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Time Warner Cable For Home Security—Should You Go For It?

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The second largest triple play company, Time Warner Cable, poked a finger at home security back in 2013 with their IntelligentHome products and services. They have a strong smart home presence, but is that enough to make them a good home security option?

Touchscreen Controller, Indoor/Outdoor Camera, Smart Thermostat & More

In-Home Touchscreen

An In-Home Touchscreen is given to all customers as part of the monthly service fee. It acts as an alarm panel, a home automation platform, and a tablet-like controller that controls connected devices. You can also access multiple apps with the In-Home Touchscreen, including weather apps, news apps, and more. In addition, you can watch live video feeds from your cameras directly on the screen or use it as a digital picture frame when on standby.

The In-Home controller is responsible for sending communication signals to the monitoring center. If your alarm is tripped, the signal is sent to the monitoring center via Wi-Fi. If Wi-Fi fails, In-Home's built-in cellular chip will make sure the signal is sent. The In-Home controller is also backed by 24-hour battery backup.

Home Security & Safety

IntelligentHome has everything you need for security, including door/window sensors, motion detectors, glass-break detectors, and sirens. There are home safety devices as well. Smoke/heat detectors detect fire, carbon monoxide detectors detect toxic gas, and flood/water detectors prevent water damage and alert you of flooding.

Door/Window Sensor - $69.99
Motion Detector - $99.99
Day/Night Camera - $149.99
Key Fob - $39.99
Key Pad - $79.99
Water/Flood Sensor - $59.99
Barrier Break - $74.99
Smoke Detector - $99.99
Glass Break Detector - $99.99
Thermostat - $124.99
Lamp Control Module - $49.99
Light Switch - $99.99
CO Gas Detector - $99.99
Takeover Device - $149.99

Camera

If you are really looking to secure your home, a security camera is the right device. IntelligentHome's camera is an indoor/outdoor hybrid, which means it can be used inside and outside. It connects to the In-Home Touchscreen via Wi-Fi and has built-in IR LEDs for night vision. It's not built to withstand harsh environments, but it does have a wide operating temperature range, which allows you to use it outdoors so long as you don't expose it to weather. Another downside is its 640 x 480 (VGA) resolution. And that’s a pretty big downside. Cameras with better resolution record better videos. Better videos provide better evidence. At this resolution it is possible that it will be really hard to make out an intruder and actually identify them. The best cameras we’ve reviewed either have FHD (1920 x 1080) or HD (1280 x 720) resolution. However, lower resolution means it uses less bandwidth when streaming and less memory when recording.

The indoor/outdoor camera works to protect your home by responding to events like motion. You can set it to capture 15-second clips or take a photo when events are triggered. You can also program it to send the videos or photos to your email or mobile phone. For instance, if your glass-break detector hears breaking glass, the notification is sent to the camera and the camera starts recording or taking photos. The notification is also sent to you along with the recorded video or photo.

Do you want to record rolling videos? IntelligentHome is one of a few home security providers that has a continuous playback feature. They call it 24/7 Playback. With this addition, you can continuously record videos 24 hours a day for 10 days using 1 to 2 cameras, then play them back on your computer. While it's great to have so much footage, keep in mind that there is no intelligent way to sort the footage. Digging through 480 hours of events is not nearly as much fun as a day of Netflix and chill. However, the footage is displayed on a timeline and the interface is very user friendly. The catch? This feature will cost you an additional $5 per month.

Smart Home

Of course, IntelligentHome offers smart home products as well. Their most popular smart home product is the smart thermostat. It's not as smart as Nest's Learning Thermostat, but it does allow you to program a 7 day schedule and use a smartphone, computer, or the In-Home Touchscreen to control your home’s temperature. Plus, the thermostat's screen is touchscreen… not bad.

IntelligentHome also has light and appliance adapters. These adapters allow you to control your lights and small appliances using your computer or smartphone from anywhere. It limits energy use and decreases the chance of starting a fire from appliances that are left on. IntelligentHome systems are compatible with LG Electronics' Wireless LED bulbs and GE Zigbee in-wall light controllers. Both devices are used to automate lights.

Packages & Monitoring Plan

Like many other home security companies, Time Warner Cable offers various packages. But IntelligentHome is unique. To get started, you'll need an IntelligentHome-compatible system. If you have existing equipment from other home alarm companies, you can have Time Warner upgrade the equipment to make it compatible with their system and service. If you don't own existing equipment, you can choose between the $99.99 Security Package, $149.99 Security & Video Package, $149.99 Security & Energy Package, or the $199.99 Security, Video, & Energy Package.

The $99.99 Security Package includes a motion or glass-break sensor (your choice) and 2 door/window sensors. In fact, all packages include this equipment, plus more. The Security & Video package adds a camera, while the Security & Energy package adds a smart thermostat. The Security, Video, and Energy Package has both the camera and the thermostat. If you ever need more devices to add to your system, you can buy more a la carte.

The price of Time Warner’s security equipment package is a one-time fee, but there is a catch when it comes to their pricing for monitoring plans. Whether you only need the system for home security or you plan to use it for automation is indifferent as there is only one plan— $39.99. Most security companies allow you to choose a plan based on what you need. This isn’t a luxury offered through IntelligentHome. The good news is, IntelligentHome services are offered under an 18-month contract, which is significantly shorter than the standard 3-year security contract.

The $39.99 monthly fee pays for month-to-month monitoring by Time Warner's 5-Diamond rated Emergency Response Center, the rental of the In-Home Touchscreen (if you decide to drop your subscription Intelligent Home services, the touchscreen controller returns to TWC), mobile app access, and window decals.

Intelligent Home—Yay or Nay?

If you're a customer looking for home security and home security only, call it a pass. On the other hand, if you're looking to combine your home security system with your home automation system, IntelligentHome should be an option on your list. But beware. Time Warner may no longer offer home security services post an acquisition by Charter Cable.

With all that said, there are companies better than Time Warner Cable in the field of security and automation, but a system that costs $40/month, has a short contract, and a one-time equipment fee isn’t that bad. However, we're calling their home security camera a pass. The camera has a low resolution, and customers complain that it doesn't work well in cold temperatures and that motion alerts are borderline useless. And there are some other things you should know about the system in general:

  • You must have a subscription to TWC’s High Speed Data Service (standard or higher).
  • Your Account Must Be Current.
  • Data Usage Charges May Apply.
  • You can't use the equipment with another security company

You can learn more about Time Warner by giving them a call at (855)-892-4444 or by visiting timewarnercable.com.