V3 camera data usage video vs. pictures?

Hello everyone, I’ve got a data usage question for you. Should pictures be using the same or more data than the video clips? The obvious answer would be no but I’m wondering what’s going on with my data usage. I have 4 Cameras at one of my rental properties and I’m trying to determine how much data I should be using for video vs. pictures. I have a tmobile hotspot and the data usage per day is showing right around 200 megabytes if I don’t view any livestreams/playback. It fluctuates between 180MB and 250MB depending on the number of notifications I’m getting. If I view livestreams it increases (obviously) but I think something is wrong with my usage or there is something I’m missing.

Side note: The tmobile hotspot data seems very strange in the way that it reports data. For instance, the hotspot connections reported through tmobile shows 15 connections each ranging from 5MB to 47MB and totals 206MB of data. However, my wyze cam app recorded 111 events at 12 seconds each. I can only assume tmobile consolidates the internet data into smaller bunches or set intervals for easier reporting on the website, which makes sense, but it’s harder to figure out what’s wrong.

So taking the day’s usage above, this data seemed close enough to my calculation for me to not question my usage. 111 events at 12 seconds each (lets say 1.5MB per clip) and I come up with 166MB (seems close enough to 206MB?). But I was burning through my data on my hotspot too quick so I disabled the video so I only would receive pictures instead. So yesterday I had 157 events (147 pictures and 10 videos) and my data usage was 259MB (no livestream/playback). And this morning I’ve received 20 notifications (all pictures) and my usage for today is already at 69MB. Why would pictures be using more data than video? Is there something else I’m missing? Any help is appreciated.

This is what I think is going on…
I assume you are talking about storing cloud based as still pictures vs video. Further assuming that you have CamPlus (either lite of full). With those assumptions, the camera is still sending videos to the cloud so that the AI can process it. The video vs pictures only affects what gets saved on the cloud.

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I have camplus lite. You think the video is still being sent to the cloud? I figured changing it from video to image would save just a picture. Is that not the case? How do I change it to just pictures?

Absolutely. As far as I know, the cameras only sends video. The still images are created on the Wyze servers. The AI still requires video. Granted, I don’t have C+L, so I don’t know how much AI processing is available, but any AI would require videos.

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I’m not sure that’s the case. If storage is set to pictures, There is no way to access any video clip history so videos don’t appear to be saved to the cloud. Additionally, why would wyze choose to limit people to pictures only (if they don’t want to upgrade to cam plus) if the videos are being stored anyways? I think something else may be going on.

*edit I just did a test at home with my Wyze 2 cameras (I’m hoping they are close enough in data usage for this to be an accurate test) and I got 1.2MB of data usage showing on my router with a 12 second clip and then I changed the same camera to pictures and I got 70KB usage. That seems more like it. I think I have either a camera hogging data or the hotspot is using more data than it should to transmit this information. I’ll have to test more at my rental to determine which is the problem.

Sent to the cloud and SAVED are very different things. In order for the AI to process the video, the video MUST be sent to the cloud. However after processing it, only the image is saved.

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I tested it earlier but I was at home using V.2 cameras and it was 1.2MB for video clips and 70KB for pictures. I was monitoring live from my home router on it’s traffic monitor. So at least V.2 is not uploading video to the cloud when it’s set to pictures. Maybe we can get someone from Wyze to chime in but I think I found one of my issues. I went to the location to monitor my data usage in real time on my T-mobile hotspot and it turns out it uses data constantly while it’s broadcasting with no devices connected to it (except my phone in airplane mode to test it out). From the calculations earlier it seemed it was using maybe 20MB per day just idling… maybe more. Not my main issue but its one of the reasons my data is higher.

@K6CCC is giving the correct information. In your case you would probably want to disable all cloud operations - except the ability to live view - and have the cameras record only to their SD cards. And of course all live viewing and SD playback will use bandwidth too.

Strange that my V.2 camera seemed to not use the same amount of data per upload when set to picture storage but I reached out to Wyze and they are saying the same thing. Since the cameras can take pictures directly, perhaps they can change it so that the cameras will only upload pictures to the cloud instead. It would use a lot less data I’m assuming while still giving us a time to go view the playback directly when needed.

Do you have CamPlus (any sort) on the V2?

Yeah my V.2 cameras are on cam plus lite. I have them and the V.3s linked to the app on my phone but the V.3s are on a hotspot at a rental and therefore I don’t have unlimited data (or a good router to monitor them). I was thinking about upgrading to cam plus but that would use even more data and that’s not good for my limited plan on hotspot.

So I spoke with Wyze support today and they did say that images will use less data than video but they didn’t give me a specific data size. She made it sound like video was still uploaded but that it was even less than the 12 second clips so the data size is less. Probably just a few frames from the video is my guess. I factory reset my hotspot and I changed the settings as well as the position of the hotspot. I think the signal from each camera was being interrupted by other wifi networks nearby. I was also over my data limit so I got bumped down to 2G speeds. My guess, after talking with T-mobile tech support, is that because of the slow speed of 2G, as well as being in a highly congested area, a tech problem with the cell tower, and the other wifi networks in the area causing conflicts, the same data was being uploaded to wyze servers repeatedly because of data loss. I’m assuming this caused a large amount of hotspot data to be used. From 3pm today (when I finished messing with the hotspot) until 10pm, so far I’ve used 5.79 MB of hotspot data. I’m using pictures only from 3 cameras instead of 4. I think the 4th camera was the weakest signal of them all so I’m wondering if that’s the cause of the data loss so I excluded it from this round of tests. I’ll test more tomorrow but this is promising. So far I’ve received 19 picture notifications since 3pm and if we compare that to the other day (I received 20 picture notifications) it’s 5.7MB usage today vs 69MB previously. I’d say that’s fairly substantial.

Why keep hitting your head when you can just minimize your utilization this way?

Also, if you must keep the cloud processing, crank down the resolution to SD or lower and turn sensitivity way down.

“Why keep hitting your head when you can just minimize your utilization this way?”

Because I still want the full functionality of the cameras and knowing their operations and data usage is important. And if my camera hotspot combination is using way more data than it should, I want to know why and get it fixed. Is it too much to ask for things to work the way they are supposed to? Why accept broken products or service that’s unacceptable? I was using about 11 times more data than I am now (with pictures) so even if I turned down the cameras to sd video, I would have still been bleeding data. If I disabled cloud storage completely, live streaming and playback would still have had the same problem. Ultimately, the best solution is to find the issue and fix it. And I think I may have done that. Data usage has been minimal since yesterday. Things appear to be working as they should. With whatever data the hotspot uses and wyzecam V.3 images, I’m getting about 343 KB per image, which still seems high according to my home test but I think it’s pretty definitive now that data usage on pictures is significantly less than video and if video is being stored to the cloud and the pictures pulled from it, it must be significantly less than 12 seconds.

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