Vivint started off like any other home security company. However, they've evolved into a home-automation-centric company with their own set of connected equipment.
Home Security Cameras are a crucial part of both security and automation. And Vivint has not left out this important component. In fact, they've included the option to add several different types of cameras to their security system. This includes the fixed indoor camera, pan-and-tilt indoor camera, outdoor bullet camera, a unique doorbell camera, and Vivint Ping.
Vivint allows you to start off with a small equipment package which you can grow as needed throughout your contract. With that said, you can start out with a camera or you can add one later. It's your call. But the question remains. Would you? Should you? If you could?
- Offers Doorbell Camera
- Cameras Integrate with Security and Automation
- Confusing and Short Return Period
- Camera Packages Start at $64 per Month
Vivint's Fixed Indoor Camera
The fixed indoor camera is an excellent solution if you want to monitor one area of your home. You can set it on top of a desk or mount it on a wall. It has an adjustable fixture so you can set it to watch a specific spot in your home. However, once set - that's it. The camera canot pan or tilt nor does it monitor a super wide angle like other cameras.
The indoor camera has HD capabilities with 720p recording and streaming resolution. It needs to be plugged into a power outlet and requires an internet connection to operate, so you’ll have to either connect it wirelessly to your router or run an Ethernet cable to it. Also, it needs to be connected to Vivint’s touch screen control panel to be able to function with your system. Once connected, you can start enjoying your automated camera.
Mainly, your camera will be used to give Vivint’s monitoring center video verification. Video verification speeds up police response to your emergencies. However, you can also use the camera to self-monitor your home. Vivint’s app provides live video streaming where you can see your home on demand. Also, you can use it to record videos which will be uploaded automatically to the cloud. You can later use these videos by downloading them or sharing them with friends or family, if you want. Another important home security feature is its ability to start recording videos immediately when motion is detected. Finally, the fixed indoor camera has night vision of up to 20 ft., just what you need for 24/7 video monitoring.
Pan-and-Tilt Indoor Camera
Vivint's indoor camera with the pan-and-tilt feature is a slightly better version of the fixed camera. To start with, both have the same video quality and night vision range. Also, both are monitored by the monitoring center, can stream live videos, and record videos to the cloud. The only big difference between the two is the pan and tilt's capability to ... well ... pan and tilt.
This function allows you to look around your room, not just at a single spot. A single pan-and-tilt camera can monitor a whole room when placed properly.
Like the static camera, a smartphone is used to control your pan-and-tilt camera. You can manually control it or you can save preset positions and specific camera angles. You can monitor specific spots of your home easily and without the hassle of manually controlling the camera using these pre-set positions. For example, let's say that you want a quick look at your kitchen. So long as you have preset "kitchen", all you have to do is press kitchen within the app and your camera will turn right where you've trained it to turn.
Vivint's newest camera is also its most exciting. We first met the Vivint Ping at CES 2016. It is the industry's first two-way talk camera with one-touch callout. Using a button located on the top of the camera, you can literally press the button to callout. For example, if your child is at home and they need to reach you, they can press the button on the top of Ping to connect to you, assuming you are a Vivint app user of course. Then, like Skype magic, you can both see and talk to your child.
Of course the camera also provides home security. It includes live-streaming in 1080p, 20-second smart clips with on-demand access, a 140 degree wide angle lens, night vision, Vivint Sky integration, and it can send custom alerts and notifications.
Outdoor Bullet Camera
Vivint’s outdoor camera is a rugged bullet-type camera. It has HD 720p resolution for both recording and streaming. Just like the other cameras, videos are recorded to the cloud and can be downloaded to your device at anytime. You may also view live video streamed directly to your phone. The camera's night vision is more powerful than the indoor cameras. The outdoor camera has the capability to see up to 40 feet in the dark.
Vivint's Doorbell Camera
The doorbell camera is fairly unique. In fact, Vivint is the only home security company I'm aware of that offers this feature (unless you count the fact that Ring works with ADT). Basically, it is similar to well-known smart doorbells such as SkyBell and Ring. Integrated into the doorbell is a camera with a 180 degree viewing angle, a microphone and speaker for 2-way voice and night vision capability.
When someone rings your doorbell or when it recognizes a face or motion (this feature can be turned on or off), the doorbell camera starts feeding live videos to your SkyControl panel. Notifications are also delivered to your phone along with a link to your doorbell’s live camera feed. It has the ability to record automatically when someone’s at the door and it acts as an intercom with 2-way voice feature. You can speak to whomever’s at your front door through your mobile device or using the control panel.
There’s even an added remote control feature if you have Vivint’s smart door lock. Say, your cleaner is at your door while you are away. You can use your doorbell camera to visually verify if it’s her and then you can remotely unlock the door for her. After she leaves, you can lock the door using your smartphone.
Video Storage Options
By default, recorded videos are stored remotely in a databank otherwise known as the cloud. While the videos are there, you can access them using your smartphones or PCs so long as you are connected to Wi-Fi. However, Vivint also offers another storage option called Vivint Playback, formally known as Space Monkey.
Vivint Playback is a local cloud storage device with 1TB of memory. It works similar to the cloud, except, the videos are not stored in a remote databank because the device is the databank. For folks who don't trust the cloud, this option is for you. However, there is a downside. As Vivint Playback is stored in your home, a burglar who knows his way around surveillance systems might find it and destroy it. If this happens, your videos will be lost. You can add Vivint Playback to your Vivint system if you are a Smart Complete user.
Bottom Line on Vivint's Camera Lineup
Vivint offers a quality security camera lineup that has the added advantage of being able to communicate with other home automation products.
Vivint offers 3 monitoring plans — Smart Protect, Smart Protect and Control, and Smart Complete. Though you will only find video monitoring in the Smart Protect and Control or the Smart Complete package.
Monitoring through Vivint will require a 60-month contract. Although Vivint is one of the leading companies when it comes to automation, they have a ways to go when it comes to service with BBB scores ranging from a B- to an F depending upon the month. Checkout our other rated monitored security cameras or head over to Vivint.com to learn more.
UPDATED: 5/19/2016- Added Video Storage.