Upgraded to version 4, now have issues with file sizes
  • I recently upgraded the company's Security Spy software from version 3 to version 4 and our file sizes have exploded. Where previously we'd be able to have at least a month's worth of recordings, we are now lucky to have 4 days. The server is a 2012 Mac Mini with a 2.3Ghz i7 and 4GB of RAM. Running a recording from a Axis Q1604 at 720p 25 fps, 60% compression via the camera I'm seeing ~10GB files every 30 minutes. I don't have a historical file size as they've all been auto-erased to make room for the new files.

    Probably on a related note I did disable recompression of the video via app as it was using a massive amount of CPU usage, again more than version 3 was.

    I'm sure there's some settings somewhere I can tweak, but at the moment I feel like my options are recompress files, get small file sizes and extremely choppy videos as the CPU can't handle multiple cameras at once, or turn off recompress and have to deal with file sizes that are orders of magnitude larger than before.

    Please anyone with advice would be greatly appreciated. I'm managing 6 locations with between 8 and 17 cameras each and would like to get this taken care of.
  • I'm sure this will simply require some settings tweaks to get your file sizes down. The criteria for whether SecuritySpy will perform recompression, and what frame rate will be used for capture, have changed in version 4 (in theory to make these things more transparent and logical), so this could be the cause of the difference you are seeing.

    The first thing to check is that SecuritySpy is pulling the H.264 stream from the camera rather than the JPEG stream, as the former is much lower-bandwidth than the latter. To check this, go to Preferences - Cameras - Device and make sure the "Format" setting is set to "H.264 RTSP".

    Then, make sure the "Recompress video data" option is turned off (in the same window).

    If you are recording continuously, you should expect a file size of between 500 MB and 1 GB for a 30-minute duration recorded movie file.

    (If you are recording based on motion-detection then you will get a small fraction of this data being recorded, so your storage requirements will be much lower, but it doesn't sound like you are doing this.)

    With these settings, if the file sizes are still too high, then the solution is to reduce the frame of the camera's video stream. You can do this either in the camera's web interface or in SecuritySpy. For general-purpose video surveillance, a frame rate of around 5-10fps is normally perfectly fine.
  • Thanks Ben, I've tweaked the settings as above on the camera's that support it. I do have some older camera's, and a mixed selection of cameras in general, that only support mpeg-4 and whoever had set them up before me did have them set to JPEG.
    Unfortunately I do have one camera that appears to only support JPEG, hopefully changing the rest will be sufficient for my disk space.

    Thanks for the reply and I'll advise on Monday how my weekend recordings went. I can see my CPU is already back down to a very respectable 27% with all 11 cameras.
  • Good to hear things have improved with the settings tweaks.

    For the JPEG/MPEG-4 camera: using the MPEG-4 codec will result in smaller file sizes but higher CPU usage. Using JPEG will give you larger file sizes but lower CPU usage.

    I would suggest that for the JPEG and MPEG-4 cameras, you should keep their frame rates relatively low (e.g. 5fps), and for the H.264 cameras you can set their frame rates a bit higher (e.g. 10fps).

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