A few years ago I told some friends that I had no plans to add security cameras to my house. After Apple announced HomeKit Secure Video (HKSV), my mind started to change. I was never familiar with surveillance cameras that use third party cameras and my initial belief has been reiterated repeatedly. Recently, BuzzFeed reported about an ADT employee accessing cameras in customers’ homes. I want a video system in which that is technical impossible. With HKSV we have this system. I have now also Many cameras use HomeKit Secure Video for everyone. It’s time Apple added a HomeKit Secure Video option with 10 cameras to the Apple One Premier bundle.
HomeKit Weekly is a series that focuses on smart home accessories, tips and tricks about automation, and everything related to Apple’s smart home framework.
In the past few years, I’ve made several purchases related to HomeKit cameras. I have four Eufy outdoor cameras, two Eufy indoor cameras, an Aqara indoor camera, and a Logitech Circle View. These cameras have worked well for me and I can only recommend them.
All of my cameras support HomeKit Secure Video, they have all been very reliable, and I have a use case for all of them. Because HomeKit cameras can be used not only for video but also to trigger HomeKit automations, I put cameras in more places around the house than I originally planned. Since I can use HomeKit to control exactly when Stream & Record, only Stream or only act as a sensor, each of my cameras has expanded its advantages in my HomeKit environments.
However, I have a new problem with my HomeKit video environment. I have more cameras that support HomeKit Secure Video than Apple supports in iCloud. If you have a 200GB iCloud plan, you can store footage from a single camera. If you have the 2TB plan I have, you can record from up to five cameras. When Apple first announced HKSV, these limitations seemed doable because HomeKit cameras were still far apart. Fast forward a few years later, HomeKit cameras are a lot of more widely available, and they’ve come down in price so much you could easily have more than five.
Ten cameras in Apple One Premier
Apple should fix this either by paying an additional monthly fee to switch to 10 cameras or by including this as an added benefit of Apple One Premier. There is currently no way to record with more than five cameras. Hence, you either need to use only a few streams or find alternative recording solutions. My current workaround is to record locally on the Eufy base station for the outdoor Eufy cameras, where all of my indoor cameras and my Logitech Circle View HomeKit Secure Video are using. This setup gives me five cameras in HKSV and four cameras recording on an SD card in the Eufy base station.
Summary of the expansion of HomeKit Secure Video
It’s a good thing that HomeKit has been expanded to include enough products that the environments become large enough to maximize what Apple currently offers. Just as 2TB of storage can’t last forever, a five camera limit can’t last forever. An easy way to solve this problem is to have an upgrade option and give users one more reason to switch to Apple One Premier so that Apple can keep growing its service revenue.
HomeKit camera reviews
FTC: We Use Income Earning Auto Affiliate Links. More.
For more Apple news, check out 9to5Mac on YouTube: