TECH TIME REVIEW: Summer Infant video baby monitor impresses with its high-tech touchscreen
When it comes to baby monitors, every parent has their preferences. For some people, just an audio monitor will do, and if they hear their baby crying they’ll head into the room to put baby back to bed. To other parents, audio is not enough, and they require a video monitor so they can see exactly what their baby is doing. There are a lot of monitors on the market, and often parents will buy and return several before settling on one they like, so it’s a big timesaver if you know you’re getting something good on the first try.
Video monitors have come a long way, and what was once barely viewable grainy black-and-white video has now grown into top-notch color technology that will satisfy almost any parent wanting to keep track of their child. I recently tested one of the newer models in this area, the Summer Infant BabyTouch digital color video monitor, and found it to be an impressive option among the many video monitors on the market.
The monitor comes in two parts – the camera, and the monitor (aka the parent unit). The camera is very light and portable, and can be set up on the wall or just placed on a dresser or other location in the room.
The color LCD monitor, which the parent keeps in their room, is a good size at 3.5 inches. In addition to crisp color images, it also features automatic black and white night vision. There is a docking station so you can leave it sitting on a dresser or elsewhere comfortably.
What is most impressive about the monitor is the vast array of control options you have, all controlled easily via the responsive touchscreen. From afar, you can move the camera up and down, or left and right, to get a better view of the baby. You can also adjust the brightness of the screen. I used the monitor to regularly to watch my baby in the other room, and was always able to keep a good eye on her, even if she got a bit fidgety. You can also zoom in and out to get a closer, or farther, look at your baby.
It can’t be overestimated how convenient it is to be able to control the camera from the other room. This is a great feature and very helpful to the parents.
Visually, in both daytime and nighttime, the quality of the images transmitted to the monitor is pretty good – though it’s not HD quality and images can appear grainy if the camera is too far away.
TALK TO BABY
One of the coolest features is the Talk Back button, which allows you to speak into the monitor and have your baby hear you. So if the sound of your voice or a lullaby via the camera is enough to soothe the baby to sleep, you might save yourself a trip to the other room to rock the baby back to bed.
Even if you have a long distance to your baby’s room, you’re covered with this monitor, which provides a secure digital connection up to 400 feet away. I experienced no interference or interruption of the feed when I was using the monitor.
The volume on the unit is impressive. You can adjust it from the parent unit, and it comes through pretty loud. If your baby is crying and wants your attention, you will definitely hear it.
You have the ability to add up to 3 additional cameras (which must be purchased separately), if you have several areas where baby will be monitored. All cameras will be controlled by the same parent monitor unit. This expandability is also nice if you have more than one baby to monitor. If you expand, “scan” mode bounces between the camera shots.
The suggested retail price of the Summer Infant BabyTouch Digital Video Monitor is $250, but it is available for just under $200 at Amazon.com and other websites.
This is a decent chunk of change, but the technology and capability of this unit is among the best on the market, so it’s not too hard to justify the cost – especially when you consider who they are designed to protect. If there is one thing I’ve learned as a father, it's that when it comes to your child you’re often willing to spend more, when you wouldn’t on yourself.
If you want to hear and see your little one when you’re not in the room, the Summer Infant BabyTouch Digital Video Monitor is one of the best high-tech options out there. There are monitors that are less expensive, but they don’t offer all the features that this one does, so you’ll have to decide what features you need in a monitor and whether this is the one for you.
On the Web:
For more information on the Summer Infant BabyTouch digital color video monitor, visit www.summerinfant.com.
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