Recommendation video door bell?

Hi,

I just started looking around for video door bells for my house and thought it would be an easy job: open amazon, looking for recommendations, check whether an openHAB binding exists and go ahead.

But I read lots of crazy stuff which currently makes it difficult for me to find the right system:

  • Door bell sometimes does not ring (on amazon you find it even with better brands like Doorbird)
  • Proprietary hardware needed in order to store images/videos
  • Cloud connection necessary
  • Can‘t use my current simple bell in parallel anymore (24 V, simple button „ding dong“)
  • Weak camera at night or in high contrast scenarios

Basically all those points in reverse would be my requirements to such a system. Plus:

  • Integration into openHAB including active notifications on my smartphone.
    Maybe a WhatsApp message via Callmebot would already be sufficient to learn when I am not at home that there is someone at the door. I did not check it but maybe I can also send a picture via Callmebot to myself. I can‘t think of other ways since my phone is not always connected to my home network.
  • WiFi based data connection
  • Switching off the „ding dong“ bell should be possible without switching off the whole system

So, does this make sense? Anything which I forgot? Do you know what could work or are my requirements too special?

Best,
Oliver

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I won’t talk about other door bell, but I have a doorbird and :

1- Never happen to me. Or it happened and I don’t know :sweat_smile:
2- It seems to be like an ONVIF camera (I don’t use it but it seems pretty standard). There is for instance a tutorial on the doorbird website for use with synology. All events are local HTTP calls or UDP broadcast, and the API is open.
3- No cloud needed. Only if you want to use the mobile app. But I think an internet connection is mandatory for the configuration. If doorbird goes out of business, I’m not optimistic for our devices.
4- There is on my D1101V a bi-stable latching relay, max. 24 V DC/AC, 1 A, I think it’s for this purpose (not 100% sure, you should check the manual if interested).
5- The night mode seems OK, but my street has good lights, so I don’t know, sorry.

1- The binding does the job and catch all events (including images, history, etc.). You can make a rule and use action from other addon to send something.
2- WiFi or RJ45
3- There is a calendar for the chime. BUT I don’t know if the 24V relay is also switched off.

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I started with pretty much the same requirements and found the Netatmo doorbell to be a very good match. However the product also had some flaws which is why I would not recommend to buy one unless you feel comfortable with these flaws (you will find tons of similar reports on the web)

PROs:

  • easy install
  • reuse existing gong (works offline!)
  • wide Input range (no need to replace your transformer)
  • local storage (sd card and ftp)
  • (almost) no cloud required

CONs:

  • I managed to brick mine upon installation and I found reports of other users… this shouldn’t even be possible… managed to install my replacement fine so it might have been a defective unit
  • Slow notifications when something moves (videos start when people leave so you don’t know who it was)
  • answering a call via the phone app fails every now and again or it takes a looooong time until connection is established
  • SD Card was defective about 2 months after installation. This also prevents that videos can be stored on a ftp server
  • when I was on holidays the doorbell was offline for three days and came back online after that. However I could see that it was connected to my wifi all the time, so no idea what was happening there…
  • even excellent wifi coverage is usually reported as being poor by the doorbell. A lot of people installed a new access point only for the doorbell…
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Dahua VTO3211 100$ at Aliexpress.
Openhab IPCamera binding integrated, proprietary software needed only for FW upgrade to SIP and for some specific setup options not available from Web GUI.
Could make videocalls to self-hosted SIP-server like Asterisk, and Asterisk supports calls to mobile phones, and to Openhab itself (the feature will be implemented in 3.4).
Cloud connection not necessary after connection to SIP.
Has from 1 to 4 buttons depending of versions, mine has two - so first button is for calls, and second launches face recognition, dunno why do you need ding-dong, but you can program Dahua to make calls to different numbers from it’s buttons, and Asterisk can launch whatever you want when he’s receiving calls from doorphone, from ding-dong to self-destruction sequence initiation.
Has built-in IR filter for camera and IR lights, it’s panel has LEDs.
Has built-in mifare/nfc reader, could react to them, or just pass them to ipcamera binding.
Has Snapshot, MJPEG and HLS streams ready, not eating Openhab’s perfomance. HLS stream could be stored without big impact to Openhab’s perfomance, as your ffmpeg will only copy video to mp4 file without video conversion.
Has motion detection, sensitivity adjustment, detection zones.
As it’s integrated to Openhab - you could use Openhab’s connectivity possibilities, like sending camera snapshot to Telegram, open doorlock by Telegram, by Openhab cloud etc.
As it’s integrated to Openhab - you don’t need it’s sd-card slot to record video, record could be made by Openhab.
Cons - h264 low bitrate encoding, bad for fast moving objects, and it’s wired (it’s not a con really, cause wired is always performing better than wi-fi).
Maybe DH-DB6I has the same Dahua API onboard so it will provide the same options plus wi-fi.

