Best Video doorbell features and design ...

Discussion in 'Chit-Chat' started by newfoundlandplucky, Jan 7, 2019.

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  1. newfoundlandplucky

    newfoundlandplucky n3wb

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    This may not the best place to discuss and evaluate doorbell technology components. At least, not in the way I intend, which is to develop a testbed to validate feature ideas.

    Current batch of doorbell products appear to favor a bunch of features that turn me away entirely:

    1. Recurring revenue using walled garden cloud services. Few options integrate best-of-class services or technology.
    2. Focus on video monitoring and storage as opposed to rapid notification and communication.
    3. Lack of hard-wired, reliable solutions at the low end of the spectrum.

    The doorbell ought to push PIR movement and video motion notifications to household devices closest to me (phones, tablets, computers, multimedia players, and a wired door chime).

    The doorbell button ought to sound the exiting wired chime and also establish SIP calls to whatever devices are available when the button is pushed (this concept should include acting as an extension to your VoIP system).

    Monitor video stream using software like Blue Iris.

    Likely this won't ever move past a prototype and trying stuff that I might like. Making a hardware product is mostly outside my wheelhouse. Progress will be slow because component shopping has a 2 month turnaround and I have yet to enroll in fabrication courses from the local library to gain access to 3d printing and CNC.

    Likely to run into lots of disappointment because I really don't grok the appropriate video sensor, lens, filter, or microphone component selection. An initial set of components have been selected based on cost and a desire to start the two month delivery process from China.

    DoorbellTestbed.png
     

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  2. dark current

    dark current Getting the hang of it

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  3. newfoundlandplucky

    newfoundlandplucky n3wb

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    Yup. Really didn't want to confuse that forum, which appears to be focused on product reviews, with this thread which is a process of discovery and trial and error. I'm not even sure I know what I want. I'd like to evaluate workflow and features before compromising on esthetics and probably over-spending.

    The product that comes closest to my wish list of features is DoorBird D2101V (https://www.amazon.com/DoorBird-Station-D2101V-Stainless-Flush-mounted/dp/B076H65MQ3). It has issues. First is the form factor. Most people would be willing to press the intercom button, maybe, but it would be a bit intimidating and out of character for a small residence like mine. Second is the price. I kinda laugh hysterically at entertaining the idea of spending $1200 on two doorbells.

    Many other products also suffer from esthetic problems. The Dahua VTO2101E-P looks like a security device. Who in their right mind would assume this is a residential doorbell and push the tiny recessed black button? LOL. I'd be more concerned with being zapped by a home security death ray. Might be appropriate where intimidation is the intent but is not what I want.

    Ring appears to have their act together wrt form factor. The intimidating stuff is hidden in black and the doorbell button is illuminated and clearly meant to draw attention. Their feature set is currently focused on selling this as a security monitoring device as opposed to a communications device. Its feature set falls well short of what I want.

    Fenderman has recommended a few times the Dahua mini-dome for video security monitoring. I'm beginning to believe this is the right approach. The doorbell only serves as a two-way voice intercom possibly with PIR sensing. The Dahua mini-dome does hi-res video monitoring and the low-res video stream can be integrated by the doorbell as part of SIP negotiation to whatever device answers the call.
     
  4. dark current

    dark current Getting the hang of it

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    The main issues I see from all of these is a lack of a standardized IP connection (let alone PoE), and high price for middling performance. For the price of a single DoorBird, two or three good cameras could be installed, offering far better views of a visitor.

    I'm going to try a twin dome Dahua IPC-HDBW4231F-E2-M (3.6mm lenses) for a front door camera, tied to a Blue Iris server. The camera has a microphone, but I haven't tracked down a speaker yet. As long as I can find an appropriate location for the camera, it should provide video good enough for identification, and cover any front door packages. People have reported good luck with changing the lenses to different focal lengths, which may be a useful project.

    While this solution isn't tied directly to a doorbell, the cameras/BI could send an alert on motion, and a method of two-way voice communication could be sorted out.
     
  5. fenderman

    fenderman Staff Member

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    That camera does not support audio out. Also note that even if blue iris audio talk worked perfectly, its half duplex.
     
