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Monitor lets parents watch, talk to baby

FARGO - When my toddler's screaming in his crib and I'm stuck in the shower, I've often wished my baby monitor worked both ways so I could try to calm him down by talking to him.

When shopping for monitors, I didn't think a video monitor was necessary, but there have been times when I've thought it would be nice to be able to check on my son without having to open the door and risk waking him.

Lorex Technology has a device that fulfills both requests. The Lorex LIVE View baby monitor has a camera so you can see your baby and an intercom that allows you to talk to him from another room.

The handheld monitor has a bright 2.4 inch LCD screen, a rechargeable battery and a stand that doubles as a belt clip.

Sleep mode turns off the screen, but it can still be used as an audio monitor. This mode also extends the battery's life.

There is also a night vision feature where the video displays in black and white when the lights are off instead of the colored screen that displays when the room is bright.

The cameras operate on a wireless system and the company says the video feed is secured, so no unwanted viewers can hack into the network.

The system is easy to use. I set it up in just a few minutes without having to read through the manual to figure out how to do it.

The tricky part is in finding the right place and angle to position the device.

The camera can be placed on a counter or mounted on a wall or ceiling, which would probably work best to shoot inside the crib. But I like being able to move it from one room to another.

It's nice to set the camera up in the living room where my kids are playing while I'm cooking in the kitchen.

The Lorex system allows for up to three additional cameras, which each cost $110. The monitor and camera system sells for $170.

While the intercom feature is a nice way to talk to my kids without shouting between rooms, it's pretty loud, kind of tinny, and there's no way to adjust the volume. I actually startled my toddler when I tried talking to him when he was alone in his crib.

The audio from the monitor seems to be good quality, and there is volume control on that.

The video quality is slightly blurry, but I can easily see my kids in both the day and night settings.

The monitor and camera can be plugged in or operate with a rechargeable battery, but the charge doesn't last long, so I would recommend plugging it in whenever possible, and certainly overnight.

Product profile

Product: Lorex LIVE View baby monitor

Cost: $170

Contact: (888) 425-6739