When Charlie was an infant, we lived and breathed by the baby monitor. Like most new parents, we registered for a (insert popular brand name) video monitor and a “back up” monitor that was just audio. And also like most new parents, within a year, the video screen of our monitor had gone kaput and our back-up monitor was now our only monitor. Since then, I’ve been wavering between wanting a quality video monitor that will not die after a couple months of use and wanting to cry every time I see the price tags of many video monitors that are out there. When I had the opportunity to try out two Motorola video monitors, to see if the quality was equal to the cost, I jumped at the chance.
New in June 2013, the Motorola MBP34 is a top video monitor with an extremely large 3.5″ screen. The MBP34T is the MBP34 monitor plus a travel case that will make it easy for parents to bring it wherever the monitor is needed, vacation or grandparents house.
Motorola Blink 1
New in March 2013, the Motorola BLINK1 Wi-Fi Baby Camera turns any compatible Smartphone, Tablet, or Computer into a video baby monitoring system. User’s simply load the BLINK1 app onto their device, login to the Motorola BLINK1 service, and connect to the BLINK1 camera via a secure server. Once connected parents can pan, tilt, and zoom the camera remotely, view live video, and record the action to their device. Additional features include infrared night vision, room temperature monitoring, and a two-way audio communication. Motorola’s innovative BLINK1 Wi-Fi Baby Camera is the ideal baby monitoring system for today’s tech-savvy parents.
A Tale of Two Monitors
We first tried the MBP34T on a trip to visit friends in another state. At first glance, I was impressed with the sturdiness of the travel case that comes with this model. But after setting it up as my son napped, I was even more impressed with the quality of the picture on the handheld video screen. It was an incredibly hot day, so I was also grateful for the room temperature display. At one point I walked into the backyard of our friends’ home with the monitor and it gave me a beep to let me know I was out of range, but I had gone to the opposite end of a very large house and then even further out the back door. The range estimate of 590 feet that Motorola advertises is definitely accurate. For the very little ones, the monitor will even play some lullabies! And while Charlie napped, we could hear every single deep breath and turnover. The microphone is incredibly sensitive!
The BLINK1 camera looks a lot like the one that comes with the MBP34, but instead of coming with a video screen, it hooks up wirelessly to your smart phone, tablet, or computer. I have to admit that set up for this unit with my iPhone was incredibly difficult. If you mistype your wireless network password, you have to complete the entire setup process over again from the very beginning, which also requires a reset of the camera unit. Additionally, if your wireless signal is not at the strongest possible level, the set up will also fail. It took me a few tries, but once it was up and running I was impressed with a few features including the two-way communication capability, the ability to video record and save on my device, and the remote tilt/pan/zoom.
To Buy or Not to Buy
To Buy… These are two incredibly high quality monitors that I’m betting would stand the test of time and provide a ton of great features to put parents’ minds at ease while their babies snooze.
Not to Buy… The BLINK1 does pose some set up challenges. And then there’s the cost – both of these monitors are in the $200 range. BUT, think of it this way – the cheaper video monitors almost always conk out after a year or so of use and they usually cost around $100 each. So by the time you’ve purchased a replacement you’ve spent the same amount that you would spend on just one Motorola that will last.
Shop! You can purchase either of these monitors at most retailers that sell baby products, including our affiliate Amazon.
Thanks to Motorola for providing samples.