DXR-5 Video Camera is killing my wireless internet

I have AT&T Uverse and I’m mostly happy with the service they provide.  One of the issues that I’ve struggled with is their internet service.  You are locked into using their router / gateway, as the one device provides the connections to TV, phone, and internet (both wired and wireless).

I have a desktop computer in one location that really doesn’t get the best wifi connection.  I also don’t have a hardwired Cat-5 cable there either.  The wireless generally works on that computer, but I noticed recently that the connection has been really slow.  I started to wonder if it was my baby monitor video camera interfering.

Looking online, it seems like other people have reported the same problem.  It is interesting that the video monitor uses the same 2.4ghz spectrum as most wifi internet, but it uses it in a different way.  Wifi internet uses a specific channel within the 2.4 ghz spectrum and you can set the channel used on the router to try to reduce interference from other wireless internet routers.  The Infant Optics video camera, though, uses a different technology called Frequency Hopping Spread Spectrum which constantly changes the channel being used by the camera.  As a result, it basically interferes with all the channels, regardless of what you set your internet router to use.

It turns out there isn’t a whole lot you can do, other than trying to keep the video camera and the receiver as far from the wireless internet devices.

But there are two additional options.  The newest wireless routers now are “dual band” meaning they can broadcast in both 2.4 Ghz and 5 Ghz.  You also need to have a device that can accept the 5 Ghz signals, though.  Most older wifi cards and laptops can not receive on the 5 Ghz band.  However, it would be fairly easy to get a 5 Ghz card for my desktop computer.  As I mentioned above, with Uverse, you are stuck with the router they give you.  But, you can actually use a different wireless router behind the Uverse router with some setting changes.  The other option is something called a powerline adapter.  Powerline adapaters allow you to use your home’s electrical wiring to create a hard-wired connection between the router and the computer.  There are pro’s and con’s to each of these options that I will probably write about soon, because these are the options I had to mull over.

Before I jumped to one of those options, which would involve shelling out additional money, and still may not work, I decided to email Infant Optics and see if they had any solutions.  Here’s what they sent:

Dear Sigmoid,

Thanks for your e-mail regarding to the WIFI problem with our DXR-5.

Our system operates with FHSS (Frequency-Hopping Spread Spectrum) technology.  It is an industrial standard for radio-frequency (RF) devices.  The idea of this standard is to avoid any RF device to occupy a fixed communication channel so other devices will not able to share the same frequency band (i.e. 2400MHz to 2483MHz).   So, we are sorry that we cannot fix the communication channel at any specified frequency, as it is required by government regulations.

However, nowadays, all 2.4GHz router are still using an old and fixed communication channel to achieve a steady performance and huge transfer rate.   The bandwidth, which they occupy, is also huge (15Mhz per channel for WIFI, and 3MHz for our devices).  Considering that we are sharing the same 2.4GHz frequency with the WIFI device, it is difficult to totally eliminate the possible conflict between 2 devices.

Our first suggestion is trying to use the channel 1 or channel 15 (the last channel) of your router.  The conflict between WIFI and our devices will be less at both ends.  Also, it will have less overlapping of frequency from other WIFI device (says the WIFI router at your neighbor)

Our other suggestion is try to place your RF devices (including your router, PC/smart phones, our camera and monitor unit ) at proper location.  Putting any 2 device too close together will definitely result in higher potential risk of conflict.  Placing them  further away from each other will help to decrease conflict.

I hope the above arrangement will help the situation.  For any further questions, please feel free to contact us. Your satisfaction is our utmost priority and we will be happy to guide you through a product return if needed.

Thanks,

Infant Optics.

8 Responses

  1. Song says:

    Great article! I have exactly same problem.

    I am going to set my router channel to 1 or 15 to see if that helps.

    I wonder how your tests ended up though. 🙂

    Thanks again.

  2. Simeon says:

    Ran into your website after googling this issue the first night we got the monitor. Ever come up with a solution?

  3. Ima Cynic says:

    Unfortunately, I never did come up with a solution to the interference. I wound up going with a PowerLine adapter which basically uses the electrical circuits in the house to act as wired connections between my computer and the router. It works very well for sending a fast internet signal to computers that don’t move. I use it with my desktop computer that is just at the brink of getting an adequate wifi signal, as well as a network based printer and a “smart TV”.

    With my cell phone, I find that I get the worst wifi signal when I’m near the camera so I just have to deal with poor wifi reception when I’m in the baby’s room. When I’m near the receiver, there are some problems, but I can usually work around it in most parts of my house.

    While the powerline adapter seems to solve my internet connection issues caused by the camera, I now have new problems with my AT&T Uverse. It seems that when the powerline adapter is plugged in, I get stuttering when watching programs from my DVR that were recorded in high definition. I should probably just make a new post on that topic as it is beyond the scope of this discussion.

  4. RK says:

    Thanks for this post! I was wondering why our internet connection was suffering. Finally made the connection that it was crappy whenever the Infant Optics baby monitor was on. How annoying! Did a Google search and found your page. Also found something on Amazon Q&A that also says to try channel 1. I’m gonna give it a try and cross my fingers!

  5. DS says:

    We have a newer Asus AC router and it seems to be working fine. sometimes it will intermittently slow down, but most of the time we don’t notice any issues. My suggestion is that new routers that have the 5GHz option may reduce the effects of interference.

    • Ima Cynic says:

      DS,

      I’ve been meaning to post an update as I recently got the Costco Netgear Nighthawk AC1750 dual band router because I was having increased issues with interference. It’s a long story and someday I’ll make a new post about it. The AC router ultimately solved all of our problems too. The only issue I had after getting the new router was with an older laptop that doesn’t have a 5ghz card. That laptop was getting a good enough signal to function, but every time I would turn it on, the baby monitor would temporarily lose connection and beep loudly. The beeping was not only annoying, but we were worried it would wake up our kids. Ultimately, I also got a TP-Link AC1200 wireless adapter for my laptop so it could avoid the 2.4ghz band entirely. I even turned off the 2.4ghz band on my Netgear router, because it would occasionally bump the baby monitor offline if a dual band device was turned on in the house.

      So, now everything seems to be working fine, thanks to switching everything over to either powerline adapter hard wired connections or 5ghz wifi connections.

      • Sarah says:

        How do you change channels on a router? Mine doesn’t have any buttons like that

        • Ima Cynic says:

          The channel settings are accessed through the configuration options typically accessed through a Web browser on a computer connected to the router. Ultimately, the only real fix was for me to get a dual band router and use the 5ghz band for my laptop and phone. The configuration for your router depends on your router brand and model. Try Googling your router brand and model configuration panel. You will have to go to a computer connected to the router, open a browser window, and then browse to the IP address of the router, typically something like 192.168.0.1 but it varies slightly by brand. It will then ask for a login and password, but yours will still be the default, which again will vary by manufacturer. If you need more help, reply with your router brand and model and I’ll help you locate instructions.

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