Like all of AlarmForce’s products and services, their camera offering provides fundamental and functional protection for the home or small business owner. The camera works in conjunction with a doorbell and motion detector. (Doorbell connection is optional) Whenever someone approaches the door or rings the bell, the camera activates.
AlarmForce does not offer any other sort of interior or exterior video camera. The VideoRelay does not interconnect with other devices but does have a mobile app that will notify the home or business owner by email if the VideoRelay’s motion detector or doorbell triggers.
The VideoRelay costs $299 and can be monitored over your smartphone or through an internet portal. There are several components to the camera. These include the camera itself, motion detector/proximity sensor, a wireless router, speaker and microphone.
The waterproof wireless camera with integral proximity sensor hangs over the doorway. Dimensions are 7″ x 4″ x 2″. The router can be placed anywhere within about 150 feet of the camera. Each requires a separate continuous power source, and users must plug it into the nearest AC outlet. The camera connects to your doorbell by wires.
The camera lens has a 90° viewing angle. It has IR LED illumination for low light conditions. The motion detector has a range of about 7-12 feet depending on location and conditions.
If someone trips the proximity sensor or, if the user opts to have the installers connect the doorbell, rings the bell, the system automatically sends an email to the user. The system allows up to ten other email notifications to others also. The VideoRelay proprietary software attaches three photos of whom or what tripped the sensor or rang the doorbell to the email. These three pictures are saved as part of the event log.
The homeowner can then activate the camera “real time” and utilizing the microphone and speaker to communicate to the person at the door.
VideoRelay stores up to three months’ worth of video footage. The system logs each event or camera activation. The events can be accessed through the user’s smartphone too.
If you purchase AlarmForce’s electronic locking device or have an existing compatible system, the user can lock or unlock the door as well.
What the System Does Well
As with most of the AlarmForce products, the system performs as designed very well. You can view the activity over your phone from wherever you may be, inside or outside the home, and can interact through the speaker and intercom with the visitor.
Notification protocols work well. You can go to the app and immediately get the live video feed and speak to the person at the door.
The video and picture quality are poor. The motion sensor can cause lots of activations, resulting in what essentially are spam emails. You cannot configure the portal yourself but must have it professionally installed.
The VideoRelay functions as a video intercom system, but with remote access and a proximity sensor. Simple but practical, by adding the router, AlarmForce can market it as a home security product. This makes the system comparable to remotely viewed camera systems used by competitors.
There are several other video intercom companies with similar products that do some but not all of the same things that the AlarmForce camera does.
The Aiphone has a system that provides email notification. It is much more expensive that the VideoRelay and is not wireless. The lens’ field of vision is twice that of the AlarmForce camera but the quality of the picture is no better than VideoRelay’s resolution.
SVAT sells a cheaper video intercom. Like the Aiphone, it must be wired. There are no email or smartphone applications for their system. The video quality is about the same as the VideoRelay.
The Swan system is much smaller and slightly cheaper but has no remote accessibility options and no picture storage function.
The VideoRelay gives homeowners a simple and reliable way to monitor access to their residence remotely. As with all the AlarmForce products, VideoRelay is not a high-tech, state-of-the-art gadget. It will integrate with the rest of your home security system and in low crime areas and for working couples provides a good way to keep control of routine deliveries, visitors or children’s comings and goings.
For more information on the entire system check out our full AlarmForce security system review.