The video recorder can become a faithful assistant to the motorist, helping to sort out difficult situations, accidents on the road or parking lot. Recordings from the device can prove the owner’s innocence and protect against common auto-fakes. Not all models can guarantee the required level of protection, so it is important to figure out how to choose the right DVR .
The problem is that the study of technical characteristics is not enough to identify the optimal model. For example, you can buy a video recorder for 1,500 rubles, the characteristics of which are not much different from the device for 15,000 rubles. Logically, the question arises about the need for overpayment. In fact, the difference in recording and convenience between these devices will be colossal.
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The reason for the differences in the element base, software and design. Not all points of interest can be found in the descriptions, so when choosing, you need to study the reviews about the models, see reviews of DVRs and examples of recording.
Overpayment is not always necessary. To do this, you need to deal with the nuances: some options may be useless for the user. To avoid becoming another victim of a marketing ploy, you need to deal with common myths about DVRs.
DVR recording always helps in court
Recordings from DVRs can indeed be used in court. Read more about this in the article ” Do I need a DVR in the car “. The admission of the video to the case as evidence can be challenged. The most common reasons are poor quality and violation of the evidence transfer protocol. In addition, the recording does not always reflect the full picture of what happened. In this case, the video will also not be included.
Subject to the procedures for the transfer and registration of the video, it can really act as proof of innocence. Recordings from inexpensive models may not go through in court due to poor video quality – in this case, the DVR will be useless.
You need to take only certified models
Certification is required for devices powered by 40 V (specialized video surveillance equipment) and measuring instruments. Car DVR is not one of them. Most civilian models operate on a 12-24 V on-board network. Certification of such devices is a voluntary procedure to confirm quality. The lack of a certificate will not cause the records to be “wrapped” during the trial.
GPS / GLONASS function required
The video recorder is not a certified measuring device, therefore, it will not work to dispute the fact of speeding with its help. The problem is that the device allows you to estimate only the average speed of movement, and the positioning has an error of about 10 meters.
On the other hand, geolocation systems can be used to draw up a picture of an accident, a general trajectory of movement, and to clarify the location of a car. Coordinates are important when drawing up a Europrotocol. However, a smartphone can also cope with this task – for this you need to enable the display of geotags in the images. Since 2017, GLONASS has been the preferred geolocation system.
The DVR will record everything
Shooting on a DVR is different from shooting on a camera: the device records small clips with a specified duration. The “stuffing” of inexpensive models processes information slowly, so the intervals between records can be several seconds. There is a chance that the right moment will be missing from the recording.
The recorder should always have a display
DVRs without a display are smaller and lighter, making them less visible and easier to fix. Onsite video viewing is done by connecting a smartphone – most manufacturers offer their own apps. In such cases, the Wi-Fi module is useful.
On the display, you can observe the process of recording and triggering, get additional information. The presence of a display simplifies the choice of a place for installation, interaction with the equipment as a whole. The display can be distracting on the road, which is why motorists often turn it off when driving. In addition, the battery life from the built-in battery is significantly shorter for models with a display.
The display is a useful option, but in some situations it can be both an advantage and a disadvantage.
Full HD = high image detail
Most models offer Full HD shooting. What is the difference between low-cost DVRs and top-tier devices? Full HD – image resolution 1920 × 1080, but some devices use software scaling technology – interpolation. In this case, the resulting picture is stretched to the specified resolution. As a result, poor detail, blurry image and no information content. It is impossible to consider the number or identify the person in the video with strong interpolation.
For shooting in Full HD, a sensor with a resolution of 2.1 megapixels is required. More expensive models usually use better matrices with some margin, but the same 2.1 megapixels will be active.
4K for DVR – brute force
If we talk about real 4K, then everything is not so simple. A high pixel density in good lighting conditions results in increased picture detail. So the difference between 4K and Full HD will be palpable. In the dark, the situation is the opposite. This is because with the same sensor size, an increase in pixel density affects light sensitivity. The problem is solved with the help of night shooting mode, high-quality optics and special programs.
Another issue with 4K is file size. For such recorders, you need a card with a large memory capacity, and preferably two.
60 FPS – minimum
The minimum frequency that ensures smooth playback of the saw is 25 frames per second. Bigger is better, but it doesn’t matter anymore. In most cases, 30 FPS is enough.
In theory, there are situations where an increased frequency may be beneficial. Most road accidents happen while driving. Therefore, it is extremely difficult to clearly capture the license plate or the driver’s face. DVRs have twice the chance of capturing a readable picture in 60 FPS mode than in 30 FPS. In fact, this can only be useful when driving at high speed. And then on condition that the oncoming car is moving at the same high speed. In an urban setting, there is no real difference. The clarity of the image depends more on the quality of the camera unit, “filling” and software.
When shooting in 60 FPS mode, the frame shutter speed is halved, which reduces the brightness of the picture.
The higher the bitrate, the higher the quality
Bitrate is the recording rate, which is related to the bandwidth of the hardware. When recording an image with a higher resolution, a higher bit rate is required. Reducing the flow will result in artifacts and blurring. From this it follows that the higher the shooting parameters, the higher the bit rate is needed.
