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BlackVue DR900S-2CH Dashcam
Author: Bill Lepse
Manufacturer: BlackVue
Source: BlackVue
Purchase: Amazon.com
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Page: 8 of 9 [ 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 ]
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June 08, 2018

Performance (General):

Parking mode works really well. So long as you have one of their batteries or in my case the Power Magic Pro this all happens without you having to do anything but enable it in the settings. I really appreciate the separate G sensor settings for Parking mode since I could set this to be much more sensitive. But understand that there is no way to set these so that door opening/closing won't set this off but be able to catch someone dinging your door. The motion sensing seemed to work reasonably well but I found this ended up creating a lot of extra recordings. In the end I disabled this and just went for impact sensing.

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In Normal mode you have the G sensor settings too but I had a hard time finding a good setting. Problem is the roads in NJ flat out suck. You go from pothole to pothole and initially much of my commute was labeled an event. I was able to tweak it so only the biggest ones were flagged which works for me. I can see this being exceptionally beneficial for those with low profile tires and expensive rims. If your wheel gets eaten by one of these potholes you'd be able to prove where it happened and maybe get the town to pay. Overall this system works well but I was left thinking of how they could make it better. I would love to see this be a two stage system. At a high state you do your normal event marking saving that one minute file. Plenty of detail to show what happened. But for a high high state I would love to see this camera have the ability to flag the previous few files plus a few after. I can see this being useful in the event of an accident. Often the other driver is acting like an idiot for more than just the instant of the impact. Since this camera saves (50) event files (or last 50 depending on setting) you could have everything that lead up to the accident and then also how the drivers reacted after the accident. Did they flee? Did they get out and start screaming pounding on your hood? It would be awesome if the camera automatically stored this to become part of the police report. The camera does allow you to manually mark events which is great, but I would really prefer something automatic especially in the case where God forbid you are incapacitated.

The BlackVue PC viewer application (Version 1.19) works but it seems to have some real issues with smooth 4K playback. When I first starting using it I noticed the front camera was always very choppy and initially blamed it on the low spec ultra-portable laptop I was using. But then I tried playing the file directly off the microSD using VLC player and much to my surprise it was very smooth. In fairness you do lose some of the features like G sensor, GPS data, date and time; but I have a hard time believing that this is enough to cause this issue. I suspect maybe there will be an update coming to this to better handle the 4K stream. Another little issue that I mentioned in my last review is that there is no way to combine these files and export them as one video file. Granted you could do this with tons of other video editing suites, but syncing the front and rear cameras could prove more difficult.

Over the Cloud functionality does work well due to the use of the sub-stream. If you were trying to view a 4K stream it would likely be an issue and a waste of bandwidth since most devices wouldn't support native playback, so BlackVue uses a sub-stream which is lower resolution (480p) but still more than sufficient to see what is going on. This really is a cool feature and I can see it being super useful for fleet management but for the average user I see it as more of novelty with one exception. This device can also be set to automatically back-up event files from your camera to the cloud. Even with the free plan you get 5GB of storage and currently they only back up the substream file which is about 4.5MB so you could have hundreds of files backed up. So if you have an unlimited data plan this seems to be a no brainer to set up, if you are like me and have a 5GB plan before you get throttled this may be something you want to think twice about or at a bare minimum set your G sensors so that they rarely go off. My current settings initiate about 6 event recordings a day, so in a typical month I would use close to 1GB. It should also be noted that this Event Auto Upload can be enabled for Parking, Normal and Manual events independently and in the future they do plan on adding the ability to back up the full resolution event files after they are recorded.

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