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Blackvue DR550GW - Full UK Review

Discussion in 'In-Car Camera Manufacturers' started by Cruiser89, Aug 19, 2013.

  1. Cruiser89
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    Cruiser89 Advanced In Car Tech Site Sponsor

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    [Aug 19, 2013]
    Hi guys!!

    As a lot of you know, we sell quite a few cameras here in the UK and we were sent the latest camera from Pittasoft to Review...

    They sent us the Blackvue DR550 GW - 2 Channel System featuring a Front & Rear Camera!As some of you know we sell a lot of cameras over in the UK and we were lucky enough to be sent the newest camera from Pittasoft to be reviewed. Well here it is, in Full HD! :D

    In the review I go over:

    • Un-boxing
    • Brief going over the cameras
    • Connecting up the cameras
    • Connecting to the App with Live Footage
    • Installed In a Vehicle


    Hope you enjoy!

    If you want to see any more details or tech specs then please check out the link below!

    Blackvue DR550GW 2 Channel In-Car Camera| Advanced InCar Technologies

    Comes just in time after the latest articles on the BBC Website:

    BBC News - Warning over 'flash for cash' scam

    &

    BBC News - Lane hogging and tailgating on-the-spot fines in force

    Any questions then just shout :D
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014
    #1
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    [Sep 20, 2014]

  3. drnutta
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    drnutta Member

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    [Aug 19, 2013]
    Thanks for the review! As I said I want one :)
    Would it be possible to have a front picture of the A3 with the camera attached just want to see how noticeable it is from the outside.

    Also since you put it by the rear view mirror is it distracting?
    #2
  4. Cruiser89
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    [Aug 20, 2013]
    Here you go fella!!

    [​IMG]

    --

    [​IMG]
    #3
  5. Cruiser89
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    [Aug 20, 2013]
    Here's a quick output from the camera too:

    [​IMG]
    #4
  6. SL11CKK
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    SL11CKK Active Member

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    [Aug 25, 2013]
    I'm interested in this unit. However heard about the overheating issues. Well not on this model however the previous one. Are they sorted out?
    #5
  7. Dean_T
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    Dean_T Active Member

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    [Aug 25, 2013]
    Looks like a great piece of kit
    #6
  8. Breezey
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    [Aug 27, 2013]
    From the sound of it they have added more vent holes but with it processing the rear camera aswell i can imagine it being abit toasty. Benn tempted by a blackvue for a while now but with all the reports of overheating on various models kinda seems like i should just save the £400 quid towards my excess!
    #7
  9. Cruiser89
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    [Aug 29, 2013]
    Got to remember though that anything electrical gets warm when used a lot. My GoPro3 gets warm after about 20mins. It's normal.

    I have been running my DR500 since it first came out last year and had no issues whatsoever. I had a DR400 before that and the lens went a bit cloudy but this was before they realised they had problems with heat.

    Got to remember though that anything electrical gets warm when used a lot. My GoPro3 gets warm after about 20mins. It's normal.

    It seems to handle it ok... Haven't done any really long runs with it yet though!
    #8
  10. Cruiser89
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    [Aug 29, 2013]
    As promised here is some on-board footage

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014
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  11. drnutta
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    drnutta Member

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    [Aug 29, 2013]
    What if you have rear tinted windows how clear is the rear camera image?
    #10
  12. Cruiser89
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    [Aug 30, 2013]
    That Rear Image is my Audi A3 with Privacy Glass...

    I imagine at night it makes the footage a little dark but you can always boost the brightness in the settings. Also there will always be street lighting and car headlamps to ensure the camera can see. I'm gonna get some footage at night with the two cameras and pop it up!
    #11
  13. drnutta
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    drnutta Member

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    [Aug 30, 2013]
    Sorry forgot to ask... how is the rear camera attached in terms of cable?
    Does that mean that the cable just dangles?

