Our customers ask the best questions, and we love being there for them. Here we've compiled a list of frequently asked questions so that you can get the information that you're looking for right away.
If you have any other questions after reading them, just know that our support team is standing by to answer them. You can contact us today by calling us on our toll free number at 1-888-978-6560 or email us via our contact form.
Dash cameras will provide irrefutable video evidence and act as silent witnesses in the event of an accident. The video evidence will clearly identify who's at fault and what exactly happened.
We've come across issues with cheap and relatively unknown dash cams such as gaps between recording segments, inability to start up in cold weather, and damaged or leaking batteries. Sample videos are a good place to start when researching dash cams but they only tell part of the story. The actual user interface, long term reliability, and extreme weather durability require more in-depth testing that usually reveals why one dash cam is more expensive than another.
In terms of after sales support, entry level dash cams are typically generic products assembled by numerous sources making it impossible to trace a manufacturer if support or warranty replacement is required. Not only do higher end dash cams have a lower defective ratio (typically less than 0.5%) but they can be replaced under warranty or repaired for a fee outside of the warranty period. We stand behind all the products that we sell and can help facilitate warranty or support related requests for our customers.
No Costly International Shipping to Asia for your Warranty Issues
BlackboxMyCar is based in Vancouver, B.C., Canada, and as an authorized distributor behind the products we carry, we take care of all the potential warranty issues in-house. Unlike our competitors, our customers do not have to send their defective units to Asia (typically anywhere from $60-100 out of the customer's pocket). Our customers simply have to send their defective units to BlackboxMyCar, and we will replace them for you. Quick, convenient and hassle-free!
Buy with Confidence at BlackboxMyCar
We are the largest and most recognized distributor of quality dash cams from Korea, China, and Taiwan in North America. Brands that we carry include Thinkware, BlackVue, FineVu, Blacksys, VIOFO, VicoVation, SkyView & more!
- Our products are covered with their respective manufacturer's warranty
- Purchasing from an unauthorized source can often mean that your warranty is void
- We are one of the most-recognized authorities in the dash cam industry and are familiar with a wide range of products
- All of our dashcams are genuine & factory built with English software and English manuals
- We provide life-time support for your dashcam!
Fast & Quick Shipping
All orders that are received before 3:30PM PST are shipped out on the day that we receive your order, except on weekends and statutory holidays. All our products are carefully packed and promptly delivered to our customers.
Our Dash cams record video onto a memory card (typically Micro SD or SD) which allows them to be easily transferred from the camera to your computer. All dash cams automatically loop record and will delete the oldest videos to make room for newer videos. This loop recording can work differently from one camera to another and video length can vary between models as well. It's important to format the memory card regularly to ensure the most reliable performance. Most dash cams have a way to format the card easily on the camera itself. The card does only support a limited number of write cycles so they will need to be replaced after a period of time (typically 6 - 12 months).
Nowadays, the vast majority of dash cams offer 1080P Full HD recording. That being said, different video sensors, processors, and lenses can produce very different results. Sample videos for most dash cams are widely available online but these are often compressed to a fraction of the original size resulting in some video quality loss. Raw video files will offer the most accurate depiction of what video quality you can expect out of a device.
The bitrate of a dash cam describes the size and compression of a video recording, as a general rule of thumb a higher bitrate offers better video quality but it's important to keep in mind other factors such as lens sharpness and dynamic range. The downside to having a high bitrate is that the large file sizes fill up a memory card quickly which means it will loop over recorded video on the dash cam much sooner than a unit with a lower bitrate would. For example, our VicoVation OPIA2 offers some of the best video quality on the market as it records 1440P video at a staggering 25 Mbps, but the drawback to this is that even a larger 64GB card will start looping after less than 5 hours of recording.
1-Channel dash cams are the most simple type of dash cam. They provide, as the name states, 1-channel of recording. Typically these are recording out of the front windshield although they can be positioned to record from the side or the rear as well. 2-channel dash cams provide 2-channels of recording, most commonly for front AND rear coverage. A dedicated 2-channel setup is simpler than two separate 1-channel devices as they only require one power source, one memory card, and one processor. 2-channel systems sync up both channels of video so it's easier to locate the corresponding files should you get in an accident, rather than trying to locate them on two separate memory cards.
Some customers prefer going with two separate 1-channel systems despite the more complicated wiring. One benefit to this setup are that if one camera fails (e.g., wiring issue, memory card issue), the other system will not be affected. With two separate memory cards the cameras will record for longer before looping over as well. The video quality might also be better going with two separate 1-channel systems, for example the Blackvue DR650S-2CH offers good video quality on the front camera but only 720P recording on the rear as there is a hardware limitation. However, systems like the Thinkware F770 offer Full HD recording on both channels and uncompromised video quality.
