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This is an impressive and feature-rich dashboard camera with excellent video quality in both day and night conditions.

It is recommended to install the camera as high on the windshield as possible, as the lens has an extremely wide angle. Due to the wide angle details like license plates are very hard to see. The manual recommends audibly reading off a plate for the onboard microphone should you need to remember it.

Unfortunately the only way to mount the camera is to use adhesive that permanently attaches to the windshield. Thankfully the manufacturer also included a standard tripod mounting screw on the camera so it is possible to use third party windshield mounts. Just be sure to get one that can position the camera very close to the windshield. I do hope that they can consider including a suction cup option in the future.

Operating the camera couldn't be simpler: when it gets power it starts recording. The camera is configured through the included software that runs on both the Mac and PC via the Adobe Air platform. I would have liked to see an option to invert the video which would make mounting the camera upside down with a third party suction cup a little easier.

The camera will support SD cards up to 64 gigabytes in size and came with an 8 gig card that stores about an hour or so of high quality 1080p video at 30 frames per second.

Video quality is excellent and smooth - even over bumpy roads. The included software will overlay the vehicle's position on a Google map as well as indicate the approximate speed at the time of the recording. It was remarkably accurate in my tests and did not take long to find its position. The camera includes a GPS antenna that can be mounted outside the vehicle for cars that have coated windshields that block radio signals. The gps and speed data is embedded inside the video files but they play fine in VLC and Quicktime on my Mac without the need for conversion.

The camera also features an "event" function that will preserve video files with a button push or a significant shock (there is an onboard sensor that detects g-forces). Those clips will be protected from being erased when the card fills up, although the manufacturer recommends turning off the camera after an accident.

The camera can record in 1, 5, 15, and 30 minute increments. But recording files above a minute in length will disable the "looping" feature that erases old files when the card fills up. There is no gap in recording between files but you'll just have a lot of them accumulating on the card.

Overall this is an impressive dashboard camera and well worth considering!
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on February 16, 2014
I was put in charge of buying cameras for our fleet of trucks. We were looking for someway to protect ourselves over frivolous lawsuits. I tested a lot of cameras before I stumbled along on this one. It was exactly what we were looking for. The video quality is A+. It has very well written instructions not like other ones I tried. I would have to spend half of a day to understand the poor translation. The Software is very easy to use and gives you plenty of options on the setup. The only bad thing I can say about the product is that it is shipped with an 8gb SD card. Way to small for my purposes. I guess they put it in so you could have something straight out of the box to get it working. I now have 28 8gb SD cards I do not know what to do with. It offers 1080 and I wanted to set it up with the best picture quality it could produce. Why buy a 1080 camera when you have to reduce the quality to have enough storage to run a full shift. The 8gb would only give me about 90 minutes of recording before it would overwrite because it was out of space. The company sent me a list of compatible SD cards. I went with the biggest it will hold, a 64gb card. With that it would give me about 12 hours of recording time before it overwrote what was on the card. I am trying not to write the same thing the others have already said about the camera. I will say a 64gb card will work as long as you leave it on a one minute loop. The camera is very well made very rugged. The software is wonderful. No lag time like the others I tried. If you are looking for a camera to record this is the one to buy. Being able to know how fast your driver is driving and how he is driving is a big plus for us as I stated we bought it to protect our interests. It does that and more with the GPS that records the actual time down to the second and the date. The feature to view the map is very nice also. You can view it in map view or satellite hybrid and even street view. One more thing for us. The driver does not have to turn it on or off. Does not have to touch it. The driver does have the option to hit the record button if they want to make sure it recorded something. But the way I have ours setup it will record in normal and event. We had to turn the sensitivity for an event way down as trucks do not have a real smooth ride driving down the city streets. Buy it you will Love it if not Amazons return policy is more than fair.
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on July 3, 2014
For the most part I am satisfied with my Roadhawk HD. Easy to install and use both the camera and the software. The cons are that the camera does not always start when the car is started and if I am not paying attention part of my journey goes unrecorded. For example, I took the dog to the Vet for a shot and stopped for gas on the way home. When reviewing the camera footage the trip to the vet was fully recorded but the trip from the Vet to the gas station was not. The trip from the gas station back to my home was recorded. This has happened several times, it was not an isolated incident. My fear is that I will have an event where recorded footage would be desirable but it won't be there because the camera did not start and I didn't catch it. Because of where the camera is mounted (on the windscreen behind the rear view mirror) I cannot see the lights on it without moving the mirror. I would also need to move the mirror to press the event button. It is also impossible to get the SD card out of the camera slot without removing the camera. Believe me, I have tried. In retrospect I should have mounted the camera on the passenger side of the mirror instead of the driver's side. It would have provided a little more room to maneuver.

