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!
Video access is a powerful tool. Knowing this, it helps to ensure that the right people get timely and secure access to video when needed.
While current camera permissions on the Meraki dashboard allow a lot of flexibility, they may not be the quickest way to share video. For this purpose, we have added the ability to share live video externally to non-dashboard users. Admins like school principals or branch managers can now easily share live video to emergency response personnel or temporary workers when additional situational awareness is needed. Because these links expire, security camera administrators can rest easy, knowing sensitive information is protected.
On top of this, users need to be accountable when they are accessing video to ensure the system is not abused. With the new video access log, site managers can verify if employees are accessing video for legitimate business reasons. Network administrators can now also monitor the number and length of video viewing sessions to mitigate bandwidth usage spikes.
Share live video to non-dashboard users
An admin can now quickly share live video externally to any email address. These links expire and can be revoked, so admins can be certain no one can get access to sensitive information unless required.
On a network with many camera users and custom permissions, it can be extremely valuable to have a clear audit log of who is accessing video through the Meraki dashboard and how. The video access log provides network administrators with information on who’s doing what with video in your network.
The log includes access-related actions for all cameras within the network, including:
Video viewed locally
Video viewed through cloud access
Video viewing session ended
Video export created
Video export deleted
Video export downloaded
Video export link created
Video range paused
Video range unpaused
Video range deleted
Snapshot created via API
Learn more by visiting the Meraki Documentation site, and try using these features today! We would love to hear your use cases and thoughts on the external stream feature and video access log, on the Meraki Community.
Since its launch in 2016, the MV smart camera has been making the deployment of security cameras hassle-free for network administrators and security camera specialists. With onboard storage and management through the Meraki dashboard, from anywhere, the MV camera is essentially plug-and-play. However, for larger deployments with different coverage scenarios and target use cases, one can spend a lot of time and a lot of clicks customizing settings across all cameras and networks.
With the new quality and retention profiles and APIs, you can now deploy your cameras faster than ever before.
Bulk configure using profiles on the dashboard
Each camera deployment faces unique requirements. Some cameras, like the ones facing entrances, or monitoring important assets, may need to record with the highest resolution, frame rate and bitrate, for the most amount of detail when identifying faces. Some sites have strict retention requirements and may require scheduled recording, motion-based retention and the lowest resolution and quality. With profiles, everything under the camera’s “Quality and retention” tab can be combined together and applied in one go.
After creating quality and retention profiles on the dashboard, you can then easily select multiple cameras within a network and bulk-assign them the same settings.
More information on using the quality and retention profiles can be found on the Meraki Documentation site.
Work even smarter using APIs
On top of being able to use profiles to quickly apply settings to multiple cameras, you can work even faster by using a number of APIs that provide more freedom and automation.
You can perform the following actions using APIs:
Quality and retention profiles (for a given network)
List the quality retention profiles
Create new quality retention profile
Retrieve a single quality retention profile
Update an existing quality retention profile
Delete an existing quality retention profile
Individual quality and retention settings (for a given camera)
Return a list of all camera recording schedules
Return quality and retention settings
Update quality and retention settings (individually, or using a profile)
When you need to get video off of a security camera – say for evidence collection after an incident – you want it to be simple. With MV smart cameras, video can be exported from the camera and uploaded to the cloud in just a few steps. As simple as exports are to set up, there are times that users may want to wait to export video after hours, as they do require upstream WAN bandwidth. Before, this would require logging into the dashboard at a later time to export the video, but the newly released scheduled exports allows a user to set and forget.
Schedule Video Exports to Minimize Disruptions
With scheduled exports, users can select the video they’d like to export from their security cameras, and choose the time most convenient for exporting. Scheduling exports after hours can help reduce the potential bandwidth impact on other business critical applications, allowing your organization to run more smoothly.
Scheduling video for export is easy in the Meraki dashboard
Scheduling video for export is easy. Once you’ve navigated to the desired video time, select the “Share” drop down, and the export video option. You can drag the sliders on the video timeline to adjust the length of the export, or use the date/time boxes at the top of the video stream. Then, choose the date and time that you’d like the video to be exported, and select “export”.
Download or Share Video Clips After Export
After export, the file will be available for download or sharing in the dashboard by selecting the “Share” drop down, and then “Show recent exports”. Video clips are saved for 12 months in the dashboard, during which time they can be downloaded to a computer as an MP4 file. Need to share the video with someone outside the organization? Generate a shareable link within the dashboard to send, and they’ll be able to download the file via the unique URL.
Interested in learning more on exporting videos, or MV smart cameras? See our documentation for more information on how exporting video works, or check out a webinar for an overview of our MV smart camera line. Let us know what you think about the new feature on the Meraki Community page.
Typically, when we write these MV-related blog posts, we love to highlight the challenges that a particular feature will help you overcome, or the frustration that a new solution will help ease. Other times, we want to be a little bit more flashy. This is one of those times.
With the recent launch of Cisco Meraki’s second generation of MV cameras, customers can now take advantage of three zooming features on both their indoor and outdoor cameras: optical zoom (available on MV22 and MV72 only), sensor crop, and digital zoom. While each is powerful in isolation, when combined, these three features allow you to achieve truly dramatic levels of magnification on your video feed while maintaining extremely high video quality.
Just how dramatic is the zoom? Let’s take a look below.
What you can accomplish today with MV
The following images show the progression of an image when each zoom option is applied. The first photo shows the video feed from an MV72 outdoor camera with no zoom applied. You can see something is on the table in the far corner of the patio, but not much else.
Screenshot from MV72 video feed with no zooming applied
The next image shows a maxed out optical zoom, focused on the table area. We can start to see something take shape, and that shape looks suspiciously like a gnome.
Screenshot from MV72 with optical zoom applied
In the next image, we use sensor crop to focus in on an even smaller area. Sensor crop, like optical zoom, is lossless zoom, meaning there is no loss of detail or stretching of pixels. Things are starting to look a little clearer, and we can definitely tell this is one of those mischievous Meraki gnomes.
Screenshot from MV72 with optical zoom and sensor crop
For an extra bit of fun, let’s see what happens when we use digital zoom. Maybe we’ll be able to identify which Meraki gnome it is. Can you guess?
In-dashboard digital zoom of the MV Gnome
With digital zoom, now you can see that this gnome is sitting on what looks like a security camera. It’s the MV gnome! (Did you expect any different?)
Digital zoom can be used on live and historical footage. Keep in mind, though, that that sensor crop and optical zoom only apply to footage that was recorded after you applied the settings to the camera. You cannot apply sensor crop and optical zoom on historical footage. So, the dramatic level of zoom illustrated above is only possible if optical zoom and sensor crop were already applied before using digital zoom.
If configured properly, your MV cameras can truly can give you (gnome) portraits from pixels.
The “smart” descriptor gets tossed around the tech world so much today, it’s hard to know what, if anything, actually makes a device smart.
In the case of the Meraki MV security camera line, a mobile-grade processor on each camera means that the power of a smartphone is packed into each device, rendering onsite servers and special software unnecessary. Instead, users simply log into a browser-based dashboard to see rich person detection and motion-sensitive analytics. These tools can help with everything from keeping a campus safer, to streamlining processes in a manufacturing plant, to monitoring foot traffic in even the tiniest of retail locations.
Listen to MV’s product manager George Bentinck describe the benefits of a cloud-based smart camera system and see him demo the dashboard at newsroom.cisco.com.