Annke Tivona Baby Monitor review – Not just for babies anymore…

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REVIEW – Got a baby? No? Need to keep an eye on something, but don’t want to stay in the same room staring at it like a hungry vulture? A full-featured baby monitor like the Annke Tivona expertly fills the gaps that streaming cameras miss.

What is it?

The Annnke Tivona Baby Monitor is a wireless,  camera and display that provides remote monitoring.

Hardware specs

  • Model: Tivona
  • Radiofrequency range: 2400-2483.5MHz
  • Operating temperature: 14-122°F (10-50°C)
  • Operating humidity: 15-85%
  • Wireless transmission 1000 feet maximum
  • Storage temperature: -14-140°F (-20 – 60°C)
  • Monitor:
    • 5-inch TFT LCD
    • Storage video resolution: 1920 x 1080 resolution
    • Screen resolution: 854 x 480
    • Camera modes: Single, dual, quad mode
    • Image zoom: 1.5x, 2X
    • Interface: USB-C
    • Power: 5V, 2A
    • 4000mAh internal battery
    • Battery life:  ~8 hours, Standby:  ±14 hours
    • Supports connections to up to four cameras
    • Supports two-way intercom
    • Power consumption: 4.3 watts
  • Camera:
    • ¼” image sensor
    • 60° (±5°) viewing angle
    • 5-meter infrared range
    • Interface: USB-C
    • Two-way intercom
    • Power: 5V, 1A
    • Effective pixels: 1920 x 1080
    • Minimum Illumination: >6 lux with infrared off, <3 lux with infrared on
    • Rotational angle: 310° pan, 50° tilt
    • Temperature detection range: 32-104°F (0-40°C) ±1°
    • Power consumption: 3.8 watts

What’s in the box?

  • Annke Tivona Baby Monitor
  • LCD monitor
  • 3-meter USB-A to USB cable
  • 2-meter USB-A to USB-C cable
  • Two USB power adapters
  • User manual

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Design and features

The Annke Tivona arrives in a full-color box. It’s ok if you say, “Awwww!” when you see the sleeping baby. I confess I did.

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The contents are safely protected in lightweight molded plastic.

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The manual is very well written and illustrated.

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There are two USB-A power supplies, one is a skosh bigger. The larger of the two is the 2-Amp power supply for using and charging the monitor.

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There are two USB-A to USB-C cables. One is three meters (9’1”) and one is 1.2 meters (47 inches). Both have bright warning labels. For the love of God, please use extreme caution routing the cables to ensure they don’t snake their way anywhere near your bambino, cat, fan, grill

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Both the camera and monitor are equipped with USB-C sockets.

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The Annke Tivona Baby Monitor’s base has a 1/4-20 mounting nut in the base for ceiling or tripod use.

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The back of the Annke Tivona Baby Monitor carries the antenna, pairing button, and USB-C socket.  The camera doesn’t have an internal battery, but a portable power supply could be used if your needs are temporary.  “Temporary?” you ask. Yep! I can imagine using the Tivona to watch a mischievous dog in the backyard, the front porch for an important package, or the water level filling a pool.  Why not use a home security camera? I don’t want my phone to exclusively stream video am almost always multitasking something.

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The little tail is the temperature sensor.

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The camera is mounted on a motorized base for remote positioning.

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Camera aiming is done with the cursor buttons on the monitor. The others are “Brightness/Volume,” “Three Bars” (menu),” OK,”1|2” (camera select), and Pressing the “OK” button digitally zooms the camera image to 1.5x and 2x. The cursor and arrow buttons do double duty when accessing the menus.

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The “Microphone” button is press-to-talk for two-way voice communications.  There’s a slight delay and it works well despite limited fidelity from the small speaker. I would have liked to see a provision to disable the camera’s microphone when using it’s not needed, but it’s easy enough to turn the volume off on the monitor.

Monitor microphone…

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The back of the Annke Tivona Baby Monitor has an integrated kick-stand and the receiving antenna flips up to maximize range.

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A status LED changes from red to white when complete. Initial charging took about an hour to reach full capacity. From dead to a satiated battery took about four hours and 30 minutes using the 1 Amp charger and I expect it will be about half the time larger one.  I measured eight hours and 40 minutes of video time. Very nice.

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To power the monitor, press and hold the power button for three seconds and this happy cherub will greet you. “Awwww” again!

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The Annke Tivona Baby Monitor is pre-paired with the monitor and connects in about 10 seconds. Three more can be added and pressing the “1|2” button toggles the display between each camera, two, or four at once. I had only one camera so I only used single-image mode.

