The audience for this post is intended to be people who are interested in how their camera is connected. You may have read posts from people asking for RTSP support, and wonder why it is such a big deal. The Real Time Streaming Protocol was design to allow a stream of media to be managed across the web. It can encode and transmit data in a variety of formats, and it is an internet standard. The great thing about internet standards is that anything that supports the standard can use it. There is a “higher” standard than this called ONVIF, but for now I just want to explore RTSP.
Out of the box, the Wyze Cam products offer an excellent user experience. They are easy to configure and easy to use. They allow someone to configure each camera using an app on their phone and connect the camera to their local router, view and manage images and video stored on a local Micro SD card, and manage a rolling set of clips stored on a free Amazon Web Services area.
It is excellent. Reliable, cheap, and has a passionate and dedicated staff to support the system.
There are a number of users who would appreciate RTSP support. There are several reasons for this. Some people may have a network video recorder, some people may not want their video streams going out to the cloud. At the moment, the only way to get an RTSP feed on a Wyze Cam is to install unsupported third party firmware, and doing this means no more support from the wonderful Wyze Cam team. This is why so many support requests feature RTSP.
All these internet protocol cameras (or IP cams) on the market have a little web server in them. When you power them up, most feature the same process that Wyze Cam uses - they beep and / or talk to you, you point the camera at a QR code, and then the camera picks up your wifi details and connects. This provides the simple but robust user experience that we know and love. Users of RTSP - and users of older IP cameras - are used to directing their web browser at the address of the camera, logging in to an administration web page on the camera, and then adjusting the settings. It’s not such a simple interface, but it can be friendly. If you’ve ever logged in to your home router you will be familiar with the experience.
When Wyze Cam update their firmware to include RTSP support, the user will log in via the web page, turn on RTSP support, and then test the connection. Once they are able to view the RTSP stream they can do whatever they want with the RTSP feed.
This is the key point - with an RTSP stream, you can do whatever you want with anything that supports it. You could connect your stream to, for example:
I personally use Netcam Studio. I make sure my current cameras are not connected to the internet, but just to my home server. I can then view my cameras by logging in to the Netcam Studio home interface.
In summary, I hope this post goes some way to explain in relatively simple terms why RTSP support gives flexibility.