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MV Smart Camera FAQ

Table of contents
  1. Overview
  2. MV32 (Fisheye) Camera FAQs
    1. Is the MV32 a Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) Camera?
    2. Do I require any special equipment or apps to view video?
    3. What storage capacity does the MV32 have?
    4. What video retention period estimations can I expect?
    5. Can I place the MV32 outdoors?
    6. Does the MV32 support wireless configuration?
    7. Does the MV32 have night vision?
    8. Can I view multiple angles from a single MV32 in a video wall?
  3. MV Sense FAQs
    1. What is MV Sense?
    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 MV Sense work?
    5. Are there specific applications we recommend to integrate with MV Sense?
    6. How does licensing work?
    7. Can I use MV Sense to funnel video to another application?
  4. MV Cloud Archive FAQs
    1. How does it work?
    2. Can we assume the same secured access and encryption with Cloud Archive as with onboard storage?
    3. Does the cloud archive store the analytics as well?
    4. Does this mean I can bulk offload video in private servers or third party software?
    5. How does licensing work?
    6. Do we provide licenses for trial?
  5. 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 happens when a camera is removed from a network?
    12. What if a camera loses access to the network?
    13. What will happen if the camera loses power?  
    14. Is there any way to back video up onto an NVR, DVR, NAS, or other centralized storage device?
    15. What if my bandwidth is limited?
    16. What CODECs does the MV support?
    17. When I export video clips, what format are they exported in?
    18. Can the memory on my camera be upgraded or replaced?
    19. Are these cameras PTZ capable?
    20. Does MV offer analytics capabilities?
    21. Are these cameras wireless?  
    22. Can you zoom in on historical footage?
    23. What do the LED colors mean?

Overview

This is a summary of the frequently asked questions on MV smart cameras. It is divided into 4 sections; MV32, MV Sense, Cloud Archive, and general MV FAQs.

MV32 (Fisheye) Camera FAQs

The Meraki MV32 is a fisheye camera equipped with all the same edge analytics capabilities built into other second generation cameras (MV12, MV22, and MV72) and stocked full with many new and exciting features. To get details on the camera’s hardware and resolution specifications, check out the datasheet.

Is the MV32 a Pan, Tilt, Zoom (PTZ) Camera?

The MV32 is a fisheye camera with a 180 degree view of the surrounding area. The term fisheye comes from the camera’s use of a fisheye lens which creates a wide-angle hemispherical image. Using digital zoom, the user is able to virtually/digitally pan, tilt, or zoom (DPTZ) around the scene without losing any information from areas they currently are not viewing. In the case of PTZ cameras, the only area that is being recorded is currently in view.

Do I require any special equipment or apps to view video?

To view video you only need to login to dashboard and access the camera from your camera management page. Fisheye and DPTZ modes are viewable without any special equipment. Virtual Reality (VR) mode is officially supported on standalone VR headsets such as the Oculus Go and unofficially supported on mobile browsers (with a mobile VR headset such as Google Cardboard). To use VR mode, simply access the dashboard through the device and follow the steps in this article.

What storage capacity does the MV32 have?

The camera has 256 GB of storage. No 128 GB storage options will be available.

What video retention period estimations can I expect?

The MV32 runs a high resolution video stream, boasting more than twice the recording resolution of the MV12. With 256 GB of storage, we can expect up to 20 days of video storage depending on video quality setting when the video is recording 24/7. To obtain larger retention rates, enable motion-based retention or cloud archive.

Can I place the MV32 outdoors?

The MV32 has no weather-resistance rating and should be kept in temperature and humidity controlled indoor environments. For scenarios requiring a smart security camera outdoors, the MV72, a IP67 weather resistant varifocal camera, can be used.

Does the MV32 support wireless configuration?

Yes, like other second generation cameras the MV32 can run through a wireless connection once it is configured and supplied with power. See this article for more information.

Does the MV32 have night vision?

The MV32 does not have night vision. It contains no built-in IR illuminators for very dark scenes, however has an IR-cut filter allowing it to be more sensitive to scenes with lower light.

Can I view multiple angles from a single MV32 in a video wall?

Currently video from the MV32 can be viewed in the video wall in a zoomed out, hemispherical format. Specific, zoomed in areas of the camera stream will become configurable and viewable from the video wall in future updates.

MV Sense FAQs

What is MV Sense?

