The ffmpeg component allows other Home Assistant components to process video and audio streams. This component supports all FFmpeg versions since 3.0.0; if you have an older version, please update.

You need the ffmpeg binary in your system path. On Debian 8 or Raspbian (Jessie) you can install it from debian-backports. If you want hardware acceleration support on a Raspberry Pi, you will need to build from source by yourself. Windows binaries are available on the FFmpeg website.

If you are using Hass.io then just move forward to the configuration as all requirements are already fulfilled.

To set it up, add the following information to your configuration.yaml file:


Configuration variables:

  • ffmpeg_bin (Optional): Default ffmpeg. The name or path to the ffmpeg binary.
  • run_test (Optional): Default True. Check if input is usable by ffmpeg.

Raspbian Debian Jessie Lite Installations

To get the binary on Raspbian Debian Jessie Lite on a RPi you need to perform the following:

$ sudo echo "deb http://ftp.debian.org/debian jessie-backports main" >> /etc/apt/sources.list
$ sudo apt-get update
$ sudo apt-get -t jessie-backports install ffmpeg

We can use now following in the configuration:

  ffmpeg_bin: /usr/bin/ffmpeg


In most cases, ffmpeg automatically detects all needed options to read a video or audio stream or file. But it is possible in rare cases that you will need to set options to help ffmpeg out.

First, check that your stream is playable by ffmpeg outside of Home Assistant with (use option -an or -vn to disable video or audio stream):

$ ffmpeg -i INPUT -an -f null -

Now you should be able to see what is going wrong. The following list contains some common problems and solutions:

  • [rtsp @ ...] UDP timeout, retrying with TCP: You need to set an RTSP transport in the configuration with: input: -rtsp_transport tcp -i INPUT
  • [rtsp @ ...] Could not find codec parameters for stream 0 (Video: ..., none): unspecified size: FFmpeg needs more data or time for autodetection (the default is 5 seconds). You can set the analyzeduration and/or probesize options to experiment with giving FFmpeg more leeway. If you find the needed value, you can set it with: input: -analyzeduration xy -probesize xy -i INPUT. More information about this can be found here.

USB cameras

For INPUT a valid source is needed. A USB camera is an easy way to test your video setup. To get all available USB cameras connected to the system, e.g., use the v4l2 tools on a Linux machine.

$ v4l2-ctl --list-devices
UVC Camera (046d:0825) (usb-0000:00:14.0-1):

Integrated Camera (usb-0000:00:14.0-10):

Record a test video with your USB device /dev/video1:

$ ffmpeg -i /dev/video1 -codec:v libx264 -qp 0 lossless.mp4
Input #0, video4linux2,v4l2, from '/dev/video1':
  Duration: N/A, start: 43556.376974, bitrate: 147456 kb/s
    Stream #0:0: Video: rawvideo (YUY2 / 0x32595559), yuyv422, 640x480, 147456 kb/s, 30 fps, 30 tbr, 1000k tbn, 1000k tbc
Output #0, mp4, to 'lossless.mp4':
    encoder         : Lavf57.41.100
    Stream #0:0: Video: h264 (libx264) ([33][0][0][0] / 0x0021), yuv422p, 640x480, q=-1--1, 30 fps, 15360 tbn, 30 tbc
      encoder         : Lavc57.48.101 libx264
    Side data:
      cpb: bitrate max/min/avg: 0/0/0 buffer size: 0 vbv_delay: -1
Stream mapping:
  Stream #0:0 -> #0:0 (rawvideo (native) -> h264 (libx264))
Press [q] to stop, [?] for help
frame=  223 fps= 40 q=-1.0 Lsize=   16709kB time=00:00:07.40 bitrate=18497.5kbits/s dup=58 drop=0 speed=1.32x