    Can't quite work it out.
    #12
  14. Cruiser89
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    [Sep 2, 2013]
    It has an AV Cable that you would need to run down the side of the car behind trim or behind the roof lining!
    #13
  15. Cruiser89
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    [Sep 2, 2013]
    #14
  16. Cruiser89
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    [Sep 10, 2013]
    Some night time footage for ya'll...

    This was setup in my Audi A3 that has rear privacy glass!

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014
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  17. Cruiser89
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    [Dec 9, 2013]
    So here is some footage of the DR550 in some heavy rain conditions!

    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 15, 2014
    #16
  18. Anthony566
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    Anthony566 Active Member

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    [Dec 9, 2013]
    I will continue my questions in the correct thread .....

    Just to be clear to anyone reading this I started this in the wrong section and this is the responses leading up to these questions..

    "[​IMG] Originally Posted by monopole [​IMG] No it wont affect your audi warranty, but it will effect your DAB reception if you have DAB I.E you will pretty much lose DAB. Reason I went back to the DR380, better picture and get to keep DAB.

    Im not being facetious Tim, but I think you could make people aware of the manufacturing level issue regarding recording bit-rate and DAB issues with the 550, though a google search will answer any questions.
    As Mono stated, no problems with Audi Warranty as long as it's installed properly.

    In regards to DAB there is no issue with the DR500 as it doesn't have a Rear Cam so don't worry about that. It was the sensor on the DR550 Rear cam that is broadcasting a signal around 200Mhz which would then travel down the cable which in Blackvue's wisdom they didn't shield. This has caused problems but as stated there is no issue with the DR500.

    They are currently manufacturing a better AV cable which should eliminate the DAB interference issue.

    In regards to Bit Rate and quality, we're always pretty open and when people call up I'm very honest! We clearly mention bit rates and have recorded footage for our YouTube channel for people to watch in different conditions.

    On a DashCam Specific Forum I'm quite open about how underwhelming the camera is to the techy people.
    Blackvue DR550GW Full English Review! | DashCamTalk

    That being said, we do have a lot of customer who purchase the DR550 and are really happy with it.

    But I do take your comments on board. "

    "So if I install the DR550GW I will loose my DAB Radio ? do we know if they have sorted this out with a replacement cable ? "

    "[​IMG] Originally Posted by Anthony566 [​IMG] So if I install the DR550GW I will loose my DAB Radio ? do we know if they have sorted this out with a replacement cable ?
    As the DR550 stands at the moment and depending on how it is installed then you can experience drop outs in DAB. But this problem does not affect the DR500 which is what this thread is concerning. "
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  19. Anthony566
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    [Dec 9, 2013]
    So can I ask have you completed any installs on an A4 and been able to prevent any issues with the DAB system ?
    #18
  20. monopole
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    monopole pro-monopole-ish-ism-istic

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    [Dec 9, 2013]
    DR550 @ 1080p: 20131023 165049 NF - YouTube

    rear camera issue DR550: v poor camera - YouTube

    DR380G @ 720p: OE02 TKT - YouTube

    you see the difference poor bit rate recording @ firmware level makes even though the 550 is 1080!

    And no, the DAB issue affects every car with a DAB radio until pittasoft resolve at manufacture level due to the signal frequency/low shielding down the rear camera cable. hope this helps.
    #19
  21. Anthony566
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    [Dec 9, 2013]
    Thanks for that ... looks like this is on hold until its fixed, its a shame as the unit looks to be a very neat design just a shame the record quality isn't quite what it should be and they have missed the DAB issue.

    the 550 link is shot at 15 FPS so half the FPS of the 380 ? and does you tube compression mess with the video ? also do the videos look better when viewed via the Blackvue software ?
    Last edited: Dec 9, 2013
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  22. monopole
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    monopole pro-monopole-ish-ism-istic

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    [Dec 9, 2013]
    15FPS to get more data on the card because 1080>720=takes more space, how you see it in the youtube vid is the quality as it records, ergo, the same as you view it via blackvue (remember to set your youtube viewing quality via the little cog)