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Hi,
I have a Nest Doorbell (1st Gen) and can not recommend it.

Cons:

  • Wifi is spotty, i feel like when it is either very cold or hot the wifi connection is gone
  • Openhab integration is very basic (it is detected as a camera, so you can’t acces many of the doorbell features like switching off the bell
  • Cloud connection neccessary, you can’t just access the video feed

Pro:

  • The camera is very good in every light condition
  • It integrates with my old doorbell chime and the doorbell is reliable
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I’m very happy with unifi doorbell, but it requires a unifi controller cloudkey or nvr. There is a binding for it.

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I have a Nest (latest version) and I’m happy with it but I don’t have the same requirements so it probably won’t be a good fit for you.

It’s wired and works great with the existing doorbell (once I upgraded the transformer). The camera is great day and night. You don’t need proprietary hardware but you do need to use their cloud service to see the camera feed and get the alerts and you have to pay a subscription to get stuff like individual person recognition, package dropoff detection, etc.

But we are fine with that. I don’t have it integrated with OH because I don’t have a need for it. The Nest app does everything I need. I probably couldn’t if I want to because the transition from my Nest account to Google account got borked and even Google Assistant can’t see my Nest devices. :slightly_frowning_face:

I have not experienced the same WiFi issues @BobMiles reports and it gets pretty cold here too so YMMV on that front.

Were I to replace it, I might consider looking at Wyse. It is possible to get at their camera feeds and there is a pretty good Wyse API project on GitHub that has reverse engineered Wyse’s API. But that of course is brittle and requires an extra service to run alongside OH to make it work.

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The wifi issues probably are a 1st gen thing, so they might not be applicable anymore!
I really miss being able to set the DND mode via the api though. In the app you can set it to three hours max and only manually…

Oh wow, that is quite some feedback! Thanks a lot!
The UniFi systems looks interesting. It looks like I can use my QNAP server as an alternative for the NVR by Ubiquiti. I shall dig a little bit deeper into this topic.

What I am actually still not sure is whether would want to use the cloud service of the manufacturers or whether I shall integrate the bell to openHAB. I basically see 2 use cases and 1 future use case. Use cases 1 and 2 should be possible with openHAB but with use case 3 I am not so sure.

Use case 1: I am at home sitting in my home office and during a call someone rings the door bell:

  • Thanks to my classic gong I would immediately get informed that someone is at the door
  • Within 2-3 seconds I get 1-3 still pictures on my phone (i.e. via WhatsApp if it is supported with Callmebot)
  • Due to the classic gong latency app wise does not play a big role

Use case 2: I am not at home and want to get informed when somebody rang the bell

  • I want to receive again a picture and this time I am not in my home network and also normally do not have an active VPN connection
  • Again not time critical. Information within 5 seconds would be sufficient.

Future use case 3 in a few years: Kids come home from school and forgot their keys to enter the house

  • Kids ring the bell and I get informed again via phone
  • I am able to either talk live to them (like a phone call) or at least can play an audio message which I sent to the doorbell and I can hear an audio message which was spoken at the door

I think particularly use case 3 is supported with lots of proprietary systems but I am not so sure about doing it by myself. Is this even possible with openHAB?

That is probably going to mean some custom DIY work and not a 100% off the shelf product.

For example I use this doorbell powered off a halogen light AC transformer with no bell mech. Then openHAB rules trigger the sound when I want it to go off using chromecast and google home hubs that are around the house. The bell sound can be cusomised or turn down low or off as your rule sees fit. There are many ways to achieve this like using relays to remove the mech bell.

