Resolving the Resolution Conundrum
We get a lot of questions about resolution in SecurityStation, particularly on the subject of our live view. Most of those questions are about the perceived small size of the live view, so we’ve put together this post by way of a explanation.
A security system is no good if it cannot be trusted to be reliable. That is a given. With our service being web-based it relies on a connection to your IP camera across the internet. As a result, the effectiveness of SecurityStation is somewhat in the hands of your ISP. Those connections all behave differently: some may be leased lines, some DSL, some fibre, but the important factor for us is that we don’t know what actual capacity our customers have (and, let’s be honest, 9 times out of 10 you won’t either, because ISPs make this information difficult to come by) and that capacity will fluctuate over time and will be affected by how other things on the network are utilising the connection.
With regard to resolution and event recording in particular we are up-front about the limitations and have a simple strategy: it must work first time. Because we don’t make any assumptions about how much data can be squeezed out through your connection we take the simplest approach and set both your live view resolution and recorded event resolutions to a low default setting to make sure that when you connect your cameras they ‘just work’.
Of course, in SecurityStation it’s easy to change these default settings to get both higher resolution recorded footage and higher-quality live views using lower compression rates, and we encourage you to adjust these settings to get the best balance between quality, resolution and frame rate. SecurityStation is only as good as the settings that you put into it, though our default ‘goldilocks’ settings aim to dramatically minimise the chances that the speed of your internet connection becomes an issue.
That’s not to say we are standing still in these areas. SecurityStation is under constant development and will change as bandwidth availability inexorably increases. We’ve designed SecurityStation to take advantage of these ISP level changes as they occur and on top of this are actively developing towards using more bandwidth-efficient methods to get your security data into SecurityStation.