TechHive-logoTechHive – By Michael Brown

There are pluses and minuses to contracting with a connected-home/home-security provider such as Vivint. On the bright side, you get professional installation as part of the package; and if anything goes awry, you simply call customer service and they’ll help you resolve the problem or dispatch a tech to handle it. On the downside, you’re limited to the products and services the company deigns to offer.

The live view from Vivint’s smartphone app.

Take doorbell cameras, for instance. These gadgets have been on the market for more than a year. But if you bought one, you couldn’t integrate it with the rest of your Vivint system.

That changed today, as Vivint announced the availability of a doorbell camera all its own. Vivint’s doorbell cam costs about the same as its competitors’—$199—but it’s about half the size, measuring 4.45 inches tall by 1.5 inches wide. (Bear in mind, however, that Vivint subscriptions require long-term contracts that generally start at $60 per month.)

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