Video unplayable from one Spotlight Cam Battery - Solved

Hi,

I have two Spotlight Cam Battery (SCB) and one Video Doorbell Pro.
One of the Spotlight Cam Battery is producing videos that don’t play back.

Both SCB have identical settings (i compared them side by side).
The problematic SCB device health shows everything good. WiFi RSSI is -47. The cam is capturing snapshots every 15 minutes. It is also alerting as it should.

When using the PC to look at videos, all videos from the bad SCB will not play and flashes a msg “Your video is processing. Please try again later”. This even after days have passed by.

How do I fix this?

Aloke

PS: It takes a long time to get a Live view from this SCB.
The other (correctly functioning SCB has RSSI of -57 and still works fine. So, I don’t think it is the quality of my internet connection to the bad SCB that is causing the problem.

This what it looks like on the PC

Hi @Aloke. Thanks for sharing that screenshot as well as clearly detailing what concern you’re experiencing. When you say you’re trying to view videos on your PC, are you on www.ring.com or are you using one of the desktop apps - either the MAC or Windows version? Are you able to view these same videos from the Ring App on your iPhone or Android smartphone or tablet?

It is from www.ring.com. The screenshot is from Chrome on a Windows 10 machine.

My 2 other Ring devices (another Spotlight cam battery, and a Video doorbell pro) are working fine, so it is not an issue with my router settings. All 3 devices are connected to the SSID WiFi 2.4 G network.

There is something about this Spotlight cam in that it produces defective videos and takes a long time (often times out) to get a Live view.

By the way, some videos (maybe 10%) from this defective cam does play. I have no idea why.

For future posts, I’ll refer to my Ring devices by their name:

  1. Video Doorbell Pro - Door
  2. Spotlight Cam battery that works fine - Backyard
  3. Spotlight Cam battery that is giving problems - Garage

@Aloke Thanks for clarifying that you’re on the Ring website. Can you view these videos using the Ring App on a smartphone or tablet? If the videos also do not play on a smartphone or tablet, that helps narrow down if the problem is on the website or with the Spotlight Cam itself. If it’s in the garage, it’s possible that it is experiencing some interference in the wifi signal which can cause the videos not to record properly or for the Live View to not activate quickly.

I’d suggest checking the RSSI on the Spotlight Cam and making sure it’s within an acceptable range. You can read more about the RSSI in our Community Post here. You can also find troubleshooting tips and suggestions for Live View concerns here. If you can’t find a solution after checking those, please give our support team a call at one of the numbers available here so they can take a closer look for you. We’re taking additional steps to protect our team and help reduce the spread of COVID-19, so this has resulted in longer than normal wait times. If you are outside of the US, please read our response to COVID-19 here to see how to contact support. :slight_smile:

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Hello @Aloke ,

I’m not sure if this is your case, but I had a similar problem with one of my 5 outdoor Stick Up Plug-In Cameras.

On this one camera, I too had a pretty low RSSI value, and the Snapshots and Notifications were working fine. But I often had difficulties activating “Live-View” (long delays or failure to connect). And playbacks of recorded videos were mostly either completely black, wouldn’t play, or just weren’t there at all (symptoms of a Wi-Fi issue).

As for the RSSI value, it is just a useful “tool” indicator about your Wi-Fi signal to the Ring camera. But you can have a “Good” value and yet have “Poor” high-data transmission issues. In my case, even though this problematic camera was the closest of them all to the Wi-Fi indoor Router/Modem, the straight-line path between them made the signal pass through the fireplace’s metal-grate and a thick brick chimney. And I really could not move either the placement of the camera nor the Router location to change this path and avoid the brick chimney.

Things like Alert sounds, Notifications, and Snapshots are low-data bursts which were able to successfully pass through my bricks and metal grate. The more intensive high-data streams of the video/audio were not as successful.

The solution in my case was using a Ring Chime Pro, which has a built-in Wi-Fi extender/repeater. So, now the Wi-Fi signal path goes from Stick Up camera, to the linked Chime-Pro, to the Wi-Fi Router, so the path travels around and avoids going straight through the thick chimney. With this new path, even though the distance is much greater for the signal to travel than before, my “Live-View” and videos work fine now. I also linked my Video Doorbell to this Ring Chime Pro (which is located much closer than my router), which improved the RSSI too, resulting in much quicker response time to get Live-view and talk to people at my door.

I do not know if there are signal-obstruction structures between your router and your troublesome Spotlight cam. But if there is, then you probably should re-route the signal path too (use a Wi-Fi extender or move the Router modem). I hope you find this information helpful. :wink:

RSSI on the Garage (misbehaving) is -47.
RSSI on the Backyard (works) is -57.

The videos don’t play from my 2 iPhones and iPad pro (all updated). They don’t play on Ring.com on a Windows 10 PC either (screenshot in earlier post).

Before I call support, I’ll do a factory reset on the Garage and also measure the WiFi speed at the cam location in the Ring app.

