See Who's at Your Front Door or Gate

The doorbell has just rung and you are not expecting any guests. How can you find out who's at the door without opening the door and exposing yourself to possible harm or the annoyance of a salesman? Smarthome has many ways of monitoring the entrances to your property from the comfort and safety found only inside your house.

Click to view larger diagramA popular choice for front doors is our Video Door Phone Intercoms. These kits contain two major parts, an outdoor black and white camera intercom station and an indoor monitor. The outdoor camera station is mounted in areas were direct rainfall won't get into the unit. Place this unit on the porch at the same height (or a little higher) than the doorbell button. Depending on the model you choose, either two or four conductor cable is connected to the camera station and wired back to the indoor monitor. Mount the indoor monitor on a wall in a convenient location, like the kitchen, and hook up the cable from the camera. Once the monitor is plugged into electricity, the system is fully operational. Now, anytime someone presses the button on the camera station, the inside monitor will automatically turn on the screen and produce a ding-dong sound.

Click to read more about this cameraA more versatile video monitoring system can be built using one of our many outdoor cameras. These cameras can not only feed their signal into a single TV or monitor, with the addition of a ' Video Modulator' the camera's picture can be added to the existing cable TV or antenna lines. These cameras come in either black and white pickup or color. While color has been a standard feature in televisions for decades, cameras with black and white output are still made While we can all agree that in most cases a color picture looks better than a black and white one, under some conditions black & white models may perform better. In general, black and white cameras have more lines of resolution, which makes for a sharper picture. They also have lower light requirement, formally known as the LUX rating. Lastly, black & white models are less expensive than color, a big consideration if you are investing in multiple units. If you would like to have the ability to monitor an entrance at night, a black and white camera would be the best choice.

Typical Camera Specifications
Spec Color B&W
Lux 4 .1
Lines 330 380
Pickup CCD Imager

Our most popular camera for outdoor use is the Weatherproof & Submersible Color Tube Camera. It's easy to understand why this is such a great camera and easy to hook up. First, it is weatherproof and can be mounted outdoors. It's pretty small sized, measuring only 1 1/5 inches in diameter and just 4 inches long. When the camera arrives, it includes three very important pieces in the box; a mounting bracket for the camera, the AC power supply, and 100 feet of cable. Mount this camera outside your home, ideally under a roof eve or soffit and point it at the home's front door or gate. Although it is waterproof, it's still best to keep rain and water off the camera. The included cable has the video and power lines all inside one sheath of cable. Route the cable inside your home to a television that can be switched to view the camera. If you come up short, we have 60 and 100-foot extension cables available to extend onto the camera's original cable. The camera's cable will plug into the Video RCA jacks on your TV or VCR. Now, if the doorbell rings, flip over to the video input on that set and check out what the camera sees!

Click to view a larger imageWith a few extra parts, it's possible to view the cameras on any TV in the home connected to the cable or antenna service. The camera's audio and video lines can be connected to a 'Video Modulator'. A modulator will take the audio and video signals from the camera and create a TV channel. This TV channel is then inserted onto the same cable as your existing antenna or cable TV service. By flipping channels on the remote control, you can quickly change from your favorite TV program to monitoring the front of your home. Read more about this topic on our web site here.

This is just an example of what a basic system can do. We have customers who have multiple cameras on their property. Some have the ability to automatically record onto a VCR when movement is detected. If you don't want to wait to go home to see who has been on your property, we have systems that will notify you by phone or pager and deliver images to your computer or TV remotely.

Smarthome has over 80 cameras that can be used to monitor your property. Cameras are available in color or black and white picture outputs. We have cameras built into outdoor intercom stations and cameras built into ordinary everyday objects like clocks or picture frames. Cameras can be installed with or without cables between the camera and the television monitor inside. For the complete line up, visit our camera pages starting here.

updated 04/11/12