Posted: one year ago
Adding a camera to your Home Automation system can make a huge difference to your security. Being able to see what has happened when your motion sensor has been triggered, or open a gate when someone has arrived are just a couple of possibilities.

So how well do camera's work with Home Controllers?
We have done some extensive research over the last six months in relation to the Vera Edge and Vera Controls platform.

The first thing to note is that the camera adds to the functionality of the Home Controller. What I mean is the Home Controller does not become a digital video recorder, or realtime viewing platform. For this purpose you should either use the features that come with the camera you purchased, or buy a home DVR.

Most IP Camera's provide a snapshot feature that allows you to view motion as a series of images rather than realtime recording. This makes the transfer of information over a slow connection easier. The Vera uses these snapshots to feed the image.

   Note: There are a very small number of realtime camera's that are fully integrated with Vera Control. Most of these are currently unavailable for New Zealand market. We are working with Vera to bring these into the country and will list them on our site once they are available.

So what does this mean for integrating cameras?
It means they work! You can monitor you home and create scenes based on actions from your z-wave devices.
Once the camera is added, you can view it through the mobile app from anywhere in the world.
You can set the system up to take snapshots very few minutes, or install a dropbox addon that will record images on a regular basis.
And if you are really keen you can program your own actions directly in LUUP code.

Just a warning. Not all cameras support this mode of operation. The ones we list on our site, we have tested with the Vera Edge and have provided notes on setting them up. If you are not sure what cameras do work, check out this list http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/IP_Cameras
It is not an exhaustive list, but useful.

The following is another link to try if you are really struggling to get your camera integrated. Note we don't recommend this unless you are seriously convinced it will sort your issues out:
http://wiki.micasaverde.com/index.php/Manually_create_IP_Camera_device

How do I get started?
1. Start by buying one of our camera's (or one on the list of known to work cameras above).
2. Make sure you set it up as per the instructions from the manufacturer.
   Note: If it doesn't work as per the installation instructions from the manufacture, then there is no chance of it working with your home automation controller.
Things to check: Use DHCP from your home router, check the MAC address on the sticker on the back of the camera (or on the box in some cases), Try the software that comes with the camera, consult Google or Bing. Failing that drop us an email and we will see if we can help. If it is to complex however you might need an installer to help.
3. Open the link in our Product forum for the camera you purchased and follow the steps.
4. MAKE SURE YOU SET A PASSWORD - at a certain step in the process it will ask you to set a password, this is the first step in making sure your camera is secure and only viewed by you. We strongly recommend you do this!
5. Add your camera to a scene, or try viewing it from the Vera mobile app (try not to spy on your family, they don't like it!)

We plan to update this forum as we do more with the camera's, and keen to hear from you as well.