CES 2019: Arlo Unveils HomeKit-Enabled Ultra 4K HDR Security Camera and All-in-One Home Security System

Arlo Technologies today announced its new Arlo Ultra 4K wire-free HDR security camera and Arlo Security System, the latter of which is being billed as a comprehensive security solution for the home or business.


The HomeKit-compatible Arlo Ultra 4K HDR video camera features both color and black and white night vision via an LED integrated spotlight, a 180-degree panoramic field-of-view lens, and two-way audio with advanced noise cancelation.

The Arlo Ultra ships with the Arlo SmartHub, which will also become Zigbee and Z-Wave compatible in the second half of 2019, allowing users to control a wide range of "Works with Arlo" certified third-party smart home devices via the Arlo app.

As part of the Arlo ecosystem, the SmartHub will also support the newly announced Arlo Security System, which consists of the Arlo Multi-Sensor, Arlo Siren and Arlo Remote, to form a comprehensive security solution.


The Arlo Multi-Sensor detects windows and doors opening and closing, motion, smoke and carbon monoxide alarms, water leaks, temperature changes and more.

The battery-operated Arlo Siren features a loud siren accompanied by a red strobe light to deter intruders. Users can also enable presence simulation to emit audio sounds, such as dog barking or TV audio. In addition, a built-in melody can be activated to notify users of specific events, such as the Multi-Sensor detecting a door opening.

Meanwhile, the Arlo Remote lets owners arm and disarm the system without using the Arlo mobile app. It also features two customizable buttons that can be programed to perform specific actions, such as turning on compatible third-party lights or activating the Arlo Siren in a panic situation.

Pricing starts at $399.99 for the Arlo Ultra single-camera system, which is available now and includes a one-year subscription to Arlo's Smart Premier 30-day video history cloud storage plan. The Arlo Security System will be available in the second half of 2019.

Arlo says that support for Apple HomeKit will be available as an automatic firmware update for Arlo Ultra and Pro 2 camera systems later this quarter.



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7 months ago

Is 4K really necessary for a security camera??

Yes yes yes and more yes. Think about it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen security camera footage that is 1080p or less and was frustrated because the license plate of the car is too far away to be legible, or the face of that person is just a blur, etc. I’ve been waiting for 4K and can’t wait for 8K security cameras in another 5 years or so. Super high Resolutions will make the difference between a perpetrator caught or one that is able to continue a crime spree. I will go as far as to say higher resolutions like 4K and beyond in security cameras will save lives. So yes.
Rating: 7 Votes
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7 months ago
Is 4K really enough for a security camera??
Rating: 4 Votes
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7 months ago

Yes yes yes and more yes. Think about it. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve seen security camera footage that is 1080p or less and was frustrated because the license plate of the car is too far away to be legible, or the face of that person is just a blur, etc. I’ve been waiting for 4K and can’t wait for 8K security cameras in another 5 years or so. Super high Resolutions will make the difference between a perpetrator caught or one that is able to continue a crime spree. I will go as far as to say higher resolutions like 4K and beyond in security cameras will save lives. So yes.


While I agree somewhat, resolution isn't the only thing that causes license plates and faces to be illegible in 1080p security cameras - it's the wide angle lenses too. Put more accurately, it's a combination of the sensor, optics, and encoding that can determine whether an image is legible or not. Of those 3, we can assume encoding is probably optimized for the use. The next easiest and cheapest thing to change is the lense. Unfortunately with these consumer-level security cameras, the lenses cannot be changed. They all come with super wide angle lenses which is good for some but not all situations. It is usually those situations where a narrower field of view would have been better

Do the math: Most of these wifi cameras have 130deg field of view. At 1920 pixels horizontally, it is .067deg/pixel of view. US license plates are 12in wide. Let's get out our handy-dandy trig and solve some triangles:
At 10ft away, 1 pixel will cover ~1/8in. A license plate will be ~96 pixels wide on the image.
At 20ft away, 1 pixel will cover ~1/4in. A license plate will be ~48 pixels wide on the image.
At 30ft away, 1 pixel will cover almost 1/2in. A license plate will be ~24 pixels wide on the image.
At ~70ft away, 1 pixel will cover 1in. A license plate will be ~12 pixels wide on the image.

Just looking at those numbers, I'm not surprised license plates are illegible and faces are too blurry. This is why everything always looks tiny and far away on a these security cameras - the field of view is so wide that as soon as you get even a little bit of distance from the camera an entire person fits into a teeny-tiny portion of the screen.

We can up the resolution, but that in my opinion is not very efficient. It increases bandwidth use, and increases cost (more expensive sensor, requires more powerful microprocessor for encoding, etc.).

