1-Channel Dashcams vs. 2-Channel Dashcams

At BlackboxMyCar, we have a lot of customers consistently asking us about the difference between 1-channel and 2-channel dash cams. We understand your concerns and the confusions that you may have, and we’re here to help!

In brief, the fundamental difference between 1-channel dash cams and 2-channel dash cams are that the 1-channel dash cams only record in 1 direction, while the 2-channel dash cams are designed to record in two. 2-channel doesn’t mean that the dash cam system is merely consisting of two separate 1-channel devices, but in actuality, they involve both a main front unit and a smaller rear unit for the front and rear view of your vehicle to maximize the level of protection for you.

Still confused? Let’s learn more below.

The BlackVue DR650S-1CH and the BlackVue DR3500-FHD are both great 1-channel dash cam options.

What are 1-Channel Dash Cams?

As explained previously, 1-channel dash cams are set up to capture simply in one direction, typically placed at the front of your vehicle in order to record potential front-end accidents. Unfortunately, 1-channel dash cams are not updatable to add a secondary unit so if you’re considering upgrading to front-and-rear protection, please keep this in mind in the future.

What if I already own a 1-Channel Dash Cams?

If you already have a 1-channel dash cam with a hardwiring kit and would like to upgrade to a 2-channel dash cam system, you may:

  1. Reuse that hardwiring kit, purchase a brand new 2-channel system and sell your existing 1-channel dash cam
  2. Purchase an additional hardwiring kit for the rear unit and a separate 1-channel dash cam for the rear


(From left to right) BlackVue DR650S-2CH, BlackVue DR750LW, FineVu T9 and the FineVu CR2000G: All great recommendations for 2-channel dash cam options.

What are 2-Channel Dash Cams?

2-channel dash cams are typically set up to provide you with an extra level of protection by offering two separate dash cam units that are installed in the front and rear of your vehicle. The rear unit on a 2-channel dash cams are typically also much smaller to make them less visible from the outside. They are typically much more affordable than buying 2 separate 1-channel dash cams, and are much easier to install as well using a hardwiring kit such as the Power Magic Pro. Dedicated 2-channel dash cams that we would recommend are the BlackVue DR650S-2CH, BlackVue DR750LW, the FineVu T9 and the FineVu CR2000G.

Looking for the 2-channel dash cam recommendations?
FineVu T9 | Most Affordable 2-Channel Dash Cam
  • Front: 720P
  • Rear: VGA
BlackVue DR650S-2CH | Premium Features Dash Cam
  • Features: WIFI/GPS/Parking Mode
  • Front: 1080P
  • Rear: 720P

Why not just own 2 separate 1-channel systems?
While the benefits to having both front and rear protection are quite self-explanatory, let us tell you why running a 2-channel system would be much more beneficial than having 2 separate 1 channel systems:
  • 2-Channel systems are significantly cheaper than owning 2 separate 1-channel systems and 2 separate hardwiring kits. You can also have features like WIFI and GPS available for both the front and rear unit in a 2 channel system.
  • Full HD quality on both the front and rear units, but the front unit will typically still have larger sensors that pick up better lighting. On the other hand, you mustn’t be concerned; lower resolution video quality will not impact your user experience dramatically. In fact, a lower resolution will even allow you to maximize the storage space of your memory cards.
  • With two separate 1-channel devices, you will need two separate memory cards which would allow you to have more storage space in the process, but a single memory card option has proven to be much more organized and easier to work with.
Form Factor and Install
  • One great factor to consider about the rear units in 2-channel devices is that their small size makes them virtually undetectable from the outside. A rear-mounted single channel device would not only be more noticeable, but would also require an additional hardwiring kit that will take up space and generate clutter around the fuse box. 2-channel devices will simply require one simple connecting cable between the front and rear device that you can tuck into the headliner or the carpet of your vehicle.
  • Ultimately, if you’re interested in front-and-rear protection, we would always recommend going with the 2-channel system to get the most bang for your buck. However, if you simply want the best video quality and you don’t mind doing the extra work in installing both dash cams, you could always still go for the two separate 1-channel dash cam system.
Looking for a two 1-channel dash cam recommendation?
BlackVue DR650S-1CH & BlackVue DR3500-FHD
  • Great Choice for a Dual 1-Channel Dash Cam Option

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