In-depth baby product reviews led by a Pediatrician

How We Tested Video Monitors

Monday August 16, 2021
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Our testing process for video monitors included all the same tests we used for sound monitors, which you can read about in our general Baby Monitor How We Tested article.

We use a professional grade distance meter, the Kesson Road Runner...
We use a professional grade distance meter, the Kesson Road Runner, to make our range measurements
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff

Testing Range and Interference


We performed tests for range and interference both in an open field with a line of sight and in a typical home with the usual obstacles of walls, floors, and other electrical equipment. The range was tested and compared to the competition to score and rank the products according to how well they stay connected, at what distance they lost connection, and how many walls they continued to work through. You can read more about the tests we performed on both sound and video monitors, in our general Baby Monitor How We Tested article.

Audio and Visual Testing


For audio testing, we used a decibel meter for recording max levels of volume and for the level of white noise that could be heard or adjusted to silent. Tones and clarity were compared in a side-by-side manner monitor to monitor.

We use a professional-grade Extech sound monitor as part of our...
We use a professional-grade Extech sound monitor as part of our sound volume and clarity testing process.
Credit: BabyGearLab Staff
We also used eye and color charts to provide a consistent image target for testing video images. We performed video tests in both daylight and nighttime conditions; each condition was rated independently from the other.

Testing Night Video


All the video monitors we tested incorporated IR LEDs into their camera to enable automatic nighttime viewing. For the WiFi enabled monitors, we tried to use a variety of supported devices to get an average feel for the kind of images the camera could produce. When applicable we used multiple iOS and Android devices.

The iBaby interactive menu is easy to use and intuitive for parents...
The iBaby interactive menu is easy to use and intuitive for parents that regularly use a variety of apps and a smartphone. This monitor comes with a quick start guide that has you up and running fairly quickly.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Testing Ease of Use


The video products have significant differences in their ease of use in large part due to how easy they are to set up. Most of the dedicated monitors had an average score given how easy they were to plug in and use combined with how difficult and convoluted some of their user interfaces were. Some of the parent units had menus and folder options that required too much effort and guesswork to operate resulting in frustration or avoidance of certain features that were hard to find. We ranked monitors on how easy they were to operate as well as the initial setup. Some lost points for multiple button pushes to use the zoom features or icons and interfaces that were hard to decipher.

The Philips Avent SCD630 video monitor has some features like...
The Philips Avent SCD630 video monitor has some features like temperature sensor, lullabies, two way talk, and a nightlight, and most are accessible inside the on screen menu.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Testing Features


Products received more points for features that increase performance or make the product easier to use. If a feature did not benefit the parent or increase performance it did not receive as many points. Some features, like lullabies, did not receive any points, because while possibly something parents want or think is nice to have, it doesn't help the monitor function better, nor does it benefit parent or baby by creating a better monitor. Sound activation, auto screen sleep and awake, and sound sensitivity adjustments were features that received more consideration, while humidity sensors and nightlights did not. These features might be noted, but they did not add to the overall features score.

The LeFun C2 720P WiFi can be connected via WiFi or with the...
The LeFun C2 720P WiFi can be connected via WiFi or with the included Ethernet cable. Connecting the camera via Ethernet cable could decrease this monitor's already low EMF emissions.
Credit: Abriah Wofford

Testing Electromagnetic Field (EMF) Levels


EMF values were recorded using an EMF reader at approximately 6 inches from the monitors, 3 feet, and 6 feet away. All the monitors were tested in the same location with the same ambient EMF recording to eliminate erroneous readings related to external products other than the monitors. We repeated the test multiple times and in different locations to ensure the accuracy of the readings and an average of the readings was determined for the final reported readout.

Testing Battery Life


We tested the product batteries for longevity by using the products in full use mode with the parent screen on, not in sleep mode. If the product did not have the ability to stay on a viewing screen, we woke the screen every time it fell asleep automatically. Products were tested only after receiving a full charge of over 24 hours.