Why can't I view the live stream of the Tapo camera continuously?

Q&A of functional explanation or specification parameters
Updated 01-08-2024 02:41:30 AM 233946
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Note: Always ensure the camera firmware is up-to-date, and you are running the latest Tapo app on your phone.

In certain situations, some customers may prefer continuous access to the live stream of their Tapo camera. For instance, you might want to keep an eye on your baby while occupied with household chores like preparing dinner. Generally, yes, it is possible to maintain a continuous live stream, this requires that both your monitoring phone and the camera are connected to the same wireless network and have a strong signal.

However, some customers might encounter interruptions, receiving prompts to continue viewing after several minutes. In such cases, it's advisable to verify that your phone and camera are connected to the same network. Only under this condition can the camera communicate directly with the phone, ensuring a stable and prolonged streaming experience.

Case 1. Your phone and camera are on the same network

If your phone and camera are on the same network, but you're prompted to continue viewing after several minutes, follow these troubleshooting steps:

Step 1: Make sure that both your monitoring phone and the camera are connected to the same home Wi-Fi network, typically the same router or Mesh network, and share the same Wi-Fi network name. You can disable cellular data on the phone when testing.

You can check the network connectivity between the camera and phone using the ping command, as explained in this article: https://www.tp-link.com/support/faq/3261/

Step 2: Ensure there are no special settings on your host routers that may block local communication between the camera and your phone, such as the "AP isolation" feature.

Step 3: For IOS 14 and above, allow 'Local Network' permission for the Tapo app on IOS devices.

Why do I need to give local access permission to TP-Link apps in IOS 14?

Step 4: If you're using VPN or VPN-based ad-blocking software, temporarily disable them for testing.

Step 5: If you're simultaneously viewing the camera on other phones or using NVR/NAS, try temporarily stopping other devices from accessing Camera Streaming, and test with only one phone to see if you can continuously view the camera video on the local network.

Case 2. Your monitoring phone and the camera are on different Wi-Fi networks

If your monitoring phone and the camera are on different Wi-Fi networks, indicating that you are viewing the camera remotely, there is a certain time limit for continuous live streaming. This limitation is in place to effectively manage cloud service resources, ensure a stable monitoring experience, and prevent potential issues such as network data overages or battery drain on battery-powered cameras. You will receive a prompt to continue viewing and pressing YES/CONTINUE will resume the stream.

The implementation of this time limit is a balance between user needs and service quality. We aim to enable users to view their desired scenes anytime, anywhere, whether it's their pets at home, the office situation, or any other camera location.

Our primary goal is to provide a stable, efficient, and sustainable service. Given the growing user base and traffic, we realized the need to take measures to ensure that every user can enjoy a smooth monitoring experience. To achieve this goal, we have placed certain restrictions on remote access duration. This is done to guarantee the stable operation of cloud services, preventing a decline in service quality or interruptions due to excessive live streaming requests. Cloud services require the allocation of computing resources and bandwidth to support real-time video streaming. Effective resource allocation ensures the system is not overly consumed, thereby enhancing overall performance.

Please note that this restriction does not affect your usage on the local network, and you can still access the live stream of your monitoring camera at any time without limitations, ensuring real-time monitoring of your home or work area.

Additionally, we take into account the consumption of users' network data and battery power, especially for those using mobile networks or battery-powered cameras. Prolonged live streaming may cause unnecessary inconvenience and costs. For battery-powered cameras, continuous viewing means the camera needs to remain in an operational state, continuously capturing, processing, and transmitting video signals. This can result in the camera operating in a high-power state, consuming relatively more electrical energy.

Case 3. You are using third-party devices such as Google Home Hub, Echo Show, or Fire TV to view the camera's live stream

If you use third-party devices such as Google Home Hub, Echo Show, or Fire TV to view the camera's live stream, there may be an automatic disconnection after a certain period due to the Cloud-to-Cloud service.

This situation is somewhat similar to Case 2. In order to ensure the stable operation of cloud services and avoid a decline or interruption in service quality due to excessive live streaming requests, ensuring that every user can enjoy a smooth monitoring experience, we have certain limitations on remote access duration.

To resume watching, taking Echo Show as an example, you'll need to ask it to play again using the voice command "Alexa, show me the [camera name]."

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