Saturday 28 June 2014

TOMY TFV600 Digital Video Baby Monitor *Review*

A few months ago the people from TOMY sent me a digital video baby monitor to review. Since having Bert we have been using a similar video monitor of a slightly higher price range, so I was interested to see what a slightly lower budget monitor would be like. 

I think the dawn of the video monitor is so incredible - I find it hard to imagine that I'd get the peace of mind as a parent from just a sound monitor - it is so reassuring to be able to see your little person, it makes for a much calmer Mummy and Daddy once bedtime arrives. 

Since sending it over, we have replaced our old monitor with this TOMY version, and it has been keeping an eye on Bert in his cot (among other things...more on that later!) and here is what we thought of it: 

Features and benefits:

  • Simple set up with very clear one page instructions 
This is always an important one for me - long drawn out interaction booklets in 30 languages always put me off - this one is quite simple and straight forward to understand so long as you read the one page guidance.

simple set up and usage instructions

  • Rechargable parent unit 
The best thing about the parent unit is that no batteries are required - this is a major plus point for me, as I hate having to scrabble around for batteries, which I seem to always buy but can never find when I need them.
  • One press nightlight feature on the camera - or remote option to turn it on from parent unit. 
I have found this so handy - more for myself, as Bert's cot is still in our bedroom, and I often find myself struggling to see when I come up to bed. The nightlight is so easy to activate and gives me that little bit of necessary light to get into bed myself, and not trip over anything.

nightlight in action 

  • Useful features on parent unit display.
There is obviously the real time video from the camera unit but the display also has a temperature display, volume display (when activated), signal strength and 'functions in use' panel such as nightlight. 

  • Remote controlled lullabies
These are fab - by a press of a button you can play gentle lullabies to your little one to help them settle.
  • Really impressive sound quality
The sound quality is really very good on this monitor - when Bert is in his cot asleep you can even hear the clock ticking! 
  • Talkback feature
By holding down a button on the parent unit you can talk to your baby and reassure them without having to enter the room and properly disturb them.
  • Lost Parent Unit Pager
So, we've all been there - you know you had the parent unit yesterday but now it has disappeared off the face of the earth and you want to put your little one down for a nap…no problem….use the pager function by pressing down the camera 'on' button three times, and it will sound a 60 second alarm on your parent unit so you can follow the sound to locate it. (I haven't used this function much! (LIE)
  • Sound Activation Mode
This mode is brilliant for older babies and is great for when you don't want to hear every single sound coming from your baby's room (i.e. ticking clock). In this mode the sound function is only activated when it goes over a certain volume threshold (i.e. a cry not a gurgle), so you will only hear sound when baby is being loud enough to activate it. 
  • Zoom function 
Although the camera can't be moved around remotely you can zoom into the image from the parent unit which is a handy function. 
  • Good screen size and image quality
The screen measures nearly 2.5 inches and the image quality is good enough to pick up details on your baby's clothes which impressed me. 
  • Wall mountable
Although we haven't got round to wall mounting the camera yet (as Bert is still in our bedroom and we don't want a random screw in our wall), this is a really handy feature and would mean you could work on positioning the camera in exactly the right spot to capture your little one as he/she sleeps. For now, we have been positioning the camera on my bedside table so it can see through the cot bars, which has worked okay, but having it wall mounted would have given us a much clearer shot of Bert as he sleeps. 
  • Multi-camera monitoring
You can add up to four extra cameras to your parent unit, which would be great if you wanted cameras in other rooms of the house, or a high-tech multiple angle view of your baby in one room. 

As well as using the video monitor to keep track of Bert while he sleeps in his cot we have also used it to keep an eye on our cat! She was due to have kittens last week, so we kept her in the room we wanted her to give birth in for a few days before her due date, and we popped the camera in there so we could see and hear if her labour started. 

It was pretty funny watching the cat's shenanigans! Sadly, she miscarried her kittens quite suddenly, but thankfully she is well and there's been no lasting damage done to her - we'll try for kittens again soon. 

But see...this camera definitely has some cool and funny use potential as well as its standard intention. 

Watching our cat Pickle have a nap on the spare room bed

Were there any cons?

  • The battery life on the parent unit only lasts for around 4-5 hours, we have combatted that by keeping it plugged into the mains as much as possible. But if you need to be mobile with it walking from room to room this is something to bare in mind. 

I think this camera is a really great product, the only other 'cons' I could find was when I compared it to our slightly more expensive video monitor, and for me, I would expect to get more features if I was paying more, so these aren't really proper cons:
  • Our slightly more expensive camera can be moved around remotely from the parent unit
  • Our parent unit has a clearer colour picture on the display screen.

But, apart from that there really isn't a huge difference. This monitor does exactly what you would expect it to and more. 

A really great video monitor for those wishing to spend under £100. 

Mrs B


Disclaimer: I was sent a TOMY TFV600 Digital Video Baby Monitor for the purpose of this review. All opinions and words are my own.