Levana 32111 Digital Rechargeable Intercom
I use this when babysitting my nephews. It is a pretty nice product. Here are the cool features:
1.) PRIVATE/SECURE CHANNEL: I have never seen or heard this unit picking up anyone else's monitors, or stray phone or TV signals, like I have seen happen in the past with other units. I don't know what kind of encryption/signal they are using to achieve this, but it seems to be working.
2.) LONG BATTERY LIFE: They claim you can get 8+ hours of roaming battery life out of the parent-monitor unit. In practice this is at about 4-6 hours for me, but hey, that's still pretty good.
3.) POWER SAVING MODE: You can set it to "go to sleep" and only alert you if the baby is making noise,etc. That saves battery power on the parent's monitor unit. In practice, paranoid parents won't be happy not always seeing the baby, and not all baby-distress issues cause the baby to make noise, so, I doubt many parents use this mode.
4.) NIGHT VISION!: Once you get used to having night-vision in your baby monitor, you will be loathe to give it up. I have used night vision in other baby monitors, and with home-security products. You are NEVER going to get a crystal-clear picture in night-vision mode, in a home-user sub-$500 product, you just aren't. Night vision mode uses infrared light to construct an image that normal "visible light spectrum" light created with our eyes. By definition that sort of a picture is going to be grainy/low-resolution. With more expensive units, you can get a better picture, but for cheaper home-use units, you get what you pay for. You will be able to see the child, and see "big picture" details like thrashing, jumping, stillness, etc. If you want high-resolution for your night-vision, then shell out the big bucks ^_^
5.) BABY INTERCOM: For older children, this is great, because you can just talk to them, and tell them to go back to sleep, or get back in bed, or reply to their water request, etc. For younger children, they can at least hear your voice, so they calm down a bit as you work your way towards them.
6.) NIGHTLIGHT: The nightlight and the lullaby features on the child-room unit, which you can control from the parent-unit, and two of the biggest selling points in my opinion. My nephews both like light and music when they are sleeping, and many products produced for those features have timers in them that cannot be bypassed, so they will shut off on their own. Which means the parents have to keep going back into the room and turning them on if the child hasn't fallen asleep yet. With these features, you avoid those issues.
7.) ROOM TEMPERATURE MONITOR: I really like this, being able to see the room temperature IS indeed a VERY handy tool at the hands of the parent.
8.) REMOTE CONTROL LULLABIES!: See comments for #6, nightlight :)
9.) EXPANDABLE TO MORE CAMERAS! (THIS ONE IS REALLY COOL): This! This feature all by itself raised the star rating for me. The fact that you can add more cameras to the network and setup monitoring in the playroom, in a window overlooking the backyard, etc. is FANTASTIC. That extends the life of this thing far past just the in-the-crib years.
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