Vivint Sensible Residence delivers automation and safety for a value

Vivint Sensible Residence starter package

Sensible residence safety methods are an ever-increasing market, and you’ve got rather a lot to think about earlier than declaring allegiance. Vivint’s Sensible Residence is an efficient possibility for a monitored sensible residence with no long-term contracts. The $550 starter package price ticket is not outrageous, however be ready to pay a minimum of $40 month-to-month for safety monitoring, app management and different options which might be just about obligatory in your system to have any smarts. Compatibility with Amazon’s Alexa, Google Residence and Nest thermostats makes Vivint’s platform a stable selection, so long as you already know what you are stepping into.

Vivint’s starter package features a touchscreen SkyControl panel and selection of six sensible sensors. Take your decide of door/window sensors, movement detector, glass break detector, flood/freeze sensors, smoke detector or carbon monoxide detector.

From there, you possibly can add further units a la carte. Extra door/window sensors, for instance, value $35. Vivint’s merchandise additionally work with the Nest Thermostat and you should purchase this and an Amazon Echo ($179.99 at Residence Depot) as a part of your Vivint package deal.  

We examined a number of of Vivint’s merchandise on the CNET Sensible Residence the place Wealthy, our Vivint Sensible Residence professional, put in our units and ensured all the things was working easily. Set up is priced at $198, however some promotions waive this payment. We put the system by a bunch of on a regular basis eventualities with a number of customers and schedules.

The 7-inch touchscreen Vivint SkyControl panel acts because the command middle for the Vivint Sensible Residence. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

On the middle of the Vivint suite of merchandise is the 7-inch SkyControl panel. This white, wall-mounted management middle acts as your own home base for each machine. Controlling and adjusting all of your units right here is fairly simple. The panel’s measurement and form feels a bit clunky, however the interface is easy and simple to navigate. The SkyControl panel can run on backup battery energy and a mobile connection, so it would proceed to work when your energy or Wi-Fi goes out. 

For those who’re not at residence, you need to use your Vivint app, a cell model of the SkyControl panel, for controls and notifications. There’s additionally a four-digit PIN to entry the panel for added safety.

Cameras and different merchandise

Among the many further merchandise Vivint presents are a couple of attention-grabbing digital camera choices. Apart from two AT&T Digital Life plans that value $55 and $65, most residence safety starter kits in the marketplace will not embody cameras or doorbells. Vivint does not embody any cameras out of the field, nevertheless it does will let you add units to the starter package and primarily create your personal package deal while you enroll. Package deal costs differ relying on what you purchase, however you can get all of the units you need in a single buy and one set up.

Vivint’s doorbell digital camera prices $230 and presents you a primary take a look at the entrance door. It resembles a traditional doorbell, however with an added digital camera eye and a lighted button that triggers a chime from the SkyControl panel and notifies your cell app. Two-way speak and one-way video imply you possibly can see and converse to folks on the door they usually can hear and reply. On-demand reside video from the Vivint app lets you view your entrance door remotely at any time. The doorbell digital camera contains a 180-degree wide-angle view and good night time imaginative and prescient. It additionally boasts “sensible customer detection” so you are not notified each time a automobile drives by. Nonetheless, we did obtain a number of notifications because of one very persistent flying insect.


Vivint’s doorbell digital camera options two-way speak and one-way video. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

Vivint presents two further cameras. The $200 Ping digital camera, meant for indoor use, and a $300 outside digital camera. What I actually like in regards to the Ping digital camera is two-way speak. You’ll be able to view the digital camera’s feed and converse to the room’s occupants from anyplace through the app. Alternately, anybody within the room with the digital camera can push a button on high of the digital camera to name you. The outside digital camera works very similar to a standard safety digital camera and you’ll view it through the app or panel. All three of those cameras embody night time imaginative and prescient and cell alerts and file 20-second video clips when movement is detected.

For an extra $10 extra a month, your starter Vivint subscription payment turns into the Sensible Residence Video service plan, which incorporates 30 days of steady DVR recording for as much as 4 cameras in case you’ve bought a 1TB Vivint Sensible Drive for $250. Whereas that is very costly for a 1TB drive, 30-day steady recording for 4 cameras is included. The $50-per-month service plan and $249 Sensible Drive combo prices $840 for the primary yr. By comparability, Nest Conscious for 4 cameras will value $75 per thirty days or $750 for a reduced annual subscription.

Buying the Vivint Sensible Drive is not obligatory, although. You should purchase cameras and pay simply the $50 per thirty days video service plan. That further $10 per thirty days gives the flexibility to play again, save, obtain and share video. With out the Vivint Sensible Drive, you will have entry to 10 days of video clips.

Vivint bought cloud storage startup Area Monkey in 2014, renaming it Vivint Sensible Drive. We reviewed the drive when it was nonetheless referred to as Area Monkey, and Vivint makes use of this identical distributed cloud storage system for steady DVR recording with cameras and doorbells.  

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