I am a huge fan of video monitors! Even if you live in a small place, there are so many advantages of having one: 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.
Video monitors have come a long way in recent years and Summer Infant seems to be ahead of the curve! With a few minor improvements, the new Sleek & Secure Multi-view Handheld could be as close to perfect for a video monitor that you can buy right now.
The Summer Infant Sleek & Secure Multi-View Monitor is a video monitor with all the latest and greatest monitor features that parents are searching for. With digital technology it gives 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.
Let’s start with the best feature that sets this monitor apart from the rest: the Multi-view capability! This unique feature allows parents to view 2 (up to 4!) rooms at the same time! That’s right – you can actually see four different rooms (if you have four cameras!) all at the same time without manually switching the parent unit from room to room! I know…I’m in heaven! The unique 4-way split screen allows parents the option to view the monitored rooms together (four on the handheld screen) or the option to use the scanning feature which allows the parent unit to automatically scan between each room every 8 seconds. Up until now, this has been unheard of in the world of baby monitors!
So, let’s get to the nitty-gritty of this monitor!
The Sleek & Secure Multi-View baby monitor comes with TWO baby units (the cameras) and one parent handset unit. Did you catch that? It comes with TWO cameras to start with! Love that! Can’t really have a “multi-view” with one camera, right? The parent handset is super compact (about the size of a small cell phone) measuring about 4 1/2 inches by 2 inches and fits comfortably in our hand. It even has a belt clip for easy carrying and an adjustable flip-out stand to set it on a desk or table and get the perfect angle for viewing. The parent unit features a large 2.5” color video screen (black & white during night vision!) to give you a good view of your child. The screen size is definitely big enough to see your child but small enough to keep the actual unit a compact size. If you are viewing 4 cameras at once, know that the screen will split into four. So, each camera view will be about an inch tall. Still good enough to see what is going on! 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.
The parent unit features a volume control that allows us to set the perfect volume for the situation, brightness control, and sound-light indicators to visually show if there is sound. There is also a multi-view button on the front of the parent unit. Here’s how the multi-view works:
You have three options. 1) View one camera the whole time 2) Split the screen to see up to 4 cameras at the same time or 3) Scan from camera to camera automatically every 8 seconds.
It’s important to note that when you split screen the monitor (view multiple rooms at the same time), you will not have audio. Even though this is a huge deal to some parents, I think it probably is a good thing though. Think of the cluttered noise if each room with a camera had sound. You wouldn’t know what noise was coming from each one anyway. If you really want to hear each camera, put the monitor on the scan option and it will automatically scan between cameras (with audio!) every 8 seconds.
The scan between cameras option is really fabulous! This feature will automatically scan between the cameras every 8 seconds. And yes, you will have sound from each camera that is displayed. I absolutely love this option for naptime and bedtime for my three little ones. I set the monitor on the scan option and the parent unit rotates between all the cameras so that I can keep an eye on all of them. How much trouble can they get in within 16 seconds, right? I cannot tell you how much I love this feature! My 5 year old doesn’t love it so much! With an added 3rd camera, I cannot only keep an eye on the two younger ones but keep an eye on her room too. As you can imagine, she doesn’t like to be monitored! But believe me, she does! The full bottle of lotion dumped all over her rocking horse verifies that she does need to be monitored!
It’s important to note that this scan feature will only work while the screen is on. When the screen turns off to save battery power, the parent unit will stop on the last camera that it was displaying and that is the only audio you will hear. So, if you would like your monitor to continue to scan, you must plug the parent unit in and keep the screen on. Note: Even on the lowest brightness setting the screen can be a bit bright in a dark room for those sensitive parents that don’t like a lot of light when they sleep.
The baby units (cameras) are pretty great too! The cameras can be set on a dresser or tabletop or mounted to a wall. We love that the camera head can be adjusted to get the perfect angle to see your little one. The camera also features nighttime LED lights for viewing baby in a darkened room. The camera only works when it is plugged in with an AC adapter. Since sometimes monitoring needs to be done in a place that isn’t convenient for an outlet, we wish that the baby unit could also run on regular batteries.
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 Summer Infant Sleek & Secure Multi-View Monitor. 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 digital GHz, the Digital Video Monitor automatically searches for the most secure connection with the least interference. Your monitor transmissions are 100% private, so that you’re the only one who can hear and see your baby. The quality of the picture is fantastic too. In a well-lit room. We have to admit, the night vision isn’t the best! We wish it was even clearer because it’s a bit grainy in a dark room. The closer you put the camera to baby, the better the picture though! 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 and grainier making it harder to see your little bundle of joy. So, keep the baby unit close and you’ll be fine with the night vision!
Besides the multi-view, my hands-down favorite feature of the Sleek & Secure Multi-View Monitor is the two-way audio feature! This feature allows you to speak into the parent unit to soothe your baby on the nursery unit. Or if you are like me, tell your toddler to get back into bed for the millionth time without even getting out of your seat. Plus, the two-way audio feature works on all the cameras. All I have to do is press the talk button on the handheld unit to talk to the camera that is displaying on the monitor. So, I can talk to all my kids without going up and down the stairs 6 million times. This wouldn’t sound so lazy if you were going upstairs 10+ times every night because your 5 year old says “I have to tell you something.” With this monitor, I listen to what she has to say, talk back and reassure that I heard her in the monitor and go back to whatever I was doing without getting up. Could be lazy? I consider it brilliant!
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 lullaby feature (not necessary but these are “perfect” suggestions!), and a better night vision. Otherwise, this multi-view monitor is as perfect as you are going to get for a compact monitor that allows you to view four rooms at once, automatically scan from room to room and has the beloved 2-way communication feature.
PS. While we heard that these digital monitors may interfere with a WiFi network, we never had a problem.