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Frequency

Digital 2.4 GHz (NEW)
  • Pros & Cons

    Analog 2.4 GHz
  • 2.4 GHz Cordless Phones
  • 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi
  • 5.2 GHz Wi-Fi
  • Network Channels
  • Pros & Cons

    Cellular Wireless Internet & Hotspots

    Analog 900 MHz
  • Pros & Cons

    Microwave Ovens

    Cell Phones

    Vox & Motion Sensing

  • Avoiding Interference
  • Work Around
  • Channels
  • Un-Plug
  • The Neighbors

    Range Overview
  • Transmission Strength
  • Geography
  • Power

    Power Systems Overview
  • Rechargeable Batteries

    Night Vision

    Auto-Scan

    A/V Output

    Split Screen

    Privacy Overview

    Internet & Smartphone Monitoring (NEW!)
    iPhone, Android & More


    Prenatal Monitors
    Doppler Fetal Monitors

  • © n e x t s t e p b a b y m o n i t o r s . c o m


    5 Trends That Can Keep Your Kids Safe
    New developments in video baby monitor technology can improve the safety of your family Read Full Article.




    Welcome!

    Video baby monitors are a relatively new item on the market, utilizing some of the latest advances in technology. These exciting products are revolutionizing the way we monitor our loved ones and represent the next generation of baby monitoring.

    By learning more about video baby monitors and how they work we hope to make you an informed consumer.


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    Frequency

    There are several different frequencies video baby monitors use to transmit signals from camera to monitor. Some video baby monitors use the same frequencies as other common household electronics and as a result sometimes undesirable interference can occur.

    Below we outline the most common video baby monitor frequencies, what to look for, and the pros and cons of each. We also review product features and try to answer common questions about video baby monitors. Our goal is to help you decide which system is best for you and to be sure you get the best performance possible.


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    Digital 2.4 GHz

    Interference Free Operation Anywhere: The latest development in video baby monitor technology is digital 2.4 GHz. Digital 2.4 GHz is completely different from older analog 2.4 GHz systems which are susceptible to static interference from other 2.4 GHz devices.

    Digital 2.4 GHz systems are fully immune to interference and can work static free in an area with wi-fi networks and 2.4 GHz cordless phones. Digital 2.4 GHz systems are still limited to about the same range as older systems. So cameras do have to be within reasonable range of the monitor like with any other system.

    Purchasing a digital 2.4 GHz baby monitor means you do not have to concern yourself about avoiding interference, which is a big advantage. Digital 2.4 GHz systems have quickly become the standard in the industry.

    What's Different About Digital? Where analog 2.4 GHz systems use a couple preset channels, digital 2.4 GHz cameras and monitors are specifically linked to each other. Digital 2.4 GHz allows for tens of thousands of unique possible variations on the frequency. As a result, digital 2.4 GHz monitors and cameras "lock onto" each other on their specific frequency combination. This is what allows for the static free operation.

    Digital systems either have a sufficient signal from the camera or they don't. There is no gradual increase of static as the signal degrades like with analog systems. If a digital system does not have a strong enough signal from a camera, the monitor will simply show "out of range" and there will be no picture.

    Wi-Fi Networks: As mentioned, digital 2.4 GHz systems will not receive interference from nearby wi-fi networks. However, because they are on the same frequency band, they can degrade the signal strength of the wi-fi. This means when in use the baby monitor can slow or knock your network off-line depending on the placement of the devices. This is not always the case but it is something to keep in mind. The same can also happen with the old analog 2.4 GHz systems.

    The reverse is also true where strong wi-fi network signals can in some cases reduce the range of a digital 2.4 GHz video baby monitor. Again the monitor will never display static, but you can get an "out of range" message for a camera sooner than if the offending wi-fi network was not broadcasting.

    A Solution is to use a system like NextStepIP that uses wi-fi instead of clashing with it.

    Extra Cameras are a bit different with digital systems. Extra cameras can be added at any time, but there is a linking procedure in the user manual that you follow and there is usually a "link" button on the camera. Be sure to review the details of the digital 2.4 GHz system you are considering to see how it handles extra cameras. Most digital systems allow for 3 or 4 cameras total.

