Having an intercom system is quite a convenience, especially if you live in a large home where it could take too many minutes to locate a family member. Intercoms also come in handy if you have small children since they can be strategically placed to monitor a child's nursery. More often than not, these home intercom systems are also used to screen visitors from your house or apartment before releasing the front door lock and allowing them to come into the building. Offering increased safety and security, intercom systems are even required under law in some states.
Older home intercom systems came with units wired to a master unit. Modern wireless systems are not tethered by wires and can be carried from room to room, also having the advantage of faster setup and installation times.
Several kinds of intercoms are available, each with different functions and advantages. Voice/radio intercom systems occupy a mid-range price/capability position. Many of them are limited to half-duplex communication, but some of them allow for full-duplex communication meaning that you and your interlocutor can talk simultaneously instead of alternating. Voice/radio intercom units usually have built-in AM/FM radio receivers that can play can pick up AM/FM radio signals from the master unit. Some models can even play CDs.
There also are video intercom systems that combine both video capture and a voice intercom. They are employed mainly for identifying a caller at a doorway through sight and sound and can come with a single built-in camera with a wide-angle lens or a few external cameras in multiple locations. Such an intercom can provide a one-way video feed with only one video screen in the master unit or two-way video communication where both the inside and outside devices feature video displays. Video intercoms have the advantage of letting you see and hear who stands at your door before buzzing someone in.
A home intercom can be as simple as a system consisting of two units with a microphone, loudspeaker and call button, or as complex as programmable multi-station systems with a keypad, display window, multiple channels and auxiliary inputs, as well as a multitude of other features. Whatever intercom suits you and your lifestyle best, this system allows for maximum security, baby-monitoring, convenient and easy communication without having to yell or scream and lets you enjoy your favorite music throughout the entire home.
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