How-to: Eliminate false motion detection alerts on your Hikvision IP camera or NVR

I have been running my DIY home security camera system with a slew of Hikvison cameras such as the DS-2CD2042WD-I for a couple of years now. The biggest challenge I faced when I set up my system was the incessant false alerts shot off by the cameras whenever leaves moved because of the wind or the sun played hide and seek with the clouds throwing shadows here and there.

But I soon discovered a few tricks to stop almost all false alerts using Hikvision’s built-in smart events. In this tutorial, I will show you how to set them up properly.

What’s wrong with basic motion detection?

When you are just starting out the ‘basic event’ feature provided by Hikvision may seem to be sufficient. After all it lets you set the sensitivity level right? And on ‘expert mode’ you can set different settings for day time and nigh time and even the size of the object to be detected right?

Basic Event - How to eliminate false motion detection alerts on your Hikvision IP camera or NVR - VueVille

I tried the Expert mode of the ‘Basic Event’ motion detection – still got tons of false alerts

Well the basic motion detection event is just that, basic. You can draw an area to monitor and set the sensitivity, and even set different sensitivities for day or night, but you got to remember that all the camera does is use a software algorithm to compare every frame to the previous one and see what has changed. The same settings that worked during the day won’t work and if you explored the ‘expert mode’ of the ‘basic event’, you may have figured out that you could reduce the sensitivity just during the night. But you know what? Even this degree of control and crafty zone drawing skills aren’t going to help in reality. You are still going to get tons of false alerts whenever a fly or insect wanders into the path of your camera’s onboard IR lamps.

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So what’s the solution?

Let me show you how I have virtually eliminated false alerts from my Hikvision cameras while not missing a single important motion event that I need to be alerted to: Use Advanced Motion Detection events (Hikvision calls this Smart Events) such as Intrusion Detection and Line Crossing Detection.

Before we proceed, since most modern browsers such as Chrome, Firefox and Microsoft Edge stopped supporting the NPAPI plugin that Hikvision relies on, I recommend the Pale Moon browser which will let you access your Hikvision settings page.

Most Hikvision NVRs support these smart events, so you could use the techniques I describe below to achieve the same amazing results.

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Intrusion Detection

The idea behind intrusion detection is that a real intruder would move towards and enter specific areas in your scene. Let’s look at an example below from my front door camera, a DS-2CD2542FWD-IWS.

I only need an email notification from the camera when a person is at the door. When I tried using the basic motion detection event, shadows of clouds passing by would keep triggering the event and send me false positives.

Intrusion Detection - How to eliminate false motion detection alerts on your Hikvision IP camera or NVR - VueVille

So what did I do? I needed to define 4 different parameters: the detection area itself, the dwell time in seconds (threshold), sensitivity, and the size of the object defined as a percentage of the total detection area. Whew, that sounds complicated right? How are you supposed to figure out all these things? Chill, I found an easy way of doing this.

I had the basic event defined for a few days and this gave me a large collection of motion triggered recordings from this camera. I separated these into two categories – the ones with people in them and the ones that were false positives.

I first looked at the genuine alerts, the ones that were triggered by people, to see what they did and where they stood in the scene. Watching closely where they stood and how they approached the door helped me define the smallest area I needed to draw. This is in the yellow box marked as area 1 (#1#) in the screenshot above. Visually judging how large the area occupied by the person in the scene compared to the yellow boxed area gave me a rough percentage value to use. If you set the percentage too low, you are going to get alerts of animals like cats too. Unless you want to see which of your neighbours’ pet cats is leaving a gift package at your door, don’t set this too low!

Then I looked at the motion triggered clips that did not have people in them told me that most of the false alerts were triggered by insects and headlights that crossed the scene very quickly (less than 1 sec). So that gave me the threshold.

That leaves one more setting to define – sensitivity. This is probably the toughest one as its not something you can calculate – you just got to use good ol’ trial and error here. 30 is what I recommend as a starting point.

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Line Crossing Detection

Okay so if intrusion detection is so great, why do we need another smart event type? Well there may occur situations where a person (read perpetrator) darts into your camera’s scene, does the deed and runs away quicker in less than your dwell period or ‘threshold’ setting. Like when a kid decides to ring your bell and run away. Intrusion detection is going to fail here. That’s where line crossing detection comes in.

Not only can you define the direction in which the object (perp) needs to enter your scene to trigger the alert, but you can also specify the sensitivity. When you get really specific with your motion detection types, what happens is that you are defining a narrow set of conditions that need to be satisfied to trigger an alert. That’s why the line crossing alert works so well.

Line Crossing Detection - How to eliminate false motion detection alerts on your Hikvision IP camera or NVR - VueVille

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Conclusion

Using a combination of advanced motion detection events such as intrusion detection and line crossing detection is very powerful and will drastically cut down, if not eliminate the plague of false alerts from your Hikvision cameras or NVR.

I am passionate about making it easy to get into DIY smart homes and security cameras!

40 Comments
  1. Me too Mark I run Hikvision Colourvu 5mp cameras back and front of property and a HikVision turbo hd dvr model DS-7204HUHI-K1 and camera model DS-2CE72HFT-F28. False alarms are so strong I have to turn them off on a night to avoid the pinging etc from leaves, shadows etc. Driving me crazy.

    • Steve, see my reply to Mark. Which part of the post is not clear? If you do what I have written above, you should not have as many false alarms.

  2. Hi I hope you can help me.
    I have a Hikvision H.265+ camera system.
    Receiving many unwanted alerts caused by shadows of trees.
    Can this be corrected.
    Thanks
    Mark

    • Hi Mark, have you read the post in detail? That’s what this whole post is about. Use the smart events such as line crossing and intrusion detection so that only people can trigger an alarm. Disable simple motion detection!

  3. Want to get my hikvision email notification to work tried everything unsuccessful. Wanted to set line cross and be alerted to it any way you can help? ty

  4. Hi Danielle,

    Is There w way that i can set one motion detect area in the day and then a different motion detect area at night?

  5. Just to confirm … if you have both intrusion detection and line crossing enabled, do the hikvision cameras need to match both conditions to trigger an alert or just one of the two ?

    Can you explain the “sensitivity” setting on the line crossing, is it a percentage of line crossed?

    Thanks

    • No, the intrusion detection and line crossing work independent of each other. Line crossing and other motion detection methods of IP cameras that do not have a hardware motion sensor use software to detect motion. For the line crossing method, the camera software simply compares changes in the pixels over time around the line you have drawn. The sensitivity setting is the mathematical threshold of changes before which the camera decides the line has actually been crossed.

      • Hi Daniel, thanks for this information. I have two more questions if you are able to help.

        I noticed my Hikvision IP cameras propose Max and Min size of objects to be detected which is not available in my NVR 7604 smart event configuration. Up to now I used the NVR to configure line crossing and intrusion detection for all cameras centrally and disabled the “virtual host” service in the NVR. I assume the NVR settings are simply replicated in my 2CD2163 cameras which do the detection (hope that’s true). Apart from defining the Max and Min size of objects to be detected, do you know if there is any benefit in configuring the detections directly in the camera vs the NVR?

        For sensitivity, will an increase or decrease work better for people detection during night time scenes?

        Thanks a lot

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