When asked to test the Lorex LIVE CONNECT home video monitoring system, I jumped at the chance. With an active preschooler, a new baby, and a recent move to a larger house, my older audio monitor just wasn’t cutting it anymore. I knew that a video monitor would alleviate the stress of trying to be everywhere at once and provide peace of mind. An additional bonus of the system is the ability to monitor home via Skype while away—wow! I began counting down the days until my new monitor arrived.
The system came with one camera, a handheld monitor, a 1GB micro SD card, power cords, screws for mounting the camera and an internet gateway. Initially, I was so excited with the idea of testing the video monitor that I pushed the gateway aside. Yes, being able to check up on my kids while I was missing them at work sounded great, but I would figure that component out later.
I was immediately impressed by the ease of setup: Just turn on the camera, turn on the video monitor, and you’re watching a live stream complete with sound. The camera even has a night-vision setting that automatically turned on when the lighting in the room was dim. Finding the perfect spot to place the camera in my daughter’s room proved to be the most challenging. While some system’s cameras remotely adjust, the Lorex cameras must be moved by hand. This was a lesson in working together for my husband and I (“Left, left! … no, not that left, my left!”), until we had found the perfect viewing angle. Since the camera was fairly lightweight and easy to knock over, we quickly mounted it to hold its position.
Once it was up and running, the little camera and handheld monitor did a great job of providing a clear and bright image. Our daughter, who rarely slows down, looked a little choppy when sprinting circles around her room. However, we never lost her image on the monitor and knew exactly what she was up to. For parents of multiples or families who would like to monitor more than one area, you'll be glad to know that you can add up to four total cameras to this system. The monitor, however, only shows footage from one camera at a time. If you have a particularly active kid, you could find yourself switching screens quite often to keep your child in sight.
The parent unit is small enough that it fits in your pocket, and has held its charge well for our use. When using the included SD card, it can take pictures or video of your child’s actions that can then be downloaded and saved to your computer. This is a really cool bonus feature for spur-of-the-moment, no-time-to-grab-my-camera footage. However, image quality isn’t nearly as good as that of my camera or camcorder, so if I had the option I would grab those first.
Eventually, I was curious to get the Skype functionality up and running. To take advantage of viewing our home on the road, I was directed to plug the internet gateway directly into our modem. I also needed to have two Skype accounts: One “Lorex Account” for our camera footage, and one personal account that could call into the Lorex Account from outside our home. I didn’t have any previous Skype accounts, but the directions that came with the monitor clearly talked me through setting them up. Now whenever I like, I can monitor home from a computer with access to Skype by signing into my personal account and calling up my “Lorex Account.” In a few seconds, the image of my little girl’s room shows up on the screen. For safety reasons, it is worth noting that since the camera in your home is always set to be on, caution should be used in who is given access to your Lorex account information.
I read that the iPhone has a Skype app that works well with the Lorex system. Unfortunately, my husband and I have Androids and everything we read said that the Lorex system and Skype weren’t compatible with them. After some investigation, I was able to find a free Skype app (different from the Skype Mobil app pre-installed on our phones) that allowed us to access our footage. This was a very exciting development!
I would highly recommend the Lorex LIVE CONNECT Home Video Monitoring System to others. It is a fantastic new product that has been very handy in our household and has exceeded my expectations for a video baby monitoring system. I am looking forward to ordering additional cameras to add to my home system.
To buy: lorextechnology.com