Review of Summer Infant Complete Coverage Color Video Monitor Set with 7" LCD Screen and 1.8" Handheld Unit
The Summer Infant Complete Coverage Video Monitor Set is a high end monitor, but has many features that make it a great investment. It has been reviewed in terms of its reception and quality of image, added features, and value for money.
Reception and Image Quality
The monitor is 'digital', while other (often older) wireless models rely on an 'analogue' signal. Manufacturers claim that digital monitors remove the possibility of interference from other devices, this can even be in picking up the signal of a neighbour's baby monitor. This can be particularly problematic in apartment blocks, where there may be several wireless devices in one building. The monitor has not been affected by interference, even when moving around the house, or placing the handset next to a wireless phone and laptop.
One of the great features about this monitor, is that it shows the image in full color, then automatically switches to night-vision mode when it's dark. The 7" LCD flat screen shows images in fantastic quality, as does the handheld monitor that is included. Additionally, the camera can be tilted and swivelled to cover all angles.
Not only is there a 7" screen on which to view your baby (and remotely control the camera), there is also a handheld audio and visual monitor included. This means two people can be monitoring baby, or you can go about the hous without being tied to the LCD screen.
If you have more than one child, you will be pleased to know that an additional camera can be added without having to buy another handset. Features that can be accessed via the handset are: volume control (useful to turn the volume up if you are a heavy sleeper), brightness (in night-mode it is handy to be able to increase the brightness), and a video on/off button.
During the night it is useful to be able to switch the video off, as the glare from the screen really lights up the room. Also, as you are going about your day and not watching the screen anyway, the battery use is drastically reduced if you turn off the video. Switching off the video does not affect the sound, so you will still hear all the movements and sounds your baby makes.
One drawback of the on/off video function is that when the handset is not plugged in (like a cell phone it plugs in to charge, but can still be used while doing so), the video automatically switches off after a couple of minutes to save the battery. You can keep pressing the button if you want it back on, or alternatively, plug in the handset.
The handset has a display of five LEDs that light up depending on how much sound your baby makes. If the video is off, or you are vacuuming for example, and can't hear the monitor, you will see the lights flashing to indicate sound. The more LEDs that light up, the louder the sound.
A simple but useful additional feature of the handset, is that it has a belt clip on the rear, which pulls out to act as a stand. This means you can hang out washing or tidy up round the house, with the monitor clipped to you and leaving you hands-free.
Value for Money
This monitor retails for around $300, making it a high end model. However, the fact that it combines video and sound means you can always be reassured that your baby is safe and sound. Also, if you were considering buying a movement sensor to place under your child's mattress, you would not have to buy the more expensive models that include the sound monitor - you already have that in the Summer Complete Coverage set..
Extra features such as night-vision, and the remote-controlled camera, are genuinely useful, and really make life easier.
The quality of image and sound are superb, and I have had no problems whatsoever with durability and functionality. The only feature that could enhance this model is if it had a function to talk to baby through the handset.