Working doorbell: Hikvision DS-HD1 - Tutorials & Examples / Solutions - openHAB Community

The above camera does not tell you when the button is pressed without hacks or DIY work, however I find the PIR sensor good enough to trigger the bell automatically. I have found a large majority of our visitors will not press the button and parcels just get left at the door. The value in a button push for me is very low now I have seen the percentage of people that actually push the button which may be caused by the fact it is a camera doorbell. If a button push is important there are ways to add it.

It could be even better. Both at home and away you could receive not only a picture, but an incoming videocall, and you could talk to visitor, see him, open a door for him, or trigger alarm. And when kids will come home from school and forgot their keys, they could either use an NFC-tag, attached to their clothes or backpacks, or trigger face recognition service to open the door, and yes, you will be notified both with a photo.
I’m not using keys anymore, cause I have 4 different ways to open my doors/gates.

Great idea. I am not sure whether it works on my side as I am living in a „townhouse“ (Reihenhaus). 3 houses in a row and I live in the 1st house. If someone wants to visit the 2nd or 3rd house the PIR will still trigger. So to increase the WAF I would still go for a classical button

However, I like your idea which you have initially described. The DIY could work with a Wifi relay which I can hide inside the „gong“ housing. When someone pushes the button I can trigger the relay for 500 ms which should produce the classical ding-dong again.

Nice, really nice! Currently I cannot open my doors without keys so there would be more work to be done. But it would be a nice upgrade in the future.

Hello all,

I have a Foscam VD1 which is ok.
Read the door chime button via HTTPLister binding and output an audio sound via Amazon Echo.
As far as I know you can also download video and images directly from the camera via FTP.
See also my entries in the forum about the Foscam

Greetings Holger

One thing to consider is also if you have to pay subscription fees as well as where is the data stored. One of the reasons I went with UniFi doorbell is that there are no subscriptionfees and the data is stored locally on your own hardware.

/S

I had a Ring Video Doorbell Pro, but I got fed up with it sending videos of my visitors to somewhere in the USA (I live in Switzerland - this may even be illegal activity here). I replaced it with a UniFi G4, which stores any videos in my local network (admittedly, that requires a UniFi UDM Pro, but I had that already).

The biggest problem that I found was getting digital chimes that will work with the UniFi G4. That is an area where Ring is actually very good. I solved this by setting up a Homebridge server that links the UniFi G4 to my Ring chimes. I’m very pleased with the result.

Steve

I moved from the Sky Bell (used for 5+ years) to Amrcrest AD410 Doorbell. I have it fully integrated with OpenHab

Pro

  1. High resolution images day or night -
  2. Stable WIFI
  3. Works with OpenHab ipcamera biding - you can get images and motion sensor
  4. Stable WiFi connections
  5. Store videos locally (SD Card) also works with Armcrest DVR

Cons

  1. Sometime the doorbell is few second delayed - person press and it take 10-30 sec for the bell inside the house to ring

Amcrest 4-Megapixel Video Doorbell Camera Pro, Outdoor Smart Home 2.4GHz and 5GHz Wireless WiFi Doorbell Camera, Micro SD Card, PIR Motion Detector, IP65 Weatherproof, 2-Way Audio, 164º Wide-Angle Wi-Fi AD410

Harry

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You don’t need a homebridge solution for that. The unifi protect binding for openhab can detect the ring the same way. I do the chime with the sonos binding when someone pushes the doorbell.

You don’t need an udm/pro it is enough with a ckg2+ or unifi nvr.

@Seaside You mean that the Sonos binding handles Ring chimes? Nice.

I had a UDM Pro anyway.

However, I like your idea which you have initially described. The DIY could work with a Wifi relay which I can hide inside the „gong“ housing. When someone pushes the button I can trigger the relay for 500 ms which should produce the classical ding-dong again.

I have a Shelly 1 connected to the doorbell button. You could use the output of the Shelly to connect to the classical ding-dong but I did’t do this. I use the audio sink to play a dingdong mp3 on all connected tablets in the house and send a Telegram notification. Instantly the notification is send to the mobile devices. I have an IP camera above the door, I just haven’t got the time to extend the rule in order to send the picture via Telegram, but it should be possible.
You can fiddle around with the rule when the dingdong sound should be played and when not.

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That sounds quite cheap and yet powerful. Due to the above position of the camera I guess you can’t really see faces but still get an idea: Is it family, is it parcel service or just somebody I do not want to open the door for. Am I right?