It should be noted that the quality of the recording depends not only on the bit rate, but also on the codec, video format, firmware, not to mention the “stuffing”. The parameter affects the file size. Also, a high bit rate can slow down system performance.
So the bitrate will help you compare the selected models when recording in the same format with the same settings. However, you should not focus only on this parameter.
The wider the viewing angle, the better
It would seem that with an increase in the viewing angle, the information content of the video increases, but there are several pitfalls here. With an increase in the parameter, the requirements for the matrix, optics and firmware grow, especially for shooting in the dark. In budget models, when moving away from the central one, the quality of shooting is often lost.
Manufacturers can specify the viewing angle horizontally or diagonally (most often). For example, an angle of 170 ° diagonally corresponds to approximately 130 ° horizontally. As the viewing angle increases, the detail range decreases. When recording widescreen video, you may notice a fish-eye effect. Systems with two or more cameras can be considered as an alternative.
To shoot at night, the DVR must have a backlight
LED or IR illumination may be required to record video in low light conditions. There are two problems here. Windshield and mirror surfaces can reflect light and illuminate the camera, and the illumination range is only a few meters. This does not apply to expensive models with high-quality matrix and glass optics.
Infrared illumination in entry-level models is used to record video with the headlights off, inside the passenger compartment or for shooting from the passenger compartment. For example, when communicating with traffic police officers. Alternatively, external light sources such as a flashlight can be used for this purpose.
The quality of night shooting depends more on the light sensitivity of the matrix and the availability of specialized modes for night video shooting. The favorites in this direction are the SONY EXMOR and SONY STARVIS sensors, but the competitors also have enough interesting analogs. Such matrices are used in video surveillance systems.
G-sensor will quickly fill storage with useless records due to false positives
The statement makes sense, especially if you remember the quality of our roads. A DVR with a basic sensitivity level will really quickly fill the memory with videos with false positives. Such files are often protected from being overwritten. They are stored in a separate archive, which over time can take up all the memory on the SD card.
However, the user usually has the option to calibrate or at least disable the G-sensor. More expensive models offer advanced customization. Sensitivity parameters are adjusted individually for the vehicle and the state of local roads. In models without setting the sensitivity of the accelerometer, the user will have to manually delete the records of false alarms.
2-in-1 devices are better than a dash cam
The main advantage of hybrid devices is simplified installation and connection. In addition to the function of a video recorder, such devices can have the functions of a navigator, an action camera, but most often a radar detector.
Video recorder, radar detector DaoCam Combo Video recorder, radar detector ROADGID PREMIER SUPERHD In fact, hybrid devices have disadvantages compared to separate devices.
In the event of a malfunction, the user loses the functions of both devices.
Weak hardware with one low-power processor in budget models can affect system performance.
For a dash cam, it is important to find a place with an optimal view, and for additional functions, an optimal view from the driver’s seat is needed. A swivel screen is not the best solution, because moving joints will loosen with constant vibration.
Focus on economy in most models, so advanced features and “stuffing” are rare.
It is worth noting that a radar detector can not always warn about radars on the road: there are radars that can measure the speed of vehicles by video, without radiation. In any case, it is better to observe the speed limit and not violate traffic rules. And in some countries, you can get a fine for a radar detector.
Chinese DVRs are a waste of money
Chinese devices can be divided into two main categories. The first one is high-quality Chinese devices developed using technologies of famous brands. Many companies order the assembly of their products from Chinese factories. Such factories often produce their own products, adhering to quality standards. The second category is the products of unnamed Asian enthusiasts, which, at best, have a russification curve.
Six models from different manufacturers
In both cases, the appearance of the device copies the original device of well-known brands. Models of the first group have a good “stuffing” and provide an acceptable quality of shooting. Models of the second category are designed for those who need a cheaper product. It is not uncommon to catch the difference between these groups even visually – gaps, gaps, backlash and low build quality of cheap Chinese recorders are striking.
Need a big battery
Yes and no. Autonomy is needed when the device must operate without power from the on-board network. For example, outside the passenger compartment, when the recorder is used as an action camera, or for filming video from the scene of an accident. A battery needs a device to record while parking. For example, such recorders can record a shock, receiving a signal from an accelerometer, and also activate recording when motion is detected. You can read more about how the motion sensor in DVRs works here .
A large battery is useful for those who often leave a car in the parking lot unattended. If the user removes the recorder before exiting, then the battery is not needed. As a last resort, you can shoot video outside the cabin from your smartphone.
The DVR must be powered by supercapacitors
Supercapacitors will be useful for those who do not remove the DVR while parking. Supercapacitors can last longer in difficult conditions, but they also wear out over time. Motorists who do not leave their car on the street for a long time in winter or summer will hardly be able to adequately appreciate the advantages of supercapacitors in comparison with high-quality batteries.
The listed myths at least have an ambiguous interpretation. Some stereotypes do work, but under certain conditions. To get an idea of the model, it is not enough to study the technical characteristics: when choosing a DVR, it is better to rely on user reviews and sample recordings. Thus, you can avoid overpayments, and choose the best DVR with an affordable budget.