The advantages of a video monitor are many: beyond breathing checks, they allow you to peek on your sleeping baby without a squeaky door giving you away; they enable you to determine that the crying you hear is due to tantrum and not injury; and with the magic of mute, can actually help you get a better night’s sleep while still monitoring your baby.
The Phillips AVENT digital baby monitor is a video monitor with digital technology to give you a 100% private connection to see and hear only your baby. The digital technology pretty much eliminates accidentally hearing or seeing your neighbors or annoying static, making the video and sound fantastic on this model.
The Phillips AVENT digital baby monitor comes with one baby unit (the camera) and one parent handset unit. The parent handset is compact (about the size of a fatter iPhone) measuring about 5 1/2 inches by 2 ¾ inches and fits comfortably in our hand. It even has a belt clip for easy carrying. Be careful not to break the belt clip though because the rounded base of the parent unit prevents it from standing on its own. (It leans on the belt clip.) The parent unit features a large 2.4” color video screen to give you a good view of your child. Best of all, the parent unit runs on an included rechargeable battery so rather than paying for a hundred batteries, you can just plug it in with an AC adapter to recharge it.
We love the volume control that allows us to set the perfect volume for the situation. The parent unit also has sound-light indicators to visually show if there is sound, a low battery light and an out-of-range message. On the right side of the unit, are two brightness buttons to adjust the brightness of the picture if need be. On the left side of the unit, there is an automatic screen activation button that will allow you to turn the video screen off to save power until the monitor detects sound at which time the video will turn back on. After 30 seconds of silence, the screen will turn back off again. There are also two lullaby buttons on the unit. This is one of our favorite features!! The lullaby button allows you to start lullabies playing on the baby unit. Three lullabies play continuously until you turn them off. We love that this can all be done without going into baby’s room. Baby is fussy? Turn on soft lullabies to soothe them back to sleep (hopefully!) without completely disturbing them by entering their room. Our only complaint would be that the lullabies do not have a volume control on the baby unit. While the music isn’t super loud, we’d appreciate having the option to turn it down even more when even quieter music is needed.
Now the baby unit is pretty cool too! The ball-shaped camera sits on a base and is held to the base with a large magnet. Very unique! The ball camera and base allows you to swivel the camera in any direction to get the best shot of your baby. 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. We love that the camera takes batteries for those times that an outlet is not convenient, but know that the camera is also going to suck batteries dry quite quickly (less than 8 hours) so it may not get you through a complete night sleep without being plugged in.
The baby unit can be set on a dresser or shelf but cannot be mounted to a wall. While we like the design of the camera, we really wish that it could be mounted to a wall. There are many nurseries that don’t have a dresser or a shelf convenient to set the camera on to get the best shot. Plus, since it has a base, you cannot point the camera directly down without the base getting in the way of the shot. So, a wall-mounting feature would be a great addition to this monitor!
So, now that you know all the buttons and specifics of the two units, let’s get to performance! One of the most important features of a video monitor is reception. If you can’t see your baby, what’s the point? We are happy to report that the reception is fantastic on the Phillips AVENT Digital Video Camera. We are talking great reception 100% of the time! We had absolutely no interference (no static!) no matter where we took the parent unit in our house! That good!! We could make it to the mailbox and even next door without the picture even blinking! Operating on a frequency band of 2.4 gigahertz, the Digital Video Monitor automatically searches for the most secure connection with the least interference. Your monitor transmissions are 100% private, and that you’re the only one who can hear and see your baby. That’s right, no more seeing your neighbor’s baby through your video monitor.
And the monitor doesn’t just work in the daytime! With the infrared night vision feature, the monitor works great in a dark nursery as well. We found that the night vision works best when the baby unit is closer to your baby. We would suggest putting it 2-5 feet from your baby for the best picture. As you get farther away in a dark room, the picture is darker making it harder to see your little bundle of joy. So, keep the baby unit close and you’ll love the night vision!
The baby unit features nightlights that can be turned on from the baby unit. These nightlights are very, very soft. Enough light to see that there is light coming from the camera, but don’t expect to use these “nightlights” to change a diaper.
This monitor also has good range. Phillips advertises that it has a range of 492 feet. What that means to us: we were able to use it everywhere in our two story house, in our yard and even make it to our next door neighbor’s mailbox before we lost signal.
To make the monitor perfect, we would add a vibrating feature on the parent unit (or headphone jack) to alert you of baby sounds when you’re in a noisy place, a volume on the lullaby, a wall-mount feature and a two-way communication feature so that we can talk to the baby through the monitor. Otherwise, this monitor is great with its compact unit, lullaby feature and crystal clear reception and sound.