Need Help Understanding HA Support for Surveillance Cameras

As a new HA user I have yet to figure out the documentation byways - I often go from description of concepts to code before understanding the topic. I wish to acquire and install surveillance cameras and have yet to find a document or discussion that is not focused on some detail initiative or problem.
It will be a great help if someone can point me to descriptions of what kind and makes of cameras actually are supported and where to find a tutorial or even a summary of how they are installed and used within HA. Can this, as just one question, be done solely within HA or may/must one use a compatible hub or other mechanism?**

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HA has mechanism for viewing, record, and snapshot from a camera.

HA has mechanism for viewing streams and images from cameras.

HA supports all IP camera (onvif, ffmpeg, etc)

Ha directly supports Nest, ring, axis, ubiquiti and other model in that it allows you to VIEW, get sensor data and more from some models as well as allows you to connect to them using the methods mentioned above.

All this said, I would not say HA supports security cameras. I believe it can provide another method for interacting with the prebuilt systems(like ring) OR through creative thinking allow you to build a security system utilizing HA.

I use motioneye for recording and viewing.

I use an image recognition integration (doods) within HA to detect object and make snapshots that I save and can view within motioneye.

The snapshots serve as my primary source of security footage as they more accurately and more easily show occurances when combined into time lapse. I use the video from motioneye as additional supporting images.

I have a tab in HA that shows motioneye page in iframe. This allows me to see my security feeds and review video/snapshots in HA frontend.

I also have rtsp streams from the camera going to HA so I may send images in notifications when needed. For example, I have motion sensor at entry and send image/make announcement when motion. This acts as my doorbell

in my case I feel HA only improves/supplements the security

What is your need? After that can point you to details or make suggestions.

Here’s good example of the above type system:

In general my interest is in implementing home security within the flexible and adaptable HA environment, rather than using a stand-alone security-only system. I am starting without experience in this area although I have worked with computers for years. For example, what are “IP cameras”? Examples, features?
One camera I looked at by Geeni detects motion and then triggers video while also providing 2-way voice.
Your use of motioneye and doods and ability to view both video and snapshots are all interesting. Any informative links would be appreciated.
The only doc mentioning RSTP that I recall seeing was a discussion of how one camera manufacturer has revised its firmware to remove that ability, restricting use of such cameras to its proprietary interface. Is this supported by all/selected IP cameras?

An IP camera is a camera that you connect to over internet (wifi or Ethernet).

Ring doorbells cameras are example of IP camera that connects using WiFi.

RTSP is a streaming video protocol used by many IP camera to stream video. Ha has many ways to input camera video streams. This is one method.

As I say above. I found it best to seperate my video recording into motioneye. I would also consider camera with record to SD card capability for video capture and still use doods for object capture images



I started with cheap $30 cameras from Amazon. These work beautifully but they can be hit or miss. Same camera purchased a year later may not be as good. But at $30…there a lot of room for error here.

POE (power over Ethernet) is also common for IP cameras that not use wifi.

Most camera detect the motion by checking the pixel change frame by frame. For example, if 30% of pixel change from previous frame the camera assume there is motion. This percentage can be adjusted up down or the number of frame requiring change may be set to increase/decrease sensitivity in this case. I find this to be too hard to tune, especially when looking at large area with camera.

Object detection
I prefer this over the motion detect by camera or software NVR(network video recorder, like motioneye, zoneminder, shinobi, blue Iris). This is much more accurate that actual object (even if confuse dog for person). For this reason if reviewing 24 hour footage you easily see relevant info vs video software motion detect where the motion may be due to shadow, tree moving. Often you catch unexpected surprise. Images also have smaller size for archive. Drawback here is you cannot tell the action, just seen the thing, so video is very helpful. You may trigger the record start with the object detection as well to aid

I second everything mentioned so far. I use a standalone camera system for recording and triggering motion events. I’m using a generic Swann (Hikvision) 8 channel system with 1080p TVI cameras over coax. A network attached DVR with a 1TB HD triggers on motion and records the footage.

Through the Hikvision integration, HA is made aware of motion events and then sends snapshots to a DOODs container running on a different PI for object detection.

So my dumb standalone camera system basically just records everything, but i rely on HA for letting me know when something important happens, like a person shows up in a stream when they shouldn’t be there.

All in all, it works great and i’ve had a hell of a lot of fun putting it all together.

I third (?) the above.

I’m using a Unifi Protect system with it’s own NVR, integrated into HomeAssistant through a custom component installed with HACs.

I use HA to provide context to the camera system for notifications etc. giving a layer of intelligence not (currently) available in the Protect system, filtering out unimportant motion detection etc.

This approach adds a layer of redundancy - if I’m tinkering with HA or the hardware I run it on fails then the property is still protected.

Thank you, you are both kind and helpful. I shall use this to guide my learning and implementation.

It is so interesting and encouraging to know about actual choices and implementation. Good combination: “works great” and “lot of fun”. It appears to me that HA has a valuable direction in developing an easy to use front end; it is to be hoped that it will also continue to be a platform for DIYers who can add their own interests and contributions as I hope to do.
Would you recommend any particular NAS and DVR solution(s)?

Your setup is a good example of using HA for its ability to integrate input from many sources to enable today rules-based decisions/actions with likely some form(s) of AI coming into the decision-making soon. Thanks for the input.

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No recommendations from me here. My DVR came with my security system in-a-box (Swann DVR8-4500). It’s a rebranded hikvision DVR with built in storage. So completely standalone, with its own software performing basic on device motion detection and recording. Works great and has been Rock solid since day one.

I’ve been super pleased with the Swann/hikvision interface, so I’d recommend at least giving their stuff a look. Just be sure to not let it get online. Mine wants to use upnp to open ports and probably phone home to China if given the chance.

Like other posters have said, I only use HA to manage the notifications. I use the DOODS AI based object detection integration along with the piles of context buried in all the HA entity states to ultimate decide whether or not I should be notified of a motion event. All of my automations are in node-red. The end result is that I rarely am alerted, but when I am it is usually meaningful.

Here’s one of my notification flows. This flow triggers on a motion event that is broadcast from my DVR. HA is made aware of this event through the Hikvision integration. When triggered, a snapshot is sent to the DOODS object detection container for processing (i’m running this on another pi). It snapshots and detects every 2 seconds in a loop until either something is detected or it times out at five passes through.

If an object is detected, this flow is responsible for notifying me via the HA ios app. Depending on whether or not i just arrived home, the door was just open, or the time of day, i’m either notified via push or via a broadcast over my google minis spread througout the house.

Everyone i know thinks i’ve lost my mind. At least i’m having fun with it.