For your front door, Control4 has a new option. The Control4 Chime was released last year and has been affixed to the front of my house for several months.
In comparison to existing Control4 doorbells and intercoms, the Chime has a better sensor, a larger field of view, and a considerably thinner profile. It’s also a more ‘cheap’ choice than what was previously available.
It’s affordable because, while it may be a less expensive option to the $1,000+ DS2 Door Station, an off-the-shelf smart video doorbell from the likes of Ring, Arlo, or Eufy is a far more budget-friendly choice.
However, this is Control4. It’s not a do-it-yourself system, and Control4 consumers are accustomed to paying a premium for a custom-built, expertly installed, and supervised system.
With that in mind, keep reading to see if a Chime would be beneficial to your Control4 system.
Design and implementation of Control4 Chime
Previously, I had the DS2 Door Station for my Control4 system (which I’ve had for a couple of years). While it had a quality appearance and performed admirably, I never thought it was the proper match for my front door.
The DS2 is more of an ‘intercom’ gadget, and to be honest, it looked a little silly on the front of my house, which isn’t exactly a mansion, where an intercom buzzer would be more appropriate.
While I was envious of my neighbor’s sleeker, more doorbell-like devices, such as the Ring Pro 2 or Logitech Circle View, I wasn’t ready to separate the doorbell from my Control4 arrangement.
So when the Chime was revealed, I was ecstatic; the promotional graphics for the launch looked fantastic.
And when I saw it in person for the first time, I wasn’t disappointed. It resembles a hybrid between the Netatmo Video Doorbell and the Eufy Video Doorbell 2K, with the gadget split into two sections: the camera on top and the button on the bottom.
Importantly, it does not appear to be an intercom system but rather a doorbell. It is a much better fit for the front of my house and, I dare guess, many other more modest residences having Control4 systems installed, measuring 130mm x 40mm x 28mm.
When it comes to installation, because this is a Control4 product, you’ll need a dealer to come in and take care of everything.
Certified Control4 dealers know what they’re doing, and New Wave AV (my UK dealer) did an excellent job with my installation, despite the relatively large Ethernet weatherproof box and the brick wall I had it mounted on.
I chose the PoE installation option because I already had an Ethernet line from my DS2, but you can also power the Chime with your current doorbell wiring and have connectivity handled via Wi-Fi (2.4 or 5GHz).
There is no official flush mounting option, unlike the Door Station, however, you can use a wedge mount if you want to slant your Chime’s camera sensor.
Control4 Chime: Functions & Usage
The Chime’s button is lined with a soft-lit white LED that gives it a sleek glow at night, and there are a few of red LED lights surrounding the lens to help with night vision.
A press on the button, like any other modern video doorbell, will trigger a tone from the device as well as alerts and notifications on whichever devices you’ve chosen to be activated with a press.
The Chime’s default noise is a pleasing ‘ding-dong’ sound; much more acceptable, in my opinion, than the DS2’s phone ring dial tone.
When I hit my Chime, it notifies both my Control4 display, which shows a live view before you choose to answer and my phone, which has the Intercom Anywhere app installed.
With an enhanced 5MP sensor and 2560 x 1920 video (up from 1.2MP and 1280 x 960 on the DS2), as well as a 180-degree wide-angle lens, Chime’s images are stunning, especially in bright light and at night.
The new Control4 door buzzer’s microphone and speakers have been greatly upgraded, allowing for much clearer two-way communication.
In addition to pressed button door alerts, the Chime can also be used as a motion sensor in your Control4 system; your dealer can pre-set up to five motion zones when the device is installed.
These motion zones can be used to send out notifications and activate automation. Your dealer can set up certain common automation for you, such as driveway lights going on when motion is sensed after dark, but you can also make your own with Control4’s When>Then programme.
For example, I’ve programmed my Chime to turn on the porch light when motion is detected at night (and I’ve programmed the light to turn off again when no motion is detected).
Chime: Intercom Anywhere from Control4 and Smart Home OS 3
Intercom Anywhere was mentioned earlier, and yes, you are still utilising it to handle your Chime interactions.
However, there is a plan to replace Intercom Anywhere with the Control4 Smart Home OS 3 software in the near future. However, that was meant to have happened by now… so there are clearly some concerns.
Intercom Anywhere is fine, albeit incoming notifications are still regarded as incoming calls on your phone, as they are with a DS2. It would be wonderful to be able to modify the alert type, however, that is currently not an option.
However, when it came to getting some video footage for this review, we ran across an issue where the app only had still photographs available.
According to a search on the Control4 forum, there appear to have been several History problems as a result of the most recent system firmware updates.
I’ve contacted Control4 to find out what’s going on, and I’ll update this review as soon as I get a response.
Alternatives to Control4 Chime
While the Chime is still the most affordable native Control4 door buzzer, there are now another premium smart home ecosystem options that are comparable in price.
DoorBird was formally certified for usage with a Control4 system in February.
That implies that, instead of relying on expensive third-party drivers, DoorBird IP door stations may now be linked directly into Control4 systems using an official — and importantly, free — driver.
You’ll still have to work with your dealer to integrate a DoorBird device into your Control4 setup, but once the driver is installed, you’ll have access to all of the features you’d anticipate from a connected doorbell, along with audio and video calls to your Control4 app or the Smart Home OS 3 app on your phone or tablet.
The Chime, on the other hand, is your best pick if you want to make things as natural as possible in your arrangement.
The Chime is an excellent complement to your Control4 setup, especially if you don’t live in a vast estate where the DS2 intercom would be excessive. Its sleek, doorbell-like form blends in much better in ‘regular-sized homes, and the technical specifications have been improved. Aside from a few minor software quirks, I’d strongly recommend the Chime to anyone trying to make their Control4 system more mainstream.
The video footage is far superior.
The quality of two-way communication has dramatically improved.
Automation and motion zones
There are two installation options available.
OS 3 does not yet have this feature.
The app is a little buggy.
There is no option for flush mounting.