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Business Security and Automation


How to adjust the motion detection settings of the cameras

With Security and Automation video services, you can adjust the sensitivity of motion and the size of the targets captured by your cameras.


  • A Security and Automation video services subscription
  • A computer with the latest version of Adobe Flash

To adjust motion detection settings (from a computer only)

  1. Visit
  2. Click Log in.
  3. Select Small business Security and Automation Access or Small business Security and Automation Connect and click Log in.
  4. Enter your login name and password and click Log in.
  5. On the left menu, click Video.
  6. At the top, click Settings.
    Three VMD windows can be configured. When motion is detected within these windows, it triggers a video clip recording.
  7. Select a camera from the Video device dropdown menu.
  8. Click on Video motion detection.
  9. Click 1, 2 or 3 to select the corresponding window. Use the mouse cursor to draw the VMD window in the areas where you’re looking to capture motion.
  10. Adjust the sensitivity of the VMD by selecting from a range of 1 to 10 (10 being the most sensitive). What is sensitivity?
  11. Adjust the target size of the VMD by selecting from a range of 3% to 30%. What is target size?
  12. Click Save to save the setting of the current VMD before adjusting a different VMD.

What is sensitivity?

Sensitivity determines how drastic a change in the view of the camera must be to trigger a clip. For example, a cloud moving slowly across the screen may trigger a video clip if the sensitivity is set high enough, whereas a lower sensitivity may not trigger a recording for the same amount of motion.

Start at a sensitivity of 7 and adjust up/down based on your needs and on what the camera is capturing.

What is target size?

Target size represents a percentage of the area of the VMD window that will cause the camera to trigger a clip. If the target size is set too large, it will only pick up very large objects such as a vehicle. If the target size is set too small, objects such as leaves blowing or small animals will trigger a clip.

You need to adjust the target size based on the location of the VMD. A VMD close to the camera itself will usually require a larger target size compared to a VMD that is at the far from the camera. For example, when you stand at the far end of your driveway, you’ll look smaller than when you’re standing in close proximity to the camera itself.

Best practices of video motion detection

While there is no one perfect setting, as each customer’s scenario is unique, there are some best practices to follow to ensure the best performance.

  • Use long narrow boxes to create a “trap zone” where someone is likely to pass by one of the VMD regions.
  • Avoid creating boxes that cover the whole screen.
  • Avoid overlapping VMD windows.
  • Avoid placing VMD windows on trees or bushes as they can move when it's windy and cause unwanted video clips.