I did one nighttime test on the camera and was not thrilled with the low light video. It did not meet my expectations.

I have not tried using an external mic so I cannot comment on that. I have not tried the GPS antenna as I always get a GPS signal within minutes of the camera starting.

I really like the GPS Google Maps/Satellite feature during playback using the RH software. It appears to be extremely accurate.

9/18/2014 - Update

This camera is becoming less and less reliable. In my first review I stated that the camera does not always start with the car. When that is the case, the "Roadhawk Camera is On" notification does not happen. My solution to that was to turn the key to the on position and wait for the notification. When I do not get it, I turn the key off, wait a few seconds, then turn it to the on position and wait for the announcement. I will usually get it the second time. If not, I repeat. Well, that worked fine for awhile, but now, even when I get the announcement the camera doesn't always record. I can tell when this happens when I turn the car off and I don't get the "BLING BLING" sound telling me that the camera turned off - even though I got the announcement that it did turn on. The next new anomaly is that some of the dates on the card come up as occurring years in the past (31 Dec 2007- 11:23:16). Look at the date on the first file (top right) in the short video.

With the unreliability demonstrated by this camera, I can only conclude that it is not fit for the intended purpose. That purpose is to protect me from false claims by other motorists or witnesses in the event of an accident. As a result, I am lowering my rating from 3 stars to one star as I sit here with buyer's remorse. Even if I capture an event that would exonerate me from liability, if the date associated with the event is improperly recorded the video would be thrown out by the court. I can no longer recommend this camera.

I believe my firmware to be the latest available. Firmware=1.9

It is the Dash Cam equivalent of a dummy home security camera except you can get those for under $20. This dummy Dash Cam set me back $300.
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UPDATE: Aug 4, 2013 - The RoadHawk HD came with an 8GB SDHC card. It's supposed to be capable of using up to a 64GB SDXC card. So I ordered a 32GB SDHC card by Transcend. The card was inserted into the RoadHawk HD and I got an error, "SD card or camera error. Please check." When I inserted the card in my MacBook Pro, the camera had been able to write the configuration file and folder structure to the card. And the card was mounted by my laptop, so I doubt that the card has an error. I then ran the RoadHawk application and changed some settings. The application said since I had changed setting it wanted to format the card, so I let it do that. When I put it in the RoadHawk HD, the unit spoke again and said the same thing, "SD card or camera error. Please check."I do not believe the card is defective as it mount on my MacBook Pro. I have emailed RoadHawk support to inform them of this problem. I'll withhold lowering my rating until I know more and will update my review as necessary.

---

The roadhawk HD DVR impressed me with the ease of operation and quality of video. It provides a valuable video and audio record of your vehicles travels and could be of great assistance in documenting the exact circumstances of an accident you are involved in or witness.

