Being able to watch your baby while he or she sleeps at night is very important — you want them to be safe, of course. The Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor (Model numbers: MBP33 & MBP36) is an excellent solution to this issue, and is one of the most popular baby monitors on the market. Is it worthy of such status? Let’s find out.
Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor: Overview
- Monitor Type: Video & audio
- Signal type: 2.4 GHz FHSS wireless
- LCD screens: 3.5″ LCD (MBP36) and 2.8″ LCD (MBP33)
- Range: 650ft (200m) with “out-of-range” warning
- Battery life: ~8-10 hours per charge
- Infrared night vision
- Data encryption for security
- Includes room temperature monitor
- Expandable up to 2 parent units, 4 cameras
Infrared Night Vision: Allows You To See Your Baby at Night
Many baby monitors work fine in the daylight, but once it gets dark, it’s another story. The great thing about the Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor is that is has a great LCD screen that works with infrared night vision. It gives you a very clear of your baby even if he’s sleeping in the pitch dark; you can even see if he is breathing or not.
While the daytime view of the LCD is in full color, the night vision mode is black & white; this is simply how night vision technology works. Having said that, the view is still very crystal clear at night, and gives you a perfect view of your baby while he or she sleeps. However, you do have to have the camera as close to the crib as possible when it’s in night vision mode; the farther you take it away, the less clear the image gets. This shouldn’t be much of an issue, though.
If you want a baby monitor that works well in the dark, the Motorola digital video baby monitor gets a thumbs up in this regard.
Great, Large LCD Screen on the Parent Unit
The LCD screen is excellent, on both the 2.8″ and 3.5″ models. The larger model is obviously better, but the smaller one is adequate, too. For reference, the 3.5″ screen is roughly the same size as the iPhone – not quite, but similar enough for comparison.
The unit is lightweight and easy to carry around the house if you have to. It also has sort of a “kickstand” on the back so that you can prop it up on a table or desk.
What’s also nice about this monitor is that you can mount it anywhere, and then it can be remotely controlled with the parent unit (with the more expensive MBP36 model only). It can be remotely panned, tilted and zoomed to get a better view of your child and the room, which is always nice. If you mount it properly, you should always be able to have a view of the entire crib – perfect for children that have a habit of rolling over in their sleep.
There are buttons on the sides that control the various functions: video off/on, volume control, zoom, menu navigation, etc. They’re easy to use, and there are no complaints there.
Audio: Adjustable & Very Sensitive, Perfect For Light Sleepers
Not only does this monitor function as a video baby monitor, but it also has a great audio function as well. It has an adjustable volume setting, which is a much-loved feature. Some parents are light sleepers and find it very difficult to sleep with an audio baby monitor – every single whimper or small noise wakes them up! What’s nice about this monitor is that you can adjust it to whichever level you prefer. The loudest setting will allow you to hear every little move, while the lowest will only wake you when your baby is loudly crying.
Visual Indicator of Baby’s Crying is Great For Those Hard of Hearing
If you have hearing problems, you’ll be glad to know that the Motorola video baby monitor has a visual indicator that works in conjunction with the audio functionality as well. At the top of the parent unit is a light-up indicator which will show you how loudly your baby is crying.
No Interference, Even in Houses Full of Wireless Signals
Most modern homes are full of electronic devices that emit wireless signals, from cell phones and wireless internet routers to radios, etc. If you live in close proximity to your neighbors, you might even worry about interference from their wireless devices. This actually is a problem with some wireless baby monitors, but the Motorola should have absolutely no problem with this at all. I haven’t seen any reports of issues of interference when using the monitor whatsoever.
FHSS (Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum) is Extremely Secure
You might have heard about the recent concern that some baby monitors are insecure, allowing for anyone with a similar monitor to capture the signal of the monitor in your home. Since the Motorola digital video baby monitor uses FHSS (frequency-hopping spread spectrum) technology, a technology developed by the US military to increase protection in their wireless communications, there should be no such security risk.
It’s the Little Features that Make it Stand Out
Motorola’s baby monitor has a few neat features that make it stand out from the other monitors on the market. These include:
- Temperature sensor and display: This shows you the temperature in the baby’s nursery. It’s very accurate, too.
- Long-lasting battery: When fully-charged, the included battery should last you about 8-10 hours. It’s recommended to have it plugged if possible, though.
- Two-way communication: If necessary, you are able to communicate both ways with the monitor.
- Wall-mountable: You can mount the camera on the wall, which can be very convenient depending on how your baby’s nursery is situated.
- Remote pan/tilt/zoom (MBP36 only): The higher-end MBP36 model lets you remotely control the camera to get a better view of your baby. It works in a way that shouldn’t disrupt their sleep, either.
- Five built-in lullaby songs: The Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor comes built in with five nice lullaby songs. While this isn’t a major feature, it’s a nice little touch that your baby will enjoy.
- Expandable: If necessary, you can purchase extra camera and parent units: it works with up to 2 parent units and 4 separate camera units. (Update: As far as I can tell, although this is advertised as being able to use extra parent units, I’ve not been able to find any sold separately, nor have I found any official information stating that you can use more than one with a single camera.
Differences Between the MBP33 vs MBP36
There are a few main differences between the two models that you might be wondering about. They are as follows:
|Price||~$175 (Check here)||~$225 (Check here)|
We personally think that the larger screen and ability to remotely adjust the camera is worth the extra money, but it might not be for you. The lower-priced MBP33 is an excellent monitor in its own right, too.
The Conclusion: Pros & Cons
The Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor is For…
- Parents that want a night-vision monitor that works well even in pitch blackness.
- Parents that might want multiple cameras and video units.
- Parents that want a highly-adjustable monitor.
- Parents that want the best video baby monitor on the market.
Is the Motorola Digital Video Baby Monitor Worth the Price?
We think that this is the best video baby monitor on the market. It is packed full of great features, and the night vision and large LCD screens are excellent. The construction of both the video and camera units are of very high quality, and it should last you a very long time.
When it comes to choosing between the MBP33 and MBP36, the main difference is the larger screen and adjustable pan/tilt/zoom on the more expensive MBP36. We think that this is worth the money and would recommend the MBP36, but if you go with the MBP33 it’s still an excellent monitor, too.