I doubt that this is a bandwidth issue (the cam is 20 ft away from the router, with a wooden frame house wall. I can move the router to my window sill where it will have a line of sight (just a pane of glass) between it and the cam (same 20 ft distance). For testing.

Ah @Aloke , OK . . . wooden frame house . . . yeah, that does Not sound like my case with the signal’s line-of-sight going through a thick brick chimney.

Other things that come to my mind could be something near the Garage camera causing Wi-Fi interference (electrical motors, devices, etc) or if the camera is located in the cone area above or below the Router’s location (generally Wi-Fi signals ‘fan out’ horizontally, with poor “cones of silence” above and below).

Your idea to do a hard “Factory Reset” sounds like an excellent idea!

I hope you eventually are successful solving your issue.
:crossed_fingers: :wink:

What’s puzzling is when things stop working for no apparent reason after working fine for months.

It could be my neighbor getting a new Wi-Fi on the same channel(s), or Ring firmware update (which Ring keeps secret on when it updates devices or to which version). I doubt that its an iOS or app version issue, as the videos don’t play in a ring.com on a PC browser.

Here’s my plan:

  1. Bring the camera indoors and in the same room as the router. If it starts working, its a Wi-Fi issue. That is the only thing that changed (and the signal is the best it can be). If it still doesn’t work, its something other than Wi-Fi

  2. Do a factory reset and set it up again as a new device. Keep it in the same room as the router.
    If it still doesn’t work, the device is defective. Clearly, its not Wi-Fi. If it starts working, then move it out to the driveway after checking the bandwidth (using the Ring app) at that location.

Hello again @Aloke ,

That sounds like and excellent plan! When you mentioned your neighbor getting a new Wi-Fi router on the same channel, that reminded me of two things that I’ve personally experienced.

  1. Ring cameras sometimes don’t perform well when they have heavy competition with other Wi-Fi devices that you have attached to your 2.4 GHz router.

  2. Interference from other nearby Wi-Fi routers on the same channel can also cause major impacts on your Ring cameras when they are performing their high-data streams of video/audio.

This was what I did to address these two issues, and it may help you.

Because Ring high-data-stream video does NOT do well competing for bandwidth, try to reduce the “2.4 GHz competition”. On my Wi-Fi Router, both my 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands were originally configured using the same network name (SSID) and password for both bands. So I reconfigured my dual-band router into two separate SSID log-in names (check your Wi-Fi provider’s website, YouTube, etc. on how to access router’s configuration). I named the SSID for my 2.4 GHz band to “2WireXXX” and named the SSID for my 5 GHZ band “2WireXXX-5G” leaving both with the same password. Then with any of my other Wi-Fi devices that could use 5 GHz, I used “forget this network” (so they wouldn’t go back to the 2.4) and then logged them on to only onto the “2WireXXX-5G.” By moving as many of my other 5 GHz capable devices as I could to only use the 5 GHz band, I discovered all my 2.4 GHz Ring cameras performance increased.

To deal with the potential interference that you may be getting from your neighbors, you might want to consider modifying your 2.4 GHz Channel Selection too. In Auto mode, routers often pick only 3 of the main, commonly-used channels in Auto Mode (Ch 1, Ch 6, Ch 11), and occasionally hop between these 3 channels when the router believes a channel is becoming congested. I changed the configuration and deselected the AUTO mode (hopping) to a MANUAL channel (fixed) selection. Now there are 11 channels (1 thru 11) to choose from. To pick the “least interference channel” to get the best performance, I downloaded a free App on my Window’s PC (Wi-Fi Analyzer and Scanner). Then I configured my router (not to use its Auto Channel Selection Mode) and to stay on the 2.4 GHz channel of my choice. In my case, I found that Ch 4, which is in between the typically used channels, gave me the strongest signal and lowest interference, according to the Analyzer App. This channel did reduce the Wi-Fi interference I was getting from my neighbor’s routers. With this Manual channel selection, I also did notice an improvement on my Ring cameras connection speed too.

These might be helpful to you too :wink:

I’m using Orbi, which uses the same SSID for all devices. The devices connect to 2.4 or 5 GHz according to the capabilities of the said device. For example, I can see from the Orbi’s management interface that my Video Doorbell Pro is connecting at 5GHz but the 2 Spotlight Cam Battery are connecting at 2.4 GHz.
As far as I can tell, all my devices capable of 5 GHz are already on that band. So, I cannot off-load my 2.4 GHz by much.
Because this problem started recently, I’m suspecting either interference from neighbor’s WiFi or some problem w the device.
Normally, people recommend Auto to allow the router(s) to detect the amount of interference and the fact that Ch 1, 6, 10 don’t overlap. But your approach is a good one provided I can use a WiFi analyzer tool to check myself on the best Ch to set my router to.

