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MV Security Camera FAQ

Table of contents
  1. Overview
  2. MV Sense FAQs
    1. What is it?
    2. What is an API?
    3. I don’t see the option for “Sense” on my camera’s settings. How do I use MV Sense?
    4. How does it work?
    5. How does licensing work?
    6. Are there specific applications we recommend to integrate with MV Sense?
    7. Can I use MV Sense to funnel video to another application?
  3. MV Cloud Archive FAQs
    1. How does it work?
    2. Does the cloud archive store the analytics as well?
    3. Does this mean I can bulk offload video in private servers or third party software?
    4. How does licensing work?
    5. Do we provide licenses for trial?
  4. General MV FAQs
    1. Do we have a camera blueprint tool for site surveys?
    2. Where is video stored?
    3. How much footage can I store?
    4. What if I need longer than 20 days of storage?
    5. Is my video stored in the cloud?
    6. Can I choose to backup my video in the cloud?
    7. What resolution do these cameras record in?  
    8. What is the frame rate? The bitrate?
    9. What happens if somebody steals my camera? What if it’s damaged or there’s a fire?
    10. Is stored video encrypted on the camera?
    11. What if a camera loses access to the network?
    12. What will happen if the camera loses power?  
    13. Is there any way to back video up onto an NVR, DVR, NAS, or other centralized storage device?
    14. What if my bandwidth is limited?
    15. What CODECs does the MV support?
    16. When I export video clips, what format are they exported in?
    17. Can the memory on my camera be upgraded or replaced?
    18. Are these cameras PTZ capable?
    19. Does MV offer analytics capabilities?
    20. Are these cameras wireless?  
    21. Can you zoom in on historical footage?

Overview

This is a summary of the frequently asked questions on MV smart cameras. It is divided into 3 sections - starting with MV Sense, MV Cloud Archive and followed by general MV FAQs.

 

MV Sense FAQs

What is it?

It is a set of APIs (both RESTful and MQTT-based) that allow our customers to integrate the edge-computing capabilities of the MV into third-party business solutions. It is best not to call it an “open” API because it requires a license.

What is an API?

AN API is a set of routines, protocols and tools for building software applications.

I don’t see the option for “Sense” on my camera’s settings. How do I use MV Sense?

Ensure the camera is on MV 3.22 firmware or later.

How does it work?

See this article on MV Sense. You get 3 types of data insights through APIs: historical aggregate, current snapshot and real-time feed. The messaging is sub-second with a 4-8 Hz update rate.

How does licensing work?

It is on a per-camera basis (it does not co-terminate). Each organization (new or old) with second generation cameras (trials included) should already have 10 free MV Sense licenses. These licenses do not expire.

Are there specific applications we recommend to integrate with MV Sense?

No. What we provide is a suite of APIs that customers can build solutions on top of. We are working with Cisco DevNet and other partners to develop more turnkey solutions but today we don’t have anything definitive.

Can I use MV Sense to funnel video to another application?

No. It is a way to leverage the MV’s people detection capabilities for additional analytics, triggers or other desired customer applications.
 

MV Cloud Archive FAQs

How does it work?

See this article on MV Cloud Archive. When enabled, dashboard will automatically pull the footage from the on-board storage (if available) or the cloud archive without any customer intervention.

Does the cloud archive store the analytics as well?

Yes.

Does this mean I can bulk offload video in private servers or third party software?

No. The interface for the customer will be almost exactly the same as without cloud archive. The user will still be able to do 1-hour video exports, but no bulk offloading.

How does licensing work?

It comes in 90-day and 180-day storage license options (with 1, 3 and 5 year variants) enabled on a per-camera basis (it does not co-terminate).

Do we provide licenses for trial?

No.

 

General MV FAQs

Do we have a camera blueprint tool for site surveys?

Yes, it is found here. It will be updated with MV22 and MV72 early next year.

Where is video stored?

Video is stored on the camera itself. You also have the option of using Cloud Archive on select cameras for continuous 24/7 recording for 90 or 180 days. Read the datasheet and this article to learn more.

How much footage can I store?

MV21 and MV71 offer 128GB of solid state storage allowing for up to 20 days of continuous, 24/7 recording. MV12 comes in 128GB and 256GB storage options. MV22 and MV72 offer 256GB of solid storage. Storage time will vary based on video quality and retention settings. If more footage needs to be stored, consider using Cloud Archive.

What if I need longer than 20 days of storage?

When set to 24/7 recording, MV21 and MV71 cameras have a limit of 20 days of storage; however, the Meraki dashboard provides a set of optimized retention tools for all models of MV cameras, which can extend retention well beyond 20 days. With motion-based retention enabled, cameras will record the most recent three days in their entirety as a precaution; after that, cameras will intelligently trim out and discard segments of video which contain no motion. Depending on the recording environment and the amount of motion seen by each camera, customers may see beyond 90 days of retention in some cases. Schedules can also be set, which will affect the retention period accordingly. The dashboard provides a real time read out for each camera of expected retention based on real data from that camera averaged over the last week.

