ParkCity DVR HD 450 DVR: tested on the road

    There is a gadget, which in our time and in our country is simply irreplaceable. Alas, even the most convincing “I swear by my mom!” practically does not affect the traffic police, but a short video shot by a DVR can really simplify your life ...

    Russia is a country of DVRs. Evidence? Yes, take at least the same Chelyabinsk meteorite. And only thanks to the registrars, we know that in Russia live not only lovers of "chess" changes and roadside driving, but also people who respect other road users, including pedestrians.

    Considering the long list of DVRs available in the domestic market, we settled on the ParkCity DVR HD 450. The reason for our choice is simple - inside it has an advanced Ambarella A7LA70D graphics processor, one of the best options available on the market today. It was a sin not to use the ability to record two Full HD video streams - such devices on the market can still be counted on the fingers - and this was embodied in the device that we took for review.

    Cameras: 2x 2 MP, 120 °
    Video: Full HD (1920x1080), 30 frames / s
    Display: 2.7 ''
    Processor: Ambarella A7LA70D Memory cards: microSD (up to 32 GB)
    Battery: yes, Li-Ion
    Price: 6800 rub.

    The American Ambarella A7LA single-chip chip line has been developed specifically for use in automotive gadgets. A wide dynamic range, intelligent auto exposure and a whole range of branded Ambarella “improvers” allow you to quickly and flexibly adapt to the shooting conditions and do a good job of processing video on the fly.

    "Ambarellas" of this series, allow you to record single-channel video in Full HD mode 60 frames / s or Super HD (3 megapixels, 30 frames / s). In our case, these features are disabled - everything is configured to record two video streams 1920x1080 @ 30p (there is also a 1280x720 @ 30p mode).

    The second camera is connected via a miniature HDMI-connector, and then installed anywhere in the car - the benefit of the five-meter cable allows this. A “hot” camera connection is allowed, but the recorder starts recording from two cameras at the same time only after rebooting the device.

    An important point: a neat and aesthetic cable routing inside the machine is not an easy task. And if your hands are, say, not quite gold, then it is better to use the help of professionals (on average, the cost of such a service in Moscow and Moscow Region for the rear camera is 2.5-3 thousand rubles).

    If you do not take into account the cable routing for the second camera, then installing a DVR is an elementary thing. The suction cup of the main camera is mounted on the glass with the help of a rotary mechanism at the end - for some, this option may seem more convenient than the traditional lever.

    A big plus - there is also an additional miniUSB connector, which simplifies the power connection. By the way, the length of the cord of the car adapter allows you to hide it under the upholstery.

    We fix the second camera with an adhesive base, connect it to the main unit - the DVR is ready for use.

    Due to the presence of a screen with a diagonal of 2.7 inches, all settings are made conveniently and most importantly quickly - you just have to get used to the control with a minimum set of hardware buttons. You can change the resolution (1920x1080 @ 30p or 1280x720 @ 30p) and video quality (high, medium, normal), enable wide dynamic range (WDR), apply date and time, set the recording cycle (off, 2 min, 5 min, 10 min ), as well as the activation of the microphone and motion sensor.

    In addition, fans of the experiment can play with white balance and adjust the exposure - during testing we used standard settings.

    It remains to insert a memory card. It uses microSD. Given the recording of Full HD video, it is better to save and purchase a card with a capacity of at least 16 GB and a class of at least 10th ... Everything is ready - let's go!

    ParkCity DVR HD 450 wide-angle cameras have a diagonal viewing angle of 120 degrees. In our opinion, such a parameter can be considered optimal - on the one hand, we see not only our own lane, but also the oncoming traffic of cars, and the curb with the signs installed on it. On the other hand, a wider angle at the same resolution would affect image quality.

    Test video shot on ParkCity DVR HD 450:
    - front camera, morning
    - front camera, day
    - front camera, night
    - rear camera, day

    The Ambarella chip copes well with video processing at any time of the day - we did not notice any pronounced image artifacts. License plates are read perfectly - at night, however, this possibility is markedly reduced. However, it all depends on the illumination of the road, speed and even the cleanliness of the windshield. The wide dynamic range function works adequately and practically does not distort the picture.

    When two cameras work, the image from both cameras and one of them can be displayed on the recorder screen.

    The motion detector works flawlessly - perhaps even too much. Be prepared for the fact that the device will respond to a flying sparrow or a fallen autumn leaf.

    There are no complaints about the work of the built-in microphone - in the sense that you should not expect anything supernatural from it. But to record a small talk with the traffic police representatives, its capabilities are quite enough.

    When you press the Emergency Rec button, the current record will be protected from deletion from the memory card - but do not forget that when it is full, the DVR starts deleting old records from the card. By the way, the system reserves on the card about 1 GB for recording the current video - keep this in mind.

    The battery of the recorder is not particularly survivable - in stand-alone mode, when recording video from two cameras, it lasted about half an hour with us. However, this is enough to work in conditions of short-term shutdown of external power.

    The captured video can be viewed directly on the screen of the gadget, but, of course, it is better to take a larger display: you can use the old grandfather way and display the image on the TV using the included AV cable. Or connect the DVR to a laptop using a miniUSB cord (sic!) - the gadget should be defined as an external drive.

    Data is written with H.264 compression to MOV files. Five minutes of recording from one camera at maximum settings take about 500 megabytes, from two, respectively, about 1 gigabyte.

    It’s easy to figure out a bunch of videos. For example, “F_FILE_0145.MOV” means that this video was recorded by the front camera and is not protected from deletion. "R" means that it is - not a "rocket" - a recording made by the rear camera. And if “EVEN” is used instead of “FILE”, then the DVR worked with the Emergency Rec function turned on and the file is protected from accidental deletion.

    To summarize. A wide overview, the distinguishability of car numbers from 10-15 meters (during daylight hours), good work in low light conditions - what else does a car enthusiast need from a DVR.

    Experienced drivers can complain about the absence of a ParkCity DVR HD 450 G-sensor - you can agree with that. In principle, you can always click on the Emergency Rec button, but in an emergency we do not always do everything logically and consciously.

    Subscribe to the Geek to the Future YouTube channel , join our groups on social networks and do not forget - no one has canceled the rules of the road.

    PS By the way, if you have a desire to try out ParkCity dashboards in action, take part in a joint contest between Geek to the Future and Avtoden company : until October 8, we will play three auto gadgets. Good luck

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