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Make Your Security Camera Popup on Your Tablet!

Last week I published this Home Assistant tutorial that explains how you can show a snapshot and live stream of your security camera on your smartphone when someone rings your video doorbell. In today’s tutorial, I will explain how you can automatically show the live stream of your security camera on your tablet when motion is detected or as soon as someone rings your doorbell. Let’s do this!

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Let’s not waste any time and dive straight into this. If you want to show the stream of your security camera on a tablet as soon as somebody rings the doorbell, you need to install a HACS extension that can address a specific browser. If you haven’t got HACS installed, please check this easy-to-follow video on how to do that. We are going to use the Browser Mod integration to be able to show our security camera or doorbell camera from our video doorbell on our tablet. This integration is developed by Thomas Lovén who created a lot of awesome integrations for Home Assistant in HACS. There’s a link to his GitHub profile in the description. If you like his work, please support him on Github! It’s not only working on your tablet, but it will work on all devices that can use a web browser.

And before we start, please subscribe to my channel and give this video a thumbs up. This helps the channel massively!

Install Browser mod

To install browser-mod, go to HACS.

  • Click Integrations.
  • Click Explore & Download Repositories.
  • Search for browser_mod.
  • Click browser_mod.
  • Click Download.
  • Click Download again.
  • After Browser Mod is installed, restart Home Assistant by going to Settings > System and clicking on the power icon in the right upper corner.
  • Select Restart Home Assistant.
  • After Home Assistant is restarted, go to Settings > Devices and Services.
  • Click Add Integration.
  • Search Browser mod.
  • Click Browser mod.
  • Click Finish.

Configure Browser mod

You will now see a browser mod link on the left side of your screen. If you click it, you might get a blank screen. In that case, make sure to clear your browser cache and click the menu item browser-mod again.

You can do various things on this screen. It configures the specific browser that you are using. So, if you want to configure your tablet, you have to go to your tablet and open this screen on your tablet. For this demo, I will show you how it works on my desktop browser, but it works exactly the same on your tablet. It might even work on your Smart TV, but I did not test that.

fill in the values
  • Click Register to register this specific browser in Browser Mod.
  • I will give this browser a specific name so that I can recognize this later on. For that, I am going to change the Browser ID to “My Desktop Browser”.
  • Now you see this message here about the fact that Home Assistant will close the WebSocket connection to the server after 5 minutes of inactivity. I do not want this to happen, so I will go to my profile settings and disable the Automatically Close Connection setting.
  • Then we go back to the browser mod settings. I will leave the rest of the settings on default. You can play with it yourself, but we do not need to change anything to show our video doorbell camera on our tablet when someone rings the doorbell.
  • When you refresh the page, you get a new message that many browsers require the user to interact with a webpage before allowing audio playback or video capture. This may affect the media_player and camera components of Browser Mod. If you ever see a symbol at the bottom right corner of the screen, please tap or click anywhere on the page. This should allow Browser Mod to work again.

Try-out Browser Mod

Now that we’ve got Browser Mod installed, let’s try if it works.

  • For this, go to Developer Tools.
  • Select the Services Tab.
  • Select Browser Mod: Popup in the Service dropdown field.
  • Enter a title.
  • and enter some content.
  • There are much more options that you can try here like adding buttons, an auto close timeout time, and other options, but I won’t go over all of them here. They are explained in the browser mod manual. The link to that manual is in the description below. You can play with these options yourself, but they are not necessary for this tutorial. The only option that I am going to use in this tutorial is the Auto Close Timeout option which I will show you in a minute.
  • Now click on the Call Service link. It might be greyed out, but it does work!
  • You’ll see that a popup is shown on all the browsers that are registered in Browser Mod. I will show you in a minute how you can address a specific browser using an automation in Home Assistant so that you can show your security camera live stream on a specific browser or tablet.
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Set up the automation to show your security camera on your tablet when motion is detected or the doorbell rings

Okay, Browser Mod is working. Let’s make sure that our camera live stream will be shown on a tablet as soon as the doorbell rings. You can also show your camera live stream on a tablet as soon as motion is detected of course. First, you need to have your camera installed in Home Assistant. I am using the Reolink Video Doorbell for this tutorial and I also own the Ring Doorbell, but it’s very difficult to show the live stream of the Ring Doorbell in Home Assistant. I am not covering how you can install your camera in Home Assistant, but I explain in this video how to install the Reolink Camera as a generic camera in Home Assistant.

This procedure is the same for every other camera. So, if you didn’t install your camera in Home Assistant yet, please check this video out. By the way, there’s an official Reolink integration in Home Assistant now as well, but the generic camera integration of Home Assistant seems to be more responsive on my side. Anyway, I need to use the Reolink integration as well to trigger my automation when someone pushes the doorbell. Let’s set up the automation to show our security camera live stream on a tablet as soon as the doorbell rings.

Create automation
  • Go to Settings.
  • Go to Automations & Scenes.
  • Click Create Automation.
  • Click Create New Automation.
  • Click Add Trigger.
  • Select Device.
  • Select your trigger Device. In my case, it’s my doorbell, but it can also be your camera if you’d like to trigger on motion.
  • Select the trigger. You can select a trigger that detects motion, but I am going to select the trigger that detects if someone rings my doorbell.
  • Go to Actions.
  • Select Call Service.
  • Select the service: Browser Mod: popup.
  • Now you see some options here.
  • When you click Choose entity or Choose device, you won’t see any options. We will add the specific device using YAML in a minute.
  • Enter a title.
  • We are going to add content later using YAML as well.
  • Select a size. I will choose Full Screen here.
  • I will enter 120000 in the Auto close timeout field so that my live stream will automatically close after 2 minutes.
Edit the YAML
  • Now let’s add the YAML.
  • Click on the three dots in the browser mod action.
  • and click Edit in YAML.
  • Now add the following lines to the browser mod edit field.
  • First, we add the device ID, which is our Desktop Browser that I registered in Browser Mod before. If you make use of a tablet, you can add the tablet device ID that you registered in Browser Mod. I will show you in a minute how this works on my tablet.
  • Now add the content that should be shown in the popup.
  • I want to show the live stream of my camera, so here I enter camera_view: live.
  • The card type that I want to show is the picture-glance card.
  • I do not want to show any entities on my picture glance card, so I enter entities with empty brackets here.
  • Then I point to the camera that I want to show here. I can choose between the generic camera or the camera which is provided by the Reolink integration. I am going to choose the generic camera here because it works faster in my setup.
  • Click Save.
  • Give your automation a meaningful name.

You can type the code that I used from the screen or download the code via the download link in the description. It will save you time and frustration and you sponsor me so that I can keep creating these tutorials for you.

Test the automation that shows the security camera live stream as soon as the doorbell rings.

Let’s test this! Click on the three dots in the Browser Mod action and select Run. You will see that the full-screen live stream is shown. You also see a blue progress bar. This is the progress bar that counts down before the popup closes automatically.

If you experience a delay when showing the camera live stream, you can install the WebRTC add-on in the Addon store to speed it up. Let me know in the comments if you want me to create a tutorial about that too.

Now let me show you how this works on my tablet!

Brilliant! Now you can show your security camera live stream automatically on your tablet or any other browser when motion is detected or when someone rings the doorbell. These people who are my patrons made it possible for me to create this video for you. If you also want to be one of them, you can sponsor me through Patreon, Ko-Fi, or by joining my channel. See the links in the description below. And please do not forget to give this video a thumbs up, subscribe to my channel and tick the notification bell. I will see you in my next video! Bye Bye!

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