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How To Use VLC To Review Security Camera Footage

If you have a home security system, it very likely has a dashboard that allows you to view the feedback from various cameras, manage your cameras, and back up any footage you want. A good dashboard will also give you an option to playback the footage that’s been recorded, and a really good dashboard will allow you to manipulate playback so that it’s easier to review security camera footage. If it doesn’t, you can always use VLC player.

VLC player may be built for watching media but it has tools such as playback speed control and zoom that makes it a reasonably good, free app for reviewing security camera footage.

Review Security Camera Footage

There are two basic thigns you need to review security camera footage; control over playback speed, and the ability to zoom in on a specific area of the footage.

Playback Speed

You can manage playback speed in VLC by right-clicking inside the media player, and going to Playback>Speed and selecting to speed up or slow down playback. The speed is increased or decreased by 0.10.

Using the menu to increase of decrease speed is rather tedious so use the ] key to speed it up, and the [ key to slow it down.


If you need to zoom in on a part of the video, there’s an interactive tool that lets you do just that. Open the video you want to watch and go to Tools>Effects and Filters. On the window that opens, go to the Video Effects tab and then the Geometry tab. On the Geometry tab, enable Interactive Zoom.

Close the window and return to your footage. A small widow will appear in the upper left corner allowing you to choose which part of the video you want to zoom in on. Below this window, you will see a little arc that you can click to increase or decrease the zoom.

To hide the small window, click the VLC Zoom Hide option under it.

Adding Markers

You can always write down event times on a piece of paper while you’re reviewing footage but VLC has a bookmark feature that allows you to mark times in the video. To add a bookmark, use the Ctrl+B keyboard shortcut, and click Create on the window that opens.

We should mention that regardless which app you use to review security camera footage, there is no such thing that can enhance it like they can in CSI. Also, the more you zoom, the worse the quality will get.

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