Looking for Recommendation - Video Doorbell System

Hello Folks,

I’m fairly new to Smartthings but am rapidly getting up to speed.

I’m posting here to ask for help in recommending a how-to or device set up that will meet my requirements for a doorbell system:

  • outdoor video camera: must integrate with blueiris NVR software since I want to record all video locally rather than on a public cloud
  • doorbell button: when the button is pressed by someone at my door, I should receive a notification on my phone - ideally with a quick way to pull up the video and ability to converse via phone… and also be able to hear an audible sound/chime throughout my house notifying me of a visitor
  • doorbell chime: ability to place multiple units throughout my house so I can hear the chime. would like to use this same speakers for security alarm purposes as well.
  • 2-way audio speaker: I should be able to activate this from my phone and converse with whoever is visiting. Ideally would be able to see the video at the same time I am conversing.

I have been researching various options. It seems I am at a fork in the road:

Option 1 - buy a doorbird doorbell. Buy multiple Aeotec Siren 6 devices. This option is expensive (particularly the doorbird) and i’m a little unclear if I can get the doorbird to integrate with the Aeotec Sirens to use as a doorbell chime. I’m also not very keen on this option since I’m basically stuck with the doorbird for life, e.g. I can never upgrade the camera or the sirens, etc. However, doorbird does integrate with blueiris from what I can tell so I would be able to record video that way. I can’t tell if I would be able to get the audio working through blueiris and interact via my phone - so I may just have to use the doorbird app (not a deal breaker).

Option 2 - use an reolink camera (or other camera, I happen to like reolink) and the Aeotec Siren 6, a zwave button of some sort (maybe the aeotec doorbell button?) … and then some sort of 2-way speaker device (i have been unable to find a device so far). I’m really not clear if there is a way to integrate these all together that would allow for me to meet my requirements above. Again, I’d want the button to activate a notification on my phone, the chime on the Aeotec Siren 6 devices throughout my house, and allow me to see the video at my front door and be able to have a two-way conversation with whoever is there.

Is anyone aware of a project that did something like option 2? Option 2 is more work to get set up but provides more flexibility in the long run and also helps me learn how to do more with SmartThings :slight_smile: … and if folks recommend option 1, is it possible to integrate the doorbird button to activate the Aeotec 6 alarms? I did find a post that seemed to indicate I could fire off a url from doorbird that could run a webcore piston.

Any help is very appreciated!

Welcome!

First, I would divide this into two separate projects, the cameras and the doorbell.

You can easily tie everything together so that the doorbell being triggered starts the cameras or the cameras being triggered causes a chime or spoken notification to sound the various rooms in your house. So I wouldn’t worry about that part.

1. Cameras

People use several different brands depending on their own goals. Arlo is very popular and has an official integration with smartthings, so most people start there.

( in mid 2019 smartThings introduce their own inexpensive Wi-Fi camera, but it’s indoors only. )

Ring cameras and the doorbell also have an official integration, but it sounded like you wanted something cheaper than those.

Blink used to be very popular, but when they were bought by Amazon the smartthings integration was broken and never repaired, so now the only integration which is available is through IFTTT.

Anyway, just search the forum and you should find a lot on cameras. Or hopefully others will chime in here.

2A. Aeotec Doorbell 6

Aeotec has just released the newest version of their doorbell in both the US and the UK. I haven’t seen any reviews on it, but the previous version was popular and I expect this one will be good.

The chime unit is very similar to the aeotec siren, but with a wider choice of sounds. And it comes with its own matching doorbell button.

The chime unit is Z Wave, the button is on a different frequency and is paired directly to the chime unit. So it will work as a basic doorbell even if your SmartThings system is not working.

The previous generation was set to typical doorbell loudness, 85 dB, but they got a lot of requests for a louder one so now it’s the same volume level as the siren, 110 dB.

