Inside an AT&T Digital Life Home
April 25, 2014 | by .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address)
What does home monitoring and automation for the masses look like? EH checks out AT&T’s new Digital Life solution.
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Posted by Eric Jilot  on  07/24  at  01:26 PM

Yeah everything about it looks great, unless you already have any existing equipment.  The alarm take over kit will only take over wired doors and windows, so if you have fire/smoke/CO2/Motion/Glass break sensors you out of luck.  Additionally if you have any existing ZWave device you can not currently connect them, you have to repurchase unit from them.  AT&T has no way of purchasing the monitoring service for door, thermostat, or water control/monitoring with out buying their equipment. SO for now unless your are starting with no pre-existing equipment AT&T’s Digital Life is a total FAIL.

Posted by Grant Clauser  on  07/24  at  04:02 PM

Eric, you’re right in some ways—you need to buy the equipment through AT&T. I’m not sure that makes it a “total fail” though. I think AT&T sees its market as people who haven’t experienced automation or security systems before (which, to be fair, is most of America).

And to clarify, the contact sensors on the door and windows are wireless (they contain batteries that last 1 to 2 years, depending on the device, and the app tells you the battery status)

Posted by Steve Foster  on  07/26  at  10:45 AM

Grant, do you homework.  Comcast, Time Warner Cable, Cox Communications, Bright House Networks and Rogers (Canada) all offer fully monitored home security and automation systems, and they also include in-home touch screens as part of their base packages.  I’m pretty sure none of them have that R2D2-looking control box that’s 2x the size of the homeowner’s head in the picture you provided.  My neighbor had an old security system in his home, and Comcast was able to use all of the sensors that were connected to it when they installed the Xfinity Home system (he calls it a system take-over).  Since AT&T can’t even provide reliable TV service, I’ll likely go with Xfinity Home when my other security contract is up in a few months.

Posted by Grant Clauser  on  07/26  at  11:20 AM

Yes Steve, Comcast’s Xfinity has a variety of offers too. I never said it didn’t. If you like it, great. I mentioned Comcast’s DIY system simply to compared this installed option with a DIY option. The installed Xfinity options appear to be much more expensive, especially the installation fees, which vary depending on your devices (while AT&T charges $149 no matter what). If Xfinity or Verizon invite me to tour a house with such a system, I’ll gladly go and write about it. Thanks for reading.

Posted by mark  on  07/26  at  11:27 AM

Another lamb to the slaughter. I can’t believe people are committing to the ridiculous monthly fees for these proprietary systems. HA is addictive. Before you know it you’ll be coughing up a fortune every month and massively inflated prices for additional devices

Posted by Matt  on  07/29  at  11:32 AM

Tough crowd. Thanks for the write-up, Grant. I’ve been doing a lot of research thinking of delving into HA with Z-Wave devices and a Mi Case headend, but I will take a look at AT&T’s offering when/if it’s available in my area (Detroit). I understand the hefty monthly fee, but for what’s provided, it may be worth it. One less project for me to never really complete. :)

Posted by Bruce Myers  on  07/31  at  08:37 PM

This is not the first time AT&T has been in the security business. When things with their
Security system went south, AT&T bailed. Not interested!

Posted by surat  on  08/25  at  08:55 PM

Is the first time AT&T has been in the security business. better give some other choice to us to learn different thing.

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