Amazon’s Echo Show is a great tool for the smart home. Being able to see your echo show camera footage live on the Show is just one perk of having one. By connecting it to your smart cameras, you can see exactly what’s going on with each of your security camera. However, each brand of smart camera works just a little differently with the Echo Show’s Live View.
With each skill such as the Ring or Wyze skill, the security cameras feed works differently and allows you to see footage for different lengths of time. So how do you know which camera to choose depending on what you need it for?
Let’s start by quickly recapping on what the Echo Show series is, and why its live view functionality is so useful.
What is the Echo Show?
Amazon’s Echo Show Device is just one of the many Echo devices offered by Amazon. The Show differs from the Echo and Echo Dot in that the Echo Show Device has a display screen. They also come in different versions such as:
- Echo Show 5
- Echo Show 8
- Echo Show 10
- Echo Show 15
Each model is named after its display size. For example, the Echo Show 5 is named so because of its 5.5-inch screen display:
So what are the benefits of having an Echo Show as opposed to an Echo Dot? For starters, if you’re playing music, you can change the song simply by touching the screen. You can also search for recipes and watch tutorials on how to make them. You can even watch the news and YouTube on the screen of an Echo Show.
Another factor that most people enjoy, is the fact that they can use their Echo Show with various smart home monitoring cameras. You can do this by making use of Live View. But just what is Live View, and how does it work?
Accessing Live View on the Echo Show
Live view on your Echo Show gives you the ability to see current camera feed without opening your smart camera’s respective app. As the name states, it only works with live video footage or video calls, so you can’t see previously recorded videos.
To be able to do this, your smart camera’s app and account have to be linked to your Echo via the Alexa app. You do this by downloading Skills, such as the Ring or Wyze skill, so that the Alexa app and your camera’s app can share information.
You’re often prompted to add the Skill when you’ve added a new camera to your Alexa app. To do this manually, however, you simply go into your Alexa app, then use the 3 lines at the bottom right corner to head over to the More screen.
From there, you’ll choose Skills & Games. The next page will show you what Skills you already have, as well as those you can add.
Once you’ve successfully added the Skill and connected your smart cameras, you can simply ask your Echo to show you the feed from your cameras. Because they’re linked, you can ask for each camera by the name you gave it in your smart camera’s app, without having to give them new names.
For example, if you have a Wyze cam called Basement, you would simply say, “Alexa, show me the Basement” or “Alexa, show me Basement”. The Echo Show will then display what is going on live in the Basement.
Sometimes live video takes longer to load because it’s from a third party, as opposed to straight from the camera’s app. The strength of your internet connection also plays a role here. As it loads, you may see a screen indicating that the feed is loading from the respective camera app.
So now that you see Live View is possible, which camera is the best to view it?
Which Cameras Give the Best Live View?
Live View can be used for a variety of reasons. Perhaps your hands are occupied and you can’t open your camera’s app, but you want to see who’s at the front door. Or maybe you have a camera in the nursery so that you want to keep an eye on sleeping little ones.
To that end, you may wonder, which camera is the best in terms of length of viewing and picture quality? Read on for manufacturer-specific information, but the gist here is:
Most smart cameras only last for 5-10 minutes when doing a Live View through the Echo Show. This is often a hardcoded limit within the Amazon or manufacturer-specific software, to save internet bandwidth.
Ring is one of the most popular smart cameras available. With the Ring skill, you can use it with your Amazon Echo, and even activate Live View. You can do this by saying “Alexa, show me (device name here)”. You can also automatically get Live View if someone rings your Video Doorbell.
But how long will the Live View display? Ring themselves says that after 10 minutes, it will time out. Because of this, it’s not an option if you want continuous viewing, such as to monitor pets or children.
In addition, Live View will not activate if your battery-powered Ring device has less than 25% of battery power. Internet connection also plays a factor. An unstable internet connection may also cause the Live View to end sooner than 10 minutes.
Wyze’s budget-friendly smart cameras are another popular option.
After adding the Wyze skill to your Alexa app and the Echo, you can live-view your Wyze cameras just as you would Ring, or other smart cameras. Just say, “Alexa, show me (insert camera name here)”.
Like Ring, the Live View on your Echo is about 10 minutes. Some users have reported being able to see a continuous live view, way past 10 minutes even. This isn’t a common occurrence, however. Even Wyze themselves states that the maximum time for Live View on the Echo is 10 minutes. After that, the Echo Show will return to its Home screen.
Eufy is another common brand compatible with the Echo Show.
However, it has some limitations not present with other smart home cameras.
For example, while you can use Live View on your Echo Show, your Eufy cam will not respond when someone is ringing the doorbell. So even if someone rings the doorbell, your Echo Show will not give you a Live View.
However, if you want to see whose at the door, you can. You’d simply ask your Echo to show you the Front Door, or whatever the name of your Eufy device is. There is some discrepancy on the length of time that Live View footage can be viewed, but most users report between 5 and 10 minutes before it times out.
As for Blink, users report that live view on their Echo Show only lasts about 5 minutes before it cuts off. You can initiate a new session, but you would have to wait 30 seconds to do so. For this reason, many users have opted not to use Blink cameras along with their Amazon Echo. Show.
When it comes to the duration of Live View on the smart cameras, there are other factors come into play. One such factor is internet connection. A spotty or unstable internet connection will cause any video to be cut short, regardless of the camera.
In addition, the Amazon Echo Show seems to have its own limitations. Whether you’re using Ring, Wyze, or Eufy.
Alternatives to using Live View
Watching your various camera feeds on the Echo Show is no doubt helpful. The fact that you can use voice commands to initiate a Live View is great if your hands are busy. But the Amazon Echo Show’s 10-minute time limitation can be annoying. So what do you do?
One of the best options, is to use the appropriate camera’s app. Eufy reportedly has great continuous viewing – up to 90 minutes! This can wear down any battery-powered devices though, so be prepared to charge them more frequently. You can also just use this feature with plug-in devices to avoid the charging issue.
Now let’s say you’re keeping an eye on pets or active toddlers. For this scenario, you can also make use of Motion Sensors. If your pet, or child, goes past a certain point, you can have it so that one or more Motion Sensors are triggered. Then, any cameras you have set up in the vicinity will show you footage of exactly what’s going on.
Live view on the Echo Show is without a doubt a great way to keep an eye on your smart camera feed. However, its 10-minute limit on viewing camera feeds can make them less than ideal to use in the capacity of say, a baby monitor. To that end, you may want to explore other options.
Using your smart cameras’ respective apps, as well as making use of Motion Sensors can also help you keep an eye on things.