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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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.

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I am Daniel and VueVille is where I document my DIY smart home journey. I focus on 100% local-processing and local-storage because that’s the only way to secure my family’s safety and privacy. Oh and I don’t like monthly subscriptions!

  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.

      • Hi Daniel great site with loads of information. I have the same set up as Steve. When I look at the settings I cant select expert and dont have a percentage setting. As I’m new to all this and a bit of a technophobe I’m hoping it’s something simple. Thanks for any help

        • Hi Daniel, Thanks for the reply. I had misunderstood, I can easily see now I’ve re read it. I thought you needed to be in expert to see the percentage setting but it just seems that my set up doesn’t allow for percentages.
          I’ve set my intrusion detection similar to you but I still get alarms if anything is in, for example, the top right of the frame. That shouldn’t happen should it?

        • Not unless you have defined an area there. Try deleting all the defined areas and start from scratch.

        • Hi Ray, you don’t need expert mode at all. Expert mode is a subset of the basic motion detection (‘basic event’ in the menu) which we will not use!

          I mentioned expert mode of the basic event in the article because ironically even the expert mode will not reduce false alerts much.

          In this article, I am demonstrating how you can use advanced motion methods alone (‘smart event’ in the menu = intrusion detection and line crossing) to reduce false alerts. There is no expert mode for the smart event screen (see my screenshots).

          So just leave basic events disabled.

        • Hi Daniel

          Really useful information thank you!

          I like Ray am unable to access the expert mode, any help would be appreciated, please?

        • Hi Richard, you don’t need expert mode at all. Expert mode is a subset of the basic motion detection (‘basic event’ in the menu) which we will not use!

          I mentioned expert mode of the basic event in the article because ironically even the expert mode will not reduce false alerts much.

          In this article, I am demonstrating how you can use advanced motion methods alone (‘smart event’ in the menu = intrusion detection and line crossing) to reduce false alerts. There is no expert mode for the smart event screen (see my screenshots).

          So just leave basic events disabled.

  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.

    • 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?


    • 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

  6. First, Great Article Daniel, and thanks for taking the time! I have several HIK cameras, they have the settings you refer too. However, since making these adjustments alerts have completely stopped. I have basic events disabled. Any ideas? I have looked through the settings several times, but I just am not seeing it.

  7. Hi. Thanks for this article. How do we access the configuration page via windows 10 laptop or android mobile phone? What address do we need to input in the search engine?

  8. One if my cameras will not allow me to set line crossing. It reports camera error. Any ideas.

  9. hello Daniel!well said.i have the Hikvision DS-2CD2525FWD-IWS and sometimes the camera cannot record movement if i cross it (not quite) has to do with my internet speed or its a setting value i have to adjust?thank you in advance

  10. Hi all,
    just a simple question.
    Is the line crossing detecion a function of the camera or a NVR function?

    Thank you

  11. Hello Daniel!
    Very good info here! I too am plagued with false alarms do to bugs flying around the camera. I’m still fine tuning some of the settings with intrusion detection. My question is the sensitive setting in the intrusion detection page. I’m confused by it, is the higher the number the more sensitive or reverse? I understand percentage just fine. Also threshold, what is that equal too, seconds? I only have 0 – 1 – 2.

    Thanks for ANY help!!


  12. Thanks for your help.
    I configured the smart event and it’s ok. I also want to record them.
    The solution I found, enable the “basic event” without linkage method. Enable the “smart event” with the linkage allerte
    In the end all events are recorded and alerts only for smart events. An idea to record only smart events
    Sory for my bad english
    Thak you

  13. Thanks for the guide. How do you enable the smart event option?

    • Login to your camera admin page, then navigate to Configuration and look for something like “Smart Event” under Events. Hikvision keeps renaming this so just look for “Line crossing” and “Intrusion Detection”.

      • Thanks for the answer. But the admin camera page just has the Basic Event. So I thought there is a way to activate the Smart Event option. Maybe it depends of the camera model?
        Thanks again

        • Yes it does depend on the camera model. In my older Hikvisions, I need to go to Configuration > Advanced Configuration > Events to find the line crossing and intrusion detection options. What model is your camera?

  14. Nice article; thanks!

    One thing that confuses me: as soon as you enable the Smart event, then you can completely forget (and disable) the Basic events?

    Or is it a matter of using them both: is the Smart event a kind of addition for the Basic event?

    • I’ve got a Hikvision DS-7216HWI-SL NVR that I purchased on eBay but the features mentioned aren’t available on my firmware and I can’t seem to find an updated version to download anywhere. Can anyone help?

    • Its up to you – if you leave both basic and smart enabled both type of events will fire. This is desirable in some cases – my QNAP NAS Surveillance Station responds only to the basic motion triggers so I keep this enabled. I still like the camera to record smart event motion detection clips to the onboard SD card so I keep the smart events also enabled.

  15. I’ve recently installed three Hikvision mini dome cameras outside my home and have been losing the will to live trying to set up the motion detection! Thank you so much for this info, I’m now getting some good results with your advice.

  16. Do you know why some of my cameras support this feature and some of them don’t, even though they are the exact same cameras? I get “The camera does not support the function” on all but channel 1 and channel 2 on my HikVision. Great article, thanks!

  17. What about non-Hik NVR’s, my Synology NVR is full of false positives…
    And, with the recent firmwares, I find that all my newer Hik cameras now record for 2 1/2 minutes regardless… Nightmare!

  18. What products did you use and is this the free version of software ? Secondly can I somehow get alerts on my mobile if I am away from home ? Any info in this regard will be really helpful for me.

    • Just a Hikvision camera – it has an on-board NVR that can record to a network drive, on-board SD card or an FTP server. You don’t need any additional hardware or software the camera does it all. Yes you can get alerts on your phone when you are away from home – most cameras can do it in a plug and play manner or you can run your own VPN server at home for maximum security.

  19. your description on your settings provided me assistance to avoid my three outdoor cats constantly setting off the motion sensor. i know when summer comes it will be more adjustments for spiders and moths..thanks much man !

    • Happy to help! My neighbours cat loves hanging out in our yard and I had the same issues till I figured out the advanced motion detection settings. Spiders and moths – check out this post.

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