What's in the box:
- RoadHawk HD camera
- Power Cable (16 feet)
- GPS external antenna with cable (16 feet)
- 8gb SD card
- USB card reader
- 2 window mounting plates
- 1 extra adhesive pad
- 5 window cable-routing mounts
- User Guide
- CD-Rom with application software

The RoadHawk HD has the following connections and or controls:
- Microphone In
- Power In
- GPS antenna In
- SD card slot
- Event button

There are no other controls on the device. All functions/settings are controlled by software that writes a configuration.txt file to the SD card.

A 16 foot power cord easily lets you route the power to the location on your windshield where the RoadHawk HD mount has been placed. Optimum placement is in the middle of the windwshield as high as you can get it. I put mine directly underneath my mirror which keeps it out of my vision. I could not place it above my mirror because of the way the windshield is made.

Routing the power cable was easy. In my vehicle it was quite easy to tuck the cord under the vinyl trim all the way around and then tuck the cable under the dashboard and finally to my power outlet on my dashboard. Eventually I will get a permanent hard-wired solution but for now it's fine this way.

I did not need to use the provided GPS antenna because I got a good GPS signal without it. However if you do need to use the antenna, it has a very long 16 foot cable so routing it should not be a problem.

The RoadHawk HD records video to an SD card and supports SDXC cards so you can use up to a 64GB card. By default, the RoadHawk HD records video files that are 1 minute in length. It will record and store these files until the card fills to capacity and will then begin overwriting the oldest files. A 1 minute video file when recorded at the highest bit-rate and 1080p resolution is roughly 90MB. When you change settings to record at lower bit-rates and 720p you can get 1 minute file sizes of closer to 10MB.

The camera has two modes of recording... normal and normal + event. Normal recording begins as soon as your car is started and immediately begins recording files according to the setting you have set.. either 1, 5, 10, 15 or 30 minutes and will immediately record another file consecutively. These files can be linked together in any editing software to playback continuously.

In Normal + Event mode, the camera will record files that are 1 minute in length. The camera reserves 40% of the capacity of the SD card for Events, the remaining 60% is reserved for Normal video. An Event is triggered automatically by the G Sensor in the camera (the sensitivity of which is set in the software). You can also trigger an Event recording manually while driving by pushing the "E" button on the RoadHawk HD. Both Normal files and Event files will be overwritten once the allocated space is full. The oldest files will be overwritten first. But to ensure an important file is not erased, it is suggested you unplug the device after an accident to ensure the deivce does not record over that file. Having a spare SD card will enable you to keep recording while you save the card that has the important files on it. It is really beyond the scope of this review to discuss in any greater detail all the settings. The user guide is very detailed and complete and will provide all the info you need to fully understand the operation of the RoadHawk HD.

I was quite impressed with the video quality of the RoadHawk HD. I also like the ease of operation. Once it is installed it is truly a set it and forget it kind of thing. You have the peace of mind that it is always recording without your intervention. In case of an accident and assuming you have it set up correctly, an Event file will automatically be saved and you will be able to retrieve that file afterwards for viewing. A larger SD card is going to provide the longest recording time.

I was equally impressed with the audio recording quality. There is also a provision to attach an external microphone to provide even better quality but I did not test this aspect of the device.

I don't have any major complaints or cons. It might be nice to have some controls on the device for speaker volume or mic volume settings rather than having to go to the software to change the settings. Since all settings are saved to the SD card from the application on your computer, it's a bit of a pain to change things since you have to remove the SD card from the device, use a card reader to let the application on your computer access the SD card and be able to alter the settings on the card. Then you put the card back in the device and the new settings take effect the next time it is powered on.

I also did not feel the speaker quality or loudness was very good. At low volume it was so soft as to be almost inaudible. At the high setting it was very scratchy sounding and difficult to discern what it was speaking.

This is a great piece of gear to have installed in your vehicle. It will help you keep tabs on your kids driving habits as well as provide important documentation in the event of an accident. The operational temperatures for the RoadHawk HD are from -10 degrees Celsius to +40 degrees (14 degrees Farenheit to 104) and there is a caution in the user guide: "Do not leave the camera in a very hot car during the daytime."

