Works: Local streaming (and RTSP) using the Web Cam firmware over USB connected to a Raspberry Pi 4

Hi all,
I have wanted to try using the RTSP firmware to provide local access/detection, but after reading about how it doesn’t work so well, (lots of disconnects), I was thinking that it wasn’t worth the effort to set up.

But, when the web cam firmware was put out, and that it presents itself as a standard USB web cam, that had me wondering if we could use it on something besides Windows/MAC.

I had a spare Raspberry Pi 4 lying around, which has a couple of USB 3 ports on it, and runs Linux…

So I just had to try it, since in theory it can provide the things that the raw RTSP firmware can’t… Specifically, more horsepower and Ethernet.

So I connected the cam up to the Raspberry Pi 4, by connecting one of the USB 3 ports. (Had to get that weird USB A -> USB A cable that Wyze requires for the web cam)

I then installed the free/open source Software package called “motion” on the Pi.

After setting a few things up in motion’s settings, I ran it…

Lo and behold, I am able to stream the video feed from the Cam over the Pi to any of my browsers.
(And since “motion” supports RTSP, presumably things like Blue Iris and Zoneminder will be able to connect to it too)

Since the Pi supports both Ethernet (and Wifi), I am connected Ethernet, and thus, no worries about bandwidth issues or dropouts, like there is with the RTSP firmware over Wifi.

The flaws that I currently see are:

  1. No Night Vision/Infrared lights. As far as I can tell, the Web Cam firmware doesn’t allow you to set them to automatic, (and isn’t set to default in it), so without external infrared lights, night time isn’t useful. This is the biggest issue, and probably a deal breaker…
  2. Audio. I haven’t tried audio, but based on people commenting about the Web Cam firmware in general, the audio is quite bad.
  3. Cost of the Raspberry Pi. We buy the cams because they are cheap. If you have to buy a Pi as well, they aren’t so cheap anymore, and you probably could just buy a different/better camera that provides the support directly.
    Since I actually have a Raspberry Pi (for a different use) within about 10 feet of where this cam would be, and couple longish USB cables gets me there.
8 Likes