, as far as I know there is no way to achieve this at the moment unless you use something like AirParrot. In SecuritySpy we've been concentrating on the web interface as it can be viewed on a variety of devices (Mac, PC, iPhone, iPad etc.) It would be nice to implement something native for the AppleTV but we'll have to look into the feasibility of this.
  • Here's an idea. As long as it's a current model Mac mini, it would have AirPlay Mirroring on it. You could mirror its screen to your Apple TV. Whatever is on the Mac screen would show on the Apple TV.

    You can also use LogMeIn or other similar VNC apps to see the Mac mini screen from an iPad or iPhone if you want.
  • Another option is to use chromecast. Whatever is being displayed on a chrome tab can be mirrored to the $35 chromecast device.
    This would help if you mac mini is older than 2011 and doesn't have support for the airplay mirroring.
  • Being able to use Airplay to direct a specific camera or set of cameras to an Apple TV would be great. I have used airplay mirroring, but my target Apple TV is driving composite video - very low resolution (and I hate to tie up the iMac this way.)

    Alternately, if there is an iPhone or iPad viewing app that can do the Airplay for me, that would work to.
  • Imagine the possibilities if Apple would allow a SecuritySpy app to be installed directly on the AppleTV, complete with settings allowing it to interrupt a movie of tv-show with a PIP or split screen image anytime there is motion that breaks the threshold on any IP camera. No AirPlay mirroring steps necessary. Where I live, home security camera systems are booming. As an installer, this would allow me an easy approach to selling clients on not only SecuritySpy software, but Apple hardware for their homes.
  • I accomplished this pretty easily. I am running iTunes on a Mac Mini that is dedicated to SecuritySpy with Home Sharing enabled. I can watch the motion captured movies on my AppleTV using the method described here.

    Presently I only have a single camera. I don't know how this will work when I add the other three cameras:

    I set the camera's "Capture Destination" in Security Spy to: ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Automatically Add to iTunes/

    Whenever a motion generated movie clip is written to that directory by SecuritySpy, iTunes will import it to the library as an m4v file. It works pretty well, then iTunes deletes the original .mov file

    As an alternate, I also wrote an applescript that will copy the .mov files from the SecuritySpy default directory to: ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Automatically Add to iTunes/. I might do this so that I still have web access using SecuritySpy to view the captured movies.

    I might have to use this when I add the four cameras, since I believe that SecuritySpy will not allow the cameras to all use the same destination. Maybe Ben can chime in on this.

    I also haven't figured out how to automatically delete the movies from iTunes as they age. I might just have to delete the movies once or twice per month.

  • Hi Peter, that's a nice solution! You are correct that SecuritySpy requires different folders to be set as capture destinations for each camera. This is so that searching for footage via SecuritySpy's Browser and web server is efficient. However you can use AppleScript to move the captured files where you like, after they are captured.
  • I have used Applescript, Automater and folder actions to *try* to automatically copy files added to the capture destination to the folder at ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Automatically Add to iTunes/ . The problem is that folder actions in OSX that use the Applescript containing the command: "adding folder items to" does not recognize the addition of subfolders to the folder (only files) and so the App I created in Automater doesn't run.

    In a nutshell, Since SecuritySpy creates a new folder for each event in the capture destination, the folder action never triggers the Automater action because the folders action is only triggered by the addition of files, not the addtion of files in a subfolder.

    Is it possible to give the user an option to save captured files at the root of the capture destination, without a containing folder ? They all have unique names so duplication shouldn't be an issue.


    My Folder actions use this script, which then runs an Automater App named: SecuritySpy_Copy_to_iTunes.app which then copies the added files to: ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Automatically Add to iTunes/


    on adding folder items to this_folder after receiving added_items
    tell me
    do shell script "open -a /Users/pmonahan/Documents/SecuritySpy_Copy_to_iTunes.app"
    end tell
    end adding folder items to

  • Hi Pete, SecuritySpy doesn't create a new folder per event, rather it creates a new folder per day (the "day folder") into which it saves the individual files. So it should be possible for your AppleScript to generate the correct day folder name based on the current date. The day folder name is always in the format "YYYY-MM-DD". So for example for the 4 March 2014 this would be 2014-03-04.
  • I haven't looked at it in detail yet but that might be unmanageable.

    I don't think Applescript will allow the user to set folder actions for a folder automatically. I think it must be done manually for each folder.

    I can use iCal to schedule and automatically run my Automator app but I'd rather not do that. It just adds additional overhead to the configuration.

  • I found a way to copy from the Capture Destination newly added SecurtitySpy *.mov files at scheduled intervals such as 60s, then change the finder label to a label that is designated as "already copied" so the files are not copied at the next interval, then import to iTunes so that I can view the converted *.m4a movies on AppleTV.

    It's awesome, but I am always looking to improve things.

    I am using Launchd in OS X to run an Automator workflow. The text below gets saved as "com.SecuritySpy.copy.plist" in ~/Library/LauchAgents/ and runs the workflow every 60 seconds. You can change the integer below if you want longer intervals.


    The schedule above runs this workflow listed below, created with Automator.app named: "SecuritySpy_Copy_to_iTunes.workflow", the steps are listed below and the workflow gets saved to your Documents folder:


    The files are checked to see if they have already been copied, then re-labeled, copied to: ~/Music/iTunes/iTunes Music/Automatically Add to iTunes/, imported to iTunes, then iTunes automatically Deletes the original .mov copies after importing them.

    This allows you to use the browser for viewing the SecuritySpy Captured files as well as view on your AppleTV with Home Sharing Enabled. iTunes import the movie clips into "Home Movies".

  • Peter this is a very ingenious solution - thanks for the great post and screenshots!
  • The applescript below for two cameras, searches the iTunes Library for movies whose name contains "MD The Camera Name", that were added more than 7 Days ago and then removes them from the Library. You can modify the interval, number of cameras and of course the camera name. I have mine setup for more cameras, and even though there was more repetition, I wanted the flexibility to purge different date ranges per camera.

    I run this daily using OS X's launchd to keep my iTunes Library lean and relevant.

    If you want to simplify this, you could rename your cameras so they are prefaced with a unique string such as SecSpy, so that your applescript could then use: ... "whose name contains "MD SecSpy"... This will reduce the applescript down to a few lines, even for multiple cameras.


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