First Impressions of the Arlo Pro System

arlo

(Mike Curran) #1

I pre-ordered and got my Arlo Pro system in yesterday. I spent a while installing it. I’m already noticing a few things with the system. I don’t feel robbed for what I got. I know some of my issues are because of the new pro and updates are needed.

Non-smarthub stuff
It was very easy to setup, I had no problems with signal strength. I have one camera mounted in the garage on one end of the house and the base station in the other. I plan on trying to place one in a tree looking at the house in the next few days because of how well the signal seems to be.

No motion sensor issues. I got more motion triggers with it set at 80% than the motion sensor I had already hooked to the system. I will need to turn it down some the cat triggered it this morning.

I didn’t bother with trying to turn off cloud uploading, its one of the reasons why I got an arlo system. I did purchase a usb drive and it is saving file to the drive just fine. Bandwidth doesn’t seem to be an issue. I live where I can only get 5mbs down/1mbs up. My wife was watching netflix and I was triggering cameras with no issues in bandwidth.

Smarthub Stuff (With some issues)
Sound works! When I try to view video feeds live I had no problem with the sound working. I can’t use the two-way feature. I can at least hear what is going on. The microphone picks up sound very well. Sadly there is a ‘clicking’ sound seems like some kind of feedback. It’s on all of my cameras I am hoping an update will improve this.

Again, motion seems to work just fine. I didn’t notice any delays with the system right now. To me seems about the same as the other motion sensor I have been using. I have already created a few events to trigger by motion. I noticed that motion reset itself rather quickly. I would stand still for a minute tweaking settings on my tablet only to take a step and set off the motion again.

Issue: When I do try to arm my system and it records a video. I can’t view it through the smartthings app. It says I recorded something, but I can’t ever view it. I have to use the arlo app to pull up the video.

Issue: Siren doesn’t detect as a device. I am hoping that in a later update I can add it as a device. Right now I can’t use it through smartthings.

Issue (for me): I wish that the camera would display the motion state and not its active state. I find it odd that I can turn on and off the device (I assume to save battery). I would rather see the state of the motion in the things list.

I will try to keep posted on my battery life. So far even with the issues I am happy with my system setup. Time will tell if I will continue to be happy with everything.


Arlo Pro delay when integrated to ST
(Brian Harding) #2

@Floatingpi
Thanks for the first impressions post. Having purchased my Arlo system about 3 weeks prior to the Arlo Pro besing announced, I am obviously highly disappointed. But I understand that the new cameras are backwards compatible with the older base station so that is a relief as I don’t have the money now to purchase a completely new system. From what I can gather the only things I will be missing in the short run are the siren, the inability to record audio and localized storage, even for backup in the case of internet outage.
You say You haven’t used the two way audio communication yet and I am eagerly waiting for how this works. I am assuming that if you speak into your smart phone the audio will come out from the base station and not the individual camera. Therefore, the intruder would already be inside of your house to be able to scare him off,
When you do test this feature give me shout out to let me know if I am right or wrong.
Thanks again


(Mike Curran) #3

@hbr
I have read the same thing. So I assume you should have the same experience as I do.

I did use the two-way audio. It works great in the arlo app. It doesn’t work in the smartthings app. The camera has the microphone and speaker! So you hear out of the camera you are viewing live. When you enable it in the app a window pops up and you push to talk. You can see easy see whats going on while talking and listening.

I do feel like I have to test this a little bit more. The sound seemed to come out quiet on the camera. Even at the max setting seemed quieter then what a normal TV would output. In a house that is quiet you would be able to hear that I say. I would like it a bit louder myself. Still a very cool feature to have on the camera seems trouble free (minus the volume issue). Between having a bad speaker and a bad mic I am glad the speak is the bad item. The mic picks up sound very well.


(Mike Curran) #4

I just got a reply back on one of my issues. It is a known issue that the recorded images in the alarm history is not working. They said they are working on fixing it.

Others on the Arlo forum said the volume is an issue with the two-way audio. I did notice there was an update for the app. So I am hoping when I get home that issue will be fixed.


