Often people ask me how many dash cam channels should I get? What is the difference between a 1, 2 and 3 channel? Which is the most popular setup? Why get more than 1 camera? It all comes down to your lifestyle. Let’s answer these questions.
Why get a 1 channel dash cam? Typically, these are popular with do it yourself installs and trucking industry. The main purpose is to capture video evidence from the drivers point of view. If you get into a front end collision, someone cuts you off, or maybe you witness an accident. If that is your main worry a front channel dash camera is right for you.
For Example, you are driving down the highway and another car cuts you off aggressively causing an accident you now have footage that can prove your innocence. It will show the car cut you off and did not give you enough time to stop. It also gives your insurance company video evidence. On the other hand, if an accident happens that is the drivers fault it now helps settle outside of court a lot speedier and move forward.
Why would anyone get a dash cam for driving Uber, Lyft, or Taxi? The real answer is why would you not. Life of a taxi driver involves lots of driving. Whether it be in food delivery or getting someone from point A to point B you are behind the wheel driving. Accidents can happen in a split second and recalling all those details can be a challenge.
If you are driving clients while dark out most cameras will not pick up any video footage of the interior. Which in turn completely defeats the purpose of having a dash cam. During your drive the camera will pick up heat signatures of people in your vehicle so if any funny business happens you will catch it on camera.
2 Channel dash cameras have become the most used. In a 2-channel package you receive a front and rear facing camera. Install it with a parking mode cable allows you to record incidents while parked. These dash cams require some more effort, as there is a cord connecting the front camera with the back. Nevertheless, dual cams allow to record a fuller image in case you are hit from behind or get suspicious tailgaters.
Imagine backing out of your parking stall and another car speeds by and hits you. Your 50/50 collision may lean in your favour if they were driving recklessly. Or maybe while you were inside buying groceries another car backed into you. Your rear camera catches the whole incident on video. That is what makes this the most popular setup.
There are many reasons why people strive for perfection. Not only does this cater to the Uber driver, but it also caters to every lifestyle. You get the best of both worlds in 1 package. 3 Channel units have a front facing, interior infrared and rear facing camera. What more could you ask for?
Just think your kid gets their driver’s licence. You give them the keys and tell them to have fun and drive safe. The next day you feel that maybe you want to check up on their driving behaviours. Upon watching the video, you find that your teenager was playing with their phone while driving. Or maybe they were racing their friends. Better yet they drove perfectly and nothing to worry about. Either way you now have advantage to use this as an education tool.
In short, we answered some of the basic questions on dash cam channels. If you have any questions please Contact Us.
We want to address a lot of the common questions about dash cams. There can be lots of confusion when playing with new technology. How does it work? Do I have to do anything to it? Where does the power come from? Will it record while parked? So many questions and we are going to take some time to answer some of them.
Do Wi-Fi Enable Dash Cams Work With My Home Wi-Fi?
Often people get confused with home wi-fi cameras. Your home wi-fi cameras hook up to your home wireless network and hence do not move. Automobiles have wheels and an engine and move from point A to point B and leave any range of your home wi-fi. It may sound silly, but it can be confusing when you see wi-fi enable on a dash camera. No, it will not work on your home wi-fi.
The wi-fi enable dash cams create a wi-fi hotspot for you to pair your phone directly to it. These dash cameras will have an app you can download for Android or Apple. There will be a pairing process between your phone and the camera. In turn you can use your phone via the app to download videos, and change settings. Click Here for examples on the pairing process with Android or Iphone.
Where do you install the dash camera?
I am asked this quite often, and the best answer is, it depends on the vehicle. Every vehicle is different, and some vehicles have very big housings in the centre of your windshield. The goal is to have it as high as possible, and as close to the centre. You always want to make sure the windshield wipers cover the area where you mount it as well. If it snows and it’s not in that prime area, your dash cam will record the white snow and defeat the purpose. Below are some examples of different mounting locations.
Will My Car Battery Die from Installing a Dash Cam?
The short answer is no. A couple factors is, how you install it, and how you set the dash camera up. If you have a dash camera without low battery protection, and you do not drive your vehicle regularly. As a result, there is a good chance you will kill your battery. Dash cameras sold at Safe Drive Solutions all have low battery protection. We recommend setting this for 12 volts or higher to protect your battery. For this common question about dash cams, we provide an example below.
Once I had a client say the dash camera killed their battery. After investigating we found out they had been leaving their interior light on for quite a few weeks. There is lots of factors that can kill your vehicles battery, for example leaving an accessory plugged into your cigarette lighter all night. However, getting a bad cell in your battery or leaving the interior light on all night is more common. These types of things happen but getting a dash cam with low battery protection you should be fine. If you are still worried get a backup battery for your dash cam.
