When it comes to standalone doorbell cameras, Ring, SkyBell and August might have the mindshare, but DoorBird ($349+) appears to be the best DIY camera for integrating with higher-end home automation systems, starting out with RTI, URC and Control4.
Exhibiting at ISC West 2016, the Wi-Fi-enabled DoorBird blends the best of the DIY products with the richest of the pro-installed solutions like ChannelVision, Holovision and Mobotix.
Like most of those pro-oriented products, the DoorBird is a SIP (session initiated protocol) communicator, serving as a traditional VoIP station. As such, it can be incorporated into any control system or IP telephone service that supports SIP.
Video works similarly. DoorBird supports ONVIF, the open standard for IP cameras, so it could be discovered, viewed and controlled just like any other IP camera in a control system that supports the standard. In a complete surveillance system with an NVR, video from DoorBird cameras could appear right next to video from other IP cameras.
Unlike the video intercom stations made especially for the home-technology channel, however, the DoorBird also serves as a DIY product with a standalone app, and integrates with other DIY-centric products such as door locks from August, Kwikset (Kevo), LockState and Danalock, as well as Chamberlain garage-door controllers. (Mobotix has a standalone app as well, but hardware starts at about $800.)
As such, the DoorBird and companion BirdGuard Wi-Fi outdoor cameras could be installed as a self-contained surveillance and communication system, and then grow into a complete home-control system. DoorBird also provides a wireless siren/chime and door/window sensor. At ISC, the company showed a door lock as a concept product.
DoorBird comes in several pro-grade finishes and form factors, starting at $349 (retail) for the polycarbonate surface-mount model and about $600 for surface- and flush-mounted stainless-steel models.
A relay on the back panel can be used to control door strikes, garage-door openers or other low-voltage devices.
DoorBird can be installed using the two wires that power an existing doorbell, but you’ll need to fuss with the existing chime and transformer located who-knows-where in the house. For best results, tap into a nearby AC line or run Cat 5 to the door station for both power and Ethernet.
I can’t comment on the quality of the audio, video and app vis-à-vis DoorBird’s competitors, but if you’re looking for a video doorbell you can grow with, this one looks like just the ticket for the home-tech channel.
Integrations & API
- DoorBird Connect API
- HTML5 Widget
- ONVIF video standard
- SIP (Session initiated Protocol) communications standard
- Smart lock support for August, Chamberlain MyQ, Kevo, Lockitron, Liftmaster MyQ
- Home automation integration with Control4, URC, RTI
- HD camera with 180-degree viewing horizontal, 90 degree vertical
- On-demand live video
- Cloud recording option
- App dashboard for simultaneous viewing of all cameras
- Night vision with 12 IR LEDs
- Video optimization and audio transport protocol and codecs for mobiel access via Wi-Fi, 3G, 4G/LTE
- Two wires, 12-36VDC
- “We do not use battery power. A mains power supply enables on-demand live video at any time and not only when a visitor has pushed the doorbell button. … This is why we ship the DoorBird with a 15VDC power supply with extra audio interference-suppression which you can connect to your existing two wires and plug it inside a wall socket within your house (input 110-240VAC). We can also supply a DIN rail power supply upon request. You can also power the DoorBird via the integrated network interface using a Power over Ethernet switch or injector ….”
- Relay for door strike
- 802.11 b/g/n
- Ethernet port with PoE (alternative Wi-Fi and wired power)
- 180-degree PIR
- IP54 outdoor rating