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171 of 176 people found the following review helpful
on July 31, 2012
Verified Purchase
This 2-in-1 product with the anti-glare rearview mirror and in-car camera is a neat package with a very solid casing. It clamps on your original mirror like any other after-market mirrors and stays firmly in place.
The controls are simple and the manual that comes with it are well written and clear.
The lens can be adjusted over a wide range to suit adjustments to the mirror's viewing angle.
The 2.4" LCD is sharp and aids in the lens adjustment. It can be switched off when not needed.
The only con is the huge filesize for the recording which is about 800 to 900MB for 5 mins of footage.
A 4GB SD card was included though it wasn't stated in the orders and for that size, it can hold only about 20 mins of footage before the first video file is recycled. It can take a SD card up to 32GB size but I have yet to try it.
The videos are sharp and in the expected quality range of a HD720p camera.

One point to note is that the device's weight (about 320g) may be too much for some car's rearview mirror arm/linkage and it may vibrate or even sag if the arm/linkage was loose in the first place.
So prior to buying you might want to assess your rearview mirror's suitability.

Also thumbs-up to the seller for including a personal thank you note and a quick start-up guide.

Highly recommended for those looking for a simple and good quality in-car camera without paying extras for frills like GPS, G-sensor, or night-surveillance mode etc if you don't need them.
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122 of 124 people found the following review helpful
on January 10, 2013
Verified Purchase
BE ADVISED. The video was reduced from 720p to 480p due to Amazon file size constraints.

Here's my first video review. Hope it helps you to decide which DVR is best for you. Most of my comments are written here and not in the video. You'll see many more on YouTube. For this review, I had to reduce the resolution to 720x480 pixels because Amazon limits the video file to 100 mb maximum. The original 1280x720 p video was over 380 mb.

Pros:
-Factory look. Sturdy and sleek.
-Since it looks factory, no one can tell it's a DVR and they wont break into the car to steal it.
-Automatically records and stops. (this depends if the cigarette lighter is switched, turns on when key is inserted)
-Can turn recording off/on at anytime.
-Turn onscreen display off/on at anytime.
-Options to set resolution, on screen display, time, date, etc..

Cons:
-Needs slightly wider adjustment to compensate for rear view mirror use. What I mean by this is if I set the mirror to view the rear window (which is normal), the partial left side of the car is cut. This is even when the camera lens is pointed the the outermost left part. The workaround: I have to move the mirror to point to the left a bit. However, this alters my rear view. Now I dont see the entire rear window but the partial right rear window as well.
-1080p resolution - not useable. Im estimating it's about 10-15 fps. Its almost like a slideshow. I dont recommend it because if there was an accident, those critical frames in that fraction of that second may not be recorded at all.
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97 of 99 people found the following review helpful
on April 20, 2013
Verified Purchase
I thought of getting a dash cam when I saw all of the Russian meteor videos, but wanted a camera that wouldn't attract attention to itself. This seemed like the perfect solution--you really can't tell my car has a camera unless you really look for it.

Since this camera was designed for right-hand drive vehicles, the lens doesn't swivel quite as far left as I'd like it to. It goes far enough left though, in my opinion. It was packaged with an 8GB SD card, which was a nice start. It arrived set for English and included a quick start guide. The clock was not quite set correctly, despite what others have reported on their purchases, but it didn't bother me. Once you get the hang of moving through the menus on this device, it makes sense.

It was a challenge to get it to sit correctly on my mirror, since my existing mirror is somewhat weak. My car mirror would sort of lock and aim onto one "sweet spot" where it would hold, so I adjusted the camera accordingly by sliding the bottom grips toward me a bit, aiming the mirror side of the camera upward. The rubber grippers hold pretty well. This solution helped me to keep the camera's mirror aimed properly rearward. It was about 90 degrees here yesterday and caused my car's mirror to sag down...this is a unique issue in my particular car. I'll have to figure a workaround to tighten the mirror's ball joint in my case...

The power cable hides very well in my headliner and pillar trim. The cable is just narrow enough to fit and hide.

I wanted a camera that will just run automatically, and this one does exactly that. I don't even have to think about it when I get in the car--it just starts rolling when the car turns on (my cigarette outlet switches on and off with the ignition). I picked up a 32GB SD class 10 card for it. It holds about 2 1/2 hours of video in 720 mode. I keep the included 8GB card in the glove box as a backup.

I wish the camera had GoPro-like sharpness. It's hard to make out license plates on the video unless the lighting conditions are right and the license plate is within 20 feet of the front of my car.

I suppose if I see reckless driving or am a victim of a hit-and-run, I'll just speak the offender's license plate number so the camera's microphone can pick it up. The audio can be enabled or disabled with this camera, but I leave the audio recording on for this reason.

I always record at 720p because I heard that 1080i is only 15 frames per second. I have not tried 1080 mode yet.

This camera has a parking mode (records on internal battery power for one minute if vibration is detected while the car is parked), which I haven't used very much. I don't know whether or not the lights come on when parking mode activates--I would hope that the camera stays dark if it rolls on someone messing with my car. Flashing lights on the "rear view mirror" in an empty car would be a "steal me" signal.

I love the clandestine nature of this camera. It's the MAIN REASON I bought it. If I have a confrontation/collision on the road, I want no one to know I have a camera before the police show up. Also, since it's not noticeable, I'm not worried about it attracting thieves while the car is unattended.

If this camera had GoPro-like video, I would have paid $250 for it, maybe more. It's not super sharp video, but I definitely think it is worth the going price. If it can clear my liability on one traffic accident, it'll more than pay for itself.

Also, it's fun to load the videos into editing software and make it roll in super-fast motion!

You can also stamp a number onto the video, such as your own license plate number. On my video I choose to only stamp the last three digits of my plate number (in case I get a viral video, my full license plate number isn't all over the place!).

My uploaded video was shot in 720p mode. I removed the audio and showed different lighting conditions. Keep in mind that the video seen on this review will be slightly degraded from the original video quality. Amazon seems to compress these videos. The white car in the very first shot has a readable license plate, as well as the white car in the very last shot, along with the silver crossover SUV to its right.

UPDATE 4/22/2014:
I've owned this camera for a year now and it's still working great. It's survived the hot sun of Southern California just fine.
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103 of 106 people found the following review helpful
on August 22, 2012
Verified Purchase
Built solid, buttons feel good, all in all good quality, on complaints.
The power cable is long enough to reach from the mirror, along the head liner, down the A-pillar, under the glove box, along the center console and into the arm rest where there is a plug. There is about a foot of cable to spare after that (installed on a 2008 Acura TL-S).
The power cable DOES unplug from the mirror itself, so you can take it out of the car if you want or move it to another if you can find another power cable. This is a great feature that is not touched upon in the product description.
The SD card ejects from the top, easy to get to.
The camera is off center so your mirror will mount further to the right to sit flush. Mine sits far enough that the passenger sun visor can only go straight down now, not further towards the windscreen.
My mirror is kind of oval so it doesnt fit perfect, kind of a bummer.
The menu is easy to navigate, I got in and set microphone to off and resolution to high. There is a still shoot feature that seems like a waste.
The camera itself has a movable lens so you can fine tune the angle etc without moving the mirror.

So far I'm pretty happy with it, I hope it lasts. The Video is nice but for the most part don't expect to see the plate numbers of other cars.
review image review image review image
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240 of 260 people found the following review helpful
on August 11, 2011
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34 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 2013
Verified Purchase
It worked only a week or so before seeing horizontal lines across the screen and actual video. Then recently, every bump I hit the DVR says no CARD. I have to remove the SD card and place it again. tried 2 different brand name SD and the same issue. Very poor video quality at night, just OK during the day (it does not seem to be focused).

No reply from the Manufacturer for troubleshooting. Would not recommend this.
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20 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on January 13, 2013
I'm giving this review 5 stars because I can't give it 6.

There are a lot of dashcams for sale on Amazon.com, so why pay for one that's five times as expensive as the cheapest model? Because this one works exactly as advertised. Not only that, I'm here to tell you all the positive reviews mentioning the incredible customer service are true, as well!

Pros:

We purchased our first HDVR-150 just after Christmas and received it in rural North Carolina just a couple days later (despite it originating in Taiwan.) The camera was as plug-and-play as something like this can be. You simply clamp it over your existing rear-view mirror and string the cigarette-lighter adapter cord around the windshield, past the door frame, under the dash, and over to your DC-power socket. (There was at least a meter left in the cord after running it around my Jeep Grand Cherokee Laredo and it would be hard to imagine a vehicle needing a longer one.)

Once plugged in, all you need to do is start your ignition. The DVR powers up, displaying a tiny LCD screen on the edge of your new mirror. Seconds later, it's recording. Mine came pre-configured with the time and date for the time zone I was in, which was much appreciated.

You can adjust the settings if you like, but it works right out of the box. The camera records everything in front of the windshield in 1920x1080 HD, creating new files on the (included!) 32GB SD card every 2-5 minutes. Once the card fills up (around 2.5 hours in my experience) it begins to erase the oldest files to make room for new ones. There appears to be no gap between the files, either. Put them in a playlist and they'll seamlessly play from one to the next.

Cons:

There are only three buttons to navigate all the functions of the DVR, which can make navigating the menu and playback settings a little more problematic than it needs to be. The unit could benefit from a couple more buttons or a D-pad.

And the unit I purchased had a problem recording audio, too, but this wasn't actually a con, because...

...KiWAV has some of the best customer service I've ever experienced from a non-US company!

Included with my DVR was a hand-written note from one of the sales staff at KiWAV. When I realized the audio was not recording properly, I contacted her via the email address provided on the card. Within a couple hours, I had a suggestion on how to fix it (e.g., download a different codec pack and player), but unfortunately that didn't work. No worries. KiWAV then provided me a shipping label to print out, exact instructions on how to ship it internationally via the USPS, and apologies for my trouble.

As soon as I put the package in the mail and emailed them a copy of my USPS receipt, they credited my account for the cost of shipping and cross-shipped a new DVR to me. Once again, incredibly, it arrived within two days and this time the new unit worked perfectly (it even appears to have a newer version of the firmware installed on it!)

Conclusion:

If you have any hesitation about buying one of these HDVR-150 Car DVRs because of the price or the fact that the unit ships from Taiwan, I want to assure you that 1) The product I received is worth the price, and 2) KiWAV's customer service ranks up there with the very best of US companies. Order with confidence; this is the real deal.
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18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
on September 23, 2012
Verified Purchase
This is so good, every car should come with it from the factory.

I received the product in eight days. It came in a box within a box within a box within a box. An outer corner was crushed, but by the time I got to the innermost box, it was in perfect condition.

I was worried about the fit on the rearview mirror of my Toyota Sienna. Standard equipment on a 2005 Sienna was a large "Autodimming Heated Power Driver's Mirror." I asked a question about it in the Forums section here. In response, their customer rep posted photos of the backside of the DVR, including the clamps that grab the car's mirror. This increased my comfort level enough that I ordered it. The good news is that the Hdvr-150 holds on, the bad news is that it's not very secure. The clamps are spring-loaded, which makes their adjustment to the mirror more or less automatic. I was worried about the height and width of my mirror, but it turns out that's not the problem, it's the thickness. The Sienna's mirror is so thick and rounded that the clamps cannot hook solidly over the back edges of the mirror. However, they cling tenaciously enough that the DVR remains in place and does not wiggle. But if I absent-mindedly do a one-handed mirror adjustment, the DVR is likely to slip off. SOLUTION: Four narrow strips of duct tape that hold the clamps to the back of the mirror.

The DVR mirror:
- installs a couple inches to the right to allow the camera to peek around the right side of the original mirror
- is still long enough, after the right-shift, to cover the left side of my car's mirror
- is anti-glare and has a good, wide field of view.

Setup was so easy that I did it without reading the directions. Currently the cable drops straight down to a 12-volt outlet. I'll hide it later.

The DVR tested out very well. A thumbnail of the video displays on the right side of the DVR mirror. If I am concentrating on using it as a mirror, I can see out the left-rear passenger window (the reflection behind the thumbnail), and the video does not distract me from doing that. The thumbnail is too small to tell me much except (1) that I am recording, and (2) the camera's range of vision. Under the thumbnail is a yellow display of the date and time, to the second. The DVR records only five minutes, sometimes less, then it starts a new file. (The SD card has *not* run out of space, the product just records 5-minute clips.) After I turn off the ignition and/or unplug the DVR, it continues to record for a few seconds. (It must contain a capacitor in which it stores the electricity for that.)

A very pleasant surprise was that the DVR was preset to the correct date and time, even my time zone! Good customer care. Another surprise is that the audio works right out of the box and is better than I expected.

The SD card fits into a slot on top of the mirror. I'm working blind as I do this, i.e., I cannot see the top of the mirror. A little practice taught me how to find the SD card slot when re-inserting the card. Because my computer has an SD card plug-in, I have not tested the USB connection.

Playback using Windows Media Player under Windows XP was excellent. (QuickTime on a Mac worked, but not very well.) I play a 5-minute video, then start another 5-minute video, etc. The smaller files, as compared to one huge file, have the advantage that they isolate events and make those events easy to find using the files' date/time stamps. The user manual says, "No gap between file clips," and this is true. There was a 4-second gap between my first two clips, but I think that was me playing with the ignition.

In the videos I can't read a license plate unless I stop close behind another car, but I expected this. Night videos don't show as much detail but are still useful. Recently I had a near-accident at night on a very dark street, when I turned in front of a car that emerged from beside a third car without its lights on. If he/she had hit me and this product had been installed, I could have proven that it was mainly the other driver's fault.
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14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
Verified Purchase
First camera: Arrived defective, the LCD screen did not turn on at all.

The second camera: It keeps stopping and asking you to format the card. It does it randomly and too frequently for my taste. It seems to only do it with my SanDisk Extreme 32 GB SDHC Class 10, not the crappy 4GB it comes with. I would not buy this product again.

Edit: Sent the second camera back to Amazon as the product kept crashing, not recording (even though it showed it was). It is utterly unreliable. It would have been fine if this cost $40, but at over $100, is unacceptable.
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13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 12, 2013
Verified Purchase
I liked this unit when I first got and gave it 4 stars. However now that I've had it for awhile two major problems have cropped up.

One is radio-frequency interference. I thought something had gone wrong with my car stereo because all of a sudden I could only receive the strong signals. Weaker signals were covered up by noise. I finally figured out it only did it when the dash cam was on. It blankets the entire FM broadcast band with noise. You can hear it on AM also, as heterodyne "whistles" when you try to listen to a station.

The other problem is that one day I suddenly got the "crash" detection notice on the screen. There was no crash - the car was parked at the time. Not only that, but I had turned off the crash detection in the menu so it shouldn't have happened anyway. Since that happened the camera eats SD cards. It damages the card in such a way that you can't erase any files or reformat the card, either in the camera or on a computer. It has done it now to two cards, the 4 GB one that came with the camera and a 32 GB one that I had purchased.

I tried changing every menu setting I could find, to no effect. I even tried the master reset, which was interesting because it resets the language to Chinese. I was eventually able to decode enough of the Kangi pictograms to figure out which menu entry to use to get it back to English, which was especially challenging since the documentation that came with the unit is for a different firmware version so all the menu entries are in different places.

The unit is now in the trash. I don't want to risk gtrying any more SD cards.

Here's a link to another dash cam that might be a better choice:

http://www.amazon.com/review/R2XBEHYF24T0AS/ref=cm_cr_rdp_perm?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B00E5FMDI8&linkCode=&nodeID=&tag=

Here's my original review:

=============================================
The design of this camera assumes that it will be plugged into a cigarette lighter socket that turns off when the ignition is turned off. Otherwise the camera stays on all the time unless you unplug it from the lighter socket. Even with the recording disabled and the LCD monitor turned off it still draws about 90 mA from the battery. That's not a problem if you don't leave the car sitting for a long time without occasionally running it to recharge the battery. A standard small car battery is good for perhaps 45 Amp-hours, so a fully-charged battery would be dead in about 500 hours (20 days). If you aren't going to drive the car for a few days you should unplug the camera.

Otherwise I like the product. It has two spring clips that attach it to your car mirror. The right half sticks out past the edge of the car mirror so the camera can peek around the edge. The unit is about 12.5 inches (32 cm) wide, which is wide enough that on my car it sticks out a little on the left side as well.

The picture quality is pretty good. The wide-angle lens gives a large field of view at the expense of fine resolution. You have to be very close to a car to read the license plate number. The nighttime video is pretty dark, although there is a way to adjust the brightness in the menu, which I haven't tried. As is, it's good enough to basically see what's going on.

The 4 GB SD card that comes with it is good for about 25 minutes, which is actually perfectly adequate if you just want to use it to record an accident or traffic ticket. I went ahead and bought a 32 GB card for $20 just for grins.

The English in the documentation is a bit awkward but understandable.
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