I was provided a complimentary sample of the RoadHawk HD for testing and review. I agreed to provide a fair and honest review. If you have any questions please leave a comment and I'll do my best to answer.
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on November 7, 2013
My husband got one Road Hawk 1080P HD recorder for himself and later one for me. Apparently husband's unit failed and announcing every couple of seconds that "GPS signal is valid", no speed or map position tracking. But the video quality was excellent. His device was sent back to Amazon. Mine works well, GPS speed and map routes are tracked.

Update on 11/25/13

We bought two of these unit based on ALL 5-star reviews at the time of purchase.

The first one has been defective from day one - could not keep GPS track and constantly announcing "GPS signal is found" (like every second or so)., but it did video recording just fine.

The second unit has problem with SD cards ejection. The card does not want to be ejected - period. We learned to push on one of the corners of the card in order to eject it.

The supplied 8GB card worked well and looping (erasing old files and recording new ones) as it supposed to be. The problem arose with a Sandisc 64GB card we bought - the recording does not loop. As soon as card got filled with bunch of 1-mitute files - the unit started announcing something about card failed or recording failed. My husband reformatted the card (he did not use the fast mode in order to check for bad sectors/cell on SD card) and we re-tested again in default mode (no settings changed, via provided software). Sure enough as card got filled with files it failed to re-write the oldest files with the newest ones.

I also DO NOT like company tactics to offer customers a gift of their choice for leaving a review on the Amazon website. Timetec do not state that review should be positive, but I suspect some 5-star reviews out there only because people were afraid not to get freebies if the review would be negative.

The bottom line - it's an excellent idea with flat box design and very wide lens, excellent image quality (not sure about audio, as I keep the mic turned off), but 2 out of 2 product having some sort of problems is definitely does not qualify Road Hawk HD for a prime time.

To be fair, I also want to state that customer service emails were answered promptly.

Update on 11/26/13

We used a different card to retest - a Sony 64GB SDXC-I card and connected recorded directly to a 12 battery just to run it around the clock. about 36-40 hours later the red power light went out and the device started to announce something about checking the memory card - cannot record. So this device cannot loop videos when 64GB card is used. I guess that cards 8/16/32Gb will be fine as those card are SDHC format

Update 09/16/14

Just found that unit fails to record a lot of files. we cannot rely on it anymore.

Just to summarize:
1. a lot of issues I brought originally in this review are listed at the link below.
2. I do not like company's tricky tactics of offering free items for a reviews with requirement to send a link with customer reviews to the company.
3. buyers, just be aware that last year unit was sold at "discount" price $199 with list price $329. Now company has raised "list" price to $399 and "discount" price $299. you can buy re-branded unit in COSTCO at $189 price.
4. I even more disgusted on comments for my original 3-star review stating that I'm a woman and do not understand anything in electronics. just research here for yourself: https://dashcamtalk.com/roadhawk-hd/