(Brian Harding) #5

@Floatingpi Thanks for the quick reply. Keep us posted as time goes on. I might have to break down and buy the new system after all.


(Andrea Bianco) #6

thank you for the review … I have this in a shopping cart , but have not selected checkout… waiting for some reviews as this not a cheap system and I want to be sure I don’t have buyers remorse. Please keep us updated on fixes, mic issue. I am wanting to use this instead of a door bell replacement like Skybell or Ring, but want to make sure it has similar function (not including the “Bell” of course).


(Brian Harding) #7

@Floatingpi
After installing ios 10 on my iPhone, I was able to view the video in both places, but I tested it today and the videos no longer show up in SHM. I have done nothing to the iPhone so I am assuming it is a ST issue. St says they are working on it but it was working just fine - now it is broken.

Another question you may or may not have the answer to. Arlo says they have greatly improved the motion sensing on the pro model compared to the original model, I am curious how the motion sensing works. On the original camera if there was not enough light the red LEDs would come on when it detected motion. In a dark high traffic area this ran the battery down very quickly. Does the pro model still use the red LEDs for night vision or have they gone to what Blink is doing by having a small light turn on? Or both?


(Mike Curran) #8

Sorry for my late replies with the topic.

@hbr There is a ring of red LED lights around the camera. I only see them come on when the camera is recording. I will double check tonight and pay more attention encase I am wrong.

It’s been almost two weeks now with the system. There are a lot of advantages with the system. The first being the base unit. While its in SmartThings mode I can still add rules to it. I created a couple of rules to record when it sensed motion. I am glad I did this, when the internet goes down (I live rural so it happens a lot) it still records and saves.

There are still issues, I believe I got one bad battery. Tomorrow I will be calling to see if I can’t replace I will express my opinions of their customer service then. Android has a bug with the two-way communication. Its very quite and hard to hear. Its fine on PCs and iPhones though.


(Brian Harding) #9

@Floatingpi
Thanks for the reply. Here is my problem with the original system. I set one of my cameras on my back porch and the porch never gets full sun. When a certain level of darkness arrives, every time I step onto my back porch, the red infrared LEDs come on. This wears down my batteries very quickly even though I am not recording any videos, (ST is in the Disarmed state). I partially improved the situation by installing a porch light that turns on via a built in motion detector. But the sensor is oriented to face the driveway so any movement out there turns on the porch light before the cameras motion detector detects movement. But if I step onto the back porch from the kitchen the camera’s motion detector picks up the motion first causing the red LEDs to come on.

So, my question is, (if you walk in front of the camera in the dark will the red LEDs come on? The advertising documentation for the Arlo pro cameras said something about detecting motion differently from the original cameras.

I will probably purchase one of the new pro cameras as they can use rechargeable batteries.


(Mike Curran) #10

There was a update to the firmware on the cameras the other day. Push to Talk is working on Android. That fixes that issue.


(Cris D) #11

I was interested in buying the Pro version, but early reviews said that the speaker volume from the camera was so low it was useless. Are you saying it has been fixed now?


(Linda Gray) #12

I installed this system yesterday, I have an adroid phone. The speakers are barely a whisper. No one would hear me in the driveway unless they were right under it and straining to hear.
The system did a bunch of updates as it was installing, but the speaker issue is not fixed.
How can I find out if I have the latest update?
The speaker volume is great from the PC.
I also must have one bad camera. It records video fine in the day, but is black at night even in a lit area. I put another camera next to it and it worked fine in night vision.
Hope to get these issues fixed! I just switched from Ring Doorbell and StickUp cameras. Much better picture quality.


(Justin) #13

Hey,

Just curious if you have any updates on the system? Is the volume output on the cameras still faint? How’s the battery holding up?


(Andrea Bianco) #14

Arlo released a firmware upgrade that has fixed the audio output on the camera end. Mine is now working fine.

I do really like this camera, although it is on the pricey side. Ability to recharge batteries is invaluable.


