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MV Security Camera FAQ

Overview

This article answers some frequently asked questions regarding Meraki Security Cameras.

Frequently Asked Questions 

Where is video stored?

 Video is stored on the camera itself.

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. Storage time will vary based on video quality and retention settings.

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.

 

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 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?

No. At this time, there is no option for bulk cloud storage of video. Exported video clips (up to one hour in duration, each) are retained in the cloud for 30 days for easy retrieval.

What resolution do these cameras record in? 

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

What is the frame rate? The bitrate?

MV21 and MV71 users can choose to record in either Standard Quality (8fps / 530kbps) 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.

 

Frame rate and birate settings for the MV12 family will be updated at a later date.

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 MV71 is recommended, as it is IK10 rated for impact resistance in addition to its IP66 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 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 cameras can be used with standard Ethernet and PoE, but they also feature 802.11ac wireless, which will be enabled in Fall 2018.

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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