The bottom price - it performed more or less ok, when worked. reducing my rating from 3 stars to 2 stars, mostly for the product support and tricky tactics used in order to "bump" overall rating for the product.
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on February 11, 2015
This showed up so fast I think the UPS man just gave me his Roadhawk. Thanks, Amazon (or my UPS driver)! The extra memory cards took a lot longer, but I just bought a 64 GB card at a local store while I was waiting. It comes with an 8 GB card, which fills up in about an hour at 1080p/30 frames per second and the "event partition" in place. In 1080p at 30 FPS and with the "event partition" in place, a 64 GB card will fill up in about 8 hours. Each minute recorded takes up 102.4 MB. I usually like to keep a few days of video on hand just in case, and I drive a lot so I have multiple cards.
Now for the bad. You can only record 1 minute chunks in loop mode, but that is a very slight negative. The software is very user friendly for the most part, so browsing for a certain scene is not too painful. My least favorite aspect is the home screen for the Roadhawk software. It is the only place I have found yet that displays speed, position, and the g-forces along with the video but you can not make the screen bigger or smaller. It is very irritating... just straight up bloody annoying. The scroll bar is also very wonky when you are trying to browse videos. I am sure there is another program that displays this, but I have yet to look into it. I have been using VLC to browse the videos a lot because the RoadHawk software is full of little irritating things, and VLC solves most of these problems and allows for high quality screen captures.
The kit it came with installed in minutes and looked great. I have since wired the camera into a new fuse I installed on my vehicles electrical system, and it turns on when the truck is turned on. I made my own harness for the hard wired connection, but if you do not want to go through the effort RoadHawk sells hard wire harness on their website. It is a lot more pricey than I would want to pay, as is everything else on their site. This camera on Amazon cost half of what Roadhawk is asking on their site. Recording an "event" is very easy. Just press the nondescript "E" button on the front and it will store that clip to the event memory partition. There is room for improvement on this, however. I really feel that if you are pressing that button, something is already happening you want to record. The event button just records from the press and two minutes afterward. I will be much happier if RoadHawk releases firmware to automatically capture the minute before and the minute after that button was pressed or an event was triggered. Oh yeah, the firmware on this bad boy can be updated. I see this as a very good thing, especially since you do not have to unmount the camera to do so; you just put the update on your SD card.
The audio it records is good enough. I plugged a mic into it and got better audio, but it was just a little too bulky for me and I got rid of it. It comes with an extended GPS antenna in case you cannot get a strong signal where you mount it. I did not use my extra antenna and it still gets a great GPS signal even under thick tree canopies and in downtown areas (St. Louis, Kansas City, and Chicago all posed no problem). The speed and position tracking are very precise. Everything matches my phone, TomTom, speedometer, and those "check your speed" radar signs perfectly.
The image on this thing is wonderful in low light and during the daytime. Even on bad roads with my tuck shaking to an unbearable degree, the camera looks like I am cruising in a Mercedes Benz down a brand new interstate. The color, levels and gamma need to adjustment whenever I take a screenshot. I can be driving 75 down the interstate at night or dusk/dawn and I know that if I pause the video at the right moment while viewing it later I will be able to read signs, see details, see faces, and read license plates. There is no twitch or lag in the video. The audio syncs up perfectly to the video. The field of view is perfect for my application, and the camera itself is easy to forget about while you are driving. People walking up to the front of your car may notice it, but that could be a good thing.
Speaking of forgetting the camera, last but not least is operating conditions. So far, this camera has seen temperatures from below zero with whipping wind to closed windows and 85 degrees ambient temp in a parking lot for days on end. This camera has shown no signs of any wear, tear, malfunctioning or slowing down yet. I think it is going to have many happy years of covering my butt. I also get an insurance discount so long as I have it hardwired into my truck, so if you do buy this (and I highly recommend you do) contact your insurance company and see if you can also get your Roadhawk to pay for itself.
review image review image review image review image review image
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on February 2, 2014
There appears to be a design flaw that will affect some users more than others. When you start your car, the car battery voltage drops below 12v as the engine turns until the engine starts and the alternator stabilizes and outputs around 14V. The voltage drop while the engine cranks will vary by car. Here's the issue: the Road Hawk tries to start pretty much as soon as voltage is applied to it which, in the case of my car, happens BEFORE the motor starts and is before the voltage has stabilized to a point that the Road Hawk needs and so the startup routine fails. As such, especially on colder mornings when the voltage drops even further than normal, the Road Hawk often does not come on at all. This is a big issue if you want a set-it-and-forget-it device, which you pretty much certainly do - why else would you want a dash cam unless you wanted it on when you started the car? I have tried 3 different units in my Nissan Titan and they all acted somewhat differently, but not a single one of them started every time the car started, especially on cold mornings. Once the car was running, it started 100% of the time when I plugged it in or pressed the button, so the issue only occurred when the device was plugged in when the car was cranking.

