I was convinced it wouldn’t happen, yet here we are: The Wyze Cam v3 officially supports RTSP (Real Time Streaming Protocol). In fact, it has done so since September 23, but somehow news of this development never came under my radar. This should be great news for those on the lookout for a cheap security camera that delivers decent quality video streams. Home Assistant users and those that run their own, private NVR, have been asking for this feature ever since Wyze announced the third iteration of their popular security camera.
However, not everything in the garden is rosy. As has been the case with previous Wyze Cam models, the RTSP feature isn’t baked into the official firmware, but is delivered as a separate, experimental firmware. And as has also been the case in the past, that firmware is already outdated. If that can’t dissuade you from considering the Wyze Cam v3 for its RTSP capabilities, there is one additional deal-breaker.
- Color night vision: An all-new Starlight Sensor records nighttime video in full, vivid colour.
- Indoor/Outdoor: Wyze Cam v3 is a wired video camera with an IP65 rating, so you can confidently install it outside in the rain or inside in the kid’s room.
- Motion & Sound detection: The camera records video when motion or sound is detected and sends an alert straight to your phone.
Why RTSP support for the Wyze Cam v3 matters
Just like every other security camera vendor, Wyze wants you to use their app. After all, that is where they will attempt to sell you their cloud storage services, and tie you in to their ecosystem. What this doesn’t allow you, the owner of a Wyze Cam v3, to do, is use third-party software, such as the excellent Frigate or Blue Iris. In fact, you can’t even view the camera’s stream on your Home Assistant dashboard.
Thankfully, Wyze caught on to the fact that many power users were interested in their low-cost but high-quality cameras, but were holding off purchasing one because of the app lock-in. Contrary to many other providers that not only sell cameras but also cloud services, Wyze decided to throw those users a bone in the form of a special RTSP-enabled firmware.
RTSP isn’t something only power users should be interested in. Because RTSP allows you to use a local NVR, you don’t need to expose your camera to the internet. At least, in theory it should. Additionally, were Wyze to cease existing, the RTSP functionality would allow you to continue using your camera.
Downsides of installing the RTSP firmware on the Wyze Cam v3
As I mentioned in the introduction, Wyze based the current RTSP firmware on an already outdated firmware. The latest official firmware brought the camera up to version 184.108.40.206, whereas the RTSP firmware is tuck on version 4.36.2.X. This does mean that those running the RTSP firmware do not have the latest security improvements and bug-fixes.
The far bigger issue, however, is the fact that even when using RTSP, the Wyze Cam v3 wants to be connected to the internet. There are multiple reports of this being the case on the Wyze forums, so I’m led to believe this is actually true. The fact that a security camera capable of RTSP needs an active internet connection will be a deal-breaker for many looking to by the Wyze Cam v3.
Alternatives to Wyze Cam v3
If you are looking for a security camera that is easy to use, has an app, but also supports RTSP, Reolink’s line-up is what I suggest you take a look at. The Reolink E1 Zoom and E1 Pro (but not the E1) have a similar feature set to the Wyze Cam v3 and cost only slightly more.
Reolink has even published a list of what each NVR software can do with their cameras. There is also a guide available on how to add Reolink cameras to Blue Iris.