Introduction to Video Monitors
As technology becomes more and more accessible with brand new features making their way into the consumer market every day, as well as the number of brands world-wide offering video baby monitors growing, selecting a video monitor, which can seem like a simple decision, can become overwhelming and confusing for families. Our team at HelloBaby has broken it down for you below and walks you through the key factors of buying a baby video monitor while explaining what all the different features mean so that you can select the one that is best for you and your family.
Video Baby Monitor features to look for:
Screen: Most video monitors on the market today have an LCD screen. While this is standard, the primary benefit of an LCD based parent unit is that they provide good contrast and are easier on your eyes when looking at it in the dark. The important things to keep in mind here are the resolution and screen size. The higher the resolution is, the sharper the picture will be. Think of your home TV. The screen should be large enough to see clearly, but not too big as that can begin to lower the image quality.
Power source: When it comes to power sources, there are 3 primary types.
- Plugin - The obvious advantage here is that there is no need to replace batteries; however, the downside is that you are tethered with a cord. If you choose this option, make sure to secure the cord to ensure that the baby can't reach it and that no one will trip over it.
- Built-in Battery - These models tend to have better, longer-lasting batteries than replaceable ones. When buying one of these models, it is advisable to ensure that they charge rapidly and that they will work while in the charger. Low quality batteries can be dangerous as they tend to leak chemicals or worse, combust. When the battery is built in, and you can not inspect it. Making your purchase from a reputable and established brand which uses high quality materials is important.
- Replaceable Batteries - The benefit of having replaceable batteries is that there is no need for proprietary adapters and power sources; however, battery replacement costs and inconvenience is a factor that can be weighed against how much and for how long you hope to use the baby video monitor. When purchasing this type of model, it is beneficial to make sure that the model has a long baby monitor battery life.
Multiple Baby Monitor Cameras: Single camera baby monitors are common and typically hang overlooking a crib. However, if you want to use one system to monitor your entire house, for example, a crib, a playroom, and the living room, you should look into a system that has multiple cameras. This will allow you to be able to monitor all the areas of your house from only one system.
Night Vision: Video monitors are commonly used as a way to monitor your little ones while they sleep in their crib, especially once you’ve moved them into their own room. At nighttime, the night vision feature will help you clearly see your baby and check up on them, even if the room is dark. This feature can help parents make the transition to moving their little ones into their own room.
Sound and Video Quality: The quality of the video and audio that comes through from the transmitter to the monitor are one of the most important features. Be on the lookout for a model that supports a good quality image if this is important to you. This will ensure that you get a clear picture of what is going on in your little one’s room.
Light-Up Sound Indicator : A light-up sound indicator is a great feature that allows you to see if the mic is picking up any sound even if your volume is turned down to low volume. The indicator will light up and show the level of sounds. This feature allows you to make phone calls, work, watch TV, or be occupied with any other activity where you prefer minimal noise coming from the baby monitor. As long as the monitor is in view, you can see if any noise is coming from your little one’s room.
Sound activation (VOX or ECO Mode): A sound-activated baby monitor will only turn on only when it detects sound, so you don’t always have to keep it on. This is a great feature for allowing you to be able to sleep and not have the light from the video shining in your room at night. This feature also helps extend the baby monitor’s battery life.
Lullaby and White Noise: Some monitors will allow you to play soothing white noise or soft lullabies from the camera to help you put your little one to sleep. White noise has been proven to help babies fall asleep quickly and stay asleep longer. This is also a great way to get your little one to learn how to self-soothe.
Range: Video monitors can work on one of two different methods, RF or Wifi.
RF monitors: These will indicate how far the receiver will work from the transmitter. This range is measured in open space, and obstructions in the home such as walls can significantly lower that range. Before choosing a unit, make sure that the range will be adequate for your house. Some things to take into consideration are the size and the material from which your house is built. For example, sheetrock and wood are a lot less obstructive than thicker stone walls.
WiFi: Nowadays we are so used to having everything in our home connected. When selecting a video monitor that connects via Wifi there are a few small advantages, however, these monitors commonly experience connection issues and delays in real-time video/audio. It is also important to remember that when using a monitor through Wifi, you are essentially connecting a camera to the internet that is pointed at your little one’s room which has inherent privacy concerns.
Two-way Talk: This convenient feature offers real-time two-way communication. This can help you soothe your baby without having to enter the room. Being able to communicate with your little ones through two-way talk instead of having to enter the room to pick them up, is a great first step in teaching your baby to “self-soothe”. In addition to being able to speak to your little one, real-time two-way talk can help you quietly communicate with your partner while they are in the room with the baby.
Interchangeable Camera Lens: With both a wide angle lens and an optical zoom you have control on how you view your little one. With the ability to change your viewing situation, you can decide on seeing a wider picture or zooming in on your precious little one.
All HelloBaby Monitors come with a full one year manufacturer’s warranty. In addition to the warranty, HelloBaby always offers effective technical support and global customer service with a team consisting of a unique combination of skills such as R&D specialists and caring customer service representatives who add value in supporting your needs.
HelloBaby offers a wide variety of video monitors so that you can easily select the one that best suits your needs and the needs of your family.
Purchasing a baby video monitor is not like purchasing any other electronic device. Unlike a TV where a malfunction is a nuisance at most, a video monitor is there to ensure the safety of your most precious asset. You need to be sure that the monitor you select comes from a company that offers excellent customer service and support.
Support: Often when setting up a new device, you may want to get a second opinion to make sure you’re doing it right. This is especially true when it comes to setting things up for your little one. Check to see what kind of support your monitor comes with. Will the company be able to walk you through the wiring to make sure you’re doing it correctly? Will they troubleshoot reception problems to help make the picture & audio more clear? How about making suggestions for improving system performance in your home? It’s a good idea to see that company you purchase your monitor from has a great support team.
Exchanges: Every house is built differently and you wont know if the monitor you purchase is 100% right for you until you bring it home and set it up. Does the signal reach from the nursery to the kitchen or living room? How are the sound and picture quality? Does the base station reach from the plug to a point where it can monitor your child? It is important to check the company’s policy to see if you can exchange or return it if you are not completely happy with the system once it's set up in your house.
Warranty: Another good idea is to check the warranty. Check to see how long the warranty covers your monitor and what exactly is covered. For example, if your baby spilled a bottle on the electronics, are you still covered?
Still need help deciding on which model works best for you? Do you have inquiries that haven’t been addressed? Contact the HelloBaby Customer Service to have all your questions answered!