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Cisco Meraki Documentation

Motion Based Retention

By default, a Meraki security camera will record footage continuously 24/7. In some situations, only motion events are required to be recorded and stored for review. Motion-based retention covers this requirement and improves the video retention capabilities of the camera. You can toggle between different Motion Detector versions. Read more here about our Motion Search feature.

How motion-based retention works 

The industry-standard motion-based recording is never considered 100% effective, and some missed events are expected. To combat this, when motion-based retention is enabled, the footage will continue to be recorded on a 24/7 basis. This provides a three-day buffer period to review any events containing limited motion (e.g. <5% total scene coverage), events in low light conditions (e.g. at night time), or events with far-away objects for significant events. After this three-day safety net, the camera trims footage based on its index of motion events.

Drawing a Region of Interest for MBR automatically affects your stored retention, please read till the end of the document.

Enabling motion-based retention 

  1. Go to Camera > Monitor > Cameras: Select a camera.

  2. Go to the Settings tab and select the Quality and Retention tab

  3. From here, select Enable for Motion-based retention

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4. If you want to exclude certain areas and only record motion on select areas of interest, select Enabled for Areas of interest

Areas of Interest (NEW)

Supported on all MV's

This feature enables you to draw areas around which you want to capture and preserve motion. This is especially helpful if you have a very noisy environment and are only interested in capturing motion for a specific region. You can now draw several Polygons on the video tile to capture these areas.

As shown below, we're only looking to identify and catch events happening within the coffee bar on top. The ROI polygon selection helps in identifying this while also ignoring any movement that might occur in the extreme right corner or also the hallway in between.

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In the example below, we're looking to only track motion that occurs on the tabled seating and not the flying curtain (bottom left) which might get in the way if it was a rectangle or even the movement that might occur outside of the tent (extreme right).

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In the example below, we're only looking to track if the opening and closing of the door as opposed to any other motion that might occur in this heavy traffic region.

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Retention Graphs

Once motion-based retention is selected, a graph will display the hours of motion per day for the camera over the previous week. An estimated retention period will be displayed as well.

By drawing a Region of Interest, you can minimize the video that needs to be stored and hence get higher retention.

Example Graph: 

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If your camera is plugged in for the first time, the estimate will be based on averages from all active Meraki cameras.

Previously made areas of interest using the rectangular tool will be preserved, however, you will not be able to edit them anymore. To change previous areas, you will have to redraw them with the polygon tool.


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*The new tool is not available for motion alerts, motion search features today

Motion-based retention in low-light conditions

To optimize the performance of motion-based retention in poor lighting conditions, it is highly recommended that customers use an external, high power IR source. This provides more excellent illumination of the scene and allows for the more precise identification of motion events. Cisco Meraki can recommend RayTec, a wide range of PoE IR lighting for almost all deployments.


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