A PoE Intercom gets its power over a CAT-5 cable. PoE stands for Power over Ethernet so it is technically a VoIP intercom, which means Voice over Internet Protocol. PoE intercoms connect to an Internet router and will often connect to a VoIP phone system. They often use a standard to communicate with any brand of VoIP telephone system. That standard is called SIP, or Session Initiation Protocol. This allows you to use a different brand intercom than the telephone system you have installed.
So the first question to ask when shopping for a PoE intercom is what is its intended purpose? Are you going to connect it to a phone system for the purpose of taking calls from an outside door or gate? If so, then you want a SIP-compatible intercom. You simply enter an IP address and other configuration data required by your phone system, and it essentially becomes another phone in the system. When someone presses the button on the door intercom, it calls a phone or group of phones on your system as you desire.
You can get PoE intercoms that support audio only, or video and audio. Either way they are still powered from either a PoE injector or a PoE Ethernet switch. If you are using a video intercom, you of course need a phone that can receive video calls.
We have one system that does not require a VoIP telephone system as it provides its own server. The system has an outdoor-rated intercom that provides amplified sound and noise cancellation so it works well in noisy environments. You simply plug phones and the outdoor intercoms into a POE switch and then everything works. No Internet is required. Any programming changes needed are done via computer also plugged in to the PoE switch.
If all you care about is having an intercom that delivers power over the same cable as audio or video, then you don't need a PoE intercom. There are intercoms that run power over the same wires so no additional cable is needed. They may even use 2-conductor wire or CAT-5 wire even though they don't use the Ethernet standard.
If you need help in selecting a PoE intercom, call IntercomsOnline at 888-298-9489.
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