Vtech VM333

VTech VM333 Video Monitor: Not Just for Babies

Geek Culture

This month we’ve been sponsored by the VTech VM333 Video Monitor, which is primarily sold as a baby monitor device. However, in the couple months I’ve been trying out the VM333, I’ve realized that it has some pretty good non-baby uses, too.

Vtech VM333
The VM333 is pretty handy when you’ve got older kids, too. Photo: Jonathan H. Liu

One of the primary times I use the VM333 is when I’m down in the basement playing board games. (You know, so I can write up reviews for you to read!) The problem is, when I’m in the basement, I often can’t even hear the doorbell just one floor above, let alone anything that’s happening on the second or third floor. So I’ve got one camera set up by a window near the front door. I can pan it to face outside to watch for people on the front porch, or turn it to look into the living room and front hall if the kids are home and I’m keeping an eye on them.

The talkback feature has also cut down on a lot of yelling upstairs. My older kids have the third floor loft as their bedroom, but getting them downstairs—to get ready for school, for dinnertime, or whatever—involves either climbing a couple flights of stairs or shouting loudly enough for them to hear over whatever it is they’re currently doing. Using the talkback feature, I’ve been able to look around to see which room they’re in, and then either have a brief conversation with them or call them down.

My oldest daughter has taken to doing her homework up in a second floor room so that she won’t be distracted by her siblings … but as she’s easily distracted, I need to check in on her every so often to make sure she’s actually doing homework and not just reading some other book or watching traffic out the window. The monitor lets me check in on her without leaving the kitchen (by the time she’s working on homework, I’m usually working on dinner). And, once again, the talkback lets me give her a vocal nudge if she needs it.

Finally, my kids tend to stay up and talk after bedtime. I’m sure yours are perfectly great at bedtime, but mine often need a few reminders to stay in bed, and to keep things down so they don’t wake up their baby sister a floor below. But of course, now that baby’s sleeping on the second floor, I can’t holler up from the first floor, so it entails a trip up to the third floor to hush them. With the VM333, I can stay here at my desk, tell them to go to sleep, and continue writing my post, rather than spending a few minutes to get all the way up and back.

While the VM333 won’t work as a home-monitoring solution since the wireless monitor only works within a certain range, it does serve as a decent video intercom system (with the parent having control of it, of course). As my youngest has started to toddle and goes up and down the stairs on her own, it’s been really nice to have the multiple cameras around the house so I can see what she’s up to. And my older kids appreciate being able to get my attention without galloping all the way downstairs.

The VM333 is available for purchase from Amazon or directly from VTech.

Review unit provided by VTech.

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