by Bill Monahan
If your home has a hard-wired doorbell, and you use a smart phone for apps, Homebuttons can provide and install a Nest Hello Video Doorbell for you. The product costs $289.99 plus tax and installation is an additional $75 plus tax. If you have purchased it elsewhere, Homebuttons will install it for you for the same $75 service charge (within 30 minutes of Meaford).
Cnet.com calls this the “smartest video doorbell available today”. As with many wi-fi devices it connects with your password to your home wi-fi and sends audio and video to your smart phone, tablet or computer. If you already have Nest devices in your home (e.g. thermostats, cameras, locks, smoke alarms) this will be a handy addition. Like other Nest products it will work with your Google Home or Google Assistant, sending the doorbell’s image to a TV display if it’s equipped with Chromecast.
Nest Hello records in high definition video and the picture format allows an image that is taller than it is wide to better fit the image of a person at the door. It includes built-in noise reduction to focus on the voice at the door without it being drowned out by passing traffic. You can program it to send push notifications to your phone even if the person doesn’t ring the doorbell so that if someone comes to your door who shouldn’t be there (for example, they are stealing a package that’s been dropped on your doorstep) you are immediately notified and you can ask them to identify themselves – and then you have a recorded picture of what they looked like. It picks up clear video day or night.
If your door has a Nest x Yale Lock installed, you can unlock it for someone after you have identified who it is.
Using the settings on the Nest app, you can turn off the indoor chime if you don’t want the baby to be disturbed but you’ll still get the push notification on your phone.
You can even train the video doorbell to recognize whether the visitor is familiar and, using the app, apply a name to the faces. This way if someone familiar comes to the door, your Google speaker can tell you who’s there. (this and cloud storage of videos requires you upgrade from the free app to a subscription starting at $5 per month).
The video can be set to respond to motion or, for added security you can set it to record around the clock, whether someone comes to the door or not. In today’s world it adds that extra security that you would get with a dedicated surveillance system.