As I get older, I find myself asking for birthday gifts that benefit the family rather than gifts for myself. Last year was no exception. I was 6 months pregnant with my 2nd on my birthday and my only gift requests were a Boppy pillow and a video monitor. I am happy to report that I received both gifts. My parents bought me a Summer Infant Flat Screen Color Video Monitor. This monitor seems to be the Cadillac of monitors.
The Summer Infant Flat Screen Color Video Monitor is a Babies R Us exclusive model. This model includes a monitor, a camera, and an parent audio unit. I was so glad that this monitor comes with the audio unit. We were going to use the monitor in our bedroom and the audio unit on the 1st floor. The monitor is a 7" flat screen. This camera transmits in color during the day or with light and in black and white in the dark. The unit has 900 MHz technology. There is a 400 foot signal range. The camera, monitor and parent audio monitor all use AC adapters and the audio monitor also runs off of batteries. The camera is wall mountable and swivels and tilts. There are 2 channels.
We immediately set up the camera in the nursery. Even though baby #2 hadn't arrived yet, Baby #1 (who was 2.5) was still in the nursery and we simply replaced our other monitor with this new one. The camera was easy to install on the wall and my husband had it set up in a minute or two.
The color monitor has so many wonderful features. I think by far the best feature is that you can with the touch of a button turn off the monitor but still have sound. This is a great feature as I find it hard to sleep with the video on. It was easy to find the button in the dark as it is on top of the unit. So if I heard baby or child in the middle of the night I could easily turn on the monitor and see why he was crying. There is a power button, a channel button, buttons for volume up and down and buttons to adjust the contrast. The monitor displays a wonderful, crisp picture - even when baby's room is pitch black.
Overall we were very happy with the video monitor. It ran perfectly for just over a year and then we started to experience problems with the power button on the video monitor. It began to have problems turning on and I would sometimes have to press the power button multiple times. Finally it just stopped working and the monitor would no longer turn on - we had no picture and no sound. The parent audio unit continued to work fine.
I looked at the reviews on Babiesrus.com and found that this seems to be a common issue. I was very upset as it had been over a year that we had the unit and the warranty was expired. However, I was not about to buy another unit before calling the company. This is an expensive monitor and I did not expect that it would stop working after just over 1 year. I went to Summerinfant.com and found the number for their customer care department and gave them a call. I was happy to find out that they would replace not just the monitor but the whole unit without a hassle.
As of the writing of this review, I am waiting for my new unit. The company paid for shipping and handling both ways. Overall, I still recommend this Summer Infant Flat Screen Color Video Monitor and I can't wait until we get our new one.