DoorBird D101 Tested Vs Ring and Axis
Video doorbells are a big growth market, with Ring, in particular gaining a lot of attention on the consumer side and Axis making a push on the commercial side. See IPVM's Ring Pro Test and IPVM's Axis Door Station Test.
DoorBird is emerging as a rival to those two, less expensive than Axis, but greater integration (e.g., ONVIF support) than Ring. But how well does DoorBird work?
We bought and tested the DoorBird D101 IP door station, with results on:
- Video quality
- Audio quality
- Echo cancellation
- Noise reduction
- VMS integration
- WDR performance
- Low light image quality
- Mobile App / Usability
And more. See the full results inside.
Here are our key findings from our test of Doorbird:
- Noisy audio: In all scenes tested, subjects speaking into the Doorbird were difficult to hear above ambient noise and static. Doorbird includes noise cancellation, but there are no settings to increase/decrease levels, only an overall level setting which increases both noise and speech.
- Poor image quality: Doorbird suffered from multiple image quality issues, including high compression, poor WDR performance, and focus mainly aimed at near objects, combining to make overall image quality poor compared to other options tested.
- ONVIF integration video/relay out only: Doorbird worked via ONVIF with Avigilon, Exacq, Genetec, and Milestone, providing a video stream and relay output, but no audio.
- Convoluted app: The Doorbird app, while simple for live use, was confusing for history/playback, displaying only snapshots for button presses/motion events, with no thumbnails shown for video clips, making specific events difficult to find.
- Lack of configuration: Doorbird lacks several basic configuration options included on typical cameras/intercoms. Usernames and passwords can not be customized, a static IP address cannot be assigned, no bitrate/FPS/compression adjustments are available, etc.
Axis/Commercial Options Comparison
Compared to commercial door stations such as the Axis A8105-E, DoorBird offers poorer video quality and lacks full audio and I/O integration to VMSes. However, DoorBird's price is much lower which is attractive especially for smaller sites or budgets. Plus its cloud setup and app use are simpler than others (if they offer these features at all), making it easier to simply plug in and answer calls via app.
Compared to Ring Pro and Skybell HD, DoorBird's video is below average and the station itself is over $100 more expensive than other options. However, Ring and Skybell lack ONVIF, RTSP, or other VMS integration.
The DoorBird D101 can be purchased directly from their website for $349. This is ~$100 more than the Ring Pro, though Ring lacks the I/O found in Doorbird. The DoorBird is less than half the price of the $800 A8105-E Door Station.
The DoorBird is wider than the Axis Q8105, making it unable to be mullion mounted. It is notably larger than most consumer/DIY focused doorbells, as well.
DoorBird may be connected via WiFi or Ethernet using an included dongle. Power may be supplied over existing doorbell wiring using an included power supply, or via PoE.
We review these features in the video below:
DoorBird's audio is difficult to hear through the mobile app, with two issues:
- Poor noise cancellation: Visitor's voice low compared to constant static/noise. DoorBird includes noise cancellation but no means of adjusting it up or down. Even testing in an unoccupied conference room, noise levels were noticeable.
- Poor echo cancellation: Though not as severe as audible noise issues, we experienced echo issues during testing in all scenes, with the operator's voice (using mobile app) echoing back into the DoorBird, even mounted outside with no reflective surface nearby.
The examples below illustrate these issues.
Below Average Image Quality
We tested image quality in indoor and outdoor scenes vs. the Axis A8105-E door station.
Indoors, DoorBird video is sufficient to recognize subjects using the station. However, video is highly compressed 720p (Q35, see below), resulting in significant blocking and artifacts compared to the Axis door station.
Outdoors, details were even worse, with the subject's face shadowed and compression/blocking more severe.
Additionally, at further ranges, details are even worse, as the camera's lens appears focused mainly on near objects, making the background and objects past only 6-8' blurry.
Low Light Performance
Due to its built in IR, low light image quality was similar to the Axis A8105-E (no IR) with some added light (about 4 lux shown below).
However, in a totally dark scene (~0.5lux), DoorBird provides much better details, with the subject's face still recognizable, not possible in the Axis door station.
DoorBird integrated with all VMSes tested using ONVIF, including Avigilon Control Center, ExacqVision, Genetec Security Center, and Milestone XProtect Corporate. Users connect using the same credentials used for the app ("ghajam00X", etc.).
Note that ONVIF provides a video stream and control of DoorBird's relay output. It does not integrate the audio stream, button presses, or secondary input.
Limited Playback/Search Options
The DoorBird mobile app displays only still thumbnails for button presses and motion events. Tapping a given thumbnail does not load video. Video clips are displayed in timeline order on a separate tab. However, clips do not have thumbnails, meaning users must know the time/date they are searching for or simply playback clips one at a time sequentially until they find it.
Limited Configuration Options
DoorBird configuration is limited in several key ways:
- No user customization: Users are assigned a unique login which may not be customized. Usernames are simply "ghajamXXXX" where X is simply a sequential number. Passwords are a 10-character random string and may also not be customized, only changed to another random string.
- No codec configuration: Unlike typical commercial devices, DoorBird has no codec options, such as FPS, compression, bitrate, etc. Video is 720p, 10 FPS, with no other options.
We review DoorBird's setup options below:
Analyzing DoorBird streams day and night, we found that quantization was a steady 35 average, much higher than typical cameras, which average ~28-30. Additionally, the camera uses a steady 3 second I-frame interval. This results in noticeable compression blocking and artifacts seen in images above.
Bitrates ranged from ~200-500 Kb/s in multiple scenes during testing. Night time bitrates were lower than daytime due to reduced visibility/details using IR.
Cameras were tested using default settings unless otherwise specified. The following firmware versions were used in this test:
- DoorBird D101: firmware 000107
- Axis A8105-E: 188.8.131.52