Is there any way to use a Nest Cam or Dropcam with Camio?

Yes, but only if you are willing to:

  • share your Nest camera publicly via link (security by obscurity only, since anyone that discovers the link could view your camera);
  • consume 2x the bandwidth of an industry standard camera because the Nest stream must be downloaded to your Camio Box from the cloud rather than from your local network;
  • use browser developer tools to find and copy the video link (URL).

Some people who start with a single Nest camera quickly realize that using more than one consumes far too much Internet uplink bandwidth. So as they transition to a bandwidth-efficient multi-cam setup using Camio, they want to bring along that first Nest Cam if possible.

Unfortunately, Nest cameras are designed to work only with their own cloud recording service. Nest doesn't support accessing the camera's video stream and provides no published API for 3rd party applications to access them either.

However, here's how you can connect a Nest camera to Camio if you're very motivated:

  1. Share your Nest camera publicly, then open it in a desktop web browser.

  2. While the video is playing, right-click on the video and choose Inspect to open the browser's Javascript Console (View > Developer > Javascript Console in Google Chrome, for example)

  3. Copy the URL from the <video><source> that starts with https and ends with m3u8 that will look something like this one highlighted in blue below:
    https://stream-us1-foxtrot.dropcam.com/nexus_aac/f520f05d61be4xyz2c96916a92c8/playlist.m3u8
    Nest_Inspect_video_Screen_Shot_2018-06-06_at_10.45.07_AM.png

  4. Press the Add camera (expert mode) button at the bottom of your camio.com/boxes page and choose Unknown Generic Camera with either the real or a fake MAC address to identify the camera within your account (in this Nest case, the MAC isn't really used and instead serves only to identify the stream within your own account):
    Unknown_Generic_Camera_-_Screen_Shot_2018-06-19_at_9.32.33_PM.png

  5. Paste that copied URL into the RTSP Server field of your camio.com/boxes page under advanced options of the stream:
    Nest_RTSP_Server_Screen_Shot_2018-06-06_at_11.28.40_AM.png

  6. Assign a camera Name and Plan and then toggle the camera ON using the green rocker switch.

That's the hack! Done.

 

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