    Once pittasoft resolve the cable issue and update the firmware to get better bit rate then I will get another, but for now went back to the 380 - as for 1080p as the 550 states, it return a quality way below the DR380 @ 720p
    #21
  23. Anthony566
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    [Dec 10, 2013]
    I rang the guys at Blackvue.co.uk and they said with regards the issues with the DAB radio the unit now ships with a different AV cable to the rear view camera and they believe this has resolved the issue, as for the bit rate question they had no update to this question.
    #22
  24. Cruiser89
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    [Dec 11, 2013]
    Blackvue.co.uk is just a reseller like us. The company that own it is barosautoproducts. There is officially no Blackvue UK company at present that is run and owned by Pittasoft. Lots of sellers bought domain names to hopefully capitalise on it. No problems with that but just take that on board.

    My last comms with International Marketing Manager of Pittasoft in S.Korea is that they are aware of the problem and are currently manufacturing a new cable that will hopefully solve the problem. I haven't been told if it's been put into full production yet or not so can't confirm if it's being shipped in the box.

    In regards to the Bit Rate, I have been asking and sending multiple emails about updates and they don't have any and just say they are aware.

    The experiences that Monopole has had is correct. He bought the camera from us and I even have the same camera in my car. The quality isn't as Pin Sharp as it should be but have been told that in the event of an accident the quality it is outputting is good enough. I've mentioned before in another thread the amount of cameras we have sold of The DR550 and the customers that are happy with it far outweigh the ones who haven't gotten on well. Since release I have refunded two customers. But that is by no means me saying there isn't an issue. I'm massively into my gadgets and have tried almost every camera out on the market as well as GoPro. I believe the Bit Rate for those that are concerned about it is an issue.

    I also think sometimes we get hooked up on quality from HD Recorders and GoPros etc and realise that the DashCam market by no means have any of that tech inside them.

    But as Monopole has said the DR380 is a very decent camera and by far our best seller! They really cracked it with that one :)
    #23
  25. Anthony566
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    [Dec 14, 2013]
    Thanks for the reply and the emails on this one, can I ask you to keep us informed on the cable issue as soon as they sort this one out I will order this system as I have now seen this in action and I would be more than happy with the image quality so one the interferiance is sorted I will order this.
    #24
  26. Anthony566
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    [Apr 8, 2014]
    #25
  27. Bill Dee
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    Bill Dee Active Member

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    [Apr 26, 2014]
    How long can you record for?
    #26
  28. Anthony566
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    [Apr 27, 2014]

    The system over rights its self and only keeps anything that it marks as an incident ( these are files are not ) but to get to a full card a 16 Gb 6 hrs , 32 Gb 12 hrs. This is also effected by the recording quality.

    You can use 64 Gb cards and if you decide to use the custom FW then this all changes depending on the bit rate you set the front and rear camera to.
    Last edited: Apr 27, 2014
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  29. Phil-1
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    Phil-1 Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 27, 2014]
    I'm seriously thinking about getting a camera after my car was damaged. But I'm not sure what to get. Would love the front and rear cameras but can't justify spending over £300 at the moment.
    The camera is mainly to keep any eye on the car when it's parked plus the idiots that are on the road at the moment.
    What would you all recommend?

    Phil
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  30. Anthony566
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    [Apr 27, 2014]
    It took me a while to decide on what to buy but in the end I went for the 550 ... you might be able to get two separate cameras cheaper the this system or look at the 530 its cheaper than the 550
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  31. Phil-1
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    Phil-1 Well-Known Member

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    [Apr 27, 2014]
    Thanks. I like the idea of 2 cameras in one system. I did look at the 380. Are all the power leads the same, if I did go for the 380 then upgraded to the 550 could I keep the same power lead?
    #30
  32. AK47UK
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    AK47UK Active Member

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    [Apr 28, 2014]
    I have now installed my DR550GW into my car with the latest custom firmware and power magic pro, I am still getting to grips with it but will fine tune over the next week. I have a Sandisk Extreme 64GB micro SDXC card coming to go in there so I can use higher quality and ensure I have around 24 hours of recording saved before it overwrites.

