Which in-house camera is the easiest to integrate into the HA system (must meet the following 6 key criteria)?

Hi,

My 6 core criteria that absolutely must be met are:
1.) The camera should be readily available in Germany, e.g. from Amazon
2.) the camera should be easy to integrate into the HA system
3.) Registration with the camera manufacturer should not be necessary to use the camera in the HA system !!!
4.) the camera should not need a cloud connection
5.) The live camera image should be visible in the HA system and can also be accessed remotely via the smartphone (appHomeAssistant)
6.) the best is a (6.) camera with power supply … because then when you are at home you can pull out the power supply and have more security that the camera will not continue to record secretly (a battery-operated camera is impractical … because then you would have to fumble out the batteries every day)

It would be nice, but not absolutely necessary, are the following criteria:
a) the best is a camera with an Ethernet connection, i.e. a LAN cable is laid from the camera to the router … because with a WLAN connection the transfer rate can be too low and new problems can arise
b) It would also be nice if the camera is supported by the HA system to such an extent that when an alarm is triggered, not only is the current camera image sent to the notification, but also, for example, a 30s video clip after the triggering via the smartphone remotely. You can then check remotely whether only a moth triggered the sensor or whether it was not a false alarm.
c) In terms of price, the camera should, if possible, still be in the double-digit € range

Which specific in-house camera should I use that meets these criteria?
And what would the yaml connection for the camera look like?

Thank you.
Many greetings, sten

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Greetings Sten,

Sounds like you’re describing most wired PoE powered ONVIF compatible cameras and an NVR solution ike BlueIris or UniFi Protect

(Except i think the UniFi solution violates your registry requirement… So you likely won’t be interested)

The cameras (if you can find them, ive personally been on a waiting list for 6 UniFi cameras since mid year, thanks supply chain) you should expect the low end (something like a reolink IP camera that supports ONVIF at 5MP) to be more than 50$USD/€43 each before youve chosen your NVR solution and youll need to make sure your network can distribute PoE to do it.

Basically id you want to cast away the back ends of companies like Nest/Ring/whomever you ise in Germany you have yo build your own storage/management solution. That’s what connects to HA and interprets the cameras. You can buy a full version of Blue Iris for about $60USD and then youll also need a machine to run it on. That machine needs to be flush with enough fast storage to record as much as your requirements demand.

So. Except the double digit euro requiremdnt everything else is pretty easy with ONVIF compatible IP cameras and your own NVR.

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Hi Nathan,

Thank you for your answer.

Network Video Recorder (NVR) Solution … I was hoping that the HA system could do the recording of the video clips. If I need an extra computer for this that also has to run, then that’s a size too big for me.
=> Point b) is then unfortunately omitted

Tip: Reolink IP camera that supports ONVIF at 5MP:

  • Reolink 5MP PTZ (Reolink E1 Zoom) … I found it
  • should probably support: RTSP and Onvif protocol … that would fit
  • open question:
    To use the camera for the first time, you have to install a manufacturer app and then go there
    register with the camera manufacturer?
    => if so, then NOT

I’m looking for an in-house camera that can be easily integrated into the HA system without having to install a third-party app beforehand and without having to register with the camera manufacturer.

Thank you.

Many greetings,
Sten

Homeassistant wont store video this why you need an NVR.

Of you arent running an NVR you need a service. So either you roll a server or connect to a service. If you need to store video

Welcome to the forums !

The usual candidates come to mind: Hikvision, Dahua, Reolink or one of their OEMs. Almost all of them have ONVIF or at least RTSP support (that makes them cloud independent) and are powered through PoE. They’re all highly configurable. They also integrate into HA, but keep in mind that native HA support for cameras is not that great. Here’s more info.

For my indoor cams (which I physically remove unless I’m on vacation), I use the Hikvision 4MP cubecams. They have a clip on base, so you can leave the base screwed to your ceiling and clip the camera on only when needed. They’re about 100€ here from an official distributor. They have both PoE LAN and wifi support. I’m using a dedicated hardware NVR, but you can just as well use a software solution like Blue Iris or Frigate.

Only caveat with all IP cameras regardless of manufacturer (and especially Chinese ones), do not give them internet access. Keep them isolated on their own LAN or VLAN in their own subnet.

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Cheapest camera i could find, made into a doorbell, costed me €30,-

Although i used Motioneye for integration and motion detection :yum:

Sorry, this is too complicated for me. I am not an IT network administrator.

That’s why this point is so important to me:
" I’m looking for an in-house camera that can be easily integrated into the HA system without having to install a third-party app beforehand and without having to register with the camera manufacturer."

My problem here is:
I have read a lot of camera reviews on the Internet, but there is no information on this.

Are there maybe cameras that are definitely without registration, e.g .:

  • “Open Source” camera,
  • or “Open Hardware” camera,
  • or a “Home Assistant” camera?

Thank you.

Many greetings,
Sten

None of these RTSP/ONVIF capable cameras require any kind of ‘registration’. They’re just cameras. They don’t come with an attached service of any kind. RTSP and ONVIF are open manufacturer independent protocols. You plug them into your router, open a web browser and point it to the cameras local IP on your LAN. Then you configure the camera, integrate it with your NVR and/or Home Assistant. It’s all between your PC, your network and the little computer on board of the camera. No internet, no cloud and no manufacturer app involved.

The downside is that you need to know a little bit about how networking functions. No need for being an IT expert. Just basic home networking knowledge. But there’s no way around that. You’ll have to learn.

If you want a completely no skill required plug’n’play system, then you’ll have to use one of the crappy cloud cameras you don’t want.

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Hi,

Thanks for your explanations.

I’m looking for a good youtube training video that shows:

  • How to put an ONVIF-“in-house camera” into operation without a cameraManufacturerApp and without registration,
  • and can be integrated into the HA-System via the ONVIF protocol
  • ideally in German, or in English
  • e.g. for the “Reolink E1 Zoom” (can ONVIF, has many good reviews)

Do you have a tip for me?

+1 for UniFi Protect event though it does not check all of your boxes (not readily available and not needing to register).

There was a recent update to the UDM Pro that make it so you do not need a cloud account to set up the UDM Pro so you may not need to register any more for your cameras. There is defientely no cloud or subscription requirement and you do not need to actually provide your info for an account, I believe. Just make a burner.

I personally went with (and became a contributor to the HA integration) UniFi Protect because it is an “all in one solution” and already integrates with my UniFi Network stuff. (definetely biased) I also think it has the best ease of use and features for HA as well. It will be a core integration in 2022.2 and it will hopefully have auto-discovery for 2022.3.

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Eh, personally I think UniFi Protect is just an expensive overhyped system with mediocre quality. They try to use their brand name to get people hooked into their overpriced camera / security ecosystem. I don’t know, maybe it makes more sense if you’re already fully invested into their ecosystem. But even then I would probably get something else cheaper with better image quality.

Have a look at this episode of The Hook Up where he compares Blue Iris, UniFi Protect and some entry level Reolink system. Especially the parts about picture quality and privacy. And price. Yeah I know they have super cheap entry level stuff too now, but the picture quality is just embarassingly bad.

Oh and this nice little incident from last year shows how well you can trust Ubiquiti in general.

Ubiquiti is accused of covering up a ‘catastrophic’ data breach — and it’s not denying it