Video Baby Monitor Reviews – Brief History
Baby monitors didn’t exist before the 1980s. One could only imagine the number of countless millennia before then.
History holds that the earlier versions of baby monitors and wireless video systems where notorious for sharing radio frequencies with other gadgets. What this mean is that neighbors might have been able to eavesdrop on the things going on inside your house.
Today modern baby video monitors are smart enough to search the best frequencies, avoiding interference and encrypt the signal from camera to parent unit (monitor) for standalone units or camera to router to online for smartphone-based monitors. Almost every model supports the option to add multiple cameras (in case your need to monitor multiple rooms or more than one baby).
The full tech power is not just totally figured out yet. Overall video quality differs from murky postage stamp, to crisp, HD signals. At night, almost every monitoring camera used infrared bulbs. This is light that’s bright to cameras, but remains invisible to the naked eye. Due to their powerful LEDs, people often get a better picture quality by setting a camera to-night mode during the day.
Types of Baby Video Monitors
There are essentially 3 kinds or types of baby video monitoring products with just two of them being easy options for baby monitoring.
Dedicated Video Baby Monitors: This baby video monitor type is by far the most common option. Its working is similar to that of a walkie talkie with the camera base unit stationed in baby's room and the parent unit used mobile or placed in the parent's bedroom. The later unit allows parents to watch and/or listen to baby while they are apart. While these versions are all slightly different in the services they offer, the basic principles is the same. That is, the camera record baby’s activities and parents can see baby on parent unit to determine level of need. Many versions of this type of monitor usually offer 2 way talking, sound activation, multiple cameras, zoom in and camera pan and tilt from the parent unit capabilities. The parent unit is only compactable to use with its corresponding camera and cannot be used for any other kind of activity. This is the reason it is considered a "dedicated" video baby monitor.
Wi-Fi Video Monitors: This type of baby video monitor integrates the camera base unit stationed in baby's room and a parents unit that have internet capabilities. The later unit maybe a compatible device, used as the parent unit, such as a smartphone device, a laptop or computer.
These baby monitors come with a camera that utilizes an internet website or an app where parents are allowed to login and create an account for setup. This monitors type is the more complex option and has a higher chance of failure given the different variables that could stop working. With dependence on an internet connection, separate device for monitoring and possible Wi-Fi use, there is an increased chance of technical difficulties or errors not present with the dedicated monitors.
This monitor type also has a huge benefit. It uniquely allows for parents to observe babies from anywhere with an internet connection. While not the main reason parents purchased visual monitor for baby, being able to monitor or view little ones from work can be very satisfying for parents. In addition, some baby monitor models offer the ability to share with friends and family. This may be very rewarding and exciting for long distance grandparents to feel involved or close. Given the increase in improved technology, cheaper pricing, and wider connection, the range of Wi-Fi monitors is far greater than that of dedicated options.
Wired Monitors: This kind of monitor is really more akin to a surveillance system than a true "baby monitor" product and are therefore limited in used. They require hardwiring the camera and video monitor device in your house. This might require a professional installation that comes with more cost. Although it will still do the job of allowing you to monitor your baby, it really is more than you need for monitoring the baby's well-being. Thus, this is mainly used for surveillance system in places of business where security is a concern and surveillance a priority to eliminate or reduce illegal activities.
How Does a Baby Monitor Work?
With the growing economic meltdown, parents increasingly find it difficult to at home with babies. Thus, a video baby monitor becomes the best means for parents to monitor their children while off the house or from their room.
A baby video monitor is a device that sends video (life image stream) and sound over a one-way frequency to a receiver. The distance the video and sound is projected varies between different models. Most video baby monitors are built to work within a distance of about 150 feet. With the transmitter generally stationed in the baby’s room, and plugged in no more than 10 feet away from the crib, a signal is routed to the monitor (usually an LCD screen device such as smartphone, or a laptop). The receiver is usually portable and carried around with the parent throughout the house and outside on the porch or in the yard.
Key Features of a Baby Video Monitor
If you’re planning to get a video monitor for your nursery or play room, here are some things you should consider:
- Video. The obvious feature of a video baby monitor is that it gives you a live image of your baby (infant) which could be a high-definition video.