    Better Privacy: Analog systems use a small number of preset channels, so anyone with a compatible monitor within range can potentially pick up your camera's signal. But with digital 2.4 GHz, since the camera and monitor are specifically linked together it is almost impossible for any other monitor to view your cameras. This is a major benefit of going digital.

    Multiple Monitors: A down side to having the camera and monitor specifically linked to each other is that you are not able to add an extra monitor to the system. Analog systems could have as many monitors as you wanted since those systems all used the same channels. However, a digital camera can only be linked to one monitor at a time. So adding a second monitor is usually not a possibility with current digital systems.

    Down Side - Frame Rate & Delay: Due to the nature of digital systems there is a second or two delay between what the camera is viewing and the monitor is displaying. Also the frame rate is going to be lower than that of an analog system. The further the camera and monitor are the lower the frame rate can become. Worse case scenario can have the video be somewhat choppy, but still no static.

    These are simply the small drawbacks to going digital that allow for interference free operation, full privacy and all the other benefits above. We want to make sure you are fully informed.


    PROs: 100% privacy and no chance of static interference.

    CONs: More expensive and more steps involved adding extra cameras. Sometimes no A/V output. Can have lower frame rate, and short video delay. Adding extra monitors not possible.


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    Analog 2.4 GHz

    Analog 2.4 GHz is slowly being phased out in video baby monitors. The future is the new Digital 2.4 GHz, see above. The info below concerns analog video baby monitors.


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    Analog 2.4 GHz Cordless Phones

    2.4 GHz phones can interfere with an analog 2.4 GHz baby monitor. When the phone is ringing or in use an analog 2.4 GHz baby monitor can have added static.

    Generally when a 2.4 GHz phone is not in use no interference is caused. However we came across a few customers with 2.4 GHz phones that even when not in use the phone was still transmitting data and causing harmful interference. The ways to eliminate the interference in this case was to un-plug the 2.4 GHz phone all together, get a different phone using another frequency (900 MHz or 5.8 GHz), or to get a video baby monitor on a different frequency (i.e. Digital 2.4 GHz or 900 MHz).

    Overall, please check the frequencies of any cordless phones that will be in the area with the baby monitor to make sure they are not using the same frequency.


    Also See: How Do I Know What Frequency Devices In My House Use?

    Also See: Changing Channels


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    Wireless Computer Networks (Wi-Fi)

    Network Types:

    "B" 802.11b = 2.4 GHz

    "G" 802.11g = 2.4 GHz

    "N" 802.11n = 2.4 or 5.2 GHz


    2.4 GHz Networks (802.11b "B" and 802.11g "G")
    This is probably one of the biggest causes of interference problems with analog 2.4 GHz baby monitors. 802.11b (B) and 802.11g (G) wi-fi both use 2.4 GHz which is the same frequency as analog 2.4 GHz baby monitors. These wi-fi networks can cause severe interference and limit the usable range of your monitoring system.

    When a computer is on and connected to a wireless network, data is constantly being transferred regardless if the computer is being used. When the computer and wireless network are off, no interference can occur.

    The best advice is to use a Digital 2.4 GHz or 900 MHz baby monitor, or upgrade to the newest wi-fi standard 802.11n (see below) which uses 5.2 GHz instead.

    As a result we recommend against purchasing any analog 2.4 GHz baby monitor system when you have a 2.4 GHz (802.11b or 802.11g) computer network in or around your house.


    Neighbors
    2.4 GHz wireless networks have become very wide spread recently. We are getting more and more reports of interference caused by a network in the same apartment building or from across the street, where the customer had no network of their own. In many cases the network is just in range enough to cause an annoying popping static on your monitor that repeats over and over.

    Dense urban areas and high density housing (apartments & condos) have the most issues with interference from neighbors. If you plan to use your baby monitor in an environment like this we suggest going with a Digital 2.4 GHz or 900 MHz system. It is almost certain that someone nearby has a 2.4 GHz wi-fi network within range of your home if you live in high-density housing.


    More Neighbor Interference Info - Also See: The Neighbors


    Wireless "G" vs "B" vs "N"?
    Wireless computer networks now come in a few different protocols. There is a new standard now available, 802.11n "N" which uses 5.2 GHz and will not interfere with 2.4 GHz devices when properly setup (see below).

    The oldest networks are referred to as "B" (802.11b) and the slightly newer protocol is "G" (802.11g). Both "B" and "G" are 2.4 GHz. The difference is the protocol and compression rather than frequency, which is what matters when we're talking about interference with baby monitors.

