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Cisco Meraki

Video Retention


If you have a lot of MV cameras to configure, consider using Quality and retention profiles and APIs to configure your settings.

MV Cloud Archive is an additional option available to license to extend and back-up video footage. 

Determining estimated retention time

To check the estimated retention time of a specific camera, please follow these steps:

  1. From the Meraki Dashboard, navigate to Cameras > Monitor > Cameras. Select a camera

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

  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page to see the estimated retention time.

Along with the estimated retention time, suggestions for improving the retention time of your video are also listed. Cloud Archive is available to enhance your retention time up to 365 days.



Video Retention Expectations

For video retention estimations, various factors come into play like video resolution, video quality, motion-based retention, and cloud archive, to name a few. However, the below table provides details on the minimum achievable retention per setting for different MV models. 

These are the minimum expected retention per camera based on different resolution & quality settings, and the retention will be further improved with the help of Smart Codec, and additional features like Cloud Archive, Motion-Based Retention, etc. 



Video Quality

Frame Rate

Bit Rate

MV12WE MV12W/N MV22 MV22X MV72 MV72X MV52
128GB 256GB 256GB 512GB 256GB 512GB 1TB


Standard 8 fps 500 Kbps 22 45 45 90 45 90 180+
Enhanced 15 fps 765 Kbps 14 29 29 61 29 61 90+


Standard 8 fps 1024 Kbps 11 22 22 45 22 45 90+
Enhanced 15 fps 1562 Kbps 7 14 14 30 14 30 59
High 24 fps 3138 Kbps 4 7 7 15 7 15 30


Standard 8 fps 3096 Kbps - - - 15 - 15 30
Enhanced 15 fps 8192 Kbps - - - 6 - 6 11

4K (8MP)

Standard 8 fps 5000 Kbps - - - - - - 19
Enhanced 15 fps 8000 Kbps - - - - - - 12


Video Quality

Frame Rate

Bit Rate


1080 x 1080

Standard 8 fps 1024 Kbps 22            
Enhanced 8 fps 2048 Kbps 11            

2058 x 2058

Standard 8 fps 1024 Kbps 22            
Enhanced 8 fps 3096 Kbps 7            
High 15 fps 5120 Kbps 4            

Smart Codec

For cameras running MV4.15 and newer, Smart Codec will help enable up to 2x the retention by implementing a more efficient and dynamic codec for video recording. Read this knowledge base article for the list of support cameras and more details on Smart Codec.

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.

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.

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
    Screen Shot 2021-03-04 at 6.33.58 PM.png

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

  5. Draw the areas in which you want to record motion. You can get specific with areas of interest by drawing a Polygon. As shown below, example 1 covers motion only for the door while example 2 covers motion around the two coffee machines. [Supported on all MV's]Screen Shot 2022-11-10 at 3.51.19 PM.pngScreen Shot 2022-11-10 at 3.39.59 PM.png

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. Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 11.24.15 AM.png

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

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

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.

Video quality

we can alter the video quality of footage to increase the estimated video retention time. The MV12, MV22 and MV72 all have three modes for video quality which are as follows:

  • Standard - 1024 kbps at eight fps

  • Enhanced - 1562 kbps at 15 fps

  • High -  3138 kbps at 24 fps

There are two video quality modes for MV21 and MV71, Standard Quality and Enhanced Quality. Standard Quality will capture 720p videos at 535 kbps/8 fps. Enhanced Quality will capture 720p videos at 765 kbps/15fps. The recording modes available are continuous, scheduled and motion-based retention. When the video quality is increased, the maximum retention time will decrease.

Setting a maximum retention time.

It is possible to set a maximum retention period for each camera. To do this, please complete the following steps:

  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 the dropdown menu under Footage Deletion > When the footage is older than <option>

Footage will be recorded and deleted in the same way as before, on a first-in-first-out basis, until the maximum retention time.
Screen Shot 2021-03-04 at 6.38.35 PM.png

Disabling video retention (live video only)

In specific scenarios, recording any historical footage is disallowed. To enable "live video only" mode, apply a recording schedule that disables recording 24/7.

This will disable the creation of motion metadata. Motion heatmaps will not generate for live video only cameras. 

Deleting a video from the camera

When the camera nears the full capacity of the internal storage, it will start deleting the oldest video stored. To delete all footage, remove the camera from its network. We can do this by selecting the camera checkbox under camera> Monitor > Cameras and clicking the move or remove option.

Screen Shot 2021-03-05 at 11.28.05 AM.png

Note: When changing Quality and retention settings, there is a brief interruption in the recorded video due to the cameras internal recording services applying the new settings.