Car DVR's

Someone asked me about Car DVR's so I decided to do a quick and dirty write up...

I have the Black Box G1W Car DVR which I installed a SanDisk Ultra 32gb Class 10 micro SD card into. Without getting into the years of using car dvr's and the arguing with LL about them, this one works the best on the market for the cheapest amount of money with the most desirable features. It plugs into your cig-outlet to charge and turns on and starts recording when you start your vehicle, the suction cup is good to go and the class ten 32gb card will record about 2-3 weeks worth of footage for the average person. I'd recommend setting it to 3 or 5 minute clips instead of one giant file (which may be corrupted if it turns off randomly). 

The best car dvr on the market right now, is the Zero Edge Tech Z-Edge Z3, which will also require you to put a 32gb card into it, but can accept larger storage if required - read the link for max.

Things that you want (in my experience) on a car dvr - ability to see the video real time, meaning you can pull the dvr off its mount and show someone (like the police or yourself) what you saw to back up your side of events, 720p@60fps is highly recommended as it works the best in night time and provides a "real life" feel to the video. 1080p@30fps is good, but the files will be huge and the movement may not be as smooth as 720p, auto-start-record on vehicle ignition through cig-power outlet, most have this and its good when you have a remote start but still overall works well as a "set and forget" type of setup. 

Things that you should do once you get it - turn off the "flashlight" or on camera light feature - you have headlamps for a reason, and turn off the IR light feature as it will reflect off your windshield and blind your video recording ability. Make sure the area you mount the camera is as close to center as possible without obstructing your view of the road. I mount mine on the passenger of the rear view mirror so that most of the DVR is blocked by the mirror, try to get it as center as possible. Clean the glass with a windex style cleaner and make sure the mount is slightly tighter than hand-tight (torque it just a 1/8th turn after hand tight, but not too much as it'll break since its plastic) - make sure the suction cup has no dirt/fiber in it before you mount it. Buy a good sun-protection visor and when it gets hot install it so it covers the camera as the plastic mount and suction cup will melt or unstick itself or unscrew itself because of the heat.

Other than all the above, once you have it installed test the unit by randomly pull the card and checking the footage of your commute on your computer, this is important because you will be able to see if it records every single second of your commute and does not skip anything because of an issue - do this within the first 72 hours a few times, any issues return it and get a new one, same with the card, if there are issues with the DVR return it, if the files don't read well, are corrupt or otherwise do not work as advertised return the card for a new one. I'd recommend leaving the card in place an buying a card reader for ease of use.

Good luck!

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