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Motion Detection

An important feature for these types of system is motion detection, because you don't want to always watch the camera to see what is going on. You'd like to just point it at an area of interest and have the system alert you when something changes. Figure 11 shows the setup for motion detection. The basic idea is that you draw a rectangle on the screen, and then anything that moves in that area triggers a motion alert.

Motion Detection Setup

Figure 11 : Motion Detection Setup

Note the sensitivity setting in the display above. This lets you specify how much movement is considered relevant. This can be a bit tricky to set up. When I first set it up, I was getting a flood of events as the wind blew branches. But when I turned it down, it wouldn't detect people walking by, but would get triggered when a big truck drove by (Figure 12).

Motion Alert

Figure 12 : Motion Alert

The action to take when a motion-event occurs is also configurable. Options include recording the event, and sending out email either to an email address or to a cell phone. Figure 13 shows the form used for setting up the alert.

Alert Setup

Figure 13 : Alert Setup

And Figure 14 shows the outbound SMTP server setup.

Mail Setup

Figure 14 : Mail Setup

My ISP, Comcast, does not support the use of usernames and passwords for outbound SMTP connections, and this configuration was not an option in the setup screen. I also have a Google email account that does support SMTP usernames and passwords, but this account requires encrypted connections, which apparently Smartvue does not support.

The form accepted my info, but during the time I was testing the system, I never received a movement alert email. To see if any errors were being registered on attempts to send email, I checked out the log feature of the product and turned up another problem. When viewing the Smartvue log under Internet Explorer, you can only see the oldest entries. The newer entries just don't appear. When viewing the log under Safari or Firefox, all the log entries were visible, but there was nothing relating to email failure. I checked back with Smartvue regarding this email issue and they acknowledged that there have been some issues with some SMTP servers. Hopefully they will get this corrected in a future release.

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