Tech News and Commentary
Dave and the team discuss T-Mobile merger news, holiday season returns, wireless charging, AWS beacons and movement tracking, and more.
Patrick in Tyler, Texas listens on KTBB and asked: “I’m interested in getting a doorbell cam and really confused about what’s out there. I’ve heard that with one of them, or maybe all of them, you have to sign up for a web service to receive the images. Can you explain what’s out there and maybe what the best deals you would recommend would be?”
Patrick, the main thing is to probably keep your expectations low. They’re getting there but smart doorbells don’t always live up to expectations.
Even big name security companies like ADT and SimplySafe are offering compatible hardware, and Vtech and other names you’d recognize are making them.
If you already use an August smartlock, their August Doorbell Cam may be worth a look, it offers motion sensing, live and recorded video, it’s compatible with home automation systems like Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Homekit, and it will cost you around $200.
CHRIS:For just about everyone else, the best option is probably Ring. It’s lower definition than some of the competition, but enough to be useful and the lower definition means that it’s quicker to load live video (again, keep your expectations low on this).
Ring offers 2-way audio, live and recorded video, it comes in a few colors so you can make it look less bad on your door (it will still look bad, it’s not a good looking device). Ring is selling right now for around $140 and, being owned by Amazon, it’s compatible with Alexa devices.
If you have an Echo show, that may be a decent selling point since the screen can connect to the doorbell and you won’t have to fumble with your phone if you happen to be near the Echo Show.
There are many, many others, but frankly the quality drops pretty quickly, and it’s not stellar to begin with, so you should probably stick to the best known options.
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