    So both "B" and "G" use 2.4 GHz and will cause continuous interference to analog 2.4 GHz baby monitors. If there is a 2.4 GHz wireless computer network in your house go with a 900 MHz or digital 2.4 GHz baby monitor or upgrade your network to the new 802.11n "N" which uses 5.2 GHz (see below).


    5.2 GHz Wi-Fi "N" (802.11n)
    The newest wi-fi standard uses 5.2 GHz and will not interfere if setup to only use 5.2 GHz. Often 802.11n routers by default broadcast on both 5.2 GHz and 2.4 GHz simultaneously to be backwards compatible with older hardware. By setting all devices on the network to only use 5.2 GHz you can eliminate interference with an analog 2.4 GHz baby monitor. This can also work well if you are having an issue with wi-fi signal degradation by a digital 2.4 GHz baby monitor.


    Network Channels
    Almost all wi-fi networks have the ability to change channels, most have 10 channels to choose from. Channels are useful in separating your network from other networks in your area. Changing channels on your network can also improve your 2.4 GHz baby monitor reception but often does not solve the issue completely. Experiment to find the best results. Also moving the camera and monitor closer together will help strengthen the baby monitor's signal strength (also see Range).

    The reason channel changing doesn't always solve interference issues is the frequency separation between channels is very small. With a 2.4 GHz network for example, all channels are still 2.4 GHz as only the second decimal place changes with each channel. For example the frequency of channel one is 2.41 GHz and channel two is 2.42 GHz. So you're still on 2.4 GHz no matter what the channel. But moving the network to a channel "further away" from your baby monitor's frequency can reduce static.

    The same is true with the video baby monitors which commonly have several channels of their own. These channels are useful for allowing multiple cameras to work at the same time, but are often ineffective in fully preventing other 2.4 GHz devices from interfering. However the channel furthest away from the interfering device will produce better results.

    Also it is a good idea if you have two cameras in your video baby monitor system to have one camera on channel 1 and the other on channel 3 (or the channel furthest away). By having the cameras on channels further away from each other instead of on channels 1 and 2, you increase separation which reduces channel "bleeding" and can improve overall performance. Again note this only applies to analog systems and not to the current digital models.


    PROs: Low cost and usually lots of features, including auto scan and A/V output.

    CONs: No privacy protection and susceptible to interference from any wi-fi network in range, as well as 2.4 GHz cordless phones and other devices.

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    Cellular Wireless Internet & Hotspots

    The new cell provider based (Verizon & Sprint) wireless internet connections use their own frequencies. As a result, this type of wireless internet access will not interfere with your baby monitor.

    However, if the device also provides and broadcasts a wi-fi network (hot spot), the wi-fi which is still typically 2.4 GHz can clash with analog and digital 2.4 GHz baby monitors. As mentioned digital 2.4 GHz video baby monitors don't display any static. However with a digital 2.4 GHz baby monitor and wi-fi network (hot spot) operating in close range, each can degrade the signal strength of the other since they are broadcasting in the same frequency range.



    Also See: How Do I Know What Frequency Devices In My House Use?

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    Analog 900 MHz

    900 MHz is a frequency band that was popular for many wireless devices a few years back. Some common 900 MHz devices include wireless headphones, wireless speaker systems and a small number of very old cordless phones.

    While there are fewer cordless phones today that use 900 MHz, they are still out there. If you have a 900 MHz wireless device in use around your house be aware that it can cause static in an analog 900 MHz baby monitor.

    Baby monitors that use 900 MHz are able to operate interference free in areas with 2.4 GHz devices such as wi-fi networks, as a result these systems are currently in high demand. If you intend to use your baby monitor in an area which you are concerned about 2.4 GHz wi-fi and other devices, going with an analog 900 MHz or Digital 2.4 GHz monitor is your best bet.


    PROs: No interference from 2.4 GHz wi-fi or other devices. Affordable pricing and very high quality systems. Usually has A/V output.

    CONs: No privacy protection. Limited to 2 cameras max (2 channels). Channel separation is narrow, so when using two cameras at once "ghosting" between cameras can happen. Usually no Auto-Scan offered between multiple cameras. Susceptible to interference from 900 MHz devices (rare).


