Top positive review
74 people found this helpful
on November 21, 2012
This is my first exposure to baby monitors. However, I have wireless internet security cameras, so I used that as a starting basis for my evaluation. The product came in eco-packaging. There was a camera, receiver, battery for the receiver, and two wall-wart power supplies. The camera does not come with a battery and needs to be installed within a few feet of a power receptacle. The receiver unit can be plugged in or used with the battery. There is a clip on the unit to allow you to carry it with you (such as on your belt). However I found the clip to be a bit questionable. It is mounted low on the receiver and the clip is not spring-loaded. The clip is much better suited as the flip-out easel stand.
The receiver video screen is in color. The color tends to be a little on the magenta side, but the resolution is excellent for the size. The camera optical quality also seems to be quite good. I was very surprised by the high quality of the images. The camera also uses infrared leds so it illuminates a dark room when viewed with the receiver, and yet no visible light is seen from the camera itself. The brightness of the screen can be adjusted with the controls on the receiver, so it can be used in sunny rooms or even outdoors, or inside rooms with no lighting. Speaking of outdoors, the camera is not suitable for outdoor weather, but it looks like it can be used outdoors on nice days if protected from moisture and extreme temperatures.
The camera also transmits audio back to the receiver. It does this surprisingly well and it also has intercom capabilities. There is a row of green and red leds along the top that light up according to the sound that is picked up. A crying baby would cause the red leds to light, but ordinary sounds only cause 1 or 2 green leds to light up.
There is a foldable antenna on the reciever, but I could use the camera anywhere in a 3500 sq-ft single-level house without needing the antenna to be extended. It may be needed in a multilevel house.
The system did not come with a manual, and no manual is on the website as of this date. It took several minutes to figure out the functions and settings of the buttons on the receiver. It isn't that hard to figure out, but really there should be at least a one-page document to explain the controls inside the box.
I plan to actually use this device in my outer office. When the receptionist is away, I can see people come into the outer office and actually speak to them if needed using the intercom capabilities of the camera. It doesn't take the place of a security camera because it has no recording capability, but it will be nice to see who comes and goes while I'm in another room. The receiver can link to several more cameras, but I have no ability to test this feature, and I don't know if it cycles through each camera automatically or if you have to press buttons to manually cycle.
I'm really impressed with this camera system!
1 YEAR UPDATE: The unit is still working great, but the flip out stand broke a couple months ago. So I have to lean it up against something to see it from where I sit. I've used this 10 hours a day, 5 days a week, for more than a year and the image is still perfect and the audio still works fine.
2 YEAR UPDATE: The receiver failed after about 4000 hours of use (around 10 hrs/day for 5 days a week). It would turn on, but couldn't reliably connect to the camera. Occasionally it would connect, but it also showed some weird letters and numbers in the corner on top of the image as if it was accessing the operating system or some data in memory. After a couple of days of doing this, it finally wouldn't connect at all. It lasted longer than I expected, and I would still rate it 5 stars. It was on a surge protector the entire time I had it.