Get video stream from PetCube or Kasa Spot cameras without the cloud?
November 18, 2021 1:12 PM   Subscribe

Can I do anything to get a stream (RTSP, ONVIF, motion JPG -- whatever) from either a Kasa Spot Camera (model EC60) or a Petcube Cam? They both require using a mobile app and going through the vendor's cloud service, but I would like to grab the stream and pop it into my Home Assistant setup.

These devices are both rather inexpensive, WiFi-based cameras. I don't want to pay for a cloud plan or be forced to use a mobile app -- and in fact I don't want to use my phone at all!

I am happy loading alternate firmware or doing other things, up to and including Wireshark packet captures.

Thanks for any hints.
posted by wenestvedt to Computers & Internet (6 answers total)
Best answer: Research shows that the Cam's only official controls are through the app, and so is the streaming client. There seems to be no third-party controls available. I checked the usual suspects like iSpy but nothing there for the EC60.

According to their FAQ, if your phone running the app and the camera are on the same Wifi then they are direct streaming, no cloud involved. Someone suggested running Android emulator so you can get access to it on the PC, but that seems to be an extreme solution and not really compatible with

I'd say there is sort of streaming, but nobody had bothered to decode it yet.

If you really need integration, I suggest going for one of the similar cheap IP cameras, but with an existing integration, like Wyze Cam, which does have RTSP firmware available.
posted by kschang at 3:48 PM on November 18, 2021 [2 favorites]

Response by poster: The EC60 seems to be an updated version of the earlier cameras.

Thanks, kschang! Where did you find that? I want to get better at this if I can. :7)
posted by wenestvedt at 5:19 PM on November 18, 2021

I didn't write/say that...
posted by kschang at 7:43 PM on November 18, 2021

Best answer: As for how I came by all this knowledge... General IT knowledge, IOT knowledge, and a lot of Google(tm)ing.

Searching TP-link EC60 streaming only brings up their own app, even on their forums or support links.

I happen to have bought some prior similar cameras (I had a set of Blink XT2 which are a pile of junk) and a WyzeCam V2, and did investigate if it can be accessed outside of their own app. Need RTSP streaming or similar protocols for generic access.

There was a knowledge base article that explained if you use the app and view the camera it's direct streaming and no time limit. If you are on a different network, or using an Echo Show or Next Hub then there's a 10 minute limit.

Searching for EC60 RTSP got nothing. I tried iSpy, which is an app I tried before for webcams and such, and look for compatible cameras. EC60 is not among them. Seems EC series are not included at all.

One of the links suggested Android emulator.

At this point I wrote that I recommend Wyze Cam instead. :D
posted by kschang at 7:56 PM on November 18, 2021 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: My apologies, kschang! There should be some kind of marker in there to separate the paragraphs. :7) The first line is providing a little extra context: there might be existing vulns that apply to this model, which don't surface in a Google search because it's so new.

As for how I came by all this knowledge... General IT knowledge, IOT knowledge, and a lot of Google(tm)ing.

I was afraid you would say that. :7) Like you, I've got years of experience, a little formal training (SANS), a lot of curiosity, and my own network to play with -- but there's no perfect solvent when the cameras tunnel the signal back to the cloud, I guess.

I have a V2 Wyze cam and like it a lot; I got these others for free and am trying to make them work better. I might have to fall back on Raspberry Pis and MotionOS or somethign.

Thanks for the help! Even without a solution, at least I know that I didn't miss something obvious (short of cutting open the case, learning how to decompile firmware, and becoming an IoT dev).
posted by wenestvedt at 7:42 AM on November 19, 2021

I understand perfectly, but there's little incentive to interoperate currently in the home automation world except big standards like Zigbee, and even that's barely followed.

There's a thread on forum that has some decent leads on open-source IP cameras that's easily compatible.
posted by kschang at 10:47 AM on November 19, 2021 [1 favorite]

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