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Showing 1-10 of 152 reviews(Verified Purchases). See all 158 reviews
on March 22, 2013
This is the first time I use a surveillance system, I was searching for a low cost device for my office. I purchase this device with the "SVAT CCDCO Mini Indoor CCD Pinhole Camera Kit" and I'm happy ever since.

Here is what I have found after 30 days of use:

**Installation: Can't be easier, just plug and play, it comes with everything I needed and something I don't (a CD that I haven't found the need of use).
**Setting up the system (date, time, video quality ...): I had a problem here, I hooked up the device on my LED TV but it didn't show any video signal (I don't know why), I tried using another monitor and it worked just fine (I purchased the "3.5 Inch TFT LCD Monitor for Car" with a "DC Female to 4 Male Power Splitter Cable" to power it up), just fallow the manual to set up the device.
**Recording Time: This is my favorite part, with a 32 GB memory, in QVGA mode (320*240), I get 9 days of continuous recording time, that's it much better than I expected.

I hope this review helps you somehow, sorry if I misspelled something, I'm not good with English and this is my firs review.
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on June 4, 2014
Great little mini DVR. The only issue I had was the menu was in Chinese and took a bit to change over to English. The MAJOR plus is a feature that NOBODY realizes... When set to continuous record and installed into a vehicle when you key on it starts to record, when you key off it stops without corrupting the video. Then when you key on again it starts another video file. This is EXACTLY what I wanted. I just need to find out if it will delete the oldest files when the SD card fills up that way I do not have to keep monitoring the card and deleting the files so it can continue recording. I purchased several "Dash cams" that ended up being JUNK, I installed this with a standard home security camera with microphone looking forward out the windshield and it doesn't miss a beat. Better in every sense of the work. Wired to the key and it records when ever I am driving. I have a second rear view camera looking out the back and both wired to a 10x4 monitor in place of my rearview mirror and is better than a mirror.

UPDATE: it does NOT delete older (oldest) files as memory fills up. You need to delete/format the memory card on a computer. The DVR does not allow you to delete from any menu option.
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on September 15, 2015
It works perfectly for me with two small caveats.

1. The audio plugs are female RCA plugs, but the video plugs are BNC, Female RCA adapters are included. These add a little weight, no big deal in most cases. I am using it with FPV goggles, so I will change the plugs.

2. You cannot turn off the timestamp. It is at the bottom of the screen and is really no big problem with my setup, since there is a black bar at the top and bottom of the screen in my case. It will be more of a problem if/when I use it to record off of my satellite receiver.

It records in VGA and SVGA. No high def. That is fine with me as well, as my hexcopter's video transmitter does not do high def either.

I use it in continuous mode. It starts recording when power is applied. The red light blinks while it is recording. It is on when it is not recording. Press the Function button to start and stop recording. Stop recording before removing the memory card.

There is a thumbwheel. Pressing it brings up the menu, holding it left or right moves the pointer between choices. Press the wheel to make your choice.

I may get another and use it with a small security camera as a "dash cam" on my motorcycle.
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on May 17, 2013
Summary: Great unit for the money with decent video quality. Can't go wrong for the price! Below is some useful information on the machine.

Storage Card Data (Continuous Recording Mode):

On continuous recording mode the DVR will breakup the recordings into 30 minute sections. I found the motion sensor is not to accurate and has too much delay to be trusted. Thus, I prefer continuous mode. One commenter mentioned getting 9 days of recording on a 32GB card. I have done multiple tests and that is just not the case: not even close.

QVGA Data = .8GB's Per 1 Hour of Video = 40 Hours on 32GB SD Card
QVGA Mode (lowest quality) will more then doubles the storage space and the image quality is not much different from the VGA mode (highest quality). See video for comparison. Testing results equated to about .8GB's per 1 hour of video footage. This equates to about 40 hours of continuous recordings on a 32GB card. On my test I got about 22 hours of footage which took up 17.8GB on the card. The files are easy to navigate (see attached image).

VGA Data = 2GB's Per 1 Hour of Video = 16 Hours on 32GB SD Card
VGA Mode (highest quality) uses a lot of space at about 2GB's per 1 hour of footage. This equates to about 16 hours of continuous recordings on a 32GB card. My test got about 2 hours of footage that took up over 4.16GB on the card. Not recommended.

USB Card: Make sure to click "safely remove hardware" for the SD Card every time you use the card on the PC. If you do this the card will work flawlessly with the unit. You could also use Notebook to make a simple system.txt to improve the image quality (see J.P.'s review for more info).

Menu: Pretty easy to navigate with wheel. Just make sure that you press the wheel into the unit while making selections (took me a while to figure out). See video for what the menu system looks like and how to use the wheel.

