Unfortunately, bad things happen – whether it’s theft, vandalism, a workplace accident, or something else. In these cases, security cameras can help create a timeline of events and provide evidence. MV smart cameras make it easy to isolate footage and export video, but the more cameras you have and the more video you need to export, the more challenging managing those exports can become.
All your exports, in one place
Previously, a user would need to go to each individual camera to view and manage exported video from that camera. With the new Exports page, MV smart camera customers can see recent exports from all cameras in a network in one centralized place. This means users no longer have to remember if they exported video from Entrance Camera 1 or Entrance Camera 2. Simply navigate to the Exports page to see the status of all recent exports, download video footage, or share download links.
The Exports page on the dashboard shows you all video exports in one place
All your exports, in one file
And if, by chance, you exported video from both Entrance Camera 1 and 2, video files can be merged into one using the new combine export tool. This can be very helpful in a retail environment, as you may need to capture footage of a suspect taking merchandise, as well as showing them leaving the store without paying. To combine files, simply select the clips that you would like to combine. The files can be arranged in the desired order, and you can specify a name for the new file. Once completed, the merged file will appear in the Video exports table. A title card will appear before the individual clips — indicating the name of the camera and the date and the time of the video — for seamless playback of the entire event without losing important context. Like all MV export files, it can be easily downloaded to an .MP4 file, or shared via a link.
Combining exports from multiple cameras into a single file
Let us know what you think
The new Exports page is available now. For more information on how it works, check out the documentation. Or, head on over to the Meraki Community to join the discussion. We’d love to hear what you think!
Yes, you read that correctly. MV smart cameras now support RTSP. RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol) is a protocol that allows a third party system to access the video stream directly from the camera. Now, you may be thinking, “But why? MV smart cameras already have so many great features that make it easy for me to do what I need to do!” If you are, thank you! We think you’re right.
A Focus on Solving Business Problems
Almost three years ago, we published a blog post called “APIs for Meraki MV Cameras” in response to the many requests for camera APIs. An overwhelming number were driven not by a desire for APIs, but by the need to solve a business problem. These needs fell into a few categories:
Off camera storage for longer retention or offsite backup
Integration to provide context into business systems, or other physical security solutions
In the months following, we released new functionality that addresses many of these needs without sacrificing simplicity, or ease of use. To meet the need for longer retention or offsite backup, we introduced Cloud Archive with simple, one-click provisioning. The Snapshot and Video Link APIs let customers easily integrate into access control systems like Kisi, shown below, or point of sale platforms to provide visual context to events.
The Snapshot API helps integrate MV Smart Cameras with Kisi Access Control.
The third category, analytics, is one of the most exciting areas of video. Analytics provide insight into processes and help organizations better understand what is happening within their space. MV cameras have always analyzed motion, and this was the basis of our first analytics, motion heatmaps. The second generation of cameras introduced machine learning based computer vision for object detection, specifically for detection of people and vehicles.
This was followed by the launch of the MV Sense API, which provides access to all this detection data in real time. When these various MV APIs are combined, it enables custom or advanced analytics capabilities that range from other types of object detection, to text recognition, and sentiment analysis (emotions or demographics).
Person Detection on MV Smart Cameras
The Best of Both Worlds
By building solutions to solve customer problems, and keeping video within the Meraki ecosystem, we are helping to ensure they are not held back by their video data. It means that users do not have to watch countless hours of footage to investigate an incident, or need to be data scientists to gain insight from video analytics. While we have come a long way since launch, there are a few unique use cases that call for solutions outside of the Meraki ecosystem.
An example of this are customers with large-scale deployments of legacy cameras. Previously, these customers would have no choice but to operate two viewing systems (a legacy VMS and the Meraki dashboard) in tandem as they worked to replace their old cameras with Meraki cameras. Now, RTSP lets them view video from Meraki MV cameras in their old VMS platform until all legacy cameras are replaced, and they can switch over to viewing everything in the Meraki dashboard. Another example is a public viewing monitor, or PVM, placed at a store entrance. With a PVM, there is no need to interact with the video in any manner other than static, live viewing, and RTSP fills this need.
Enabling RTSP on a Meraki MV Smart Camera
Finally, RTSP will enable access to the video stream for particularly niche analytics that simply cannot be met using the MV Sense and Snapshot APIs. This could be an organization with an existing analytics solution that relies on a traditional camera architecture.
By enabling access to RTSP, MV smart cameras are now available to customers who previously had no path forward with MV. These customers can benefit from the core value of MV smart cameras – simple architecture and cloud management through the Meraki dashboard – and use RTSP when needed to meet their other needs.
What Do You Think About RTSP?
RTSP is available now, for all second generation MV smart cameras (models ending in 2). For more information on how it works, check out the documentation. Or, head on over to the Meraki Community to join the discussion. We’d love to hear your thoughts on RTSP, and if it may be beneficial to your use case. Let us know what you think!
So your first five MV cameras have just arrived. Now what? Proper, strategic camera installation can make all the difference when it comes time to review footage. Taking the time to map out your deployment before the big day (installation day!) can mean the difference between finding your boss’s stolen iPad and coming up empty handed. Here are some tips and ideas to help get you started:
1. Think context and identity. When installing MV cameras (or any security cameras, for that matter), two cameras per key area should typically be regarded as a minimum requirement. One camera should be zoomed out, with a wide field of view for context. The other should be zoomed in on an area where you can easily catch a face walking by (think door entrances) in order to catch detail and help you identify potential perpetrators.
Having one or more cameras situated so you can easily perform a motion search can help too. This may double as your wide-angle camera, or a third could be useful. As with network deployments, camera deployments will vary widely based on your particular use case. Consultation with the experts—your partner or installer—is recommended.
A zoomed in camera for identification.
A wide angle camera for context.
2. Aim!MV is a fixed, varifocal lens camera, so lens adjustment should be done during physical install. Use the Meraki Mobile App to simplify installation that much more and reduce the likelihood of dropping your laptop off the top of a 10 foot ladder.
Setup with the Meraki mobile app is a breeze.
3. Focus. While lens positioning adjustments must be made during physical install, zoom, aperture, and focus settings are adjusted remotely, through the dashboard or the Meraki app. MV’s autofocus tool allows you to either focus on the whole frame, or select a specific area to focus on. Check out this mini-demo to see how easy it is to adjust these settings.