Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Product review: Car Black Box -Timetec Road Hawk 1080P HD Car Vehicle Road Traffic Accident/Incident Dash Windshield Dashboard Video Audio Camera Recorder Camcorder
Road Hawk is a HD video recorder which is designed to be mounted in your vehicle and record video, GPS, and audio. It records in the continuous loop, so when there is no more space on the SD card it overwrites the oldest files. It has two modes "normal" and "event". Normal mode means it records all the time, "event" mode means it starts recording when an impact is detected. The camera records full HD 1080p video, the quality of the video is excellent.
The camera comes with the software which displays the recorded video along with the speed, coordinates of the vehicle, and a map which shows the position of the vehicle with street names. The video files can be displayed with other software, but then GPS information (speed, coordinates, map) are not shown.
In attached video I show both screen shots of the Road Hawk software as well as MP4s recorded by Road Hawk played directly with Amazon video player. The video contains recordings made over 2 days. The first day the camera was forward facing, the total trip was 4 hours. The next day we took a 2 hour trip and had the camera mounted on the rear window. When the camera runs out of room it overrides the oldest video, however the 6 hour of 1080p video did not overwrite any information. The video includes recordings made during day light as well as night time. I also show how the camera was mounted for both trips.
The Road Hawk package includes the camera, 8 GB SD card, cables to plug into the car outlet and GPS, mounts for the camera and GPS, CD card reader with a USB connection, the manual, and the CD with the software. The camera supports cards up to 64 GB. The camera has 127º Wide Angle Lens. The cords for power and GPS are extremely long. The power cord is 196 inches long, the GPS cord is 198 inches long.
The package was thoughtfully put together, I especially appreciated the SD card reader as I installed the software on the laptop which does not have a built-in SD card reader.
The only thing I did not like about the package was that the mounts were the type that required them to be permanently adhered to the car with a sticky tape. Instead of using Road Hawk mounts I used my own screw mounts with a suction cup. This allowed me to move the camera when I needed to do so.
The documentation refers to the camera as forwarded facing. One of the reason to have this camera is to help your case if you are involved in an accident. However, according to Massachusetts (where I live) traffic law the vehicle that is behind is always at fault no matter what, so a forward facing camera can only help convict a person living in Massachusetts. So we decided to try to mount the camera facing backwards. It worked just as well as you see in the included video.
Installation tip: the GPS antenna has a push in connector. Initially I tried screwing it in and it was not going in. Oops! User error!
Software tip: You need to start Road Hawk software connected to the internet. If you connect after you started the software much of the functionality does not work - you cannot select segments to play and you do not see the map.
Overall, I was impressed with the camera and the video it captured. The only thing I did not like were the mounts which required permanent attachment. I used my own screw-mount windshield mount, which allowed me to easily move the camera from the front to the rear window.
Manufacturer of Road Hawk asked me as one of the reviewers who have a history of writing informative reviews to test this dash cam and post a video review to make it easier for future potential customers make their buying decisions. I was asked to write an honest review whether positive or negative and I have included both positives and negatives of my experience with the camera. I hope the video helps you see what to expect.
You can find it on Amazon by following this link.
Ali Julia review ★★★★★