- Audio. Monitors allow you to be able to get sound from your baby from a distance. Most video monitors provide an audio feed from the nursery so that you can hear when your baby wakes up, crying or fusses. Some even comes with a 2-way audio video baby monitors that allow parents talk to their baby through it.
- Wireless. Usually the transmitter is plugs into the wall, while the receiving unit is battery-operated / rechargeable and portable or mobile unit. They communicate on a wireless frequency whose security and privacy depends mostly on the monitor.
- Night vision. Most baby video monitors are design to serve even at night. They come with an automatic infrared light that detects dim or low light, making it possible to keep monitoring baby even at night although this will give you a black-and-white image.
- Pan, Tilt, & Zoom. While some monitors are fixed, others have remote control movement that is able to change camera view from pan (left or right), to tilt (up or down), and zoom from the parent monitor.
Video Baby Monitor Reviews: Infant Optics Company Overview
The infant optics baby monitor is a brand of Genexus LLC, an American company based in California. They manufactured and marketed video baby monitors together other products such as light therapy lamps with “full spectrum” lighting and handheld evaporative fans.
Genexus’ first video baby monitor model, the Infant Optics DXR-5, is a highly-regarded product at an affordable priced, that comprises of superfluous features that most parents didn’t need. These are the nightlights, lullabies and a 2-way talkback feature. According to Amazon and other popular e commerce sites, the Infant Optics DXR-5 was the best video baby monitor selling in 2012 – 2013.
In September 2013, Genexus debuted the Infant Optics DXR-8 which features an interchangeable lens capability. This flexibility was greatly welcome by parents as it allows them to switch the camera to a wide-angle lens for better viewing of the child when baby becomes a toddler and becomes more mobile.
Video Baby Monitor Reviews: Infant Optics DXR-8
Infant Optics DXR-8 Baby Video Monitor: Features
- It is known as the first video baby monitor with an interchangeable lens technology. The infant optics DXR-8 video baby monitor has three separate lens types which are the normal, zoom and wide angle (sold separately).
- The camera streams real-time video to a compact 3.5 inch (8.9 cm) LCD color display monitor. This display is larger than that of the DXR-5, making it better preferred choice by most parents.
- DXR5 consist of all the features found in the DXR-5 with an additional room temperature sensor and a 2-way talkback.
- The battery life has been improved, extended to six hours with the display screen continuously on and ten hours in power-saving mode. It will be very difficult if not impossible to find a video baby monitor with a longer battery life than this.
- Also added to the DXR-8 are dual USB chargers with a long power cord to charge from both an AC or a computer
- The wide angle lens available with the DXR-8 covers a panoramic 170°, which is helpful for watching active babies and toddlers who wander the nursery. There also feature an extended vertical turning angle (95° up, 25° down) and an extended horizontal range up to 135° both left and right.
- DXR-8 is a true pan/tilt/zoom (PTZ) camera with 2x zoom.
- Expandable up to 4 cameras possibility to monitor multiple babies or babies in different rooms
The Infant Optics DXR-8 Video baby monitor is regarded as the first baby video monitor with interchangeable lens capability. Video is streamed real-time to a slim 3.5 inch LCD color display which provides a crystal clear image without pixelated textures. Its real life benefits come with its long-lasting battery that provides reliable charge for up to 10 hours in power-saving mode and 6 hours with the display screen constantly on.
It’s very easy to use, just plug and play. Unlike internet cameras, and the secure 2.4GHz FHSS wireless transmission allows for 100% digital privacy with delay-free video and audio playback.
Video Baby Monitor Reviews: Infant Optics DXR-8 Description
This video baby monitor consists of three separate lens types, the normal, wide angle (sold separately) and zooms. These allow parents to choose the most suitable viewing angle and focal length for their environment or choice, just like a professional camera system. The video is streamed in real-time to a compact 3-1/2 in LCD display which provides a crystal clear image.
