Dave Engebretson is a certified fiber optic and IP networking trainer and author.
I’ve been using the Honeywell Total Connect cameras both inside and outside my house for more than two years and am very pleased with the image quality, functionality, website viewing and control of these IP cameras. I’ve discovered through use that the way that the motion detection areas are set can directly effect how easy it is for an end-user to review clips on their Total Connect webpage.
In video devices “motion detection” is actually the measurement of changing light values within an adjustable box that is programmed into the camera. So any changes in lighting will result in the motion detection activating. Based on how the Total Connect camera is programmed, such an activation normally results in a video clip being recorded onto the Total Connect website. The problem is that if the motion detection area is not carefully set up, there will be a large number of video clips recorded that are simply changes in the ambient lighting and not the actual motion of a human.
Being a “go for it” kind of guy normally I set the motion detection of my cameras to “full screen.” While this made my Total Connect cameras send clips to the website, I was often getting a clip sent every minute because of lighting changes in the image. This made the review of actual motion very cumbersome, as I had to wade through scores of clips to actually find one that had a person in it.
Take a look at the Total Connect event box image below being generated by the camera looking down my stairwell at my front door:
As you can see the camera’s entire image includes the glass portions of my front door as well as the side glass. Any change in the outside lighting (clouds, snow, dawn, dusk) will generate an event condition if the motion detection box (red area) covers those parts of the picture. Shrinking the coverage area to what you see on the screen has resulted in a great decrease in spurious video clips being recorded due to lighting changes.
Dealers need to carefully inform their customers to adjust the event area windows on Honeywell Total Connect cameras so that the clips that are transmitted will, in most cases, be videos of actual human activity and not just lighting changes.
I’ve been compensated to contribute to this blog, but the opinions expressed in this post are my own and don’t necessarily represent Honeywell’s positions, strategies or opinions.