Back in August we were sent the Tomy TF525 Digital Baby Monitor to review. This was one in a new range of 5 Next Generation Tomy Digital Monitors that had been released – 3 standard digital monitors, a video monitor and a movement sensor pad monitor. We have now been lucky enough to be sent to review the new Tomy Digital Video Monitor TFV600 from the same range.
The Tomy Digital Video Monitor TFV600 is the first video monitor I have used in over 2 years of being a parent. It is also the first time I have ever seen a video monitor in action. I really have no previous experience of video monitors so I really didn’t know what to expect – what the quality of video and sound would be like and how the video monitor would fit into our lives – I’ve been more than happy with normal sound only baby monitors up until this point.
The Tomy Digital Video Monitor TFV600 has a lot of features that you would expect from any digital baby monitor. It has a sound level light display so that you can stay alert to your baby’s needs even with the volume off. Sound activation mode is great for when your baby is a little older and you don’t need to hear every little sound. A rechargeable parent unit means there’s no hassle with batteries running out. The parent unit temperature display monitors the temperature in the nursery constantly and there is a battery level indicator as well as low battery and out of range alarms to give you extra reassurance.
The baby monitor also has a remote controlled nightlight with adjustable brightness so there’s no need to disturb baby using the main light in the nursery although we have found this to be too bright even on the lowest setting – the white colour of the light is quite harsh and so we prefer to not use the night light function. Remote controlled lullabies are a great feature that we use frequently when Little Man wakes to see if the soothing music will settle him before we go up and see to him. There is also a two way talk back walkie talkie function so that we can shush LM, sing to him and reassure him in the hope he’ll settle again – this is a great function. We’ve also used it so that Hubby and I can talk to each other when one of us is upstairs and one downstairs!
The sound on this baby monitor is a a lot less muffled than the Tomy TF525 Digital Baby Monitor we previously reviewed and is a really good quality. The video aspect is clear both during the day and in the night vision mode overnight. The detail is amazing – being able to see Little Man’s pattern on his sleepsuit, see the position of his blanket and the exact position he is laying in was not something I was expecting – for some reason I thought video monitors would be like looking at a negative, no real detail, so I am pleasantly surprised by the quality. The screen is 2.4″ and this is a really good size – it doesn’t need to be any bigger, and the backlit screen is great for looking at the monitor during the night.
We have been using this Video Baby Monitor now for the best part of a month in Little Man’s room and in all honesty, I don’t know how we managed without a video monitor before. Little Man moves around so much in his sleep – more than I have been aware of before getting this monitor. He also wakes up frequently but more often than not will cry a couple of times and then settle himself – with our digital monitor we would have gone in and settled him or disturbed him further whereas now we can see on the monitor that he is fine and give him that extra few moments to get himself back to sleep – Little Man sleeps better and we don’t have to get up as often, definitely a win on every level! The video aspect is definitely an extra reassurance and gives us the peace of mind of being able to see exactly where Little Man is in his cot, how he’s laying, whether his blanket is over him and anything else we may want to know. Add really good picture quality and good sound and there really isn’t much more you could want from a Baby Monitor.
The only negative we have found with the monitor is that the battery life isn’t very long. We leave the monitor plugged in overnight and then unplug it during Little Man’s first nap of the day to bring it downstairs. The battery then lasts about 4 hours. We have found the best way of dealing with this if we want to keep the parent unit downstairs with us during the day/evening without moving the plug around constantly, is to turn the parent unit off when Little Man isn’t sleeping and this conserves the energy in the batteries. We’ve also found that if we put the monitor on sound activation mode the screen only comes on when Little Man makes a certain amount of noise – usually when it’s time for him to get up. This means that the screen being on constantly doesn’t drain the battery as much and so the monitor lasts longer before it needs to be charged.
The baby unit of the Tomy Digital Video Monitor TFV600, the camera, can be wall mounted or can stand on any flat surface. We have chosen to have the camera on the wall and initially I was concerned that the room would look like it was under surveillance but the camera has become part of the room and I no longer notice it now. We would have put the monitor on a flat surface but didn’t have anything suitable in the room at the right height.
I have to say, in all honesty, that having experienced a video baby monitor I don’t think I will ever be able to go back to using a standard audio baby monitor with a small baby again – although this is my last time of having a small baby! I now, in hindsight, wish that we had purchased a video monitor when we first had LP – it could have saved us going up to settle her as often and would have given us extra reassurance that would have been great as a first time parent.
Disclosure: We were sent the above video monitor for the purpose of this review however all opinions are my own.