    Also See: How Do I Know What Frequency Devices In My House Use?



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    Microwaves

    Microwave ovens when in use (cooking), can cause possible interference with baby monitors of all frequencies that are positioned very close by. Microwaves emit RF spanning a large range of upper frequencies when cooking food. This can happen anytime a monitor or camera is placed within close proximity of an in use microwave (approx 5 ft or less). No interference can occur when the microwave is not in use, or when the baby monitor is further away.




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    Cell Phones

    With the concern about interference caused from common cordless phones, many people have now lumped cell phones into that category because they are also "cordless". Cell phones operate in a fully different frequency spectrum than baby monitors and will not cause interference due to frequency sharing. However, cell phones do emit very strong RF so if a monitor or camera is placed within a few feet of an in-use cell phone you may encounter some audio interference.

    The same is true with the new cell provider based (Verizon & Sprint) wireless internet connections. This data link is on its own frequency, and does not use 2.4 GHz like the wireless computer networks that are used in the home. As a result, this type of wireless internet access will not interfere with your baby monitor.




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    Vox & Motion Sensing

    Several years ago it was common to see systems that had motion sensing features or alarms triggered by sound levels. For reasons that are not totally clear these features are very rare with the current generation of systems on the market.

    Mobicam still makes a system with a vox feature that simply turns the monitor screen back on if a certain level of noise is detected by the camera. But these features are not commonly seen today, but customers still ask about them.




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    How To Avoid Interference Overview:

    There are three main ways to insure the highest level of performance of your monitoring system and to minimize the effects of unwanted interference. We will outline them below. Note this information is primarily for analog video baby monitors:


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    Work Around

    If you have some of the wireless devices mentioned above in your home, find out what frequency they use and simply purchase a monitoring system that uses a different frequency, or go with a Digital 2.4 GHz Video Baby Monitor.

    How Do I Know What Frequency Devices In My House Use? Usually this is very simple. Cordless phones often clearly label the unit itself with the frequency it uses. If not, try looking at the bottom of the base unit for the phone. It should say in smaller text on the label there.

    The same is true with all other wireless devices. They will often display their frequency on the product itself in one form or another. If not check the user manual (if you still have it), the frequency used will always be provided there.

    Another useful way is to Google the model number of your product. You can almost always bring up product info on-line and find out what frequency your wireless device uses. Once you know what frequency your cordless phones and other devices (if any) use, you can purchase a baby monitor which uses a different (and un-used) frequency so it can operate in an interference free environment.


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    Channels

    This info is mainly for analog systems. The majority of analog video baby monitors have multiple channels. These extra channels are designed to be used for multiple cameras. They also allow you to select the channel with the best reception. If you are getting static interference from another device changing channels can improve your baby monitor's reception but often does not solve the issue completely. Experiment to find the best results.

    The reason channel changing doesn't always solve interference issues is the frequency separation between channels is very small. In an analog 2.4 GHz system for example, all channels are still 2.4 GHz as only the second decimal place changes with each channel. For example the frequency of channel one is 2.41 GHz and channel two is 2.42 GHz. So you're still on 2.4 GHz no matter what the channel. But using a channel that is "furthest away" from the frequency of the interfering device can reduce static.

    Also it is a good idea if you have two cameras in your video baby monitor system to have one camera on channel 1 and the other on channel 3 (or the channel furthest away). By having the cameras on channels further away from each other instead of on channels 1 and 2, you increase separation which reduces channel "ghosting" and can improve overall performance.

    Other wireless devices such as cordless phones, and Wireless Computer Networks all have channel selectors. However, two devices on the same frequency band often will not be able to operate without interference regardless of the channel settings on either unit. But changing channels can often lessen static. Overall do not count on channels to fix an interference issue. By far the best solution is using devices that do not share the same frequency.


    Also See: 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi Network Channels



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    Un-Plug

    If you have devices which share the same frequency as your video baby monitor, unplugging or not using them while the baby monitor is in use will eliminate any interference issues. Or, if you just can't part with or turn off those devices, just be aware of the interference they can cause when the monitoring system is in use.


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    The Neighbors

    If you live close to your neighbors such as in an apartment or condo, keep in mind if they use some of the wireless devices mentioned here, they too can affect your monitoring just like devices in your own home. As you know, wireless computer signals and wireless audio/video signals are designed to penetrate walls and ceilings.

