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User Manual

for version 5.5.10

Written by Ben Bird - Ben Software Ltd

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Table of Contents


SecuritySpy is CCTV video surveillance software for the Mac.

With features such as AI-powered smart motion detection, email and iPhone alerts, ONVIF support and Pan/Tilt/Zoom control, SecuritySpy will enable you to set up a comprehensive and effective CCTV system for your business or home quickly and easily.

SecuritySpy can turn any Mac into a video surveillance station (for example, with multiple large screens in a security control room). It it also ideal for autonomous remote operation, as it has a fully-featured secure web interface that allows you to access and control your surveillance system from over your local network or over the Internet. And, as Mac software, it is as elegant and easy to use as you would expect, with a carefully-designed user interface.

If you are building a video surveillance system from scratch, all you need is SecuritySpy, a Mac, and some IP cameras. If you have an existing system using analog cameras, SecuritySpy can use these alongside more modern IP cameras, allowing you to transition to a state-of-the-art digital system.

SecuritySpy's flexibility will allow you to set up a system that is tailored for your individual needs, whether you want a single camera or a hundred.

This manual describes how to use the SecuritySpy software itself. For information about how to choose, set up and install the hardware of your CCTV system, see the SecuritySpy Installation Manual.

The main features of SecuritySpy are:

Initially, SecuritySpy will detect and display all local (USB, Thunderbolt and built-in) devices connected to your Mac. If you are using IP cameras, you can add them via Settings - Cameras. Setup instructions for IP video devices can be found in the SecuritySpy Installation Manual.

Live Video

Video Windows
SecuritySpy's main All Cameras window shows live video streams from all configured cameras in a grid view. You can also create Group windows that contain particular groups of cameras — useful in larger installations to organise cameras into logical collections.

In addition, each camera can be displayed in its own individual video window. You can open individual camera video windows from the Window menu, or by double-clicking on a camera's live image in the main video window or Group window, or by double-clicking on a camera name in the Camera Info window. All video windows can be resized to any shape and size by dragging any side.

SecuritySpy offers digital Pan/Tilt/Zoom control for any camera in any video window: hold the Command key (⌘) on your keyboard and scroll up or down on your mouse or trackpad (on a trackpad, use the two-finger gesture to scroll). Once zoomed in, release the Command key and scroll in any direction to pan around the image.

Here is a summary of the functionality of video windows:

SecuritySpy Live Video Display

Instant Replay
The instant replay feature keeps a buffer of frames from each camera in memory, which is available for instant playback or capture at any time. Because this feature can use significant RAM, it is off by default, but can be enabled via Settings - General. To start an instant replay session, right-click on a live video image and select Start Instant Replay, or hold the Command key and scroll left on a live video image. During an instant replay session, the video window will look like this:

SecuritySpy Instant Video Replay

During the replay session, hold Command and scroll left/right, or click and drag the yellow indicator, to go backwards/forwards in time. Save individual images by dragging them to the Finder, or right-click for an option to save the entire buffer as a movie file.

Note that, during a replay session, the removal of old frames is suspended, but new frames are continually being added, so the longer a replay session continues the more RAM it will use.

Full Screen Mode
Enter full screen mode using the option in the Window menu, or by pressing Command-F on the keyboard. Each monitor attached to your computer becomes an independent full-screen display for whichever cameras you choose. The first time you enter full screen mode, SecuritySpy will add all available cameras to the full screen view; to change this, right-click (control-click) anywhere on a screen and a menu will pop up that allows you to configure which cameras to display on that screen.

While in full screen mode, double-click on any individual camera to temporarily enlarge it to cover the whole screen. Double-click again to return to the multi-camera view.

Customising Display Layouts
Each video window, and each screen in full screen mode, is laid out in a grid in which each camera occupies one grid square by default. You also have the option of setting particular cameras to display at larger sizes - for example, a camera can be set to occupy three grid squares wide by two grid squares high. This can be set via the options in the contextual menu that appears when you right-click (or Control-click) a camera's live view:

Use the options Camera Display Width In This Window and Camera Display Height In This Window to set the size of each camera's live view. Each video window, and each screen in full screen mode, has its own independent layout that can be set in this way.

By default, SecuritySpy automatically chooses an optimum number of columns for the layout grid, based on the size of the window and the resolutions of the cameras. This can change as the window is resized; instead, to ensure that cameras remain in fixed positions, you can use the Number Of Columns In This Window option to set a fixed number of columns.

If the size you request for a particular camera would take its view beyond the right or bottom edge of the window, its view size is reduced to fit, so you will get a smaller size than you request. You can change the order of the cameras by dragging them up and down in the list on the left under Settings - Cameras to ensure that each camera has enough space to display at the requested size.

Here is a simple example showing two cameras displayed at double size:

Camera Info Window

This window is available by selecting Camera Info from the Window menu:

SecuritySpy Camera Info Window

The Camera Info window shows a wealth of information about the operation of each camera:

To choose which columns to display, click on the header bar to get a pop-up menu that allows you to turn on or off each of the above items.

And, if you have set up camera groups, you will see a filter button in the top-right corner of this window that allows you to filter the list of cameras by group.

Recording and Schedules

In order to record video from a camera or for events to be triggered, the camera must be armed, and there are three modes that can be armed independently:

Each mode (Continuous Capture, Motion Capture and Actions) is armed and disarmed based on a schedule, which defines time periods when that mode should be armed. You can set up your own schedules via Settings - Scheduling, or use the built-in schedules, which are:

Once a schedule has been applied to a camera mode, it will be permanently remembered, including across program restarts.

Schedule Overrides
It is sometimes useful to temporarily override schedules. For example, if you are getting lots of notifications due to some unusual activity in a particular camera, you can use a temporary schedule override to disarm Actions mode for one hour, to temporarily stop the notifications.

This can be best understood by the following diagram that shows the relationship between schedules, schedule overrides, and arming/disarming of camera modes:

SecuritySpy Scheduling Diagram

Setting Schedules And Overrides
There are a number of ways to schedules and overrides for a particular camera, or group of cameras: