Review Car DVR - Transcend DrivePro 200

Discussion in 'Gadgets and Consumer Electronics' started by JD666, Jun 21, 2015.

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  1. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    I was quite surprised to find out that Transcend made DVRs. After a bunch of not so good DVRs, I had recent acquired the DOD S1 Tech DVR, which was reviewed here -

    Review - DOD S1 Plus Tech Car DVR Review | RAID101

    I was getting a deal on the Transcend (regular price around 10k, this was around 9k), so after researching the video samples and product specifications, one was ordered.

    First up, the specifications from the box/website are -

    - Dimensions - 67mm × 72mm × 34.3mm

    - Weight - 84 g

    - Display - 2.4" color LCD

    - Sensor - Low-light sensitivity CMOS, 3 mega-pixel

    - Lens - F/2.0, 160° wide angle

    - G-Sensor - 3-Axis

    - Built-in Microphone and Speaker

    - Resolution and Frame per second of Recording - 1920x1080@30Fps and 1280x720@30fps

    - Video format - H.264 (MOV)

    - Memory Card - Supplied MicroSD (16GB Class 10). Upto 32GB

    - Operating Temperatures - -35C To +65 Degrees C

    - Storage Temperatures - -35C to +70 Degrees C

    - Others - Emergency Recording button, Wi-Fi Compatible, Android/iOS App for settings/review/download.

    I had gotten tired of removing my DVR every time I would park my car, because of the ambient temperatures that get attained inside a parked vehicle here. The higher temperature range of the DrivePro 200 coupled with a decent enough manufacturer, made me go for this device.

    Another bit that I liked was that Transcend did not make any qualms about the Sensor in their DVR. They simply claimed it to be a 3MP unit, while other, cheaper DVRs are regularly touted as being 5MP or higher.

    The Drive Pro app is also a nifty option for Android and iOS devices, allowing you to view video real time, download and change settings on the DVR without having to operate the physical buttons on the device. All you have to do is press the Wi-Fi Switch and connect your device to the preset Wi-Fi channel, or customize it to your own for security.

    UnBoxing -

    Moving on, I'll discuss some more features, highlights as I share the unboxing of the device. From there I'll take some pictures of the installation setup, and then finally capture some video samples for preview.

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    The DrivePro 200 comes in a slim cardboard packaged box, with all the information regarding the device clearly legible on the packaging. Features like 7 Glass lens, 160 Degree wide angle lens (most DVRs do 130-140 Degrees, however this is 160 Degrees diagonally, not horizontally).

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    The rear of the packaging that lists the contents and system requirements

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    Opening up the box within the outer packaging, first up the DVR and the MicroSD card (16 G:cool:.
    Looking at the packaging, it is safe to assume that Transcend do not intend selling the DrivePro 200 without a bundled Memory card.

    The DVR lens is protected by a regular plastic film stuck on top.

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    Picking the DrivePro 200, I realized how compact and lightweight it is. For comparison, here is an image with the DOD S1 tech -

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    The right side of the DrivePro houses the MicroSD Card slot and the Emergency Recording button. This makes it suitable for a Left Hand Drive vehicle, so that the driver can easily access the button in the event of an Accident.

    How the Emergency recording button works -

    When you press this button after a collision, or to record an incident, it saves the last 10 seconds of the video (time gone by) and keeps recording, until you switch it off, or the card gets filled. The video recorded, gets locked, and is not over written till you manually delete it from the device.

    The Emergency recording mode can also be triggered by a jerk that is strong enough or as set in the G-Sensor settings (Disable - Low - Medium - High).

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    The 2.4 inch LCD display with the Wi-Fi SSID and key. This is default for all DrivePro and needs to be set by the user.

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    The left side houses the power in and the video out port. Noticeable in this image and the ones before is the chrome bezel around the lens. Now this is probably the single biggest flaw in a well designed product.

    Generally DVRs should be discreet, compact and not attract much attention. In the event of an insurance scam or an accident, if the other party knows that a DVR is recording, they could target it, and try and destroy/break it to cover evidence. Yes it happens.

    The chrome bezel on this DVR does stick out like a sore thumb. However I plan to cover it up with black tape before installing it. That should improve the stealth of the device (a bit).

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    The underside contains the Reset switch.
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    And the top has the mounting slot for the holder.

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    Good to see a Class 10 MicroSD card included.

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    The bundled accessories.



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    The Cigar lighter power supply definitely is hefty and the cable is soft and flexible. This is a good indication, since for something that is going to be exposed to a lot of heat, it is important that it be made of durable, quality materials, else failure rate will be high.



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    The same is reflected in the double sided tape stuck to the DVR mounting. 3M = good quality.

    You can see the finish of the cigar lighter power point in this image as well, reflecting the quality I mentioned earlier.



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    The short mounting. This is a good departure from regular mounts, since it saves vertical height on the windscreen. you can mount the Camera as high as possible, to cover as much view of the road.


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    To be honest, I would've preferred a suction cup type mounting so as to make the camera removable. However they have included a spare tape for re-mounting if necessary.

    The suction cup mount is sold separately for the DrivePro 200 and is available as a 12$ accessory.

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    The Video out cable. Though with the flexibility in playback (download to mobile, copy from SD card via data cable, live preview on display), I doubt this would be needed.

    Moreover the DrivePro uses a capacitor type battery to store the Date and Time. So it isn't like that the device will output video without power. Which would involve hooking it up to a power source outside the car.
    A slightly unwanted accessory in my opinion. Welcome nonetheless.


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    A special mention to the Quick Start Guide, since this is perhaps the most detailed guide I have ever seen for a DVR. Each and every menu is explained, other than the Emergency recording mode, which I had to figure out on my own, how to switch off.

    Moving on, this Review to be updated with Installation and video pictures, once I get my Dodge back from service.









     
    Last edited: Jun 21, 2015
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  2. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    I've run into a niggle with the device. When I try and power it up on a home power source (using a 5V 1Amp charger from my Redmi 2), the display flickers a lot and does not allow me to view anything.

    Then after a few minute it stables up and is fine, as if there were no issues in the first place. Perplexing.

    I tried it in the car. The flicker was there, though stabilized faster. I've left it inside the vehicle for a few hours to try and use the heat/bake technique to fix it if possible.

    Else, RMA time :(
     
  3. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    So this was the issue that I was facing -



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    Turns out, it has something to do with the DVR Capacitor or something. I checked on it after an hour and the display was absolutely fine, No level of shaking the device would induce the fault again.

    Moving on. The chrome bezel surrounding the DrivePro 200 is a bit of a bother. So I decided to mask it, and make the DVR stealthier.

    So this is how the DVR looks -

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    You can see that the chrome bezel does glint in the light.

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    And it is quite pronounced as well, about 5-6mm, all around the lens.

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    Enter the All-Purpose Black electrical insulation tape -


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    Wrapped a single round, around the lens, and folded the raised portion in, as cleanly as I could -
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    Another shot -

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    From the sides -

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    Now, not only did this cover the chrome ring around the lens, but also the lettering that was on the front of the lens -

    Before and after.jpg

    Hopefully, now I should be able to install it directly, without further issues.

    Next update, once I get ready and get my car home. The dealership has called twice already :D





     
  4. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    A night video sample finally -




    Installation pictures to follow.
     
  5. JD666

    JD666 RAID Leader Staff Member

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    Here's an early morning sample. Note the people racing/speeding on my left

     

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