    It can be a real pain dealing with wireless interference coming from one or more of your neighbors. It can also be hard to tell where exactly where the interfering device is located. As mentioned above the best answer is the "work around" and simply using a different frequency than the competing wireless device(s) next door.

    Dense urban areas and high density housing (apartments & condos) have the most issues with interference from neighbors. If you plan to use your baby monitor in an environment like this we suggest going with a digital 2.4 GHz or 900 MHz system. You can be almost certain that someone has a 2.4 GHz wi-fi network within range in these high-density areas.

    As much as you might like to, going to your neighbor's home and smashing their offending wireless devices is not recommended. :)


    Also See Privacy Overview


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    Range Overview

    This info applies to all systems both digital and analog. The reception range of your video baby monitor system depends on several factors. Besides harmful interference (covered above), the factors with the most impact on useable range are Transmission Strength, Geography and Power all of which are outlined below:


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    Transmission Strength

    The amount of transmission power the wireless camera has is a major factor in how much range you can expect to get out of any system. At NextStepBabyMonitors we list the estimated range for each system as provided to us by the manufacturer.

    However these range numbers are basically useless for any type of reference or comparison. Published distances should not be taken as any guarantee to the range you can expect.

    Range distances published on product boxes are often exaggerated and for "clear line of site" conditions (i.e. an open football field). It is in the manufacturer's interest to publish a large range specification for their product, so be aware of this. If only one distance is provided it is always the "clear line of site" distance with no obstructions (see below).

    We often get asked which system has the longest range? The reality is that all systems are regulated in transmission power by the FCC guidelines. Almost all but the very cheapest systems use the max amount of power allowed, which is about equal to your average cordless phone. Given that most systems have the same transmission strength, it depends more on the other factors listed below to determine the actual range you get.

    The common misconception is often seen with the customer with a 6000 sq ft house who tries a system and does not have the range needed. They then proceed to return the system and try several others hoping one might have more power than the other. You can expect about the same amount of range from most systems with some slight differences between models. Battery power vs AC power does make a large difference however (see below).


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    Geography

    You will see two different distances provided under the range specification on the video baby monitor pages. These are "clear line of sight" and "obstructed".

    Clear Line Of Sight means the maximum distance the camera and receiver can be when used on a flat open area such as a football field, where there are also no obstructions. Obviously the usable distance will be much greater when the camera and receiver can visibly see each other and there are no obstructions.

    In real world most people use video baby monitors in the home and the camera and receiver are rarely used in an environment such as a football field. Fortunately all the frequencies used by video baby monitors were specifically designed to penetrate walls, ceiling, floors and other common obstacles.

    While these signals can pass through solid objects such as walls, it does come at the price of reduced range. The more barriers a signal must penetrate, and the denser those barriers are, the shorter the usable distance becomes between receiver and camera.

    Obstructed is the distance provided in the specifications that is a rough estimate of the range you can expect when the system is being used with obstructions between camera and receiver. This range will obviously vary depending on the number and density of obstacles a signal must penetrate in the particular environment the system is used in.


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    Power

    Most cameras today can only be powered by AC adapters. Battery power is not a prefered way to go except for short periods of time.

    A camera is unable to transmit at its maximum capacity on a dead or dying set of batteries. Always make sure the camera is plugged in, or using a good set of batteries to ensure you get the most reception range out of your system.

    If you notice a gradual decrease in the reception range of your system and you are using batteries, there is a good chance the batteries need to be replaced. It is also just as important for the monitor/receiver to have a good set of batteries to ensure the best performance. Plugging the units into AC power is always best when the portability and convenience of battery power is not required.


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    Power Systems Overview

    Some video baby monitoring systems allow both the camera and monitor to be powered by AC adapter or batteries.

    Overall, the video screens on the monitors by far consume the most power. When running on battery power most monitors have an auto-off function that turns off the monitor after several minutes of inactivity. This serves to preserve the battery life. When plugged in the auto-off feature is usually disabled.

    Cameras in general will use less power than a receiver since there is no LCD screen. However, Night Vision cameras (those with IR illuminators) use much more power in night vision mode than they do in normal mode.

