Wyze has released a RTSP firmware for the Wyze Cam v3
The Wyze Cam is a top-rated security camera not only due to its low price point. With the latest model, the Wyze Cam V3, only $20 get you an IP65-rated, simultaneous 2-way communication capable, Full-HD security camera with a Starlight CMOS Sensor (this allows the camera to see colours in near darkness). When compared to the competition, the Wyze Cam V3 at that price is an absolute steal.
Not only do you get great hardware, but you also get 14 days worth of cloud storage for free, and support for local microSD recording (for which you should definitely be using Endurance rated microSD cards). For only $2 per month, Wyze’s Cam Plus offers support for unlimited-length event recordings, with no cool-down time between them. The free option is limited to 12 seconds per clip, with a mandatory five-minute gap between them.
Currently, there are three Wyze Cams available for purchase: the Wyze Cam V2 and its successor, the Wyze Cam V3, and the Wyze Cam Pan. The Wyze Cam V3 is a direct upgrade to the V2. It looks and functions very similar but with improved specs, a wider field of view, higher-frame-rate recording, and weatherproofing. The Wyze Cam Pan has similar specs to the V2 and is additionally capable of panning. You might be thinking there is no reason to go with the Wyze Cam V2 now that the V3 is available. But the V2 does currently have one major advantage, and it concerns users of Home Assistant.
Table of Contents
- Wyze has released a RTSP firmware for the Wyze Cam v3
- What even is the Wyze Cam?
- Integrating the Wyze Cam V2 and Wyze Cam Pan with Home Assistant
- Integrating the Wyze Cam V3 with Home Assistant
- Alternatives to the Wyze Cam
What even is the Wyze Cam?
If you take a look at any of the past Wyze Cams, they might seem to resemble cameras from Chinese vendors such as Xiaomi or Neos. That is because they likely are, in fact, the same cameras. Security cameras such as the Wyze Cams and Xiaomi Dafang cameras are most likely purchased in bulk from Chinese OEMs (Original Equipment Manufacturers), flashed with a custom firmware, and sold under different names. It has been speculated that that is how Wyze have been able to sell their security cameras at such a low price, they let someone else take care of the hardware.
The way these vendors stand out is by trying to offer the best app experience. While the Wyze app doesn’t have the best Play Store and Apple Store ratings, they do offer a very generous free tier and an inexpensive paid tier with many benefits.
From the outside, the Wyzecam Pan is identical to the Xiaomi Dafang and Wyze Cam V2 is identical to the Xiaomi Xiaofang 1S and Neos SmartCam. They are, in fact, so similar, you can even flash them with the same custom firmware. I couldn’t tell you whether they share the same insides, as the Wyze Cams are quite hard to come by in Europe bu, butt it is as like as not that they do.
Integrating the Wyze Cam V2 and Wyze Cam Pan with Home Assistant
The Wyze Cam V2 and Wyze Cam Pan both fall under the same category. They can both be flashed with an official RTSP enabled firmware and both can be flashed with the same custom firmware. There is also the slightly convoluted option of using an unused Android device or Android virtual machine to host a tinyCam PRO server and then relaying the feeds to Home Assistant.
RTSP firmware for Wyze Cam and Wyze Cam Pan
There is one reason and one reason only to go with the Wyze Cam V2 or Wyze Cam Pan over the Wyze Cam V3 as of today. Wyze has made an official firmware with RTSP capabilities available for the V2 and Pan. Once flashed, all it takes are a few lines of YAML to integrate the Wyze Cam V2 with Home Assistant. The same goes for the Wyze Cam Pan.
Though the RTSP firmware is still in beta and most likely won’t be updated any time soon it does seem to do alright for those using it. The Wyze website currently states that they are not committing to ongoing maintenance for RTSP firmware (although security updates will be released). Using the RTSP component you can view your video feed in Home Assistant and add it to your Lovelace dashboard.
