Pre-Roll and Advanced Pre-Roll: Understanding the difference

This article will answer many of the commonly asked questions concerning the differences between both the Pre-Roll and Advanced Pre-Roll functions.

What is Pre-Roll?

The Pre-Roll feature enables you to view more complete motion events. A Ring device with Pre-Roll or Advanced Pre-Roll will capture the previous few seconds before a motion event is triggered, getting the critical seconds of activity and attaching it to the event clip. This provides you with a better look at what's happening outside your door. 

Click here for more information on Pre-Roll.

Click here for more information on Advanced Pre-Roll.

The chart below details the differences between the two types of Pre-Roll:



Pre-Roll (Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus and Ring Video Doorbell 4)

Advanced Pre-Roll (wired devices)

Pre-Roll video length

4 seconds

6 seconds

As a picture-in-picture in Live View when answering an alert, and at the beginning of a recorded video in your timeline At the beginning of a recorded video in your timeline
Colour Black and white for Video Doorbell 3 Plus; Full colour for Video Doorbell 4 Full colour
Definition Low definition High definition
Sound No sound Full sound
Low light Does not function Full functionality



Which devices include the Pre-Roll feature?

Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus and Ring Video Doorbell 4 include the Pre-Roll feature. 

How does Pre-Roll work?

Pre-Roll is made possible by a low-powered camera (Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus) or low resolution recording (Ring Video Doorbell 4). When the feature is enabled, the camera records up to four seconds of video in a rolling buffer on the camera’s local memory, which constantly overwrites itself automatically. When you answer a motion event or a doorbell push with Live View, the content in the buffer is made available as a picture-in-picture so you can see what preceded an event.

Is Pre-Roll always on?

No. Like most features of a Ring device, the Pre-Roll feature can be toggled on or off. 

Pre-Roll is enabled by default in the Ring app, but can be toggled on and off in the Video Settings screen within the app. 

The Pre-Roll videos for my Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus are in black and white. Can those videos be in colour?

In order to conserve power, the four seconds of Pre-Roll video for Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus is recorded in black and white and low resolution. 

Ring Video Doorbell 4's Pre-Roll is in colour. 

Does the Pre-Roll video have sound?

No. In order to preserve power, the four seconds of Pre-Roll video are silent.

Is Ring Protect required to use Pre-Roll on a Ring Video Doorbell 3 Plus and Ring Video Doorbell 4?

No. Pre-Roll on this device works for everyone, regardless if you are subscribed to a Ring Protect Plan or not. However, if you do not subscribe to a Ring Protect Plan, you will only be able to view Pre-Roll as a picture-in-picture in Live View.


Ring Protect Plan subscribers will be able to take full advantage of the Pre-Roll feature, including seeing Pre-Roll video previews in their Ring app timeline or event history, as well as for answered motion notifications.

Click here to learn more about the Ring Protect Plan.


Advanced Pre-Roll

Is Advanced Pre-Roll always enabled?

Advanced Pre-Roll is always enabled for wired Ring devices. 

Is a Ring Protect subscription needed to use Advanced Pre-Roll?

Yes. Advanced Pre-Roll enhances recordings of events, and event recording is one of the advantages to subscribing to Ring Protect.

Click here to learn more about the Ring Protect Plan.

Which wired Ring devices have Advanced Pre-Roll?

The following Ring Wired devices have Advanced Pre-Roll:  

  • Floodlight Cam
  • Spotlight Cam Wired
  • Spotlight Cam Mount
  • Video Doorbell Elite
  • Video Doorbell Pro
  • Video Doorbell Pro 2
  • Stick Up Cam Wired
  • Stick Up Cam Elite
  • Indoor Cam

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