With the rise in popularity of multi-dwelling properties and apartments, intercom systems are becoming more and more important to control common pedestrian and vehicle gates. They offer a level of security that can only be matched by being present 100 percent of the time — which, let’s face it, in today’s day and age is simply unrealistic.

The good news is that choosing a system that will work in a given situation may be easier than you think. Yes, there are key considerations that make installs tricky — such as how far away the gate is, the scale of the installation, which module is most appropriate for the client (keypad or maybe fingerprint, does the client want remote access, etc.) — even the little things, like where and how it should be mounted, can make or break an installation.

Dahua’s Video Intercom product lineup simplifies communications between visitors, homeowners, and property management centers. Dahua intercom products come in a versatile lineup of IP, Wi-Fi and 2-wire based solutions for houses and both small and large apartment complexes.

In this article, we will be exploring Dahua intercoms solutions for small and large installations to help you win the job — first time, every time.

Many times, you can reuse what is already there

Many existing older intercom systems use just 2 wires for both power and communications. To keep the cost of upgrading these older systems down, you can reuse these existing cables with a modern 2-wire system — and still have modern features such as video and mobile apps.

For greater security and convenience, you may also be able to connect these intercom systems to Dahua CCTV recorders to use the intercom unit as a camera, as well as access live video from other CCTV cameras from your indoor monitor. Conveniently, Dahua’s Video Intercom solution allows both the recorder and intercom system to be accessed using the same mobile app.

New System Set Up

New installs should be wired in either Cat5e or Cat6 UTP cable. Modern IP systems such as the Dahua VTO3221E use standard ethernet and can be powered by PoE. They are programmed via a web browser on a PC or laptop.

It is important to keep in mind the distance limitations of ethernet over Cat cable (~100m). Many intercom units
are placed at gates and may exceed this distance. In these situations, you could use a point-to-point wireless bridge like the Cambium Bridge-in-a-Box to connect back to the residence. These units have a line of sight range up to 3km, making connectivity relatively easy to set up, so even the longest driveways are not a problem.

If a hard-wired solution is preferred, run a RG59 coax cable to the gate station and use the Dahua LR1002-1ET/ LR1002-1EC Single-Port Long Reach Ethernet over Coax Extender. These units send both data and PoE power up to 400m to run the outdoor station.


Graphic demonstrating different camera view ranges

As these modern IP based intercoms are programmed via a web browser or the Windows VDP Config tool, it’s recommended to have a laptop with an ethernet port on hand to use for programming or troubleshooting.

Here is an example of a single dwelling connected with a Dahua VTO2202 IP Villa intercom system.


There are several benefits to the IP based Villa system:

  • Easy Installation. Connect all intercom devices only using UTP (Cat5 or Cat6) cable. All video intercom devices support standard POE.
  • 3-Step setup wizard on indoor monitor. Easily complete the entire configuration without the need for a PC. All operations will be done on the indoor monitor.
  • Mobile App. With the free DMSS mobile app, your client will never miss a visitor’s call when they are not at home. The app allows then to see and talk to visitors, as well as unlock doors or gates from anywhere they have an internet connection. Using optimized software programs, the new Dahua kit series intercoms have up to 50% faster mobile push speed than previous models.

It’s the little things that matter - Mounting


When choosing a location to mount the intercom unit, it’s the little things that matter and can make or break
a quality install. Keep in mind the installation height requirements so that buttons can be easily reached while giving a clear view of the person calling. With their wide-angle cameras, Dahua intercoms can be mounted at 1.5m — making things easy for both the visiting caller and the resident.

Most Dahua intercoms have a range of mounting options including flush, surface, and surface with rain cover. These are included in the complete kits — but they are an accessory if you are buying the system as separate parts, so be sure to check you have everything you need.


Diagram indicating the height at which the camera should be mounted to fully capture the image of the person at the door.


Diagram depicting the installation setup of a Dahua VTO4202-X intercom system in a multistorey apartment building.
Technology for the larger install

For larger apartments the Dahua VTO4202-X range gives you the flexibility to pick and choose features that will work best for the situation.

Supporting up to 9 modules including keypads, push buttons, card readers, and fingerprint readers, the VTO4202 can scale up to 10 doors and 40 apartments.


For even larger systems the new AI Apartment stations like the VTO7541G support 200 apartments — or up to 2000 apartments when using a Dahua DSS controller.

As well as connecting up to 2000 apartments, the VTO7541G also offers unlocking via face recognition. With the security of liveness detection (a photo will not unlock the door) and a recognition speed of less than 0.2s, these units ensure the smooth, secure, and contactless flow of residents into the building.

Intercoms can provide access to visitors from anywhere

The Dahua DSS system with PC client and mobile app makes it convenient for security guards to manage an entire residential community with the PC client, while residents can continue to answer their door from anywhere through an intuitive mobile app.


For buildings with an on-site manager or concierge, the VTS5340B Master Station can receive calls from visitors and residents, monitor door stations, and unlock doors. Calls can be forwarded to the master station after hours on a schedule, or when a resident does not answer their indoor monitor.
Image of a Dahua VTS5340B Master Station intercom console.


As always make sure you communicate with your client to ensure that you fully understand their needs and they understand their options. If you have any hesitation, consider learning more. Before you get your next intercom install job, contact your local Hills representative for more information — or better still, register for one of Hills hands-on training courses for Dahua intercoms.

Don’t let what seems to be a relatively simple install have you stumped. Hills are here to help.