Review- VTO2301R-P 2mp Door Station/Doorbell Dahua/Empiretech

flynreelow

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I'd be happy with "once in a while". The DB1C shows around 200 disconnects per day and the AP is less than four feet from it albeit on the other side of a 2x6 framed wall with vinyl siding. I've played with 2.4 and 5 GHz for the connection, bit rates and frame rates. No results at all. Had it on a 24 volt transformer, say a 30 foot run from the transformer to the DB1C. Swapped that out to a 16 volt transformer. Same results no matter what I do with the POS.
time for you to swap out that unit.


the db1c aint the best.. but its been working good here since day one.

zero issues, and zero disconnects.
 
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Count yourself as lucky I guess.

I'm in no rush to swap it out until I see something that's at least halfway decent, doesn't require jumping through hoops, playing with code and is PoE. So far they're all consumer grade toys from what I see other than the VTO series from Dahua and even those are poor due to needing a SIP server.
 

looney2ns

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maybe we take a 5442 or Boobie cam, and place for desired view. .....and use the Alarm in and out wires to ring a fucking seperate doorbell, and hook that bitch up to POE and call her "Jimmy Rigged"
You mean like this?
Who needs a door bell cam, couple of IVS rules, and push notification goes to My cell phone, wifes cell phone, the Kindle fire setting by my chair. No button press required.
Never disconnects from wifi, been running non stop for 2-3 yrs.
Porch 2022-05-01 11.49.07.963 AM.jpg
 

wittaj

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Thanks to Andy, here is another review of the VTO doorbell.

I experienced many of the same issues that Looney experienced. One that mine is different is that the IR will stay on at night if not enough light or you force it.

Now for my experience in my own words LOL:

This is not for the NOOB. I am somewhat experienced and had issues getting it going. But then again, maybe someone new to this and following all the directions might have a better chance LOL. I just jumped right into it planning on relying on my past experiences.

I got into it fine via the web GUI and was able to set up an IP address and all that fine stuff within a matter of minutes, but getting it to work with DMSS is a pain. It would also be nice if it had a camera GUI live view.

It comes into BI easily enough and depending on your field of view, it may be more than adequate to IDENTIFY of someone coming to your front door. I had a doorbell camera once that you could adjust the tilt of the camera, and that would be nice feature on this one. Most will probably have to install it a little higher

Here is where I struggled LOL. I had been using my old gDMSS and it wouldn't work properly. Turns out there is just a DMSS made by Hangzhou CE-soft Technology Co., Ltd. that I was ignoring thinking it was a knockoff. All previous DMSS platforms were made by Dahua, so I was trying to go that route. Once I went with this version of DMSS, things went a lot smoother!

I tried it as POE and wifi and it worked well in both scenarios. Very little lag and latency. True two-way communication where you can talk and hear at the same time. However, if you go wifi instead of POE, the camera takes 12VDC, so you probably cannot hook it up to your existing VAC doorbell wires without modification. Thanks to @sebastiantombs for steering me in the right direction on that modification. He has a modification to allow it to ring the chime in the house that I will be adding to my list of things to try.

It allows you to add audio recordings for different things like when they ring the doorbell and if you don't answer. Nice feature.

The downfall it appears with all doorbell cams is that it needs internet access to work properly. The struggle is that it will only function as a doorbell that will notify your mobile device if you have it on the internet and use P2P. I tried every option available to get it to work without an internet connection and just on my wifi, and it just doesn't work that way. What is weird is that initiating a call from the mobile device to the doorbell works flawlessly without an internet connection, but nothing if the button is pushed on the doorbell.

I even tried the DSS platforms to run my own SIP server and it still wouldn't alert my phone without internet access. Plus DSS is very CPU intensive and the lag was unworkable.

As Looney pointed out, sadly it doesn't have IVS, but with Blue Iris and Deepstack, you can certainly get around that and have it notify you of someone at the door.

So what are your options at this point with this doorbell:
  • Many here are ok with having one device talk to the cloud and have that device on its own VLAN or guest network. It can be kinda like a redundancy if your VMS system conks out momentarily. I found this one to be better than most doorbell cams. The fact you can add an SD card in it is a step above the Ring type cams, plus no paid subscription is needed.
  • Isolate the doorbell from the internet and rely on your other cameras to notify you that someone is at the door and then use the DMSS app to initiate true two-way talk with them.
  • If you run a true VLAN system, you could probably incorporate rules to give it internet access but not access to anything else, yet still be able to bring it into your VMS.
  • I tried this and it works, but defer to someone here on how secure it is LOL. Since the doorbell cam has both POE and wifi, I tried them both at the same time and it actually works. I was able to POE it to my non-internet IP address range and bring it into BI AND used the wifi on a different IP address on the guest network to give it the ability to talk to the cloud so that my phone would get notified when the doorbell was pushed. The question is how secure is this - isn't this kinda like dual NIC lol but within the doorbell itself, so if it was wifi to the internet on a 192.x.x.x subnet, but the POE was a 172.x.x.x, could the 192 subnet talk to the 172 subnet and if so, how to mitigate it?