    This is because in night vision mode the IR illuminators are turned on. These LED (light emitting diodes) lights work the same as mini-flashlights, except the light is invisible infrared light. These lights do consume a lot of power, and most night vision cameras have at least six or more IR LEDs which are illuminated in night vision mode.

    Camera power is an important factor when using night vision mode to monitor a sleeping baby all night. Since the camera consumes much more power when in night vision mode, a set of batteries will typically be drained before morning. So it is best to be able to plug in a camera using the AC power if it is to be used for extended periods of time in night vision mode.


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    Rechargeable Batteries

    Note that almost all monitors with a rechargeable battery must have that battery charged at least overnight before first use. Please always read your user manual.

    These batteries are the same style battery found in many cordless phones. The added benefit is mainly the cost savings of not having to continually purchase expensive alkaline batteries.


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    Night Vision

    Night vision solves a very important issue with video baby monitors. As we all know, babies and the rest of us usually sleep with the lights off. And the main purpose of a baby monitor is to monitor your infant while they sleep. But standard cameras need light to see.

    The solution is infrared (IR) night vision. Our human eyes are able to see what is called the visible light spectrum. The wavelengths just below the visible light spectrum is infrared (IR). Humans are unable to see infrared light, making it fully invisible. Cameras however, can be designed to see infrared light.

    In a fully dark room our eyes and standard cameras require light to see. Infrared capable cameras are no different, they require an infrared light source to illuminate the area you wish to monitor.


    Night Vision On/Off: Night vision mode is automatically turned on and off using a light sensor built into the camera just like those found in common night lights. This sensor automatically kicks on the IR lights and switches the camera's electronics into night vision mode when visible light falls below a set level.


    Night Vision Has No Color: We've had customers who thought their cameras were broken because the night vision picture had no color. In low and no light situations there is no color to be viewed. Color is the first thing to go from our vision as light dims to dark. All video baby monitors when in night vision mode either switch to black and white or green monochrome. This is mainly to increase contrast to make the low light images more visible, just like professional and military night vision systems.

    In the pitch dark this is where IR illuminators come in. These are small yet powerful LEDs (light emitting diodes) that are built into cameras and shine IR light. Most cameras have several IR LEDs, numbering anywhere from 6 to 18. These IR LEDs work just like an invisible flash light providing the IR light the camera needs to be able to see in the dark room. The result is the dark room is now lit so the camera can see, but since the light is fully invisible to humans it will not disturb your sleeping baby.


    Night Vision Is Very Short Range: The average range these IR LEDs are able to effectively illuminate is up to about 6-10 feet max. Look at the LEDs and you will see they are very small. So they will not illuminate the whole room, but will be able to provide enough IR light to the immediate area in front of the camera to allow for viewing.

    Again customers have reported their night vision was "not working" because they had a very dim picture in dark conditions. In this situation the camera was placed across the room from the baby over 15 feet away and the small IR LEDs are unable to illuminate that far. Closer is always better, but never have any cords placed within 3ft of a child or infant. If you must place your camera far from your child you may want to consider an additional IR illuminator (see Night Vision Boost+ below).

    NEW - Turbo charge the night vision of any system with Night Vision Boost+.








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    Auto-Scan

    When you have more than one camera almost all systems allow you to manually flip back and forth between them by pressing a button. However, many people want the system to automatically flip between multiple cameras, and this feature is called Auto-Scan.

    If Auto-Scan is a feature you require be sure to review the details of the system you are considering to see if it is offered. Some systems with Auto-Scan allow you to change the duration of the scan, such as every 5, 10, or 15 seconds, while others do not.




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    A/V Output

    Some systems have an audio-video (A/V) output. This output from the monitor gives you an RCA audio and video connection that you can connect to a TV, recording device, or similar. Customers normally use A/V outputs to connect the monitor to a TV so you can view the monitor feed on your large screen TV.

    The A/V output jack on the monitor is usually a 1/8" headphone style jack. Systems with an output almost always provide the A/V cable that goes from that jack to an RCA video and RCA Audio (mono). The newer digital systems sometimes don't have these A/V outputs as it adds requires an extra conversion to provide this analog output. But we are now seeing more and more digital systems having an A/V output since customers are demanding it. Those digital systems that do provide an A/V output are now using a mini-usb style jack on the monitor, and the cable provides standard RCA plugs on the other end.