How long will my dash camera record?
This is the most common question about dash cams. In short it depends on your dash camera, video quality, and the size of memory card. Firstly, make sure you get a dash camera with a memory card. Most commonly dash cams come with 16gb or 32gb memory cards included in the box. This will give you anywhere from 1 to 4 hours of continuous recording. Secondly make sure the dash camera will support 128gb SD card or bigger.
Lets use a 1080P camera, from Thinkware for our example. If only using 1 camera and a 16gb SD card you get approximately 2 hours of continuous record time. As a result, with a 2 camera system you get 1 hour. For instance if you use a 128gb SD card you would get 16.5 hours in 1 channel and 8.25 hours in 2 channel. Below are some examples of potential record time.
What Does the GPS Antenna do?
Above all, I always recommend a GPS antenna to be added to your dash cam. So, what does this GPS antenna do. Does it secretly send signals to the astronauts in space? No, it does not, at least not that I know of. Basically, it considers the rate of speed your vehicle is travelling and shares that information with your video recordings. That way if you’re going 50km/hr it will show on your recording how fast you were going. I also get asked if you can turn this feature off? Yes, you can, not to worry. Also it will provide your location. If you were on highway 1 going 50km/hr it will show that information on the desktop software.
Some people get this confused with GPS tracking. No this is not a GPS tracking device. GPS tracking does live updates, has a sim card, and data plan subscription. The GPS antenna is used to provide information. If you get into an accident, you can prove your speed and location you were driving. This can either work for you or against you. If you’re driving 100km/hr in a 50km/hr zone, chances are you don’t want to hand that footage over. On a positive note, Thinkware Dash cameras will tell you where red light and speed cameras are located.
Will Getting a Dash Cam Installed Void My Vehicle Warranty?
No car dealer can void your warranty on your vehicle. In fact, most car dealers sublet their aftermarket accessory work to specialty retailers. So why would it be okay for them to do it? But not okay for you. Firstly, car dealers want to use their preferred vendors. Most of the time it is someone they trust. Secondly, it gives them a chance to add some profit to the sale of their car. Who doesn’t want to make more money?
There are some instances where a car dealer can void your warranty. But let’s be clear, they cannot void the warranty on your entire car. For example, you go to a specialty shop and get aftermarket fog lights installed. Two weeks after installing you find your headlight switch no longer works. Book in an appointment at your car dealer and they find the specialty shop wired in something wrong. Leaving you with a bill when you thought you had warranty. The car dealer replaces the headlight switch, and you have full warranty again.
If you get any aftermarket work done, I always recommend reaching out to that specialty shop before bringing it in to a mechanic, or car dealer. Mistakes can happen, fuses sometimes blow, after all we are human. Most professional specialty shops have technical information on your vehicle and will have limited challenges. Think twice before trusting the random guy on Kijiji, or Facebook marketplace that will do it for cash.
In conclusion there are many more questions to answer. We will continuously add to this blog monthly. Send us your questions about dash cams so we can answer them.
We at Safe Drive Solutions know how it feels when you are new to the dash cam market and are looking for your first dash camera. For this very reason, we have gathered some of the most crucial aspects you should pay attention to when choosing your dash cam.
We want our customers to be well-informed before buying their first dash cam to finding a replacement camera. The today’s market offers hundreds of dash camera models to choose from. While some of them can be a great choice, others might not meet your needs or serve their main purpose – to keep you safe on the road.
The first thing you should do when choosing your dash cam is to clarify your needs and prioritize them. For instance, do you often drive at night, and therefore need high-resolution nighttime video? Will you need a large SD card capacity? Is it required to have the best parking mode recording?
After making a list of what you are expecting from your future dash cam, you can jump straight into dash cam specs. Some technical terms might make you scratch your head, and this is when Safe Drive Solution buyers’ guide comes into play. Let’s go into more detail!
Single Channel vs Dual Channel
Although these terms might sound complicated at first, their meaning is simple – single channel stands for footage out the front, and dual channel – from both ends of the car.
Front recording, also called single channel or 1-CH, captures the front windscreen only, and is nowadays a more popular option as it can be easily installed. Dual channel, or 2-CH dash cams require some more effort, as there is a power cord connecting the front camera with the back one. Nevertheless, dual cams allow to record a fuller image in case you are hit from behind or get suspicious tailgaters.
If you are looking for an all-encompassing solution providing maximum level of security, then a dual dash cam might work best for you. Nevertheless, check out all options and consult a specialist before making a final decision.