You also now have the option of using Cloud Archive on select cameras for continuous 24/7 recording for 90 or 180 days. Read the datasheet and this article to learn more.

For customers in Europe or areas with strict storage maximums, the dashboard also provides a setting to automatically discard footage after one or more days.

Is my video stored in the cloud?

Standard streaming video is only stored in the cloud when using Cloud Archive. In standard operations, streaming video is not stored in the cloud, but exported video clips are stored in the cloud for 30 days. Metadata for video thumbnails and motion indexing are also stored in the cloud. Video will proxy through the cloud in the event of remote streaming and is cached in order to retrieve footage more quickly, but during standard recording operations, MV cameras will only save video locally.

Can I choose to backup my video in the cloud?

Yes. You have the option of using Cloud Archive on select cameras for continuous 24/7 recording for 90 or 180 days. Due to bandwidth considerations of storing video in the cloud, we recommend only using Cloud Archive on critical cameras. Read the datasheet and this article to learn more.

What resolution do these cameras record in?  

MV21 and MV71 cameras record 720p video. MV12, MV22 and MV72 cameras record in 1080p.

What is the frame rate? The bitrate?

MV21 and MV71 users can choose to record in 720p resolution with either Standard Quality (8fps / 535kbps) to store 20 days of footage or Enhanced Quality (15fps / 765kbps) in deployments where it’s necessary to capture quickly moving objects. In addition to recording in 720p, MV12, MV22 and MV72 users can also choose to record in 1080p resolution with Standard Quality (8fps / 1024kbps), Enhanced Quality (15fps / 1562kbps) or High Quality (20fps / 3138kbps).

With optimized retention settings, retention periods can be greatly extended.

What happens if somebody steals my camera? What if it’s damaged or there’s a fire?

As with all security camera systems, care should be taken during installation to ensure cameras are out of reach of potential thieves or vandals. If cameras are taken, video footage from that camera will be lost unless the culprit plugs it back into a network connection, at which point footage will become retrievable again. If there’s concern about vandalism, the MV72 is recommended, as it is IK10+ rated for impact resistance in addition to its IP67 weather resistance rating.

Like most other systems, in the event of a fire, if cameras become damaged to the point of inoperability, footage will be lost.

All security camera systems carry some amount of risk, but unlike a deployment with a recording device, there is no single point of vulnerability in an MV deployment since each camera stores its own video.

Is stored video encrypted on the camera?

Yes, MV features full disk encryption. Additionally, cameras automatically purchase and provision their own publicly-signed SSL certificates upon initial boot up. Management data is encrypted as well. All encryption is turned on by default, and cannot be turned off.

What if a camera loses access to the network?

MV cameras will continue to record, even if they lose access to the network, as long as they have power.

What will happen if the camera loses power?  

Cameras will not operate without power. A switch with redundant power supplies is recommended if there is a concern about power loss.

Is there any way to back video up onto an NVR, DVR, NAS, or other centralized storage device?

No. The MV is designed to operate without an external recording solution. It will not work with an NVR, DVR, or NAS. Video cannot be automatically exported to these solutions.

What if my bandwidth is limited?

The Meraki dashboard will intelligently determine if the viewing computer is in the same local network as the cameras. If this is the case, video traffic will stream directly over the LAN, saving WAN bandwidth. If video is viewed remotely, the dashboard will proxy it through the cloud. It’s recommended that customers with limited WAN bandwidth planning on doing frequent remote viewing should select the Standard Quality video setting.

What CODECs does the MV support?

H.264

When I export video clips, what format are they exported in?

Video clips are exported as MP4 encoded with H.264.

Can the memory on my camera be upgraded or replaced?

No, the solid state memory on these cameras cannot be removed or replaced.

Are these cameras PTZ capable?

No. MV21 and MV71 are fixed varifocal dome cameras, so zoom, focus, and aperture settings can be adjusted remotely through the dashboard, but lens angle and positioning must be adjusted during installation.

MV12 cameras use a completely fixed lens with autofocus.

Does MV offer analytics capabilities?

MV’s powerful motion search plus motion heat maps capability comes standard with all MV hardware plus a license.

MV12, MV22 and MV72 cameras feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, enabling machine-learning-based computer vision, including detecting people as objects.

Are these cameras wireless?  

MV21 and MV71 require a standard Ethernet cable and PoE (for MV21) or PoE+ (for MV71) to operate.

MV12, MV22 and MV72 cameras can be used with standard Ethernet and PoE, but they also feature 802.11ac wireless.

Meraki also has power injectors available for users who do not have a PoE enabled switch available.

Can you zoom in on historical footage?

Video clips are exported in standard MP4 format, so it is possible to use the zoom feature in standard video players during playback.

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