Infant Optics baby monitors are made and marketed by Genexus LLC, an American company based in California. In addition to baby monitors, Genexus sells handheld evaporative fans and light therapy lamps with “full spectrum” lighting. Currently, Genexus is a defendant in a patent infringement suit brought by Alberta, Canada-based The Litebook Company Ltd. regarding Genexus’ light therapy device.
For years, Genexus marketed only one video baby monitor model, the Infant Optics DXR-5. It is a highly-regarded product, competitively priced, that dispensed with superfluous features that many parents didn’t need: lullabies, nightlights and a 2-way talkback feature. It was a hit with Amazon customers, who made the Infant Optics DXR-5 the best-selling monitor on Amazon’s best seller list for baby monitors in 2012 – 2013.
Building on the success on the DXR-5, Genexus debuted the DXR-8 in September 2013. which features interchangeable lens capability. This flexibility allows the camera to switch to a wide-angle lens for better viewing of the child when baby becomes a toddler and becomes more mobile.
Infant Optics Baby Monitors Features
Infant Optics DXR-5
The DXR-5 consists of a parent unit (monitor) and a baby unit (camera).
- The parent unit has a 2.4 inch (6 cm) color display monitor with 320×240 resolution, auto-tuned and virtually encrypted by FHSS between 2400 to 2483 MHz frequencies for static-free, wireless digital transmission. Its range covers distances of up to 800 feet (244 meters) in open areas and 150 feet (45.7 meters) in enclosed areas.
- Capable of supporting up to four cameras simultaneously, the monitor has a voice activated (vox) battery saving mode with a low volume auto mute feature. It can be activated either manually or by vox.
- The monitor’s LED indicators covers power, signal coverage and reception statuses with ten step increments for volume control and six step increments for brightness.
- Powered by AC, the monitor also comes with a rechargeable, high-performance lithium-ion battery and a 6V 1A DC adapter with 110v – 240v input that allows the unit to be used worldwide.
- Battery life lasts for up to 3 – 4 hours. It also includes a convenient waist clip for use when the monitor is not standing on its own.
- The DXR-5 baby unit (camera) has a Cellular Management Operation System (CMOS) sensor with a Video Graphics Adapter (640×480 pixels; 1.33:1 aspect ratio). It has an Effective Focal Length (EFL) of 2.95 mm and a Back Focal Length (BFL) of 2.48 mm.
- Automatic infrared (IR) vision LEDs adjust to dimming light and shows images from up to ten feet away.
- The DXR-5 camera has a lateral angle range of +/- 15° and a vertical angle range up to 90°.
- It also includes a built-in, high sensitivity gain microphone.
- As with the monitor, the baby unit is powered by AC and also comes with a rechargeable, high-performance lithium battery and a 6V 1A DC adapter with 110v – 240v input that allows the unit to be used worldwide.
- Mounting options include tabletop, wall-mounted or upright-stand mounted and mounting screws are included.
Take a look at the Infant Optics DXR-5 instruction manual here.
Infant Optics DXR-5 Video Review
Infant Optics DXR-8
- Reputed to be the first baby monitor with interchangeable lens technology, the DXR-8 Video Monitor has three separate lens types — normal, wide angle (sold separately) and zoom.
- The camera streams real-time video to a compact 3.5 inch (8.9 cm) color display monitor, which is larger than the DXR-5. It includes all of the features found in the DXR-5 and extras including 2-way talkback and room temperature sensor.
- Also new to the DXR-8 are dual USB chargers with an additional power cord to charge from both a computer or an AC outlet.
- Battery life has been extended to ten hours in power-saving mode and six hours with the display screen continuously on. One would be hard pressed to find a video baby monitor with a longer battery life.
- The wide angle lens available with the DXR-8 covers a panoramic 170°, which is helpful for monitoring active babies and toddlers who wander the nursery. There’s also an extended vertical turning angle (95° up, 25° down) and an extended horizontal range up to 135° both left and right. It is a true PTZ (pan/tilt/zoom) camera with 2x zoom.
Take a look at the Infant Optics DXR-8 instruction manual here.
For the DXR-8 add-on camera quick start guide, see here
Infant Optics DXR-8 Video Review
Both DXR models come with a full range of accessories including additional monitor and camera unit AC adapters, additional lithium-ion battery packs and add-on cameras. The optical wide angle lens is compatible with the DXR-8 only. Note that each model has separate accessories that are not interchangeable with the other.
As noted above, the Infant Optics DXR-5 has been a favorite of Amazon shoppers with over 2,800 customer reviews as of August 2014. While the aggregate rating on Amazon is 3.8 stars, half are 5 stars. The DXR-8, seventh on Amazon’s top rated baby video monitors, fares somewhat better with Amazon customers, rating 4.4 out of 5 stars based on slightly over 200 reviews.
One respected and independent reviewer is author Rob Pegoraro of ‘PC Magazine,’ who has reviewed a number of video baby monitors. While he deems the Infant Optics DXR-8 a notch below the Editors’ Choice Withings Smart Baby Monitor, the DXR-8 still merits a “Good” rating. Pegoraro sums up the DXR-8 as “a decent, simple monitor” and the “optical zoom lens is a stand-out feature that adds flexibility.”
Other reviewers laud the DXR-8 including bestbabyvideomonitors.com, kidsafetyfirst.com (with a 90% rating and a “Best in Class” award), thebestvideobabymonitors.com and bestbabymonitorsguide.com while the DXR-5 is praised by toptenreviewratings.com, diapers.com, babymonitor101.com and babymonitorexpo.com.
Infant Optics Baby Monitor Buying Tips
For those looking for the best prices on Infant Optics video baby monitors, as of August 2014 Amazon has the DXR-5 available at under $100 with free shipping and free returns with gift wrapping available. The DXR-8 comes with a considerably higher price tag. Both come with a full one year warranty with support and service available seven days a week.
The Infant Optics DXR-5 may be the best value of all video baby monitors on the market and the DXR-8 is a quality product as well. In fact, one could expect to pay the same amount for a high quality audio-only baby monitor as one would for the DXR-5. However, both have limitations. Perhaps most significantly, neither support Wi-Fi; several other video baby monitors in the DXR-8 price range have Wi-Fi capability. Other gripes: some users report “glitchy” reception and a “jerky” appearing video at times from the DXR-5, the DXR-8 emits a “beeping” noise when it goes into sleep mode and there is no battery backup for the camera — viz, it must be plugged into an electrical receptacle to work. Also note that the DXR-5 uses camera batteries which are substantially different from the batteries used by other baby monitors.
All in all, both Infant Optics DXR models are high quality baby products, easy to commission and to use. If one doesn’t need every single feature that are available on other models, users should be happy with the value the DXR delivers.