Okay, holy crap, I finally figured it out and it was so damned simple.
I was playing with MJPG again based on your latest suggestions but only getting 1 frame every 10 seconds in my lovelace card and it wouldn’t open the detail view due to the fact that the streaming component was enabled and apparently that only works with h.264… So I commented out
in my lovelace config and when I restarted, all my h.264 cameras were near real time… The framerate in the frontend is only maybe .5-1 FPS, but there’s almost no lag (maybe 1-2 seconds), which is much more useful than the higher framerate… That’s all it was! Just turn of stream… Combine that with
in the lovelace card, and everything works well.
Thanks @Troon , @rafale77, @Coolie1101 or bearing with me, you’ve been a great help in giving me hope that this was actually solvable. Now I feel confident to move forward with using hass for video doorbells and other things. @pergola.fabio, give it a try.