Upon receiving the Safety 1st Genesis Handheld Digital Color Video Monitor, I thought, “Wow, this is sleek-looking!” I opened the package and insisted to my ever-willing-to-help hubby that I had to assemble it (not my forte) on my own, learn to operate it on my own, and then teach him how to use it. Fortunately, I know the difference between a flat and Philips head screwdriver. Whenever the topic of tools comes up, I always ask myself, who is this Philip and why is his head shaped this way? I digress.
I am a “read the manual” kind of gal, so I opened it up and put on my thinking cap. The manual is very clear, the written word as well as the illustrations. And it’s just a few pages long, so everything is concise and within my capacity for concentrating at this point in life!
The first step is to charge the batteries for 12 hours in the “parent unit” and the “baby unit” otherwise known as the handheld monitor and the camera, respectively. This is where you need the flathead screwdriver—very simple. The batteries are rechargeable but last for only six hours. This isn’t ideal but is simply a function of batteries and not a negative to the particular device. It just means I need to have the charging adapter accessible.
After the charging was complete, I used the manual to learn how to use all of the functions and put the monitor to the test. The functions are very basic, 180-degree pan/tilt, zoom, brightness, day/night auto viewing, sound lights (the lights illuminate as the baby gets louder), talk back (two-way communication) and temperature display (love this). I prefer to keep my technology simple, so these functions suit my needs to a tee. The functions are easy to maneuver on the handheld with simple arrow buttons.
Viewing during the day or when the room lights are on is in color while night viewing is in black and white. As I was using the “talk back” function, I had to turn down the volume on the unit as I approached the room and moved closer to the camera, otherwise, the feedback was ear piercing. One function that threw me off was the “video on/off” button on the monitor. This turns off the video portion, but you can still hear audio through the device. You can use this button to turn off the monitor manually, or it will shut itself off after two minutes to preserve battery life. The monitor will begin blinking when a re-charge is necessary, and you’ll have 5-10 minutes to plug in the unit. I would prefer the video stay on permanently, but that would sacrifice battery life. Just a simple push of a button on the side of the monitor pops up the video. The monitor has a belt clip which converts to a stand up clip which comes in handy while I’m working at my desk in another room, cooking dinner, etc. This device offers a 350+ foot range.
My husband did insist on being the one to mount the device. It was easy and took just a couple minutes. However, no screws came in the package, and we had to use our own. Have those handy if you intend to mount the camera, which is optional. Be mindful of where you place the camera, whether you’re mounting it or not, as cord entanglement is a safety concern.
You can add an additional three cameras to this product (sold separately, $120). Four cameras with just one handheld monitor is an exceptional feature. There are additional functions to the device if you have more than one camera including a split screen option (view up to four camera images on one screen) and a scan option (scans through each camera with a duration of eight seconds). This will be very useful when our little guy is on the move or if you have other children’s rooms that need monitoring.
Some friends with little ones prefer a monitor that is accessible wirelessly and requires an app to operate. Call me old-fashioned, but I would prefer to not to have to rely on my internet working properly to keep an “eye” on my baby on a regular basis. If I have a babysitter or nanny in the home, having both options available would be idea,l so I could sneak a peek at my love no matter where I am located. I recommend this monitor and look forward to using it every day!
To buy: buybuybaby.com