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#369361 - 20/09/2017 18:21 new goodies from... Nest
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3713
Nest just announced two new things: a home security system and a video doorbell. Both are very interesting to me.

I'll first compare the Nest video doorbell to the Ring video doorbell that I've already got on my house. In short, the Nest is a direct feature-for-feature copy of the Ring, leading to the question of which is cheaper and which is better. My first-generation Ring seized up last week making my ringer buzz. They ultimately shipped me a new one, free of charge, after diagnosing that a firmware update they sent me screwed it up. (Wow.) The only thing that I'll give Ring over Nest's doorbell is that the Ring comes in a variety of different finishes, which makes it look better.

If the Nest video doorbell is cheap enough, particularly in the cost for storing all that video in the cloud, then I might be interested. I hope it can do the same hack as the Ring in charging itself from the 20V doorbell wiring that I've already got. On the flip side, if it's another $200 for the gear and it's a similar monthly charge, then why change from the Ring? It works and their customer service demonstrably took care of me when I needed it. Conversely, my first-gen Nest thermostat has a big red line going down the display. Can they fix/replace it for me? Sorry, out of warranty, but here's a discount coupon for a new one. No thanks.

Now, the Nest security system is a very different animal. It's very similar to the ScoutAlarm system, so I'll compare it to that. Both have the idea that the sensors stick to your doors with two-sided tape and are powered by internal batteries. Both use a keyfob rather than making you remember a PIN. ScoutAlarm puts the keyfob sensors directly in the door-mounted boxes, while Nest requires you to have a separate keypad, which seems to need to sit on a table. No wall-mounting option. On the flip side, if you want motion sensors, that's a separate add-on product for a ScoutAlarm system, whereas the Nest door-opening sensors also have motion sensors built-in. That's attractive.

Since I've already got Nest thermostats and Nest fire alarms, there's the possibility of additional benefits by going with a grand-unified Nest system, since each fire alarm has a motion sensor built in, meaning I would instantly have a whole network of motion sensors. The idea that Nest cameras can integrate with Nest's alarm system is also kinda neat, since you can potentially collect recordings from all these devices at the time of an alarm event. Seems convenient.

Once again, the question is cost, both up front and monthly. Also, a perennial complaint about the ScoutAlarm system is that it burns through batteries. You're constantly replacing them, although they send them to you in the mail, gratis. If Nest had virtually identical look and feel to ScoutAlarm only with better battery life, that would be a big deal.

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#369362 - 20/09/2017 19:08 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: DWallach]
tfabris
carpal tunnel

Registered: 20/12/1999
Posts: 31138
Loc: Seattle, WA
I'd be interested in the Nest Doorbell as long as someone can't steal it simply by ripping it off the siding. The photo makes it look like that's possible.

Of course, ideally, if someone did that I'd have their picture... as long as they didn't wear a mask.
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Tony Fabris

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#369363 - 20/09/2017 19:29 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3713
Ring's Video Doorbell is held in place by two tiny torx screws from below, and they offer a theft guarantee. Somebody steals it, they replace it. The Ring mounts to a backplate that you then screw into your wall. In my case, my attempts to drill into my stucco failed (even though I had a proper masonry bit), so I gave up and used Gorilla Glue to attach the backplate. The only way it's coming off is with a chisel or some kind of really interesting solvent.

A couple other things about the Nest Doorbell: Nest has some kind of "Nest sense" thing for its cameras that can distinguish between different faces. You can imagine this being an intriguing part of an integrated security system if you had all the other camera goodies that Apple is doing with the iPhone X. Also, they've hacked up a "warm welcome" feature where the motion sensor trips and the lights glow. "Hi, we're here watching you."

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#369364 - 20/09/2017 20:09 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: tfabris]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12008
Loc: Sterling, VA
Interesting. I'll be curious to learn the cost of the monitoring service. I assume it'll be contract-free since you have to buy all the gear up-front instead of getting it subsidized (the way ADT does).

I'm also curious what wireless tech is in the sensors. That's what'll really determine the battery life. I've done everything I can in my home to avoid adding ZWave sensors in places where they have to be battery powered. I have three motion/temp/etc sensors but they're all powered by USB. I'm pretty surprised that the Nest Detects have an LED pathway light in there, as that'll really suck down the battery.

