Apr 29, 2021

Home Assistant will soon natively integrate with motionEye

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The next release of Home Assistant Core, version 2021.5, which is due to be released next week, will be able to natively integrate with motionEye. With that, what previously had to be done using a custom component installed through the Home Assistant Community Store, will now just be a few a clicks away. But advanced users of the custom component might want to a few more months before making the switch, as not all features will be ready for launch. As with most new integrations, the integration's setup will be done through the dashboard, and no line of YAML will have to be edited to do so.

If you haven't done so yet, perhaps now is the time to give motionEye, an open-source frontend for the motion deamon, a try. It is both CCTV and an NVR, that is elegant and easy to use. You can set up motionEye to be used as a baby monitor, a security camera for your driveway, a pet monitor for when you aren't at home, and much more. motionEye has been embraced by the Home Assistant community, ever since it was made available as a community add-on for users of Home Assistant OS.

What the Home Assistant integration with motionEye provides

By setting up the native Home Assistant integration with motionEye, cameras you add or remove are automatically added or removed from Home Assistant. Unfortunately, that is all the native integration will allow you to do so far.

The custom component gives you full control over the camera and lets you turn various functions, such as the motion detection and recording, on or off. The goal is to have all functions the custom component provides integrated before the end of the year. This uncertain timeline is due to the large backlog of code reviews for Home Assistant Core code submissions. The current status of the integration can be seen on this kanban board.

What is motionEye and how do I use it?

motionEye is a piece of software you can natively install on a number of Linux distritbutions or as a Docker container. There is also the option of installing motionEyeOS that promises to be a Linux distribution that turns a single board computer into a video surveillance system. Similar to Home Assistant, this will install an underlying OS and the application in one fell swoop. There are images for the Raspberry Pie, Odroid , Tinkerboard , and more available to download.

The motionEye dashboard showing three seperate cameras.
An example of motionEye (source: GitHub)

The neat thing about motionEyeOS is that you can attach a USB webcam to one of the boards and turn it in to a security camera too using the Fast Network Camera option. That way you could build multiple DIY security cameras and control them all through one central instance of motionEye.

For those in the community, and I know there are many, that don't want footage from in and around their homes stored in the cloud, motionEye is one of the many self-hosted alternatives. There are multiple ways of using motionEye and motionEyeOS and besides the Home Assistant integration, there is also an Android and iOS app.

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