Camera system, integration and baby monitor advice?


(John) #1

Hi guys,

My wife and I are looking for some advice! We are expecting our baby girl to arrive at the end of March! Yay! With that said, I’m a huge techy and want to leverage technology to our advantage.

We have been talking about adding cameras to the house so we have video surveillance. This way we can check on things such as the dogs, while we are at work. I’ve done a ton of research on this category and am having a hard time picking a solution.

We also want to have a video camera for the nursery so we can keep an eye on the little one. I’ve read where ST users advise away from going with an integrated solution just for reliability on the platform with something as sensitive as a baby. I have no qualms with that, I’m just trying to figure out what the best, most efficient method would be? Should I be looking at IP cameras for both home surveillance and the nursery? Should I ditch the IP camera in the nursery and go with one of those expensive motorola baby-specific video monitors? Either way, we would need some device that could be on at all times so we can view the nursery camera (I was thinking a cheap tablet with smarttiles or something of that nature). This way, while the baby is sleeping, I can have the monitor propped up on the coffee table or wherever we are.

ST community, what have you or would you do in my scenario?

P.S. - I have the capability of going with wireless or wired cameras as I have put in a structured networking rack with a 24-port managed switch etc (networking is my career lol). I don’t have jacks or runs to nursery yet (or bedrooms) but I can make that happen! Just wanted to throw that out there so you know what options I’m compatible with for possible solutions.

Any help is greatly appreciated!!


(Allan) #2

Congrats! I’m in the same boat, ours is due mid April. What I did was I bought a D-Link 2123L on clearance from BestBuy for $70 since that is a “supported” camera along with a regular V-Tech audio monitor. W are going to use the always on audio monitor then if we need to check the video feed as a just in case. Dedicated audio monitors are simply very reliable so I rather have that in place and the SmartThings as a just in case like I’m in the basement and I hear crying I can check it out without going up two flights of stairs.


(John) #3

Thank you for the reply and information! I will check those cameras out.

Any one else want to contribute their thoughts?


(Andrew) #4

Congrats!

I hope this isn’t OBE by now.

When I had my kids 6 and 4 years ago), SmartThings wasn’t a thing, but getting royally screwed by the baby monitor cartel certainly was. For my first, we went with an expensive (about $150) custom video monitor with Li-Ion batteries in the handheld monitor. It worked, but it wasn’t amazing. Audio and video quality was poor, the battery sucked, it wasn’t encrypted, and the range was terrible. At some point, we lost the charger for the monitor, too.

For my second, we refused to get screwed by buying specialty but sub-standard equipment. Instead, we installed a foscam (still not encrypted) which had much better performance for significantly less cost. Add on a $1 app for a smartphone, and presto: baby camera!

Foscams and a few other IP cams are supported by SmartThings, but for this purpose I don’t see there being much point of integrating it with ST.

Good luck with the baby! The only advice I’ll give you is this: babies are actually considerably more robust than we give them credit for. Humans have been raising them for thousands of years - most of it without electricity, artificial lighting, or even plumbing. When you look at it that way, baby monitors are purely a luxury item that you can definitely do without…


#5

Came here looking for the same. My first is on the way and I see this as an opportunity to finally get that IP cam I’ve been wanting as well as save some money on an expensive dedicated baby monitor.

This thread was very informative: Baby Monitor Options - New Hub 2.0

At this point I’m now just trying to determine which models of the IP cams are best suited for the job. In the thread above the OP went with a Samsung Smartcam; however many posts had mentioned different models of the Foscam cameras which I believe may offer a better value for the $. I had previously set my sites on a Foscam C1. Is this an appropriate choice?

Can anybody offer feedback on the Samsung vs the different Foscam models?


(Allan) #6

None of the Foscam’s have live streaming through SmartThings if that matters to you. I picked up a D-Link DCS-2132L for $70 on clearance through BestBuy. Meant to buy a second but they no longer have them, at least online.

SmartThings seems to only support +$100 cameras for streaming and only 6 total (5 still being produced). Hopefully that changes soon. The Foscam is nice if you are not going to integrate into SmartThings and want the streaming video. Get the app TinyCam Pro whcih goes on sale for $0.99 or $1.99 pretty often to manage it and other IP cameras.


#7

It does matter to me. Any idea why this is? Do we expect it to eventually change? What would be a comparable product that is supported?


(Allan) #8

Only those on the “approved” list…a overpriced Samsung and some D-Links similarly overpriced especially when compared to the foscam. See the compatibility list and search for Camera: https://www.smartthings.com/compatible-products then put in a device request for the foscam or any other camera here: Suggest a Device .

-Allan