Street Price: $149.99
Baby Video Monitor Highlights:
A far cry (get it? baby? cry?) from the hectic, big-business world of home theater and business consumer electronics comes this seemingly out-of-left field review for a baby video monitor. Why this momentary shift in focus? Well dear readers, as of September 9, 2008, at precisely 8:36 am, yours truly became a daddy for the very first time, as the wife and I welcomed a beautiful, seven-pound, ten-ounce bundle of joy named Sofia into the world. Proudly, I was in the room the whole time, but for purposes of this product review, I’ve decided to spare you all the gory, yet strangely magical details of the actual birth. Needless to say though, it was easily the most intense, surreal, unforgettable, profound, and wonderful experience of my life thus far.
On the heels of said birth, as the ultra-paranoid, nervous, and novice first-time parents that we are, we decided to bring a little dose of big brother into the house in the form of a baby video monitor. The Day and Night Video Monitor by Summer Infant is the one we choose – though we actually wanted to buy the Day and Night Color Flat Screen Monitor by Summer Infant, but alas, that is tale of frustration and utter confusion that I shall save for another day and another forum – and as we found out, it was a perennial mixed bag of nuts, but nonetheless did (and does) the job as advertised.
White with gray accents, the Summer Infant Day and Night Video Monitor features a 5-inch glass screen, and while not of the space-conscious, flat variety, it certainly is durable, lightweight, and compact enough. While I wouldn’t go so far as to say that it’s a stylish and sleek unit, it’s by no means an obnoxious eye sore, and really, for what it’s intended purposes are, it’s not meant to be an achingly beautiful art piece to show off to family and friends.
Quite simply, if you can plug in your toaster and make toast, you’re already way ahead of the IQ curve needed to set-up the Day and Night Video Monitor. This is in no way meant as a slight on this unit, as frankly, it’s a very good thing that you can essentially plug and play this monitor. We all know the hassle and pull-your-hair-out-of-your-head frustration that sometimes goes hand-in-hand with trying to assemble or set-up the baby car seat, the playpen, the crib, or the bassinet, so this was a welcome relief.
In short: the performance of the Day and Night Video Monitor by Summer Infant is decent, average, and ordinary. If you’re not looking for something along the lines of HD video quality and stereo surround sound, you’ll be mostly satisfied. The strongest point here would be the video quality. Provided the camera is, of course, placed free of any obstructions, you’ll get a fairly clear image with just enough detail quality to let you know exactly what your little one is up to. In a darkened room, care of the LED lights, you’ll also get a fairly adequate image that offers you what you need to see. Again, nothing flashy or awe-inspiring, just a very solid image that does what’s required of it.
With respect to the audio quality, a nice feature is the five sound lights which let you hear your baby’s call, and the colors on the lights escalate from green to red depending on the intensity of their cries. Unfortunately, this nice feature is mostly washed out due to what I’d say was sub-par audio. This was due in no small part to the constant and steady annoying buzz sound meets static that assaults your ears with the equal vim and vigor of police sirens blazing while you sleep. I exaggerate, but only a bit, as it certainly does leave a little to be desired, and no amount of channel tweaking for clearer reception is likely to give your ears the joy they seek. Thankfully, you have the option to turn the sound down and bypass all that wretched and god-forsaken noise. And assuming you don’t live in a castle or a mansion where there’ll be significant physical separation between you and your baby, as we’ve discovered with our own child, when there’s something wrong (baby needs a feeding, a changing, a cuddle, or all three), you don’t need the aid of an audio/visual device to know, as they’ll more than make themselves heard.
Ultimately, if you’re looking for a video baby monitor that gets the job done, then the Day and Video Monitor by Summer Infant fits the bill. Not only does it allow you to keep an eye on your baby, but it also gives you the freedom to be able to do what you need to around the house, or even be the willing and able host when guests come over without ever having to disturb the little one. Offering you security, comfort, and piece of mind, with a very reasonable price-point (I got mine on sale for just $99.99 at Babies R’ Us), good image quality, ease of set-up, multiple channels for better reception, and the ability to add additional cameras to the unit, the good far outweighs the bad (audio quality), making for a very worthwhile purchase.
Manufacturer Homepage: www.summerinfant.com
Ridley Acoustics EVIO852B
Sinclair Cube System
RF Link AVS-5811