Video monitors allow parents and caregivers to both see and hear their baby in the crib or playroom. A movable screen with great clarity is important, like that of the Summer Infant BabyTouch Digital Video Monitor (*Est. $260) . Described by one reviewer as "CIA worthy," the BabyTouch enables parents to zoom in, pan and tilt the video image using remote, touchscreen technology. The BabyTouch has a large 3.5-inch color screen for great day and night image-quality, good sound quality and very good range. The BabyTouch system can be expanded to up to four cameras.
The Motorola MBP33 Wireless Video Baby Monitor (*Est. $200) is also a top performer in range as well as video and audio clarity. At 2.8 inches, the MBP33's color screen is a bit smaller than the BabyTouch screen, and the camera can't be panned and tilted remotely -- but you may be able to venture farther. Testers found that the MBP33 maintains its signal at distances of 2,000+ feet in open field testing. Not living up to its range claims is the MobiCam Digital DL Audio Video Monitoring System (*Est. $150) . It gets attention in product roundups because of its lower price, but users and product testers warn that the MobiCam offers a subpar range, is plagued by static and doesn't offer a clear enough image to determine whether a baby's eyes are open or closed. Additionally, the MobiCam only carries a 90-day warranty, and many owners say the unit broke after six to 12 months of use.
Originally introduced at a premium price, the Levana BabyView 20 Video Monitor (*Est. $180) may be a bargain. The monitor offers an array of extras, including lullabies and a nightlight, along with an easy to use interface and decent video quality. While most users say the monitor works well, there are isolated complaints about product defects and spotty customer support.