You can read more on the differences between these two types of systems here.
The vast majority of our dash cam products and battery packs come with a 12V power adapter that can plug into your vehicle's cigarette socket. We include a free trim tool (while supplies last) with our dash cams that helps you run the wire but the downside to using your car's factory sockets is that it uses up an existing plug in the vehicle and some of the wiring might be visible even if tucked neatly.
If this is going into one's personal vehicle, many owners will choose to hardwire their dash cam. On our Parking Mode enabled dash cams, this can allow the user to take advantage of parking recording which can protect the vehicle in the event of hit and run or vandalism. Hardwiring a dash cam typically involves connecting it to the vehicle's fuse box and can be configured for parking mode or ignition switched power only depending on which hardwire kit you go with.
The best method for installing a parking mode dash cam is to go with a battery pack like the Cellink B which can be either hardwired or simply connected to a cigarette socket. The battery pack supplies power without draining the car's battery, thus protecting the car's battery from any wear and tear in the parking mode while extending the parking mode recording time as well.
Parking mode by motion detection is a feature found on most Korean dash cams such as BlackSys, Thinkware, and Blackvue. If the camera is properly setup to record in parking mode. Parking mode is not as simple as having a camera that records non-stop while the car is parked though, Korean dash cams utilize motion detection to ensure that the camera only records when there is actual activity around the vehicle. The motion detection technology is based off of changes in light and is built right into the camera's firmware, there is no need to install an external motion sensing module to use this feature.
Motion detection is great to have in situations such as when a car is parked in a closed garage, you don't need it recording constantly as this fills up the card with relatively insignificant videos and increases the risk that important videos like a hit and run would get overwritten. Another technology commonly used on Korean dash cams is pre-buffered parking recording. This means that you get the 5-10 seconds prior to a triggering motion so you get the full event as it unfolds, whereas some Chinese parking mode dash cams will only record after the g-sensor or motion sensor is triggered.
This depends on what your intended function of the dash cam is. If the camera is going into a vehicle where it will be permanently installed we will always recommend going with an adhesive mount. Not only are adhesive mounts more discreet, they are also less susceptible to vibrations and much less likely to fall off the windshield in the event of an accident or extreme weather. Suction cup dash cams are great for drivers who regularly transfer the camera from vehicle to vehicle such as in a company or rental car. We have an article with more details.
There is no guaranteed protection against theft, but in our experience theft of dash cams is actually quite rare as most high end dash cams have a very sleek design that makes them harder to spot in the cabin of the vehicle. Adhesive mounted dash cams are particularly hard to steal as the mount requires heat and tools to remove. A professional and wire-tucked installation is a great way to reduce visibility of the camera as well as disabling or taping over blinking LED lights on the camera. Unfortunately if the dash cam is stolen along with the memory card inside, there's no real way to retrieve the stolen footage or the camera. Some vehicle insurance policies will cover the replacement cost of a hardwired dash cam, it's best to check with your insurance provider if this is included in your coverage.
The GPS antenna on the dash cam can be built-in to the unit or a small external piece that can be attached on the windshield or on the dashboard. GPS typically helps to provide speed and location data on the video which can be useful if the vehicle is driven by an employee or family member and you want to know how fast they're going. GPS does not work as a navigation device on the dash cam and there are no pre-loaded maps. On our Thinkware dash cams, GPS also adds a speed and red-light camera alert system if it's supported in your region.
WiFi offers a network to pair between your dash cam and your smartphone which lets you access video files and change settings. There is no internet access required or any data charges as it's just a local network between the camera and phone. This is useful for dash cams that don't have an on-screen menu as you can use your smartphone as the screen, furthermore it allows you to share and upload videos without removing the card from the camera. Some dash cams offer Cloud connectivity that allows the camera to connect to a separate WiFi internet source to provide notifications and live streaming functions.
Dash Cams use the G-sensor to identify video clips that may be of particular importance such as a hit and run or car accident. Some dash cams will put these incidents into an emergency or event folder so that it doesn't get looped over, while other dash cams simply tag the file name as an event so you can find it easier.
If you have a tinted rear window the camera will still be able to see through the tint during the day but night time clarity will be compromised. You should still be able to see lane positioning and headlights which are useful for proving fault in the event of an accident, but details like license plates at night will be harder to pick up. Cameras with a Sony CMOS sensor will be better at picking up night time video such as the Thinkware F770 which has a Full HD Sony sensor equipped rear camera, check out this sample video to see the difference.