Top positive review
144 people found this helpful
Needing to monitor toddler AND baby -- So far, this one works!
on September 12, 2014
My dilemma was finding a monitor that would meet two different needs. My 2.5 year old's camera would have to be mounted on the wall across the room from his bed (8 feet away), in order to get a decent wide angle shot of whatever he's doing (hopefully sleeping!), while the newborn's camera would be mounted on the wall close to the crib for a close-up view. Unfortunately, most video baby monitors I tried (notably, the Infant Optics DXR-5) just seemed to lack the strength of video in night vision to adequately view my toddler son in his fully dark room during naps and at night, which is the only time I use it for him. I was, therefore, VERY surprised and happy to see how well this Motorola monitor performed, especially at this price point.
The 2 cameras came already paired up with the parent unit. The day camera view is crisp and in color. The night/dark mode is black & white (as expected), and although I adjusted the brightness up a few notches, but didn't need to max it out in order to get a really decent picture of my toddler in his black-out curtained room, with the camera pointed at his bed at a distance of 8 feet. Now, the video on this is not as crisp as the daytime camera, but I can clearly view whether he is awake or asleep, his positioning, and distinguish him easily from his bedding. This was NOT my experience with other cameras. There's a little pixelation in the viewing feed, if I was going to be picky about it, but not nearly enough to make me unhappy with the quality of the picture.
- Video performs in different capacities -- up close and across the room. This was my main trouble with most other monitors, they seemed to be made only for viewing within 3-4 feet of the subject.
- Easy scanning feature between cameras is going to be awesome when the baby gets here. I'm glad they made a shortcut button on the parent unit for this. You can cycle through the cameras manually, or set the parent unit to switch camera feeds automatically every 8 seconds or so. NICE. It's a feature I see on higher-end models, but find so convenient on this unit.
- Talk-back feature is an option. I'm not sure how much I will use this, to be honest, but it's there if I needed it.
- Ability to turn off the video while audio stays active, and the sound-bar lights alert.
- Ability to turn the volume all the way down (mute) with the video feed still active. Sometimes I don't need to hear the babbling of the toddler, if I can see he's fine.
- The cord for charging the parent unit is a decent length, letting it rest on my nightstand beside my bed and be plugged in a ways away. I also find the cords to the cameras to be acceptable in length.
- I haven't experienced any loss of signal. Our house, however, is not large (1650 sq. ft).
- Zoom feature - picture resolution degrades a bit after the digital zoom, but being able to pan in this mode is useful and available.
- The audio is clear. Clearer than my Angelcare audio/movement monitor sounds at this point, after 3 years.
- Audio is highly sensitive. This isn't necessarily a CON to me, but the sensitivity is NOT adjustable and there's no VOX feature. You hear a small amount of white noise, but this doesn't bother me. I do have to have the volume on the parent unit at the lowest audible setting, and I can still hear a little bit of my toddler's humidifier when it's running (it's placed on the same side of the room as the camera), but I'd rather hear this than miss hearing when he needs me, and it's not enough to keep me awake at night. For others, however, this might be a bigger deal.
- I read reviews that the battery life of the parent unit is bad when unplugged but I primarily keep ours plugged in, moving the cord for the couple times a day that I need to. I will update my review if I find this a big drawback after some time of use.
OVERALL: This video monitor unit meets the specific needs I have, and I am very pleased with it at this point. I was very unsure whether the product I needed was out there for a reasonable price, but I'm glad to say I was wrong. I would recommend this unit to others, especially if they are looking for a system to monitor multiple children.
UPDATE: I've now had the monitor for 1 year. I have no reason to regret choosing this monitor. It is such a great help, the visuals are still clear, and I'm more than happy with the performance! We wall-mounted the camera directly above our now-1-year-old's crib, and the close-up picture is detailed. I love being able to scan to view my 3 1/2 year old, making sure the baby's crying hasn't disturbed him, and that he's asleep in his bed. I'm loving the light-up soundbar that shows me the noise level. I have found it to be accurate. Additionally, I have found the button placement and general ease-of-use for the hand-held parent unit to be simple and extremely workable, even when I'm grasping for it in the middle of the night. The unit has a nice feel in the hand, and the "sleep mode" button on the upper right-hand side makes a quick visual check of the two different cameras a breeze. The kick-stand has a sturdy feel.
My parents visited to babysit for the evening and thought this monitor was the greatest tool.
I very recently started to use the talking feature with my now-3 1/2-year-old. He has followed my directions when I spoke through the monitor, and a few times he was able to explain a situation where he needed help. I hadn't anticipated using this feature of the monitor, but I'm pleasantly surprised.
The biggest complaint about this monitor has been the battery life, but the longest time I've needed to use it unplugged has been 5 hours and the battery never ran out, so it works for me! Still, if not MORE, highly recommended purchase!