Top positive review
The Baby Monitor We Were Looking For
May 17, 2016
After trying other devices, such as the FLIR FX and reading up on the Nest alternative, we settled on this device and were very happy. It works as advertised and is much better than other devices for baby monitoring as it can act as an audio monitor running in the background on your phone or tablet. Below are some pros and cons:
-Audio monitoring while App is in background on device
-Connectivity across many devices and without App on computers
-Ability to stream on your own wireless network, allowing for good range and no requirement to upload and download from an external company server - curing obnoxious data usage and lag issues
-remote viewing available outside of your home network that works well
-great night vision
-Price: It is between $20 and $70 overpriced in comparison with competitors
-Resolution: The HD is still a little less clear streaming and the resolution is lower than competitors, but not enough to matter for monitoring
-Inability to Use When Traveling: The connectivity here depends on your home network, so if you try to travel with it you have to reconfigure everything, if you can, for the away spot, then reconfigure again when you get home - just not practical, and probably better off using Skype or Facetime between a couple of other devices (like old iPhones or the like) for away time
-Design: It's a little behind on form factor and design in comparison to competitors. Likely they are using a lot of standard parts in a custom configuration without a lot of money put into minimizing form factor.
-Complexity: This is a positive for tech folks, but for everyone else, the array of settings requires some careful configuration to get the best audio levels and video streaming quality, none of which is well documented.
Tip: Under the settings, for your primary feed try bumping up all the settings for audio and video to the max - max frames, bitrate, etc, and switch to ACC for audio. Play with the mic sensitivity. You'll likely end up with better video and audio if you do, and a good home network can take the bandwidth.
I'm most impressed with the connection. For a week I've been testing it at home, at work, on LTE, on wifi, across multiple devices, and usually it connects right away. If it doesn't, another tip: completely close the app and restart the app (don't just press the home button, double tap and swipe to kill the app). If that doesn't resolve the issue, do the old unplug and re-plug in the camera, which so far hasn't been a regular occurrence.
One item on my wish list is to be able to pick a region for setting the camera's exposure metering. Right now, it must use some form of evaluative metering to decide settings, and by placing the camera on a side wall, at night we have the bright IR hitting the wall and creating a hot spot that the camera adjusts for by turning down the brightness. That results in a darker than wanted overall room picture. I'd rather blow out the wall as overly bright and have the room be "brighter," which I think is just the camera adjusting the brightness levels lower than I would set manually when in night vision mode.