Does the Nest Guard have a battery backup in it? I'm wondering what happens in a blackout.

Dan, how fast is the Ring at alerting you to someone's presence? I've heard mixed stories from other Ring users. I'm moving my office into the basement where it's VERY hard to hear my doorbell, so I'm thinking about solutions. I need it to be very reliable though. I also, unfortunately, can't use the charge from my existing doorbell because they mounted it perpendicular to the doorway. I've seen adapters that turn it out, but then I'd definitely bump into it all the time.
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Matt

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#369367 - 20/09/2017 20:36 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: DWallach]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3713
From when I hear my physical doorbell ring to when my phone starts buzzing is typically 2-3 seconds. That's reasonable. Ring also has some kind of a "Chime" product that speaks to the Ring doorbell and could be used as an auxiliary ringer.

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#369368 - 20/09/2017 21:07 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: Dignan]
K447
addict

Registered: 29/05/2002
Posts: 670
Loc: Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: Dignan
... I'm moving my office into the basement where it's VERY hard to hear my doorbell, so I'm thinking about solutions. I need it to be very reliable though. ...
In past houses I have used this sort of wireless extension for a wired doorbell .

Basically the same electric pulse that rings the wired ringer also powered the transmitter to issue a radio pulse, which the remote wireless chime them receives and makes its own ‘doorbell’ sound.

I forget which brand made it at the time, but I do not recall having any problems with it working with the remote chime located in the basement.

In another house (with a basement office) I just intercepted the wired bell wiring and added a second wired chime in the basement. It was not 100% reliable until I increased the voltage/wattage of the feed transformer. Then it was plenty loud and consistent.


Edited by K447 (20/09/2017 21:07)

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#369369 - 21/09/2017 03:07 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: K447]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12008
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: K447
Originally Posted By: Dignan
... I'm moving my office into the basement where it's VERY hard to hear my doorbell, so I'm thinking about solutions. I need it to be very reliable though. ...
In past houses I have used this sort of wireless extension for a wired doorbell.

Interesting! I'll have to look into that, thanks. I wonder what frequency it operates on?
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Matt

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#369370 - 21/09/2017 12:59 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13851
Loc: Canada
Seriously? Reality check time, folks.

$200 for a doorbell that then also requires a monthly fee to operate?

Some people must have way too much money! smile

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#369371 - 21/09/2017 13:15 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: mlord]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12008
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: mlord
Seriously? Reality check time, folks.

$200 for a doorbell that then also requires a monthly fee to operate?

Some people must have way too much money! smile

I see regular notices on my neighborhood's list serve about packages getting stolen off their porches...
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Matt

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#369373 - 21/09/2017 15:11 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: mlord]
DWallach
carpal tunnel

Registered: 30/04/2000
Posts: 3713
Originally Posted By: mlord
Seriously? Reality check time, folks.

$200 for a doorbell that then also requires a monthly fee to operate?

It's a motion-activated security camera that happens to have a button to ring a bell inside your house. And there's power conveniently available next to your front door where you can then get high quality video of people who might be investigating your house for a possible theft opportunity.

So yeah, it's a little more than just a doorbell. That said, it would be nice if it were cheaper.

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#369379 - 21/09/2017 20:58 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: DWallach]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12008
Loc: Sterling, VA
Originally Posted By: DWallach
Originally Posted By: mlord
Seriously? Reality check time, folks.

$200 for a doorbell that then also requires a monthly fee to operate?

It's a motion-activated security camera that happens to have a button to ring a bell inside your house. And there's power conveniently available next to your front door where you can then get high quality video of people who might be investigating your house for a possible theft opportunity.

So yeah, it's a little more than just a doorbell. That said, it would be nice if it were cheaper.

My problem with Nest security products hasn't been with the products but with the price of the service. I did some calculations a while back and according to my math, Nest data costs at least twice as much as Google Drive data. It's hard to know for sure because I don't think I can find bitrate information for their cameras.
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Matt

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#369381 - 22/09/2017 00:59 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13851
Loc: Canada
Originally Posted By: DWallach
Originally Posted By: mlord
Seriously? Reality check time, folks.