Would you please tell me which Win 10 software is the best one for this?
Are you using this: https://www.microsoft.com/en-us/p/wifi-analyzer-and-scanner/9nblggh5qk8q?activetab=pivot:overviewtab
It hasn’t been updated for a while (2016)…

Hello @Aloke ,

Looks like your Orbi is set up that same way my Router initially was, using the same SSID for both bands of 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz. In my case, as I posted above, I preferred to split and change the SSID into two separate SSID names so that I had more control over which Wi-Fi devices in my household used which band. But this is just a personal preference, so if you are happy with your setup, then I wouldn’t change it.

Yes, your Ring Video Doorbell Pro can use either the 2.4 GHz or 5 GHz band, but currently Spotlight Cams can only use the 2.4 GHz band. Generally, Ring products do better on the 2.4 GHz band because the longer Wi-Fi range is better through walls. Although 5 GHz band is faster, physical obstructions can severe limit its range.

The link you provided above for the “Wifi Analyzer and Scanner” IS the same program that I used (by WebProvider version 1.2.1.0.) and yeah it is old (2016) but it worked well for me for choosing a manual fixed channel for both 2.4 GHz and 5 GHz bands (scroll down in this program for 5 GHz band). The only thing I didn’t like was in the upper-right-corner of this program, it recommends a channel it believes has the least interference. I disregarded using this, because often when you manually set your channel, your neighbor’s nearby routers will react (since they are in AUTO mode) and then you could end up with even more Wi-Fi interference. So I tried several channels, then watched their routers react with this program, and settled on the channel that continually provided the least interference no matter which channel their routers hopped to. In my case, I picked Ch4 in the 2.4 GHz band, and even though there is overlap from the AUTO channels (CH1 and CH6), I still ended up with the least interference overall. Plus, getting off the typical Channels ( 1, 6, 11) I know I’ll always be off my neighbor’s Wi-Fi band, no matter where their routers hop to. So, it takes a little tweaking and trial-and-error.

As another note, Ring devices that are capable of using the Wi-Fi 5 GHz (like the Ring Video Doorbell Pro and the Ring Chime Pro) tend to be “Channel picky.” If your router hops above the 5 GHz Channel 48, then Ring devices often will drop off-line. With your non-SSID-split router, probably your Doorbell Pro tends to then jump back to 2.4 GHz automatically if your router does hop higher than channel 48.

Ring devices capable of using 5 GHz work best with manually fixed with these 4 channels: Ch36, Ch40, Ch 44, and Ch48. You should also consider removing the AUTO on your 5 GHz band too and use the Wi-Fi Analyzer to pick a manual fixed channel from these 4 channels choices only.

Here’s a link that explains Ring with 5 GHz Wi-Fi channels:

I hope this additional info is helpful to you. :grin:

Here is an interim progress report:

Brought the “Garage” cam inside my office, where it is sitting 2 feet from the same router it was connected to all this while. No other changes.

The RSSI value now is -26

The symptoms continue. The Garage cam continues to take the Snapshots on schedule, but does not give me Live view (gets stuck at “Activating Device”. The videos captured by the Garage cam continues to not play on any of my iOS Ring app or ring.com on Chrome on Windows 10 PC.

My other Spotlight Battery cam (Backyard) and Doorbell Pro continue to work correctly.

In a way, I’m relieved. I did not want to go down the “fix the Wi-Fi connection” rabbit hole unnecessarily.

I’ll give this a couple more days to verify that the problem continues with this particular device despite stellar Wi-Fi connectivity. Then do the Factory reset on the weekend.

Aloke

@Aloke , thanks for the update! Yup yup . . . I agree with you . . . sure sounds like it’s the cam itself and not a Wi-Fi issue.

  • Try removing the battery for a minute and reinstall (like a easy reboot).

  • Maybe during one of the firmware updates, your cam might have potentially got some slightly corrupted firmware. The Factory Reset (holding the reset button for at least 20-seconds) will ‘wipe’ any firmware received during and after your initial setup. Once you accomplish the Factory Reset, then during the setup after, it will again get the latest firmware and hopefully be a “clean” update.

Good job troubleshooting and it sounds like you have a good plan! If then it still has issues, I recommend you call Ring Support for additional help: .

Unfortunately, due to the Covid-19, you may encounter slightly longer than normal wait times:

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Update:

Reboot, strong Wi-Fi location did not fix the issue.

I removed the device from my account, factory reset the device, added it to my account and the problem has been fixed.

I now have over 100 videos recorded by “Garage” cam, mounted at the same location as it always been.

I’d like to mark this thread as “Solved” to help others with similar problems.

Aloke
PS: My hypothesis is that a botched firmware update made this cam generate corrupted videos that could not be processed by the Ring servers. Its unfortunate that Ring does not disclose firmware versions or update histories of its devices.

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@Aloke Thanks for sharing this update, I’m glad that the reset and fresh setup helped resolved your concern! I went ahead and marked your response as a solution so other neighbors with a similar concern can reference this thread for help. :slight_smile:

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