Too few continuous video streams on Robin ProLine Doorbell

abjarna

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Feb 5, 2022
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Hi all,

I've been using a Robin ProLine Doorbell for almost 1 year now. It allows me to see a live video from my doorbell and start a live conversation with a visitor, right from the Apple Home app. Prior to the launch of Logitech Circle View Doorbell, it was the only doorbell officially supporting HomeKit Secure Video.

My setup:
- I'm subscribed to iCloud+ (the 2TB plan), so I've set the Robin ProLine Doorbell to record video when specific motion is detected and store in iCloud. Excellent feature, and I've used it a lot.
- I have an Apple TV device with Doorbell Notifications enabled, meaning that is shows a Live video pop-up in the top-right corner of my TV, whenever a visitor rings the doorbell. Great feature as well.
- I have a few HomePod mini devices in my home, which all make a Doorbell Chime sound when a visitor rings the doorbell.
- And of course, my iPhone and iPad show a notification with a still photo, when a visitor rings the doorbell.

Recently however, not sure since when, I‘ve been unable to see a live video from my doorbell (and start a live conversation) in the Apple Home app, right after a visitor rings the doorbell.

These are the steps to reproduce the problem:
1. A visitor rings the doorbell.
2. My HomePod minis all make a chime sound.
3. My Apple TV shows a pop-up notification (including a live video of the visitor).
4. My iPhone and iPad show a notification (including a still photo of my visitor).
5. I open the Apple Home app, on my iPhone, and open the doorbell camera.

After step 5, I expect to see a live video from my doorbell and to be able to start a live conversation with my visitor. However, I always get the same error message. The Apple Home app says:
„Camera not available – Wait until someone else in this home stops viewing this camera and try again.“

Note that I am the only user in my Home, so no one else is viewing my camera. Also note that the problem does not occur, if I turn off my Apple TV notifications, which includes a live video of my visitor. Therefore, I'm convinced that my Apple TV notification is this „someone else“ that I am asked to wait for, in the error message in the Apple Home app.

I just spoke to Robin support about this problem and here's their reply:
============================
Hi Atli,

HomeKit support for doorbells started with the requirements of two simultaneous video streams. In that time, notifications over AppleTV were not supported, recording was also not introduced. So two people could simultaneously see and talk to a person at the door.
Our Robin doorbell is able to deliver two simultaneous audio/video streams in custom resolutions. We can still do that this day.

Apple introduced a new feature HomeKit Secure Video after this. Enabling this feature automatically use one of these two streams. So only one is left. Recently Apple updated the AppleTV software and introduced the live video preview that is started automatically when someone rings the doorbell. If recording is also enabled, the last available video stream is used for this. To be clear, this is a design decision of Apple, not the companies creating the HomeKit doorbell. So we as hardware and software manufacturer can’t do anything to change this. So unfortunately no firmware will fix this. The fix has to come from Apple in their AppleTV HomeKit implementation. That is the reason why I asked you to talk to Apple support about this.

Best Regards,

============================

So my questions are:
1. Does the Logitech Circle View Doorbell support 3 (or more) continuous video streams; one for iCloud recording, one for Apple TV notification, and one for a Home user to speak to visitor?
2. Who's to blame for this screw up? Robin hardware or Apple software?
3. How (and where) do I report this to Apple?
 

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