$200 for a doorbell that then also requires a monthly fee to operate?

It's a motion-activated security camera that happens to have a button to ring a bell inside your house.


Okay. So instead of once in a blue moon maybe having a few hundred quid stolen from the home (mostly covered by theft insurance regardless), one instead pays an extra dozen quid a month (on top of $200+ up front) in hope of one day seeing fuzzy video of the ski mask a robber might wear when she perhaps (low probability) actually robs that particular home?

Duh.

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#369382 - 22/09/2017 02:52 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: DWallach]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12008
Loc: Sterling, VA
Another use case: every week I get approximately 4 solicitors at my front door. I'd be willing to pay all that to be able to quickly look at my phone and see that I didn't need to bother answering the door.

And I might be wrong, but I think that level of service would be free. I think you pay if you want recording.


Edited by Dignan (22/09/2017 02:52)
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Matt

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#369384 - 22/09/2017 13:41 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: Dignan]
Tim
veteran

Registered: 25/04/2000
Posts: 1472
Loc: Arizona
Originally Posted By: Dignan
I see regular notices on my neighborhood's list serve about packages getting stolen off their porches...

Wow. You need to move to a better neighborhood. That is crazy.

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#369385 - 22/09/2017 15:04 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: DWallach]
Dignan
carpal tunnel

Registered: 08/03/2000
Posts: 12008
Loc: Sterling, VA
Maybe "regular" is overstating it. But I see it. And the more dense the area you live in, the more likely stuff like that will probably happen. I don't know what your part of Arizona is like, but sadly I don't think this is such an uncommon thing around the country.

It's never happened to us (knock on wood).
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Matt

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#369386 - 22/09/2017 15:45 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: DWallach]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3467
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
Yeah, I have a friend in Seattle area and he says that even in some of the nice neighborhoods the meth heads have learned that Amazon packages are a quick buck to get a fix. It's quite common in his area.
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~ John

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#369387 - 22/09/2017 16:59 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: JBjorgen]
canuckInOR
carpal tunnel

Registered: 13/02/2002
Posts: 3147
Loc: Portland, OR
We had a box stolen off our porch. Joke was on them, though -- they carried that 40 pound box a block and a half before opening it up to discover it was nothing but season brochures for my wife's theatre company. I retrieved it with a wagon, after a dog walker let us know he found the box. Thankfully, they didn't drop it in the nearby creek.

It's not that we're in a bad neighbourhood -- but we are on a street that gets some foot traffic from people passing through. Mostly it's kids heading to/from the high-school at the end of the road.

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#369388 - 22/09/2017 18:40 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: mlord]
StigOE
addict

Registered: 27/10/2002
Posts: 568
Originally Posted By: mlord
Seriously? Reality check time, folks.

$200 for a doorbell that then also requires a monthly fee to operate?

Some people must have way too much money! smile

If you want to store all recordings, it's a monthly ($3) or yearly ($30) fee. If you're fine with only live view, it's just the cost of the door bell.

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#369393 - 22/09/2017 21:51 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: Dignan]
Tim
veteran

Registered: 25/04/2000
Posts: 1472
Loc: Arizona
Originally Posted By: Dignan
Maybe "regular" is overstating it. But I see it. And the more dense the area you live in, the more likely stuff like that will probably happen. I don't know what your part of Arizona is like, but sadly I don't think this is such an uncommon thing around the country.

It's never happened to us (knock on wood).

Suburb of Phoenix (Mesa). I haven't heard it happening around here at all. I usually just have deliveries leave things on my porch and haven't had a problem. It is rare that I want to be home for a delivery (like today).

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#369398 - 23/09/2017 05:53 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: DWallach]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3467
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
Yeah, I lived in Chandler and Gilbert for a couple years and never had an issue there either.

Here in Mexico, everyone's house is surrounded by big fences with barbed or electric wire, etc. on top. The delivery guys could never actually get to a porch, so they return when you're home. Once I had a delivery guy call me and ask if he could leave it with the next door neighbor, and I said "sure!" even though I don't know them other than saying hi and bye as we pass. Worked out just fine.

