The Obvious First Candidate – Infant Optics DXR-8
The very first product that sprang to mind when I sat down to consider possible candidates for the award of the “Best Video Baby Monitor” was the Infant Optics DXR-8. In reaching my conclusions on this matter I have excluded the issue of price. My quest was to find the best video baby monitor irrespective of how much it might cost.
Having said that, the Infant Optics DXR-8 is NOT the most expensive premium baby monitor, nor is it the cheapest. It currently costs in the region of $200.
If your budget won’t stretch quite that far, but you still want a high performance video baby monitor, you should read my review of the Infant Optics DXR-5 instead.
There is no doubt that the DXR-8 is a fantastic monitor, but is it really the best on the market today?
The Key Features of the Best Video Baby Monitors
In order to properly assess the Infant Optics DXR-8 against the competition, I ought to briefly set out what features are important on a video baby monitor.
It seems to me that the most important things to look out for are:
- Screen Size
- Image quality
- Camera Functionality
- Battery Life
- Secure 2-way communication
- Build Quality & Customer Support
How Does the DXR-8 Measure Up?
Screen Size – The DXR-8 has a 3.5 inch LCD screen which makes it larger than many of its competitors. Other models that come with a 3.5 inch screen include the Foscam FBM3501, the Samsung SEW-3037W, and the Motorola MBP36.
Image Quality – the DXR-8 is renowned for its picture clarity. When you compare it with one of its main competitors (the Motorola MBP36), it is not just a little sharper but instead seems like it is a completely different resolution altogether. This enhanced image quality is especially noticeable when using the infra-red function during the night which, after all, is the time when you are most likely to need to check up on your baby.
Camera Functionality – The DXR-8 comes with pan, tilt and digital zoom functionality that can be controlled remotely. This means that if your baby moves during their sleep, you can quickly and easily adjust the position of the camera lens to ensure that they are properly in view at all times. The unit is supplied with 2 interchangeable lenses (normal and zoom), and you can also buy an additional wide angled lens if your particular home circumstances require it.
This versatility really comes into its own as your baby becomes more mobile and is more prone to moving around in their cot – the last thing you want to have to do is enter your sleeping baby’s bedroom in order to physically move the camera lens into a better position. It is also a very useful feature to have if you need to leave them in a secure room or playpen while you briefly leave the room.
Battery Life – The battery in the DXR-8 will last 6 hours with the screen on constantly and 10 hours on standby. This very a impressive battery life and is no doubt helped by the fact that the video screen is noise-activated, and so the unit is not constantly drawing maximum battery juice throughout the night. Since the screen will be off for most of the time due to the noise-activation system, the battery life is more than enough to see you peacefully through the night.
Despite being about $40 more expensive, the battery life on the Motorola MBP36 is a woefully inadequate 3.5 hours! The battery life on the Samsung is ok, but many people complain bitterly about the annoyingly loud “low battery” warning that comes on repeatedly when the charge is down to 20% or less. I have no idea why they set it at this level, but being woken up by this beeping at least an hour before necessary is not ideal for stressed out new parents.
Secure 2-Way Communication – Like all of the other premium video baby monitors, the DXR-8 uses 2.4 Ghz crystal clear FHSS communication with secure data encryption. This is the same technology that is used in cordless telephones and ensures that your communications will not be accidentally or deliberately intercepted by your neighbours.
You can also buy extra camera units to create monitoring network throughout your home. You can link up to 4 cameras to a single unit and there is a scan mode that can cycle through the cameras at 12 second intervals.
Range – The DXR-8 has an excellent range. It is always difficult to give precise figures for the actual range of a baby monitor since so much depends upon the layout of your home and the thickness of your doors and walls. However, you will not read many (if any) complaints about the operational range of the DXR-8.
Build Quality & Customer Support – This is a very well built and sturdy product. On the rare occasion that a fault does develop with an Infant Optics baby monitor, they will send out a replacement unit before asking you to return the faulty one. This is in contrast to some other companies that will ask you to return the unit first so that they can check it over before (maybe) replacing it. This is obviously a pretty big deal unless you are happy to make do without a monitor for a couple of weeks or so while the manufacturer investigates the problem.
Watch the Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Review
I have no hesitation in saying that, in my opinion, the Infant Optics DXR-8 is the one of the best video baby monitors on the market. It is packed with great premium features, yet it is very simple to use. It is quite rightly regarded by many as the “Best in Class” Video Baby Monitor and I highly recommend it to you.
Where to Buy the Infant Optics DXR-8
If you are still undecided, you can read some more user reviews.
If you have any feedback or questions about my “Best Video Baby Monitor” post, please feel free to leave a comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org