During its Snap Pro Live virtual event Oct. 13 – the forum for new product and program intros for the company’s integrator customers – SnapAV introduced and said it would begin immediately to ship the Control4 Chime Video Doorbell.
“The video doorbell category is exploding,” said Kordon Vaughn, senior director of product marketing for SnapAV, in a conversation ahead of the event with Dealerscope and Connected Design, noting the timely debut of this product, which he said is the first to leverage the power of Control4’s smart home OS 3 platform.
Its $400 price tag, he added, is similar in price to DIY products, but its versatility eclipses those products, which are generally “standalone accessories with limited integration options. With those, there’s lots of fumbling for apps to turn on lights or open the door.” This product, he adds, is a “blend of engineering and elegance” featuring a sleek, robust industrial design.
“Chime marries security and automation to a level that has never been done before,” said SnapAV Chief Product and Technology Officer Charlie Kindel in the announcement statement. “Users can determine what actions they want to occur when motion is detected or the doorbell is pressed. It’s entirely customizable.”
Chime uses Power over Ethernet technology, but it also can be retrofitted on any home using Wi-Fi. Its hardware complement features an HD Video 5-megapixel camera with a 180-degree field of view – 15 percent more than competitive products, said Vaughn. Its Night Mode feature further offers clear viewing in pitch darkness, lighting the night courtesy of IR LEDs; two-way audio is also standard as a feature.
Motion detection technology monitors five adjustable zones, keeping homeowners aware of movements around the front door; this also allows them to receive video notifications when movement is noticed in a specific video zone or when the doorbell is pressed. With the Control4 Intercom Anywhere app – now included within the Control4 OS 3 mobile phone app – homeowners can use their phones to answer the door, talk to visitors or receive notifications.
The Chime’s reactions to events can vary, explains Vaughn – post midnight, it might be set to arm a security device if motion is detected in a driveway, for example.
Further, it keeps a log of events, recording and storing up to 200,000 clips over a two-week stretch, and length of clips recorded can be set for up to 30 seconds each.
Chime accessories include a new-construction wall box and two 15-degree wedges (Left and Right), to aid in optimizing the viewing angle. Chime, further, is OvrC-enabled, which permits professional installers the ability to offer full-service plans to clients, as they can, via that remote access management software, control and remotely monitor system status, receive notifications, and reboot devices if needed from the OvrC web or through a mobile app.
The Chime “is a great way to generate new jobs for installers,” Vaughn noted. “It gives dealers a new threshold – a foot in the door to introduce Control4 into a consumer’s home,” he added.
Vaughn also added, in response to a question about the possibility of the incorporation of facial recognition technology into future iterations of Chime, that the design team is “actively looking at it.”
The Chime Video Doorbell is available in four models: Black, PoE – C4-VDB-E-BL; Black, WiFi – C4-VDB-W-BL; Satin Nickel, PoE – C4-VDB-E-SN and Satin Nickel, WiFi – C4-VDB-W-SN.
Other Highlights from Snap Pro Live
The Snap Pro Live event is running through Oct. 15, and Day One provided attendees with an overview from CEO John Heyman as well as a review of other company initiatives and products.
“What drives us at Snap,” he said, “is how to make the install easier and bring more joy to your customers – how to make them rave about the smart home you install.”
Here are some other highlights:
Episode MEGA Subwoofers – SnapAV unveiled a new line of theater-grade, sealed-enclosure Episode MEGA Subwoofers – a family of compact, high-impact in-room subwoofers. Features include wired and wireless line inputs, IP control, and a companion app that gives users and dealers the ability to tweak EQ and volume settings. Episode MEGA subs come in single and dual 8”, 10”, 12” and 15” (single-only) driver configurations with up to 1000 watts of power.
All-new Episode Response Series DSP Amplifiers – These are the brand’s first IP-controlled matrix amplifiers with full DSP capabilities and preloaded presets for Signature speakers. The new amps take multiroom audio to the next level, giving pros a matrix switching DSP amp to deliver audio in up to eight rooms, in one convenient package. They are IP-controlled for fast, two-way setup and control with Control4 and other automation systems, and are OvrC-compatible, for fast remote software updates and troubleshooting. The intro enables dealers to offer customers a full Episode multiroom audio solution, from audio switching and amplification to speakers and subwoofers.
Control4 T4 Touchscreens – A brand-new family of Control4 T4 In-Wall and Tabletop Touchscreens that ships in November, these feature brighter, higher-resolution screens that automatically adjust to ambient light levels, a faster processor, and an upgraded microphone array and speakers. These touchscreens make a suitable companion for the new Chime Video Doorbell. Additionally, fast and precise installation is possible with high-strength magnets that snap the screens into place on the base on in the wall. Eight models of the new touchscreens are available in white or black, 10” and 8”, and in-wall or tabletop versions.
Control4 Wireless Lighting Expansion – Earlier this year, SnapAV introduced Control4 Essential Wireless Lighting to enable dealers to incorporate smart lighting into many more projects. Now, SnapAV has unveiled new wireless lighting models to expand the experience. The Control4 Wireless Receptacle Outlet Switch provides a nearly invisible way to include lamps and other plug-in devices into Control4 systems. It includes one always-on outlet, and one switched outlet for on/off control of virtually every 120V lighting load and other plug-in devices. Available in nine colors and finishes, built-in Zigbee allows control through Control4 interfaces, lighting scenes and programmed events. Also new, the Control4 Wireless Outdoor Plug-In Outlet Switch is a weather-proof, plug-in switch that provides on/off control of 120V loads such as fountains, pumps and outdoor lighting. Because it plugs into a standard 120V outlet, it can be easily installed without an electrician.
Pakedge Now Available on SnapAV.com – SnapAV has added Pakedge MS Series Ethernet switches to the SnapAV.com eComm site. The move enables SnapAV dealers to utilize the new OvrC-enabled Pakedge switches that are engineered for large jobs. Together, Araknis and Pakedge offer a combined portfolio of switches ranging from 5-port unmanaged options to a 44-port, Layer 3 managed switch with 10Gbps uplink ports. With this full line of switches, dealers can build small residential MoIP systems or multi-switch solutions to support even the largest commercial jobs.
Control4 OS 3 Release 3.2 – This software update provides multiple enhancements and support for new devices including the Control4 Chime Video Doorbell. New features include a ‘History’ view that allows users to see what happened in their home throughout the day — who came to the door, when were the doors unlocked, when was the security system armed, and more. Release 3.2 also includes an update to the SR260 Remote to now feature a visual volume level indicator. And the Intercom Anywhere app is now part of the Control4 OS 3 mobile apps for Android and iOS smartphones. Release 3.2 also adds a new AddDriver API enabling driver developers to automatically add and configure supporting drivers, simplifying integration of third-party devices and helping dealers by reducing complexity and saving time during installations.
PCNA Certification – SnapAV also unveiled the newly rebranded PCNA (Professional Certified Network Administrator) Certification – an affordable certification in networking that has been expanded to accommodate Araknis. The refreshed program comes with new hardware and is now available in two tracks: a Pakedge PCNA or Araknis PCNA track. The curriculum has also been updated to include more in-depth training. Available now to all SnapAV and Control4 dealers, pros can take the courses at their own pace, with all networking equipment delivered to them.
Nancy is a contributing editor for Dealerscope.