Skybell HD not recording pre-motion like before

Hello Support.

Our Skybell HD has worked flawlessly since we bought it. I remember a while back people had issues with too much motion recordings, but we never had that. I think that was before we bought the Skybell HD.

About a 1-2 months ago, we noticed that videos do not start like they used to. Before, videos would start before the person comes into frame, include them in frame and then some seconds after they leave.

Now videos start with the person already in frame. It looks like the sensitivity has been changed (even though we have ours set to highest). Sometimes we do not even get video of somebody quickly coming and leaving. I’ve played with the Skybell HD and noticed it does not turn the white recording light on until I am directly in front of it. If I’m walking up to it, but still off to the side, it does not start recording yet. For clarity, Our front entry is like a short hallway and the Skybell HD is side wall. It is not on the door wall.

I saw that all the Skybell HDs were recently sent new firmware automatically. I think the sensitivity has been lowered. I know with the real cameras you can set motion detection areas/zones. You cannot do that with the Skybell HD. I know it has it’s own motion detection sensor (like a PIR), but it almost feels like they only enabled the center of the screen and disable the rest if it actually did use video based motion detection.

The main problem really isn’t that though. It doesn’t “catch” a person walking up to the door until they are in front of the door. If it still did the pre-motion recording the way it used to, there would not be any problems. I think I remember when we first got the Skybell HD, it didn’t do pre-motion recordings and that was added in firmware shortly after we bought it. It looks like this latest firmware removed that feature. I searched a lot of things and could not find people mentioning this issue, which surprised me. I’m not sure how people have not noticed this big difference. Especially when some door visits are not recorded at all.

To avoid false triggers motion must occur for 7 seconds before a motion triggered clip is started. This is the architecture that Skybell put in place. A pre-trigger recording is added to try to bring the start of the video clip in line with the start of the motion. That pre-trigger is about 2-3 seconds or so.

The latest firmware did not remove this pre-trigger. It fixed an issue where the doorbell would not activate the chime if the outside temp hit a specific threshold .

The first thing I would try is to reboot the doorbell camera (hold the button down for ~50 seconds until the light flashes blue) . Once rebooted, the LED should be solid green.

Afterwards, delete the Motion Recording Rule in, wait five minutes then re-create the rule. After recreating wait five more minutes then test the motion detection recording. Any change?


I have rebooted the Skybell HD twice now. I also removed the motion rule and then added it back after a long delay as you suggested. The recordings still act the same way. I have tested it several times and when you walk up to the doorbell, at a certain point when you get closer, the light turns white. When I check the saved videos, they always start at that same point. Basically, the doorbell is beginning it’s recordings right when the light turns white. There is no pre-triggering that is happening. At least it is very consistent with recording and when it starts recording. I just wish it would append a few earlier seconds to the clips. This has been working fine for years until just recently (around 2 months ago).

To clarify from above, the Skybells use PIR motion to trigger recording. Motion must be captured for 7 seconds in order to record but the recording starts a few seconds before the end of that 7 second period (2-3 seconds or so). This acts like a pre-trigger, to help bring the recording closer in line with when the motion started initially, however, the Skybell’s do not have a Pre-Trigger setting, like many of the other cameras do.

Has the SkyBell been moved at all, even slightly? While it is meant to pick up motion from about 8 feet, that is meant from the front, not the side necessarily.

When testing, are you walking along the wall of the hallway that the skybell is on, or are you on the other side of the hallway. Is it picking up motion differently on one side or the other?

What happens if you drop the motion recording setting down a bit, does this change when the video starts?