New Scheduling Feature for Plug and Play IP Cameras
Today, we have pushed out our new scheduling feature for plug and play (PnP) cameras (Axis and Panasonic), responding to calls from many users of SecurityStation for more flexibility in recording. It is now possible to set up a recording and alerting schedule for each individual plug and play camera in your account.
Up until now, when a camera was added to SecurityStation its recording was ‘armed’ 24/7, meaning that any events triggered at any time of the day would be recorded, and alerts emailed to your users. Many SecurityStation users have asked for the flexibility to set timeframes where their cameras are not armed for recording, such as when they are in the office and their cameras are triggering frequently. This kind of event behaviour can use up your event allowances quickly as well as cause an email overload.
How does the new scheduling feature work?
The new scheduling feature works when you select start and stop recording timeframes on selected days of the week in order to build up a schedule where the camera is both armed and disarmed for recording and alerting (though camera offline alerts are unaffected by schedules).
We’ve built the scheduling system around a scenario where cameras are disarmed 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday – the most common schedule times, but it is flexible. You can, for instance, set schedules that run around the clock, or operate for only 15 minutes per day. The flexibility is there to do what you need, up to a maximum of 7 scheduled time frames, and for each camera individually. On top of this you can overide any active schedule at any time by simply turning off alerts and recording with the recording and alerts on/off button on your Dashboard. Reactivating alerts and recording in the same way kicks all schedules back into action.
How do I create a schedule?
Creating schedules is easy. You access the scheduling page either from your camera’s edit page, available from the Dashboard. Let’s take the 9-5 scenario as our example. SecurityStation allows you to set start (arm) and stop (disarm) timeframes down to an interval of 15 minutes. So, to arm your camera for recording with the standard working hours of Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm you would set three schedule timeframes as follows:
- Monday – Friday 0000 to 0900
- Monday – Friday 1700 to 2400
- Saturday and Sunday 0000 to 2400
Because in SecurityStation schedules are ‘inclusive’, not ‘exclusive’, we’re choosing only the time frames where we want the camera to be recording and alerting. Outside these hours we don’t want detected motion to create events in SecurityStation, so we leave these timeframes unaccounted (remember, we don’t want events generated during office hours).
To create your first schedule click the button Create a schedule and a new set of fields appears for selecting which days of the week your schedule will be active, plus the arm/disarm timeframe on those days.
After creating the Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm scenario as above your schedule should look like this:
You can have up to 7 separate time frames running per camera in SecurityStation, allowing for a greater degree of flexibility in accommodating the needs of both companies and home users.
Of course, if you choose not to record to a schedule that’s fine. Your cameras will be armed 24/7.
About the Scheduling UI
We have also made some small UI improvements in a number of areas including:
- A new clock icon on the Dashboard depicts when a schedule is active;
- The addition of a delete camera icon on the Dashboard in order to free up some space for the link to scheduling for each camera;
- Change of test access button – this button is a heavily used and useful feature and we’ve placed a bit more emphasis on it;
- Change of camera reboot icon – we felt the previous icon was a little confusing and could result in unintentional camera reboots.
Do you have feedback on the new feature?
Do you like the new scheduling feature? Do you have any suggested improvements? Either way we’d like to hear from you. Let us know in the comments below.