If you’re shopping around for a car DVR, you must be wondering which one to buy out of all the choices available in Singapore. You may be wondering if you really need those high-end features or if a basic DVR will do. In any case, your DVR must have these 5 basic features.
Auto Start and Stop
Your car DVR should automatically power on and start recording once you start your car by turning the ignition key. It should not be a hassle for you to turn your car DVR on and off every time you enter or leave your car, especially in Singapore where most of us only commute for short distances. If you’re forgetful, you may forgot to turn on the DVR, which defeats the purpose of having it in the first place. An auto start ensures that the DVR is recording once you enter your car. Similarly, it should automatically stop recording once you park and leave your car.
When the memory reaches full capacity, your car DVR should automatically overwrite the oldest files with the newest recordings. This will ensure a continuous video stream without any skips or gaps. You wouldn’t want a delay or a few seconds missing in your recording when an incident occurs.
Your car DVR should be able to handle a memory card with enough storage to record at least a day’s worth of video. This is so that you can upload the videos to your computer at the end of the day before they get overwritten, especially when there is important footage. Most DVRs can easily handle a 32GB memory card, but high-end ones can support up to 128GB of memory. Some DVRs have a built-in Wi-Fi function so you can upload videos without having to remove the memory card, reducing some of the hassle of uploading videos.
High Definition Recording
Make sure that the DVR you purchase records in high definition. If you capture an incident on camera but the useful details such as the licence plate number is blurred due to low quality, then the video is not going to be of much help. The majority of car DVRs now shoot at least 720p which is good enough, but a 1080 full HD car DVR will make it much easier to make out details like licence plates.
When reviewing video quality before purchase, watch the videos in full screen at the highest resolution on YouTube. Also, watch videos taken both in the day and at night. Some car DVRs perform well in the day, but poorly at night due to poor lighting conditions. Also, look for videos from real users, rather than the manufacturer. These videos’ quality will be more representative of the actual performance of the DVR.
Parking mode refers to a feature that records when the vehicle is parked and turned off. It usually relies on motion detection or the G sensor to detect impacts to your car, and activates the recording in the case of such situations. This is useful for recording accidents that may happen in the car park, especially in Singapore where multi-storey car parks with tight spaces are ubiquitous. Parking mode can record valuable evidence of someone reversing into your stationary car. However, parking mode can be slightly harder to set up as it almost always requires the DVR to be permanently connected to the power supply of your car. One option is for users to power the DVR with a “power box” or a battery pack, which will prevent it from complete draining the car battery while it is in operation.
How much are you willing to spend on your car DVR? A basic DVR with all the functions above can cost as little as $100. But if you’re looking for one with more than just basic functions, premium DVRs can cost up to $300 or even more. It is best to assess your needs and decide what additional features you need. Of course, be prepared to shell out more if you require lots of high-end features on your DVR.