Firstly, a disclaimer: I had no idea VTech did things other than toys for kids. The first time I realised this was when I received the VTech Full Colour Pan and Tilt Video Monitor in the post.
The monitor comprises one 5” LED display parent unit, which shares images via the camera on the baby unit. The baby unit camera is the size of a tennis ball, mounted on a plinth about the same size.
Our daughter is 15 months and the camera, which is placed about a cot-width from her actual cot, takes in her whole body with room at the head and foot.
To change the image of your child, the camera pans smoothly at the touch of the directional arrows on the parent unit and tilts up and down as easily. You can also zoom in at the same time.
The camera unit does come with a plastic attachment which can be wall mounted if you prefer. Or if you have time to get around to it…
The camera has 3 different coloured night-lights, which can be turned on-and-off by the parent pad. It also projects a beautiful and colourful image of stars and planets directly onto the ceiling from the top of the camera/tennis ball/small edam. (Something that has mesmerized our daughter whenever it’s been turned on.)
And here’s the beauty: you turn them on from the parent unit. It even has a timer which you can set to go off after 15/30/45/60 minutes for the base lights and the projector.
You can set parameters for the temperature too, which activates an alarm if the temp goes too high or (you’ve guessed it…) too low in the room. Handy if you want to open a window.
Should your child need a little comforting during a good film/delicious bar of chocolate, you can soothe them several ways through the monitor.
By pressing the Menu/Select button you can bring up a variety of options at the bottom of the screen.
One of these options allows you to play or stop 4 different “soothing sounds or white noise”. There is one that is very similar to a gentle shushing sound, which when played as Ce-ce stirs, has managed to keep her in her happy world of dreams each time.
There are also 5 different lullaby tunes. To jog my memory as to what they are, I have somewhat foolishly just blasted them out to my sleeping daughter. Fortunately, you can also control the volume of the tunes from the parent unit. (I can name 3-out-of-5 tunes.)
The sensitivity of the microphone can be adjusted too. So, it can be hyper-sensitive – which means the energy-saving screen on the parent unit will come on if your child as much as turns; or it can be lowered so only cries or the like are monitored.
There is also a mic option so you can talk directly through the speaker in the camera unit. Again, ideal for soothing your stirring child, or pretending you work on the checkout in Aldi and need a price check on courgettes.
The screen unit runs on an in-built battery. This did concern me at first: how long would it last without being plugged in. That said, I now unplug the parent unit each night and take it to bed, and it’s still running on battery through a lot of the next day.
In all honesty, I’d never considered getting a monitor like this. We had a very basic, rather small, poor sound quality one before this; both for our daughter and our 4-year-old. I honestly didn’t know what I was missing.
Like I said at the start, I only knew Vtech as doing toys for kids. Now, having had the Vtech Pan and Tilt Colour Video Monitor for a couple of weeks – I know they do them for adults too.
By Al Booth Father of two.