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Arlo Baby HomeKit Maximum Number of Simultaneous Stream

We have an Arlo Baby Camera. I have granted access to my wife on my Arlo app on iPhone and we can both view the camera stream at the same time. This demonstrates that it isn’t a case of limiting the maximum number of video streams due to limited processing power of the camera.

We cannot both view the camera stream in HomeKit.
I cannot view the camera on my Apple Watch unless my iPhone is on airplane mode or turned off.

The number of devices that can view a camera in Homekit is not a limitation of HomeKit. It is defined (max number of simultaneous streams) during the initialization phase of the camera’s implementation of the HAP (HomeKit Accessory Protocol).

Please pass this information onto your development team and ask them to increase the maximum number of simultaneous streams in the HomeKit Accessory Protocol to at least 4.
This way me and my wife can view the baby on our phones and Apple Watch simultaneously.
There isn’t much point of having HomeKit support if only one person can view a video stream... and if I have to turn my phone off/on airplane mode to view it on my Apple Watch!
Message 1 of 11
Aspirant

Re: Arlo Baby HomeKit Maximum Number of Simultaneous Stream

i have this same exact problem. Have you noticed that the homekit stream also looks lower quality than what the arlo app displays?

Message 2 of 11

Re: Arlo Baby HomeKit Maximum Number of Simultaneous Stream

This is likely a hardware limitation, not software. My guess is that one stream is reserved by the arlo app and is used to stream to netgears' servers to provide cloud recording/remote viewing etc, the other is for homekit. The logitech circle camera has this same limitation BUT they let you decide whether or not you use their proprietary app, and if you choose not to you get two HomeKit streams.

 

It would be great if Arlo allowed this option as it would solve a lot of HomeKit issues, when HomeKit it works it works *much* better than the arlo app with only a second delay as opposed to 3-10 seconds. As for me I'm getting close to sending this camera back.

Message 3 of 11
Guide

Re: Arlo Baby HomeKit Maximum Number of Simultaneous Stream

I have also noticed that the stream in HomeKit isn’t as clear as in the native Arlo app. But I have also experienced this with other cameras that I have added to HomeKit as well...

Regarding the hardware limitations... I have added my wife and mother in law to the Arlo app (by granting access under settings) and we can all watch the camera at the same time. So it must be capable of at least 3 simultaneous streams? I will test further when my parents come to visit to see if it is capable of more.

I agree that I’m close to sending the camera back. I have a cheap IP camera that I purchased for £30 that I could push 5 simultaneous streams out of using a Raspberry PI and homebridge...

The HomeKit element of the Arlo baby cam seems to be not fit for purpose as it is. We both use the native Arlo app now which isn’t convenient and also defeats the point of paying a premium for HomeKit support as there are many more cheaper options/cameras out there with their own native app.
Message 4 of 11
Arlo Moderator

Re: Arlo Baby HomeKit Maximum Number of Simultaneous Stream

Have you tried contacting customer support regarding this issue? I have attached the link here for you - Arlo Tech Support

Message 5 of 11
Initiate

Re: Arlo Baby HomeKit Maximum Number of Simultaneous Stream

Can you stream from the Arlo app at the same time as the homekit app (either iOS or MacOS)?

 

It seems every time I try to connect via homekit either on my phone or macbook I get an error that someone else is currently using the camera (without any other devices streaming). I would prefer to use homekit since there seems to be less of a lag. 

Message 6 of 11
Guide

Re: Arlo Baby HomeKit Maximum Number of Simultaneous Stream

Hi,

 

I haven’t contacted support yet.  I will forward them a link to this thread so that they can pass the information on to the development team.  

 

Users should have an option in the Arlo app to either choose to have 4 simultaneous streams in HomeKit or invite up to 4 family members in the Arlo app to share the streams.

At the moment only 1 person can ever view the camera feed in HomeKit, otherwise we get the someone else is viewing this camera message in HomeKit. The whole point of HomeKit is that the entire family in the house can access and use the accessories under 1 unified platform!

 

I have had no problem inviting 3 other family members to the Arlo app and us all viewing the camera at the same time, whilst 1 person is on HomeKit.  This therefore indicates that this is not a hardware issue, but a software limitation.  

Arlo has got it the wrong way round! I want 4 people to be able to use the HomeKit stream and 1 to use the Arlo app! Otherwise there is no point in this being HomeKit enabled, HomeKit is all about sharing accessories/permissions to an entire family in one convenient platform.  If we all have to use the Arlo app then I might as well buy a cheap camera on Amazon that comes with its own non HomeKit enabled app!

 

I will see what the support team says. But I’m honestly thinking of returning this as it’s clearly not fit for purpose as it is. The HomeKit element of this hasn’t been properly developed and is more of a gimmick than a useful tool. 

 

I will probably go back to using a cheap IP camera with Homebridge on a Raspberry PI to enable this in HomeKit. As I said above, I could get this working with a edit in the JSON config for Camera-ffmpeg to allow up to 4 simultaneous streams in HomeKit using  (Shown below under “maxStreams”).

 

  "platforms" : [

    {

      "platform" : "Camera-ffmpeg",

      "cameras" : [

        {

          "name" : "Cam",

          "videoConfig" : {

            "maxHeight" : 1080,

            "maxStreams" : 4,

Message 7 of 11

Re: Arlo Baby HomeKit Maximum Number of Simultaneous Stream

The reason you can share your feed with four people is because it gets sent to the netgear servers first (hence why there is such a terrible delay) - in theory you could have much more than 4 people watching.

 

I don't have much faith in the camera supporting more than 1 homekit stream as it crashes regularly as it is.

 

What ip camera is it? I have a pi with hombridge so may give this a shot!

Message 8 of 11
Guide

Re: Arlo Baby HomeKit Maximum Number of Simultaneous Stream

Yeah, I hadn’t considered that the shared streams via the Arlo app are shared off their server and not direct simultaneous streams. You may have a point there... probably not much chance of getting only one stream from HomeKit. Looks like this is being returned to Amazon then!

 

https://github.com/KhaosT/homebridge-camera-ffmpeg/wiki/Tested-Configurations#xiaomi-dafang-with-ras...

 

Use the example config in the link above. I found it stable at 4 simultaneous streams at 1080 resolution... but picture was clearer at 720. I tested on a PI 2 and PI 3 and noticed significantly better performance on the PI 3.

 

It will require you to load custom firmware onto the camera.

 

https://github.com/EliasKotlyar/Xiaomi-Dafang-Hacks

 

Read up on the Dafang page/forum though as I remember some people having problems loading the custom firmware onto the newer Xiaomi Dafang... something to do with a hardware change in the camera? I have an older one from 2017/early 2018, cost me £25.

 

If not the Dafang then there are links to plenty of other IP cameras on the link above that you won’t have to load custom firmware onto.

 

Cheers

 

Message 9 of 11

Re: Arlo Baby HomeKit Maximum Number of Simultaneous Stream

Great, thanks for the info!

Message 10 of 11
Guide

Re: Arlo Baby HomeKit Maximum Number of Simultaneous Stream

You’re welcome. If I remember correctly I pushed up to 5 streams out at 720.

For stability though I would stick to 4... that’s enough for 2 people to be able to use on their phone and Apple Watches etc.

I had a look online and the Dafang is still £25. £30 with shipping most places.
(I did some reading and the issue I mentioned with the firmware not being compatible related to the old ARM based Xiaofang camera, so you should be fine with the latest version of the Dafang camera).
Message 11 of 11