The wide Angle Lens is a full 170-degree view that easily captures the entire room. This makes the DXR-8 the best video baby monitor for active babies and toddlers. They allow parents to view babycan play and explore and they can monitor them and their surroundings.
Optical Zoom: They are perfect for close-up monitoring during sleep. The optical zoom effect does not deteriorate resolution or image clarity unlike digital zoom where software simulates an image to appear closer. You can place camera far from your baby and still have an effective close-up view.
Infant Optic DXR-8 is packed with a roster of advanced features for added convenience such as infrared night vision, talk-back function, remote camera pan/tilt, and room temperature sensor.
Product information- Technical Details
- Weight – 3.5 pounds
- Dimension – 19.3 x 13.4 x 6.5 inches
- Battery - 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
- Item model number – DXR-8
- Power source type - Rechargeable battery
- Battery life – 10 hours
- Standing screen display size - 3.5 inches
- Display type – LCD
Video Baby Monitor Reviews: Infant Optics DXR-5 Features
- The DXR-5 comprises of a baby unit (camera) and a parent unit (monitor).
- The parent unit has a 2.4 inch (6 cm) color display monitor with 320×240 resolution, auto-tuned and virtually encrypted by FHSS between 2400 to 2483 MHz frequencies.
- It has a long range covering a distances of up to 150 feet (45.7 meters) in enclosed areas and 800 feet (244 meters) in open areas.
- It’s designed with the capability to support nultiple cameras (up to four cameras) simultaneously, has a voice activated (vox) battery saving mode with a low volume auto mute feature which can be activated either by vox or manually.
- The monitor’s LED indicators covers reception statuses, power and signal coverage with six step increments for brightness and ten step increments for volume control.
- Battery life lasts for up to 3 – 4 hours. This monitor also comprised a convenient waist clip for use when the monitor is not standing on its own.
- The monitor is powered by AC, a rechargeable, high-performance lithium-ion battery and/or a 6V 1A DC adapter with 110v – 240v input that allows the unit to be used worldwide.
- The DXR-5 camera (baby unit) has a Video Graphics Adapter (640×480 pixels; 1.33:1 aspect ratio) with a Cellular Management Operation System (CMOS) sensor.
- The monitor camera has a vertical angle range up to 90° and a lateral angle range of +/- 15°.
- Automatic infrared (IR) vision LEDs adjust to dim light and capture images from up to ten feet away.
- The baby unit can be mounted on table top, upright-stand or wall-mounted and screws mounted.
- It also consists of a built-in, high sensitivity gain microphone.
- The baby unit is also powered by AC, a rechargeable, high-performance lithium-ion battery and/or a 6V 1A DC adapter with 110v – 240v input that allows the unit to be used worldwide.
The Infant Optics DXR-5 is a simple and reliable video baby monitor for all. Designed and manufactured with the need for portability. Its slim and lightweight makes it easy to carry around and monitor your baby from a distance. Equipped with a 2.4GHz FHSS digital wireless communication link, the DXR-5 ensures 100% privacy. The baby video monitor features a 2.4 inch super bright TFT LCD screen, powered by a rechargeable Li-on battery that allows hours of portable usage. Boasting an impressive 800 foot outdoor reception range and a 150 foot indoor range, you will always be connected, no matter where you are in the house. The infant optics DXR-5 features all the reliability and intuitive functionality you would expect from Infant Optics.
Video Baby Monitor Reviews: Infant Optic DXR-5 description
Simple and affordable, the Infant Optics DXR-5 digital video baby monitor with night vision, comes packed with features so you can watch over your baby privately, securely and with zero interference. Its large 2.4" TFT screen (320 x 240 resolution) with a super sensitive built-in microphone captures each and every precious moment. The system boasts 2.4GHz static-free wireless transmission covering distances of 150ft in enclosed areas and up to 800ft in open areas. The wireless baby video monitor also eliminates interference from other wireless household devices like wireless routers, cordless phones, and video game controllers. FHSS jumps between different channels in the 2.4GHz frequency range, virtually 'encrypting' the data, ensuring security and privacy.
