Do Kasa Cameras Support RTSP Video Feeds?

Real-Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) is a big deal if you’re planning to integrate your Kasa cameras into a more complex smart home setup, like using them with third-party video management software on your computer or your own DIY security dashboard. 

Unfortunately, Kasa cameras do not natively support RTSP. But fret not, because I’ve compiled a quick guide to get you started with a few workarounds that you can use if you’re tech-savvy. 

Key Takeaway:

Kasa cameras don’t natively support RTSP for streaming to computers or integrating with other smart home setups.

You’re limited to using the Kasa Smart app for its main features. However, workarounds like using Android emulators or custom command-line codes can offer similar functionalities. These methods come with potential security risks and performance issues.

Can You Use RTSP With Kasa Cameras? 

Use RTSP With Kasa Cameras

No, Kasa cameras don’t natively support RTSP video feeds. This makes it difficult to view the live video feed on a computer, as you have to use the Kasa Smart app. However, there are a few workarounds to get RTSP-like abilities from Kasa cams. 

Now the simplest solution is to just buy an IP camera that actually supports RTSP, like TP-Link’s Tapo series. This will save you a lot of time and hassle. 

TP-Link Tapo C210 Pan Tilt Home Security WiFi Camera Crystal Clear 3MP TPLink

But if you already have a Kasa camera, or multiple, then keep reading as I discuss how you can enhance your Kasa camera’s functionality and use some third-party software. 

A Detailed Breakdown of Kasa Camera’s RTSP Support

1. What Do You Need RTSP For? 

First, you have to decide what you need RTSP for. RTSP allows for a lot of added features and integrations like:

  • Viewing the live camera feed on your computer
  • Integrating with a security system for 24/7 recording
  • Multi-camera monitoring dashboards
  • Adding the camera to Home Assistant for automation
  • Recording the feed with software like Blue Iris or iSpy Connect

These are just a few examples. So once you figure out exactly what you want to achieve with RTSP, you can find ways to get similar functionality from the Kasa app itself, or via some third-party software. 

2. Check If This Can Be Accomplished Via Kasa’s Smart App

Kasa’s Smart App

Though Kasa may not support RTSP, they’re not stripped-down paperweights. The Kasa Smart app has a host of features, so see if there’s some alternative that Kasa has already provided. Here are some of my favorite features I use: 

  • Motion and sound detection – You can set up the camera to record video in response to motion or loud sounds (such as a doorbell ringing).
  • Scheduling – You can set up different recording modes for different times of day, e.g., night mode or vacation mode.
  • Two-way audio – You can communicate with people via the camera’s microphone/speaker.
  • Cloud storage – You can purchase a Kasa Care plan for cloud storage, which can store 30 days of video recording history. So you may not need an external storage. 
  • Security – The Kasa app is quite secure, especially if you use 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication). RTSP is not always secure, especially with third-party software. 

So if what you’re looking for can be accomplished via the Kasa Smart app, you’re already done. Next, we’ll see how you can do all this on a computer. 

3. Viewing the Kasa Camera’s Live Feed on A Computer

Viewing the Kasa Cameras Live Feed on A Computer

Viewing the smart camera’s feed from a computer is one of the most popular uses, as it’s easy to check everything on a large screen. 

Even though Kasa has no official app for Windows or Mac computers, there are still a few ways to use it on a PC. The main one I’ll discuss is using an Android emulator, like BlueStacks (which is what I preferred) or NoxPlayer. Here’s how you can set it up:

  1. Download an Android emulator like Bluestacks.
  2. Install the Emulator: Run the downloaded file and follow the onscreen prompts.
  3. Launch and Log In: Open the emulator and log in to your Google account.
  4. Download Kasa Smart App: Go to the Google Play Store within the emulator and download the Kasa Smart app.
  5. Log In and View: Open the Kasa Smart app, log in to your Kasa account, and voila, you should see all your Kasa smart devices. 

So now you can use the Kasa app on your computer just like you would on your phone, and get access to all its features like live camera feed, motion detection, etc. 

Note that the live camera feed is unlimited if you’re on the same local network as the camera, but it’s limited to 10 minutes for a remote connection (like a mobile network). So you have to click ‘Continue Watching’ every 10 minutes. Annoying, but hard to get around. 

Check this article for a full breakdown of every other way of using Kasa on a PC. 

4. DIY Workarounds: Are They Worth it? 

The question now is, are DIY workarounds worth your time and effort? That really depends on what you’re looking to achieve and how tech-savvy you are.

If you’ve got the budget for it, I’ll stress again that it’s a much better option to choose a new camera that actually supports RTSP and other protocols, like Tapo, so it can be integrated into complex smart security systems with ease. 

These workarounds have security and stability risks; you may be opening a TCP port on your computer globally, which can allow hackers to tap into your video feed. Plus, they tend to have more latency, and you won’t be able to get support from TP-Link. 

But if you love tinkering with tech, and are comfortable with some command line code, this could be a fun challenge. 

5. Basic Steps for Getting RTSP-like Video Feed from Kasa Camera

Now let’s get into the workaround you can use to prepare an RTSP-like video feed. 

