Uniview URDB1 - A doorbell with great image quality, Onvif/RTSP streams, and EXIR, but no mechanical/digital doorbell support.

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n3wb
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When I heard about Uniview's doorbell, I was immediately excited to try it out and got my hands on it that same week, thanks to some great connections that I have in the CCTV world. I was already on the lookout for a replacement to my Hikvision doorbell, and it seemed to meet all my requirements - Onvif support, 1080p, works over traditional doorbell wiring, WiFi enabled, and an easy to use app.

If you're not familiar, Uniview is a manufacturer separate from Dahua and Hikvision. I've used their cameras for years and honestly would take a Unv camera over a Hik or Dahua any day. They're just robust and easy to work on, while also having plenty of features and options. Of course, that's obviously my opinion on MOST of their cameras.
I am not sponsored by Unv in any way, and purchased this camera for testing myself without any compensation.

I've tried Hikvision's DS-KB6003-WIP (This doorbell has been rebranded by LTS, Nelly's, Uniden, etc.) which had plenty of it's own problems in this large thread here. The main issues were the inability to turn off the voice that said things like "connecting call", very poor IR performance (mainly glare on the lens), and plain connection issues with the app and the app not working as intended.

My experience with Uniview has been great in the past years, so I had high hopes for this camera - That being said, here's a view of the box:
IMG_3372.jpg

Nothing to fancy, just an image of the doorbell and it's model, the URDB1.

Everything included:
IMG_3334.jpg
I thought it was pretty nice how there was both a tilt (about 10 degrees up) and an angle plate included, something that I haven't seen with other manufacturers.

Here's a look of the Uniview doorbell in comparison to the Hikvision (Uniden branding):
Image-1.jpg
I really love the sleek look of the Uniview in comparison to the Hikvision. The IR emitters are located right above the button, and since they are located so far away from the lens (and the lens is separated from the plastic of the body), IR glare is practically non-existant.

I've tested this doorbell for about a week and compiled this list of pro's and con's - of course, these are just opinions - your views on this may differ!

Pros:
  • 2MP sensor (1080P@25 frames) with a 2.0mm lens, resulting in a 160° Field of View - Image quality is great, both day and night.
  • No annoying voice when answering or declining a call. The only time a voice is used is when you first setup the device, where the doorbell will tell you to use the app to connect the device to WiFi.
  • Works over 16-24V AC or 12V DC (most doorbell wiring).
  • Infrared sensors are located in the body of the doorbell, very far away from the lens, and the doorbell features a "EXIR" design where night vision is very good with zero IR glare. Nightvision is VERY good. In very low light, you can very easily and clearly see who is at your doorbell with zero glare.
  • Loud dual speaker setup and support for 2 way audio
  • SD card support
  • Free Uniview cloud based app (Called EZlive)
  • Onvif/RTSP support
  • Pretty advanced firmware, with support for H264/265 encoding, fine tuning image details, WDR, and other features commonly found on Uniview cameras.
  • Similar form factor to the Hikvision KB6003-WIP
  • Included tilt and angle adapters - you can also combine these adapters to have both a tilt and angled doorbell, although the result does look a little funny. It's a nice add though, as you don't have to buy separate adapters to angle your doorbell.
  • A dark grey and lighter silver face plate are included.
However, while the camera has some great image quality, the Uniview team just didn't think some things through and unfortunately, this camera just can't fit my needs. These may or may not make or break the deal for you:

Cons:
  • This doorbell does not work with any mechanical or digital doorbell. I was shocked to find this out, and unfortunately the Uniview team has confirmed that this doorbell is a WiFi only doorbell - this doorbell CANNOT be used with an indoor chime, regardless of whether it is wired, wireless, mechanical, digital, etc. This was a major deal breaker for me.
    • What was frustrating was that this wasn't mentioned anywhere in the documentation or promotional material of the doorbell. The doorbell is quite lighter than the Hikvision doorbell, and I believe this doorbell simply just doesn't have the required electronics to operate a doorbell chime. This doorbell is meant only to be used as a "WiFi doorbell" in conjunction with the app.
  • WiFi only connection. 2.4GHz networks are only supported.
  • The app is quite buggy for me. Reviewing footage is hit or miss, it takes a few refreshes most of the time to get it to work. This is a big downside as this is a WiFi only doorbell. The app does work well with showing thumbnails of when the button was pressed, however. That being said, it is more reliable than the Hikvision for comparison. From my testing, there has NEVER been an issue with getting a notification when the doorbell was rung. The main difficulty comes from reviewing previously recorded footage.
  • There doesn't appear to be a way to use the doorbell button as a "sensor" for your NVR. I tested this on my own VMS (which is not Blue Iris) so it might just be my software. I have not tested this on Blue Iris or Uniview NVR's, but Onvif Device Manager doesn't seem to report a sensor for the doorbell button either.
  • No PIR motion detector - motion detection is pixel based (actually, there does seem to be "human detection" analytics built into this doorbell, and the doorbell does save human detected snapshots to the SD card; however, I haven't seen this implemented in the app nor the firmware.
  • The doorbell makes a "ding-dong" noise when pressing the button, with no ability to turn it off.
  • Firmware is more limited than typical Uniview cameras - does not appear to have FTP image upload or alarm rule support.
As a result, I cannot continue to use this doorbell. It has great potential, but the fact that it cannot be used with a mechanical doorbell chime just didn't work for me, and seems like a huge flaw.
I appreciate Uniview putting effort into this camera by supporting doorbell wiring and voltage, but not including the hardware support to work with mechanical (or any) doorbells just seems like a major oversight.
A WiFi only doorbell should also really have a more polished app. Uniview has two apps, the EZlive and EZview, and so far only one app works with the doorbell (this was quite confusing at first, when the doorbell wasn't shown as supported by E. Additionally, the app that does "work" with the doorbell still is buggy, mainly with reviewing footage.

While I'm glad Unv took the step to bring another doorbell in the market, this one isn't right for me. If anyone is interested in purchasing these doorbells, feel free to contact me and I can get in touch with my supplier and get some more units.
 

CCTVCam

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Not supporting wireless is a major flaw. Almost all Uk and presumably European sales are of wireless doorbells from what I can see because of the ease of fitting - on non camera door bells you put a battery in the belll push, stick it to the door and plug in a wireless sounder and pair the two. Easy fix in 2 minutes (5 if you choose to screw the bell push to the wall). I would really struggle in the UK to source a doorbell transformer even though it might be necessary with a camera as a power surce. Wired doorbells are a rarity.
 
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