In-Car DVR, don't drive without one and here's what you need to know

Eric · Oct 17, 2019 04:23 PM

2019 Toyota Vios DVR

As cars get more and more feature packed, another equipment that has found into several new models is a digital video recorder (DVR), also known as a dashcam.

2019 Toyota Corolla Altis DVR

Having video evidence from a DVR will save from unnecessary “he said, she said” disputes arising from an accident.

Many cars these days offer a built-in front-facing DVR while some manufacturers like Toyota will even offer a rear-facing camera for an additional RM 350, which is a small price to pay for better peace-of-mind.

New cars with a built-in DVR include:
Toyota Vios Toyota Yaris
Toyota Corolla Altis Toyota Camry
Toyota Rush Toyota Avanza
Toyota Fortuner Toyota C-HR
Toyota Alphard Toyota Vellfire
Toyota Innova Perodua Aruz
Honda City (SE only) Nissan Serena
Mitsubishi Outlander Mitsubishi Triton
BMW X2 BMW X4
BMW X5 MINI (all models)

If your car isn’t equipped with a built-in DVR, fret not as aftermarket solutions are available. To keep things simple, these are some features worth looking out for while shopping for a new DVR.

BMW Advance Eye DVR

  • Video resolution: The minimum video resolution is 1080P, but 2160P and 4k offer sharper video footage, at the expense of larger file sizes.
  • Framerate: 30 frames per second (fps) is the norm these days, but 60 fps is ideal. Higher fps also means larger file sizes
  • Memory card: We recommend shopping for memory cards that are designed specifically for DVR usage, which are often labeled as ‘High Endurance’. Manufacturers such as Transcend, Kingston, Samsung, and SanDisk offer such cards.
  • Memory card capacity: Go with at least 32GB, 128GB if you can afford.
  • Display size. Good to have a display to align and adjust the DVR, but not a must-have. Some DVRs make do without a display, relying instead on WiFi connection for users to view recordings.
  • G-Sensor. When the G-Sensor detects a crash, the DVR will lock the video recording to prevent it from being deleted or overwritten.

High endurance micro SD cards

Apart from these requirements, we also recommend users to check actual video footage from the DVR before purchasing, as a blur video footage is useless as an evidence. It is also worth watching DVR reviews on YouTube before making a decision.

Toyota DVR

Furthermore, it’s a good idea to watch video footages in various scenarios, not just in daylight. A good DVR is able to capture sharp footage regardless of the lighting conditions.

DVR or dashcams

Brands to look out for include Viofo, Xiaomi, 70Mai, Transcend, and Blackvue. These are reputable and established brands that offer great cameras that various price points.

As for installing the DVR, we are aware that wire-tapping kits are common, but know that these methods will void the car’s warranty as it tampers with the car’s original wiring, so do it at your own risk.

DVR power socket

It’s best to use the 12V socket/ cigarette lighter/USB as the power source.

So there you have it, a reasonably comprehensive guide on how to purchase a DVR.

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