Anything left on the street is fair game. I had my trash cans stolen on trash day twice before I just started leaving the bags out on the street.
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~ John

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#369402 - 23/09/2017 11:17 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: DWallach]
mlord
carpal tunnel

Registered: 29/08/2000
Posts: 13851
Loc: Canada
Guadalajara has a "reputation" up this way -- drugs capital or something. If that propaganda is at all true, then perhaps much of the rest of Mexico isn't quite so bad. (?)

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#369403 - 23/09/2017 15:29 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: mlord]
sein
old hand

Registered: 07/01/2005
Posts: 889
Loc: Sector ZZ9pZa
Originally Posted By: mlord
Seriously? Reality check time, folks.

$200 for a doorbell that then also requires a monthly fee to operate?

Some people must have way too much money! smile

I have a DoorBird for about a year which also rings my phone (<1 second delay) with a video call. It was for testing and while I thought it was going to be a gimmick I actually do enjoy having it. It means I get my parcels when I'm out.

I also have it integrated into Zoneminder for 'CCTV' motion recording which is quite neat, and it does SIP so I can get it to call my IP Phones too if I want to. I have used these on a few Control4 projects too for which there is an integration driver.

Plus, it's regular 802.3af PoE and has connection to my normal bell chime too. Awesome product.
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Hussein

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#369407 - 24/09/2017 03:43 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: mlord]
JBjorgen
carpal tunnel

Registered: 19/01/2002
Posts: 3467
Loc: Guadalajara, MX
Originally Posted By: mlord
Guadalajara has a "reputation" up this way -- drugs capital or something. If that propaganda is at all true, then perhaps much of the rest of Mexico isn't quite so bad. (?)


That seems weird. I wonder why, since from my admittedly anecdotal experience, it's reasonably safe here. Lots of Americans and Canucks come down this way for winter (or to Ajijic where Doug is). There IS the Cártel de Nueva Genercion Jalisco, but things have been really quiet in the city here since I arrived, or perhaps I just don't follow the news well enough. I have heard that there are higher-ups in the cartel that live around here, but they apparently have followed the adage "don't crap in your own back yard" as of late. Guadalajara is a colonial city with a beautiful city center. A city with vibrant art and wonderful culture. A city of genuinely friendly and helpful people. A city with a ton of international business in manufacturing and technology. It's considered the Silicon Valley of Mexico and GE, IBM, Intel, Freescale, Hitachi, HP, Siemens, Flex, Oracle and more have campuses here.

Truthfully, there are very few places in the US I would choose over living here, and I'm not sure at this point whether I'll ever move back, especially since my Spanish is constantly improving. We'll see. The wife and kids might have other ideas smile Anyhow, anytime you feel like exploring, I'll be happy to serve as tour guide and you can decide for yourself whether to believe the propaganda.

obligatory tourism promo video

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~ John

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#369909 - 03/12/2017 00:08 Re: new goodies from... Nest [Re: JBjorgen]
Faolan
journeyman

Registered: 08/11/2017
Posts: 56
Originally Posted By: JBjorgen
Yeah, I have a friend in Seattle area and he says that even in some of the nice neighborhoods the meth heads have learned that Amazon packages are a quick buck to get a fix. It's quite common in his area.

So many folks around here use Amazon for everything that there’s a rise in theft reports, and I wonder if the percentage isn’t increasing but the reports give that perception. And sadly in many areas, and across many classes, drug addiction is driving it at times. Plenty of well off neighborhoods having neighbors doing the stealing for opiates.

It’s one of the many sore points between folks living in Seattle proper, and Amazon’s growth leading to massive gentrification and displacement of folks. And it’s having rippling effects through the much larger metro area. History repeats in a way too, Seattle’s had a history of booms and busts for pretty much it’s existence. Including the old boom that helped the orange one’s grandfather start building wealth around here.

I wish Amazon would pay their ethically fair share of taxes in the area to help repair the harm their success has led to, instead of inventing new Prime ways of dealing with package theft. (Amazon Lockers, Flex, Key). Would also help if they treated their employees better. There’s such a turnover rate there that it churns so many folks throughout the area too.

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