WiFi Cameras that work with SmartThings but allow local storage?


(Ben) #1

I had the SchlageLink/Nexia system before I switched to SmartThings and it had a crappy 640x480 z-wave and Wi-Fi camera. A firmware update before I switched to SmartThings sort of bricked that camera where before you could load a generic firmware and use it with just about anything.

After switching to SmartThings (before they had the Samsung camera) there were a few cams you could get to work with unofficial device handlers, etc but there wasn’t a lot to choose from. Now it seems there are more but it also seems many of the major camera players are shilling for their own cloud storage services and not allowing local network or generic FTP video storage.

Early on I got a 4 pack of Foscam C1 cameras. They were 720p and had night vision and there was an unofficial integration to SmartThings. But the C1 specifically had one flaw sadly. It didn’t support MJPEG streaming as a quirk of the chipset they used for it. It did H.264 of course, but lots of apps, including the integration with the SmartThings app wanted the MJPEG to show video in the app or on SmartTiles, etc.

Now Foscam has somewhat recently started pimping their own cloud storage service so I am wondering how long local/FTP storage is for this world. I am sure there are other cams that could work, but the latest DDoS attacks with some of the many el cheapo cameras out there scares me too.

I want to invest in cameras that will work with SmartThings, but it seems most of the major players are trying to railroad you into their cloud services too.

Anyone have thoughts on cameras that integrate nicely with SmartThings that allow local network video storage?

Ben Lewitt
Grand Rapids, MI


Foscam vs. Amcrest with Smartthings
(Ben Lebson) #2

The D-Link Cameras supported by SmartThings all have a SD card you can use for storage. You’d have to install my custom D-Link Camera Manager (Connect) SmartApp to leverage those settings, however.


(Jimmy) #3

I kicked this around for a while and just ponied up the $45 for Blue Iris. I’ve been thrilled with it. I’m able to use the motion detection in BI to trigger a motion device in ST, so now wherever I have a camera I also have functional motion detector that depending on the mode can also record video. FWIW, RBoy’s Foscam DTH can stream the RTSP stream for the C1.


(Ben) #4

So does the Blue Iris software do all the work as far as integrating with SmartThings? If so that’d be interesting and allow for heterogeneous hardware rather than having to have cam of the month or stick with one vendor. Does it work with things like the camera on the Ring doorbell?

Also I am using RBoy’s integrations, but I am not sure I know what DTH is without digging into the docs. Currently I know in the SmartThings app the video doesn’t show and things like taking snaps don’t work. But it’s been a while since I’ve dug into it. I’ve kept his SmartApp and Handler up to date, but never really revisited it, figuring it worked with that model as well as it was going to.

Thanks

Ben


(Jimmy) #5

Here’s my setup:

  1. Blue Iris profile trigger Smart App
    Blue Iris uses profiles as one way to determine when cameras should monitor for motion, record for motion, adjust sensitivity, etc. This app changes those profiles based on your Smart Things mode. So when my ST is in away mode, all cameras record on motion. When in home mode, only the front porch camera. When in night mode, only the front porch camera but with a wider field for motion detection.
    Blue Iris - profile trigger

  2. Http endpoint motion detector
    Blue Iris can also hit a website address (aka HTTP endpoint) whenever motion is detected. This smart app links individual cameras in Blue Iris to a simulated motion sensor. So for all profiles in Blue Iris i have this setup.
    Blue Iris motion detection to activate smart app

I also have Rboy’s app, but don’t use it very often since setting up the endpoint motion and it’s quicker to open the Blue Iris app on my phone to view livestreams.


(Ben) #7

Thanks for that info Jimmy. I actually discovered a bug in RBoy’s Device Handler that caused a lot of my consternation with the Foscam units. I use a public DNS Hostname and not a public IP (because that can change) and his handler uses a cloud name resolution service that appears to have been shutdown. I mentioned it to him and he confirmed it said there will be a workaround eventually.

Now your pointing out Blue Iris has me rethinking my whole concept of how I should be integrating cameras into SmartThings. The Blue Iris program seems interesting and perhaps more efficient, but I am not sure yet what functionality one might lose or whether direct-cam integration or Blue Iris integration would be more responsive.

So I need stop and rethink what I am going to have the camera doing itself (if anything) and what Blue Iris will take care of as far as what integrates with SmartThings and what is most efficient and responsive.

Main things I did when integrating directly with the cameras:

  • Use camera as motion sensor to trigger SmartThings action
  • Manually turn motion sensing on or off in the ST app (changing areas that the cam watches for motion can only be set on the individual cam’s web interface… and that’s fine)
  • Change IR from Auto to Manual On or Off
  • Take a snapshot with ST app
  • Look at video/audio in the ST app or SmartTiles

I am wondering if Blue Iris can do everything I’ll want or whether I will have to have some combination of RBoy’s Foscam integration and Blue Iris for SmartThings. I just added a PTZ camera too to the 4 C1 units that are just stationary.

However I figure the Ring doorbell video is just a lost cause as it’s tied to their cloud service.

It does seem having all the cams exposed to the internet isn’t exactly the most optimal scenario, especially in light of URLs with admin passwords being sent over the internet to do everything. Probably best to keep all that in the internal network if possible.

Anyway I am mostly brainstorming at the moment. Is Blue Iris considered the best of it’s kind that integrates with SmartThings? I heard about iSpy too, but I don’t mind paying for a good one-time software solution if it’s worth it.

Ben


#8

It looks like ST removed DLink cameras from their app and supported devices page. Anyone have any info on that? Was just getting ready to buy some DLink cameras.


(Ben Lebson) #9

They have never been an official ‘works with SmartThings’ device (which is just a marketing label). They still have their integration within the app. SmartThings changed their compatability list to only show devices that officially have the “works with SmartThings” designation, so integrations like the D-Link Cameras and Sonos are no longer shown on the list but still exist.


#10

Thanks for the response. I see how to integrate D-Link cameras. I really wish ST would take IP camera integration more seriously.


(Chris ) #11

Has anyone considered VLC integration for local storage or triggering cloud to stream and using VLC to record RTSP stream via command line?

Throw the command into a batch script and let it loop every 10 minutes or length of your choice.

Its rather simple and the GUI actually provides you everything you need (almost) to use the command line. It also lets you choose the length of the clip you want to record after motion.

Media > Open Network Stream

URL: “rtsp://192.168.1.17:554”

Click dropdown next to play and select stream.
Next
To save to file, click File from the drop down and click add.
Give it a file name and location (you can change this later)
Next
You can select a profile for transcoding. In my instance I found it best to select Video - H.264 + MP3 (MP4) and clicking the preference icon to fine tune what I wanted
Next
Now this screen is the bread and butter. Copy the entire Generate stream output string and set it aside

Code: Select all
:sout=#transcode{acodec=none}:file{dst=c:\example\mov.mp4,no-overwrite} :sout-keep

Open up your terminal

Code: Select all
vlc -vvv --sout “#transcode{acodec=none}:file{dst=c:\example\mov.mp4,no-overwrite}”

For Arlo…
If you don’t want to hack into Arlo hub like I described in another post this is a simple workaround for local storage as you can stream it instantly as triggered even is happening and record right to local storage, then set to delete from cloud ( can incorporate into code depending on needs/ skill level) immediately after recording to local storage.


#12

Hi Crussell:

I tried searching for the post you mentioned regarding “For Arlo…
If you don’t want to hack into Arlo hub like I described in another post” but I cannot seem to find it.

If you can kindly tell me which post to read regarding making Arlo storing locally, it’ll be very appreciated.

Thanks,