Update: Once the video card fills up it will automatically erase the oldest file and replace with the current recording. If recording continuously, this gives you a backup of 40 hours at all times. This product is even better then I originally thought. Instead of having to erase the card every day or so, it does it automatically. That is not mentioned in the manual. COOL! Five Stars!
review image
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on January 18, 2015
IF this would record @ 30 fps I'd give it 5 stars but it will only record @25fps. I did the "system.txt" change as talked about before by J.P. but this one doesn't change according to the "properties" description when right clicking on the file when it's read by the computer. I don't like the 5 minute recordings but it does make it easier to edit them if you want to. Other than spending the money for a home security dvr I don't think you'll find one better than this one. For what I am wanting to use it for I wanted a 1 channel no monitor needed recording capability and this one fits that bill.
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on February 16, 2015
I bought this in November 2013 and it is still going strong. I don't use the built in playback features at all. It is mounted in my glove box and a camera is mounted on my rear view mirror. Menu could be a bit easier but once you set it up it is done. Mine is always recording when driving and auto deletes the oldest recordings.
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on September 25, 2014
Wired right up easily and does what it's supposed to do records every time it see motions so you dont have to hit stop and start, or forget to in my case.I use it in my FPV ground station for my multi-rotors. it powers on the same time as the rest of my ground station. I put a 32gb micro sd in it and at SD quality it should take a while to fill up. haven't downloaded any of it yet but have played it back on the ground station and for 35 bucks it's a good deal
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on August 8, 2013
I use this in my car with a 32Gb card. I have 4 cameras routed through a multiplexer and into the DVR. The interface isn't amazing but works for what it is. The quality is adjustable and it offers auto record and motion record options which is perfect for car cams. The best part is that when the power is cut the device uses the last of its power to finalize the video file, it even says goodbye before it shuts off!
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on March 22, 2017
Dirct Mini Security Micro DVR Nice Product Hook Up Simple .The Instruction Book Took A Little Bit To Understand . Came With All The Hook Up . Use On A Old VCR For The Display . To A Old Tv Tube Type. .Color Was Clear Play Back Was Simple. Setup Took Sometime .Pressing The Function Key Then Press The Wheel In Enter The Setting Flip The Wheel Left Or Right For your Slection . It Been Recording For Almost Two Day's On A Micro SD- TF Card .Play Back On Your Computer . Or The Unit It Self. The Package Was In Real Good Shape Give You Five Star Thank You Much.
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on April 2, 2013
**UPDATE BELOW**
** NEW UPDATE BELOW **

1) First I had problems being able to write to the card. I think that you need a) to have power plug OUT .. b) insert card .. c) then power on. After this, I had no problems writing to the card.
2) Playback from device seems to be B&W only, however, playback via VLC on computer was color with timestamp in bottom right. (See update below)
3) It's certainly compressed video, the playback isn't as clean as the original source. (See update below)
4) The manual is in "chin-lish" .. but it all seems to make sense.
5) Passthrough to external monitor image is as clean as original. (but playback is not see #2 & #3)
6) All in all, really not bad for the money paid, I am waiting on a different model tomorrow which is 2x the price. I'll let you know which turns out to be tops.
7) The size of this unit is about same as pack of cigarettes .. quite compact.
8) It TAKES MICRO-SD cards (what the manufacturer seems to refer to as TF cards (tiny flash??))
9) Navigation and setup very barebones and simple.
10) I have not played too much with Motion Detection feature, but it does seem to have the feature.
11) It comes default set to PAL TV output. Easy enough to change to NTSC, but this change is not done via the menu system. You need to add a file to the ROOT-DIR of your Micro-SD card called "system.txt" .. that file should contain only 7 characters .. F15V0S9 == F = Framerate (default 15) V = video system (default 0 for PAL .. change to 1 for NTSC) .. S = sensitivity (dafault 9) they say higher number = more sensitive. They say to remove the file once it has been read once since it will otherwise be read during boot each time which is unnecessary.

1-star off for the obviously compressed video quality, which might not be fair to the unit, but I would have liked to have seen slightly better quality. FYI, I am running an Everfocus EHD730 Camera as input.

**UPDATE AFTER A DAY OF PLAYING WITH IT**
Regarding #2 above: The playback on through the device is IN COLOR. Maybe I just had it in a strange state PAL vs. NTSC in my initial experience.
Regarding #3 above: lower frame rates (5fps) seem to have better playback quality (this is to be expected) .. but still not as good as original source (also to be expected).

A thought: At the price of this unit, it may be advantageous to place it "inline" for each camera with a more standard "security DVR" for backup purposes perhaps as it's passthrough video is clean "original image quality" and for a small camera system, it might be nice to be able to simply pop a card and save/share the video.. again, just a thought.

** NEW UPDATE **
See my review of another portable DVR product, where I compare directly to this product .. http://www.amazon.com/VideoSecu-Detector-Recorder-Security-Surveillance/dp/B002QHBNXI/

** Will update again should the need arise, but currently I'm very happy with the unit. I've added a star (total of 5) based on my new findings. **
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