Blink in UK - anyone? not on approved, good integration still?


#1

Wanting a camera system for watching back and front of house. Numerous systems I know, seen now Blink are doing the XT (finally) in UK ,which is their outdoor camera.

Its not on the UK approved ST list, so anyone got one, and how is it integrated into ST please? easy, is there any news on official integration, so slow in UK, whereas US already have a lot more, Blink included.

Are they a good system choice? seems a 2 camera will be around £200, totally wireless, cloud included so seems decent, eg Nest is at mo, for 1 camera £160 + £80 cloud, then £40 for additional cloud, so would be for 2 cameras £440.

I worry on the free cloud as surely costs will mount and then become a cost?

thanks


(Mark) #2

There’s not really an official integration with Blink and ST directly, even in the US. @RBoy makes a Blink device handler and smartapp that does integrate Blink really well. Well worth the cost to access his apps, you get a bunch more too if you purchase a license on his site.

See the Blink thread, it’s super long but the first post is up to date about what works with ST. It makes the Blink cameras much better than they’d otherwise be.

Cloud recording is unavoidable with Blink and most of the other wire-free cameras. It’s free now, they plan to offer more tiered monthly plans for their upcoming security system that will cost extra. But they don’t seem to have any plan to remove the free cloud recording entirely.


#3

Appreciate reply thanks for that, it was maybe the above integration that I saw then for US and presumed it was official, but I’ll take a look thanks.

Didn’t realise there was a charge for some integrations, fair do as some are fantastic, haven’t got a problem as long as reasonable and don’t disappear soon after paying and then not working though.

They seem interesting solution, may try a single XT for now, looks so easy to mount, and then hopefully just work. Not sure on the exact battery life in “real life” though.


(Mark) #4

I think there are a lot of community members that are very satisfied with @RBoy’s work, I definitely am.

I bought a single XT in the US after they came out in the summer, that was my first foray into Blink cams. They do have some shortcomings, and obviously the more you use them the shorter the battery life. The level of control you can get over the camera from the ST integration can allow you to change camera settings dynamically so that you can get the highest yield out of it though.


#5

Can I ask specifically what you’re finding that isn’t up to scratch please? I agree on the battery, always take manufacturers with a pinch of salt, so lets say its halved, done to a year? thats fine to me, easy 2 minute change with a pay of ladders I would expect, or is it shorter than this?

Mine would be on the front, near passers by, can you “tune” it in to old look at what you want? I’ve downloaded the app, was hoping to test it but need a camera to do anything.

Does it respond quick enough as pointless if just see the back of someone!

It defaults to 10s I think, is this enough? I think I’d probably put at max, but then wouldn’t get much storage in cloud really?

I’ll read up on @RBoy 's apps thanks. The integration I suppose is just through nihght say it detects someone at door, to switch on the downstairs landing lights to hopefully scare away. Not sure what else would need? Door opening to record if an internal one? what integration with ST do you have going on please

thanks


(Mark) #6

It’s difficult to be more specific on the battery life, it’s gonna depend on how often you record and how long the clips are. Some people can probably blow through the batteries in a few weeks, I’m going on six months without any issues.

The reason the ST integration is so helpful is that it will allow you to automate adjustments to all the camera’s settings like arm/disarm, motion sensitivity, clip length, record re-trigger time. You can come up with settings changes that are specific to the camera location, time of day, hub mode etc.

This may allow you to significantly extend the battery life of the camera, and it makes up for many of the Blink app’s shortcomings. In other words, it’s the lack of a robust system for automating the above-mentioned settings that some people complain about if they use Blink just on it’s own.

I use the ST integration to change several settings on the camera when my good morning and good night routines run. During the day, the camera’s not armed all the time, but at night it is. But everytime my aeotec doorbell rings during the day, the camera motion sensor is armed so I can get a clip of who’s at the door.

Motion alerts and camera recordings will not get pushed to your phone until after the clip finishes recording. So while the lag isn’t bad in terms of when the clip starts to record, if you have a minute-long clip, you won’t actually be notified that the camera sensed motion and recorded something til a minute later.


#7

Great ideas there thanks. So basically the ST integration allows settings changes of the specific Blink camera at different times etc?

When you say you won’t get a notification until after they clip has finished recording, is this different to when just using the blink app? ie if Blink detects motion it will notify you straight away?

Good idea on through day to not always be armed, I take it this is to cut down on recordings to the cloud to save space? I don’t have a smart doorbell and so wonder how I could do this, as like you off want to know who is at door, or even better is it possible to detect a zone only on the block as the front camera will be very near a pedestrian walkway?

6 months battery is good, I wouldn’t expect 2 years, I’d be more than happy with 1 year, battery replacements seem cheap as well.


(Mark) #8

Yes.

Nope, that’s just how Blink works.

No. Blink cams have a built-in PIR sensor so there is no motion zone functionality. I covered part of mine with electrical tape to block part of the sensor that includes the street outside and that has helped quite a bit. They have suggested they will be adding some kind of motion zoning feature as a part of an add-on monitored security system package they have planned but have provided no details.


#9

Well bought some Blink XT and internal cameras. been looking into RBoy smartapps and lo and behold Blink have now been bought by Amazon and instantly switched off ST integration…nice of them.

So now what? is it safe to still open and use the Blink cams? I’ve read that they are severely limited without ST integration, for arming/disarming etc?

Worried after spending a few hundred pound that Amazon then disable/discontinue/switch off these cameras and leave current Blink users in the lurch?


(Jay) #10

Is it possible to view all the camera feeds on one screen? So if I mounted an iPad I would be able to see the whole house?


(Kraeg) #11

Blink cameras are designedly to provide a “snapshot” viewing, so when they are armed and sense Motion, they provide you with a 30 second clip.

They aren’t designed for live viewing, constantly showing the camera on a screen. You can live view via the app, but it nags you to stop every few seconds as it drains the camera battery.

You can also only view 1 camera at a time via the app and there is no way to pull it through into another app/web page etc. It’s locked to their service only. Much like the ring door bells, Arlo cams etc…most battery cameras are the same. I THINK the cheap Wyze cameras are different (they are wired for power), but they are US only at the moment so I’ve not personally reviewed - but quick search on this forums will turn up more info.


(Jay) #12

Thank you for the reply


#13

Is there any Blink camera integration back in ST yet? May have missed something?


(Kraeg) #14

Nope, they still screwed everyone over.

Only option now is via IFTTT, which is a very poor offering compared to what @RBoy did. But it works - just.


(Mark) #15

Never gonna happen, IMHO.


#16

Thought as much just thought I’d missed something… in hope!