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Blog (Product Review): VTech (VM343) Safe & Sound Pan & Tilt Full Colour Video Monitor By »

March 14th, 2017

Guest Blogger Alert!

Last time I featured a guest blogger it was my sister-in-law Catherine, a great writer, teacher and mom to my 2 year old niece Eliana. Well this time around, I thought I’d spice things up again with a blog from another amazing woman in my life – my mom!

Let me set the scene…my mom is a very young 60-something-year-old Nonna (that’s grandma in Italian), who also happens to be a great writer and a retired teacher…yet not the best student when it comes to listening to my brother and I walk her through how to attach a word document to an email, or how to FaceTime from her iPhone, or how to sign up for a social media account (we’ve limited it to Facebook for now!). Soooo, I thought, since she watches MJ while I’m at work, hers would be a great perspective to use for a review of a high tech video monitor! I told her it wasn’t a glutton for punishment, but a learning exercise (!)…enjoy her perspective below!

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When my daughter asked me to review the VTech (VM343)Safe & Sound Pan & Tilt Full Colour Video Monitor, my first thought was, “Oh no, an electrical gadget with technology…AHHHH!!!!!!”
Technology and I are acquaintances and not always the best of friends, yet I agreed to do the review – you’re welcome Victoria! Upon opening the box and removing the monitor, my anxiety level started to rise. I looked at the user’s manual and it said ‘Congratulations’…um I don’t need congratulations right now, I need help to figure this thing out!

So I very carefully and slowly opened the user’s manual, which was now the only thing between me and the operation of this object. As I perused the manual, I noticed a lot of terms that were familiar to me and others that most definitely were not. As I continued to read the instructions I noticed the section titled ‘Parent Unit Overview’. I know this is referring to the handheld device, but listen, I’m not the parent….I’m the grandparent! Please explain to me why the parent, (my daughter in this case), can’t figure out how this monitor works and then just connect it for me?!

Regardless of my thoughts above, when Victoria handed me the box, she buttered me up by saying that I was an intelligent person and that I should be able to handle it. I reminded her that I had just recently learned how to properly use my iPad…but she reassured me that I would be okay…I still didn’t quite believe her, but proceeded to open the box and document my experience and findings, which I’ve compiled below.

PROS

Instructions:
The instructions were very easy to follow for a technologically-challenged person as myself. I was alone with I started to fiddle around with it and quickly thought, “Hey this is pretty easy!!”

Pan/Tilt/Zoom:
The Pan, Tilt and Zoom have good maneuverability and most importantly are quiet within the room, so my grandson (MJ) doesn’t hear the camera moving when I check in on him.

Talk-Back:
The Talk-Back feature is great. Now that MJ is talking more, we have a bit of a conversation prior to me actually going into the room to pick him up. It’s actually quite amusing to watch him on the monitor wondering where my voice is coming from. He ends up looking directly into the camera, but still remains quite confused as to where Nonna is – which is super cute.

Screen:
The large screen on the monitor is good for those of us that have ‘aging eyes’. It’s 4.3″wide, displays in colour and has infrared night vision for when the room is dark.

There is also a feature on the screen that can be set to ‘sound activation’, so when the screen is off and there’s a noise in the room, it’ll automatically turn back on. This is not only good for peace of mind but for battery life of the parent unit too! You can also choose a vibration alert as well.

Range:
The monitor also has great range, which is very useful when I am in the basement and MJ is sleeping in his room two floors above me.

Temperature Gauge:
I didn’t really pay very much attention to the temperature gauge, but thought I’d mention it because it’s a good feature to have to ensure your little ones room isn’t too hot or cold.

Additional Cameras:
There’s also the option of purchasing additional cameras that feed into the one parent unit (you can also name them on that unit), as well as using the option to split the screen!! That sounds pretty amazing – and I’m sure it is – but let’s take one step at a time for now!!!!!! I’m only babysitting one grandson at the moment, so the single screen is okay for me…but…more grandbabies are on the way and due to arrive very soon, so then I will definitely have to learn how to use the split screen.

CONS

Beeping:
When making adjustments to the volume or anything within the menu section, the unit beeps loudly. I haven’t found a way to silence this and I don’t believe you can.

Not Back-Lit:
This is not a major issue but it is something to make a note of. If you have the monitor on at night and aren’t completely familiar with where the buttons are located, know that they are not back-lit, so you’ll need another light to navigate the controls in the dark.

Final Verdict

All in all, I have to say that I was very apprehensive about using this new monitor, yet found that it was not as intimidating as I thought it was going to be.

The other day when my friends asked me how babysitting was going, I felt proud of myself and told them that I learned how to use the VTech (VM343) Safe & Sound Pan & Tilt Full Colour Video monitor…they laughed (naturally!), but said, “Paola, if you can work it, then anyone can!”…and I don’t disagree!

Every day, I can rest assured that when my sweet grandson MJ is sleeping upstairs during his afternoon nap, I can keep a close eye on him no matter where I am in the house…now that’s peace of mind!

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