(Ron) #15

I just bought a 2 camera Arlo Pro System this weekend. I am pretty sure it’s going back. Here are my issues.

  1. I have a large home and installed EERO mesh wifi recently. So I have excellent WIFI. But Arlo camera’s don’t connect to your WIFI they only connect to the base station via it’s own wifi. This is pretty much a deal breaker. I watched a video on how to improve coverage in your home on the Arlo youtube channel and it says a) move base closer to your camera b) install additional Arlo Hubs. That’s crazy I have a perfectly good WIFI mesh why would I want to introduce more signal noise from various arlo hubs. I get the ease of install and some may think a clear WIFI network just for the camera’s will help but I have excellent WIFI and paid good money for it so I don’t like that these camera’s can’t use it. I may try an Arlo Q but given the WIRE I might be better off just installing Foscam or Clever Loop.

  2. The Video Quality is terrible. I mounted my camera above my front door which has a flight of stairs heading up to the lanai. I tested the camera if full daylight and I can barely make out who I am and I already know what I look like :slight_smile: The camera also sees my driveway which is only about 20ft away and I can’t even tell there is writing on my license plate let alone read what it says. I have foscam cameras in my home and their video quality even for the 720p models is MUCH better. I have my second arlo temporarily in the same location as my foscam which watches my dogs, on Arlo I can tell there are two white balls of fur on the ground, with Foscam I can tell which dog is which and clearly make you which end is which :slight_smile: Why don’t I see more people mentioning video quality issues? Am I doing something wrong. My Friend has a clever loop camera system and his video quality is orders of magnitude better than mine.

  3. I like the idea of an alarm but I wish it was separate from the base. I have my base hidden so thieves can’t just steal the local storage. So having the alarm point out exactly where the base is was a bummer. I was planning on solving this with a Aeon Alarm and ST integration but given the other issues I think I will just move on.

What I liked.

  1. I had the outdoor camera installed in 15min. I have been delaying installing outdoor camera’s because most camera’s require you run a wire with a HUGE POE connection at the end meaning having to drill a rather large hole.

  2. The motion sensing was working perfect. It was detecting the slightest activity and recording a nice clip to the cloud. I wish the video was good enough to make out who I was because I would live with the WIFI issue given how easy install was. I also hope that some day they decide to add connect to local WIFI to the firmware as an option.

  3. Night Vision was working nicely, still too low quality and not better than foscam but they have decent ir lights and were working nicely.

  4. I like the rechargeable battery and was planning on purchasing the Solar Panel to keep the outdoor camera charged.

It’s too bad, I really wanted to love this system and ST integration was a nice perk. I didn’t try the ST integration because of the other issues.


(Glenn) #16

I was gonna say…I just got mine and audio sounds great on them, i had no idea what people were talking about saying it was low audio, but the firmware update makes sense that they fixed it.


#17

Is anyone else having the picture quality issues mentioned by @Ron? I haven’t opened my system up yet but need to figure out what I’m doing before 1/15/2017 (Best Buy return date). I bought this as I was planning to use with ST but now I’m considering Wink2 instead. Doesn’t look like Arlo Pro is compatible with Wink2 yet but maybe some workarounds available. Also, any news on being able to see video in ST app?


(Ron) #18

@mustang5o I would suggest you crack it open, fire it up and see what you think of the video. I would be interested in your results. I hate BestBuy’s 15 day return policy. Make purchases with them more stressful :slight_smile:


#19

I actually bought it before Christmas and anything bought during the Christmas shopping time is returnable until 1/15. However, I was just moving into a new house and other projects have taken priority. I’ll plan to get it opened up and start playing with it next week most likely. I think I’ll hold off on ST for now as I think I’m going to just get the hub and then add some other brands of sensors to it (maybe some Iris stuff from Lowe’s).


(Ron) #20

I never hooked mine up to ST because I didn’t like them and sent back. I never really cared about the ST integration. I tried a few Iris products on my hub and returned them all. I find the best are the fibaro devices and Aeon labs stuff works really well also. Depends on what sensors you are looking for. Good luck with your setup.