Ring Doorbell – Motion Sensor videos of people walking away

I have a theory about why motion sensor videos do not record people walking toward the doorbell.  I’ve seen complaints of this issue for the original doorbell (the one I have) and the second version. I am not sure if this same issue is present with the Pro or Elite versions. If I am right it’s a design decision by Ring’s engineers and not something that can be fixed.

When someone presses the doorbell button, video starts the split second before their finger touches the button. Therefore the button-press does not initiate the recording because I can see the person’s finger in the video moving toward the button.

So what is happening? And why is there no motion sensor video of the person approaching the door?

I think the motion sensor IS capturing video of the person as they approach the door, otherwise their finger could not be recorded before it presses the doorbell button. But, I think the engineers designed the doorbell to discard video of anyone approaching the door until they press the button. Perhaps Ring decided that customers don’t want to watch their visitors walking toward their house, and the company doesn’t want to incur the cost to store such videos. Once the button is pressed the video is retained, starting just before the button-press.

But what happens if a UPS driver walks toward the house, drops off the package, and doesn’t press the doorbell? If I am right, then there will be no recording of his approach. And that’s what always happens.

I think the doorbell is designed to start retaining motion sensor video only if a button is not pressed and there is motion moving away from the sensor. That would explain why the motion sensor videos only capture the UPS driver as he walks back to the truck.

At my house when a postal worker delivers a package I get no video at all. I think that is because she approaches the door from the side, not from the front as the UPS driver does. She walks along the side, drops the package in front of the door, and then leaves the same way. Once the doorbell concludes that her motion did not generate a doorbell press and is ready to retain motion sensor video, she is out of the doorbell’s area of view and there is no motion to retain.

I do not think the motion sensor recording lag is due to slow performance. In fact I think the motion sensor reacts very quickly. Trucks driving in front of my house at 30 miles an hour sometimes trigger the motion sensor, and are often still in the video when it starts. Which means the motion sensor and video recording capabilities are virtually immediate.

I also have a theory about why I get these truck videos despite the fact that they are all 50 feet away from my house and the motion sensor sensitivity is set for 30 feet.

The issue only occurs on sunny days. I think the sun streaming onto the motion sensor blows it out and it’s not able to judge distance. A truck driving by casts a shadow, which is picked up as motion by the sensor.

How does this jibe with my approach/button-press theory? It doesn’t. The only thing I can think of is that maybe the motion sensor handles lateral motion differently from forward motion.

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