Yeah, I read your write-up on using the door contact in order to create a trigger, that was a cool solution! The motion sensor created by the VistaCam works well. I’m an Alexa guy myself, have echos or echo dots in each room and use a hue lights emulator I have running on a Raspberry Pi to enable voice commands for all my Vera stuff and of course my audio/video also. Use a Harmony Elite remote and hub.
I just installed the doorbell cam a couple of days ago so haven’t even had a visitor since I installed it. Like you, I used the angled backing plate to angle it toward the middle of the alcove I mentioned. The video is fine other than the cam doing its own adjustments for the contrast and that’s really screwing things up during the daytime. I tested more today and it’s amazing how much the image changes if I stand right in front of the camera so that I block the bright sun behind me. The image then brightens up immediately and is fine. Problem is if I stand right at the middle of the door, like most people would do, the sunlight makes the camera adjust and makes everything close to the door in dark shadow. Really defeats the whole purpose of the cam.
It works great at night, I have Vera always turn the light on there at the door at night so the camera works great just in day mode. I even used the motion sensor to turn that light on even in the day if motion is detected, hoping to help the dark image but it can’t overcome whatever the camera is doing on its own. Still wish I could get the thing to work with Blue Iris but if I can’t figure out how to overcome the shadow issue I may have to find another camera anyway.
Hello all, Ken fixed whatever needed to be fixed for my camera to work with Blue Iris! As soon as I sent an email in he was on it and after accessing the camera remotely he told me it would be fixed with the next update. Next update was a day or two later and all is well. Thanks Ken!!
Unfortunately, Vera support hasn’t fixed the issue with the contrast adjustment on the camera so I can barely see anything (because of super dark shadows) through the camera when it is sunny outside. On cloudy days or at night it works fine.
Ken with Blue Iris, outcome is the cam works now in Blue Iris, he didn’t really say anything about the 40 character password length but I had mentioned that and from his replies I don’t think that was any part of the issue. I have no idea what he did to get it working, I just sent in my request, he asked for remote access to check things out, then sent me an email back saying the issue would be resolved in the next update, which it was.
The only thing the cam won’t do now is allow me to actually “talk” to the camera so as to have two way conversation rather than just the audio from the camera that I get now. Ken said that would have to be done with specific camera setup rather than the generic setting I’m using now. He again asked for my WAN IP and said he would look into reverse engineering the cam. Haven’t heard back on that yet.
Oh, and remember earlier I said I can’t connect the camera to Hikvision IVMS because it won’t allow a password as long as mine is.
Unfortunately, Vera has done nothing to help with this issue other than admitting that the image I get from the camera is definitely unsatisfactory and said that they would need to get a firmware update for it. But that hasn’t happened nor did they even acknowledge my question about getting some access to the camera settings for things such as password.
This I would expect. As the camera has only been added in to Blue Iris as a RTSP stream for the video feed.
No idea if you could add the VistaCam 1200 to the Ezviz app or the Hik Connect app somehow ?
But either of those apps would give you better functionality I would think.
Would be nice if the VistaCam 1200 could be integrated in to Vera as you have it now with the motion detection device, plus a doorbell button press trigger within Vera, which I cannot believe Vera didn’t think would be a good idea and they didn’t consider adding that functionality from the start Doh.
But in addition to the Vera integration, if you could also use the camera in the Ezviz or Hik Connect apps you would have the best of both worlds.
Yes, the inability to talk is only with Blue Iris. Vera lets me do this whether or not there’s a doorbell press. Vera is clunky though, somewhat slow to respond to accessing the camera then getting the talk ability. It works fine for alerting me to a doorbell press. So, if I could use Blue Iris, rather than the slow Vera, to interact with the camera, it would be the preferred method for me.
You asked Sorin and Loana for input on the password deal earlier in this thread and no reply from either one.
Can’t add the camera to the Hik-Connect app for the same reason it can’t be added to the IVMS software, neither of those apps will accept the ridiculously long password! The Ezviz app appears to need an IR code in order to add a camera.
The cam integrates into Vera fine and I don’t need a doorbell press trigger, just don’t like the sluggishness of accessing the camera within Vera. But at least now, if I want/need to review recorded footage from that camera I can use Blue Iris rather than Vera because accessing the recorded clips within Vera is MUCH slower than using Blue Iris!
Yes, sure wish I could load that but even if I could does this tool always work with any brand of camera? Another issue is what I really need to do with the camera is not just adjust those brightness/contrast type settings but somehow turn off (or modify) the auto adjusting the camera does with those settings.
Check out these screen grabs (and the time stamp from the camera) that are both from the same 30 second recording! What’s happening is the camera is seeing the bright sunlight beyond the alcove my door is in and adjusting its image for that, therefore rendering the image in the alcove as very dark. All I have to do is move over so that my body blocks the brighter background behind me and the camera then instantly adjusts itself and the picture is fine! Problem is most people who come to the door, stand at the middle of the door rather than all the way over at one side right in front of the doorbell/camera. I even added a Vera Scene to turn that light on when the motion sensor is tripped thinking maybe adding some light there would help but it doesn’t help at all.
Vera also needs to provide some sort of user manual for this camera. For instance, I just figured out that the recorded clips viewable through the Vera app are actually from the Vera Cloud rather than the SD card that was included with the camera. I probably should have figured this out when I was required to be logged in through Vera, rather than just connecting to my controller locally, to view the clips.
This is unusual since a big selling point (and why I chose Vera when I first started with home automation) of using Vera was everything could be controlled locally, no need for even a connection to the net to issue automation commands to your controller.
Since nothing I’ve ever done with Vera required any kind of subscription plan, and the camera came not only SD ready but with an included SD card, I was under the impression the recorded clips I could access were clips that were recorded on the card. Not so, tonight I removed the card and found that it had been formatted in such a fashion as there is a bunch of mp4 files on there but most with the date the card was formatted and containing no video. A couple of the files had a recent date and those had all the recent clips of the last few days.
Also, I could still access the clips Vera showed for the last few days with the SD card removed from the camera. But stupid Vera gives you no info whatsoever with the camera when you buy it other than the brief instructions for installing the cam within the Vera app. Even the few settings available for the cam and how to use it within Vera, one has to figure out on their own. For instance, when you view a recorded clip there’s an option to download it to your computer. No setting or instruction for how one might access those recordings on the SD card though, which go further back in time obviously than the ones in the cloud.
I guess you have to go outside, take the cover off your cam, and remove the card to get to those clips. VERA really dropped the ball on this product, thank goodness I’ve now got it setup to work with Blue Iris for saving my recordings!
The day/night settings are of no help, that appears to just turn on infrared which actually makes things even worse, day or night. Vera turns on that light every night at sunset and the image is excellent at night with the cam set to day or auto. Now, if I had the option to turn the back light compensation off that might be the answer but that’s not an available option in Vera.