    Thoughts and questions:
    Even if the engine isn't running there is a loud static noise on the recordings, is this normal or do I have the record volume set too high? Where do I alter this?
    The device has been getting very hot, now I turn WiFi off when not in use, not sure if this has helped. Is the heat normal?
    Does the device prioritise recorded events when in normal and parking mode? i.e. will it save these for as long as possible and delete normal driving videos first? I am concerned that if I leave my car somewhere for a few days, return to find it damaged and then I don't have a recording because the damage was caused on day 1 so the device overwrote the video. By damage I mean collision or even vandelism which may not activate the G sensors. I have left impact and motion sensitivity on default so far.

    Edit: Just seen the audio volume is addressed in the video as is the slowness of the wifi connection, on the latest iPhone app it just streams the video but sometimes this takes ages to stream a 1 min video, sometimes it's pretty quick.
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
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  33. Anthony566
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    Anthony566 Active Member

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    [Apr 28, 2014]
    Hi,

    keep your eye on here :-

    Pittasoft BlackVue | DashCamTalk

    this is a good source of info ... as for the heat I am told they do get warm ( as mine is still in its box waiting for the install this weekend I hope ) I am not sure if event files are over written ?? its a good question ...

    I have posted a question about the event files ..

    Also did you do any install instructions ??
    Last edited: Apr 28, 2014
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  34. Anthony566
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    [Apr 28, 2014]
    Event files are not over written ...
    #33
  35. AK47UK
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    [Apr 28, 2014]
    I used this guide for installation:
    http://www.audi-sport.net/vb/a3-s3-...nnel-car-camera-installation.html#post1968200

    Went pretty smoothly, few hours and all was in then upgraded to the custom firmware.
    #34
  36. Jet2004uk
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    Jet2004uk Active Member

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    [Apr 28, 2014]
    Whats the pro's and con's of using custom firmware? had mine a while now with no major problems but mine is the 500 single camera
    #35
  37. Anthony566
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    [Apr 28, 2014]
    Thanks for the link, I have seen that one and there are a few others on the forum but not an A$ specific one .... I am ok with the camera installation its the powering that's going to throw me as I just have a mental blockage when it comes to wiring .... I have a Power Magic Pro to go with my camera and was also thinking of removing the cigarette style connectors for something that locks together.
    #36
  38. Anthony566
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    [Apr 28, 2014]
    Have a look on here :-

    Pittasoft BlackVue | DashCamTalk

    but I think the main points are increased bit rate ( a lot ) and 64GB card use plus I believe the wifi connection runs faster.
    #37
  39. AK47UK
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    [Apr 28, 2014]
    I didn't use mine with stock firmware as there were a lot of complaints about the quality of the video so I went straight for custom which allows you to choose your own bitrate of up to 30Mbps which, according to users on DashCamTalk say it is a huge improvement. Not sure on other features but the quality is the main aspect for me.

    I decided to just take out the relevant fuse (as per the guide), folded the wire over the end of the fuse 'leg' and put the fuse back in. This held it in place well enough because they fit tight and saved the need to modify the cars wiring at all. I just used the cigarette lighter connections and tucked them behind the fuse box. I don't like adapting original wiring, that way if I wanted to I could revert all changes.
    #38
  40. Jet2004uk
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    Jet2004uk Active Member

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    [Apr 28, 2014]
    Cheers Anthony566, hey up AK47UK not working too hard I hope :yum:
    #39
  41. AK47UK
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    AK47UK Active Member

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    [Apr 28, 2014]
    You seem to be doing all the same kind of mods as me at around the same time ;) I wanted the cams to help with my paranoia after some b*stard damaged my car without leaving a note.
    #40

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