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What are some good options for a baby video-monitor?

I've got wireless and ethernet in the baby room, so there may be an option to use those to hook up to a camera. But are networked video-camera options comparable to or preferable to the radio transmitted dedicated commercial baby-video monitors?

Requirements of the solution straightforward: A fixed position video camera dedicated to making sure the mom can see that the baby is happy. It ought to be reasonably simple to set up, and must be accessible by a non-technical mother.

While not a requirement, it would be good if the video feed were accessible over a LAN on a Mac and/or Blackberry and/or iPhone and/or Android. (There's no Windows PC in the house, so use of Windows can't be a requirement)

Internet access to the live video feed is not a requirement, but wouldn't necessarily hurt.

Just curious & thanks for reading.

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@Mr. Man: Edited to make it more "on topic" (i.e. a computer-user inquiry as opposed to a generic consumer inquiry) –  Brian M. Hunt Nov 7 '10 at 20:31
    
Ok, I undid my downvote. –  Wuffers Nov 7 '10 at 20:31

3 Answers 3

up vote 2 down vote accepted

I use the Linksys Wireless-G Internet Home Monitoring Camera (model WVC54GCA). You can enable mobile streaming and assess the stream with any device that supports the protocol by browsing to rtsp:/myipaddress:554/xxxxx You can pick the WVC54GCA for roughly $90.00.

I enable the Real Time Streaming Protocol (RTSP) on the camera (pic) Enable RTSP port

I personally use my droid to view live video from the baby's room.

There are great guides for setting this up at myHomeServer and a few youtube videos.

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But are networked video-camera options comparable to or preferable to the radio transmitted dedicated commercial baby-video monitors?

Yes! The stuff marketed and branded for babies is mainly junk. Not only can you get a decent wifi web cam hookup for less, it's likely to work much better.

But there are two things to keep in mind here. The first is that this setup isn't as turnkey as dedicated equipment. It might work for you or me, but for most people a web cam setup from the nursery to the living room is out of their reach. The second is that you need a free computer to view or least serve the video. If you don't have one lying around, that shoots the cost of a web cam back above a dedicated monitor.

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To keep things on topic, a solution I came up with for someone in the past was to put a laptop/netbook with a webcam in the room with the baby, and access the video feed from the home desktop. Set up Skype on both machines and watch the video feed from the Desktop. Of course, this solution was only convenient because the family already owned a laptop as well as a desktop. I would not suggest making an extra purchase this large for something like this. There is an iPhone app for Skype as well as BlackBerry that fits the bill.

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Is there a way to get the laptop's Skype to auto-answer? –  endolith Dec 29 '10 at 21:16

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