Video compression and notification delays - Whats going on


Hi all,
My subscription is up for renewal and im actually thinking of leaving the Canary ecosystem and trying an alternative. The main reason is two fold.

Over the year or so that i have had Canary devices (AIO and Flex), i have notice, and tried to ignore two very large shortcomings.

  1. Video compression - 720p, 1080p, 4k, 8k… they are all just marketing numbers if you are compression video so heavily to save bandwidth and server load that the recorded video would not provide identifiable footage, let alone stand as evidence to say the Police or a court.

Let me show you what i mean… This is a UK car number plate at 3.5 meters (12 feet for our American friends). A 720p camera would see this as clear as crystal no issues at all, however, the video compression that is applied results in… well, you get the idea.


Another example… A postal worker delivering the post (mail for our American friends), this is within 1 meter (3 feet) of Canary Flex !!!


  1. Notification delivery - This one is just silly, an event will happen and you receive the notification 5 minutes or 10 minutes later… So my house is broken into and the perpetrators would have cleared house and gone before i would even be notified. Lucky for me i have a separate cloud based alarm system!

Anyone else having these issues on an ongoing basis?

It makes it not viable to continue for me… Massively delayed notifications, and when video is recorded, it’s so compressed it becomes useless.


Hi Stuart,

Thanks for reaching out and providing your detailed feedback and experience! (apologies for the long response)

I completely understand where you are coming from with the experience you have had and I want to make sure that everything is working as best as it can be for you. I do have a few questions to better understand what is happening with your Canary.

  1. Are the images provided from Watch Live or are these recorded Timeline videos?
  2. Has the quality of the videos always been this way or has there been a drop in the quality?
  3. Is your Canary Flex using battery or plugged in?

You are correct in that there is some compression involved when the Canary is uploading video. The best way to help mitigate the amount of compression that is happening is by limiting the view of the Canary to a more isolated scene so there will be less “noise” in the video. I understand that this may not be an option for you as it looks like there is a decent amount of area you are trying to monitor.

In regards to the notification delay issue you are experiencing, it should definitely not take 5-10 minutes for it to arrive. Once motion is detected you should receive the notification to your phone within a minute. When working through this type of issue with customers I like to provide some more details into exactly how Canary handles video clips and sends notifications when motion is detected.

When Canary detects motion it will record the videos in ten minute clips. So if there is an hour of video, then there will be six ten minute clips that will appear in the Timeline. Assuming that you have your Canary set to send notifications for all motion, then you would also receive six notifications over the hour since Canary will only send a notification once a new clip has started. Now this can become a bit more complicated based on the different customization and setting options within the Canary app such as Person detection and Video Masking.

The best way to test this is to have your Canary set to record, and have it set to send notifications for all motion. You’ll also want to make sure that it hasn’t recorded any motion in the last 10 minutes. Then you’ll want to trigger an event by walking in front of the Canary and then timing how long it takes for the notification to reach your phone. I’d recommend testing this on both Wi-Fi and cellular signal to see if there is any difference in the delay.

Please let me know what your thoughts are on the information above, and if you’re able to test the notifications again for me.


Significant (and possibly dangerous) delays in activity notifications!