In my experience, very few people actually ring the doorbell anymore. They would rather knock on the door and kinda force people with a doorbell camera to have to come to the door. And many cloud based doorbell cameras only alert or record if the doorbell is rang, so my existing doorbell cam misses most events anyway. I only caught them due to my other cameras. So having it not alert my phone isn't a dealbreaker given I can get BI to alert me to their presence and then open up DMSS.

If you are someone that doesn't want to give your doorbell cam internet access, this is a great doorbell if you have BI or another VMS running that can give you the actual alert that someone is at your front door, and then use DMSS to initiate a true conversation with them. As I said previously, the DMSS will work without internet access where you initiate the call from your mobile device.

You can use POE or wifi or both at the same time, which is a great benefit and flexibility.

The FOV is such that you probably do have to mount this a little higher than a normal doorbell camera.

Given the very few options for POE doorbells at the moment, this is probably the best one out there. I have passed suggestions on to Andy as well that he is passing on to Dahua to try to make improvements in a future firmware update.
 

jarrow

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Thanks for the great review @wittaj!
Thanks to @sebastiantombs for steering me in the right direction on that modification. He has a modification to allow it to ring the chime in the house that I will be adding to my list of things to try.
I'm really interested in both mentioned modifications, as this is the only part holding me back from buying it. Another option would be to add a VTH to the wall, I assume, so I'll get notified whenever I don't have my phone with me in the house.
 

wittaj

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Thanks for everyone’s comments. Sounds like I’ll just buy a 5224 and set alerts in BI.
Do keep in mind that with BI and using it to alert you instead of giving it internet access, this can be a nice addition and less obvious than a 5442, and provide true two-way talk with someone at the door.

That may or may not be important to you, but to many the ability to speak with someone without having to open the door in case they are up to no good is of some value.

Is the VTO perfect, nope, but neither is a 5442 for a doorbell LOL.

But it can be another tool in the toolbox and compliment to a robust system in place. I still find it useful for that purpose and it has the look/feel of a doorbell someone is expecting to see.
 
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wittaj

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The more I use this, the more I like it.

Is it perfect, no, but it has a lot of flexibility. The ability to go POE or wifi (or both at same time LOL) is a nice feature.

I decided to not have it on the internet with P2P and gave it a shot with BI and using my other cams and Deepstack to notify me someone is at the door.

The disadvantage to not having P2P means them pushing the doorbell doesn't alert you, but that is what BI is for.

DMSS without internet access still allows you to initiate a call with the person at the front door, and it is true two way talk and way better than the active deterrence two-way talk camera I have close by that is more like walkie talkie LOL.

In the month or so that I have been using it, only one person actually pushed the button. Everyone else knocks on the door. So the whole feature of being alerted in DMSS is a moot point if they do not ring the doorbell, so I am actually liking this setup better.

So I set it whether they push the button or not, it plays a recording letting them know that we do not answer the door if we are not expecting anybody and they can move along. Saves me from answering the door LOL. Only once did a solicitor get aggressive and keep knocking, which at that point I opened up DMSS and initiated a true two-way call with him and informed him that we are on the "Do not Knock" list and I would be calling the police if he did not leave immediately. He proceeded to leave and took his pamphlets with him LOL.

But for those that prefer it to alert you in DMSS and are ok with using P2P, it works better than any prior doorbell cam I have had previously.

So in the end, it gives you a lot of flexibility and the ability to change it as your system grows and matures.
 

dok0619

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Do keep in mind that with BI and using it to alert you instead of giving it internet access, this can be a nice addition and less obvious than a 5442, and provide true two-way talk with someone at the door.

That may or may not be important to you, but to many the ability to speak with someone without having to open the door in case they are up to no good is of some value.

Is the VTO perfect, nope, but neither is a 5442 for a doorbell LOL.

But it can be another tool in the toolbox and compliment to a robust system in place. I still find it useful for that purpose and it has the look/feel of a doorbell someone is expecting to see.
This is the main reason I ordered it. I needed to replace my doorbell because it stopped working and believe it or not friends or neighbors rang the doorbell on several occasions and did not know and left thinking we werent home. And while I have a wedge cam opposite it does not have two way talk which I really wanted. I have had it running on my desk for a while now and finally installed it today. I have it set up to ring my phone with DSS and also ring my Ipad which i keep in the living room so we can answer either way. We'll see how it does in the "real world"...hopefully works out ok... I also made an attempt at making it a little more wife friendly...
 

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flynreelow

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This is the main reason I ordered it. I needed to replace my doorbell because it stopped working and believe it or not friends or neighbors rang the doorbell on several occasions and did not know and left thinking we werent home. And while I have a wedge cam opposite it does not have two way talk which I really wanted. I have had it running on my desk for a while now and finally installed it today. I have it set up to ring my phone with DSS and also ring my Ipad which i keep in the living room so we can answer either way. We'll see how it does in the "real world"...hopefully works out ok... I also made an attempt at making it a little more wife friendly...

this is the POE version?

can you post any video?
 
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