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mutiplex, new cropping option

As a (very) long-time user of SecuritySpy I have always been irritated at the black bars issue. The new cropping option in 5.4.1 is a good addition for some people, but it crops too much of most camera views. In my own static image viewing software, I have come to prefer altering the aspect ratio in either x or y to fit a fixed-size space. Yes, this stretches the image, but when viewing security cameras I would rather see all of the image regardless of a little distortion. Keep in mind that many cameras are already distorting the image because of wide-angle lenses. More distortion to avoid black bars is ok.


  • Interesting feedback - we have always just assumed that all users would want to preserve the aspect ratio in order to avoid distortion. The only two ways to do this are black bars or cropping. Perhaps we could add a third option to distort the image, however this could result in some quite distorted images! If you are seeing too much cropping (or too large black bars) this usually indicates that the size of the window is not optimised for the aspect ratios of the images contained therein, and resizing the window can minimise the bars/crop. Of course, if you're viewing full screen then this is different as you don't have the option to choose the display size.

  • Thanks for the response. It would be a very valuable option, from my perspective (pun unintended but not bad).

    I view 12 (Dahua) cameras using the whole screen (but not full-screen mode) and the black bars fill about 10% of the top and bottom, for10 out of the 12 cameras. (The math of the monitor aspect ratio and camera aspect ratios just doesn't work out.)

    I would gladly accept a 20% vertical stretch to avoid the black bars!


  • I like this idea (and your pun) so we'll take a look at implementing this. It won't be right for everyone, but I certainly think it could be a useful option for some.

  • Great! I really appreciate your consideration. SecuritySpy continues to be the best software I have ever bought and I have been impressed with your support over the past several years. Thanks!

    L. Roscoe

  • Fantastic, much appreciated!

  • @Ben would you help me out here, I updated one of several SS Macs to 5.4.1 and I'm not sure I see a difference in the black bars across the various megapixel cameras. Is there a setting for this or is it just on by default? Sorry, I feel like this is a "just read the manual" kind of question but I'm just a little lost. :-)

  • Hi @cstout it's an option in the General Preferences under the Display section called "Crop images in video windows to avoid black bars". Let me know what you think!

  • @Ben love this feature. Thank you. So, lemme see if I got this right.

    Default behavior: Fit to area

    This feature enabled: Fill area (aspect respected, some cropping occurs)

    Feature request above (that I really like the idea of): Stretch to fill area (some distortion, no cropping)

  • BenBen
    edited June 1

    Great to hear you like this. Yes, your summary is correct. We'll be taking a look at a third "distortion" option as discussed above.

  • Hi @UrsaGrey and @cstout, in the latest beta version of SecuritySpy (currently 5.4.3b1) there is now a third option to distort the image to fill available space. Please test this when you have a chance and let me know your feedback.

  • Thanks for adding the new distort option! I will try it in the next few days and send some feedback.

    • L. E. R (UrsaGrey)
  • The new disort option is excellent! Thanks again for listening and adding the feature -- it does exactly what I needed . So far all my usage has been normal use-case, no stress testing, but it works perfectly on a windown of a dozen cameras of various aspect ratios. It is much more comfortable to visually overview that many camera images without the irregular eye-speed-bumps.

    No other issues seen with 5.4.3b either, but again, I'm just using it not testing it.

    SecuritySpy continues to be the best third-party Mac app anywhere!

    • L.Roscoe
  • Great to hear this does what you want, I certainly see that this can be a useful option when there is not too much distortion. Thank you for the suggestion and testing feedback, and thank you for your kind words about SecuritySpy!

  • I did not know of any of these options until this post. I have been using the default setting (with the black bars). After reading this I tried all three options. And I too prefer the distort to fill setting.

    Awesome suggestion and great to see how quickly it was adopted into the product !


  • Great, thanks for the feedback @Mr_C!

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