Night vision implies you are able to keep an eye on your baby when sleeping up to 10ft away from the camera. The automatic IR vision turns on and the system adjusts to the level of light, even when light is off. Power-saving features include automatic voice activation power-saving mode which shut the unit down automatically if no sound is sensed for 3 minutes and a built-in audio shutoff module, designed to eliminate any white noise or static when the sound level is below a predetermined level for 10 seconds. The Infant Optics DXR-5 comes with a handy camera stand and can also be wall mounted. This allows you to easily view your baby in its crib as well as see all other parts of the nursery.
Key Benefits of DXR Video Baby Monitors
Long battery life: The DXR-8 lasts 6 hours with the display screen constantly on and 10 hours in power-saving mode.
Wireless Portability: Don't assume all monitors have a portable power source.
Charge anywhere: The DXR-8 monitor unit can be charged from any USB outlets (such as laptops and portable power bands), making it simple to set up multiple charging stations at home.
Range: It has a wide viewing range, allowing parents to monitor babies from far off distances.
Beeping Warnings Gone: All units are fitted with a new software where the 'beeping' warning alerts (low battery or out of range) can be toggled off under menu options.
Sound Activated LEDs Mode: A row of LEDs allows you to see the sound of your baby’s voice alerting you if he/she is crying out when you have the volume turned down.
Temperature Monitoring: Remote in-room temperature display lets you know your baby is comfortable and safe.
Two-way Talk: Allows you to talk back to your baby via the intercom push-to-talk button.
Screen Off, Audio On Mode: The screen turns off whereas the sound remains on when it’s turn to power saving mode. Battery consumption reduces by approximately 50%. It transforms the infant optics DXR-8 into an audio-only monitor.
Product information - Technical Details
- Weight – 1 pounds
- Dimension – 3 x 1 x 3 inches
- Battery - 1 Lithium ion batteries required.
- Item model number – BBM1
- Additional product features - Wireless, Night vision, multi-camera compatible
- Power source type - Rechargeable battery
- Standing screen display size – 2.4 inches
- Display type – LCD
Infant Optics DXR Accessories
Both DXR models come with a full range of accessories including additional lithium-ion battery packs, additional monitor and camera unit AC adapters, and add-on cameras. Each model has separate accessories that are not interchangeable with the other. For example, the optical wide angle lens is compatible with the DXR-8 only.
Infant Optics Video Baby Monitor Buying Guide
For those looking for the best prices on Infant Optics baby video monitors, as of August 2014 Amazon offered the DXR-5 at less than $100 with free shipping and free returns with gift wrapping available but the DXR-8 comes with a considerably higher price tag. Both DXR come with a full one year warranty with service and support available seven days a week.
Both Infant Optics DXR models are high quality baby monitoring products that are easy to install and to use. One doesn’t need every single feature that is available on other models, thus infant optics video baby monitor users should be happy with the value the DXR delivers.
Key Benefits of Video Baby Monitor
A video baby monitor is one of the most important pieces of equipment that new parents can own. The convenience, security, peace of mind and privacy that monitors provide is unparalleled by any other modern electronic and parenting tool. The basic audio monitors are great but lack the additional information and advanced functionality that comes with video monitors.
See if the Child is Standing or Lying
Being able to determine the posture of your child at any given instance is very important. If your baby is awake and unable to sleep, for example, you will probably want to go and check up on the baby, and put him/ her to sleep.
Sleep training generally requires that the baby has some opportunity to self-soothe before a parent intervenes, and the visual information video baby monitor is crucial to parents trying to make that determination. This technique helps parents sleep train their babies but with an audio monitor, you won’t be able to tell if the baby is standing or lying down.
While the baby may be awake, if he/she is still lying down, there is a greater chance that they will be able to easily fall back to sleep. However, if they are sitting or standing, you may want to go check up on them and put them to sleep.
Save your Sleep Time
More information assures parents when and when not to enter the baby’s room which also helps parent gain time to sleep. All parents can agree that sleep is an invaluable commodity and every minute counts. Most parents with babies will agree that sleep becomes an invaluable commodity, and a baby video monitor allows you to sleep peacefully.
