The cord cutting trend is gaining as people cut off expensive paid providers. This is laying the ground work for more service providers to get ripped for the same reasons. The reason we were forced to use cable was because they had an effective monopoly and the only way to really use their services involved renting hardware and buying services. Now think about your home alarm system. I pay ADT a silly monthly fee to “monitor” my house. Of course I also have to use their hardware and if I want to add a feature they just tack on some inflated upfront fee and increase my monthly bill. Meanwhile the system is almost identical to what it was twenty years ago. Ok, I can use a FOB or my phone to deal with it, but I’m using that silly panel more than I wish I were. Anyway, we’re poised to have a home automation movement. And here’s the thing: You’ll pay a one time upfront fee for the hardware and get a lot more for a lot less money, including things like home automation. Want a leak detector? Ok, one time hardware fee. The “monitoring” was always a myth, right? The system ought to be able to automatically provide you with information and in an emergency contact the right authorities. For the price I pay ADT, if someone broke into my house I wouldn’t have a single image of them. I’m not even sure if i could add a remote door lock to it (presumably i could) but i know i would be getting ripped off.
Cord cutters will catch this wave. Get a system that fits your needs at a lower cost yet better functions. The systems are almost there…give it another year or two.
Slomin and ADT – you’re on notice to innovate or lose.

2 COMMENTS

  1. I completely agree with you David. There are plenty of devices out there to do what you need. It’s pretty early in the game and so many competing standards. I’ve been sitting back and waiting for the one that offers the best price on lighting since it will be the most purchased device for almost anyone’s house. GE just announced an led light much like the Philip hue for $15 to $25. Price is getting close.

  2. As noted previously, I used a wireless alarm system in my house for 15 years. Doors, windows, motion, glass break, leak and fire were all protected wirelessly. Via X10 light controls (now Insteon) I could program lights to go on off at various times. And with a dial up connection (later via Web) I could monitor the system. The only thing hard wired was the outside siren. I never had a false alarm and maintenance was simple. Change a battery at the contact point every 3-5 years, depending on how often it was used. The control panel told you when a battery was low.

    A system today would use your Internet connection to access a monitoring station, or you, in the case of an alarm. But as we all know how unreliable our Internet connections can be, you really need a cellular backup. That’s another cell number and would cost $10-$15/month depending on how you approached it. Or you could go with just a siren, like I did. Monitoring stations need humans to man the phones for dumb asses who frequently set off their alarms. That’s what increases their monthly costs. Can’t be fully automated yet. During a home invasion, you don’t want to be listening for prompts; and press 3 for the Swat team. The lowest I have found for outside monitoring is $14.95 to $19.95/month. So, $25-$35 for complete outside monitoring, without any contract.

    A complete wireless system for an average house would run around $1000, but you only buy it once. Cameras will cost a little more. Spread over even five years, that’s about $16.50/month. As this tech has not changed much in decades, plan 10 years between upgrades. You can add and move stuff at your leisure. You can find everything you need at smarthome.com. Aside from running the wire and installing the siren on the outside of the house (I also built a battery backup for the siren), the rest of the install can be done in dress clothes.

    The minimal system ADT offers for $99 don’t protect crap. Two points of protection are a must for every entry point. That’s a UL certification requirement. So for a siren system, that can send you an email (if your connection is up), under $20/month (amortized). For a full system w/monitoring, $40-$50/month, but no contract and you own it.

    Yes, I have researched this a bit.

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