sleeping baby monitor, Oricom, sc850

Oricom Monitor Video SC850

Oricom Monitor Video SC850

Pros

  • Large Screen
  • Picture quality
  • Sound quality
  • Pan and tilt camera
  • Signal range

Cons

  • Can be difficult to position (must have wired connection)
  • No Wi-Fi
  • Temperature sensor sometimes less acurate than in-room thermometer

Summary

The baby monitor was probably the purchase that I researched most extensively before Hannah was born. This was for two reasons:1. I want to be able to know exactly what is happening, without disturbing my baby 2. I love tech toysWhat I ended up buying was a package that combined the Oricom Monitor Video SC850 with the Oricom BabySense2 Infant Breathing Movement Monitor (the name rolls off the tongue). I will review both products separately because they are, for all intents and purposes, two separate devices.

 

Full Review

This Oricom baby monitor comes with a large, clear 4.3″ screen. This makes it easy for us to see what is happening and whether the noises coming from Hannah’s room are related to play or distress. The camera can be zoomed digitally so that you can also get a closer look, however, this does reduce the picture quality.

After a few different tries at placing the camera, I settled on wall-mounting it directly above the cot. This was easy enough as the camera unit comes with a hole for mounting on the back. All I needed to do was drill a hole in the wall and insert a small screw. Some simple white conduit from the local hardware store concealed the cord, so that Hannah can’t play with it from inside her cot (the kid loves power cords). This was far better than trying to place the camera on top of the bookshelf overlooking her cot, as I couldn’t clearly see every corner of the cot (this is necessary because Hannah moves around a lot!).

The camera must be hard-wired, it has no battery. I’m okay with that because I intended to put it in the one place and leave it there. If you are looking for a camera that you can easily reposition regularly (change rooms etc.), there may be better options.

The wireless connection between the camera and the parent unit is very strong. I am able to place the parent unit almost anywhere, upstairs or downstairs, in my townhouse (full brick with concrete slab floors) and still get a signal. Only occasionally does it briefly cut out in one, far corner. The range does not extend to the basement garage, but that is to be expected.

The parent unit has a few bells and whistles that I rarely use. It can be used to play a selection of lullabies, turn on a night light, and speak directly to the baby. In reality, I’ve only used these features to play around. It also provides an indication of the temperature in the baby’s room, although this can vary significantly from what a thermometer registers. As far as I’m concerned, a baby monitor serves two main purposes – to be able to see the baby and to be able to hear the baby. This unit does both those things well.

Features that I do use regularly are the pan-tilt function, the night-vision (this is automatic) and the volume control.

Hannah moves around her cot a lot, so I often have to pan or tilt the camera to find which corner she has ended up in. This makes a slight noise, but it has never been enough to disturb the baby. The picture is clear, day and night. I find the night-vision particularly impressive as we use block-out blinds to keep Hannah’s room very dark. Even with almost zero light source we can see what is happening.

The microphone is quite sensitive and the volume is very loud when fully raised. When we sleep, Hannah is in the next room, so we completely mute the volume as we can hear her noises naturally. When Hannah naps during the day, we close her door and turn the volume up to 1 or 2 while we do other things around the house. We rarely turn the volume all the way up, although we have found it handy on the occasions that we have had to run down to the basement garage, where the signal doesn’t reach. We can just leave the monitor at the top of the steps and hear any noises. When the volume is muted, a series of lights just above the screen indicates that the microphone is picking up noises, with green for soft noises and red for loud noises.

Other baby monitors have additional features such as Wi-Fi connectivity, larger screens and battery-powered cameras, but they also cost a lot more. For me this unit landed firmly in the sweet spot between cost and functionality. In the time I have been using this unit I have never wished for such features.

 

I have been very happy with this purchase and I would recommend it to others.

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