Since the Safety 1st High-Def Digital Video Monitor is our fantastic giveaway this week, we thought we would spotlight Babygizmo.com’s review of the product.
Safety 1st High-Def Digital Video Monitor
Video monitors aren’t necessarily new but digital video monitors are. A digital video monitor eliminates the interference that other monitors have including seeing into your neighbor’s house. We think most parents with a regular video monitor has seen another baby or nursery on their monitor screen at some point that wasn’t theirs. That can be an unsettling experience since if you can see in their house…they might be able to see in yours.
The Safety 1st High-Def Digital Video Monitor eliminates that. Plus, it has excellent features such as: zoom and pan, ability to add 4 cameras, and a very compact parent unit.
Let’s start with the monitor itself. The video monitor comes with one camera and one parent unit. The parent handset is compact and one of the smallest on the market; it even has a belt clip for easy carrying. It sports a 1.8″ High-Def Color Screen and the entire unit fits almost into the palm of my hand. It has LED lights to visually show if there is sound and a low battery light as well.
The camera unit can be set on a tabletop or mounted on a wall. A great feature (one that you won’t find in many video monitors) is that the camera can not only be plugged in with the AC adapter but runs on batteries as well. This is a great when you need the camera in a place that is not convenient for an electrical socket. The camera has an on/off button on the front. When the camera unit is on, there is a large, green blinking light that continuously blinks. We found the green light to be so distracting and unsettling for our toddlers and preschoolers that we had to cover the light with an object or a piece of tape. We definitely suggest that Safety 1st get rid of the green light because even though our baby testers didn’t mind it, our older toddlers didn’t like it at all. Some were even scared of it at night.
One of the most important features of a video monitor is reception. If you can’t see your baby, what’s the point? This digital video monitor has DataLockTM Encoding, which Safety 1st claims gives you 100% clear picture and guaranteed privacy with no dropped signal. We have to agree! While using this Safety 1st monitor in a variety of homes, we never dropped the signal or accidentally saw into another house. The screen size is rather small (still similar in size to many handheld monitors on the market though) but the picture is a clear, quality picture! We never had any static or interference disrupting our picture at all. A word on high-def video monitors: this is not the HD plasma screen TV you are used to watching. It’s considered high-def compared to other video monitors.
This monitor has great range. Safety 1st advertises that it has a 1600 plus foot range. What that means to moms: we were able to make it to our neighbor’s three houses down before we lost signal. When you are out of range, the parent unit will display the out of range symbol on the screen and go silent.
We found the picture to be fantastic in a well-lit room. The monitor does have “night vision” though to see your baby in the middle of the night. Since we did find that the night vision doesn’t work very well unless the monitor is no more than a few feet away from the baby, you’ll want to mount this camera as close to the baby as possible without allowing the baby to be able to touch the camera or the cord. The closer the camera – the better the picture at night.
The camera has a zoom and pan/tilt feature that is a nice bonus. From the parent unit, you can zoom in 2x to 4x. The pan/tilt feature comes into play while in the zoom feature. While you are zoomed in, you can move the camera, right, left, up or down. This doesn’t actually cause the camera to physically move since you are not actually seeing anything outside the original view.
The parent unit has a menu that allows you to set and change your preferences for a “Time Out” feature, “Auto Level”, “Night Vision” and also to add up to 4 cameras.
The Time Out feature saves battery life by turning off the screen after the number of seconds you select (5 seconds, 15 seconds, 25 seconds or OFF). OFF will leave the screen on continuously.
The Auto Level lets you activate the monitor at pre-set sound levels. This turns the sound off until there is noise in the room at which time it turns the sound back on. It can be set to OFF, which keeps the sound on at all times, or you can choose level 1, 2, or 3 to make it more or less sensitive to sound. Level 1 turns the monitor on with soft sounds while level 3 waits to turn on the sound until there are louder noises such as crying. We love this feature as it allows us to block out noise such as humidifiers, fans, crib aquariums, etc.
After reading the user guide and a little practice, we found the menu and the features on the monitor very user friendly. We do have a few minor complaints about the Safety 1st High-Def Digital Video Monitor though. First, the blinking green light on the camera (as we discussed above) is unsettling to our older children. Second, when the screen is turned off and we hit the “view” button to turn it back on, a Safety First logo appears every time for a few seconds before we see the picture. This may be there while the screen boots up and it’s not long but it’s very annoying to us to have to wait and see this advertising every single time. Third, the battery life on the parent handset is not very long. If not plugged in, it will definitely not make it through the night. And our last minor complaint, we think that there needs to be an even lower volume setting. We think the lowest volume is still too loud for many parents.
Besides our very minor complaints, we think the Safety 1st High-Def Digital Video Monitor is a GREAT video monitor choice with a fabulous picture that NEVER gets interference, easy to use menu options, great range, compact parent unit, the ability to add up to 4 cameras and a camera that runs on batteries.
Note: We read many parents complain that the monitor interferes with their WIFI connection if the parent unit comes within 10 feet of their computer. We are happy to report that testing this monitor with three different computers in three different places — we never lost our WIFI connection.
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