Xiaomi DaFang Hacks (custom firmware) for Wyze Cam
The second option is to flash the Wyze Cam V2 or Wyze Cam Pan with the custom firmware mentioned earlier. By flashing the custom firmware you will remove any indication that your security camera was ever a Wyze Cam. The custom firmware includes an RTSP-server which can easily be integrated with Home Assistant. There are a few more advantages to the custom firmware but it is definitely more complicated to get set up.
Using the custom firmware you can integrate the Wyze Cam V2 and Wyze Cam Pan with Home Assistant using the generic camera component. Other sensors which are located on the Wyze Cam can be easily integrated via MQTT Discovery. This will give you access to values from the light and motion sensor. It will also add switches to Home Assistant which allow you to toggle the IR filter, the LEDs (including the infrared LED), the night mode, the motion detecting, and the motion tracking. If the security camera supports panning you can also control it from Home Assistant.
I have personally installed the custom firmware on a Xiaomi Dafang security camera (which is the same as a Wyze Cam) and can attest that it takes some tinkering to perfect. Once the settings are dialled I wasn’t experiencing any issues whatsoever. I like the fact that I can control the motors as it allows me to have indoor security cameras face a wall whenever someone is home.
tinyCam PRO server
tinyCam is an Android app for remote surveillance, control, and video recording your private/public network or IP cameras, video encoders, and DVRs with CCTV cams. Currently, tinyCam only lists the Wyze Cam V2 and Wyze Cam Pan as supported models. I haven’t been able to find any reports of the app working with the Wyze Cam V3, or it even being tested for that matter.
Unfortunately, tinyCam only exists as an Android app and isn’t available for Windows, Linux, or macOS. That means that you will either have to have a dedicated Android device turned on at all times, Android running as a virtual machine (VM) or an Android emulator to run it. There is a guide on the Home Assistant forum on how to get tinyCam set up using the Genymotion Android emulator and integrating it with Home Assistant. There is also a thread on Reddit detailing how to get an Android VM running on Unraid for use with tinyCam.
Integrating the Wyze Cam V3 with Home Assistant
The Wyze Cam V3 is the company’s latest security camera and it comes at no extra cost when compared to its predecessor. Most reviews I’ve read so far have been singing the praises of it. It would be perfect for anyone looking for a cheap but good security camera to integrate with Home Assistant. That is if Wyze were to finally open up their system to third parties. As things stand there is, unfortunately, no way of integrating the Wyze Cam V3 with Home Assistant yet and there most likely won’t be an easy of integrating the two anytime soon.
Wyze has so far resisted the calls for an official and documented API, which would give developers the much-needed access to the Wyze Cam V3 and any other Wyze products. While other vendors, such as Logitech with their Logi Circle security cameras and Arlo’s security cameras, allow third-party access it appears that Wyze is trying to build a walled garden ecosystem. While there bulbs and switches to integrate with Google Home and Amazon Alexa, there are only workarounds to get them talking nicely with Home Assistant. Currently, the only hope is that tinyCam will pick up support for the Wyze Cam V3.
If you are interested in the Wyze Cam V3 or any other Wyze products but are stalling the purchase because of the lack of integrations I suggest you make your voice heard in the Wyze Forum. Let them know that they are losing potential customers due to their lack of developer-friendliness. Even a paid API is better than no API.
Alternatives to the Wyze Cam
There are a few alternatives to the Wyze Cam series that integrate nicely with Home Assistant. Two of the easier options that also offer cloud uploads and easy to use apps have already been mentioned, Logi Circle and Abode. The integration with Google Nest cameras is currently being worked on and should be released in the not too distant future, though it will require paid access to the API.
There is the option of integrating ONVIF Profile S conformant cameras directly with Home Assistant or relaying them from DVR software such as Blue Iris using an RTSP stream. Other, more direct integrations, Home Assistant supports are Ubiquiti UniFi Video, Synology DSM, and ZoneMinder.