I was able to fix the issue by making a simple delay circuit that turned on a relay 10 seconds after the car started, and now the unit comes on 100% of the time. You can buy a nice pre-made timing delay circuit off of eBay for under $5, including shipping. Having to do this, though, is pretty ridiculous for a device that costs this much. Timetec should have tested a little more extensively and added a delay during start to let the voltage stabilize before trying to initialize. I am sure many cars will not have voltage drops severe enough to cause this issue, so you might not have this issue.

That said, the unit is awesome. The video quality is amazing, and the GPS overlay is really cool - watching the video while the map is updating next to it is slick as can be. The mounting is solid, the unit is quality built, and it has a great feature set.

The shock sensor seemed a little sensitive, which is better than the alternate, but after a few months I accumulated quite a few read-only videos. Not sure if these videos is what caused it, but the unit started chirping that there was a camera or SD card error, so I took the card out, deleted all the videos and everything is fine now.

Pros
- Quality built
- Great mount
- Great feature set
- Amazing video quality
- Well designed app to view videos - much nicer than others I have seen

Cons:
- Did not start when the car started all the time, especially on cold mornings, and had to add a timer delay circuit
- Sensitive shock sensor fills the card with read-only videos over time and have to purge the card occasionally
- Pricey

As a final note, the video is saved in a standard format and can be viewed with a standard player, so you don't need their app to view the videos. You only need the app if you want to view the overlay GPS data (speed, longitude, etc...) and see the maps while the video runs.

Update (11/2014): With the delay circuit, the unit never fails to come on. The only issue I have left is that I need to clear the images off of the SD card once a month because the card fills up. Whenever my car hits a bump, the video is captured as though I was in an accident. The unit beeps and tells you that there is a 'Camera or SD card error' and I know to wipe the card ASAP since it no longer records video, which is ridiculous - I should get a warning when the drive is close to filling up, not when it it no longer records video. While I am reasonably happy with the unit, for the price I paid I expect a little better than to have to implement a timer delay circuit and have to wipe the card once a month.
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I will keep it short as I figure that most of us already know this is a great, reliable video camera. It is so great, that I bought 2 from Amazon and have plans to buy a 3rd one soon. I actually have the suction mounts to move the 2 cameras around a little easier. In my most used vehicle - family SUV, I have one in front and one on the rear window. When I need to move a camera to my 2 other cars, I can just remove the suction mount on the front windshield (with the camera attached in its tripod opening) and easily mount it on the other cars. Long term thought is to leave the 2 cams in the SUV and buy a 3rd one between the remaining 2 cars. By the way, the merchant (Timetec) is very responsive and exceeds my expectations.

Great possibility is to put in my kid's car with his new driver's license to track his driving skills. Problem is I will have to rely on him to remove the camera after parking the car or start driving. Leaving the camera on the windshield brings in new issues as I don't need a thief to do a smash and grab, thinking it is a radar detector or something worth taking (which it is worth stealing!!!)

Both cameras located the GPS satellites within 90 secs when I leave from the garage and quicker when parked outdoors. Video is a sharp as I can expect and enough flexibility to change some parameters. Video playback is boring as heck which is really a good thing since there is nothing bad like an accident for me to view. ;-)

ok, too much feedback. Buy one if you like to cover any front end contingencies.

Dec 18, 2013 UPDATE:

The beauty of having this RoadHawk camera is the ability to upgrade seamless. I just upgraded my 2 cameras' firmware to v1.8 and the RoadHawk software to v2.1, all done in less than 3 mins.