When it comes to video quality, we recommend aiming at 1080P FULL HD or higher. If you decide to go for a less expensive option offering poorer video quality, you risk lowering your ability to recognize details such as a license plate and getting blurry pixelated images. However, resolution is not the only aspect to consider. Pay attention to:
Lens apertures. The larger the aperture is, the higher the video quality will be.
ISO values. High ISO value results in clearer image at night.
Frame rate. Higher frame rates, such as 60FPS significantly improve video recording by smoothing out motion blur.
Bit rate. The higher the rate is, the sharper and clearer images your dash camera will take.
Dash Cam Appearance
When we talk about dash cam appearance, we mean not only how well it suits your car interior, but also how safe it will be for you to drive with it. Generally, the smaller the dash cam is, the less distracting it will be when driving. Moreover, smaller dash cameras are less noticeable from outside the vehicle, which will prevent any break-ins.
As for the color, we would advise to opt for darker colors with matt finish. Shiny details and bright colors can reflect the light off your windscreen, which will inevitably create greater driving distractions and obstruction in the recording. Black matt dash cameras will not only provide a safer driving experience, but also look more discreet from the outside.
If you’re scouring the internet in search of the latest dash camera technology, you may run into a few confusing tech specs. Dashcam resolution is one of the most important specifications to pay attention to, as these will affect the video quality. Good video quality can mean the difference between capturing every single aspect of an incident, or capturing a blurry moment in time. In this article, we’ll walk you through a few of the important things to know about dashcam resolution.
There are many different dashcam resolutions on the market currently, 720p, 1080p, 2k, and 4k. At Safe Drive Solutions, we offer a whole range of models varying from 1080p, 2k, and 4k resolution dashcams. Obviously, the higher the resolution, the clearer the picture. This is important for capturing video in dim light, nighttime, or dusk—or picking up minute details.
WHICH DASHCAM RESOLUTION IS RIGHT FOR YOU
As mentioned, at Safe Drive Solutions, we offer 1080p, 2k, and 4k—which are common terms when buying a tv that many people will be familiar with. Let’s begin with 1080p.
The “1080” refers to the amount of pixels that run vertically down a screen, while having 1920 pixels running horizontally. Although 1080p devices have been around for many years now, it remains the industry standard for many video or display devices. It’s also the default setting on YouTube and Netflix.
1080P, while being excellent picture quality, remains the lowest resolution among our dashcams. This doesn’t mean they’re bad—in fact most vehicle owners would be thrilled with the picture quality from their 1080p dashcam. However, 2k and 4k displays offer a sharper, clearer image that allows for a more robust capture. The Dash Cam models that record in 1080P are the; FA200, F200PRO, NX7 and T10S2.
Next on the dashcam resolution hierarchy are the 2k dashcams. 2k is a bit of a “catch-all” term used to describe devices that capture or display over 2000 horizontal pixels x 1080. The difference in pixels between a 1080p dashcam and a 2k dashcam can be a few hundred thousand, to 1.6 million pixels. This means 2k dashcams can be of exceptional quality in comparison to 1080p.
The Thinkware QA100 Elite front camera is 2560 pixels horizontally and 1440 pixels vertically so a lot more detail compared to a 1080p camera. This allows for a much wider, much clearer view with a lot more detail. This is especially apparent when you zoom in. It retains clarity far better than a 1080p dashcam would.
When you want a reliable dashcam that will pick up clear images of street signs, license plates, and other minute details—which can significantly assist you in case of a claim—then a 2k dashcam might be for you.
Our QA100 Elite is a 2K Resolution Thinkware Dash Cam.
Now, for the granddaddy of them all—the 4k resolution dashcam. 4k, just like 2k, refers to the number of pixels running horizontally on a display. It’s a generic term that encapsulates 2 different resolutions—3820 and 4096 horizontal pixels by 2160 vertical pixels.
4k is 4 times the resolution of 1080p. That means zooming in on this footage is completely seamless, allowing for a full and vivid picture of what was captured, even at super high zoom levels.
Unfortunately, in the dashcam industry, there are some pretenders. If you’ve been looking for a 4k dashcam, you may have noticed some discrepancies in quality from one 4k dashcam to the next. That’s because some companies have cheated the specs and utilized poor chipsets, which are actually just recording in HD and resizing the image to 4k.
Our 4K dashcams are TRUE, VIVID 4K. Even when viewed on huge screens, the video quality from our 4k dashcams remains pristine. The Thinkware U1000 and IROAD X10 use Native 4k Resolution to increase detail when capturing license plates at faster speeds, and for capturing detail in low-light conditions.