Continuous recording glitches
  • Hi,
    I have noticed a customers continuous recording in 10min blocks sometimes goes off pattern, and over a short period of around 10-15 mins produces random short files, always missing small chunks if time, them reverts back to the set 10min files again. This seems to happen at different times in the day, and not every day.

    I then checked my own, and sure enough mine does it too. I cannot seem to find any common reason why this would happen.
    Is this a security spy bug, or is it a Mac issue? Have others seen this?

    The worry for me, is I promote SS as a security solution when fitting security hardware, but if it misses small chunks of time, it’s only a matter of time when the missing data will become important and key footage is lost.
  • Just a quick update to this, after further investigation the random video loss is only happening on one system, but I would be interested to see if anyone else has seen this as it happened again yesterday.
  • The most likely reason I can think of to cause this is if the network connection to the camera is unreliable, so the camera is continuously disconnecting and connecting again. This will interrupt the recording, leading to many smaller files, and gaps between the files when the camera is offline.

    Check the log (File menu -> Open log) to see if there are frequent disconnection issues for this camera.

    Is this camera on WiFi? This can be unreliable, so could explain the issue. If possible, connect the camera by wired Ethernet. Also, make sure the camera is running the latest firmware available from the manufacturer.

    Another test: turn on the "daily statistics" reports under Preferences -> General, and at the end of each day you get an email with various information. What does it report as the uptime of this particular camera?
  • Hi Ben
    All cameras are wired, and it didnt affect one, it affected them all.
    No cameras were going off line, as I managed to be in front of it when it happened again, and the cameras were perfectly fine, just no recording in SS.
    This was a real odd one, but after testing everything from changing the disk SS was writing files to, to the desktop locking making the system sleep somehow, to teamviewer somehow taking over, none of what i tested made any difference. The glitches still occurred.
    Until I updated the new iMac to high Sierra that is, and now the system runs at around 4% cpu usage, and not a single glitch!!!
    It’s been 5 days now, and the system is absolutely perfect and the customer is over the moon.
    That’s 13 cameras, all 2mp, 4 running at 10fps, 9 running at 5fps, all 24 recording, plus motion.

    Is it possible that running SS that has been updated for high sierra running on just Sierra was an issue? Maybe the high Sierra’s new apple file system is key.
    I have certainly noticed a huge performance boost on my Mac mini since running high Sierra. My cpu usage has dropped massively and I don’t get any VTdecoder use at all anymore!
  • This is great news. We've heard similar reports from other users, whereby their SecuritySpy Mac's CPU usage has dropped significantly after upgrading to High Sierra. The main CPU task for most systems is decompression of the incoming video feeds from the cameras, so it seems that Apple may have made some big efficiency improvements in their libraries in this regard (SecuritySpy uses Apple's VideoToolbox API for video compression/decompression). I can't explain why you were getting inconsistent results previously (this isn't a know problem on any macOS system), but it's great to hear that the macOS upgrade seems to have fixed these problems.
  • I've noticed a similar issue on my iMac running High Sierra and SS 4.2.1. After some amount of time, not sure how much, I'll notice that the Constant recording has turned itself off. It still says it's "armed 24/7" in the options, but it won't show as on in the camera info and nothing will be recorded. I tried restarting the computer, reinstalling SS, to no avail. Anything I should be checking?
  • I checked the logs - getting "Failed to record video frame 1556,98002 The disk is too slow and cannot keep up with writing data - you may need to reformat or replace the disk." It's a 2TB USB 3 hard drive that I recently repaired with Diskwarrior. Should I nuke it and start over?
  • Yes, this indicates that the drive is struggling to keep up with the rate of data that SecuritySpy is attempting to write to it for the recorded files. If the disk falls too far behind, SecuritySpy will report this error and disarm the associated camera(s), which of course stops all recording for that camera.

    If the camera is on the "Armed 247" schedule, it will be armed again automatically after a short period of time, but if the drive is not fast enough then this will simply happen again repeatedly. I would suggest trying a complete drive re-format, and if that doesn't fix the problem, then you should replace the drive.

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