What we’ll be doing is tapping into the Kasa camera’s video stream and viewing it from VLC media player. 

Note that this method may not work if you have 2FA active, so disable that first, and then try it. 

  1. Log into your router’s settings to find the Kasa camera’s IP address, or find it in the Kasa Smart app under device settings.
  2. Access TCP Port 19443: The Kasa camera exposes an MJPEG stream on this port. You’ll be connecting to this port to capture the video feed.
  3. Next, you’ll need to convert your Kasa login password to base64, which you can do at Base64Encode.org
  4. Now you have to run a ‘curl’ command, like this one:
curl -vv -k -u tp_link_user@email.com:$(echo -n "YOUR_TP_LINK_PASSWORD_HERE" | base64) "https://xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx:19443/https/stream/mixed?video=h264&audio=g711&resolution=hd" --ignore-content-length --output - | cvlc stream:///dev/stdin --sout '#rtp{access=udp,sdp=rtsp://:8554/stream}' :demux=h264
Replace tp_link_user@email.com with your tp-link email.
Replace YOUR_TP_LINK_PASSWORD_HERE with your tp-link password in base64.
Replace xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx with the IP address of your tp-link camera.
  1. View in VLC: After running the command, you can open VLC Media Player and connect to
rtsp://X.X.X.X:8554/stream to view the live video feed. Replace X.X.X.X with the IP address of the computer running the command.

Security Note: The way this is set up, anyone who knows the RTSP address can view the feed (one might even guess it), so it’s not very secure. The TCP Port 19443 gets opened up globally, so it’s a risk. Also, you’re likely to get a 30–40-second lag in the video feed. 

Note that this technique may not work with all Kasa models, and might even be broken with software or firmware updates, as TP-Link does change things from time to time. 

You can find more information about this method in this Reddit thread and this Medium post

Important Notes For Using RTSP With Kasa Camera

Kasa Smart 2023 New Indoor Pan-Tilt Security Camera, 1080p HD Dog Camera w/Night Vision, Motion Detection for Baby & Pet Monitor, Cloud & SD Card Storage, Works w/Alexa & Google Home, 2.4G WiFi (EC71)

Warranty: 

Using unofficial methods to connect to your Kasa camera may void your device warranty. This is not exactly clear, but since it poses a security risk, you should be wary of this. 

Power Cycle Resets: 

If your Kasa camera or router is restarted, you may need to reconfigure your RTSP settings, as they might not persist through power cycles.

Resource Allocation: 

Running RTSP streams can be CPU-intensive. Make sure your computer has enough processing power and memory to handle it without affecting other tasks.

Monitor Connection Logs: 

Keep an eye on your network logs for any unauthorized access attempts, especially since you’ve opened up ports for RTSP streaming.

Community Support: 

Since this is an unofficial workaround, you’ll likely be relying on community forums and guides for troubleshooting. Kasa or TP-Link are unlikely to help you with this.

FAQs 

Do Kasa Cameras Work with Other Video Streaming Protocols?

Kasa Cameras are primarily designed to work with their own Kasa Smart app, which uses its proprietary encrypted protocol for video streaming. That means they don’t natively support other common streaming protocols like HLS, RTMP, SRT, ONVIF, etc. So it’s not easy to integrate them with third-party software relying on such protocols. 

Will Kasa Add RTSP Support In The Future? 

As of writing this article, there’s no official word from Kasa or TP-Link about adding native RTSP support to the Kasa cameras. Several forum posts have requested this, but since their Tapo line already supports RTSP, it’s unlikely they will add this to Kasa as well.

Can I Use Kasa Cameras Without RTSP?

Absolutely, you can use Kasa cameras without RTSP since they still pack a ton of features for basic surveillance needs. For most homeowners, the Kasa Smart app has enough functionality to give you peace of mind, with a user-friendly interface. 

Conclusion

So that sums it up: Kasa cameras don’t support RTSP, but you can use some basic command line codes to get a decent stream onto your computer. You can also use an emulator to use the Kasa smart app on a PC. 

But all these are unofficial methods with security risks and low performance, so the best solution is to get a new smart camera that natively supports RTSP and other protocols you may need. Or, stick to the Kasa Smart app, as it’s already packed with a lot of cool stuff. 

Got any further questions or something to share? Feel free to drop a comment below.

About Tristan Perry

Tristan Perry is a software developer who is passionate about tech gadgets, DIY and housing. He has therefore loved seeing smart homes hit the mainstream. Tristan also has an academic background (in Math & Computer Science), and so he enjoys digging into the technical ways that smart home devices work.

Tristan owns close to a dozen Amazon Echo devices, way too many Philips Hue bulbs and lightstrips, a boat-load of Ring Cameras and Doorbells... and a bunch of other smart home devices too (from Reolink, Google Nest, GLEDOPTO and others).

If you have any questions, feedback or suggestions about this article, please leave a comment below. Please note that all comments go into a moderation queue (to prevent blog spam). Your comment will be manually reviewed and approved by Tristan in less than a week. Thanks!

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