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UniFi Protect - View camera streams and manage recordings

You can view live and recorded footage from all your UniFi Protect cameras in the UniFi Protect application.

This article describes how to view live camera streams, recall recorded footage, and adjust the image and video playback quality. It also outlines processes for troubleshooting common image and recording quality issues.

View live camera streams

Live View lets you view real-time footage from each of your cameras using your UniFi Protect web application or mobile app.

To view a specific live stream using the Protect web application, click the Devices tab and select the Live Feed of the desired camera.


To view a live stream in the UniFi Protect mobile app, tap on the desired camera feed on the home screen.

Note: The video bitrate of your cameras is automatically reduced during prolonged periods of low motion frequency in order to reduce storage utilization while still maintaining good image quality. 

If you prefer to disable this adaptive bitrate feature and maintain the full resolution of one or more live feeds, you can do so in the mobile app's settings.

To view a live feed at full resolution in the UniFi Protect mobile app:

  1. Tap the Cog icon in the top-right corner of the screen.
  2. Tap Live Resolution and select the desired stream.

Note: If your bandwidth is limited, you may experience unstable playback while viewing a full-resolution live feed.


Review recorded footage and motion events

Timelapse lets you view and quickly scrub through full recordings with a color-coded interface that pinpoints moments of interest.

Your recording's duration will depend on the camera's When to record setting, which can be set to:

  • Always, which will configure the camera to record the entire time it's on and connected.
  • Motion Events, which will direct the camera to only record significant motion events, such as a person's movement.
  • Never, which will disable all motion event recording as well as all mobile and email alerts.

Download camera recordings

In your UniFi Protect application, you can download motion events, Smart Detection, and full recordings.

To download motion and Smart Detection event recordings via the web application:

  1. Click the Events section in the left navigation bar.
  2. Select a motion or Smart Detection event to play its recording.
  3. Click Download.

To download motion event recording(s) from a particular camera:

  1. Go to the camera's Timelapse.
  2. Click the Motion event only icon in the upper-right corner of your screen.
  3. Select the desired recording(s) and click Download

To trim and download a full recording from a specific camera:

  1. Go to the camera's Timelapse.
  2. Click the scissor symbol in the bottom-right corner of the Timelapse.
  3. Choose the start and endpoints and click Download.

To download recordings using the UniFi Protect mobile app:

  1. Go to the Activity section of the camera's Timelapse.
  2. Tap on the desired motion event to open its playback window, then tap Download.

Change the Recording Quality settings

By default, UniFi Protect records all footage in high quality (depending on the camera's maximum resolution). However, you can always adjust the recording quality depending on your storage or image quality needs.

To change the Recording Quality settings in UniFi Protect's web application:

  1. Open the Devices menu and click on the desired camera.
  2. Click the Recording tab in the camera's Properties panel.
  3. Adjust the camera's frame rate and image quality in its Recording Quality settings.

To change the Recording Quality settings in the UniFi Protect mobile app:

  1. Tap the Menu icon in the top-left corner of the home screen and select Cameras.
  2. Tap on the desired camera, then tap the Cog icon to open the camera's settings.
  3. Tap on Recording Quality and adjust the camera's frame rate and image quality.

While adjusting these settings, please note that:

  • A higher frame rate will give you smoother video playback while a lower frame rate will ensure better picture quality.
  • Recording with higher image quality will require more storage space than lower-quality ones.

Change the Camera Image Quality settings

Most image quality issues can be resolved by adjusting the Camera Image Quality settings.

To open the Image Quality settings in UniFi Protect's web application:

  1. Open the Devices menu and click the desired camera's Live Feed.
  2. Click the Cog icon in the top-right corner of the screen to open the Image Quality settings panel.


To open the Image Quality settings panel in your UniFi Protect mobile app:

  1. Tap the Menu icon on the home screen, select Cameras, then tap on the desired camera.
  2. Tap the Cog icon in the top-right corner of the screen, then tap Adjust Camera Picture.


Troubleshoot image quality issues

The camera's image is dull, dark, or distorted

To correct imagery that appears dark, dull, or distorted:

  1. Open the Image Quality Settings panel in the Protect web application or mobile app.
  2. Adjust the Brightness, Contrast, and Hue settings for the camera.

Note: There is no definite way of setting this for all cameras in any environment.
Try adjusting these settings to achieve the desired image quality outcome.

The camera recording quality is low

To improve a camera's recording quality, open its settings and increase the Framerate and Image Quality settings as described in the Change the Camera Image Quality settings section above.

The camera's image is harshly lit

Harsh lighting creates a strong contrast that can make it difficult to see smaller, finer details in your live feeds and recordings. To resolve this, try enabling the HDR feature (or WDR depending on the camera model) in the Image Quality settings.

The camera is out of focus (G3 Pro, G4 Pro, G4 PTZ cameras only)

If your G3 Pro, G4 Pro, or G4 PTZ cameras appear to be out of focus:

  • Make sure there are no objects between the camera and its focal point that may affect its ability to auto-focus.
  • Try manually setting the focal point with the Focus Image Quality setting.

The camera isn't switching to Night (IR) Mode

If your cameras are not switching to Night (IR) mode, or are rapidly alternating between Night and Day Mode, verify that:

  • Each camera's infrared setting is set to Auto.
  • There are no external light sources, such as ambient lights in front of a camera, affecting integrated light sensors.
  • There are no obstructions near the front of the camera. Obstructions can cause the camera's infrared light to reflect back at its sensor, causing it to switch back and forth between Night and Day Modes.

Night (IR) Mode imagery is blurry

If your Night (IR) Mode imagery is blurry:

  • Carefully clean your camera's lens or dome using a soft cloth and isopropyl alcohol. The alcohol's concentration should not exceed 70%; otherwise, you risk damaging its surface. Be sure to remove all residue to prevent unwanted reflections.
  • Ensure that no obstructions near the camera's lens are causing IR reflections.
  • (For Dome cameras) Make sure that the dome cover is tightly secured to the lens housing. The rubber gasket should be firmly fastened to the dome's surface and the dome should be in the locked position.

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