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How to change your camera’s video quality

The video quality and bandwidth setting lets you choose how much of your internet connection gets used by your camera to stream video. Higher quality settings use more bandwidth. No matter which option you pick, both your camera and the Nest app will automatically adjust their resolution to work with available bandwidth.

How to change the video quality setting for your camera

The higher the video quality setting you choose, the sharper and more detailed your footage can be, but it also uses more of your internet bandwidth. If you have a Google Nest Aware subscription, this will be the video quality at which your footage gets recorded.

To see how much bandwidth and total monthly data your camera uses at each video quality level, see the following article:

Learn more about Google Nest cameras’ internet bandwidth usage


How to change your camera’s video quality setting

  1. On the Nest app home screen, select the camera that you want to change settings for.
  2. In the upper right, tap Settings  Nest settings icon.
  3. Tap Quality and bandwidth Nest cam video quality icon.
  4. The leftmost option labeled Low uses the smallest amount of bandwidth. Higher settings use more bandwidth.

Keep in mind, this setting lets you pick the maximum video quality for your camera. No matter which level you choose, your camera will automatically adjust its resolution and compression according to how much bandwidth is available.


What happens when you change this setting

  • Wi-Fi troubleshooting: If your camera frequently disconnects, or if the other Wi-Fi devices in your home seem slower than normal when your camera is streaming, manually lowering the Quality and bandwidth setting may help fix the immediate issue. If so, you should try to troubleshoot the root cause, which is usually a Wi-Fi connection or bandwidth issue.
  • Resolution in video history: When you have a Nest Aware subscription and you pick a video quality setting, you’re also picking the quality at which the footage gets recorded. You won’t be able to go back and watch your saved footage at a higher video quality.
  • Small gap in video history: After you change the Quality and bandwidth setting, your camera will take a moment to restart and switch to the new video quality setting. If you have a Nest Aware subscription there may be a few seconds gap in your video history while your camera restarts. 

Video quality is automatically adjusted when you’re watching footage

No matter what kind of wireless connection you have on your phone, tablet or computer, you’ll be able to view Nest camera video with minimal interruptions. That’s because the Nest app automatically detects the speed of your connection and adapts accordingly.

If the Nest app detects a fast connection, it will play your video at a higher quality and resolution. On a slow connection, it lowers the quality and resolution to help reduce pauses as you watch. So, even if you’ve set your camera to a higher video quality setting, you may see a low-res version on your device if you have a slow connection.

Switch to a Wi-Fi network with plenty of bandwidth if you want to watch your footage at the full video quality setting you chose above.



4G or LTE cellular

3G or 2G cellular

Watching live or recorded video on phone, tablet or computer

1080p maximum
(720p maximum for original Dropcam or Dropcam HD)

720p maximum

224p maximum
(400x224 pixels)

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