Merely changing the lense would really improve those numbers though as well:
A 90deg field of view lense, at 1920 pixels horizontally, would yield 0.045deg/pixel.
[INDENT]At 30ft away, 1 pixel would cover ~1/4in - a big improvement to the above.
A 70deg field of view lense, at 1920 horizontal, would yield 0.036def/pixel.
At 30ft away, 1 pixel would cover .2" - an even better improvement to the above.[/INDENT]

It would be far easier to give users replaceable cameras. Hallways, driveways, cameras facing an entryway are examples of cameras that don't need to be wide angle. A 90deg field of view in the corner of a room is enough to cover that room - there really isn't anything better about seeing wider. The super wide views are really only good for covering wide outdoor areas like an entire front yard with one camera.

Some video baby monitors come with 3 lense options - a standard 90deg view, a 130deg wide angle view, and a zoomed 70deg angle view. Arlo should do the same.
Rating: 2 Votes
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7 months ago
Is 4K really necessary for a security camera??
Rating: 2 Votes
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7 months ago

Is it unuseable without the service plan? Because thanks, but no thanks. I don't want the camera service to rob me before the physical robber does it.

Also, I wonder why HDR is supposed to be a feature... So I can really appreciate the burglar when he's at my window with the sun setting behind him?
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Facial features can be very hard to make out, when the guy is wearing a hoody and standard 10 meters from the camera, so yes.


Because the robber’s face will not be overexposed or underexposed. So, you will get a perfect picture that you can send to the police, which means that the chances of the police finding the robber will be exponentially improved.

It’s funny, yesterday I had a pissing match with a dude on 9to5mac over the newly announced Netatmo doorbell compatible with HomeKit. That device doesn’t offer any cloud storage for video; instead it can save video to either Dropbox or FTP server. So, the dude was all pissy about it and basically had your attitude in reverse. No way in hell unless there’s a paid-for cloud-storage option.

To me, the optimal solution would be to have the Dropbox, FTP, and paid-for cloud offering. There are plusses and minuses of each, but why not have all these options? Additionally, if the camera becomes HomeKit compatible, why doesn't Apple allow us to use our paid-for iCloud storage subscription (I pay for 2 TB of iCloud storage but use only about 500 GB) for storing video footage?

I like the idea of the 4K HDR camera with two-way audio that provides the 180-degree field of view because it can serve close-by images directly from outside the front door as well as the images from farther away at the road in front of the house. That’s where the 4K resolution comes in handy.

The Netatmo doorbell will be useful for the close-up images from outside the front door, as the 1080p resolution is not high enough to see the detail of car license plates or people’s facial features while they pass in front of the house along the road.
Rating: 2 Votes
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7 months ago

I still use an original Arlo setup...

Does anyone find the pricing on all Arlo stuff a bit much?

(I say this as a current user and mostly a fan of them..)


Netgear Arlo has become the Apple of DIY security systems as far as pricing goes.

I'm an Arlo Pro user for home and business and love the system but I, too, feel the pricing has become excessive.
Rating: 1 Votes
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7 months ago
I still use an original Arlo setup...

Does anyone find the pricing on all Arlo stuff a bit much?

(I say this as a current user and mostly a fan of them..)
Rating: 1 Votes
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27 weeks ago

If you are already a Pro customer, you must already have the “hub”? Would you need to purchase a separate “hub” to use with the Ultra?

Curious, because I would like to add a combination of both Pro 2 & Ultra in new home.

I believe you can just buy an Ultra 4K add-on camera and add to your existing system-- that's what I plan on doing, too. Pro & Ultra 4K combination.
Rating: 1 Votes
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7 months ago

Are yours the battery powered cameras?


Yes

If so, does the motion activation work quickly.


I wish I could tell you - I don't use any features other than manually turning it on to go see the weather conditions at a vacation house. Honestly, I use it as little as possible as the batteries only seem to last a few months in the cold winter.

I'd love to upgrade to a built in rechargeable, but again, am totally turned off by the pricing.

Mine have been sort of flaky overall - IR filter gets stuck all the time (has for years) and video in daylight is usually "pink"...

Also sometimes they just lose connection with the base station. They come back after a while, but I've never been able to figure out why they sometimes just won't connect. I've tested even when there and it's all local - not an Internet issue or anything. Weird. At least it "fixes itself" though.

My setup "works"...but I think they charge way too much for what one is getting.
Rating: 1 Votes
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7 months ago

Are yours the battery powered cameras? If so, does the motion activation work quickly. By that I mean, how much delay is there between when motion is detected and the recording starts?

I've read complaints there can be a long delay between motion detection and recording so you end of with a video of the back of the UPS guys head as he walks away from your door. Apparently this has to do with battery saving settings and is not an issue with the wired power models.


I have the Arlo 2 outside our house that is battery powered. More times that not, when the camera is on at night, it captures the tail end of any car that drives by our house. However with people, it's a different story. Usually the camera comes on just as someone enters it's POV.

I would imagine that this was a feature that was improved upon from the original Arlo cameras.
Rating: 1 Votes
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