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Today's video doorbells look and perform nothing like the simple, chime doorbells of the past. As a result, it can be an overwhelming task to choose the right one for your customers with the wide variety of options available today. So, where to begin? This helpful guide will walk you through the most important features to consider in a video doorbell.

Power

Video doorbells are either powered by an internal battery or they can be hardwired into existing doorbell wiring if a doorbell is already present. If your customer doesn't have an existing wired doorbell, then a battery-operated video doorbell is the simplest power option. However, some customers may decide they don't want to deal with changing the batteries when necessary. In that case, you'll want to hardwire their new video doorbell.

WiFi and mobile app

Smart video doorbells with built-in WiFi will connect to the homeowner's network and allow them to receive alerts, view footage and communicate with outdoor guests via the manufacturer's mobile app. A reliable app should also make it easy for the homeowner to change and manage the features and settings found in a video doorbell. Look for apps that are available to both Android and iOS users.

Resolution

The majority of video doorbells will provide HD video. While some basic models provide as low as 480p HD, those will produce less detailed images when compared to 1080p HD or higher. Naturally, the higher the resolution, the better the video quality. Keep in mind that higher resolution video doorbells will require more storage space.

Aspect ratio

The term aspect ratio refers to the width and height of an image. If a video doorbell has a 1:1 aspect ratio, that means that it is one unit wide by one unit tall. A 1:1 aspect ratio will provide a square image, which is likely to show only the upper body of an outdoor guest. A 4:3 aspect ratio will provide a full body view of the person, for example. The greater the aspect ratio, the better the view of outdoor guests.

Field of view

The field of view refers to how far and wide the camera can capture. Choose a field of view of 120 degrees or more to view as much of the property as possible. With a reduced field of view, homeowners might not be able to see outdoor guests that are standing to the side of their front door, as an example. A wider field of view is ideal for those with large porches or entryways.

Audio

Choose a video doorbell that features a speaker and a microphone if your customer wants to have a two-way conversation with outdoor guests. Two-way audio is helpful when an unknown guest arrives or if the homeowner would like to instruct a delivery person to leave a package behind. In any case, two-way audio is a must- have today when selecting a video doorbell.

Night vision

A video doorbell without night vision does no good when the sun goes down. Night vision is made possible with the help of built-in IR (Infrared) LEDs, which provide the highest quality nighttime video images. Spotlights are also an option and provide the added benefit of color images as compared to IR LEDs, which provide black and white images. Look for spotlight or IR video doorbells that will begin recording when there is a suspicious event, like motion. Such footage can definitely come in handy for the homeowner at a later time.

Motion detection

Video doorbells typically include motion sensors, which alert the homeowner when a visitor is near the doorbell. Advanced motion sensors can even help detect whether the visitor is a person, animal or vehicle. Some video doorbells allow the user to create a limited geographic zone in front of the home so that every car that drives by doesn't trigger a motion alert. This is especially helpful on busy streets where there is a great deal of activity and not every motion event is a meaningful one.

Cloud storage

Storing video footage is important if the homeowner has an unwanted guest steal a package, for example. They might want to retrieve that footage at a later date to review the incident. Some video doorbells come with local storage, or an SD card, which can fill up quickly, requiring the homeowner to record over existing footage. Ideally, cloud storage provided by the manufacturer is the best choice as homeowners have some options as to how long they'll keep their video footage. Keep in mind there is typically a monthly or annual fee for the customer to participate in a cloud storage plan.

Now that you understand the most important features available in a video doorbell, you can choose the perfect option for your customer based on their needs and preferences.