Most of the times, your sleep is interrupted as you have to check up on your baby. Although it is natural for babies to wake up at night, most of the time, they just go right back to sleep.
A video monitor will help you avoid these false alarms and get more sleep. However many minutes of sleep a video monitor helps parents to save are well worth the investment.
Accurate Sleep Tracking
Sometimes restless youngsters turn and toss without crying. Thus an audio monitor may or may not pick up the sound of a baby turning or rolling and it may be difficult to differentiate between these sounds and other background sounds. The video monitor gives you the exact behavior of the child, whenever he is crying or not. This is an essential sleep tracking feature which helps to determine exactly how much sleep a child is really getting. This is something you can never achieve with an audio monitor which can never differentiate when the baby is awake and not crying and when he is asleep.
Babies aged 1 - 3 three years should on average received twelve to fourteen hours (or even more in some cases) of sleep every day. Video baby monitoring provides parents with accurate sleep tracking so that they can estimate their baby's total sleep time.
Some modern video baby monitor also feature motion sensor that will alert you when the baby moves, even if the movement is silent.
Cloud Services and Sharing
Higher-end baby video monitors connect to a user's home internet network to transmit the feed through a wireless Wi-Fi. The Wi-Fi modem typically network with external cloud services that give users the capability to log in and view the feed via any internet connection, anywhere on the globe. In conjunction with convenient smartphone technology, parents are able to easily check on their sleepy child from work, when out for dinner, or out of town.
Parents can also have the ability to share their private online streaming account log-in information with other friends and family if they want.
The biggest advantage of having a video baby monitor is the security and privacy of your baby, both outside and inside the crib. Babies usually pull up to standing positions, then fall and bump their heads. With a baby video monitor you may be able to either prevent these little injuries or at least be aware of them as they are the most common causes of crying. Bigger children usually get out of bed at night to which a video monitor alerts parents.
A baby video monitor is also a perfect “nanny cam", for parents to ensure that their kids are getting the level of care they desire. And of course, baby video monitors are just as effective as security cameraswhen positioned with this benefit in mind.
Wi-Fi and Streaming Capable
Most modern video monitors come with a fancy options allowing video feed to be accessed over very long distances through an internet connection. Most users find this added distance in baby video monitoring range an extra benefit for monitoring their children. With the aid of this feature, users can check in on children, while on break at work, or when stationed overseas.
Monitor Your Baby’s Health
Having a 24/7 surveillance of your baby will help you monitor their health more efficiently. This is particularly useful for parents who don’t stay-at-home. At the end of the day, they can review the monitor, watch the baby's actions throughout the day and look for any of health issue or signs of trouble.
Connect to Multiple Cameras
If you are someone who care multiple babies, having a video baby monitoring device that is connected to many cameras at a time can be very useful. This is especially important if the babies are in separate rooms.
Troubleshooting Infant Optics DXR Baby Video Monitor
DXR Unit won’t charge
Clean the metal plates of battery with a dry cloth and pivot the battery first from the left and make sure the metal plates are in contact. Then make sure the AC adapter is fully plugged into the power jack of monitor unit. Swap AC adapters of camera unit and monitor. If the unit charges with the other AC adapter, it’s an indicator that the AC adapter needs to be replaced.
DXR Monitor signal issue
Keep all 2.4Ghz devices (internet TV, routers, smartphones, laptops, etc.) at least 3’ away from both monitor and camera unit. Make sure the antenna on the camera unit is adjusted to upright position. If problem persists, seek professional help for further troubleshooting.
DXR Night vision does not work
the night vision may have been accidentally turned OFF. Turn ON, OFF, and AUTO the night vision mode by holding the MINUS BUTTON (-) on both BRIGHTNESS and VOL simultaneously to toggle night vision.
- We recommend using a webcam that is hard-wired to a computer with Category 5 or a Category 6 Ethernet cable.
- Never use a monitor and stay within hearing distance.
- Co-sleep with your baby wherever possible
- Security and Privacy: This remains the most search features in any video baby monitor admit the rapid increase of baby thefts. Every parent want to ensure their baby is safe and secure and that only trusted parties get to monitor their children. However, some less high-tech baby video monitors aren't secure, and many suffer from signal interference.