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The top left shows an icon indicating the wireless connection is present, the camera that’s currently selected, and a meter with a visual indication of the sound levels in the room. Towards the upper right, the camera’s temperature, the time, and battery level. Icons for Sound detection, temperature alerts, feeding timers, monitor sleep mode, and motion detection will appear when in use.

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At the bottom, the current date and time.

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To the left of the screen, is a set of buttons. The first button opens a pop-up for adjusting the brightness with the up and down arrow buttons, and volume with the left and right.

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The “Three Lines” button opens the menus, starting with the “Lullaby”. There are five different tunes to soothe a fussy room dweller. Interestingly, the first two sound like the themes from Hayao Miazaki’s movies (“Castle in the Sky” and one I couldn’t quite place). The remaining three we unfamiliar, but peaceful. Each plays for 20 seconds to about a minute and plays again, or all five can be played and repeated sequentially.  Five volume levels are available, but I found the music was a little distorted at the top level.

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Moving through the menus, next, the voice detection levels can be adjusted. When active and the monitor is in standby mode, sounds will turn the monitor on and produce a beep. This is a useful mode when caretakers want to grab some shuteye without leaving the monitor on.

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Temperature alerts can be as low as 32°F (0°C) and as high as 104°F (40°C).

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Feeding timers provide notifications when to nourish your bundle of joy.  Or… do you need an alert to check those. bar-be-que ribs every ten minutes?  Tivona can do that with a custom timer.

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The “Monitor Sleep” mode turns the monitor off after the specified time.

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“Motion Settings” detect motion present in the camera’s field of view and activate the display with an accompanying beep.

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The final menu page opens the “System Settings.”  Time and date, camera pairing, alert volume, language (English, German, French, Italian, Spanish, and Japanese), system restore, firmware, and “Image Setting” (image flip for ceiling mounting and day/night/automatic) are all configurable.

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“Frequency and Wifi” allow changing the refresh frequency should the observer see any flickering (50 or 60Hz).  Here, the term Wi-Fi is a misnomer – the system operates in the 2.4GHz range (similar to 801.11b/g), but does not connect to home Wi-Fi.

“Region” adjusts the system to comply with local laws and includes designations for FCC (USA) EU (Europe), MKK (Japan), and Other (Turbo). Please be sure this is correct or you might get a visit from the Federal Communications Commission (or other law enforcement agency), possibly a substantial financial penalty, and/or jail time. Not worth the risk.

A huge security benefit is Annke’s use of FHSS (Frequency-hopping spread spectrum). This transmission method changes the camera’s carrier frequency by a code known to the transmitter and receiver and makes it difficult to intercept and jam and is less prone to interference.  Because this system does not use Wi-Fi and has a range of about 1000 feet (300 meters), it’s not going to be hacked from halfway across the country… or the planet.

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During my tests of the Annke Tivona Baby Monitor,  I was able to receive a stable signal through walls and even inside a car four houses away (about 800 feet). I do not doubt that the Tivona would be able to transmit to the full 1000 feet in unencumbered, line-of-sight ideal conditions.

Perhaps the best feature is the ability to pan the camera 310° pan and tilt 50°. Motion is quite smooth with no jumps or skips and the motors are quiet enough that they shouldn’t trigger your toddler to tussler.

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The camera is equipped with infrared “night vision.” By default, switching between the “day” and “night” modes is automatic, but can be changed in the setup menu. “Night” mode is black-and-white. The photo is long exposure and the LEDs are visible as dim red dots with the naked eye.

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Day mode…

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Night mode…

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The digital zoom works reasonably well, but there was a decrease in image quality as expected.

Normal zoom…

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1.5x zoom…

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2x zoom…

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What I like

  • FHSS communications for added security
  • Always on monitoring without tying up my phone
  • Motion, temperature, sound, alerts
  • Countdown timers
  • Remote control camera aiming

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What I would change

  • Add a switch on the camera to turn off the microphone for privacy.

Final thoughts

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The Annke Tivona baby monitor is an excellent supplement to my existing home security system, as well as being dandy for supervising stuff that may need immediate attention. Integrated temperature monitoring, long-range reception, and always-on video are ideal for guarding my 3D printer, and, it doesn’t monopolize my phone! Thank you, Annke!

Price:   $119.00. from Annke, $79.99 from Amazon
Where to buy: Annke, Amazon
Source: The sample for this review was supplied by Annke.

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