Pretty New to SmartThings, Adding Exterior Camera: Suggestions Please?

Have an Aeotec, and Hue hub and misc Innr, Leviton, Hue, Sonos devices
Using Simplisafe with indoor cams/2 doorbell cams, many door/window/motion/misc sensors for “security” usually off or in home mode at night
also a Samsung Q8 tv with basic smartthings showing a basic dashboard.
Looking to add exterior camera - 1 to start
I’m leaning toward an Arlo pro 4 BUT
I don’t really want another hub ( arlo’s)
Mainly want 1 camera at first just to watch dogs in backyard LIVE
Yes eventually I may want to watch backyard/frenchdoor for intrusion/patio ( THEN I might need the Arlo hub/subscription but then I have two security subscriptions :frowning: !! )
Why not just a simplisafe outdoor cam ? Well their forum has had reported lots of issues with the outdoor model and I’m enjoying smartthings A LOT .
BTW, I have serious backyard lighting for nighttime dog ‘let out’ so lighting at those times will be no big deal I have those lights in a routine for AM start of my day but no outdoor motion sensor YET

Interested in your opinions
If arlo Should I add the darn arlo hub to or can I slide INITIALLY without it?
Remember live viewing, not needing/wanting cloud storage*
Or should I consider other brands?
*NOTE: I want easy ST integration so factor that into suggestions.
First post here, so be kind :slight_smile:



Smartthings has never been very good at camera support, so if you want official native integration, there are only a couple of choices, and neither integration is very satisfactory, to be honest. A lot of community members use cameras that don’t offer much smartthings integration, and then at least bring the displays in through a third-party app, sharptools, but that’s a whole separate discussion.

There are also people who just look at their camera displays on their Amazon echo devices, or Google home devices and again don’t worry about smartthings integration.

And then there are people with strong tech skills who do create their own local integrations, but it requires a lot of custom code, and considerable work, so I don’t know if you’re interested in that.

We do need to ask what country you are in as the device selection does vary somewhat, even in North America. :thinking:

In the US, the only official integrations are with Arlo, Ring, and nest cameras, and again, none of these integrations is particularly great.


By the way, at my own house, we’ve gone from no cameras to 10 cameras over about eight years, always on a budget, and have multiple brands. We don’t integrate any of them with SmartThings, though.

We use a ring doorbell because it was one of the first ones that we got. It’s OK.

Then we went to Arlo cameras: personally, I really dislike the company’s policies and am trying to phase those out as soon as I can. When I first got them, they were promising eventual HomeKit support, which never came (probably because they want to sell their own subscriptions), and they’ve had a couple of privacy debacles which were mishandled. There are other people who love them, though, so different things will work for different people.

For outdoors, we ended up replacing most of the Arlo with Eufy, which I’ve been really happy with as a budget camera, but that’s in part because they have very good HomeKit integration, which I also use.

Indoors, I began with supercheap Wyze cameras, just to keep an eye on a cat that we were petsitting for a few months, but again, not happy with the company on a privacy basis. So for our indoor use cases, we’ve switched over to aqara, which I really like. Excellent value, and for us, they do quite well as driveway cameras with the camera indoors looking out through a window. But no smartthings integration at the time of this posting.

We use everything with Alexa and most with Apple home so we can get displays on a tablet, smart phone, Apple Watch, echo device, and fire TV.

For Our purposes, it works well. But I gave up trying to get anything camera related to work in SmartThings. Hopefully other people will respond to have more integrated systems. :sunglasses:


Thanks for the candor JDRoberts. The hype on Arlo was seducing me.
I am in Atlanta, GA suburbs
Maybe I’ll just add a cam to simplisafe & save $$ for other items.
Thanks for sharptools link. Will peruse that.


That’s one of the frustrating things about the recent big players entering the camera market – they tend to lock things down to their own walled gardens and often skip industry standards like ONVIF/RTSP. Especially players like Ring, Arlo, etc.

Matter 1.2 was supposed to introduce camera support, but I don’t recall any major announcements around implementations of that yet.

It’s also interesting the HomeKit has excelled in this space by offering HomeKit Secure Video as a standard that several camera manufacturers have implemented.


It seems like it’s all about the money. :grimacing:

FWIW, the Wyze camera used to have alternative RTSP firmware, but I haven’t heard anything about it recently: if it still exists, if it can work on the newer cameras, etc. If it did, that could be an option for some folks…

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