- Analog vs Digital: Baby monitors that use wireless analog transmission aren't private nor secured meanwhile, digital monitors encode signals so that no one else can listen. We recommend you look for digital baby video monitors only.
Features of the Best Video Baby Monitors
While video quality is an obvious necessity to any good baby video monitor, it isn’t the only vital metric. Generally speaking, you won’t find yourself watching your monitor all the time and more often, you’ll either keep the monitor in the corner while reading, watching TV or be listening in bed, or cleaning. The best video baby monitor we discover has the following feature in common.
Range of signal:
Some video baby monitors have longer range than others. If for example you live in a big house with multiple rooms, range will be a key consideration factor for you. Anyone who lives in a single-story house or a smaller apartment may not need as much range. On the other hand, most baby video monitors have alert that signals when you get out of range. Remember that range varies widely from home to home and the walls construction between you and the baby monitor also limit the range.
Longer Battery Life:
The best video baby monitors comes with longer than 8 minutes battery life for standalone monitors. Most standalone monitors have two features in common.
The VOX, which mutes the ambient sounds in a room, activate the speaker (and often the video) only when significant sound is recognized.
The LED sound meter is the second feature. This is an excellent, but rare feature to keep constant tabs on a baby while muting a monitor and turning the video off.
Most baby monitors operate on a 2.4GHz frequency band as household products such as cordless phones, microwaves, and wireless speakers. You may experience interference and static when the monitor is on and operating on the same frequency as a number of other products. The easy turn around this is to get a monitor which operates on a different frequency like 1.9GHz. 1.9GHz is the Federal Communications Commission frequency sets aside for audio-only applications. It's known as the Digitally Enhanced Cordless Telecommunications (DECT).
Problems Associated with Video Baby Monitors
The radio frequency used to transmit sound from the baby to the caregiver is the same frequency used for cordless telephones and other transmissions that can come from police and emergency signals. More expensive models are built with higher frequency abilities that can eliminate outside interference. Baby monitors used by neighbors also can provide interference in listening to a child in one household. Monitors that come with a scrambler can minimize and remove any outside interference. To work, baby monitors must be turned on at both ends. Less expensive baby monitors that run on batteries may leave parents under a false impression that they are secure in their ability to hear when the baby wakes up.
Important Baby Monitor Information
A monitor is a device which transmit recognizable sound and, and images in the case of video models. The challenge is usually to find a monitor that works with maximum security, minimal interference, irritating, or buzzing noise from other nearby electronic transmitters and products, including older microwave, cordless phones that might be operation on the same frequency bands as your monitor.
Audio interference generally comes in the forms of neighbor's conversations. This usually make it difficult, if not impossible, to differentiate it from the sounds coming from your own baby monitor.
If you have a baby video monitor, interference can result in fuzzy reception or, a more disturbing, images from other people's homes.
To top it, baby monitors can be as temperamental as a 2 year old with interference being the biggest complaint or problem users faced. Some users also report such problems as low visibility, short battery life, and a shorter-than-expected reception range. We recommend customers to carefully choose their baby monitor, and make sure you'll be able to return it if it doesn't meet expectations.
Baby video monitoring products are a rapidly growing industry. This has caused almost every electronic company to engage into producing either the audio or a video monitor resulting in overflowing monitors in the market. This also has cause sorting problem to most parents who desire to have the best baby monitor.
The Infant Optics video baby monitors deliver reasonable quality with fine customer service at an affordable price. They have smartphone capability and are they as pricey as many other video babies monitors. They offer good privacy and secure connection between baby units and parent units. Infant optics monitors (DXR-8 and DXR-5), provides a reasonable compromise between price, reliability, number of features offered and security and are better appropriate for bed-bound senior citizens, babies, and other household surveillance needs. They have many more satisfied customers (that is if there is any disgruntle customer). The company backs its products with a strong responsive customer service and warranty. This is great as one can feel comfortable with purchasing and using infant optics baby monitors.