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(Pocket-lint) - The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus introduced a new Pre-Roll feature last year and it's also coming to the new Ring Video Doorbell 2, too. Indeed, the high-end wired Ring Doorbells (Pro and Elite) have had a similar feature since 2017. 

Pre-roll effectively grabs a short piece of video before the doorbell detects motion, so you can see why you are getting an alert in real-time.

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What is Ring Pre-Roll and how does it work?

Ring Pre-Roll is a software feature. The Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus was the first time such pre-record functionality will appear on a battery-operated smart doorbell.

It basically shows the four seconds of activity that occurred before a motion alert is triggered, allowing you to see the exact reason for the notification rather than just the moments after (as is the case right now).

It works through an all-new three-camera module, designed specifically for Pre-Roll and included in the doorbell in addition to the normal main 1080p camera system.

This new module works more like a time-lapse camera, effectively capturing stills over a slow frame rate, in a much lower resolution and in black-and-white. This saves on power use greatly, so can be activated without any noticeable drop in battery life over other models.

Essentially, this pre-record mode runs constantly, even when the doorbell is not in use. As soon as motion is detected, it grabs the last four seconds of the constant separate feed and presents it in a picture-in-picture box over the live 1080p doorbell video. You can also swap the two videos to make the PIP footage larger.

Those with Ring Protect accounts will be able to store and view Pre-Roll videos in the cloud, stitched onto the motion recordings.

Writing by Rik Henderson. Editing by Dan Grabham. Originally published on 12 March 2020.