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  6. dark current

    dark current Getting the hang of it

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    Thanks. I know I'd have to find another method for audio. I plan to pull two runs of Cat6 to that location so I'll have enough wire for something else.

    It's a shame Dahua doesn't offer this cam with full duplex audio. That would likely make it an ideal door camera. Even an independent PoE full duplex intercom device would pair well with it, or work with any other cameras.
     
  7. newfoundlandplucky

    newfoundlandplucky n3wb

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    Wish I had pulled two CAT6 runs at the doorway instead of only one.

    A door camera paired with a SIP based intercom seems to be the right direction. So the problem mostly becomes finding an intercom in a doorbell form factor that can integrate to one or more security cameras and motion sensors.
     
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  8. dark current

    dark current Getting the hang of it

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    Something like this 7" PoE tablet would work well for the interior interface. It even has an integral wall mount and recessed ports. I like the idea of a tablet instead of a dumb screen, since it should be able to access other cams on the network.

    Several Ethernet / SIP intercoms on AliExpress, but it may not be easy to find one that'll integrate well with Blue Iris or another VMS.
     
  9. newfoundlandplucky

    newfoundlandplucky n3wb

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    I also like the idea of a tablet instead of a dumb screen. As you say, a tablet would be a great platform for spot checking several cameras.

    Along the same lines a SIP doorbell ought to be able to ring a hunt group of devices and not be paired to a single answering device. You would need a software PBX somewhere in the deployment, like Asterisk for example, which could run on the doorbell itself.
     
  10. newfoundlandplucky

    newfoundlandplucky n3wb

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    I am still looking for a residential doorbell that performs SIP, camera optional, nice form factor. The Dahua VTO2111D-WP looks promising. Does it integrate only to a door station or will it act as a SIP extension to any VoIP system? I don't know but probably not. The hardware is acceptable but the software does not meet my requirements.

    In the meantime I've completed a lot of testing on the raspberry pi reference platform to verify that this class of platform has enough ommphhhh to run a good SIP communications stack. It does.

    TL;DR

    1. raspberry pi zero when configured as a virtual USB Ethernet adaptor operates at 105 - 109 Mbits/sec and less than 1ms latency.
    2. $5 DM96xx USB Ethernet adaptor attached to the raspberry pi has throughput of 444 kB/s and 12ms latency.
    3. Don't use DM96xx based USB Ethernet adaptors with the raspberry pi zero. :)

    Throughput when using usb as a virtual Ethernet adaptor to an attached router (named Elvis) and i7 based server (named Spider) is very good:

    root@raspberrypi:/home/pi# iperf --enhancedreports --time 60 --client elvis
    [ 3] 0.00-60.00 sec 749 MBytes 105 Mbits/sec 1/0 0 22K/356 us

    root@raspberrypi:/home/pi# iperf --enhancedreports --time 60 --client spider
    [ 3] 0.00-60.00 sec 782 MBytes 109 Mbits/sec 1/0 0 285K/535 us

    A super cheap Ethernet adaptor as pictured in the OP is not so good. Usable but any video output would be highly restricted.

    root@raspberrypi:/home/pi# iperf --enhancedreports --time 60 --client spider
    [ 3] 0.00-60.07 sec 27.8 MBytes 3.88 Mbits/sec 1/0 0 28K/12615 us

    pi@raspberrypi:~ $ ftp spider
    1866465280 bytes received in 4100.87 secs (444.4717 kB/s)

    Jan 8 19:50:28 raspberrypi kernel: [11.837986] dm9601 1-1.2:1.0 eth0: register 'dm9601' at usb-20980000.usb-1.2,
    Davicom DM96xx USB 10/100 Ethernet, 00:e0:4c:53:44:58

    Apparently the Ethernet adaptor I purchased direct from China is an ok low cost $5 device but not sufficient for performing SIP video aggregation to a networked cameras. I should have spent $15 for an ASIX AX88179 based Ethernet adaptor.

    Maybe should have chosen the NanoPi NEO Core 2 instead of the Raspberry Pi processing engine. It has RTL8211E-VB-CG based Ethernet on-board. It also has audio and some models have a MIPI CSI-2 camera interface.

    NanoPi NEO Core2
     
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