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    Split Screen

    The MobiCam DXR and Summer Infant Sleek & Secure offer split screen capability. Most systems do not simply because the overall screen size on video baby monitors is very small. Auto-Scan is how most systems allow for multiple camera viewing at the same time.




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    Privacy Overview

    This is a very important topic and one of increasing importance as the number and availability of wireless devices continues to grow.

    The current generation of Digital 2.4 GHz Systems provides for a fully secure digital signal that cannot be viewed by any other device or monitor. Cameras and monitors are specifically linked together in a digital system. Even if you have the same make and model monitor, your camera can only be actively linked to one monitor at a time. This prevents anyone else from being able to view your camera.

    For Analog Systems:
    Just as with cordless phones that share the same frequencies, analog wireless video systems send their signals in an unencrypted format. Just as you have the ability to purchase another receiver unit to monitor your cameras, this also means anyone else with a compatible receiver within range can potentially pick up those audio and video signals as well.

    The reason why so many wireless devices (phones, computer networks, wireless audio/video) operate so well for so many people in such close proximity is the FCC has limited the amount of power they use to transmit. This limits the reception range of these devices, allowing cordless phones in your home for example to not interfere with your neighbor's cordless phone across the street.

    So while all these signals are unencrypted, the range is limited to the immediate area in and around your home. Analog wireless video systems are a great tool, but consumers should be knowledgeable about how they operate.




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    Smartphone Mobile Monitoring: Web, PC, iPhone, iPad, Android Baby Monitors

    Here at NextStepBabyMonitors we've been working hard to bring monitoring systems to the next level. Basic video baby monitors allow a wireless camera to send audio and video back to a nearby receiver.

    But what if you could make the live video available on-line and on your mobile devices? Parents could monitor their children, the nanny or even pets while at work or any location in the world. And daycares could also allow parents to check in on their kids.

    We now offer a next generation solution, the NextStepIP System. The system is based on a high-end IP camera, which along with software and viewing applications allows you to view and pan-n-tilt the camera in real time from your iPhone, iPod Touch, Android or computer.

    Turn your iPhone into an iPhone Baby Monitor! Or also turn your Android into an Android Baby Monitor!

    This is truly a unique cutting edge product which revolutionizes the way you can monitor your children, loved ones and home. Be sure to read more about the NextstepIP System here.




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    Prenatal Monitors: What Consumers Should Know

    Generally speaking there are two types of prenatal monitors:

    Active Monitors: Ultrasound/Doppler
    Monitors that actively radiate ultrasound into the body are commonly referred to as Doppler fetal monitors or simply as ultrasound devices. These units most often use 2 or 3 MHz for the ultrasonic frequency.

    These active monitors are easy to use and produce great results for listening to fetal heartbeats. Even your doctor will use a doppler monitor when you visit the office. The issue is that any device that radiates ultrasonic radiation into the body no matter how low the energy level is classified by the FDA as a Class II medical device.

    This means you cannot purchase or rent a doppler monitor legally without a prescription from your doctor. The reason according to the FDA is that prolonged exposure to ultrasonic radiation has not been fully studied and there is a potential for adverse affects since tissues are slightly heated when these frequencies pass through.

    Because active ultrasound and Doppler monitors cannot legally be sold without a prescription, NextStepBabyMonitors does not sell any at this time.



    Passive Prenatal Monitors
    As an alternative we have taken a close look at passive prenatal monitors. These devices include fetal stethoscopes and basic monitors that simply listen and try to amplify the sounds. Being passive means no ultrasonic energy is directed into the motherís body which means there is no health risk no matter how long these monitors are used. Unfortunately passive monitoring simply does not work very well. Without active ultrasound, passive devices are unable to pick up fetal heartbeats with any consistency and are simply unable to meet the expectations demanded by todayís consumers. As a result NextStepBabyMonitors does not carry any passive prenatal monitors.


    The Bottom Line
    Doppler fetal monitors and active ultrasound imaging are great tools when used by your doctor or in cases where your doctor has advised you should monitor while at home under their prescription. Ultrasound and 3D imaging by commercial vendors should be minimized or avoided altogether according to the FDA. And purchasing and using a Doppler fetal monitor (Class II medical device) without a prescription is illegal and if used for long durations may have the potential for effects that have not yet been fully studied.

    Learn more, read the Full Article Here.


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