You can buy two additional buttons and sync them to the same chime unit and use different sounds for each if you want.

you would need the following custom code:

Anyway, that would be a simple doorbell solution. In this case you are replacing both your existing chime box and your existing doorbell button.

2B. Nexia doorbell sensor or similar do it yourself project

The other approach is to keep your existing doorbell button and your existing chime box and use a sensor to detect when that chime box sounds.

Nexia has a Z wave device made for exactly this purpose. You wire it into your existing chime box. It sends a message to the hub when the chime box sounds, and then you can use that message to trigger whatever other actions you want.

It’s quite popular. There are also a whole bunch of different do it yourself projects which use different kinds of sensors to capture the same event. For example, with some doorbells you can just put a vibration sensor on the chime box. Or you can get more complicated. To see what other people have done in this regard, go to the quick browse lists in the community – create it wiki, look down near the bottom of the page for the “project reports“ section and choose the “doorbell“ list.

https://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Quick_Browse_the_Community-Created_SmartApps_Forum_Section

3. Getting notifications throughout the house

There are many different ways to get notifications throughout the house when a doorbell event occurs.

You can use a chime device like zooz or Dome chimes.

You could have a light change color.

You can have an echo dot speak custom phrase like “someone is at the front door.“

There is a how to article in the community – create a wiki on generating a sound when the door is opened which lists most of the options. In your case, you would trigger off your doorbell event, not off an open/close sensor, but it’s the same idea. :sunglasses:

https://thingsthataresmart.wiki/index.php?title=How_to_Set_Up_a_Door_Open_Chime/Siren#Devices_to_Make_a_Chime_Sound_Once_SmartThings_Recognizes_the_Trigger_Event

@JDRoberts Thanks so much for the fast reply.

(And I would not use the doorbird at all. It doesn’t integrate with smartthings in any way, and it’s cheap for a reason. :wink: )

Right it doesn’t have native integration with SmartThings but I did find this post that shows how to do an integration workaround:

… but anyway, as I mentioned I am leaning against the Doorbird route.

Regarding cameras, my requirement is to be able to record locally. So that rules out the Blink and the Ring cameras I believe since they require cloud services and I don’t think they integrate with Blueiris.

Also, just to clarify, price is not really a concern for me - the doorbird is actually on the high-end price range for a doorbell system (almost $500) - again, not really a concern but one of the several benefits of a DIY system seems to be that it could be done cheaper than that.

Regarding the “Getting notifications throughout the house” - wouldn’t I be able to use the Aeotec Siren 6 for that? I’ll look into zooz or Dome as you mentioned though.

As I research more into this, it seems that my solution may end up being the Reolink camera (like this one: https://reolink.com/product/rlc-511w/) connected to BlueIris and then using the BlueIris integration with SmartThings:

But where I am stuck is:

#1 - understanding if it is possible to have blueiris trigger a notification on my phone when a button is pressed (i.e. whatever button for a doorbell I choose to use)

#2 - what device I can use for two-way audio at the door - and whether it can be controlled/communicated through via blueiris app … or if not, how do I tie everything together to work seamlessly camera+ two-way audio + doorbell button + door bell chime

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My bad, I missed the two way audio requirement, although some of the cameras have that as well. No excuses, though, I just missed it the first time through.

So since you also want a physical button press as an event, you may have to go with a video doorbell as part of your setup.

( we have two way audio at our house with a Kuna smart porch light, which has a camera built into it. We really like it and use it all the time, but it doesn’t integrate with SmartThings. And it doesn’t have a button, just a motion detector. )

Also good find on the door bird thread , it looks like they have an open API, so I would just talk to the people in the thread that you found on how to use that if that’s the one you like. :sunglasses:

And, yes, you can use the aeotec siren as the chime device. But the aeotec siren is $75 and the zooz or Dome chimes are less than half that, So the aeotec siren wouldn’t be most people’s first choice for that use case. :sunglasses:


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https://www.thesmartesthouse.com/products/dome-z-wave-plus-wireless-siren-dms01

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