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What does the Hardware Decoder do?


Note: The path to get to the hardware decoder may be different on your device. See the steps at the end of this article for the basics. 

First, what is software decoding?

Software decoding is a default setting that uses your mobile device’s CPU to interpret your videos so that you can view them. However, phones are not as powerful as personal computers and sometimes struggle with decoding videos fast enough. This can lead to your device becoming warmer, slower, and laggy during video playback. The device you use will change how severe this is.

Now, what is hardware decoding?

To combat the issues involved with software decoding, manufacturers put chips called Graphics Processing Units (GPUs) into your mobile devices. When you use these video chips to interpret your videos, you are using hardware decoding, a much faster video processing option. 

FYI: Hardware decoding shifts all video processing to the GPU of your mobile devices. This affects video playback, Live Stream, Event videos, manually recorded videos, and more. 

Some tradeoffs with hardware decoding:

  • Supports fewer file types (supports ours, though).
  • Potential for more compression artifacts in your videos.
  • Increased battery usage. 

If you have an Android device, you can find this option in your Wyze app settings. It is not available on iOS devices.

Should I use hardware decoding? It’s up to you! Some users may prefer to use hardware decoding for faster performance while viewing videos, but others may not notice a difference. 

To enable hardware decoding:

  1. Open the Wyze app, and tap Account
  2. Scroll to the bottom of the screen, then tap App Settings.
  3. Tap the toggle next to Enable Hardware Decoder.


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