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Discussion Starter #1
Now it is pretty much installed, I figured I probably should share the experience :cool:

Why

Two days in a row, I almost got hit by other drivers near the same stretch of road, then decided to install a video recorder in case these things happen, at least I have something in my favor if it is their fault.

Which Camera

I wanted a small discrete camera which can be mounted permanently in the car, and doesn't attract attention those windshield mounted GPS devices get. Of course other main functions would be continuous recording (able to overwrite older video files), 1080P, and will gracefully shutdown when power is lost (important to save the video file properly). Finally settled on this one:

BlackVue DR400G HD – Blackvue FULL HD DR400G - BLACK VUE Singapore

I bought it from a Korean seller on ebay for about $250, and received it in good order. Manual, software, and voice are all in Korean, but it took about 5 minutes to download and update to the most recent English software/firmware. It is very small. Maybe slightly bigger than a big size lipstick. There is no screen, but it records to micro SD card in MP4 format using H.264 encoding. In case you need to show to the cops, you can pull the card and put it in an Android phone and play the videos.

Installation

Car is 2008 EX-L.

1. It comes with a cigarette lighter power adapter. I wanted to hard wire to the car, and didn't want to destroy the original power cable, so I had to find a new plug. Luckily, found a spare power supply of an old USB hub with the exactly same right angle plug. Cut the wire, and soldered it to another set of wires. 20 minutes.
2. Remove the overhead console. 15 minutes
3. Remove the left sun visor. 10 minutes
4. Remove weather strip, and A pillar trim, left kick box, and fuse box cover. 5 minutes
5. Route wire from behind the rearview mirror to he fuse box. 5 minutes
6. Tie the wire to secure it in the A pillar using cable tires. 5 minutes
7. Planned to use Add-A-Line fuse thingy. Just when I was about to put it in, I noticed I bought the ATD regular size. D'oh! I bought everything from Amazon, and Amazon's system tells me it fits my car! Ran to Advanced Auto Parts and got the mini type. 40 minutes trip to the store.
8. Planned to tap into fuse box #9. The wire is always hot! Double D'oh! I wanted the camera to shut off when car is off. That's why I asked the question in the other thread.
9. While scratching my head, tried some other slots, and found #29 is not hot when car is off. Plugged in there and it works as expected.
10. Put everything back. 30 minutes.

It is a very easy job, if I didn't get the wrong size Add-A-Line fuse thing, and the fuse #9 worked as I expected.

I have been using it for a couple of days and this is what I think about the camera.

1. Picture quality is pretty good. Works well in raining and dark conditions too. License plate from car I'm following is easily readable, but not from other moving cars.
2. 1080p with H.264 encoding is probably as good as it gets, but bitrate is about 7 mbps, so the video is heavily compressed. File size is about 55 MB per minute. The camera comes with 16GB Samsung class 4 micro SD card. 16GB can last about 4.5 - 5 hours. When it gets full, camera automatically deletes older files.
3. It is pretty small, and hidden behind the rearview mirror, so it is totally out of way when driving. From outside it is still visible if look carefully, but it is not as obvious as those GPS devices. The one I got is grey. Maybe I should paint it black so it will better blend into the background. The mount is quite low profile and bare minimum. It uses double sided tape so not easily movable.
4. Highly customizable. They provide a PC software (no mac version) so you can customize the features on the camera, like turn off audio recording, all the blinking lights, G-sensor sensibility, and video settings.
5. Like the software. The camera has built-in GPS and G-sensors. The software will show the video, alone with where you are on Google maps, and your speed. I guess it might be a very good feature to spy on driving teenagers :D G-sensors is used to record "events". I don't see much use of it. And it appears a bump on the road can trigger it.
6. Like the voice announcement. Once started, it announces "Blackvue for safe driving. Start normal recording". When shut off, it announces "Blackvue is shutting down", saves the file, and then shut down. Voice can be turned off.
7. It also has a motion sensor and it can record in Parking mode. I mostly park in the garage so don't really care for that feature. You will need constant power if that feature is needed.

Things don't like:

1. It takes about 30-40 seconds to boot up and start recording.
2. Wish it was black to better hide.
3. Bitrate is not customizable. 7 mbps is pretty low for 1080p.

I can post some pictures, but these sites have many pictures and sample videos.

[Merged] The Official BlackVue DR400G-HD Owners Thread - RedFlagDeals.com Forums

My BlackVue DR400G-HD DashCam Review
 

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Fantastic Job skywalker168! That's also something I'm considering now. I read both good and bad reviews on Amazon.com so I'm a little concerned. It has been nine months since the installation, how has your experience been since then?
 
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