Firmware v1.8

- Improved stability with a range of SD cards
- Fixed camera reboot issue whwn high capacity SD cards are used
- Improved stability with a larger range of 64Gb SD cards
- Added support for new camera image quality settings
- Pre-allocated file size to increase stability when camera loop records
- Improved audio quality
- Improved algorithm for low light video capture

Software v2.1

- Changed icon to highlight currently playing file
- Added Contrast settings for camera
- Added Brightness settings for camera
- Added Saturation settings for camera
- Added Spot Metering mode for camera
- Added Enable/Disable timestamp for camera

I had some Class 10 branded SD card write issues prior to the upgrade which I plug and unplug the power source to reset the SD recording. I will report back later if this upgrade fixes this issue.

Dec 30, 2013 UPDATE:

After a round trip of 9+ hours of highway driving over 3 days, I can confirm any previous SD card error messages coming from the camera is now gone AFTER I performed the firmware update. Prior to the firmware update, I used to get SD card error messages every couple of hours which went away when I powered off and on the camera but would come back soon after. So far, very pleased with overall performance of this 2 units I own.
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on January 22, 2015
 I live in a dense populated area where 99% of pedestrians are constantly on their phones, so I need a device that records w/o failure in case of an accident to protect myself from fraudulent lawsuits. This is my second dash cam, that is hard-wired to my car. Had it over 3 months now. Overall, it is a very good product. Although there seems to be an common issue with the SD card. The first SD card that came with the product died within a month. However, the camera does give out constant alarms when there is a problem with the SD card/camera. I think, it was more of an firmware issue than an hardware one, because I switched to a 64 GB SD card and it has been working fine since, especially after the firmware update. I will change my review to five star if the seller give me an feedback on this SD card issue :). Minor issue aside, video quality is superb, even at night time, it can record as far as car's headlight. All in all, I wasn't given any incentive to write this review, and I just want to point out that dash cam market tend to be filled with a lot of junks. So buy one with good quality, and it will serve the purpose.

Edit: 4 star to 5 star. Timetec was great, they sent me a new unit with updated firmware and all. No more SD card error.
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VINE VOICEon November 30, 2014
After using the Road Hawk for more than 9 months, I can say that I am very pleased. Customer service is also top-notch. Here is a bulleted list of review points:

- Installation: The unit comes with two adhesive mounts, but we opted to purchase and use the Timetec suction mount. This has worked perfectly. We elected to use the included 12V lighter adapter to power our RH. We did get a couple defective adapters (they are mad of cheap plastic), but Timetec sent us replacements very quickly. Good customer service. The package includes some windshield wire mounts, but be careful not to break them. We had two of these snap, rendering them useless. If you are fortunate, you will have a small gap between your vehicle's trim and the windshield where you can stuff the power cord. The RH comes with a GPS antenna as well, but our GPS reception has been very good without the external antenna.

Customization and setup: You customize the settings on the Road Hawk by installing the RH software (we use a Mac), and then inserting your SD card into the computer's reader. The software recognizes the card, and then you can select video quality, audio levels, recording duration, and many other things. When you tweak the video aspects (such as brightness, contrast, and light metering method), you will only know the impact of your selections after you use the camera again, so it takes some trial and error.

- Use in the vehicle: The RH starts recording as soon as it has power. The GPS signal is acquired shortly thereafter. Operation is silent expect for an occasional announcement that turns the recording light off. I have yet to understand what the RH is saying, so speaker quality is poor (but really that is okay since that is an incidental feature). Do note that by default, the RH records everything spoken in your car. You can customize microphone sensitivity if desired.

- Recording quality: The RH records at 1080 HD level, and daytime recording is very good quality, particularly after some customization. Nighttime is not nearly as good, but is adequate. Overall for both day and night, the camera provides dark images out of the box, so expect to work the light metering, brightness and contrast options. As stated by the manufacturer, license plates are not really legible, so you will need to speak an offending vehicle's license number into the mic to capture it.

- Viewing recordings: The software used to set up your RH is the same software you use to view the recordings. It shows speed, video, and map location. The camera's video can be viewed with other programs, but to see speed and the map, you must use the RH's software.

So in summary, a very good device at this price. Highly recommended.
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