Old-fashioned door intercoms were cool – back in the day. If you’re like most New Yorkers, you probably remember playing with the audio intercom at your grandparents’ apartment or home (until you got punished for it); you quite possibly had one at their own house as well.
Your grandparents wouldn’t recognize today’s version of the door intercom; the idea that you can watching a video feed of your visitors on a smartphone, from anywhere in the world, would sound more like something from The Jetsons than everyday life in New York. In fact, the innovations seen in many 2015/2016 versions of video intercom systems seem like science fiction compared to the ones on the market just a few years ago. One of the best examples is manufactured by Control4, the top intercom brand among those rated by CE Pro Magazine.
Here’s our Control4 video intercom systems review.
Control4 is an American home automation firm founded a little more than a decade ago with support from, among others, Cisco Systems. The company sells its products in 88 nations, and has built its business model on the idea of supporting most modern protocols and working seamlessly with every type of system from HVAC to home entertainment. Its own simple discovery device protocol (SDDP) has become a standard similar to plug-and-play, allowing Control4 networks to automatically recognize more than 8000 other devices. In a short time, the company has become a worldwide leader in smart technology.
The Control4 video intercom system is just one of the firm’s many product lines, and ties in perfectly with its other offerings.
The latest versions of Control4’s video intercom systems are breathtaking, compared to the company’s previous products and those of competitors. The DS2 door station includes such groundbreaking security features as motion detectors and email snapshots, in addition to standard video feeds to indoor stations and mobile devices. It is also able to take video from multiple closed-circuit cameras, not just the one inside the door station, and incorporate them directly into the intercom system feeds.
Control4 has introduced new 7-inch and 10-inch in-wall and 7-inch tabletop high definition touch screens for viewing the intercom video feed and interacting with visitors, with the screen also able to control all other aspects of a smart home such as heating, lighting and home entertainment – even smart locks on doors. The intercom installation is very precisely described in the manual. And these beautiful new screens are built on an Android platform instead of a proprietary operating system, and are faster than ever to power up and respond. A new version of the Control4 handheld remote (again capable of controlling all smart home functions), the SR-260, is also vastly improved over previous iterations.
Of course, these video intercom systems are capable of all the operations you’d expect from any modern offering: monitoring, interaction and control from anywhere with a full-featured mobile app, support for fingerprint scanner entry devices, and video/audio/mute toggling. But the ability of Control4’s systems to integrate with virtually any other smart home device on the market (as well as support for competitive products made by companies like Siedle and 2N) put this system at the very pinnacle of video intercom choices for every professional intercom installer.