First let me say that BlackboxMyCar has been fantastic throughout the process of choosing and installing my dash cams. The people behind that chat bubble know what they’re talking about, something I don’t usually expect from first-tier customer support.
Second: Overall I’m very happy with the VIOFO A129 Pro Duo. Video quality is sharp and clear, and it was easy to set up. The front camera is slightly smaller than I’d pictured it, which is nice. I’ve only had it a few weeks, but so far it’s working perfectly. Reliably fires up and starts recording when I get in the car and goes into parking mode when the car is off.
This is my first-ever dash cam and routing the cable through the headliner, A-pillar, etc., was tedious but not particularly difficult. Wiring the cameras into the car’s fusebox was also relatively straightforward, but get the circuit tester if you don’t already have one. It makes identifying always-on vs. ignition-switched a snap.
My only complaints—and these are minor nits—are mostly software issues.
The hardwire kit cable has a cylindrical ferrite bead near the connector, which makes it impossible (in my case) to hide that part of the cable—the bead won’t fit in the seam where I would otherwise stuff it.
Connecting to the camera from the iOS app requires enabling WiFi on the dash cam each time, and stopping the current recording. I’d love to be able to launch the iOS app and have it connect to the camera without having to jump through these extra hoops.
The other oddity that I haven’t really tracked down yet is that recordings using the H.265 codec play fine on my phone, but won’t play correctly when transferred to a computer. On the computer various apps appear to be playing around 1fps (maybe just showing keyframes?). I have yet to find an app that will interpret these files correctly—Final Cut Pro, Premiere, Adobe Media Encoder, QuickTime player—apps that otherwise understand and support H.265. The only way I’ve found to get usable H.265 files from the phone to the computer is to import them into iMovie on the phone and re-export them. (All of this could probably be avoided by setting the camera to use H.264 instead.)
Again, these are minor nits and overall I’m happy with the VIOFO.