So here's an update to the fiasco I'm having with my LaView Doorbell / review.
Overall the hardware install for this doorbell was laughably easy. Everything in this video (
) right up until 5:46 is a breeze. It's the software configuration that is a nightmare. From 5:46 to 5:52 of the video took me about two days to muddle through.
I got a replacement thinking that perhaps there was an error with the sticker (wrong password, bad QR code, etc) only to discover that I was in the same situation. It just kept telling me that my "device password was incorrect" even though my phone was able to connect to the doorbell's wifi with no issues.
I tried moving my router closer and renaming my wifi and password to something ludicrously simple, but that still didn't help (still kept telling me that the device password was incorrect, even though it copied it correctly to my clipboard, tried typing it manually as well and still didn't accept it).
I was able to add the device to my account but I had to dig up my wife's old iPad and use the iOS version of the app. I still had issues with the iOS app, but it at least found the doorbell and was able to add it to my WiFi.
The next issue was trying to view the video feed and it asked me to enter the password on the back of the doorbell to decrypt and view the feed. Of course, that password didn't work and I have no idea why (I've tried it with uppercase and lowercase letters). The app had the option to reset the password, so when I tried that route, it e-mailed me a code and I entered that code into the app when it asked and.........nothing. The app just went back to the settings page. So I was unable to unencrypt my video feed because the provided password didn't work, and I had no way to reset it (that would work). I was just about to take it off the wall and return it for a refund when I found an option in the app settings to turn off "Image Encryption". Unfortunately, it asks you for the same encryption password on the back of the doorbell, which of course doesn't work. The good news is that the app is horribly written, so if you just hit "cancel" and exit the settings page, it will still save your settings and de-encrypt your video feed! So I was successful in setting up my LaView camera and able to view the feed (when not encrypted) after a couple of days of jumping through hoops, and with absolutely no help (or even a response) from the LaView support team. I don't really care if the feed is encrypted or not as I could care less if anyone else has access to the feed of my front porch.
The device has a pretty severe fish-eye lens that can really distort the image (made it impossible to see the logo on a shirt of someone who approached my door), but the hardware seems great otherwise.
IR is fantastic, and the only thing that makes this camera one to avoid is the software. I've configured the detection range to the shortest possible 5ft because if you use anything else, it will go off when cars drive by..........about 30 feet away. This isn't a huge issue as I really only want it to notify when people approach my door. As for the notifications, they work pretty well. It is very reliable as it goes to my phone every time it detects movement. Where it fails again is when someone actually pushes the button. It is supposed to notify you when someone rings the doorbell (my mechanical doorbell barely makes a noise when the button is pressed, but I'm guessing that's because I need a more powerful transformer as 16v doesn't appear to be enough), and it only goes to my phone when I'm on the same wireless network, and even when I'm at home on the WiFi it only alerts about 20% of the time, so that feature is essentially useless.
I even got my Hikvision NVR to see the feed from the RTS feed, but I ran into a disappointing limitation. When I try to set up a motion detection event through the Hikvision NVR (as I was planning on ditching the LaView app and just using the Hikvision app for everything), it tells me that "The camera does not support the function." I REALLY wish I knew that it didn't support motion detection as that is pretty much the only reason I bought it. Perhaps you can't do motion detection with RTS and it requires ONVIF, I'm not sure, but this issue really bites. I'll probably keep it until something better comes out and I'll just have to learn to live with the LaView app and just record everything (instead of just events) to the NVR, but this would have been a definite deal-breaker if I'd had known.
Another fun "feature" is that when I first tried setting it up, it asked me to test the signal strength to my router, so when I clicked that button it loaded a utility that tested your signal strength, but everything was in Chinese (I assume). Since I can't read Chinese, I had no idea if my signal strength was suitable, but I moved the router right next to the doorbell just to be safe.
Also, EVERY TIME I open the app, I get "Operation failed, failed to get the device list, please check your network" with a retry button. If I close the app and open it again, it then works......every......single.......time.
Occasionally when I try to playback a video, I just get an Operation Failed error and some files just aren't playable.
The last thing I didn't like about this camera is that there is no room behind it for the marrettes so right now, I have the wires sticking out to the sides of the doorbell until I can find time to chisel out a hole to tuck them into (my old cheap button doorbell even had room for two small marrettes.
I would rate this model an "avoid" for the software issues, no ONVIF, and overly difficult setup.
As I was typing up this review, I noticed that there was a new firmware update for the doorbell which ADDS ONVIF SUPPORT! I just took the update and it indeed now supports ONVIF. I just readded it to my NVR using ONVIF instead of RTS and I can now use the motion detection through my NVR instead! If they could fix the notification reliability when someone pressed the doorbell button to allow me to answer my door from anywhere, I would move this up to a "Buy" (even with the difficult setup, you really only need to do that once).