Camera Advice please

Hi all. New to sharptools and currently have a fairly simply smartthings set up which looking to expand. One of the things we want is to get cameras and although a few threads exist, I can’t find a definitive answer.

We are looking for 3 cameras plus maybe a doorbell one. Would like it to work within smartthings (ie trigger automations based off movement) and also be able to display the live feeds on sharptools dash.

Are there any cams that can do both these? Not overly techy so simpler the better :slightly_smiling_face:

UK based

Thanks for any advice you can give.

Hi @Paul_HW, welcome to the community. There are ways to achieve your goal, so I am trying to throw some thoughts here:

  • To integrate camera motion into SmartThings for automation

  • To view the camera live streams in SharpTools dashboard, the camera needs to support MJPEG/JPEG, which is required by web browser. Or you need a video proxy software like TinyCam or Blue Iris to convert the video to MJPEG/JPEG protocol.

    • TinyCam is easier to setup and requires an Android device to run. (The developer recommends Nvidia Shield Pro.) Looks like Arlo and even Arlo doorbell is supported in TinyCam now.
      • Please note that Arlo doorbell does not support SmartThings integration; otherwise Arlo camera + doorbell + TinyCam can be the easiest option for you?
    • Blue Iris is probably the most advanced/powerful camera s/w, and runs on Windows, but require the community developed device handler to integrate with SmartThings
    • Both Blue Iris and TinyCam support a wide range of cameras, you can even use Wyze cam (~$25 camera) to provide the live video stream to SharpTools dashboard.

I am sorry to throw a bunch ideas here, rather than one camera/doorbell you can buy to meet all needs. :sweat_smile: It’s to my best knowledge, there is no single camera/doorbell supports ST integration and support MJPEG/JPEG streaming protocol.

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Thank you for the quick response. How did I know it wouldn’t be as simple as that :rofl:

Really good information gives me something to look into further then. Looks like maybe Arlo could work through ST and also tinycam then. I’ll have a bit more read up. Thank you.

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I think it’s one of those ‘Pick 2 of the 3’ type of situations at the moment. There’s a small selection of cameras that have a simple, native integration with SmartThings (Ring, Arlo, Samsung), but those all are closed ecosystems so they don’t have a Media Tile integration with SharpTools.

On the flip side, you can get cameras that integrate with both SharpTools and SmartThings, but it may require a bit more effort to setup - using something like TinyCam or Blue Iris for the SharpTools side of things and a community developed device handler for the SmartThings side of things.

From what I understand, the Arlo integration with TinyCam is brand new within the past ~3 months. Looking through the discussions online, it looks like it was fairly finicky at first, but the feedback from just one month ago (May 2020) seems to much more positive. So I’m not sure how good the TinyCam-Arlo integration is at the moment…

Thanks Josh.

Yes doesn’t sound like it will be just an easy decision. For outdoor cams looks like limited to earlier Arlo models or Ring for Smarthings. Then Ring doesn’t seem to be on the list for TinyCam so limits that one.

Wondering if better to get something that works better with Sharptools and use IFTTT to trigger any lights etc in ST. I can manage virtual switches and IFTTT routines.

This is definitely an option, but IFTTT can be slow since it uses PULL, not PUSH. So it’s likely to have several seconds delay, if not longer, between the active motion and the ST light turned on via IFTTT. IFTTT is a great tool, but I’d avoid using it for time sensitive home automation.