There could be a number of contributors to any performance issues with Watch Live, but the following guide aims to offer potential solutions for determining whether this is an issue that can be solved on your end, or needs to be investigated on ours.
Attempting to use the Watch Live feature while on a slow internet connection can cause issues with your Watch Live experience: the video quality may be low, skip or buffer endlessly.
When our system detects situations where the Watch Live video stream is having trouble keeping up, the device will adjust the quality of the video stream to ensure the feed is not dropped. However, users on especially slow connections may not have sufficient bandwidth to support even the lowest-quality stream. There are a few things you can try to resolve these issues.
Note: Automatic video quality adjustment during Watch Live is not available for the Canary web app and Apple TV app.
Switch your modes
Make sure your device or location is set in a mode that allows Watch Live. By default, your Home mode preferences have Watch Live enabled but do not have recording enabled. When your device or location are in privacy the camera and microphone are completely off. To Watch Live in Home or Night Mode, Watch Live needs to be enabled in your settings. Alternatively if you see Watch Live off on your home screen then your device is in Home mode with Watch Live toggled off.
To enable Watch Live, you may need to:
- Manually switch to Away mode.
- Manually toggle the Set location to private setting off.
- Customize Home or Night mode to record video.
- Customize Home mode to make Watch Live available.
Recording and alerting in Home and Night modes is restricted to Canary Members. To learn more about Canary Membership, visit canary.is/membership/.
Note: To learn more about switching your mode, visit Why does it say “Watch Live off” on my home screen?
Check Canary status
If you see a red banner at the top of the Canary app that says "Unable to connect at this time," your phone is having trouble connecting to the internet. Using your preferred browser, navigate to a webpage to verify that your phone is connected to the internet.
If you are connected to the internet, but still seeing the same error message, check the Canary system status page to see if there are any temporary service interruptions affecting the Watch live experience. If the status is "Operational" that means all things are normal with the Canary Cloud.
The first step in troubleshooting Canary Watch live issues should always be restarting the Watch Live feed by selecting the X in the upper left hand corner of the app window. If the stream continue to not load, try resetting your device by power cycling it.
To turn off Canary Pro or Canary View:
- Unplug the power cable from the back of the Canary for one minute, then reconnect it.
To turn off Canary Flex:
- Hold down the back button for five seconds until you hear the shutdown sound and the LED ring turns off. To turn on Canary Flex, hold down the back button for one second until the the LED ring is white and spinning, then release.
Check the Canary lights
There are a variety of reasons why your Canary device may not be able to communicate with our servers. If you see a message on your Canary apps home screen that states "Canary is offline" your device could be unplugged, your location may be having a power outage, the camera may not be connected to the internet or the Canary cloud may have a temporary service outage.
When operating unplugged, Canary Flex in particular uses a low-power standby state. If the device loses its connection to our servers while unplugged, the device will attempt to re-establish the server connection less often than it does when plugged in - this is in order to preserve battery life. If the device loses its connection it would appear as offline in the app.
Canary can communicate the reasons for an offline error by changing the color and behavior of the LED lights located on the device.
To troubleshoot light specific information, check the following:
- For Canary Pro or Canary View, visit Why is my Canary offline?
- For Canary Flex, visit Why is my Canary Flex offline?
Reset your router
There's always the chance that the issue may be related to your network. To help eliminate this ambiguity, please restart your router to see if that improves the Watch Live experience.
- Disconnect your modem and router from power for 10 seconds.
- Re-connect your modem to power first.
- Re-connect your router to power.
- Make sure you can see your Wi-Fi network in your phone settings and other devices on the same network can access the Internet.
- Restart your Canary.
If all of the aforementioned steps don't work, there may be an issue with your ISP. Contact your ISP to verify there is not a service outage in your area.
Note: To learn more about improving your improving your Canary devices connection, visit this article.
Watch Live stream buffering or video quality is low
Canary devices will automatically adjust your Watch Live video quality experience based on the strength of your connection. By adjusting the video quality of the data from the device to our servers, it improves the experience for Canary devices on slow networks such as DSL, resulting in lower than normal Watch Live video quality but also ensuring that the live video stream continues.
If the video stream doesn't fully load when you tap on Watch live and only shows a spinning icon, you may have an issue with one of the following:
Canary devices on slow networks such as DSL can directly impact our Watch live service. The device may require a larger share of your connection that your network provides due speeds or ISP throttling. Bandwidth throttling is the intentional slowing of Internet service by an Internet service provider.
Check to see if your network speeds are sufficient enough to Watch live from your mobile device. Visit speed test to run a test on your network to determine if it meets the minimum requirements. You will need at least 1 Mbps upload speed per Canary device on the network. Contact your internet service provider to upgrade your connection speeds.
Improve your Wi-Fi connection
Your Canary device may be too far from the router, it may not get a strong enough Wi-Fi signal, which could result in unexpected interference between your Canary and your router. Obstructions such as walls, glass, or other electronics can also interfere with Canary's Wi-Fi signal. Moving your Canary closer to your router and eliminating obstructions can greatly increase the strength of Canary's Wi-Fi signal.
Note: To learn more about wireless interference, check out the this article.
Watch Live stream latency or lag
Canary devices on slow networks may experience a delay in the Watch Live stream. The slower your network, the longer the latency you may see when attempting to view your Watch Live stream. You may see a several second delay between what is captured real-time with the device and your Canary app, simply because of the end-to-end transmission time required for video to get from your Canary device all the way to your mobile device.
If you experience long latency please check to see if your network speeds are sufficient enough to Watch live from your devices location. Visit speed test to test your network from your mobile device in order to determine if it meets the minimum requirements. If the results show that your upload speed is below 1 Mbps or your ping is above 180 ms, your network may not be able to fully support Watch Live.
Contact your ISP
If the speedtest confirms you have a weak signal coming into your location you can contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) to see if they are able to upgrade the connection to your location.
Watch Live stream is skipping
If there's any difference in performance between a wired and wireless connection, it's possible that the issue with Watch Live is related to your network connection, but not your connection speeds.
For example: if Watch Live works when Canary is connected with an Ethernet cable, but doesn't when connected to Wi-Fi, there may be an issue with your Wi-Fi connection. In a case like this, leave Canary connected to Ethernet until a permanent solution is determined.
Note: Canary Flex does not include an Ethernet port, and connects to the internet exclusively via Wi-Fi.
Switch to Wi-Fi
If you are using a mobile connection to access the Watch Live stream, you may want to try switching to a Wi-Fi connection. Having a strong Wi-Fi connection on your mobile device can greatly improve performance over a mobile connection, particularly if the mobile network is 3G or slower.
Switch to Mobile connection
Alternatively if you are having trouble loading your live stream on Wi-Fi you may have a slow connection or no connection to the internet on your local network. You may want to try turning off your Wi-Fi temporarily to see if your stream quality improves. This can indicate performance issues with your local network.