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 which allows applications to communicate with each other. Essentially, an API is a messenger that will deliver requests and responses from the provider you want to talk to. For example, you can request a list of zones from a specific camera from one of the MV Sense APIs, and the API will return this list to you. This greatly simplifies application development requiring information from external sources.

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

Ensure the camera is a second generation camera (MV-2) and on MV 3.22 firmware or later.

How does MV Sense work?

A number of APIs are available through MV Sense which are outlined in this article. You can obtain 3 types of data insights through the MV Sense APIs pertaining to the people detection metadata generated through the MI edge analytics running on second generation Meraki camera. These APIs can be summarized as follows:

  • Historical Aggregate: How many people were here at X time?

  • Current Snapshot: How many people are here now?

  • Real-time Feed: A sub-second feed of people and their locations.

For more information, see the page on MV Sense on the Meraki Developer Portal.

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. For more information, see the page for MV Sense on the Meraki Developer Portal. Some examples of current solutions using MV Sense can be viewed at the Meraki Marketplace. Furthermore, we are working with Cisco DevNet and other partners to develop more turnkey solutions.

How does licensing work?

MV Sense licensing works 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.

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.

Can we assume the same secured access and encryption with Cloud Archive as with onboard storage?

Yes. Video uploaded to Cloud Archive is over an SSL/TLS connection. Stored video is also encrypted at rest. All rigorous security standards for the dashboard outlined here apply for Cloud Archive as we take the privacy of customer video very seriously.

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). Licensing is independent of the camera type, remaining the same for all fixed dome, varifocal, and fisheye cameras.

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, MV72 and MV32 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. MV32 cameras have two resolution options available; 1080p or 2058p.

What is the frame rate? The bitrate?

MV21, MV71 users can choose to record in 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. Enhanced Quality recording will reduce storage capacity to about 14 days of 24/7 recording. With optimized retention settings, these retention periods can be greatly extended.

 

In addition to the same two 720p quality options as MV21 and MV71, the second-generation MV12, MV22 and MV72 users can also choose 1080p recording at either Standard Quality (8fps / 1024kbps), Enhanced Quality (15fps / 1562kbps) or High Quality (20fps / 3138kbps).

 

MV32 users with 1080x1080 resolution can choose Standard Quality (4fps / 1024 kbps) or Enhanced Quality (8fps / 2048 kbps). MV32 users with 2058x2058 resolution can choose Standard Quality (8fps / 3096 kbps) or Enhanced Quality (15fps / 5120 kbps).

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. Cameras are rarely stolen and should be positioned out of easy reach. If a camera is stolen, its footage can be retrieved from anywhere when it comes back online thanks to the cloud proxy. This way you can easily retrieve the footage of it being stolen while also watching the live feed of the person using the camera.

Our IP67 rated MV72 should be used in areas where there is a high risk of theft/vandalism. Using motion alerts and/or the snapshot API when reasonable,  in conjunction with other access control measures can help mitigate risk. Cloud Archive can be used also provide additional assurance for sensitive or at-risk cameras.

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 happens when a camera is removed from a network?

Removing a camera from a network deletes all the footage on the camera.

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?

Meraki does not offer a PTZ camera. To see an area from multiple angles, we recommend the use of our MV32 fisheye camera which allows you to see a full 360 degree view of the surrounding area below the camera.

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 and MV32 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.

All second generation cameras (MV12, MV22, MV72 and MV32) feature a Qualcomm Snapdragon processor, enabling machine-learning-based computer vision, including detecting people as objects.

With the release of the MV32, Motion Search 2.0 and Motion Recap were announced. These new features enhance the information gathered via motion search, enabling the scene of interest to be observed at a glance.

Are these cameras wireless?  

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

All second generation cameras (MV12, MV22, MV72 and MV32) 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. 

When video is exported from the MV32 in a hemispherical view, the zoom feature from standard video players will not dewarp the image.

What do the LED colors mean?

  • Rainbow (solid, rotating through colors) - MV is booting up.
  • Flashing Blue - MV is searching for WiFi network(s).
  • Flashing Green - MV is upgrading or initializing for the first time.
  • Solid Green - MV is connected via Ethernet. 
  • Solid Blue - MV is connected via WiFi.
  • Solid Violet - MV has audio recording enabled.
  • Solid Amber - MV has an issue and may need replacement.

 

 

 

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