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SecuritySpy

Multi-camera video surveillance software for the Mac

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Changes in SecuritySpy Version 4 —
A Guide for Existing Users

SecuritySpy version 4 is a major update and, as such, some of the workings of the software have changed. This document is designed as a guide to help users who are already familiar with SecuritySpy make a smooth transition to the new version. For an overview of the improvements in the new version, please see Upgrading to Version 4, or if you have any specific questions, please email us.


SecuritySpy is now a 64-bit Application

This means better performance and access to much more memory. However we will still continue to make available a 32-bit version, which you will need to use if:

  • You are running Mac OS X 10.7
  • You are using FireWire DV devices
  • You are using any VDIG driver software, such as VideoGlide or LFG-4
  • You are using the Screen Capture Pack
  • You want to use MPEG-4 rather than H.264 video encoding*.

The 32-bit version of SecuritySpy is included in the same download as the 64-bit version.

If you are not sure if you need the 32-bit version, then try the 64-bit version first and see if all your devices are recognised. If you are using network devices only (IP cameras and video servers) and Mac OS X 10.8 or later, then you should use the 64-bit version.

* On Macs that don't support H.264 hardware acceleration, MPEG-4 encoding uses much less CPU time than H.264 encoding. However, this is only relevant if you are getting SecuritySpy to encode the video; generally the best setup is for the cameras to send H.264 video, and for SecuritySpy to capture this directly.


Terminology Changes for Recording Modes

Recording in response to motion detection is now called Motion Capture; recording continuously is now called Continuous Capture. In the user interface, these are shortened to M and C respectively, instead of the old (and somewhat misleading) labels MD and TL. Actions (sending emails, playing sounds etc.) are referred to as A (see the screenshot of the Camera Info window below for an example).


Timelapse Captures

There is no longer an option to specify playback frame rate for continuous captures, in order to create timelapse movies (movies that play back faster than real time). Instead, the Browser now has the ability to change playback frame rates during movie export. The result is the same: a movie that plays back at whatever rate you specify. This change was made due to the new Browser being built around the ability to play back multiple cameras synchronised together, which necessitates that all captures are real-time.


No More Active/Passive Mode

For increased flexibility, SecuritySpy 4 separates out the functions of Motion Capture, Continuous Capture, and Actions, so that each can be activated separately. When one is active it is said to be "armed", otherwise it is "disarmed". For example, when Motion Capture is armed, SecuritySpy will record upon motion detection. When Continuous Capture is armed, SecuritySpy will record continuously. Each function can be armed manually, or based on its own schedule.


New Camera Info Window

The old Camera Status window has been enhanced and renamed the Camera Info window. It is now resizable and scrollable, and can show a wealth of information such as frame rates, data rates and CPU usage on a per-camera basis. Click the header bar for a pop-up menu to choose which information is displayed.


Two-Way Audio

SecuritySpy now supports two-way audio for Axis cameras. You will see a microphone icon in the Camera Info window (as above), which you can click to deliver live audio from your Mac's microphone to the camera.


Changes to Custom Capture Destinations

Previously, if you specified a custom capture destination folder for a particular camera, this is the location where that camera would store its day folders (i.e. folders named with the format YYYY-MM-DD in which captured movie files were stored). However, this was not ideal, because two cameras weren't allowed to share the same capture destination, so users had to create multiple folders for multiple cameras. Under SecuritySpy 4, within the capture destination you specify, SecuritySpy first creates a folder with the camera name, and it is this folder in which the day folders are created. So the capture destination folder is now one directory level higher. No changes are required when switching to version 4, but this is something to consider when specifying new capture destinations, if you are familiar with the old folder structure.


New Consolidated Preferences Window

Instead of separate windows for different settings, SecuritySpy now has a single Preferences window that contains all settings, making the software far easier to configure.


PTZ Windows Integrated with Video Windows

Instead of separate windows for PTZ control, every video window that contains a controllable camera has a PTZ button in the top right corner that controls a pop-out drawer on the right hand side of the window. For windows with more than one camera, click on any camera in order to control it via the PTZ drawer.


HTTP Live Streaming for web browser viewing

Previously, to view live video and audio in a web browser, SecuritySpy used Apple's QuickTime Plugin. However this plugin is now discontinued, and not supported by most modern browsers. HTTP Live Streaming is the only protocol supported by Safari (on both Mac OS X and iOS) that can deliver live video and audio, so this is what SecuritySpy implements. The downside of this protocol is that there is an delay of around 10s in the feed, which is unfortunately an inevitable limitation of the format. For a lower-latency method of viewing live video and audio, use another copy of SecuritySpy on Mac OS X, or the Remote Patrol or Spyglass apps on iOS.


Analog Video: Quad Processors and Input Switching

Quad processors are devices that combine four analog cameras into a single analog video stream, while input switching is a way of utilising multiple physical inputs of analog video devices at the same time by quickly switching between them. While analog video signals are still supported in SecuritySpy version 4 using an appropriate network video encoder, quad processors and input switching are no longer supported.

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